May 2, 2007
Professional Reading: The Debate on Net Neutrality: A Policy Perspective
Hsing Cheng, Subhajyoti Bandyopadhyay and Hong Guo, (Univ. of Florida) have desposited The Debate on Net Neutrality: A Policy Perspective in SSRN. Here's the abstract:
Whether to legislate to maintain "net neutrality", the current status quo of prohibiting broadband service providers from charging online websites for preferential access to their residential and commercial customers, has become a subject under fierce debate. We develop a stylized game-theoretic model to address two critical issues of the net neutrality: (1) who are gainers and losers of abandoning net neutrality, and (2) will broadband service providers have greater incentive to expand their capacity without net neutrality.
We find that if the principle of net neutrality is abandoned, the broadband service provider definitely stands to gain from the arrangement, as a result of extracting the preferential access fees from the content providers. The content providers are thus left worse off, mirroring the stances of the two sides in the debate. Depending on parameter values in our framework, consumer surplus either does not change or is higher, and in the latter case, while a majority of consumers are better off, a minority of them is left worse off with larger wait times to access their preferred content. The social welfare increases when compared to the baseline case under net neutrality when one content provider pays for preferential treatment, but remains unchanged when both content providers pay. We also find that the incentive for the broadband service provider to expand under net neutrality is unambiguously higher than under the no net neutrality regime. This goes against the assertion of the broadband service providers that under net neutrality, they have limited incentive to expand. [JH]
Reflections on Second Life Library Being Named Library of the Future
The 2007 Library of the Future Award has been given to a virtual library, the Alliance Second Life Library. If you haven't visited Second Life yet, it's a virtual universe (or metaverse) where people interact through the use of avatars and can even buy virtual real estate.
The American Library Association (ALA) is pleased to announce that ... the international collaborative group of librarians working on [the] Alliance Second Life Library, are the 2007 recipients of the ALA/Information Today Library of the Future Award ... Since opening its virtual doors in April 2006, the Alliance Second Life Library ... has expanded its presence to include locations on Info Islands I&II, HealthInfo Island, The Caledon (19th century) Branch Library, Cybrary City Islands, and the Teen Second Life “Eye4YouAlliance,” where engaging activities and interactions occur in a collaborative, social/learning space. |ALA|
If you don't have a Second Life account, you can watch this tour of Information Island on YouTube to get a sense of a Second Life library. You can also watch this video of the dancing librarians of Second Life.
The Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is offering a class on Second Life librarianship starting this May and the School of Library & Information Science at San José State University had developed a product called Sloodle which combines the open-source virtual learning system Moodle with Second Life, opening up new possibilities for distance education.
Law students are also exploring the legal implications of virtual worlds. Law Professor Elizabeth Townsend Gard and law student Rachel Goda asked students in a first year property class at Seattle University to examine property concepts within Second Life. You can visit the class' video blog or read a description of the class at Terra Nova.
Previously we blogged about the book,The State of Play: Law, Games, and Virtual Worlds, which examines the legal implications of virtual worlds. There is now a State of Play Academy, "the first law and technology academy built in a virtual world."
While educators and librarians have been quick to seize upon the educational opportunities of Second Life, businesses are just beginning to develop Second Life business models. "IBM believes the virtual realm has potential for training, conferences and commerce" according to IBM's vice president of technical strategy and innovation, Irving Wladawsky-Berger. Coldwell Banker is even dabbling in virtual real estate now.
Second Life is generating many legal questions in the real world (or First Life) as well as creating opportunities for librarians to truly establish libraries without walls.
Neal R. Axton,, Reference Librarian, William Mitchell College of Law
Borgmann on Gonzales v. Carhart
Over on the Law Professor Blogs Network's Reproductive Rights Prof Blog, CUNY law prof Caitlin Borgmann has been covering the Supreme Court's Gonzales v. Carhart decision. Her work is another fine example of law blogging as "scholarship in action." Check out Borgmann's posts. [JH]
Google Courts Government Sector Webmasters
"Google Inc. and four U.S. states have partnered to improve the amount of data Google indexes from their Web sites and makes available to users of its search engine.
Google has provided free training and advise to webmasters from the states of California, Utah, Arizona and Virginia regarding topics like the creation of site maps and the use of Google's Custom Search Engine service, the company and the states will announce Monday.
Although the improved sites were well architected, their webmasters hadn't focused much on optimizing them for search engines like Google's, said J.L. Needham [cq], Google's manager of public sector content partnerships. "These people have search religion. Their site search tools are well designed, but they lack awareness of the site as a search engine target," Needham said.' [RJ]
EPA Publishes National U.S. Greenhouse Gas Inventory
"The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has released the national greenhouse gas inventory, which finds that overall emissions during 2005 increased by less than one percent from the previous year. The report, Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks: 1990-2005, was published after gathering comments from a broad range of stakeholders across the country."
"EPA prepares the annual report in collaboration with experts from multiple federal agencies. This report is the latest in an annual set of reports that the United States submits to the Secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, which sets an overall framework for intergovernmental efforts to tackle the challenge posed by climate change." [RJ]
Public Knowledge of Current Affairs Little Changed by News and Information Revolutions
"Since the late 1980s, the emergence of 24-hour cable news as a dominant news source and the explosive growth of the internet have led to major changes in the American public’s news habits. But a new nationwide survey finds that the coaxial and digital revolutions and attendant changes in news audience behaviors have had little impact on how much Americans know abou national and international affairs." [RJ]
"On average, today's citizens are about as able to name their leaders, and are about as aware of major news events, as was the public nearly 20 years ago. The new survey includes nine questions that are either identical or roughly comparable to questions asked in the late 1980s and early 1990s. In 2007, somewhat fewer were able to name their governor, the vice president, and the president of Russia, but more respondents than in the earlier era gave correct answers to questions pertaining to national politics."
CRS Report on Enemy Combatant Litigation
ENEMY COMBATANT DETAINEES: HABEAS CORPUS CHALLENGES IN FEDERAL COURT
CRS Publication Date: 04/06/2007
Document No.: RL33180
Author(s): Jennifer K. Elsea and Kenneth Thomas, American Law Division
Abstract: This report provides an overview of the CSRT procedures, summarizes court cases related to the detentions and the use of military commissions, and summarizes the Detainee Treatment Act, as amended by the Military Commissions Act of 2006, analyzing its effects on detainee-related litigation in federal court.
May 1, 2007
Commentary on Gonzales v. Carhart
Check out New Justices, New Rules: The Supreme Court Upholds the Federal Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003 by Joanna Grossman and Linda McClain on Findlaw. [JH]
Where's the beef?
In an Inside Higher Ed think piece, Steven J. Bell bemoans the lack of dissent in the library blogosphere:
As one explores and delves into the world of library blogs it soon becomes apparent that the rules of disengagement dominate the landscape. There one is likely to see a repetitious flood of posts exclaiming “What a great post by so-and-so” or “She’s got a must read post today”. Rarely does one see a post that starts with “I have to disagree” or “Boy, does he have it wrong.”
Q. Are academic librarian-bloggers not as contentious as bloggers in other areas of academia?
A. Maybe we just don't "need" to be right all the time. [JH]
Is law intrinsically moral?
|Law Librarian Blog's IMHO Award for Best Law Book of 2006|
|Brian Tamanaha's Law as a Means to an End: Threat to the Rule of Law (Cambridge UP, 2006)[announcement][review]|
Here's the current leading candidate for Law Librarian Blog's IMHO Award for Best Law Book of 2007:
Law as a Moral Idea
Hardback, 220 pages | Price: $65.00
Oxford University Press, May 2007
ISBN10: 0199276463 | ISBN13: 978-0-19-927646-2
Description: This book argues that the institutions of law, and the structures of legal thought, are to be understood by reference to a moral ideal of freedom or independence from the power of others. The moral value and justificatory force of law are not contingent upon circumstance, but intrinsic to its character. Doctrinal legal arguments are shaped by rival conceptions of the conditions for realization of the idea of law. In making these claims, the author rejects the viewpoint of much contemporary legal theory, and seeks to move jurisprudence closer to an older tradition of philosophical reflection upon law, exemplified by Hobbes and Kant. Modern analytical jurisprudence has tended to view these older philosophies as confused precisely in so far as they equate an understanding of law's nature with a revelation of its moral basis. According to most contemporary legal theorists, the understanding and analysis of existing institutions is quite distinct from any enterprise of moral reflection, but the relationship between ideals and practices is much more intimate than this approach would suggest. Some institutions can be properly understood only when they are viewed as imperfect attempts to realize moral or political ideals; and some ideals can be conceived only by reference to their expression in institutions.
- Advocates an ambitious original argument, connecting the nature of law directly with the form of freedom that distinguishes the slave from the free man.
- Provides an original critique of legal positivism, arguing that legal theory should reconnect with older and broader traditions of philosophical thinking about law.
- Explains the key philosophical debates surrounding law in a clear language that requires no previous expertise or study of philosophy.
New Titles from Ashgate
Property in Work
The Employment Relationship in the Anglo-American Firm
Wanjiru Njoya, University of Oxford, UK
Studies in Modern Law and Policy
March 2007 * 232 pages
Hardback * 0 7546 4587 8 / 978-0-7546-4587-0 * $99.95 / £55.00
This book investigates the links between property rights and job security from a historical and comparative standpoint. The author's analysis of English, American and European law offers a refreshing new perspective on current debates in labour law and corporate governance. more...
The Idea of Authorship in Copyright
Lior Zemer, Interdisciplinary Centre, Radzyner School of Law, Herzliya, Israel and Boston University, School of Law, USA
Applied Legal Philosophy
March 2007 * 288 pages
Hardback * 0 7546 2376 9 / 978-0-7546-2376-2 * $114.95 / £60.00
This book provides an interdisciplinary approach to copyright law, dealing with symbiotic relations between law, philosophy and the sociology of the human creative ability. The study takes its organising principle from John Locke, defining and proving the fatal flaw inherent in debates on copyright: on the one hand, the copyright community is eager to arm authors with a robust property right over their creation, while on the other this community totally ignores the fact that the exposure of the individual to externalities is what makes him or her capable of creating material that is copyrightable. more...
Insider Dealing and Money Laundering in the EU: Law and Regulation
R.C.H. Alexander, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, UK
March 2007 * 288 pages
Hardback * 0 7546 4926 1 / 978-0-7546-4926-7 * $99.95 / £55.00
This work presents a comparative study of the provisions relating to insider dealing under the EC Insider Dealing Directive. The book considers the measures taken in 15 jurisdictions compared to the directive and, where appropriate, other member states and even by jurisdictions outside Europe. more...
Climate Change Poses Serious Threat to U.S. National Security
"Global climate change presents a serious national security threat that could affect Americans at home, impact U.S. military operations and heighten global tensions, according to a study released by a blue-ribbon panel of retired admirals and generals.
The study, “National Security and the Threat of Climate Change,” explores ways projected climate change is a “threat multiplier” in already fragile regions of the world, exacerbating conditions that lead to failed states—the breeding grounds for extremism and terrorism." [RJ]
What is Wrong with the Way We Teach and Write International Law?
June 17-20, 2007
Vancouver, British Columbia
A Joint Association of American Law Schools and American Society of International Law Conference
Save the date: The Conference will bring together teachers and scholars for three days of intensive discussion on how we teach and write about international law and where the field is heading. There will be plenary sessions, small group discussions, and paper presentations. The panelists, drawn from the most highly respected scholars in their various fields, will be around for the entire conference, enabling conversations to continue long after the formal discussions have ended.
Analysis of State-of-the-State Addresses Reveals Governors' Top Priorities
"The Governors Speak – 2007 summarizes the initiatives and calls to action the nation's governors launched during their annual addresses to their state. The report demonstrates where the chief executives of the states believe their leadership is most needed and articulates how they intend to accomplish their goals." [RJ]
Examples from the report include:
- Every governor outlined plans to improve education
- 94 percent discussed health care challenges facing their state
- 92 percent highlighted policies on the environment, energy, and natural resources
- More than half (53 percent) outlined priorities for homeland security
Schmucks! Leads to No Confidence Vote for Chairman of NY State Commission on Judicial Conduct
The New York Lawyer is reporting [registration required] that the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct has voted "no confidence" in its chairman, matrimonial lawyer Raoul Felder, because of the "inflammatory nature" of a book, entitled "Schmucks!" he wrote with comedian Jackie Mason. The vote of no confidence was the first in the commission's 29-year history. The book, rated 4 1/2 stars on Amazon.com, was published on March 27th.
Schmucks!: Our Favorite Fakes, Frauds, Lowlifes,
Liars, the Armed and Dangerous, and Good Guys Gone Bad
by Jackie Mason and Raoul Felder
List Price: $25.95
Hardcover: 224 pages
Publisher: Collins; 1st edition (March 27, 2007)
Book Description: Jackie Mason, one of the true kings of comedy, and his partner in crime, federal prosecutor and celebrity attorney Raoul Felder, go after America's lowlifes, scumbags, and everything else that really gets on their nerves.
This book spares no one. Politicians, sports stars, celebrities, corporations, publishers, crossing guards—they're all fair game. If you are a scumbag, or just someone who Jackie and Raoul find annoying, there is a fair chance you are on the list.
Schmucks! combines Mason's and Felder's nails-to-the-wall political satire with insightful observations on the foibles of modern life to create material that will leave you crying with laughter.
Just a few of the Schmucks included are:
- Bill Clinton
- Mel Gibson
- Barbra Streisand
- Katie Couric
- Barry Bonds
- And a cast of hundreds
Hum, Bill Clinton. [JH]
April 30, 2007
List of New State Law Blogs
Law blogging focusing on state and local developments has grown substantially over the last couple of years. Check out our list of new state law blogs on Law Blog Metrics. [JH]
Spotlight on Law Librarians: Jill Fukunaga
Jill is currently Reference Librarian & Lecturer in Law at the UCLA School of Law but will soon begin a new position as Collection Development Librarian at the University of San Francisco School of Law’s Zief Law Library. In addition to collection development her duties will also involve reference and teaching.
My path to law librarianship was pretty typical. After law school, I clerked for a judge at the Intermediate Court of Appeals in Hawaii, and went into private practice. Nine years later, I was at a large employment law firm in the San Francisco Bay Area. Tired of the grind and adversarial nature of litigation, I began searching for alternative careers, which ultimately led me to the idea of becoming a librarian. I started hanging out in our firm library, where the librarians seemed happy with their career choices and were extremely supportive of my efforts to learn more about the profession. In 2003, I enrolled part-time in the San Jose State University master’s program.
During my first few months of library school, I began gathering as much information as I could about academic law libraries. I was living in Oakland, so UC Berkeley was the closest law school to me. I recall thinking, “Hmm, I don’t know much about this Bob Berring guy, but he seems to have been around a long time. I should email him.” So I did, and asked Bob whether he’d be willing to meet for coffee and talk about law librarianship. He promptly replied, saying he was out of town but could arrange to meet in the future when he was back in Berkeley. We never did get together, but I will always remember his courteous response and willingness to meet a complete stranger who wanted to ask him for career advice. Similarly, I contacted Jenni Parrish, the director of the law library at UC Hastings in San Francisco, and actually met with her on two occasions. Again, I was struck by how open, friendly and encouraging she was – just like many of the other law librarians I’d met. Would the managing partner of a big law firm have responded in the same way? My guess is no.
In 2005, I decided to leave the Bay Area and pursue my library studies full-time. I enrolled in the program at the University of South Florida in Tampa. It was a great gig – I secured a Graduate Assistant position in the main campus library, where I worked 20 hours a week, and in exchange, the university covered most of my tuition. As a GA, I got a lot of valuable experience in reference, collection development and electronic resources – opportunities that probably would not have been available had I stayed at SJSU. I also completed an internship at the Stetson University College of Law Library in Gulfport, a small seaside town south of Tampa. The librarians there are top-notch, and I learned a lot from them.
After completing my degree, I returned to California and started my current position as a reference librarian at the UCLA Law Library in February 2006, where I’m part of a very dedicated and talented team of people who keep our patrons happy and the library running smoothly. The most enjoyable aspect about my work is teaching and working with the students. I was fortunate enough to co-teach Advanced Legal Research last fall with our Acting Director, Cynthia Lewis. Also, since UCLA has a library master’s program, we have occasional opportunities to teach legal bibliography in the library school.
But enough about work. What’s it like living in Los Angeles, you ask? Having lived in the SF Bay Area, I admittedly started out with a bit of a bias against southern California when I first moved here. However, I’ve since learned that, in addition to the near-constant sunny weather and laidback attitude, L.A. has some unique charms. World-class museums, shopping, restaurants, entertainment and outdoor recreation are all here. And speaking of entertainment, there’s just no getting away from the “industry.” Sometimes I feel like the only one here who hasn’t written a screenplay or worked on a film or TV show. Nonetheless, I am still star-struck whenever I see celebrities around town. A few weeks ago, Ted Danson and his wife, Mary Steenburgen, approached me during an intermission at the Geffen Playhouse and asked, “Are those chairs taken?” Sam Malone! One night in Culver City, I watched the filming of a scene from Spiderman 3 (Tobey Maguire on a moped). Someone told me that Holly Hunter used our library years ago to research a role, and folks here used to see John Lithgow, whose wife is a professor at UCLA, walking his dog on campus.
Despite the thrill of celeb-watching, I’m not leaving to start a Hollywood blog anytime soon. Being a law librarian is a lot more interesting and rewarding, so I’m planning on keeping my day job.
Editor's Note: The Spotlight on Law Librarians feature is edited by Lee Peoples, Law Librarian Blog Contributing Editor and Associate Director, Oklahoma City University Law Library. Please feel free to recommend a colleague for this feature to Lee at firstname.lastname@example.org
A View from the Stacks: Stina Reads Me the Riot Act
In response to my Day in the Life photo spoof, Stina McClintock emailed me her critique:
"The mark of a fine parody is attention to detail. For example, in the recent South Park episode concerning “snukes” the references to 24 were spot on, right down to the ring tone that they used for the cell phones. I say all this because I wonder “Why is it so hard to put on some heels and stand on a step stool? Do it right people!” Actually, I am more concerned that people do not believe this is how I shelve. Maybe I will make a Quicktime video and upload it to YouTube so everyone can see my work in action. The leg lift is necessary to balance out the heel height. If I kept both feet flat, there is no telling what might happen."
Unfortunately, I do not own a pair of stiletto heels but, even if I did, I wouldn't have been able to wear them for the photo shoot. I was holding the stacks for dear life because my bad knee couldn't support my ... ah ... the 60 pounds I've gained since
- aging metabolism;
- living in a state where potatoes are a main course for breakfast, lunch and dinner;
- all of the above.
I'm just glad Stina didn't ask me why I wasn't wearing a manssiere!
Now, about that video Stina. [JH]
Bonnie Shucha Wins AALL-SIS Outstanding Article Award
The AALL-SIS Outstanding Article Award winner is Bonnie Shucha, Head of Reference, University of Wisconsin Law Library, for her excellent article, The State of the Law Library Blogosphere. Congratuations Bonnie! [JH]