The Importance of Theory Determined

Roger A. Shiner

in Freedom of Commercial Expression

Published in print November 2003 | ISBN: 9780198262619
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191682353 | DOI:
The Importance of Theory Determined

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Theorists and courts have thought commercial expression or commercial speech to be covered by a principle of freedom of expression or freedom of speech in large part because commercial expression/speech is in the ordinary sense ‘expression-speech’. The primary values underlying a principle of freedom of expression or speech are the search for truth, democratic self-government, and individual autonomy and self-fulfilment. To claim the importance of commercial expression (and thus, the disvalue of regulating it) however, appeal is typically made to values like economic efficiency and consumer choice. This chapter pursues further the theme of the importance of theory. It presents three examples of purely commercial contexts that have been the subject of energetic debate recently are presented: tortious interference with contractual relations, the promotion of off-label uses of drugs, and the right of publicity.

Keywords: theory; commercial speech; freedom of speech; freedom of expression; tortious interference; right of publicity; contractual relations; drugs

Chapter.  13303 words. 

Subjects: Human Rights and Immigration

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