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Ah, July 2016. The AALL Annual Meeting. The nominations of Trump and Clinton. Pokémon Go. Back in the day -- seven months ago -- I mused ( twice! ) about the connections between Pokémon Go and legal research. Since then, Pokémon Go has gone from a game that was changing the world to just another game. But wait ... there's an update : more Pokémon; more evolutions; more candy; and more! I doubt Pokém on Go will take over everything like it did in July. But you might see a few law students, attorneys, random visitors, and maybe even a hip judge (Neil Gorsuch, anyone?) stop by your place of employment if it's...
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The Metropolitan Museum of Art implemented a new Open Access policy on February 7, which makes more than 375,000 images of public-domain artworks in The Met’s collection available for free, unrestricted use. The Met’s digital catalog identifies images in the public domain with a Creative Commons Zero icon below the image: Creative Commons Zero (CC0) means that "[t]he person who associated a work with this deed has dedicated the work to the public domain by waiving all of his or her rights to the work worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law. You can copy, modify, distribute...
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AALL's Government Relations Office has released an Issue Brief from the Copyright Committee discussing Fox News Network, LLC v. TVEyes, Inc. , a case from the Southern District of New York. In 2013, Fox News sued TVEyes, claiming that TVEyes' inclusion of Fox News content in a searchable database of broadcast media was copyright infringement. TVEyes countered that its use of Fox News' content was fair use. The Southern District of New York issued two decisions, in 2014 and 2015, and the case is currently on appeal to the Second Circuit.
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Wanting go to the 110th AALL Annual Meeting & Conference in Austin, TX, July 15-18 and need some financial assistance to attend? Then the Annual Meeting Grant is for you. The Annual Meeting Grant Awards Jury is seeking applications for the AALL Annual Meeting Grant Award The deadline to apply is April 1, 2017. All information and the application about the award can be found at: Annual Meeting Grant Awards . The AALL Grants Program provides financial assistance to experienced law librarians who are actively involved in AALL or its chapters and to newer law librarians or graduate students who hold promise of future...
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Greetings, As a disclosure, I admit wasn't a fan of going to Texas in the middle summer to sweat and step over dead bats. But now, that the Lieutenant Governor is trying to pass an anti-transgender bathroom bill, I'm definitely not going. To further the ridiculousness, a Texas judge also decided to block a federal law to strengthen transgender rights: http://keyetv.com/news/local/texas-judge-blocks-federal-transgender-health-protections I'm not going to pretend I'm the go to advocate of LGBTQ rights. I also know my boycott will make no difference to motivated bigots. But, I like to think that I'm a decent person and that the AALL ought to have standards....
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In Canada, a court recently ruled that a paywall does not exempt news agencies and publishers from Canadian fair use rules. Fair dealing is the Canadian version of fair use in the United States. The concepts of fair use and fair dealing are similar, in that fair dealing provides an exemption from infringement for the use of protected works for purposes like research, education, parody, satire, criticism, and news. In this case, an online news agency, Blacklock's Reporter, a publication geared towards policy wonks, claimed that Canada's Department of Finance violated fair dealing by passing along two articles without authorization. Although subscribers...
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**posted on behalf of the editorial board. please excuse cross-posting** The Journal of Copyright in Education and Librarianship ( https://www.jcel-pub.org/ ) welcomes submissions for our next issue, Spring 2017. Works accepted include original research, practitioner experience papers, or legal analysis that discuss copyright as it relates to education and librarianship. Papers are selected by a process of peer review, with double-blind review of each paper. Although the Journal is published bi-annually in the fall and spring, articles will become immediately available online after they pass through peer review and editing. For more information,...
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Do you operate a website or provide internet access to faculty and grad students? And do you like not getting sued for copyright infringement? Then you should read this and update your DMCA Registered Agent filing with the Copyright Office. Back in the late 1990s Congress passed the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). The major provisions of DMCA created a system—commonly known as the notice-and-takedown system—that limits liability for online service providers such as ISPs, websites, and others, for copyright infringement claims based on their users’ conduct, but only so long as those providers agree to take down or stop...
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Perhaps you've noticed these phrases kicking around the internet recently, especially since the Presidential election: "Post-truth" Fake news Filter bubbles Confirmation bias Can we handle -- or even -- discern the truth? At least a few librarians say, yes, we can. The Ginger (Law) Librarian has a nice post about librarians, information literacy, and evaluating sources . Over the Thanksgiving weekend, two professors of information studies considered in detail how librarians might promote truth in a "post-truth" world ( 1 , 2 ). As legal information professionals, how should we help in separating truth from fiction, belief,...
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One of the most popular civil rights protest songs, "We Shall Overcome," is currently the subject of a copyright lawsuit. On November 21, the copyright claims in We Shall Overcome Foundation v. The Richmond Organization, Inc. , No. 16-cv-2725 , survived a motion to dismiss in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. “We Shall Overcome” is a derivative work of an African-American spiritual. The song’s origins can be traced back to 1909, when it was first printed and was called "We Will Overcome" at that time. The defendants possess two copyrights in the musical composition of “We Shall Overcome,”...
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The Presidential election is over. (Very technical or #nevertrump folks might point out that the Electoral College still must vote and that Congress must count the votes. But barring a major calamity for Donald Trump, he will be President. I oppose Trump myself -- but I'm trying to be realistic here.) What impacts might an election and a new President have for a law library or a legal information professional? There could be effects on staff and client morale, areas of legal practice, etc. But I want to focus now on the possibly exceptional -- but not implausible -- situation in which a legal information professional is unsure about providing service...
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I, for one, welcome our new Internet of Things contract overlords . (However, I'm still miffed at the Internet of Things for last week's attack on the rest of the Internet. Also, I'd be freaked out if Internet Thing 1 sued Internet Thing 2 for breach of contract. I presume the case would be heard and decided by the Honorable Internet Thing 3...) This kind of tech could have applications in law libraries: self-cataloging books; self-routing current awareness; etc. I suppose we have some of that automation already, though not via the Internet of Things. But right now I'm too mind-boggled by self-performing contracts and too deprived of caffeine to think...
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A few months ago, I wrote a couple of blog posts about Pokémon Go and legal research [ post one ; post Mewtwo ]. One aspect I didn't mention was "augmented reality" (AR), in which the game places an overlay upon your phone camera's display of the real world. Thus you can pretend you're catching Pikachu in the actual field or room in which you're standing. You can turn off the AR feature if you'd prefer to focus entirely on catching Pikachu. Likewise, you can find apps that overlay photos or text upon a place. The overlay of extra information upon an original image strikes me as similar to the overlay of headnotes, links to cited authorities,...
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As several blogs noted today , the site EveryCRSReport.com has just launched with more than 8,200 Congressional Research Service reports. It appears to be a useful resource, with features including a search engine, browsing by topic, RSS feeds by topic, and bulk downloads of metadata. The About page for EveryCRSReport says the site includes "every CRS report that’s available on Congress’s internal website." Moreover the number of reports "changes regularly" and presumably will increase. However, this page also indicates that "older reports" aren't available on the site. It refers the user to CRSReports.com , which is down at...
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The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed a summary judgment from the Southern District of New York, ruling that Barnesandnoble.com did not infringe on an e-book author’s rights by allowing a customer to download a free sample through the website’s cloud-based storage system. The case is Smith v. Barnesandnoble.com, LLC, 2d Cir., Docket No. 15-3508, 10/6/16. Louis Smith, an author of the book “The Hardscrabble Zone,” was published in 2009 by Smashwords. This title was listed for sale on barnesandnoble.com. By 2011, no copies of the book had sold, and Smith terminated the contract. Before the contract was terminated,...
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Individuals with visual impairments or other print disabilities currently have access to less than 5% of published works ; however, a treaty that recently entered into force in several countries aims to rectify this problem. On September 30th, 2016, the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works by Visually Impaired Persons and Persons with Print Disabilities entered into force in 20 countries, including Canada, Mexico, Korea, Brazil, and Australia. The Marrakesh Treaty requires that contracting parties include limitations and exceptions in their copyright laws to facilitate access to published materials by individuals with visual impairments...
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American Justice on Trial by Lisa Pearlman. Berkeley, CA : Regent Press, 2016. 520pp. 978-1-58790-369-4(paperback) $29.95. 978-1-58790-370-0 (e-book) $9.95. Review by Sheila Corman, Reference Librarian, Alameda County Law Library In her new book, American Justice on Trial , retired Judge Lisa Pearlman once again brings us a fascinating history of the Oakland Black Panther movement and the trial of Huey Newton. Although much of the information was part of her last book, Skies the Limit, in this version she expands each of those chapters, while adding two chapters on how policing in Alameda County has changed in the last five decades....
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Last month, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill to protect consumer reviews against "non-disparagement" clauses in contracts . The Senate passed a similar bill in 2015, indicating the potential for a law soon to shield reviews on sites such as Yelp and TripAdvisor. This law would join similar state "anti-SLAPP" laws , which protect statements on issues of public interest against "strategic lawsuits." However, according to the Volokh Conspiracy, some opponents of consumer reviews and other online statements have hit upon a new strategy -- fake lawsuits that result in real injunctions against web pages . A "plaintiff" sues a "defendant"...
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At the beginning of this year, the Federal Communications Commission proposed to “unlock the set-top box,” which would free consumers from the requirement of renting set-top boxes from their cable or satellite TV providers to watch content. This original proposal— Notice of Proposed Rulemaking: In the Matter of Expanding Consumers’ Video Navigation Choices , MB Docket No. 16-42 (Feb. 18, 2016) —required cable and satellite TV companies to make content available to third-party developers, thereby allowing these third-party developers to create new devices or apps to replace the set-top boxes. The FCC requested comment from...
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On July 6, 2016, AALL met by phone with the Copyright Office to discuss proposed revisions to Section 108, the "library exception" to the Copyright Act. The meeting was in response to the Copyright Office's June Notice of Inquiry , which invited stakeholders to meet with the Copyright Office to discuss specific questions related to possible updates to Section 108. The Copyright Office is preparing a draft update to Section 108 to submit to Congress, as indicated in its 2011 Priorities and Special Projects report. The NOI is the latest step in a multi-year effort to update Section 108 that began with the convening of the Section 108 Study Group in 2005....
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