November 26, 2005
Disturbing Number of Legal Flaws in DMCA Notices
Jennifer M. Urban of the USC Gould School of Law and Laura Quilter of the University of California-Berkeley (Boalt Hall) have found a disturbing number of legal flaws in so-called "DMCA notices"--which result in online materials being pulled from the Internet, generally without notice to the target. Read their summary report (pdf).
The Freesound Project
The Freesound Project aims to create a huge collaborative database of sounds -- audio snippets, samples, recordings, bleeps, etc., released under the Creative Commons Sampling Plus License. The Freesound Project provides new ways of accessing these samples, allowing users to browse the sounds in using keywords, a "sounds-like" type of browsing and more. Users can up and download sounds to and from the database. In less that 7 months the database has grown to 30,000 users and over 10,000 samples.
November 25, 2005
2005 Weblog Awards Nominations Close Tomorrow
Nominations are being taken in the 37 categories. The nomination process at The Weblog Awards is an open and public process. Nominations close November 26, 2005. After finalists are selected, voting will begin December 1, 2005.
A Quick Look at Global Voices Online
Global Voices Online is a non-profit global citizens’ media project, sponsored by and launched from the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at the Harvard Law School.
How Global Voices Works:
A growing number of bloggers around the world are emerging as “bridge bloggers:” people who are talking about their country or region to a global audience. Global Voices is your guide to the most interesting conversations, information, and ideas appearing around the world on various forms of participatory media such as blogs, podcasts, photo sharing sites, and videoblogs.
Our global team of regional blogger-editors is working to find, aggregate and track these conversations. Each day they link to 5-10 of the most interesting blog posts from their regions in the “daily roundups” section. A larger group of contributing bloggers is posting daily features in in the left-hand Weblog section, shedding light on what blogging communities in their countries have been talking about recently.
Check it out!
A Lexicon of Secrecy
From the FAS Project on Government Secrecy:
A Lexicon of Secrecy
The very words by which official secrecy policy is formulated and carried out are often obscure to the outsider. They embody a latent knowledge of statute and regulation, policy and practice that cannot be inferred from the words themselves.
An excellent new publication helps "the outsider," i.e. the ordinary citizen of the United States, to comprehend the vocabulary of government information policy, and to discover its genealogical roots in official documents. From "access" and "accountability" to "Yankee White" and "Xn," author Susan Maret, an adjunct professor of library science at the University of Denver, provides a concise definition of terms as well as links to official sources.
Dr. Maret's Lexicon is published for the first time on the FAS web site. See Susan Maret, "On Their Own Terms: A Lexicon with an Emphasis on Information-Related Terms Produced by the U.S. Federal Government" (November 2005).
Ron Jones, Unv Cin Law Lib
World Digital Library Project Announced
From Search Engine Watch:
World Digital Library Project Announced, Backed By Library Of Congress & Google
By Danny Sullivan, Editor & Gary Price, News Editor
The United States Library of Congress has announced the creation of the World Digital Library today, a project that's also just received its first $3 million in funding from Google.
The concept behind the WDL is to use public and private money to create a virtual library giving anyone access to the world's "rare and unique cultural materials," according to a joint press release about the project from the Library of Congress and Google. Google is only the first of what's hoped will be many donors.
Read more about it.
Ron Jones, Unv Cin Law Lib
November 24, 2005
The First Thanksgiving Proclamation
On June 20, 1676, the governing council of Charlestown, Massachusetts, held a meeting to determine how best to express thanks for the good fortune that had seen their community securely established. By unamimous vote they instructed Edward Rawson, the clerk, to proclaim June 29 as a day of thanksgiving.
While the proclamation quoted on this page is the oldest extant thanksgiving proclamation, the thanksgiving being announced was by no means the first thanksgiving. The Plymouth Thanksgiving traditionally regarded as the first thanksgiving took place in 1621, the fall after the Mayflower pilgrims arrived
Thanksgiving Proclamation of June 20, 1676
The Holy God having by a long and Continual Series of his Afflictive dispensations in and by the present Warr with the Heathen Natives of this land, written and brought to pass bitter things against his own Covenant people in this wilderness, yet so that we evidently discern that in the midst of his judgements he hath remembered mercy, having remembered his Footstool in the day of his sore displeasure against us for our sins, with many singular Intimations of his Fatherly Compassion, and regard; reserving many of our Towns from Desolation Threatened, and attempted by the Enemy, and giving us especially of late with many of our Confederates many signal Advantages against them, without such Disadvantage to ourselves as formerly we have been sensible of, if it be the Lord's mercy that we are not consumed, It certainly bespeaks our positive Thankfulness, when our Enemies are in any measure disappointed or destroyed; and fearing the Lord should take notice under so many Intimations of his returning mercy, we should be found an Insensible people, as not standing before Him with Thanksgiving, as well as lading him with our Complaints in the time of pressing Afflictions:
The Council has thought meet to appoint and set apart the 29th day of this instant June, as a day of Solemn Thanksgiving and praise to God for such his Goodness and Favour, many Particulars of which mercy might be Instanced, but we doubt not those who are sensible of God's Afflictions, have been as diligent to espy him returning to us; and that the Lord may behold us as a People offering Praise and thereby glorifying Him; the Council doth commend it to the Respective Ministers, Elders and people of this Jurisdiction; Solemnly and seriously to keep the same Beseeching that being perswaded by the mercies of God we may all, even this whole people offer up our bodies and soulds as a living and acceptable Service unto God by Jesus Christ.
Congressional Proclamation of Thanksgiving, 1782
Following the Revolutionary War, the Continental Congress recognized the need to give thanks for delivering the country from war and into independence. Congress issued a proclamation on October 11, 1782:
By the United States in Congress assembled.
IT being the indispensable duty of all Nations, not only to offer up their supplications to ALMIGHTY GOD, the giver of all good, for his gracious assistance in a time of distress, but also in a solemn and public manner to give him praise for his goodness in general, and especially for great and signal interpositions of his providence in their behalf: Therefore the United States in Congress assembled, taking into their consideration the many instances of divine goodness to these States, in the course of the important conflict in which they have been so long engaged; the present happy and promising state of public affairs; and the events of the war, in the course of the year now drawing to a close; particularly the harmony of the public Councils, which is so necessary to the success of the public cause; the perfect union and good understanding which has hitherto subsisted between them and their Allies, notwithstanding the artful and unwearied attempts of the common enemy to divide them; the success of the arms of the United States, and those of their Allies, and the acknowledgment of their independence by another European power, whose friendship and commerce must be of great and lasting advantage to these States:----- Do hereby recommend to the inhabitants of these States in general, to observe, and request the several States to interpose their authority in appointing and commanding the observation of THURSDAY the twenty-eight day of NOVEMBER next, as a day of solemn THANKSGIVING to GOD for all his mercies: and they do further recommend to all ranks, to testify to their gratitude to GOD for his goodness, by a cheerful obedience of his laws, and by promoting, each in his station, and by his influence, the practice of true and undefiled religion, which is the great foundation of public prosperity and national happiness.
Done in Congress, at Philadelphia, the eleveth day of October, in the year of our LORD one thousand seven hundred and eighty-two, and of our Sovereignty and Independence, the seventh.
JOHN HANSON, President.
Charles Thomson, Secretary.
President George Washington's General Thanksgiving Proclamation of 1789
By the PRESIDENT of the United States Of America
WHEREAS it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favour; and Whereas both Houfes of Congress have, by their joint committee, requefted me "to recommend to the people of the United States a DAY OF PUBLICK THANSGIVING and PRAYER, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to eftablifh a form of government for their safety and happiness:"
NOW THEREFORE, I do recommend and affign THURSDAY, the TWENTY-SIXTH DAY of NOVEMBER next, to be devoted by the people of thefe States to the fervice of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our fincere and humble thanksfor His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the fignal and manifold mercies and the favorable interpofitions of His providence in the courfe and conclufion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty which we have fince enjoyed;-- for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enable to eftablish Conftitutions of government for our fafety and happinefs, and particularly the national one now lately instituted;-- for the civil and religious liberty with which we are bleffed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffufing useful knowledge;-- and, in general, for all the great and various favours which He has been pleafed to confer upon us.
And also, that we may then unite in moft humbly offering our prayers and fupplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and befeech Him to pardon our national and other tranfgreffions;-- to enable us all, whether in publick or private ftations, to perform our feveral and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a bleffing to all the people by conftantly being a Government of wife, juft, and conftitutional laws, difcreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all fovereigns and nations (especially fuch as have shewn kindnefs unto us); and to blefs them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increafe of fcience among them and us; and, generally to grant unto all mankind fuch a degree of temporal profperity as he alone knows to be beft.
GIVEN under my hand, at the city of New-York, the third day of October, in the year of our Lord, one thousand feven hundred and eighty-nine.
(signed) G. Washington
October 3, 1789
President Abraham Lincoln's Proclamation Establishing Thanksgiving Day, 1863
Proclamation Establishing Thanksgiving Day
October 3, 1863
The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequalled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle, or the ship; the axe had enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years, with large increase of freedom.
No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.
It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and voice by the whole American people. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to his tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.
In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand, and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.
Done at the city of Washington, this third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the independence of the United States the eighty-eighth.
Footnote to History: In 1939, President Franklin D. Roosevelt moved the holiday to the third Thursday of November (to extend the Christmas shopping season and boost the economy). After a storm of protest, Roosevelt changed the holiday again in 1941 to the fourth Thursday in November, where it stands today.
For additional information about the history of thanksgivings, see Thanksgiving Timeline, 1541-2001, compilied by the Library of Congress
November 23, 2005
ADHDTV By 2007!
The Federal Communications Commission has voted 3-1 to require electronics manufacturers to make all television sets ADHD-compatible within two years. According to The Onion:
The ruling represents a growing shift toward ADHDTV, a television format designed to meet the needs of an increasingly inattentive and hyperactive audience. The tuner includes a built-in device that automatically changes channels after three minutes of uninterrupted single-station viewing, as well as a picture-in-picture-in-picture-in-picture option.
Ron Jones, University of Cincinnati Law Library
IRS Launches Redesigned Website
The IRS has redesigned its website to provide "a fresh look, enhanced search capabilities and easy access to tools that help taxpayers and tax professionals."
- What Changed on the Home Page?
- What Type of Information Can I Find on the Home Page?
- How Can I Find Information Suitable For Me?
- How Can I Navigate to More Specific Topics?
- How Can I Search for Information?
- What Can I Expect In My Search Results?
- What If I Need More Search Help?
- How Can I Find More Help With the IRS Web Site?
Thanks to TaxProf Blog for the tip.
FEC Rules That a Blog is "the press"
Bob Ambrogi is reporting that the Federal Election Commission has unanimously approved Advisory Opinion 2005-16 finding that the Fired Up! network of blogs qualifies for the so-called press exception to federal campaign finance law.
WSJ Calls TaxProf Blog "A Must-Read Blog"
The November 16th edition of the Wall Street Journal published an article on blogs, What the In-Crowd Knows; From Hollywood to Wall Street, Our Guide to the Blogs Insiders Read to Stay Current. In the article, TaxProf Blog was named one of two "must-read" tax blogs (along with the Tax Analysts web site (which, of course, isn't really a blog).
Congratulations to my business partner, Paul Caron.
Readex Partners with Dartmouth College Library to Digitize Historical Government Publications from Original Print Volumes
From the Press Release: Readex, a leading publisher of online historical collections, announced today that it has partnered with Dartmouth College Library to digitize directly from its renowned holdings of the U.S. Congressional Serial Set and American State Papers. Rather than creating digital images from microform editions, Readex is digitizing from the original print volumes of these essential government publications, housed in Dartmouth College's Baker-Berry Library. These digital editions are part of the Readex Archive of Americana, a Web-based family of historical collections containing books, broadsides, newspapers, government publications and more.
"Dartmouth College Library's complete print editions of these collections remain well-preserved and bound in their original sheepskin," said John Cocklin, Government Information Librarian at Dartmouth College. "Dartmouth's Preservation Services appreciates the opportunity to partner with Readex in preparing these volumes for scanning.
Readex has greatly extended Dartmouth College's efforts to preserve these irreplaceable collections, and we applaud Readex's initiative to provide researchers worldwide with convenient online access to digital editions with advanced search and browse technologies."
August A. Imholtz, Jr., Readex Vice President for Government Documents, said, "Readex is creating the definitive digital editions of these quintessential American historical works, complete with high-quality scans of text pages, black-and-white maps and color maps and plates. We are very fortunate to be using Dartmouth College Library's superior print volumes, along with breakthrough technology from Kirtas."
November 22, 2005
Santa Clara County Allowed to Maintain Virtual Prison Law Libraries
Here is the introductory paragraphs from The Reporter:
“A federal judge Monday terminated a 30-year order requiring Santa Clara County to maintain inmate law libraries.
"The county has provided prisoners with reasonable access to the courts," U.S. District Judge Ronald Whyte ruled Monday.
Santa Clara closed all four of its inmate law libraries in 2003 and replaced them with a system that requires prisoners to make written requests for research materials to Legal Research Associates. The county says the system is more efficient, while critics say inmates often have to wait weeks to receive information. James McManis, who represented the plaintiffs in Batchelder v. Geary, C-712017, said there will likely be an appeal."
Click here to register and read the entire article for free: http://www.law.com/jsp/ca/PubArticleCA.jsp?id=1132144715441
Lee Peoples, Oklahoma City University Law Library
Spotlight on Law Librarians: Neal Axton
Neal R. Axton
Warren E. Burger Law Library
William Mitchell College of Law
B.A. 1995 Kansas State University
J.D. 1998 University of Kansas
M.L.I.S. 2006 University of California Los Angeles (pending thesis)
Neal grew up in a military family and moved frequently. A quiet child who loved to read, Neal spent many hours in public libraries as a youth.
Neal attended Kansas State University studying philosophy before attending the University of Kansas' school of law. While in law school Neal worked for the Douglas County District Court and interned at the Douglas County Legal Aid Society. After being in general practice for two years, Neal took a position with the U.S Export-Import Bank in Washington, D.C. in the Structured Finance division.
Neal had always been interested in computers, but working for the federal government made evident the value of information technology and the need for effective information architecture in an increasingly networked world. Seeking a deeper understanding of information technology and its implications for business and society, Neal decided to go back to school.
Neal eventually enrolled in the Information Studies program at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) in 2003. While attending UCLA, Neal worked as the Evening Access Services & Reference Librarian at UCLA's Hugh and Hazel Darling Law Library. Neal is currently finishing his thesis on comparative privacy law.
In November, 2005, Neal joined the William Mitchell College of Law's Warren E. Burger Library as a reference librarian. Neal's interests include international intellectual property law, the role of information technology in law enforcement, federal Indian law, tax law and criminal law.
Neal recently celebrated his fifth anniversary with Sarah Deer. Sarah is a staff attorney with the Tribal Law and Policy Institute in St. Paul, Minnesota. Neal enjoys kayaking, biking and gardening when he isn't blogging. Neal blogs at Safety Neal's Fireside Chat and The Bellman. His homepage can be found at the Deer Sanctuary.
Editor's Note: I'm please to announce that Neal will be serving as a contributing editor for the Law Librarian Blog. I asked Neal to join us because I believe a "newbie's" perspective on law librarianship will make interesting reading. By "newbie," I don't mean that Neal will be chronicling his on-the-job experiences as a new librarian. Rather, I think it will be interesting to see what topics grab Neal's interest. It also can't hurt to have someone fresh out of LIS school applying what he learned to current developments affecting law librarians. Please join me in welcoming Neal to the profession. - Joe Hodnicki
The Spotlight on Law Librarians feature is edited by Lee Peoples, Law Librarian Blog Contributing Editor and Associate Director for Faculty, Research and Instructional Services, Oklahoma City University Law Library. Please feel free to recommend a colleague for this feature to Lee at email@example.com
Recent CRS Reports on Terrorism
AFGHANISTAN: POST-WAR GOVERNANCE, SECURITY, AND U.S. POLICY
CRS Publication Date: 11/08/2005
Document No.: RL30588
Author(s): Kenneth Katzman, Foreign Affairs, Defense, and Trade Division
Abstract: U.S. stabilization measures focus on strengthening the central government and its security forces while combating insurgents. The United States and other countries are building an Afghan National Army; deploying a multinational International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) to patrol Kabul and other cities; and running regional enclaves to secure reconstruction (Provincial Reconstruction Teams, PRTs). Approximately 20,000 U.S. troops remain in Afghanistan to combat the Taliban-led insurgency. To build security institutions and assist reconstruction, the United States gave Afghanistan a total of almost $1.8 billion for FY2004, mostly through a supplemental appropriations (P.L. 108-106). An FY2005 supplemental appropriates about $3.35 billion, including funds for Afghan security forces, and another $931 million is provided for in the conference report on the regular FY2006 aid appropriation (H.R. 3057).
TERRORISM AND NATIONAL SECURITY: ISSUES AND TRENDS
CRS Publication Date: 11/03/2005
Document No.: IB10119
Author(s): Raphael Perl, Foreign Affairs, Defense, and Trade Division
Abstract: Press reports indicate that Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's legislative priorities for FY2007 include proposals designed to allow the military more flexibility in combating global terrorism and in forging close partnerships with civilian federal agencies in homeland security operations. One area reportedly singled out in an October 13 Rumsfeld memorandum to defense leaders is a desire for enhanced ability to transfer funds in response to urgent needs.
OVERVIEW AND ANALYSIS OF SENATE AMENDMENT CONCERNING INTERROGATION OF DETAINEES
CRS Publication Date: 11/02/2005
Document No.: RS22312
Author(s): Lee Woor, American Law Division
Abstract: On October 5, 2005, the Senate adopted a floor amendment (S.Amdt. 1977), proposed by Senator John McCain with 11 co-sponsors, that would (1) require Department of Defense (DOD) personnel to employ United States Army Field Manual guidelines while interrogating detainees, and (2) prohibit the "cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment of persons under the detention, custody, or control of the United States Government." The amendment modified the Defense Department FY2006 Appropriations bill (H.R. 2863), which had passed the House on June 20, 2005, without a comparable provision. The defense appropriations bill is currently before a conference committee.
FY2006 APPROPRIATIONS FOR STATE AND LOCAL HOMELAND SECURITY
CRS Publication Date: 10/20/2005
Author(s): Shawn Reese, Government and Finance Division
Document No.: RS22050
Abstract: P.L. 109-90 - FY2006 Department of Homeland Security (DHS) appropriations - appropriates a total of $2.97 billion for state and local homeland security grant programs. This is $645 million less than was appropriated for these programs in FY2005 ($3.61 billion). The act does not propose to alter the funding formula for the State Homeland Security Grant Program and the Law Enforcement Terrorism Prevention Program. It does require, however, that states update their State Homeland Security Strategies in accordance with the Interim National Preparedness Goal to be eligible for federal homeland security assistance.
TERRORIST CAPABILITIES FOR CYBERATTACK: OVERVIEW AND POLICY ISSUES
CRS Publication Date: 10/20/2005
Document No.: RL33123
Author(s): John Rollins and Clay Wilson, Foreign Affairs, Defense, and Trade Division
Abstract: This report examines possible terrorists' objectives and computer vulnerabilities that might lead to an attempted cyberattack against the critical infrastructure of the U.S. homeland, and also discusses the emerging computer and other technical skills of terrorists and extremists. Policy issues include exploring ways to improve technology for cybersecurity, or whether U.S. counterterrorism efforts should be linked more closely to international efforts to prevent cybercrime.
WAR POWERS RESOLUTION: PRESIDENTIAL COMPLIANCE
CRS Publication Date: 10/18/2005
Document No.: IB81050
Author(s): Richard F. Grimmett, Foreign Affairs, Defense, and Trade Division
Abstract: On May 20, 2005, the President reported to Congress "consistent with the War Powers Resolution," a consolidated report giving details of multiple on-going United States military deployments and operations "in support of the global war on terrorism," as well as operations in Iraq where currently about 139,000 U.S. military personnel are stationed. U.S. forces are also deployed in Kenya, Ethiopia, Yemen, Eritrea, and Djibouti assisting in "enhancing counter-terrorism capabilities" of these nations. The President further noted that U.S. combat-equipped military personnel continued to be deployed in Kosovo as part of the NATO-led KFOR (1,700 personnel). Approximately 235 U.S. personnel are also deployed in Bosnia and Herzegovina as part of the NATO Headquarters-Sarajevo who assist in defense reform and perform operational tasks, such as counter-terrorism and supporting the International Criminal Court for the Former Yugoslavia.
All reports available from GalleryWatch.com
Ron Jones, University of Cincinnati Law Library
Articles of Interest from Legal Affairs
The new edition of Legal Affairs is out. It features a debate between John C. Yoo (former Bush Administration lawyer who drafted controversial memos on the Geneva Conventions turned Berkeley Law Professor) and Neil J. Kinkopf (Law Professor at Georgia State) debate the limits of presidential power: http://www.legalaffairs.org/debateclub
Another interesting article discusses the future of federal courthouse design including the views of Daniel Patrick Moynihan and Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer on courthouse aesthetics: http://www.legalaffairs.org/issues/November-December-2005/feature_brook_novdec05.msp
Lee Peoples, Oklahoma City University Law Library
Mapping Law Bloggers
Bob Ambrogi reports on the Blawg Review Guest Map. Powered by Google Maps and APIs such as Frappr! (for "friend mapper), any group can create a map that shows the whereabouts of its members. For the Blawg Review Guest Map, legal bloggers simply click on their location on the map to add a marker identifying them and linking to their blog. See a description of the project at Blawg Review.
Thanks to Lee Peoples for the tip.