Friday, March 27, 2009

Library Organizations To File Amicus Brief in Google Book Search Settlement

"The American Library Association (ALA), the Association of Research Libraries (ARL), and the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) said this week they will file an amicus brief pertaining to the pending Google Book Search settlement. ARL associate executive director Prue Adler told the LJ Academic Newswire the brief would be written by attorney Jonathan Band, author of the Guide for the Perplexed: Libraries and the Google Library Project Settlement, and would amplify for the court concerns library leaders voiced at recent meeting in Washington, DC."

The full story:

Berkman Center Provides Info on How To Blog Anonymously

While I don't encourage anonymity in digital writing because I'm strongly in favor of accountability, in some places you cannot say what you think about political events because if you do you could go to jail or even worse. So, for those who feel the need to blog anonymously, the Berkman Center has some advice.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Notice of Inquiry and Request for Comments on the Topic of Facilitating Access to Copyrighted Works for the Blind or Persons With Other Disabilities

From The Federal Register - verbatim:

Copyright Office

Notice of Inquiry and Request for Comments on the Topic of Facilitating Access to Copyrighted Works for the Blind or Persons With Other Disabilities; Notice of Public Meeting

AGENCY: United States Copyright Office, Library of Congress.

ACTION: Notice of inquiry and request for comments; notice of public meeting.

Public Meeting

The public meeting will be held in the Montpelier Room of the Library of Congress, James Madison Building, 6th Floor, 101
Independence Avenue, SE., Washington, DC 20559. the process for submitting requests to attend and observe or participate in the meeting, as well as the agenda, will be published on the Web site of the U.S. Copyright Office no later than April 8, 2009.

DATES: Initial comments on the Notice of Inquiry and Request for Comments are due on April 21, 2009. Reply comments are due on May 4, 2009. The public meeting will be held Monday, May 18, 2009, from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Statement of H. Thomas Wells Jr., President, American Bar Association Re: Anticipated Reinstatement of Pakistani Judges

"CHICAGO, March 19, 2009 – The American Bar Association welcomes the anticipated reinstatement by Pakistan of judges formerly barred from their posts. For more than two years the ABA has urged the government of Pakistan to restore the judiciary to its rightful role in a fair and free society. This reinstatement is heartening to all who believe in the importance of the rule of law to the functioning of a nation. An independent judiciary is every nation's strongest protector of justice, and justice is the strongest root of effective government."

Student 4th Amendment Search Case to be Heard by the Supreme Court April 21

Safford Unified School District v. Redding, Docket No. 08-479

Safford Unified School District v. Redding, Docket No. 08-479

Briefs can be read here:

Amicus Curiae

and, an excellent example of an Amicus Curiae Brief:

--the brief contains an *excellent* review of literature, I mean case law, that illustrates first amendment rights in the U.S..

Citizen Media Law Project and Cyberlaw Clinic Lead Amicus Effort Promoting Rights of Anonymous Online Speakers in Illinois

"Cambridge, MA - March 25, 2009 - In a case involving important First Amendment rights, the Citizen Media Law Project ("CMLP") joined a number of media and advocacy organizations, including Gannett Co., Inc., Hearst Corporation, Illinois Press Association, Online News Association, Public Citizen, Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, and Tribune Company, in asking an Illinois appellate court to protect the rights of anonymous speakers online by imposing procedural safeguards before requiring that their identities be disclosed."

YouTube Says China Blocks Site

From the Wall Street Journal:

According to writers Jessica Vascellaro and Geoffrey Fowler, "Access to GoogleInc.'s YouTube service was blocked by Chinese authorities, as the video-sharing site continues to wrestle with governments offended by some of its content."

[Today] The Wikipedia Revolution

From the Berkman Center: "The Wikipedia Revolution is the first narrative account of the remarkable success story of the "encyclopedia anyone can edit." Andrew Lih, a Wikipedia editor/administrator, academic and journalist, tells how the Internet's free culture community inspired its creation in 2001, and how legions of volunteers have emerged to create over 10 million articles in over 50 languages. The book recounts colorful behind-the-scenes stories of how obsessive map editors, automated software robots and warring factions have come to shape a complex online community of knowledge gatherers. Learn about the historical underpinnings of Wikipedia, of how a Hawaiian vacation and a fringe piece software from Apple Computer inspired the wiki concept, and realized the original read-and-write capabilities of the Tim Berners-Lee's World Wide Web. While Wikipedia has become firmly planted at the top of Google's search results, what are the challenges as sum of all human knowledge becomes more complete, and its problem is not growth, but reliability? Should we be putting so much trust in a resource created by anonymous nobodies?"

Friday, March 20, 2009

Recovery Act - Tribal Crime Data Collection, Analysis and Estimation Project

From - and I can't help reading this rhetorically. Considering the various data mining and data recovery RFPs I've seen recently, I don't know if this particular one is a good thing or a bad thing:

"On February 17, 2009, President Obama signed into law the landmark American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (the “Recovery Act”). As one of its many elements, the Recovery Act provides the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) with funding for grants to assist state, local, and tribal law enforcement (including support for hiring), to combat violence against women, to fight internet crimes against children, to improve the functioning of the criminal justice system, to assist victims of crime, and to support youth mentoring. DOJ is committed to working with our national, state, local, and tribal partnerships to ensure this funding invests in the American workforce."

Perelman's Theory of Argumentation and Natural Law

Posted on SSRN by Francis Joseph Mootz III, William S. Boyd School of Law, UNLV

His abstract, quoted:
Chaim Perelman and Lucie Olbrechts-Tyteca published "The New Rhetoric" fifty years ago, renewing interest in the rhetorical tradition and generating a diverse body of scholarship. This article draws from a plenary talk delivered at the international conference, "The Promise of Reason," held at the University of Oregon to mark the publication anniversary. I argue that Perelman's insistence on the absence of certainties and the need for argumentation in matters relating to law and justice has interesting, even if surprising, connections to the natural law tradition. I contend that there are at least three points of convergence: (1) natural law claims are important, and perhaps unavoidable, commonplaces in legal practice; (2) natural law claims can be viewed as invoking Perelman's famous, and often misunderstood, idea of a universal audience; and (3) the natural law tradition can be reconceived by "naturalizing rhetoric," by which I mean recognizing that human nature is rhetorical. A naturalized rhetoric embraces the paradox that non-essentialism is essential to our being, and that we can find a foundation for reflection in anti-foundationalism. I conclude that Perelman's theory of argumentation provides a way to resuscitate natural law theorizing while moving beyond the false certainties that Perelman understood only impede our quest for justice.

Internet filter list of porn exposed

In Austrailia: "THE Rudd Government's plans for a nationwide internet filter are in jeopardy after its top-secret blacklist of banned web pages was leaked."

The comments attached to this article are spectacular.,24897,25214571-15306,00.html

Iran blogger dies in Evin prison

"Reports from Iran say Omid Mirsayafi, a blogger who had been jailed for insulting the country's ruling clerics, has died in Tehran's main prison."

U.K. to monitor, store all social-network traffic?

"The U.K. government is considering the mass surveillance and retention of all user communications on social-networking sites, including Facebook, MySpace, and Bebo."

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Swedes say no to copyright law: poll

Support is weak among Swedes for the new IPRED copyright law designed to make it easier to investigate suspected cases of illegal file sharing, a new poll shows.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Orphan Works Act

Legislation is pending in Congress that would ease the “orphan works” problem - this is a nice summary.

WIPO saw a record 2,329 complaints filed in 2008, an 8 percent increase over the previous year.

A record number of cybersquatting complaints were filed at the World Intellectual Property Organization in 2008, and the organisation is preparing for a potentially much larger set of concerns as the launch of an unknown number of new domains approaches.