Friday, August 12, 2005
Quote of Note: Antonin Scalia
. . . it would be odd to say that a car dealer is in the business of selling steel or carpets because the cars he sells include both steel frames and carpeting. Nor does the water company sell hydrogen, nor the pet store water (though dogs and cats are largely water at the molecular level). But what is sometimes true is not, as the Court seems to assume, always true. There are instances in which it is ridiculous to deny that one part of a joint offering is being offered merely because it is not offered on a " 'stand-alone' " basis.
If, for example, I call up a pizzeria and ask whether they offer delivery, both common sense and common "usage," would prevent them from answering: "No, we do not offer delivery--but if you order a pizza from us, we'll bake it for you and then bring it to your house." The logical response to this would be something on the order of, "so, you do offer delivery." But our pizza-man may continue to deny the obvious and explain, paraphrasing the FCC and the Court: "No, even though we bring the pizza to your house, we are not actually 'offering' you delivery, because the delivery that we provide to our end users is 'part and parcel' of our pizzeria-pizza-at-home service and is 'integral to its other capabilities.' " Any reasonable customer would conclude at that point that his interlocutor was either crazy or following some too-clever-by-half legal advice.
In short, for the inputs of a finished service to qualify as the objects of an "offer" (as that term is reasonably understood), it is perhaps a sufficient, but surely not a necessary, condition that the seller offer separately "each discrete input that is necessary to providing ... a finished service," ante, at 19. The pet store may have a policy of selling puppies only with leashes, but any customer will say that it does offer puppies--because a leashed puppy is still a puppy, even though it is not offered on a "stand-alone" basis.
Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, dissenting in the Brand X decision, explaining the majority decision's "mighty labors" upholding the FCC classification of cable modem service as an "information service" and not a "telecommunications service."
Ohmigod, I'm agreeing with Scalia twice in one year. (The other time was in regard to eminent domain grabbing land to hand over to developers -- yuck.)Post a Comment