August 11, 2007
Olympic Pressure on China
The Council on Foreign Relations' backgrounder, Olympic Pressure on China, looks at ways in which the international community has seized on the upcoming Olympics as a mechanism for applying political pressure to China’s government. [JH]
Glossary of spam terms
Sophos has put together a list of spam terms and other related definitions. Check it out. [RJ]
August 10, 2007
Happy 75th Birthday Lego!
Friday Fun: Men Can Be Librarians
News Flash: men can be librarians! Check it out. [JH]
Top 100 Tools for Learning
The Centre for Learning & Performance Technologies’ Top 100 Tools for Learning has been compiled from the Top 10 Favorite Tools lists of 88 learning professionals (consultants, analysts, developers, practitioners, academics, etc). [JH]
Here's the top 10 learning tools:
- Google Search
- Google Reader
The Impact of Uncertain Intellectual Property Rights on the Market For Ideas
The Impact of Uncertain Intellectual Property Rights on the Market For Ideas: Evidence From Patent Grant Delays by Joshua S. Gans, David H. Hsu, Scott Stern - #13234 (IO PR)
This paper considers the impact of the intellectual property (IP) system on the timing of cooperation/licensing by start-up technology entrepreneurs. If the market for technology licenses is efficient, the timing of licensing is independent of whether IP has already been granted. In contrast, the need to disclosure complementary (yet unprotected) knowledge, asymmetric information, or search costs may retard efficient technology transfer. In these cases, reductions in uncertainty surrounding the scope and extent of IP rights may facilitate trade in the market for ideas. We employ a dataset combining information about cooperative licensing and the timing of patent allowances (the administrative event when patent rights are clarified). While pre-allowance licensing does occur, the hazard rate for achieving a cooperative licensing agreement significantly increases after patent allowance. Moreover, the impact of the patent system depends on the strategic and institutional environment in which firms operate. Patent allowance seems to play a particularly important role for technologies with longer technology lifecycles or that lack alternative mechanisms such as copyright, reputation, or brokers. The findings suggest that imperfections in the market for ideas may be important, and that formal IP rights may facilitate gains from technological trade.
2006 Report on Domestic Violence
"The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP), an LGBT-specific network of community-based organizations, released its Annual Report on Domestic Violence within Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Communities in the United States. The 43 page report compiled by the New York -based coalition includes data regarding over 3,000 individuals who experienced domestic violence." [RJ]
"Morrison & Foerster is pleased to announce the launch of its Privacy Library. This free resource, available at www.mofoprivacy.com, provides links to privacy laws, regulations, reports, multilateral agreements, and government authorities for more than 90 countries around the world, including the United States.
This Privacy Library is the most comprehensive collection of privacy laws and regulations ever assembled, the result of years of research and experience working with clients around the world. The website provides companies with an essential tool to help them navigate the privacy labyrinth." Check it out! [RJ]
Librarians No. 1 in Workplace Stress
The BBC is reporting about a new study which finds that working in a library is the most stressful job of all. [JH]
Bloggers Consider Forming Labor Union
"A loosely formed coalition of left-leaning bloggers are trying to band together to form a labor union they hope will help them receive health insurance, conduct collective bargaining or even set professional standards.
The effort is an extension of the blogosphere's growing power and presence, especially within the political realm, and for many, evokes memories of the early labor organization of freelance writers in the early 1980s." (Sub. Req.) [RJ]
Discord Over Dewey
"A New Library in Arizona Fans a Heated Debate Over What Some Call the 'Googlization' of Libraries." Check it out! [RJ]
August 9, 2007
Google CEO Defines Web 3.0
At the Seoul Digital Forum, Google CEO Eric Schmidt was asked to define Web 3.0. Here's his very interesting response.
Mr. Gates, are you taking notes? [JH]
Professional Reading: The Digital Learning Challenge: Obstacles to Educational Uses of Copyrighted Material in the Digital Age
William McGeveran, University of Minnesota Law School & Berkman Center for Internet and Society, and William Fisher, Harvard University & Berkman Center for Internet & Society, have deposited in SSRN The Digital Learning Challenge: Obstacles to Educational Uses of Copyrighted Material in the Digital Age. Here's the abstract:
This foundational white paper reports on a year-long study by the Berkman Center for Internet and Society, funded by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, examining the relationship between copyright law and education. In particular, we wanted to explore whether innovative educational uses of digital technology were hampered by the restrictions of copyright. We found that provisions of copyright law concerning the educational use of copyrighted material, as well as the business and institutional structures shaped by that law, are among the most important obstacles to realizing the potential of digital technology in education.
Drawing on research, interviews, two participatory workshops with experts in the field, and the lessons drawn from four detailed case studies, the white paper identifies four obstacles as particularly serious ones:
- Unclear or inadequate copyright law relating to crucial provisions such as fair use and educational use;
- Extensive adoption of digital rights management technology to lock up content;
- Practical difficulties obtaining rights to use content when licenses are necessary;
- Undue caution by gatekeepers such as publishers or educational administrators.
The white paper concludes with some discussion of paths toward reform that might improve the situation, including certain types of legal reform, technological improvements in the rights clearance process, educator agreement on best practices, and increased use of open access distribution.
Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) to Blog Community: Help write legislation on net neutrality
PC World is reporting that Senator Dick Durbin (D-Illinois) has invited OpenLeft.com to collaborate on new broadband legislation. OpenLeft.com, a blog focused on liberal issues, has been hosting a wide-ranging discussion on broadband policy. Senator Dick Durbin, assistant majority leader in the Senate, has joined the discussion, saying he'll use the ideas from OpenLeft to craft broadband legislation. Check out and join in the discussion at OpenLeft. It's not limited to bloggers, readers of blogs and all other interested parties are welcome. [JH]
YouTube 4 You
YouTube 4 You
by Michael Miller
List Price: $16.95
Paperback: 208 pages
Publisher: Que (2007)
Book Description: VIEW. UPLOAD. SHARE. That's what YouTube is all about–viewing, uploading, and sharing your favorite videos. And the book you hold in your hands will help you get the most out of this hot website. You'll learn how to find the latest viral videos, share your favorite videos with friends and the YouTube community, and shoot and upload your own videos to the YouTube website. YouTube 4 You is the first book to take you inside YouTube, show you how the site works, and provide tips and tricks for becoming a more successful YouTuber!
Fate of Brevard County (FL) Law Library Uncertain
Check out the story about the Max Brewer Memorial Law Library, Law library still in limbo, published by Florida Today. [JH]
Cornell Law Library's InSITE Website Reviews
Reviews published in the July 23, 2007 issue of InSITE:
- Centre for the Study of Global Governance
- Drug Court Clearinghouse
- Internet Cases
- Protection Project
- Refugee Studies Centre
Centre for the Study of Global Governance
The Centre for the Study of Global Governance has a scholarly presence on the web devoted to content rather than graphics. The Centre, housed at the London School of Economics since 1992, is dedicated to the “research, analysis and dissemination about global governance” and to “encourage interaction between academics, policy makers, journalists and activists, and to propose solutions.” The Centre is quite transparent and displays the backgrounds of its members, noting prestigious grant awards that help fund their efforts. The key components of the site reflect the stated mission of the Centre: News, Research Themes, Teaching Events, Publications, About Us, Press Site, and Contact. All pages are up to date, except the Press site which was last updated in 2005. Otherwise the Centre generally presents full text of materials for recent lectures, debates, papers, classes, conferences, and publications under the "Research Themes" of Global Governance, Globalisation, Global Civil Society, Global Security, and Regions. The parameters for research cover a wide spectrum of politically hot issues, from global warming and AIDS in Africa, to historical topics such as peace movements during the Cold War. A search feature and site index round out the convenient navigation features. [JC]
Drug Court Clearinghouse
The Drug Court Clearinghouse Project has been in existence at American University in Washington, DC since 1994, and is currently administered in partnership with the U.S. Dept. of Justice's Bureau of Justice Assistance. It is a nation-wide clearinghouse for drug court information and activity, providing a range of services which include telephone consultation, e-mail responses to information requests, networking and facilitation of telephone conference calls among peers to discuss issues of concern, and dissemination of sample operational materials developed by drug courts. The Clearinghouse maintains a reference collection of drug court-related documents which is categorized and retrievable under an extensive list of topics, ranging from "acupuncture" to "welfare." Other sections of the website feature training announcements, fact sheets, a "frequently asked questions" series, "Drug Courts in the News," and an interactive "Drug Court Activity Map." With the increasing prevalence of drug courts in the U.S., this site provides a valuable way for those involved to locate useful information gathered from a variety of sources. [JG and JMP]
Internet Cases is a weblog that “highlight[s] some of the more interesting court cases dealing with issues relating to the Internet and new technologies.” It is the creation of Evan Brown, an attorney practicing in the areas of intellectual property and computer-related law. Mr. Brown’s curriculum vitae is impressive, listing extensive speaking engagements and publications on technology issues. His stated goal is to discuss one or two cases a week. The blog itself is in a typical format divided into Home, Categories, Archives, Recent News and a Search Feature. There are 30 categories ranging from Anonymity to Unfair Competition, and several web-specific categories such as cybersquatting, spam, spyware and podcasts. Unfortunately at the time of this review, there was no link to the listed category of "electronic discovery." Brown’s postings summarize the facts, the court’s analysis, and holding in a conversational style. He provides a link to the full opinion or gives a citation where available. At times, Brown adds an editorial observation at the end of a post regarding litigation strategy or predicting developments, but overall his reporting appears neutral. The easy-to-read posts, the news links and blogroll make this a convenient place to get current legal information and up-to-date insights about an area of law that changes daily. [JC]
The Protection Project is a human rights research institute based at the Foreign Policy Institute at The Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, DC. Founded by Laura Lederer in 1994 to address the issue of trafficking in persons as a human rights violation, the Protection Project focuses on the promotion of human rights values throughout the world. The Project offers Human Rights Reports (in Microsoft Word format), covering all major geographic regions in nation-by-nation reports. These reports focus on the nature and structure of human trafficking, as well as governmental responses. The site also offers essays and commentary, and a Q&A section covering reader-submitted queries. Legal researchers will be interested in the site’s Legal Library, which covers texts of foreign laws, international conventions, a table of U.S. cases on human trafficking, and the full-text of related law review articles. Of particular interest to all researchers are the maps of trafficking routes in HTML and PDF form. These sections of the website are accessed by using the "Quick Navigate" drop-down list near the top of the homepage and selecting "Protection Project." [BWK]
Refugee Studies Centre
The Refugee Studies Centre (RSC), founded in 1982, is part of the University of Oxford’s Centre for Development Studies. Social anthropologist Barbara Harrell-Bond established RSC to develop scholarship devoted to refugees and the issues of forced migration. The website is a source of information about the RSC and its work, as well as the group’s publications and materials. Researchers will want to focus on three of the site’s many sections: Research, Publications, and the Library. Within the Research section, users can access various reports and articles addressing topics such as the effects of forced migration on Palestinian children. Under Publications, researchers can find information, including tables of contents, of the RSC journals Forced Migration Review and the Journal of Refugee Studies. Numerous working papers are also made available covering topics of displacement, asylum, and refugee protection. The site also provides an introduction to the RSC library, which is a part of the Oxford University Library Services. Accession lists and access to the catalogue are provided. [MM]
InSITE contributors: J. Callihan, J. Gillespie, B. Kreisler, M. Morrison, J. Pajerek (editor)
About InSITE: 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.
Digital versions of this information can be accessed via:
1. Searchable database or by browsing current and archived issues on the web: Click InSITE at www.lawschool.cornell.edu/library
2. E-mail subscription. Send the following request: SUBSCRIBE InSITE-L <YourFirstName> <YourLastName> to: email@example.com
3. Readers can subscribe to the new InSITE RSS feed at http://www.lawschool.cornell.edu/library/RESOURCES/insite.htm
The contents of InSITE and any recommendations therein are the opinions of the authors and do not reflect the views of Cornell University. InSITE is copyright protected by Cornell Law Library, © 2007 Cornell Law Library. Permission to republish InSITE issues on Law Librarian Blog has been granted. For permissions, contact Jean M. Pajerek [firstname.lastname@example.org].
Cornell Law Library URL: http://www.lawschool.cornell.edu/library
NBER Study Uses a Lobbying Approach to Evaluating the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002
A Lobbying Approach to Evaluating the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002
by Yael V. Hochberg, Paola Sapienza, Annette Vissing-Jorgensen
Abstract: We evaluate the net benefits of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) for shareholders by studying the lobbying behavior of investors and corporate insiders to affect the final implemented rules under the Act. Investors lobbied overwhelmingly in favor of strict implementation of SOX, while corporate insiders and business groups lobbied against strict implementation. We identify the firms most affected by the law as those whose insiders lobbied against strict implementation, and compare their returns to the returns of less affected firms. Cumulative returns during the four and a half months leading up to passage of SOX were approximately 10 percent higher for corporations whose insiders lobbied against one or more of the SOX disclosure-related provisions than for similar non-lobbying firms. Analysis of returns in the post-passage implementation period indicates that investors' positive expectations with regards to the effects of the law were warranted for the enhanced disclosure provisions of SOX.
August 8, 2007
Identity Theft: A Research Review
This online report produced by the DOJ's National Institute of Justice summarizes the scientific literature and walks readers through what the criminal justice field knows about identity theft and which aspects of the crime should be a central focus for future research.
The authors describe the role of the Internet as a portal for identity theft, comparing this modality to other methods by which offenders can gain information. Recommendations point researchers in novel directions, including studying the practices, structure, and operations of the organizations that produce and authenticate documents that contain personal information.
CRS Report: State E-Government Strategies: Identifying Best Practices and Applications
State E-Government Strategies: Identifying Best Practices and Applications (July 23, 2007; report will not be updated) (This 61 page CRS report has been made available by the librarian's best friend, Open CRS). From the summary:
Although electronic government ("e-government") is currently one of the leading approaches to government reform, a lack of coordination or communication between various initiatives increases the risk of creating more so-called "islands of automation" and "stovepipes" within and between levels of government. To address these issues, Congress is actively overseeing e-government initiatives and is attempting to work with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and state governments to identify best practices, standards, and strategies. This report is based on research conducted under contract by the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs as a Policy Research Project (PRP). For this project, graduate students in the Masters of Public Affairs program at the LBJ School of Public Affairs undertook a two semester research program in 2005-2006 to identify some of the best practices in e-government strategies and management being carried out by state governments. Surveys were sent to all 50 states and the District of Columbia, yielding 38 completed surveys. The study also included site visits to six case study states: California, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Texas, Utah, and Washington. A set of core questions was used for each case study interview along with state-specific questions. Based on the results of the surveys and interviews, the students identified several critical factors that influence state e-government programs. They are summarized below:
- Strategies are essential to e-government formulation because they provide objectives for state agencies and governments. The report identifies and analyzes numerous types of strategies.
- Outsourcing is a controversial issue in many states, with a spectrum of policies represented across the country, ranging from prohibiting outsourcing, to near total adoption of outsourcing.
- Funding is an important issue because IT projects are costly and success is uncertain. Legislatures must choose between programs and, in many cases, e-government competes with other priorities.
- State politics and culture can impede or support e-government development. While IT can alter employee and agency functions,
such enhancements do not typically cause agencies to be eliminated.
- Strong leadership can support e-government programs and drive IT improvements by encouraging and promoting new projects.
- The degree of centralization or decentralization is a key component in e-government management because it affects the level of interaction between agencies. Web portal centralization is a common trend among many states, and it is often separate from agency organization and decision making. E-government performance measures are essential in evaluating the success of programs, identifying challenges, and addressing specific formulation and implementation challenges.