To date, listeners and readers play little more than bit parts in First Amendment jurisprudence. The advent of digital networked communication over the Internet supports moving these interests to center stage in free speech doctrine and offers new empirical data to evaluate the regulation of online information. Such a shift will have important and unexpected consequences for other areas, including ones seemingly orthogonal to First Amendment concerns. This Essay explores likely shifts in areas that include intellectual property, tort, and civil procedure, all of which have been able to neglect certain free speech issues because of the lack of listener interests in the canon. For good or ill, these doctrines will be forced to evolve by free speech precedent that prioritizes consumers.
Derek E. Bambauer,
The MacGuffin and the Net: Taking Internet Listeners Seriously,
U. Colo. L. Rev.
Available at: https://scholar.law.colorado.edu/lawreview/vol90/iss2/5