July 5, 2008
Trafficking in Persons Report 2008
From the State Department: "The Department of State is required by law to submit a Report each year to the U.S. Congress on foreign governments’ efforts to eliminate severe forms of trafficking in persons. This Report is the eighth annual TIP Report. It is intended to raise global awareness, to highlight efforts of the international community, and to encourage foreign governments to take effective actions to counter all forms of trafficking in persons." [RJ]
Commission on the Status of Women Report
From the UN Pulse: "The report of the 52nd session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) is now available (E/2008/27-E/CN.6/2008/11). The report includes the agreed conclusions on financing gender equality and the empowerment of women and draft resolutions and decisions for adoption by the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC)."
July 4, 2008
On Reading the Declaration of Independence
Drafting the Declaration. On June 11, 1776, Congress appointed Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman, and Robert R. Livingston as a committee to draft a declaration of independence. In 1823 Jefferson wrote that the other members of the committee "unanimously pressed on myself alone to undertake the draught [sic]. I consented; I drew it; but before I reported it to the committee I communicated it separately to Dr. Franklin and Mr. Adams requesting their corrections. . . I then wrote a fair copy, reported it to the committee, and from them, unaltered to the Congress."
Prior to deciding on Jefferson, both Adams and Franklin turned down the offer to draft the document, citing that if they wrote it people would read it with a biased eye. Revised first by Adams, then by Franklin, and then by the full committee, a total of forty-seven alterations including the insertion of three complete paragraphs was made on the text before it was presented to Congress on June 28. After voting for independence on July 2, the Congress then continued to refine the document, making thirty-nine additional revisions to the committee draft before its final adoption on the morning of July 4.
The "original Rough draught" of the Declaration of Independence, one of the great milestones in American history, shows the evolution of the text from the initial "fair copy" draft by Thomas Jefferson with edits by John Adams and Benjamin Franklin, to the final text adopted by Congress on the morning of July 4, 1776.
Reading the Declaration: Essential Resources
About Reading the Declaration
I cannot too strongly recommend Garry Wills' Inventing America: Jefferson's Declaration of Independence (1978) which is noteworthy for its thorough analysis and comparison of Jefferson's "original Rough draught" of the Declaration with the final version approved by Congress. See also Carl Becker's classic, The Declaration of Independence: A Study in the History of Political Ideas (1922).
Republication of July 4, 2007 post. [JH]
Lessig on the Declaration of Independence
In this keynote talk at Personal Democracy Forum 2008: Rebooting the System, Lawrence Lessig (Stanford) offers a fresh interpretation of the Founders' vision of American government as one whose representatives would stand independent of corrupting influences, and calls for a new net-powered reform movement to fix the bugs in today's democracy. Lessig is the co-founder, with Joe Trippi, of Change-Congress.org. View the video. [JH]
Fourth of July Reading: Is It Time to Reboot Democracy?
Rebooting Democracy: Ideas for Redesigning American Democracy for the Internet Age, an anthology of 44 relatively short essays, was released at Rebooting the System, the fifth annual conference sponsored by the Personal Democracy Forum. You can read the articles online, download a pdf version of the anthology or buy it in paperback from Amazon. Articles of interest include the following:
- Creating Humane Codelaw by Gene Koo
- The Merciful Death of the Freedom of Information Act and the Birth of True Government Transparency: A Short History by Ellen Miller
- Saving America From Its 18th-Century Political System by Jan Frel and Nicco Mele
- Echo Chambers = Democracy by David Weinberger
- Community Information Commons by Harry C. Boyte
- Corruption, Technology and Constitutional Design by Zephyr Teachout
July 3, 2008
Greenhouse's Final New York Times Articles
In what might be her final articles for the New York Times, Linda Greenhouse discusses the recent Second Amendment SCOTUS decision at Justices Rule for Individual Gun Rights. (For more on District of Columbia v. Heller, see LLB's earlier post: Supreme Court Affirms Right to Own Guns for Self-Defense), and an unusual admission of error at Justice Dept. Admits Error in Not Briefing Court in today's New York Times. The error, by the way, was spotted by a blogger, Dwight Sullivan, a colonel in the Marine Corps Reserve who now works for the Air Force as a civilian defense lawyer handling death penalty appeals. See his post: The Supremes Dis the Military Justice System. [RJ & JH]
Friday Fun on Thursday: The Portable Microfiche Reader!
The author of a 1968 government report (pdf) proposed a portable microfiche reader that is surprising similar in design to modern eBook readers. The device would have been small enough to read mocrofiche on planes, in the office, even in bed, assuming you had nothing better to do in bed. Click on the image (left). See pages 7-13 of the report for specifications.
Hat tip to LISNews. [JH]
Librarians, Authors, and Publishers Weigh the Chilling Effects of Libel Tourism
"When the College Art Association decided recently to settle rather than fight a possible libel action in Britain over a book review published in one of its journals, it did more than sidestep a costly and probably doomed legal battle. It opened itself up to sharp accusations that it had failed to stand up for freedom of expression.
The episode is a reminder of how wide a gulf separates the United States—where First Amendment protections and jurisprudence make libel very difficult to prove—from most of the rest of the world, where protecting reputations and public sensibilities trump the right to say what one pleases. It also points to the hazards of publishing in a truly global context, where, thanks to the Internet, a journal article or monograph or blog post can be accessed almost anywhere, no matter where it was written or published." [RJ]
Michigan Law Review's 2008 Survey of Books Related to the Law
This year's survey of law books published by the Michigan Law Review, 106 Mich. L. Rev. 901 (2008), covers recent publications in the areas of administrative law, comparitive law, and international law, plus two very interesting reviews of classic literary works, namely Robert J. Delahunty and John C. Yoo's review of All Quiet on the Western Front, and Karen Engle's review of For Whom the Bell Tolls. Details with links below the fold. [JH]
- Robert J. Delahunty and John C. Yoo, Peace Through Law? The Failure of a Noble Experiment, 106 Mich. L. Rev. 923-939 (2008) [Westlaw] (Reviewing Erich Maria Remarque, All Quiet on the Western Front.)
- Karen Engle, Judging Sex in War, 106 Mich. L. Rev. 941-961 (2008).|[Westlaw](Reviewing Ernest Hemingway, For Whom the Bell Tolls.)
- Stephen Reinhardt, Weakening of the Bill of Rights: A Victory for Terrorism, 106 Mich. L. Rev. 963- 973 (2008). [Westlaw] (Reviewing Richard A. Posner, Not a Suicide Pact: The Constitution in a Time of National Emergency.)
- Kevin Jon Heller, Deconstructing International Criminal Law, 106 Mich. L. Rev. 975-999 (2008). [Westlaw] (Reviewing Mark A. Drumbl, Atrocity, Punishment, and International Law.)
The Administrative State
- Jill R. Horwitz, The Virtues of Medicare, 106 Mich. L. Rev. 1001-1019 (2008) [Westlaw] (Reviewing David A. Hyman, Medicare Meets Mephistopheles.)
- M. Elizabeth Magill, Temporary Accidents? 106 Mich. L. Rev. 1021-1040 (2008). [Westlaw] (Reviewing Steven P. Croley, Regulation and Public Interests: The Possibility of Good Regulatory Government.)
- Benjamin L. Liebman, Scandal, Sukyandaru, and Chouwen, 106 Mich. L. Rev. 1041-1069 (2008). [Westlaw] (Reviewing Mark D. West, Secrets, Sex and Spectacle: The Rules of Scandal in Japan and the United States.)
- Roger P. Alford, Free Speech and the Case for Constitutional Exceptionalism, 106 Mich. L. Rev. 1071-1088 (2008). [Westlaw] (Reviewing Ronald J. Krotoszynski, The First Amendment in Cross-Cultural Perspective: A Comparative Legal Analysis of the Freedom of Speech.)
- Merritt B. Fox, Gatekeeper Failures: Why Important, What to Do, 106 Mich. L. Rev. 1089-1110 (2008). [Westlaw] (Reviewing John C. Coffee Jr., Gatekeepers: The Professions and Corporate Governance.)
- Cristina M. Rodriguez, The Citizenship Paradox in a Transnational Age, 106 Mich. L. Rev. 1111-1128 (2008). [Westlaw] (Reviewing Hiroshi Motomura, Americans in Waiting: The Lost Story of Immigration and Citizenship in the United States.)
- Alex Geisinger and Michael Ashley Stein, Rational Choice, Reputation, and Human Rights Treaties, 106 Mich. L. Rev. 1129-1142 (2008). [Westlaw] (Reviewing Andrew T. Guzman, How International Law Works: A Rational Choice Theory.)
- Yang Wang, China Reexamined: The Worst Offender or a Strong Contender? 106 Mich. L. Rev. 1143-1155 (2008). [Westlaw] (Reviewing Randall Peerenboom, China Modernizes: Threat to the West or Model for the Rest?)
- Sam Erman, An Unintended Consequence: Dred Scott Reinterpreted, 106 Mich. L. Rev. 1157- 1165 (2008). |[Westlaw] (Reviewing Austin Allen, Origins of the Dred Scott Case: Jacksonian Jurisprudence and the Supreme Court, 1837-1857.)
- Katherine Porter, The Debt Dilemma, 106 Mich. L. Rev. 1167-1191 (2008). [Westlaw] (Reviewing Ronald J. Mann, Charging Ahead: The Growth and Regulation of Payment Card Markets.)
- Richard Delgado, Law Enforcement in Subordinated Communities: Innovation and Response, 106 Mich. L. Rev. 1193-1212 (2008). [Westlaw](Reviewing Steve Herbert, Citizens, Cops, and Power: Recognizing the Limits of Community, Ronald Weitzer and Steven A. Tuch, Race and Policing in America: Conflict and Reform and Police Innovation: Contrasting Perspectives, edited by David Weisburd and Anthony A. Braga.)
- Anthony J. Sebok, What Do We Talk About When We Talk About Mass Torts? 106 Mich. L. Rev. 1213-1228 (2008). [Westlaw](Reviewing Richard A. Nagareda, Mass Torts in a World of Settlement.)
World Health Statistics 2008
New report from the World Health Organization: "World Health Statistics 2008 presents the most recent health statistics for WHO’s 193 Member States. This fourth edition includes 10 highlights in health statistics, as well as an expanded set of over 70 key health indicators. It includes, for the first time, trend data where the statistics are available and of acceptable quality." [RJ]
Yee's Pro Web 2.0 Mashups: Remixing Data and Web Services
Interest in social computing in libraries is growing as more and more law libraries are implementing various Web 2.0 technologies largely by installing or using service providers for the establishment of blogs, wikis, etc. We can call these experiments in social media first generation developments to be followed, I think, by Web 2.0 mashups that are tailored to more specific applications for digital legal information collaboration. Some of these second generation developments may be created by individual law libraries, others by legal publishers, and still others by ad hoc and formal group efforts. Lee's Pro Web 2.0 Mashups: Remixing Data and Web Services is featured below because it approaches today's Web 2.0 from a developers point of view—what are its main features, and what is available for us to use to develop applications. [JH]
Pro Web 2.0 Mashups: Remixing Data and Web Services
By Raymond Yee
List Price: $49.99
Paperback: 603 pages
Publisher: Apress (February 25, 2008)
What you’ll learn
- Understand how the constituent parts of the modern Web fit together—web standards, Ajax, APIs, libraries, tagging, blogs, wikis, and more.
- Create different types of mashup, for example mapping mash ups, search functionality, calendars, RSS/Atom feeds, social bookmarking, online storage systems, open document formats, and more.
About the Author: Raymond Yee is a data architect, consultant, and trainer. He is currently a lecturer at the School of Information, UC Berkeley, where he teaches the course “Mixing and Remixing Information.” While earning a PhD in biophysics, he taught computer science, philosophy, and personal development to K–11 students in the Academic Talent Development Program on the Berkeley campus. He is the primary architect of the Scholar’s Box, software that enables users to gather digital content from multiple sources to create personal collections that can be shared with others. As a software architect and developer, he focuses on developing software to support learning, teaching, scholarship, and research.
See also: Designing for the Social Web by Joshua Porter (New Riders Press, May 4, 2008) ($40.00, ISBN-10: 0321534921; ISBN-13: 978-0321534927)
Opening: Reference and Electronic Services Librarian, Boston University Law Library
The Boston University Law Library has an opening for a Reference and Electronic Services Librarian. Candidates with appropriate experience will be considered at the senior level.
RESPONSIBILITIES: Under the direction of the Head of Reference Services, this position will have primary responsibility for organizing and developing electronic research services for law students and faculty. Coordinate with librarians, writing program administrators, and vendors to provide mandatory and optional training programs for incoming J.D. students. Assist faculty with online research and advise them of new electronic research resources in their disciplines. Actively participate in law library web site development and participate in the Collection Development Committee to review and select print and online resources for the library.
This position will participate as a member of the reference department team of five professional librarians. Each reference librarian provides extensive reference and research assistance to law students and faculty, develops and teaches online and traditional research instructional programs, and assists in the development, implementation and evaluation of reference and research services policies, procedures and publications.
REQUIREMENTS: M.L.S. or equivalent from an A.L.A. accredited library school required. J.D. from an A.B.A. accredited law school strongly preferred. One to three years relevant experience required. Candidates with more than three years of professional legal reference experience and significant contributions to the profession may be considered at the Senior level. Substantial knowledge of Westlaw, LexisNexis, Internet and other electronic resources and experience teaching online research.
Strong service orientation, organizational and interpersonal skills essential.
SALARY: Commensurate with experience. Excellent benefits and professional development funding.
TO APPLY: Send a letter of application, a resume, and the names of three references to Joanne Letty, Office of Human Resources, Boston University, 25 Buick Street, Boston, MA 02215. Please reference position number 4739/G018 on your cover letter. Applications with the above information may be submitted electronically.
AALL ATTENDEES: Please leave your resume in our Placement Office folder with your hotel/contact information and the times you will be available to meet.
Boston University is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action Employer
If you have any questions about this job opening, please contact Raquel Ortiz, Associate Director, email@example.com.
Opening: Emerging Technologies Librarian, Brooklyn Law School Library
Brooklyn Law School Library seeks a dynamic Emerging Technologies Librarian to implement new technology and to provide electronic services to support the library’s research, reference and instruction programs. This librarian will: serve as the department’s webmaster; coordinate and facilitate the use of online instructional materials; explore new technologies to leverage future library services; and consult with other professional staff members concerning digital initiatives, such as using Web 2.0 technology to enhance the library’s presence in the BLS community. This professional also will: co-teach research courses to upper level law students; contribute to collection development decisions; participate in a faculty liaison program; act as the primary contact to our on-campus vendors (Bloomberg, LexisNexis, and Westlaw); and participate in a reference rotation for members of the Brooklyn Law School community.
This person will be joining a highly collegial group of professionals and must enjoy working in a collaborative environment.
- M.L.S. from an ALA accredited institution, or equivalent
- J.D. from an ABA accredited institution, or equivalent
- One year of prior academic library experience
- Teaching-level knowledge of print and digital legal resources
- Demonstrated initiative in using current technology to enhance legal education and information literacy
- Proficiency in using a range of web authoring tools
- Superior communication and interpersonal skills
Brooklyn Law School is an equal opportunity employer and values diversity. We are committed to nondiscrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, national or ethnic origin, age, disability, marital status, and any other trait or status protected by applicable law.
Applications will be considered immediately until the position is filled. We also will be interviewing in Portland at the Annual Meeting.
Please send your cover letter and resume to:
Brooklyn Law School Library
250 Joralemon Street
Brooklyn, N.Y. 11201
or by e-mail in PDF format to: firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information about our school, please visit our web site at http://www.brooklaw.edu
July 2, 2008
Library to Host a "Change Your Name" Workshop
In interesting news the West Virginia State Law Library recently hosted a workshop to help patrons learn how to change their name for "marriage, adoption, and other situations". I thought of this as an interesting idea to bring patrons into the library while providing a public service. I have yet to see how well the workshop was attended but I hope they fared well.
If you have any interesting ideas that you or your library would like to share involving public service or patron development please let us know in the comments.
Weird Wedding Laws Still on the Books
My favorite: In New Orleans, it is illegal for anyone claiming to be a palm reader, fortune teller, mystic healer or any other magic-possessing hoodwinker to offer up marriage services. More at Mental Floss. [JH]
Professional Reading: Warming Up to User-Generated Content
Edward Lee (OSU) has posted Warming Up to User-Generated Content in SSRN. The article will appear in the University of Illinois Law Review. Here's the abstract for this very interesting article:
The most significant copyright development of the twenty first century has not arisen through any law enacted by Congress or opinion rendered by the Supreme Court. Instead, it has come from the unorganized, informal practices of various, unrelated users of copyrighted works, many of whom probably know next to nothing about copyright law. In order to comprehend this paradox, one must look at what is popularly known as "Web 2.0," and the growth of user-generated content in blogs, wikis, podcasts, "mashup" videos, and social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace. Although users often create new works of their own, sometimes the works are "remixed" with copyrighted content of others.
The growth of user-generated content challenges the conventional understandings of copyright law under which copyrights are understood largely as static and fixed from the top down. Under this view, copyright holders are at the center of the copyright universe and exercise considerable control over their exclusive rights. Obtaining prior authorization from the copyright holder is typically assumed to be necessary for others legally to re-use the copyrighted work, apart from a fair or other permitted use (which often is not easy to determine in advance).
This Article challenges the conventional account of copyright law, particularly as applied to Web 2.0. The formalist understanding of copyright law ignores reality. The Copyright Act is riddled with gray areas and gaps, many of which persist over time because so few copyright cases are ever filed and the majority of those filed are not resolved through a judgment. My core thesis is that informal copyright practices - i.e., practices that are not authorized by formal copyright licenses, but whose legality falls within a gray area of copyright law - effectively serve as important gap-fillers in our copyright system.
The informal practices related to user-generated content provide a compelling example of this phenomenon. These practices make manifest three significant features of our copyright system that have escaped the attention of legal scholars: (i) our copyright system could not function without informal copyright practices; (ii) collectively, users wield far more power in influencing the shape of copyright law than is commonly perceived; and (iii) uncertainty in formal copyright law can lead to the phenomenon of "warming," in which - unlike chilling - users are emboldened to make unauthorized uses of copyrighted works based on seeing what appears to be an increasingly accepted practice. In the Web 2.0 world, warming may serve as a powerful counterforce to the chilling of speech.
FOMC's Greenbooks, Bluebooks and Other Resources From 1978-2002 Now Online
The Federal Reserve Board's website now features convenient access to historical documents of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) for the years 1978 through 2002.
Greenbooks, Bluebooks, and other documents related to FOMC meetings join the transcripts, minutes, and policy announcements that had previously been available on the Board's site. The Greenbook and the Bluebook are prepared by Board staff and distributed to FOMC meeting attendees the week before each scheduled meeting. The Greenbook, officially entitled "Current Economic and Financial Conditions," provides in-depth analysis of the U.S. and international economies and includes the staff's economic forecast. The Bluebook, entitled "Monetary Policy Alternatives," provides background and context on monetary policy alternatives the FOMC could consider.
Historical Greenbooks and Bluebooks have been available to researchers and others, upon request, for some time. Posting them on the Board's website makes them more accessible to the public."
The new information is available at: http://www.federalreserve.gov/monetarypolicy/fomc_historical.htm [RJ]
Webcast of Symposium on Online Consultation and Public Policy Making
The archived webcast of the March 14, 2008 Symposium on Online Consultation and Public Policy Making: Democracy, Identity, and New Media can be viewed here. The Symposium, sponsored by I/S: A Journal of Law and Policy for the Information Society, featured the following presentations:
- Andrew Chadwick, "Web 2.0: New Challenges for E-Democracy"
- Patrizia Bertini, "On the Internet, Nobody Knows You Are Citizen Kane: Identity, Anonymity and Pseudonymity of E-Citizenship"
- Laurence Monnoyer-Smith, "Technology and Inclusion: Framing Online Public Debate to Enlarge Participation,"
- Oren Perez, "Complexity, Information Overload and Online Deliberation"
- Tim Erickson, "Building Democracy Through Local Issues Forums"
- Steven Balla, "The Diffusion of E-Government Innovations Across U.S. Municipalities,"
- Sungsoo Hwang, "Advancing E-Governance at the Community Level with the Neighborhood Information System"
- Kerrie Oakes, "The Impact of E-Democracy on the Role of the Civil Servant"
- Alicia Schatteman, "Democracy and EParticipation: A Case Study of Ontario's Assembly on Electoral Reform"
The Role of the Internet in Consumer Research and Purchasing Decisions
The Pew Internet & American Life Project has published The Internet and Consumer Choice: Online Americans use different search and purchase strategies for different goods (pdf). The study tracks the decision-making processes for buying music, purchasing a cell phone, and buying or renting a home. Read more about it: Press Release, Web Page for the Report. [RJ]
Openings (Possibly Two): Law Librarian, CUNY School of Law
We are currently seeking at least one, but possibly two enthusiastic, energetic candidates dependent on funding, who are willing to be an integral part of the library management team at CUNY School of Law. The successful candidates will be joining a library that is committed to providing the highest level of research support to students and faculty. He/she will be responsible for providing reference services to the library community, teaching in the first year Legal Research Program in a collaborative environment, and assisting the Faculty Research Services Program. These positions will be filled at the entry or mid-level range depending on the experience of qualified candidates. New graduates possessing both the J.D. and M.L.S. as of August 2008 are encouraged to apply.
We are looking for individuals with a desire to help us further the Law School’s mission of “Law in the Service of Human Needs.” Towards that end, we are ideally looking for applicants whose background or experience illustrate a strong commitment to social justice and supporting our faculty and students’ work in the public interest.
Law Librarians are active participants in shaping the future of the institution. They have full faculty status and are completely integrated into the governance processes of the Law School. Working with our colleagues outside of the Library, librarians add to the rich diversity of the law school experience by having their own scholarship interests, in addition to supporting those of the other members of the faculty.
All librarians must have a J.D. and M.L.S. in order to be considered for a tenure track faculty appointment. Salary Range: Assistant Professor ($38,801 – $67,092); Associate Professor ($50,321 - $80,020). Further detailed information can be found at:
Please send a letter of application, including a detailed description of education and work experience, and curriculum vitae to:
Ms. Maureen McCafferty
Coordinator of Faculty Recruitment
CUNY School of Law
65-21 Main Street
Flushing, New York 11367