LLRXBuzz - May 13, 2002

The Latest on Legal Research

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National Criminal Index

Rapsheets.com has released its National Criminal Index (NCI) with 20% more criminal records than the FBI has in its fingerprint database. And while access to the FBI database is limited, private citizens can query the NCI for less than
$20.00 a name plus a monthly membership fee.

Privacy regulations require business to have permission before background checking for employment or tenant screening. Such privacy regulations do not apply to citizens, but the information can not be used for such purposes. Get more information in the press release at

Chilling Effects Clearinghouse

Chilling Effects (http://www.chillingeffects.org/) is a joint effort of the Electronic Frontier Foundation with several law schools to clarify First Amendment and intellectual law protections within the online arena. Such clarity extends to the misuse of actions taken to "chill" appropriate activity with explanations of legalese within Cease & Desist notices to Web site owners.

Suppose you have a Web site dealing with one of Chilling Effects topics such as Copyright, Trademarks or Fan Fiction. The site first discusses the topic and related areas of interest. Next, it covers FAQs and examples of Cease & Desist notices with highlighted links to additional information.

The site occasionally announces "weather reports" pertaining to Internet activities on its topics including what's cool and what activities could risk freeze warnings. Chilling Effects is also constructing a database of notices with analysis, to which everyone is invited to contribute. If you're at all interested in
Internet copyright issues or C&D news, this is a must-see.

Study Ranks States' Readiness for E-Commerce

From the Progressive Policy Institute, March 13, 2002.
According to the Census Bureau, e-commerce sales within states are growing twice as fast as retail sales, and are expected to top $3 trillion within two years. Digital technologies will be a driving force for growth in the 21st century just as mechanization was in the 1900s.

In a report for the Progressive Policy Institute, Robert Atkinson and Thomas Wilhelm measure how well individual states are, or are not, supporting Internet use by its citizens. And what kind of choices are they offering to their citizens as Internet users. What can they purchase, how are they taxed and what government services do they have access to?

The full report is downloadable (http://makeashorterlink.com/?E69221BD) as a Adobe Acrobat PDF file. Oregon ranked the highest followed by Utah and Indiana. On the low end of the scale were South Carolina and New Mexico. Some of the nation's regions appeared to be more e-commerce friendly than others. The Pacific region appeared to be the most friendly while the South Atlantic appeared to be the least friendly.

2001 Marks Decline in Campaign Fundraising

Check this out. The Federal Election Commission (FEC) reports a more than 7% decline in 2001 campaign fundraising from the 1999 figures. The majority of the decline was in Senate campaigns, down 18.6%, possibly because the open-seat races were in lower populated states than the open-seat
campaigns in 1999.

A breakdown of 2001 contributions showed 58% came from individuals, 31% from PACs and other committees and 6% from the candidates themselves. 1999 totals were 60% from individuals, 27% from PACs and other groups, and 8% from the candidates. Additional tables in HTML and Excel chart House
and Senate financial activity. Get more information from the press release at

National Law Library Adds CiteView

The National Law Library has added CiteView to its Virginia state database. Choosing the CiteView option in a court opinion provides the user with a list and full text of all legal cases that cite that court opinion. In the future, CiteView will also include editorial commentary about the nature of the subsequent case histories.

You can get more information about the new CiteView feature at
http://library.northernlight.com/FB20020509950000042.html, and more
information about the National Law Library at http://www.itislaw.com/.

Yahoo Giving New Popularity Pointers

Yahoo has added a couple of new popularity pointers to Yahoo News at http://news.yahoo.com/h/mt/?u. You can now get pointers to Yahoo's most popular picks (http://picks.yahoo.com/picks/most/) and the most popular
questions on Ask Yahoo! at http://ask.yahoo.com/ask/most/. Note that Ask Yahoo! is NOT Yahoo's new advice service. These new pointers are in addition to the most popular news in Canada, Denmark, France, India, China, etc.

AltaVista Makes News Images Available

Search engine AltaVista (http://www.altavista.com) has made two announcements in regard to its multimedia search. First off, it claims that its multimedia index has grown by 73 percent. Second, they've linked the multimedia index to their news images. More than 800 news images (photos, maps, charts, etc.) are made available every day.

The direct search is at http://www.altavista.com/sites/search/simage. A search for "luke helder" found no results, though a search for +pipe +mailboxes found 13 results, all of which seemed recent.

Maybe there's a lag between image generation and indexing, or maybe the name isn't getting attached to any photographs by AV's crawler.