June 12, 2009
Product Development Thomson West-Style
|Update on Rudovsky v. West Publishing Corp.|
|The Legal Intelligencer's Shannon P. Duffy is reporting that a federal judge has refused to dismiss a defamation suit brought by two law professors who claim that West Publishing harmed their reputations when it falsely identified them as the authors of a poorly researched treatise update. For background, see LLB's earlier post, Cold Comfort for West in "Sham" Treatise Pocket Part Ruling.|
According to the product description, The Complete CAN-SPAM Act Practice Guide: Including Regulations, Case Law and Related Statutes (Thomson West, 2008) "provides an in-depth analysis and explanation of the CAN-SPAM Act, implementing regulations, and case law, presented in a clear, well-organized manner. Helpful for both experts and novices, the text will enlighten this complicated area of law. The author's extensive subject knowledge comes from having won the largest damages award ever granted under the CAN-SPAM Act..."
According to Lance Burke's (Reference/Access Services Librarian, Elon School of Law) book review on AALL Spectrum Blog, "if none of your patrons are interested in this field, it is unlikely this book will be the catalyst that sparks their interest." Burke observes that only 91 of the 422 page text contains analysis by the author, Ian C. Ballon. "The longest chapter of the book, and unfortunately, the most tedious" writes Burke, Scope of the Act’s Coverage "discusses what types of businesses and messages are covered under the act. While this information would be invaluable to someone who was interested in learning if a particular type of business is covered by the act, it does not make for interesting reading."
Sounds like Thomson West took what would have been an OK practitioner article publishable in an ABA journal, added 331 pages of filler -- the CAN-SPAM Act and regs, state anti-span laws and court documents from one of Ballon’s CAN-SPAM cases -- and slapped on a $79.00 price tag. In other words, nothing new in product development. For a little more on product development Thomson West-style, see the above sidebar. [JH]
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