April 30, 2005
Congratulations to Kenneth Crews
In case you missed the announcement in January (I sure did!). Professor Kenneth Crews will be the inaugural recipient of the L. Ray Patterson Copyright Award: In Support of Users’ Rights by the American Library Association (ALA) in June of 2005. The award was established to recognize contributions of an individual or group that pursues and supports the Constitutional purpose of the U.S. Copyright Law, fair use, and the public domain.
Crews is Samuel R. Rosen II Professor of Law and Director of the Center for Intellectual Property Law and Innovation, as well as Director of the Copyright Management Center and Professor of Library and Information Science. Details.
New York University Law and Economics Working Papers
Announcing new papers in the New York University Law and Economics Working Papers, part of the NELLCO Legal Scholarship Repository found at http://lsr.nellco.org/
EDITOR: Jennifer Arlen, Norma Z. Paige Professor of Law, New York University School of Law This email contains a table of contents, followed by abstracts and some general information.
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
Deborah H. Schenk "The Luke Effect and Federal Taxation: A Commentary on McMahon's The Matthew Effect and Federal Taxation". http://lsr.nellco.org/nyu/lewp/papers/19
Oren Bar-Gill and Gideon Parchomovsky "INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY LAW AND THE BOUNDARIES OF THE FIRM". http://lsr.nellco.org/nyu/lewp/papers/18
Oren Bar-Gill "PRICING LEGAL OPTIONS: A BEHAVIORAL PERSPECTIVE". http://lsr.nellco.org/nyu/lewp/papers/17
Roberta Romano "Is Regulatory Competition a Problem or Irrelevant for Corporate Governance?". http://lsr.nellco.org/nyu/lewp/papers/16
Michal Gal "Monopoly pricing as an antitrust offense in the U.S. and the EC: Two systems of belief about monopoly?". http://lsr.nellco.org/nyu/lewp/papers/15
Barak Y. Orbach and LIRAN EINAV "Uniform Prices for Differentiated Goods: The Case of the Movie-Theater Industry". http://lsr.nellco.org/nyu/lewp/papers/14
Katrina M. Wyman "FROM FUR TO FISH: RECONSIDERING THE EVOLUTION OF PRIVATE PROPERTY". http://lsr.nellco.org/nyu/lewp/papers/13
Daniel Shaviro "Households and the Fiscal System". http://lsr.nellco.org/nyu/lewp/papers/12
Harry First and Tadashi Shiraishi "Concentrated Power: The Paradox of Antitrust in Japan". http://lsr.nellco.org/nyu/lewp/papers/11
Michal Gal "The Ecology of Antitrust Preconditions for Competition Law Enforcement in Developing Countries". http://lsr.nellco.org/nyu/lewp/papers/10
Lewis A. Kornhauser, Vinay B. Nair, and Robert Daines "THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE LUCKY: CEO PAY AND SKILL". http://lsr.nellco.org/nyu/lewp/papers/9
Stephen Choi, Scott A. Baker, and Mitu Gulati "The Rat Race as an Information Forcing Device". http://lsr.nellco.org/nyu/lewp/papers/8
Mario Rizzo "THE PROBLEM OF MORAL DIRIGISME: A NEW ARGUMENT AGAINST MORALISTIC LEGISLATION". http://lsr.nellco.org/nyu/lewp/papers/7
Herwig J. Schlunk "A Minimalist Approach to Corporate Income Taxation". http://lsr.nellco.org/nyu/lewp/papers/6
Ron Jones, Uni Cin Law Lib
April 29, 2005
On Plagiarism (but not Necessarily on Improving Academic Integrity)
Quick Look at UK's eGov Monitor
eGov Monitor is a daily reporting service covering UK e-government news and info. The reports, once fee-based, are now free. RSS news feeds are readily available as are free subscription based email updates. In many respects, the eGovernment movement in the UK is pressing forward in a much more orderly fashion than here in the US. Lessons can be learned by staying current.
The Tiger Has Escaped
c|Net reviews the latest greatest Mac OS -- 10.4 (or is it really ver. 14?). The editors give Tiger an 8 out of 10.
Save the Date: Wilson Center Webcast on Terrorism: A Global Threat
The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars is presenting a live webcast -- Terrorism: A Global Threat, A Director's Forum with His Excellency Jose Bono Martinez, Minister of Defense, Kingdom of Spain.
Monday, May 2 from 11:30 am to 12:30 pm
Jose Bono Martinez was appointed Minister of Defense of Spain by His Majesty King Juan Carlos in 2004, following the victory of the Spanish Socialist Workers Party (PSOE) in the general election. Bono’s political career began in the late 1960s when he joined the Popular Socialist Party, which merged with the Spanish Workers Socialist Party in 1979 to become the PSOE. From 1979-1983, he was elected Member of Parliament of his hometown of Albacete. In 1983, the PSOE won their first general election, and Bono was subsequently elected President of Castile-La Mancha by the Regional Parliament, a post he held until 1988. To date, he is the only Spanish regional president who has been elected six times by absolute majority. Throughout the remainder of the 1990s, Bono served at various high-ranking posts in his party. In 1995, he published a book titled, A Vueltas con el Futuro, an essay about the role of democratic socialism in a permanently renovated society.
Hill Alumni - Where Are They Now?
CongressDaily reports on the whereabouts of the 43 senators and House members who left at the end of the 108th Congress. Many are working as lobbyists and lecturers. Big surprise!. Not Amo Houghton (New York). Houghton is interning for the bishop of the Massachusetts Episcopalian Church, in return for the bishop having volunteered his services at Houghton's office.
CongressDaily provides information about all 43 former senators and congressman.
April 28, 2005
Jaded Law Students Start a Blog About Their School
On Monday, "a group of jaded students" at the University of Florida Levin College of Law launched the "Angry Gator," a blog "aimed at educating students contemplating attending the University of Florida Levin College of Law." Their motto "we report, you decide."
Here the blog's first post:
The Who: (no, not the band) A group of jaded students at the University of Florida Levin College of Law.
The What: This blog is a catalog of all the complaints we have about UF, the law school, the faculty, and the administration. It is meant as an aid for students contemplating attending UF, so they might make fully informed decisions. This is the stuff you won't see in the law school's glossy brochures. It's the seedy underbelly they don't want you to see.
The Why: Born partly out of protest, partly out of frustration, partly out of disappointment, this blog was created so that others will know what they're getting into by attending UF. In a sense, though, it's meant to coerce the administration into respecting their customers, the students. As things stand now, student complaints are all but ignored. Honestly, we recognize the possibility that this will hurt our school's standing in the US News rankings. If students, after reading these complaints, decide not to attend despite being offered admission, UF's rankings will go down as the offer/acceptance ratio factors into the rankings. Despite their claims that the rankings are meaningless, we all know better.
But we're also realists. We don't expect them to grovel at our feet because of the remote possibility their rankings will suffer. But who knows. Maybe someone at the school will recognize that problems exist, and decide to fix them. That is our hope anyways.
So much for being true to your school.
Westlaw Improves Legislative History Research
Doing legislative history research on Westlaw the "new way" (see below) is the best development in my humble open since the advent of CIS way back when.
From a recent Westlaw Research Tip:
You’ve gotten used to the new statutes display on westlaw.com. When you retrieve your statutory documents, a two-tab display in the user interface gets you to information related to your documents fast. Now a new feature on the Links tab helps you easily view available legislative history material for sections of the United States Code Annotated® (USCA®).
Federal Legislative History: the Old Way
To retrieve these valuable materials, you needed to access the Legislative History–U.S. Code, 1948 to Present database (LH) and run a search for documents related to a specific act.
For example, to retrieve documents related to the Sarbanes–Oxley Act of 2002, Pub. L. No. 107-204, you would have had to access LH and search for the popular name or public law number in the topic field (to), e.g., to(sarbanes–oxley) or to(107-204).
Federal Legislative History: the New Way
Earlier this year, West completed linking available federal legislative history materials to sections of USCA. These links are displayed under the Legislative History section on the Links tab.
For example, to retrieve federal legislative history materials related to 42 U.S.C.A. 1983, first use Find to retrieve the statute. Make sure you are in split-screen view. Then scroll down the Links tab to the Legislative History section and click Reports and Related Materials.
Federal Legislative History: Choices
You still have the choice to research federal legislative history by accessing LH and running a search. In addition to LH, you might want to search the U.S. Code Congressional and Administrative News multibase (USCCAN) or one of the individual USCCAN databases, such as the U.S. Code Congressional and Administrative News–Legislative History Table database (USCCAN-TABLE). There are also more than two dozen specialized Arnold & Porter Legislative History databases, containing all available material on a major act, e.g., the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA-LH). For a complete list, see the Westlaw Directory.
Another Gov Doc Bites the Dust
Human Rights First reports than the the US State Department has stopped publishing "Patterns of Global Terrorism," an annual report on international terrorism, after the government's top terrorism center concluded that there were far more terrorist attacks in 2004 than in any other year since 1985, the first year the publication covered.
Sources, some current and former officials, have charged that Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice's office ordered the publication eliminated because the 2004 statistics raised disturbing questions about the Bush Administration's frequent claims of progress in the "war against terrorism."
H.R. 748: Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act Passed the House
Govtrack.us reports that on April 27th, H.R. 748: Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act passed the House (95% of Republicans supporting, 73% of Democrats opposing.) Similiar bills, including S. 8 are pending in the Senate.
2431. Transportation of minors in circumvention of certain laws relating to abortion
``(1) GENERALLY.--Except as provided in subsection (b), whoever knowingly transports a minor across a State line, with the intent that such minor obtain an abortion, and thereby in fact abridges the parent under a law requiring parental involvement in a minor's abortion decision, in force in the State where the minor resides, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.
``2432. Child interstate abortion notification.
``(1) GENERALLY.--A physician who knowingly performs or induces an abortion on a minor in violation of the requirements of this section shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.
&``(2) PARENTAL NOTIFICATION.--A physician who performs or induces an abortion on a minor who is a resident of a State other than the State in which the abortion is performed must provide at least 24 hours actual notice to a parent of the minor before performing the abortion. If actual notice to such parent is not possible after a reasonable effort has been made, 24 hours constructive notice must be given to a parent.
"The Bad Beginning" -- Children's Book With Estate Planning Themes
Digital Recording of Classes at Fordham Law
The following was posted on technoids this morning. The author, Tom Kaczorowski, Technology Paraprofessional at Fordham University School of Law has graciously allowed me to repost it here because I believe there is a non-technoids audience that may be interested in reading Tom's story.
Making audio recordings of classes available to students online in digital form is something that you may be thinking about if you are not doing so already. After a discussion at the CODEC meeting last Friday, Kit Kreilick asked me to share what we do at Fordham in this regard, so here goes.
We've been recording classes on analog tape for years when certain religious holidays and other events necessitate. We use common portable decks that have built-in condenser mic's and record in mono for each classroom. Recorded tapes are delivered to the library circulation desk and kept on course reserve through the semester for students to borrow.
Students may also bring us a blank tape and we will make a high speed duplicate for them.
Professors are familiar with (but still not always comfortable with) this method of taping. Sometimes there are problems making the recordings, but generally classes get recorded with varying results.
Stretched drive belts, resulting in warped-sounding recordings; dirty tape heads; low recording level; poor audio/mic sensitivity; and user error are all pitfalls. Student Affairs (who are responsible for them) try to keep these machines maintained, but sometimes results are less than ideal. This is still the primary method of recording classes here at Fordham. (We've also begun using digital voice recorders, which I'll talk about later).
We have been wanting for quite a while to make class recordings available online for download by students. This past year, in light of the decision to tape all classes the week of the Republican National Convention, we launched a pilot program to explore alternatives to the analog-only system. We decided to encode (to MP3) the analog tapes of the participating professors (about 15) and put them online. I tried to find free software to accomplish this task.
How to do it
Step 1 - Encode to MP3
Encoding classes in real time would be very time consuming. The method I use still is, but it takes only half the normal time. I have a
(consumer) Sony dual tape deck that is capable of high-speed dubbing connected to my PC (running Win XP). Some quick testing showed that high speed recordings are done at 2X. What I do is dupe the class tapes at high speed and digitally encode the process with my PC.
I use DMC Auxiliary Input to encode the analog source to MP3. Download it free here:
I created a default template that encodes in mono (since the source ismono) which yields perfect audio quality with a small (relatively speaking) file size. A 2 hour class is about 20MB. I can mute the audio input of my PC so I don't have to listen to the high speed process as I do other work. DMC will still encode - it has its own level control which is independent of Windows. When side 1 clicks off, I turn the tape over without stopping DMC and encode the rest of the class.
Step 2 - Editing the new MP3
When the duping is done, I've got a sped-up version of the class (2x) in MP3 format. Unfortunately, I was unable to find a free way to do this next part. I use Sony Soundforge to adjust the pitch of the file by detuning it 12 steps (which is a full octave). This returns the speed to normal, and the MP3 sounds exactly like the tape. It also doubles the file size. Since the source may not be the greatest, I also compress/EQ the file to lower noise and make the content easier to hear. I have various templates I've created depending on the room and professor's voice (since the recorders are assigned consistently by room) to improve the audio. This may sound excessive or overly time consuming, but it really isn't. I've got the system down and the results are well worth it - feedback from students is very positive. I also trim the beginning and ends, and edit the middle (when I turned the tape over). The result is a file about 40 MB, give or take.
Step 3 - Making the files Available
Some professors have their own webpage on Blackboard, TWEN or Lexis. Twen does not allow large files so it is useless for this purpose. Professors who have their own Blackboard or Lexis page have their files copied to a network share, and they upload their files themselves (or have their secretary do it). For those professors who don't (yet!) have a page, we set up a generic "Course Lectures" "course" on Blackboard that students can register for and then access their class files. I've been doing the uploads myself, but this is going to change as a permanent system is implemented. I've also been diligent about communicating with professors about the status of their class files, and the process has been a success.
Digital recording of classes - the way to go
Of course, it makes sense to record the classes digitally straight away, and avoid all this duping/encoding/editing stuff (and dangerous mucking about in hyperspace). Since we don't have digital recording capability built in to any of our classrooms currently, a portable solution was needed. We decided on the Olympus DM-10 because I found it yields the best results and is the easiest to use. I could find nothing else that comes close. It encodes directly to WMA format and produces a file less than one half the size of the MP3 method. The built-in mic has a "conference" sensitivity setting which picks up shy students much better than the analog recorders, and there is NO NOISE! Configuring the DM-10 to use the conference setting and WMA encoding is straightforward.
All the user has to do is turn it on, press record (they can see it's actually recording with its built-in meter) and press stop when they're done. Currently, the DM-10's are distributed from and returned to our Library Circ desk. They connect to my PC via a USB cradle and show up as a drive in My Computer. I upload the files as-is and don't edit them at all. The sound quality is far superior to the analog recordings.
I believe that our Smart classrooms are going to be upgraded soon with built-in digital recorders, but I suspect that the DM-10's will be used in the smaller rooms indefinitely.
The demand for online access of class recordings continues to grow as students become aware of the pilot program. Ideally we'd like to end the system of analog tape distribution from our Circ desk and have everything online, but the issue of having a lasting digital archive of their lectures is troubling for some professors. We also have some students who still prefer the analog cassettes because they don't have a computer at home or don't understand how to download and play the digital files. Thoughts?
Fordham University School of Law
April 27, 2005
Law and Regulations Governing the Protection of Sensitive but Unclassified Information
"This report sets forth the statutes, regulations, and Executive Branch directives that define and govern access to Sensitive But Unclassified (SBU) information. Although there is growing concern in the post 9/11 world that guidelines for the protection of SBU (often referred to as Sensitive Homeland Security Information) are needed, a uniform legal definition or set of procedures applicable to all Federal government agencies does not now exist. Regulations are reported to be under development in the Office of Management and Budget and the Department
of Homeland Security. The dissemination of SBU technology is regulated through export controls administered by the Departments of Commerce and State. This report outlines the general applicability of these controls, as well as their applicability to missile and nuclear technology."
"This report also delineates regulations and directives applicable to the Department of Defense, Department of Energy, Federal Aviation Administration (and Transportation Security Administration), Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and Department of State."
Ron Jones, Univ Cin Law Lib
CAGW's 2005 Congressional Pig Book Now Available Online
Citizens Against Governement Waste (CAGW) released the 2005 Congressional Pig Book this month. For fiscal 2005, appropriators stuffed 13,997 projects into the 13 appropriations bills, 31 percent more than last year’s total of 10,656. These projects are costing taxpayers $27.3 billion, 19 percent more than last year’s $22.9 billion in pork. In the last two years, the total number of congressional pet projects has increased by a whopping 49.5 percent and the total cost to taxpayers has risen by 21 percent. Over the past 15 years, CAGW has exposed $212 billion in pork. Summary and full report in PDF
The 2005 Pork Book Oinkers Awards include the Hogzilla Award to Senator Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) for his $646 million in pork for Alaska.
New Titles & Editions from West
Annotated Manual for Complex Litigation 4th, 2005 ed.
Detailed reference on the management of complex litigation cases, providing numerous state cases, federal provisions, related developments, and informed commentary.
Bankruptcy and Secured Lending in Cyberspace, 3d.
This book details all you need to know about laws governing Internet-based intellectual property both in and out of court.
Courtroom Handbook on Federal Evidence, 2005 ed.
Handbook gives you correct answers to your evidentiary questions the first time and every time.
Drinking/Driving Litigation: Criminal & Civil Trial Notebook, 2004-2005 ed.
Step-by-step guidance through pre-trial, trial, and post-trial phases of both criminal and civil drinking/driving cases.
Federal Court of Appeals Manual, Local Rules, 2005 ed.
Contains the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure and the complete Rules for the courts of appeals in each federal circuit
Federal Criminal Code & Rules, 2005 ed.
This compact work provides immediate access to the latest federal code sections and rules of criminal procedure, including current amendments.
Fraudulent Transfers: Application and Implications
This reference provides a thorough look at fraudulent asset transfers and how they relate to state and federal bankruptcy laws.
Legal Ethics: The Lawyer's Deskbook on Professional Responsibility, 2005-2006 ed. (ABA)
This reference provides in-depth analysis of current legal ethical standards.
Modern Patent Law Precedent: Dictionary of Key Terms and Concepts Brand, 6th ed.
This title is a quick, up-to-date, on point reference to developments in this rapidly increasing body of law
A Quick Look at Cornell Law's InSITE-L Service
One of the best current awareness services for reference/electronic services librarians is a service provide by the Cornell Law Library, InSITE-L
InSITE highlights selected law-related Web sites in two ways: as an annotated publication issued electronically and in print; and, as a keyword-searchable database. The law librarians at Cornell evaluate potentially useful Web sites, select the most valuable ones, and provide commentary and subject access to them. This information can be accessed via:
1. Searchable database or by browsing current and archived issues on the web: Click InSITE at http://www.lawschool.cornell.edu/library 2. E-mail subscription. Send the following request: SUBSCRIBE InSITE-L
This is a must subscription. Here is a sampling from the April 25, 2005 issue:
Center for Individual Rights http://www.cir-usa.org/
The Center for Individual Rights (CIR) is a nonprofit public interest law firm dedicated to the defense of individual liberties, focusing on the areas of Civil Rights, Free Expression, Religious Liberty, and Federalism. The Center’s website provides in-depth background material on some of the firm’s more controversial and important cases, including FAQs, news and magazine articles, press releases, time lines, and fact sheets. Legal researchers will appreciate the Center’s amicus briefs, motions and filings, and other legal documents not easily available elsewhere. CIR also makes available on their website, in PDF, the text of each court decision along the chain of appeal. Visitors may search for cases arranged by topic or by court, or browse all of the Center’s active and recent cases. The site’s search engine is advanced and allows users to perform complex queries. [BWK]
Frederick K. Cox International Law Center War Crimes Research Portal http://law.case.edu/war-crimes-research-portal/
The Frederick K. Cox International Law Center War Crimes Research Portal is a product of the Case Western Reserve University School of Law. The Portal contains over a thousand links to websites related to international humanitarian law and international criminal tribunals, arranged alphabetically by subject area and including a summary of the content of each site. Designed for practitioners and academics, this site contains "instant analyses" articles written each month by experts around the world on the hottest topics in international criminal law. A nice feature of the site is its reproductions of the text of over 120 research memoranda on issues pending before the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, the Special Court for Sierra Leone, and the International Criminal Court. The memos can be searched by date published, by title, or by keywords. The portal also contains a Research Guide to international humanitarian law and tribunals, prepared by the Case Law School Law Library. [BWK]
Recent Supreme Court Actions
The United States Supreme Court issued four opinions in the last two days. Two of these came this morning. In Bates v. Dow Agrosciences LLC (03-388), the Court ruled that pre-emption provisions of the Federal Insectide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) does not preclude a law suit under design defect theories. An analysis of the case appears on the Washington Post website.
In Pace v DIGugliemo, 03-9627, The Court interpreted a provision of the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act as not tolling the statute of limitations when a habeas corpus petition is filed late.
In yesterday's decisions, the Court issued an opinion in Small v. United States, 03-750 where a person was convicted under 18 USC 922(g)(1). That statute forbids anyone convicted "in any court" of a crime punishable for more that 1 year of possessing a weapon. Petitioner was convicted and served 5 years in Japan for violating Japanese gun smuggling laws. The Court held that the "in any court" provision applied only to domestic courts, and not foreign courts.
In Pasquantino v. United States, 03-725, the Court held that a plot to defraud a foreign government of tax revenues violates the federal wire fraud statute.
Mark Giangrande, DePaul Law Library
NBER Report Puts Mexican-Born US Workforce in Perspective
The Evolution of the Mexican-Born Workforce in the United States by George J. Borjas, Lawrence F. Katz - #11281 (LS)
This paper examines the evolution of the Mexican-born workforce in the United States using data drawn from the decennial U.S. Census throughout the entire 20th century. It is well known that there has been a rapid rise in Mexican immigration to the United States in recent years. Interestingly, the share of Mexican immigrants in the U.S. workforce declined steadily beginning in the 1920s before beginning to rise in the 1960s. It was not until 1980 that the relative number of Mexican immigrants in the U.S. workforce was at the 1920 level. The paper examines the trends in the relative skills and economic performance of Mexican immigrants, and contrasts this evolution with that experienced by other immigrants arriving in the United States during the period. The paper also examines the costs and benefits of this influx by examining how the Mexican influx has altered economic opportunities in the most affected labor markets and by discussing how the relative prices of goods and services produced by Mexican immigrants may have changed over time.
April 26, 2005
Status Report on Draft Uniform and Model Acts
Here's a list of the in-process drafts of uniform and model acts under development by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws
Partial draft of article 6, Model Entity Transactions Act
Draft Revisions to Model State Administrative Procedures Act (April 2005 Meeting Draft)
Role of Attorneys Representing Children in Custody Disputes Act (February 2005 meeting draft)
Uniform Anotomical Gift Act (March Meeting Draft)
Uniform Certificate of Title Act (February Meeting Draft)
Uniform Consumer Debt Counseling Act (April Meeting Discussion Draft)
Uniform Foreign Country Money Judgments Recognition Act (March Meeting Draft)
Uniform Limited Liability Company Act, 2003 Amendments (February Meeting Draft)
Uniform Management of Institutional Funds Act (March redline)
Uniform Power of Attorney Act, 2003 Amendments (April meeting draft)