Keeping Low Sanctions Low

3 Pages Posted: 16 Jan 2015

See all articles by Clark D. Asay

Clark D. Asay

Brigham Young University - J. Reuben Clark Law School

Date Written: January 15, 2015


In response to Irina D. Manta, The High Costs of Low Sanctions, 66 Florida Law Review 157 (2014).

In her article, Professor Manta provides a useful analysis of the (often) unanticipated negative effects of low legal sanctions. She suggests that low sanctions can be particularly problematic because they may make it easier to pass faulty laws, which are then difficult to eliminate and are often enforced as de fact high sanctions. She points to examples from copyright and technology law enforcement in support of these insights.

In my brief response, I highlight two areas worthy of further investigation in light of Professor Manta's analysis. First, whether low sanctions have the purported negative effects may often depend on whether the low sanctions are a result of a hard-fought legislative compromise or an initial strategy of the bill supporters. Those that result from the former may be less susceptible to the effects that worry Professor Manta, while those that result from the latter may be more susceptible to them. Second, the purported negative effects of low sanctions may also become less worrisome as private ordering solutions to copyright and technology law problems mature. But the opposite could also be true. Hence, each of these questions merit further inquiry in light of Professor Manta's insights.

Keywords: copyright; technology; infringement; sanctions

Suggested Citation

Asay, Clark D., Keeping Low Sanctions Low (January 15, 2015). Florida Law Review Forum, Vol. 66, 2015. Available at SSRN:

Clark D. Asay (Contact Author)

Brigham Young University - J. Reuben Clark Law School ( email )

540 JRCB
Brigham Young University
Provo, UT 84602
United States

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