S.M. Oliva


My Portfolio


Can Justin Trudeau Fix Canada's Broken Government IT System?
Canada's chief statistician resigned on September 16, citing his agency's problems with Shared Services Canada, a consolidated IT department created by former Prime Minister Stephen Harper's government. Will Harper's successor, Justin Trudeau, consider open source solutions to fix those problems? (Open Source Writer, 9/17/16)

Alabama Judge Rejects Software Copryight Infringement Claim Against Defense Contractor  
Computer code is a work of authorship subject to U.S. and international copyright laws. This is easy to forget in the open source community where software is freely licensed and re-distributed. But “license” implies the existence of a valid copyright. And software authors who fail to properly establish their copyrights will have a hard time enforcing any subsequent licenses in court. (Open Source Writer, 9/11/16)

How Bad Data on Social Media Can Land Your Business in Court
A man falsely claimed he was a company's "chief technical officer" on LinkedIn. As a result, the company spent 8 months in court defending itself against a lawsuit arising from the non-employee's alleged illegal telemarketing operations. Do we really need a "Don't believe everything you read on the Internet" law to protect employers? (Open Source Writer, 7/3/16)

Poor Web Design Dooms Business Arbitration Clauses
Judges throughout the United States are playing web design critics in an effort to assess the legality of “clickwrap” and “browsewrap” agreements that include mandatory arbitration clauses. (Open Source Writer, 4/6/16)

Is There a Constitutional Right to Audit Source Code?
The late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia famously defended the right of crimnial defendants to confront the witnesses against them. But can this right be preserved when prosecutors rely on proprietary software as evidence? (Open Source Writer, 3/2/16)

Sexual Assault Cases Present Dilemma for Schools
Florida’s suspension of quarterback Treon Harris raised important questions regarding university procedures for dealing with potential criminal behavior. (Saturday Down South, 11/6/14)

Will the FCC Let Televised Football Be?
The micromanagement of pro football’s television policies, it seems, will continue without interruption. (Reason.com, 10/11/14)

Hanging Delayed Is Hanging Denied: Abolish the Dysfunctional Death Penalty
Long delays and legal maladministration are further reasons to dump capital punishment. (Reason.com, 7/26/14)

Sign Regulations and the Threat to Free Speech
City planners won’t let private citizens put bright red signs on their own lawns. (Reason.com, 6/1/14)

How the Drug War Threatens Privacy Rights Around the World
The war on drugs drives a greater demand for police wiretaps, which in turn erodes society’s support for privacy rights. (Reason.com, 5/4/14)

Put Cameras in the Supreme Court
Australia, Canada, and England all allow cameras in their high courts. So should the U.S. (Reason.com, 4/13/14)

College Football Unionization Decision Opens a Can of Worms
As long as most major football schools are state universities, the question of player unionization will likely be decided on political rather than strictly legal grounds. (Reason.com, 3/30/14)

Tort Reform: Should Lawmakers Cap Medical Malpractice Damages?
The Florida Supreme Court draws new attention to a systemic problem. (Reason.com, 3/20/14)

Michael Jordan vs. Free Speech
Circuit court ruling gives fame a First Amendment veto. (Reason.com, 3/2/14)

The Long-term Battle Between Sports Leagues and Gambling
Sports and gambling go together like peanut butter and jelly. The NCAA and the professional sports leagues know this, yet for decades they’ve maintained a puritanical opposition to any legal acknowledgment of sports gambling. (Saturday Down South, 8/14/12)

How Athletic Programs Are Handling the Rise of Social Media
Social media is supposed to make the world more open and transparent, not less. Universities should be at the forefront of this movement, yet their athletic departments and the NCAA remain fixated on a World War II-era “command and control” policy when it comes to disseminating information. (Saturday Down South, 2/6/12)


Open Source Writer
Articles on using Linux and open source software.

Mises Economics Blog
Archive of blogs and articles written for the Ludwig von Mises Institute from 2004-2011.

Zip2Tax Blog
Recent cases involving state sales and use tax laws.


Irrelevant Markets (PDF)
24 Essays on the Antitrust Misadventures of the FTC and Department of Justice. (January 2012)


Doctors’ Orders
The government’s war on medical “price fixing” squelches speech without helping consumers. This article was featured in the December 2010 edition of Reason.

Regulate the Bloggers? (PDF)
This featured story for the September 2009 issue of The Free Market, published by the Ludwig von Mises Institute, examined the Federal Trade Commission’s efforts to censor online speech.