December 4, 2010
What Does It Take To Get Kicked Out of Congress?
A lot, apparently. Chris Good goes over past precedent where the 20 members crossed the line for their peers. Charlie Rangel was always safe, unless he angled for the Spanish territory in Louisiana. More at The Atlantic.
Then there are these CRS Reports:
- Status of a Member of the House Who Has Been Convicted of a Felony (RS21196 April 15, 2002)
- Expulsion, Censure, Reprimand, and Fine: Legislative Discipline in the House of Representatives (RL31382 Jan 25, 2005)
- Expulsion and Censure Actions Taken by the Full Senate Against Members (93-875 Nov 12, 2008)
- Recall of Legislators and the Removal of Members of Congress from Office (RL30016 March 26, 2010)
PayPal Cuts Off Wikileaks
Wikileaks suffered another blow yesterday when PayPal closed the account where individuals could contribute to the organization. According to articles, there are other ways to contribute to the support of wikileaks. Paypal, however, was the most convenient. The service, owned by eBay, said Wikileaks violated their terms of service, specifically the section which reads "You may not use the PayPal service for activities that...that encourage, promote, facilitate or instruct others to engage in illegal activity." PayPal has not elaborated on how the site violates that particular section of its terms. Commentators are split on the legality of the release of U.S. State Department cables. More on the PayPal development is in Bloomberg. [MG]
Viacom Appeals YouTube Safe Harbor Ruling
As expected, Viacom has filed a 72 page brief in its appeal from an adverse decision at the trial level where a judge ruled that Google was entitled to safe harbor protection. Let's see if it can get past the case law in the circuit that states generalized knowledge of infringement isn't enough for liability. Details are in the Los Angeles Times.
Update: A copy of Viacom's brief is here. Reading it suggests that if the ruling below stands, it is the end of the world as we know it. If a legal document ever came across as angry and indignant, this is the one. [MG]
December 3, 2010
What's up with Barnes & Noble?
Earlier in the week their stock tanked because they announced a higher than normal earnings loss, around $1.15 per share compared to a projected 65 cents. It has rebounded somewhat. The only saving grace for stockholders is that the company preserved the annual dividend payout. Then messages started to appear on the acquisitions listserv that B&N abruptly stopped accepting purchase orders for items, requiring cash or credit purchases. These came from representatives of major academic library systems. Although universities have credit cards for purchases, they place many restrictions on their use to avoid abuse. The upshot is that this move will likely draw business away from the bookstore when they seem to need it most.
It's ironic, as the book chain is a leading academic bookstore for student course materials. News of stores closing, ugly struggles for control of the company, debt, and now competition from Google's bookstore finally opening before the end of the year are just some of the troubles B&N faces. If cutting off purchase orders as a business method is a reaction to the chain's problems, there may be worse things happening below the surface. [MG]
AALL Election Results
Congratulations to all!
Vice President/President-Elect (July 2011 - July 2012):
Jean M. Wenger
Government Documents/Foreign & International Law Librarian
Cook County Law Library, Chicago, IL
Secretary (July 2011 - July 2014):
Deborah L. Rusin
Latham & Watkins LLP, Chicago, IL
Executive Board (July 2011 - July 2014):
Assistant Director for Public and Faculty Services
Oklahoma City University Law Library
Library & Records Manager
King & Spalding LLP, Houston, TX
Source: AALL. [JH]
Friday Fun: Legal Research: The Trials and Tribulations of Katie Using Westlaw
"A frightening tale of the seedy underbelly to Westlaw pricing" writes the student who created this video for Sarah Gotschall and Shaun Esposito's ALR class at the Univ. of Arizona College of Law. [JH]
The Most Important Factor in Evaluating Law Schools is "Us," the Law Faculty
Recently, Univ. of Chicago Law prof Brian Leiter launched a poll on Leiter's Law School Reports blog to identify the most significant criteria in evaluating a law school. With 184 votes cast from primarily an academic readership, it comes as no surprise that out of 17 criteria "scholarly distinction/quality of the faculty" was voted the most significant factor. Here's the poll results:
- Scholarly distinction/quality of the faculty
- Students numerical credentials (LSAT, GPA)
- Emphasis on legal doctrine & analytical skills
- Emphasis on legal research & writing skills
- Small class sizes
- Bar exam pass rate
- Quality of scholarly conferences & speaker series
- Emphasis on practical lawyering skills
- Practical experience of the faculty
- Quality of the law library
- Modern & technologically equipped facilities
- Ranking of the school by US News
- Percentage of graduates employed in legal profession
- Quality of career services office
- Curriculum emphasizing public service & pro-bono
- Curriculum emphasizing working in teams
- Student success in moot court competitions
Details about the poll results here. [JH]
The New Mister Rogers' Approach to Law School Faculty Relations
Michael L. Seigel (Florida) & Kathi Miner-Rubino (Texas A&M University, Department of Psychology) have published Measuring the Value of Collegiality Among Law Professors, 1 Faulkner L. Rev. 257 (2010) but they failed to upload their article to SSRN so you will have to sign on to HeinOnline to view it. Or you can read TaxProf Blog's extended quotes from the article's introduction, starting with the following:
This article is the last in a trilogy addressing the issue of collegiality among law professors. In the first piece, titled On Collegiality [54 J. Legal Educ. 406 (2004)],author Seigel defined "collegiality" and suggested that most law schools have at least one, if not two or three, "affirmatively uncollegial" members of their faculty.' Seigel posited that these individuals tend to interfere with the ideal functioning of their institutions by negatively affecting the well-being of their peers. In the worst cases, a pervasively uncollegial faculty will drive its best teachers and scholars away, harming the reputation and quality of the institution." Seigel weighed the costs and benefits of enforcing a norm of collegiality in an academic institution and came down, ultimately, on the side of enforcement.
Enforcing collegiality among tenured law profs who traditionally behave like professorial silos. I would like to see how long a law school dean lasts trying to do that! [JH]
December 2, 2010
Judges, One of 10 High-Paying Careers with No Futures
CEOs, too, according to Moneywatch. [JH]
LexisNexis Acquires State Net, Legislative and Regulatory Information Service Provider
"Through the acquisition of State Net, LexisNexis has secured critical content and tools needed by legal and business professionals to rapidly monitor and analyze the policy decisions being made by Federal and State governments and regulatory agencies across the US on a daily basis," said Bob Romeo, senior vice president of Research and Litigation Solutions at LexisNexis. "Access to this critical information means our customers are at an advantage when assisting their clients in finding, analyzing and planning for those decisions."
State Net collects, normalizes and editorially enhances all bills introduced in the 50 U.S. state legislatures, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Congress, as well as all agency regulations from every state. The service also provides timely delivery of data, legislative intelligence and in-depth content and tools reporting on the actions of government institutions.
State Net provides users access to information on individual legislative bills and their progress within twenty-four hours of public availability. It also enables subscribers to obtain current versions of bills and statutes, check the validity of statutes, track pending changes to statutes and regulations, and research historical summaries of legislative actions. State Net tools and content enable users to assess the impact of proposed legislation and regulations, influence proposed matters, and reduce compliance risk.
Hat tip to Gary Price, ResourceShelf. [JH]
Starting with the Basics: Jones Day Partner Identifies Professional Legal Skills Neglected in the Law School Curriculum
Steven C. Bennett is a partner at Jones Day and has also taught as an adjunct law professor for twenty years at several New York area law schools. In When Will Law School Change? 89 Neb. L. Rev. 87 (2010), he offers what most practitioners and law students, if not the legal academy, would consider some readily apparent and certainly not difficult to implement ways to integrate neglected fundamental professional legal skills into the law school curriculum. By the way, I have a hunch Bennett knows first hand what he is talking about. He is a member of Jones Day's lawyer training committee.
In most cases, students receive little detailed instruction in the professional habits of good lawyers and are seldom shown samples of exemplary legal work or successful careers.
To provide a greater emphasis on the basics of professionalism, law schools might consider several steps. More team assignments (e.g., group writing projects or group work in simulations and clinics) could help remind students that they are entering a social profession where relationships with others, based on trust and integrity, is of paramount importance. Even if not structured as legal clinical training, students could engage in some form of group public service, including service to the law school itself, as part of their law school career.
Students should also get some experience as clients themselves, perhaps in role-playing exercises, to help them recognize the needs of those they may come to serve. Training in interviewing skills, counseling and negotiating—all among the most basic and transferable skills for use in practice—can help students develop a sense of the elements of lawyering that extend beyond pure legal reasoning and analysis.
Most students, moreover, would greatly benefit from some demystification of the profession. Students who are seriously considering opening a solo law practice after graduation, for example, need to know basic rules of law office management. In particular, students must recognize certain “defensive” aspects of practice: an effective conflicts checking system, retainer agreements, client trust accounts, professional liability insurance, and the like. Even students who plan to join larger firms could receive some essential instruction in the “nuts and bolts” of practice. Some exposure to the project management elements of legal service—such as, delegation of responsibilities, team meetings and communications, and even how to bill for time spent on a matter—would permit students to embrace good professional habits as they enter the practice. Career development training aimed at outlining the many career options and choices that students face, coupled with some form of access to representatives of the profession (e.g., speakers, adjuncts, mentors and other role models of “good” lawyers), could help students begin to identify personal goals and pathways to success in a legal career.
Moving Beyond the Ubiquitous PDF: Is PDF/A a Viable Preservation File Format?
In Getting to Durham Compliance, Sarah wrote "I am concerned that these online journals are becoming PDF dumping grounds with little to no metadata or access points contained within them to assist with the 'access' part of “open access,” which I quoted in Moving Beyond the Ubiquitous PDF for Durham Statement Compliance. My take on the dumping of PDF files focused on how PDFs are not accessible to all if not properly tagged. I would add that this extends well beyond law review articles to include PDF downloadables from legal publishers and our own AALL which promotes "access to all."
In PDF/A: A Viable Addition to the Preservation Toolkit, Daniel W. Noonan, Amy McCrory and Elizabeth L. Black's Nov./Dec. 2010 D-Lib Magazine article address the matter at hand. From the abstract:
PDF/A, the archival version of the PDF file format, is an International Standards Organization (ISO) vetted, open source tool that can be added to the librarian's and archivist's preservation toolkit. This article describes the format itself, the lessons learned as the authors investigated the tools readily available for creating PDF/A files and the design of the pilot to test implementation of the use of the format in The Ohio State University's repository, the Knowledge Bank. Further, we identify issues in conversion of diverse original formats; strategies for time-saving batch conversion; and considerations in deciding whether to attempt full or partial compliance with the standard.
The authors explains: "The PDF/A-1 standard provides two levels of compliance:"
PDF/A-1a denotes "full compliance" and ensures the preservation of a document's logical structure and content text stream in natural reading order. The text extraction is especially important when the document must be displayed on a mobile device (for example a PDA) or other devices in accordance with Section 508 of the US Rehabilitation Act. In such cases, the text must be reorganized on the limited screen size (re-flow). This feature is also known as "Tagged PDFs."
PDF/A-1b denotes "minimal compliance" and ensures that the text (and additional content) can be correctly displayed, but does not guarantee that extracted text will be legible or comprehensible. It therefore does not guarantee compliance with Section 508.
Currently ISO is developing Part 2 (or PDF/A-2) of the standard, that addresses some of the added features within Adobe® Acrobat® PDF versions 1.5, 1.6, and 1.7. PDF/A-2 should be backwards compatible, i.e., all valid PDF/A-1 documents should also be compliant with PDF/A-2, whereas, PDF/A-2 compliant files will not necessarily be PDF/A-1 compliant.
The authors provide illustrative test cases involving the conversion from existing PDF files, word-processing doucments, and from print via scanning to PDF/A and concluded "our tests [show] that PDF/A is most appropriate for files that are primarily text documents, and that it is significantly easier to get files into PDF/A form if those files are born digital or when one has control over making them digital."
In view of the fact that the mindless uploading of of PDF files that are not accessible to screen readers because they are not properly tagged to be accessible by the blind and those with ADD/ADHD who can concentrate better when they use screen readers, we should applaud and take note of the authors' objectives and recommendations:
We are seeking full PDF/A-1a compliance because these PDFs will also be accessible. The PDF/A-1a standard requires the text to be tagged and marked up, which enables screen reader technology to correctly read the document to disabled persons, thus making it an accessible PDF. Therefore, PDF/A-1a is preferred because it is better for archival and accessibility reasons. There are situations where PDF/A-1a is not attainable, such as with documents that are primarily image-based and do not have alternate text identified; in these cases PDF/A-1b is acceptable, at least from an archival and preservation point-of-view.
PDF/A is a valuable, viable preservation tool that we have recommended as an addition to the digital preservation toolkit at The Ohio State University Libraries. For other organizations we recommend the conversion to PDF/A directly from a born digital object; when that is not a possibility, convert via scanning, conducting the conversion at the point of input. For efficiency, utilize batch processing for conversion workflows, and develop policy, standards, and procedures for your organization/institution.
Perhaps we can also hope that AALL's tendency to upload non-complaint Section 508 will stop by using PDF/A-1a and the implementation of the Durham Statement for law reviews will also take this route, should it ever get off the ground.
Unfortuately, first law reviews has to get over the whole ego thing before saving a few tree. See David Walker's LLB post, Unmasking the Ego at Durham ("The conclusion reached at Durham as to why most journals are reluctant to move to an all digital open-access format is the fear of losing prestigious authors. The journal editors seem to believe that if they go all-digital, prestigious authors might be view the electronic-only journal to be less prestigious than a journal in print and not want to submit their work to the electronic journal. In turn, they believe that losing prestigious authors would make their journals less prestigious. So the fight is against two egos: (1) the egos of the authors; and (2) the egos of the editors.")
Meanwhile AALL remains happy to promote the logging industry by publishing LLJ and Spectrum in hardcopy. So much for setting an example in the second decade of the 21st century.
For more, see the PDF/A Competence Center. See also, Christopher Wren's Legal Skills Prof Blog post, Federal courts moving to archival standard for PDF (PDF/A).
On "Dark Archives" for Law Review Preservation. Subscribers to AALL listservs may have noticed the recent announcement that the Legal Information Preservation Alliance and Berkeley Electronic Press have partnered to create the Law Review Preservation Program, "the first comprehensive long-term archiving solution for law reviews published online." For those without access to the AALL listservs, the full text is available here. This is a "dark archive for long-term preservation" that promises the following:
In the event that a law review is no longer available from any university or publisher, it will be triggered from CLOCKSS under an open-access Creative Commons license, guaranteeing that law review articles will remain in the public domain forever.
I could not determine whether the PDF/A format will be the standard for this venture. [JH]
Opening: Reference/Research Librarian, Gonzaga School of Law
The Gonzaga University School of Law’s Chastek Library seeks applications for the ranked faculty position of Reference/Research Librarian. This position may lead to long-term contract security upon satisfying the requirements set forth in the Gonzaga University Faculty Handbook and the Gonzaga Law School Long-Term Contract Standards in the areas of Professional Performance, Professional Development, Advising, and Academic Citizenship.
Responsibilities: This position manages the reference desk, provides reference service to all library users and research assistance to faculty, coordinates library instructional services, provides instruction and research sessions to classes and other groups like law journals and clinics, and participates in collection development activities. In addition, this position is assigned faculty committee responsibilities.
- J.D. from an ABA accredited institution, and M.L.S. from an ALA accredited institution.
- Knowledge of print and electronic legal resources, strong teaching skills and service orientation, excellent oral and written communication skills.
Desired Qualifications: Experience in an academic law library.
Application Process and Deadline: The required application materials include a resume, a letter outlining relevant experience, and three references. To apply or view the full position description, please visit our website at www.gonzaga.edu/employment. Application is encouraged by February 28, 2011.
For assistance with your online application, call (509) 313-5996. You may also send your application directly by mail to Professor Cheryl Ann Beckett, Chair, Faculty Recruitment Committee, Gonzaga University School of Law, P.O. Box 3528, Spokane, Washington 99220-3528, or electronically to cbeckett(at)lawschool.gonzaga.edu.
Contact Person for Questions: Professor Cheryl Ann Beckett, Chair, Faculty Recruitment Committee, Gonzaga University School of Law, at cbeckett(at)lawschool.gonzaga.edu.
The law school is strongly committed to diversifying its faculty and furthering Gonzaga’s mission as a Jesuit, Catholic, and humanistic institution.
December 1, 2010
FTC Issues Report on Consumer Privacy
The FTC released its preliminary report on consumer privacy today. Protecting Consumer Privacy in an Era of Rapid Change: A Proposed Framework for Business and Policymakers identifies the need for businesses to collect information about their customers for marketing purposes in comparison to the corporate maintenance of personal electronic dossiers that spell out consumer habits, preferences, and interests. The statements and proposals contained in the report suggest the Commission would like to split the difference between data collectors and consumers.
As the report notes, self-regulation by the industry for data collection practises isn't actually protecting consumers much. The privacy notices and data collection practices offered by companies and web sites are often legalistic in wording and tend to be unread by most consumers. This is bad, one assumes. On the other hand, the value to consumers derived from data collection is real in the form of reduced or subsidized costs for products and services from the web. Data analysis can also spur innovation for newer products and services consumers will use. The assumption is that result is good.
What to do? The Commission would like to see simpler and clearer statements of data collection practices made to consumers. Consumers should be presented with clear choices about the amount of data a company collects and how it is used at points along the transaction. Transparency for privacy is the key. The report notes that collecting information some information is legitimate. If I buy a cup from Cafe Press, for example, I do have to identify myself, my contact and payment details, and a place where they can ship the item. Companies should not need to seek permissions to acquire such basic information essential to the transaction. In this same transaction, however, Cafe Press should give me options as to how it uses the information I provide after the fact.
The Commission's second recommendation would like to implement a privacy protection policy along the lines of Privacy by Design, as developed by Ann Cavoukian, Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario, Canada. As the press release states:
Such protections include reasonable security for consumer data, limited collection and retention of such data, and reasonable procedures to promote data accuracy. Companies also should implement and enforce procedurally sound privacy practices throughout their organizations, including assigning personnel to oversee privacy issues, training employees, and conducting privacy reviews for new products and services.
The report is listed as preliminary. A final report will appear in 2011. The Commission will accept comments through January 31, 2011. As of this writing, the link in the press release for submitting comments was not active.
Some commentators suggest that the FTC will require Congressional action to put much of the report recommendations in place. Good luck with that. Political statements made by those elected to the new Congress convening in January suggest that privacy issues are not on the radar (as in I haven't seen anyone run for office advocating consumer privacy as a campaign issue) and that more regulation on business is disfavored. The report notes that consumers are concerned about privacy, but I doubt that concern is enough to move Congress to act upon it. There also seems to be a hostility to adopting forms of foreign law to U.S. law. Even though Homer Simpson once referred to Canada as "America Junior," Canadian law and practice are still foreign. I think it would take a lot to penetrate the anti-foreign law bias, especially with the next Congress. In all, a nice effort by the Commission. I think it sounds too darn reasonable to survive partisan politics. [MG]
Interpol Puts WikiLeaks Founder on Its Most-Wanted List
No, not for publishing diplomatic cables. CNN is reporting that at the request of a a Swedish court looking into alleged sex crimes, Interpol has put WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on its most-wanted list. Assange faces one count of rape and one count of sexual molestation related to an instance around August 17 in Enkoping, Sweden. He also faces two counts of sexual molestation between August 13 and 18 in Stockholm, and one count of illegal use of force between August 13 and 14, also in Stockholm. Details here. [JH]
Gearing Up for BigLaw Competition: Bloomberg Law Hints at Fixed-Rate Pricing Discounts While Being the Largest Source of New Legal Jobs in New York
Quoting from the Crain’s New York Business article Bloomberg LP lays down the law: Financial data giant storms legal research in its typically big way (subscription required) by way of Information Today's Library Stuff blog post:
While law firms have spent the last year and a half reeling from the financial crisis and trying to cope with diminished employee rosters, a new powerhouse is building a legal army: Bloomberg LP. The financial data and news juggernaut has quietly hired nearly 500 lawyers over the past year, making it the largest source of new legal jobs in New York. From its midtown headquarters, Bloomberg is positioning itself to attack the $14.5 billion legal research industry, which has been long dominated by the duopoly of LexisNexis, a $4 billion enterprise owned by Reed Elsevier, and Westlaw, which is part of the Thomson Reuters information empire.
What does WEXIS make of Bloomberg‘s entrance into the very expensive online legal search market. Erika Wayne quotes the following from the Crain’s New York Business article in her Legal Research Plus post:
“We’re not seeing much of a change in the marketplace [because of Bloomberg]. We’re feeling very strong and comfortable,” says Mike Dahn, [Vice President, WestlawNext Product Development]."
LexisNexis Vice President Clemens Ceipek is more blunt. “Bloomberg has a lot of money, and that’s why we can’t ignore them,” he says, “but it’s going to be really hard for them, just like it would be really hard for us to compete in the financial markets.”
Back in January, ABAJ's Jill Schachner Chanen posed the big question:
Will Bloomberg’s product be so enticing that it will prompt [law firms] to drop one or another of the Big Two?
After decades of Westlaw and Lexis rolling out incremental improvements, real innovation has become the watchword in online legal research. At stake: billions in revenue and a big piece of your computer desktop.
For now, it is far too early to say what impact Bloomberg Law will have. BLaw is a legal search vendor that integrates its inventory of financial industry content. When I saw a product demo my reaction was "I wish I had this service when I worked for a securities law firm in the early 1980s." But BLaw is only a legal search vendor. It does not have a product line of premium secondary legal resources. Acquiring BNA and unleashing BNA's sales force into this market would be a major plus. Content does not sell itself. BLaw also does not offer what WEXIS does as professional legal services vendors for this market segment, namely an electronic infrastructure ranging from practice management to billing and marketing support. At least not yet.
Fixed-Rate Pricing for Legal Search? Still the Financial Times is reporting that Bloomberg Law's Lou Andreozzi expects many law firms and corporate lawyers may prefer the service's flat-rates (e.g., $450 per attorney per month) instead of the more “expensive and unpredictable” sums they pay WEXIS. Andreozzi is signaling that BLaw discounting to increase its client base may be coming. See FT's Bloomberg Law’s discounts pose threat for details (and note Outsell industry analyst David Curle's comments)
Will fixed-rates for online legal search in the BigLaw and corporate legal department sector be the new normal? Free WestlawNext? Competitive fixed-rate pricing for Lexis Advance in the BigLaw and corporate legal department private sector? Watch for pricing concessions if BLaw poses a competitive threat. Also watch WEXIS start packaging its many discrete workflow solutions into "total solutions" including online search for the private sector market to compete with each other and with Bloomberg Law.
While Bloomberg Law may be going after the cream of the private sector online search market, WEXIS is currently responding to the competitive threat of Fastcase and other online legal search vendors at the other end of the spectrum with fixed-rate pricing for solo attorneys and very small law firms. [JH]
"Yes We Scan" Campaign Launched by LAW.GOV to Digitize Out-of-Copyright First Series of the Federal Reporter
LAW.GOV's Yes We Scan campaign is seeking law firms and others to sponsor the digitization of the First Series of the Federal Reporter which is no longer is under copyright. "Sponsors will pay $1,200 to have the 300 volumes of 1,000 pages each manually re-typed twice, to ensure accuracy in the transcription. Formatting the text in HTML will allow users to cut and paste the text, something that can't be done with scanned documents, said Public.Resource.Org founder Carl Malamud" in Karen Sloan's NLJ article, Law.Gov seeks donors to transcribe Federal Reporter. The goal of the "Yes We Scan" campaign is to raise $360,000 and the files will be donated to the National Archives and the Government Printing Office.
Here's a thought, TR Legal could go a long way toward improving its tarnished reputation by simply donating in bulk its electronic copies of Federal Reporter 1st series to LAW.GOV. [JH]
Opening: Director for the Library and Information Technology Services, LSU Law
Reporting directly to the Chancellor of the Law Center, the Director is the chief administrative officer for the law library and information technology services and is responsible for all operations within both areas including planning, budgeting, and administration. The Director monitors both the library and IT services to ensure all programs and functions of each fully support the academic, research, and practical needs of Law Center students, faculty, and visitors. The Director coordinates the research component of the required first year course in Legal Research and Writing and teaches in the program along with other members of the Library professional staff and an opportunity to teach an advanced course as part of the Law Center curriculum. This position presents an opportunity for a creative administrator to help the Law Center enhance the library and information technology environments and will have an opportunity to work with the Chancellor in filling a number of key vacancies. The Director works with the Chancellor and other members of the Law Center community to help determine the overall course and direction of the Law Center.
Qualification Requirements: Candidates must have a JD from an ABA-accredited law school and a MLS or equivalent degree from an ALA-accredited institution. Candidates must have significant administrative experience in a law library and understand the functioning and operation of an academic law school library. Candidates must have a customer oriented approach to working with all Law Center constituencies to support the teaching, scholarship, and service goals of the Law Center and must work to review, evaluate, and align services with ongoing changes in the Law Center curriculum. Candidates must possess a familiarity with information and instructional technologies. Interested applicants should provide a cover letter, resume, and three references to www.lsusystemcareers.lsu.edu. The Law Center will begin reviewing applications on December 21, 2010 and the position will remain open until filled.
The LSU Paul M. Hebert Law Center is an Equal Opportunity/Equal Access Employer.
November 30, 2010
ProQuest Acquires CIS & UPA from LexisNexis
According to a press release, ProQuest acquired CIS & UPA from LexisNexis. The impact of this sale on law libraries is uncertain at this point. According to Mike Simmons, senior vice president of Specialty Businesses at LexisNexis: “We look forward to working with ProQuest – including licensing back certain legislative content sets from ProQuest for our legal professional customers.” Below is a list of products that were sold off and a list of products that remain with LexisNexis. [BA]
ProQuest has acquired the following LexisNexis products:
* LexisNexis Congressional (to be renamed ProQuest Congressional)
* LexisNexis Statistical Insight (to be renamed ProQuest Statistical
* LexisNexis DataSets (to be renamed ProQuest DataSets)
* LexisNexis Statutes at Large (to be renamed ProQuest Statutes at
* LexisNexis Government Periodical Index (to be renamed ProQuest
Government Periodical Index)
* LexisNexis Primary Sources in US History (to be renamed ProQuest
Primary Sources in US History)
* Congressional Hearings Digital Collection
* Congressional Record Permanent Digital Collection
* Congressional Research Digital Collection
* US Serial Set Digital Collection
* US Serial Set Maps Collection
* All CIS microform and print products
* All statistical microform and print products
* All UPA microform collections
LexisNexis is retaining these academic-oriented products:
* LexisNexis Academic
* LexisNexis Library Express
* LexisNexis Scholastic
* LexisNexis State Capital
* LexisNexis for Development Professionals
Loose Lips Sink Ships And Can Waive Attorney-Client Privilege
There was a recent case noted in the BNA Electronic Commerce & Law Report that shows what happens when counsel can't manage their plaintiffs. Anyone remember the case of the dancing baby on YouTube? Stephanie Lenz videotaped her child dancing to Prince's Lets Go Crazy. The music happened to be playing on kitchen counter top speakers. Universal Music Group set take down notices to YouTube, which promptly removed the video, and Lenz sent counter notices which caused YouTube to restore the video after a few weeks. Then the fun began.
Lenz, represented by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, sued Universal on the issue of whether the take down notice was issued in good faith, something required by the DMCA. A full statement of the details of applicable precedent and the Lenz case is at the Technically Legal Blog. Lenz raised a viable issue which could clarify one of the less litigated points of copyright law. The case, in fact, survived a motion to dismiss. So far, so good.
Lenz, apparently, complicated her own litigation with a bad case of the blabs. And not merely private blabs, but through a blog and online chats, revealing, in the process, litigation strategy, motivation, and details of her conversations with her attorneys at the EFF. Universal pounced on that pretty quickly and demanded discovery on those topics. A Magistrate Judge ruled that disclosure to third parties waived attorney-client privilege and ordered discovery to proceed on relevant points. The trial judge later affirmed the order, promising an opinion.
So, what got Miss Lenz in trouble? Oh, things like this, related in several email chats to friends:
we’re going back to the same judge with more facts, more case law and strengthening the federal aspect. We’re dropping the state charge, which was that they violated the contract w/YouTube . . . this way their threat of [h]itting me with a SLAPP suit (‘pay our lawyers’) is dust . . . b/c the SLAPP statute is a state thing, not a federal. If I make no state claim, they can’t respond with the SLAPP allegation . . . thing is, they’re fighting YouTube over the federal thing right now too . . . so in my case it’s like “pick a federal law you’re accusing me of breaking” it’s lose-lose for them on [DMCA] front but they can’t admit publicly that they’re filing DMCA notices b/c that would obliterate the YouTube fight they’re having . . . I told [EFF counsel] Corynne [McSherry] that since pursuing the federal portion of the case achieves the ends I have in mind, that’s fine to drop the state portion (that they filed a false DMCA notice, tha[t] they’re accusing me of copyright infringement and that a ruling in our case could clarify a cloudy decision known as “Rossi”)
you’ll love the brief my lawyer wrote up, once it’s a finished public document . . .She’s really going after UMPG & now Prince is the villain as well. Our lawsuit was filed before we knew he had a hand in it. Now she’s kind of hinting that they’re doing this b/c Prince bullied them into it and that there’s been ample public proof that he wants everyone targeted, no matter whether they’re actually guilty of anything. It’s delicious.
There's much more quoted in the order, including disclosures on motivation for the suit made to news web sites. It's obvious that the EFF took an interest in the case to clarify a portion of the law. Nothing wrong with that. It's their job as a public interest organization. I can't imagine what the lawyers at the EFF must be thinking, having to deal with the consequences of these communications. None of this had to happen. I have to believe that they warned Lenz on talking about the case in public as standard procedure in representing her. Let's hope she learned her lesson as the case goes forward. The next deposition she gives ought to be a pretty interesting read. Download the order 07cv3783_102210. [MG]