October 27, 2007
Securing the Bomb 2007
"Securing the Bomb 2007, commissioned by the Nuclear Threat Initiative, finds a dangerous gap in efforts to thwart nuclear terrorism and calls for urgent global campaign to reduce the risk.
The report provides a comprehensive assessment of efforts to secure and remove vulnerable nuclear stockpiles around the world and a detailed action plan for keeping nuclear weapons and their essential ingredients out of terrorist hands."
- Read the Executive Summary or the Full Report
- Read the News Release
- Visit washingtonpost.com for special Securing the Bomb 2007 interactive features.
- Watch the Securing the Bomb slide show
Experience "Turning the Pages" at the British Library Online
From the American Historical Association: The British Library is reaching out to readers online by allowing them to digitally "leaf through our great books" on their Turning the Pages page. Through the use of Adobe’s Shockwave player, visitors can interactively page through exceptional digital copies of a number of volumes from the library’s collections. Works like the first atlas of Europe, the Diamond Sutra hailed as the "oldest printed book," and the original Alice’s Adventures Under Ground by Lewis Carroll. The Shockwave format allows readers "turn pages" with their mouse, making the illusion of reading a book online more real. The contents of each work are expanded upon through the use of the "text," "magnify," and "audio" buttons at the bottom of each page, which when clicked on respectively explain, enhance, and read to the user." Check it out! [RJ]
October 26, 2007
The Council of Europe Adopts Guidelines on Protecting Freedom of Expression and Information in Times of Crisis
Recently the Committee of Europe Ministers called on Member States to protect and promote investigative journalism and to increase the awareness and skills of citizens with regard to the protection of their rights in the new communication environment. Read more about it.
Friday Fun: The Rock of Law School: 1L Doctrines Set to Music
Josh Keesan, Boalt ’09, believes that there ought to be an alternative to the standard commercial study aids peddled to law students. He has toiled considerably in pursuit of this belief, and now, his selfless mission has borne fruit for law students everywhere: The Law of Rock, Vol. 1.
Put down your commercial outlines and treatises: here, for the first time, you can learn complex legal doctrines through these digestible pop-rock gems. Spend no more time puzzling over these once impenetrable concepts – the rock n’ roll antidote has arrived! On his first EP, he turns to the chestnuts of 1L year, pumps them through his infallibly infectious pop songwriting process, and ends up with songs guaranteed to boost your spirits AND your GPA.
Click the link to hear samples from The Law of Rock, Vol. 1:
Wesch's Information R/evolution Video
Created by Kansas State University cultural anthropologist Michael Wesch, producer of "The Machine is Us/ing Us," "Information R/evolution" is a video that explores the changes in the way we find, store, create, critique, and share information. Useful, I think, for classroom presentations, check out this interesting video production at Law X.0. [JH]
Muslim Asylum Claims in U.S. Courts: A Legal Examination
Report from the International Assessment and Strategy Center: "Is the U.S. a force of good in the Muslim world?This very question would seem outlandish to Al Qaida and to many of today’s foreign policy commentators. However, the answer is not so obviously answered in the negative. If one looks at the history of Islam in American courts, one notices a number of federal judicial opinions over the last decade involving Muslims who fear being deported by United States because of what will happen to them at the hands of fellow Muslims in their home countries.The situation is not reversed.With the exception of individual Americans who have been indicted by grand juries here, there are no overseas American refugee populations.That fact alone should give comfort to those who get tired of hearing the U.S. criticized for what we are doing in the Middle East." [RJ]
Is There a Crisis in Law Library Hiring?
Check out what Tricia Kasting, Hofstra Law's Reference/Government Documents, has to say in Commentary: Young(er) Law Librarians Wanted. [JH]
9th Circuit may consider corporations' involvement in human rights violations
"The see-saw legal fights over holding multinational corporations liable for aiding foreign governments in alleged international human rights violations may come to a head in the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in two separate cases involving oil giant Chevron and mining company Rio Tinto Group." (sub. req.) [RJ]
Digital Preservation Program Makes Awards to Preserve American Creative Works
"The Library of Congress, through its National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program (NDIIPP), announced eight partnerships as part of its new Preserving Creative America initiative to address the long-term preservation of creative content in digital form. These partners will target preservation issues across a broad range of creative works, including digital photographs, cartoons, motion pictures, sound recordings and even video games. The work will be conducted by a combination of industry trade associations, private sector companies and nonprofits, as well as cultural heritage institutions.
Several of the projects will involve developing standardized approaches to content formats and metadata (the information that makes electronic content discoverable by search engines), which are expected to increase greatly the chances that the digital content of today will survive to become America’s cultural patrimony tomorrow. Although many of the creative content industries have begun to look seriously at what will be needed to sustain digital content over time, the $2.15 million being awarded to the Preserving Creative America projects will provide added impetus for collaborations within and across industries, as well as with libraries and archives." [RJ]
October 25, 2007
Publishing Trade Associations Issue Rules for Orphan Works Safe Harbor for Users of Academic and Scholarly Journals
From the press release:
Three trade associations, The Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers (ALPSP), The International Association of Scientific, Technical & Medical Publishers (STM) and the Professional /Scholarly Division (PSP) of the Association of American Publishers today released a further step towards establishing clear rules for users of copyright works who cannot locate the owners of such works (so-called 'orphan works') to obtain permission to include such content in new works, course-packs, and compilations. The 'safe harbor' statement we are releasing today is an evolution in policy and practice from statements and positions announced previously.
Stakeholders around the world are currently debating whether orphan works should be dealt with as a matter of a copyright exception, a reduction in copyright penalties once a 'parent' is located, or a blanket collective license. The view of ALPSP, STM and PSP is that private market solutions are almost always to be preferred, since they are the most likely to provide tangible results, and that solution is put forward in the new 'safe harbor' document.
The safe harbor document outlines a need for a viable and diligence search request, and identifies resources that should be consulted, including a list of journal publisher imprints that the associations have compiled. Users who conduct such a search where the owner of such a work is later identified, will be subject only to a normal license fee and will not be subject to any statutory, punitive or special fees or damages.
A significant number of ALPSP, STM and PSP members have acceded to the safe harbor principles, and it is hoped many more will join shortly. In a sense this effort creates an actual legal right that would otherwise only be available through extensive formal legislation.
The safe harbor that members of the three associations are providing will significantly increase the ability of scholarly users, researchers and writers, to utilize the rich resources of scholarly and academic journal content for the benefit of all.
Just in Time for Holiday Shopping
The glut of holiday catalogs has begun, which prompted my search for an easy way to opt out of catalog mailings. I found a few contenders. Catalog Choice is a new not-for-profit that allows anyone to sign up and enter the catalogs from whose mailing list they would like to be removed. Catalog Choice does the rest. DirectMail.com National Do-Not-Mail List is a service provided by a mass mailing company to help people opt out of mass mailings. Both are free. There is more general information from the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse that gives guidance on stopping catalogs, pre-approved credit offers, sweepstakes, and more.
My shameless effort to save a few trees this holiday season. Our gift to the pale blue dot.
Start of a New Trend? Latest Edition of Well-Known Treatise on Qui Tam Litigation Self-Published
Just Published: False Claims Act: Whistleblower Litigation, 5th ed., by James B. Helmer, Jr.
$379.00 | 1,536 pages, Hardbound, Includes CD
ISBN: 0979905508 | Top Gun Publishing, 2007
This is not your ordinary self-published book. Author James B. Helmer, Jr., is a Cincinnati trial lawyer and an expert on qui tam litigation. His firm, Helmer, Martins, Rice & Popham Co., L.P.A. has handled dozens of False Claims Act cases, and Helmer has written extensively on this topic. His testimony before the U.S. House and Senate Judiciary Committees during the 99th Congress (1985-86) contributed to legislative reforms that corrected major inadequacies in the False Claims Act originally enacted in 1863. Among other things, the 1986 amendments to the Act greatly facilitated citizen or "whistleblower" lawsuits against those who have defrauded the Government.
Editions 1 (1994) through 4 (2006) of this comprehensive treatise were published by legal publishing giant LexisNexis or one of its affiliates. Over time, however, Helmer became so dissatisfied with their services that he formed a publishing house, Top Gun Publishing, LLC, to produce, market, and distribute future editions of the work.
The just-released 5th edition has been expanded to include the latest developments in the field, state and municipal False Claims statutes, plus sample documents for motions in limine, HIPPA and PHSA complaint protective orders, applications for attorneys’ fees, jury instructions, special interrogatories, verdict forms, and more. A full-text searchable CD accompanies the print publication.
It just goes to show you that sometimes, if you want something done right, you have do it yourself.
-- Virginia C. Thomas, Director, Law Library and Information Technology, University of Cincinnati Law Library
New GlobaLex Articles (September/October 2007)
- Selected U.N. Resources and Research Tools: Overview and Search Tips for Legal Research by Wiltrud Harms
- International Trademark Law - The Madrid System by Vicenç Feliú
- Republic of Angola - Legal System and Research By Paula Rainha
- The Basic Structure of the Ecuadorian Legal System and Legal Research by Maria Dolores Miño
- The Gabonese Legal System and Legal Research by Ernest Folefack
- The Law and Legal Research in Swaziland by Buhle Dube and Alfred Magagula
- Law of the Republic of Tajikistan: A Guide to Web Based Resources by Oleg Stalbovskiy & Maria Stalbovskaya
- A Guide to Uruguay’s Legal System and Research by Pablo Sandonato de Leon
World Freedom Atlas
"The World Freedom Atlas is a geovisualization tool for world statistics. it was designed for social scientists, journalists, NGO/IGO workers & others who wish to have a better understanding of issues of freedom, democracy, human rights & good governance between 1990 & 2006.
the represented datasets include general topics such as political rights, civil liberties, corruption perception index, type of regime, & more detailed statistics, such as averaging schooling years, ethnic fractionalization, or candidate intimidation affection."
Check it out! [RJ]
Annotated Bibliography Covering Gerontology and the Law
Paul J. Moorman, USC Law Librarian-Research Services, and Jessica Wimer, Senior Law Librarian, Head of Research Services & Adjunct Assistant Professor of Law, have published Gerontology and the Law: a Selected Annotated Bibliography: 2002-2005 Update, 80 S. Cal. L. Rev. 1077-1153 (2007) [Westlaw]. Excerpted from the scope note: "the bibliographers chose a selection of scholarly books and articles discussing legal issues related to gerontology, aging, and the elderly in the United States published between the years 2002-2005. This bibliography does not include sources that are directed towards the general public, such as popular literature and self-help guides, and sources that do not deal with both law and gerontology." [JH]
Partisans Targeted More Than 500,000 Mostly Minority Voters in 2004 Caging Schemes
"In 2004, political operatives associated with the Republican party targeted more than half a million voters in “voter caging” campaigns in nine states, according to a report released by Project Vote, a non-partisan organization that promotes voter participation. At least 77,000 voters had their eligibility challenged between 2004 and 2006.
“The efforts in 2004 and since have been systematic in targeting precincts with a large number of African American voters in competitive states, using direct mail and sophisticated database matching to generate lists of voters to attempt to disqualify,” said Teresa James, the report’s author and election law attorney for Project Vote." [RJ]
Virgin Records America, Inc v. Thomas (Jury verdict in favor of RIAA)
October 24, 2007
SCALL/SANDALL Blog Launched to Serve as Information Clearinghouse for Victims of Southern California Wildfires
Jim Senter, SCALL President posted the following to the law-lib list today:
A blog has been set up to serve as a clearinghouse for information about the wildfire and how it has affected SCALL & SANDALL members all over Southern California. If you are among those in the crisis area, your friends and colleagues in the greater law library community would like to know how you are doing, especially that you are safe. Please use this blog to let us know how you are faring, and to relay any other information you are comfortable sharing with the law library community. I will also post any useful information I find about how to help out in this crisis.
If you have reliable information (or questions that someone might see and respond to), please email me and I will post to this blog. I will redact personal details unless the information comes directly from the person(s) affected; but we would like to know that you are safe.
Great idea! [JH]
13 Percent of LC Collection Misplaced, Survey Finds
The Washington Post is reporting that that about 13 percent of the books, monographs and bound periodicals at the Library of Congress are missing. LC officials believe most of the missing resources are misplaced, not stolen or lost. Stacks maintenance staff cutbacks and overflowing stacks are cited as reasons.
Hat tip to Mark Giangrande, DePaul Law Library. [JH]
Solove's The Future of Reputation Now Available
Another must read from Daniel Solove! -- Joe Hodnicki
George Washington University Law School professor, author of The Digital Person: Technology and Privacy in the Information Age (2004), and Concurring Opinions blogger Daniel Solove's new book is now available. About the new Yale UP title, he writes:
For quite some time, I've been thinking about the issue of how to balance the privacy and free speech issues involved with blogging and social networking sites. In the book, I do my best to propose some solutions, but my primary goal is to spark debate and discussion. I'm aiming to reach as broad an audience as possible and to make the book lively yet educational. I hope I've achieved these goals.
The Future of Reputation: Gossip, Rumor, and Privacy on the Internet
by Daniel J. Solove
List Price: $24.00
Hardcover: 256 pages
Publisher: Yale University Press (October 24, 2007)
Book Description: Teeming with chatrooms, online discussion groups, and blogs, the Internet offers previously unimagined opportunities for personal expression and communication. But there’s a dark side to the story. A trail of information fragments about us is forever preserved on the Internet, instantly available in a Google search. A permanent chronicle of our private lives—often of dubious reliability and sometimes totally false—will follow us wherever we go, accessible to friends, strangers, dates, employers, neighbors, relatives, and anyone else who cares to look. This engrossing book, brimming with amazing examples of gossip, slander, and rumor on the Internet, explores the profound implications of the online collision between free speech and privacy.
Daniel Solove, an authority on information privacy law, offers a fascinating account of how the Internet is transforming gossip, the way we shame others, and our ability to protect our own reputations. Focusing on blogs, Internet communities, cybermobs, and other current trends, he shows that, ironically, the unconstrained flow of information on the Internet may impede opportunities for self-development and freedom. Long-standing notions of privacy need review, the author contends: unless we establish a balance between privacy and free speech, we may discover that the freedom of the Internet makes us less free.