About Host

David S. Levine is an Associate Professor of Law at Elon University School of Law and an Affiliate Scholar at the Center for Internet and Society (CIS) at Stanford Law School. For 2014-2015, Dave is also a Visiting Research Collaborator at Princeton University’s Center for Information Technology Policy. Dave’s research interests include the operation of intellectual property law at the intersection of the technology field and public life, intellectual property’s impact on transparency, and the impact of copyright law in the arts.


Dave’s scholarship focuses on the interaction of intellectual property rights and public life. Dave is currently working on an article entitled The People’s Trade Secrets, which builds upon a previous article, Secrecy and Unaccountability: Trade Secrets in Our Public Infrastructure (“Secrecy”). 59 FL. L. REV. 135 (2007), and a related chapter for a book on trade secrecy to be published by Edward Elgar in 2010. In Secrecy, Dave examined the question of whether private entities engaged in the provision of public infrastructure, like voting machines and public wifi Internet access, should be allowed to shield information regarding their products and services from public disclosure by way of trade secrecy. Secrecy concluded, in essence, that as applied to public infrastructure, trade secrecy should not be utilized by private entities engaged in its provision.

In the current article, the converse question is asked: should government be allowed to shield from public disclosure information created by the government itself by way of trade secrecy? While the conflict here is similar – transparency versus secrecy – the policy considerations are quite different. For example: do we need to incentivize innovation in government by way of trade secrecy? What is the impact of the lack of transparency inherent when trade secrecy is applied to government-created information? At this stage, the tentative conclusion is that trade secrecy is a poor fit to government, and largely redundant given the ability of government to patent its inventions.


In addition to his scholarship, Dave founded, hosts and produces a weekly technology and intellectual property law interview radio show entitled Hearsay Culture (that’s where you are now!) Hearsay Culture is heard on KZSU-FM (Stanford University), and can be found as a podcast on iTunes, CIS’ website, and the website for the show, hearsayculture.com (which is where you are now). Since its founding in May 2006, Hearsay Culture has received very favorable (and unsolicited) reviews on blogs and technology websites including ZDNet (“Some of the best discussion I’ve heard to date (and certainly recently) about the economics of intellectual property in the technological era . . .”), Concurring Opinions (listing the show as one of the author’s six favorite podcasts of 2007), and Technology Liberation Front (reviewing interview with Prof. Richard Epstein, and author noting that it is “one of [his] favorite podcasts”).

Additionally, in December 2008, Hearsay Culture was listed in the American Bar Association (“ABA”) Journal’s Blawg 100 of 2008, as one of the “top 100 best Web sites by lawyers, for lawyers.” Specifically, Hearsay Culture was selected by the editors as one of the top five in the new podcast category. Hearsay Culture was also listed as one of 10 podcasts that are “essential for legal professionals” in an October 10, 2008 article by Robert J. Ambrogi of Law Technology News entitled “Ten Legal Podcasts to Keep You Informed.”

Dave has been quoted in articles in newspapers including the Los Angeles Times and appeared on CNBC, spoken at many intellectual property and cyberlaw conferences, and testified before the Library of Congress’ National Recording Preservation Board.

Education and Professional Experience

After earning a bachelor of science degree from Cornell University’s New York State School of Industrial and Labor Relations in 1994, Dave was the Legislative Aide for the Hon. Sandy Galef, New York State Assemblywoman; additionally, he was the volunteer Field Director for the New York State chapter of Concord Coalition, with which he remains involved. During law school, Dave was a summer extern for the Hon. Adlai S. Hardin, United States Bankruptcy Judge in the Southern District of New York.

Upon graduating from Case Western Reserve University School of Law, Dave practiced law in Manhattan as an associate in the litigation departments of Windels Marx Lane & Mittendorf LLP (formerly Lane & Mittendorf LLP) and thereafter Pryor Cashman Sherman & Flynn LLP. At Pryor Cashman, Dave worked on a variety of cases in the intellectual property and technology litigation fields for several entertainment and fashion industry clients. Dave was also an Assistant Corporation Counsel for the New York City Law Department, Office of the Corporation Counsel. Most recently, Dave was a Resident Fellow at CIS.


The Impact of Trade Secrecy on Public Transparency, THE LAW AND THEORY OF TRADE SECRECY: A HANDBOOK OF CONTEMPORARY RESEARCH, Rochelle C. Dreyfuss and Katherine J. Strandburg, eds., Edward Elgar Publishing, 2010 (forthcoming), available at SSRN.

Secrecy and Unaccountability: Trade Secrets in Our Public Infrastructure, 59 FL. L. REV. 135 (2007), available on SSRN.

The “Deep Freeze” in the Lower Federal Court Confirmation Process, 3 HOLY CROSS J. OF L. AND PUB. POL. 263 (1999).

When Money Kills: an Overview of the Status of Internet Gambling after September 11, 2001, N. Y. S. BAR ASSOC. ENTERTAINMENT, ARTS AND SPORTS L. J., Vol. 12, No. 3, at 61 (Fall/Winter 2001).

Practice Commentary – The Potentially Perilous Cease-and-Desist Letter, N. Y. S. BAR ASSOC. ENTERTAINMENT, ARTS AND SPORTS L. J., Vol. 16, No. 3, at 16 (Fall/Winter 2005).


Dave can be reached at dave@hearsayculture.com.

Dave finds it a bit obnoxious to write in the third person, but finds it stranger still to keep saying “I” into the ether. Thus, Dave will choose, from these two bad options, the third person.