TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Is SSRN Spam?

Following up on Tuesday's post, Is Legal Scholarship Dead?: Dan Markel has a great post on The Schlagfest in Geo. L. J. and a Mild Defense of SSRN Emails...

[I]n footnote 8 [of A Reply to Pierre, 97 Geo. L.J. 865 (2009)], I noticed her reference to SSRN emails as spam. Prof. West writes:

When SSRN pops up in the subject line of my emails, I hit delete, without even a glance, and without even thinking twice. Of course that stuff is spam. It would be nice, in fact, if a sensitive spam filter could select and delete these SSRN emails so I wouldn’t have to. I’m sure I’m not alone in this. Scholarship is now not just like spam [in the Schlagian sense that it is un-nutritious and deadening], it is spam. ...

In her essay on sex, law and consent, Professor West adverts our attention to the distinction between the unwanted and the unwelcome, a distinction arising out of the literature on sexual harrassment. Perhaps the SSRN emails are unwanted but welcome/tolerated (ie, occuring in a relationship where the sexual attention is welcomed or permitted more generally), and this stands in contrast to the emails selling viagra, which are both unwanted and unwelcome. If this distinction holds, we might wonder whether the legal scholarship Schlag derides is simply unwanted, or both unwanted and unwelcome.

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But aren't Schlag (and Markel) SPAM also?

Posted by: mike livingston | Mar 26, 2009 11:29:59 AM