Features and Columns — August, 2014

ShoppingBots and Online Shopping Resources 2012

Marcus P. Zillman's guide, great for holiday and year round shopping, comprises a comprehensive listing of shoppingbot and online shopping resources and sites on the Internet. Comparison shopping for books, electronics, gadgets, clothing, green products, hotels? Looking for coupons, discounts, vouchers or last minute deals? Do you want to support local, regional or national products and services? Marcus' wide ranging listing highlights reliable, efficient sites and services to compare and contrast your shopping choices, and to make the experience more cost effective and satisfying, now and year round. — Published November 10, 2011

October, 2011

The Digital Death of Copyright's First Sale Doctrine

An important copyright case won't be argued in the Supreme Court, which on October 3, 2011 declined to review Vernor v. Autodesk, a Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision involving the applicability of copyright's first sale doctrine to transactions involving software and other digital information goods. Law professor Annmarie Bridy discusses the wide reaching impact of the first sale doctrine, without which there would be no free market for used books, CDs, or DVDs, because the copyright owner's right of distribution would reach beyond the first sale, all the way down the stream of commerce. — Published October 31, 2011

For Future SAKE

NPR's Senior Librarian Laura Soto-Barra highlights specific "Future Ready" skills that comprise e-leadership competencies: Skills, Attitude, Knowledge and Experience. — Published October 30, 2011

FOIA Facts: DOJ FOIA Regulations

Scott A. Hodes addresses the responses from various groups about the proposed new Department of Justice ("DOJ") FOIA regulations which call for DOJ components to "respond to the request as if the excluded records did not exist. This response should not differ in wording from any other response given by the component" when applying an exclusion to the FOIA. — Published October 28, 2011

Law Periodical Publishing Practices and Trends

Law librarian, criminal defense attorney and prolific author Ken Strutin brings into focus how electronic access to scholarly information is impacting library collection policies as well as professional publication formats, and as a result, how a new legal research environment is developing. Ken's article provides a selected collection of resources about the law review publishing process, emerging trends in the information cycle, and practical guides for developing an article and getting it to press. — Published October 26, 2011

September, 2011

The FLARE Index to Treaties Extended

The FLARE Index to Treaties (FIT), launched in March 2009 on the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies web server has been extended to cover about a third more treaties and conventions. In the past two years the Index has established itself as a valuable finding tool for the international lawyer. It is a fully searchable database now indexing and listing over 2,000 of the most significant multilateral treaties concluded from 1353 onwards and a number of significant bilateral treaties signed between 1353 and 1815. This article, by Steven Whittle and Peter Clinch describes the background to the extension and technical aspects of the updated implementation employed to deliver new content and finding features. — Published September 22, 2011

Ingenious Beta Catalog Interface - Good for Academics and Other Serious Users - in Newest Beta Sprint Video from DPLA

In his continuing review of the evolving Harvard-based Digital Public Library of America, David H. Rothman highlights the online demonstration of an ingenious catalog interface that he believes should please many an academic. — Published September 13, 2011

August, 2011

Ghost in the Machine: Managing the Information Afterlife

Ken Strutin addresses how the scope of digital estates is growing by leaps and bounds. Parents are registering domain names for their unborn children and social media sites are creating cyber cemeteries where friends and family can visit the last online impression of the dearly departed. The majority of transactions in modern society are created and deposited in digital environments operated by third parties on remote sites. Yet, the rights of users and their inheritors to that content are not clearly spelled out in statutes or court decisions. Ken's guide gathers current research about digital content ownership and disposition rights at the points where the life cycle has been interrupted or concluded. — Published August 24, 2011

The Growing Legal Implications of Tasers: A primer on the development, uses, and consequences of Tasers

Maureen Moran addresses research associated with the civil liberties, legal and law enforcement issues involving widespread availability - approximately 11,500 law enforcement agencies have acquired CEDs, or conducted energy devices. Tasers are the most common electronic control device used by law enforcement today. — Published August 18, 2011

FOIA Facts: Information is not Free

Scott A. Hodes explains how the spending reductions mandated by the recent Debt Ceiling bill will have tremendous impacts on citizen's accessing government information on a number of fronts. While most in Congress will tell you they are in favor of various access laws, paying for them is another matter. — Published August 6, 2011

2011 Sparky Award Winners Announced, People's Choice Contest Now Open

"Four new student films on the importance of Open Access to research and data have been voted the best by a panel of new media experts, students, and librarians in "Open Up!", the fourth annual Sparky Awards. Calling on students to articulate their support in a two-minute video, the contest has been embraced by campuses all over the world and has inspired imaginative expressions of student support for the potential of Open Access to foster creativity, innovation, and problem solving." — Published August 3, 2011

July, 2011

A Compilation of State Lawyer Licensing Databases

Trevor Rosen and Andrew Zimmerman's updated guide focuses on websites that will help you determine whether a lawyer is currently licensed to practice in a particular state. — Published July 24, 2011

Pretrial Detention, Bail and Due Process

Ken Strutin's guide comprises recent publications and other notable resources concerning the relationship between the administration of bail and the requirements of due process. Pretrial detention of suspects directly impacts the presumption of innocence. The cornerstone of the justice system is that no one will be punished without the benefit of due process. Incarceration before trial, when the outcome of the case is yet to be determined, cuts against this principle. The Founders were aware of the dangers inherent in indiscriminate imprisonment, which is one of the main reasons behind the inclusion of the Eighth Amendment in the Bill of Rights, prohibiting excessive bail. — Published July 2, 2011

June, 2011

SharePoint and the Law Library

Lorette S.J. Weldon highlights the challenges her organization has encountered in its use of SharePoint to manage information through a client-matter-based-interface for attorneys, product management marketing and the library. — Published June 23, 2011

Hunting For A Job? Try the Internet

Acknowledging the economy in the past several years has made the job search process even more challenging, Rhonda Keaton and Barbara Fullerton provide proactive suggestions and a guide to a wide range of sources to support and leverage a multifaceted search effort within the competitive job arena. — Published June 18, 2011

FOIA Facts: The Most Transparent Administration in History?

Scott A. Hodes argues that we have no real benchmark to determine executive branch success in fulfilling Presidential promises about openness and transparency. Rather he contends that the measure is not each time the administration doesn’t release something in a timely fashion to say it has failed the test. — Published June 19, 2011

Commentary - Digital Public Library of America - can it live up to its huge potential?

David Rothman continues his commentary on the challenges faced by the Digital Public Library of America. He suggests the DPLA help state, local and federal governments create a companion digital public library system that would focus on the provision of urgently needed content and services, and share some but not all resources with an academic effort and even offer a common catalogue for those wanting it. — Published June 16, 2011

May, 2011

"Link Rot" and Legal Resources on the Web: A 2011 Analysis by the Chesapeake Digital Preservation Group

Sarah Rhodes describes and documents the work of the Chesapeake Digital Preservation Group's fourth annual investigation of link rot among the original URLs for online law and policy-related materials archived though the group's efforts. Link rot" is used to describe a URL that no longer provides direct access to files matching the content originally harvested from the URL. The Chesapeake Group focuses primarily on the preservation of Web-published legal materials, which often disappear as Web site content is rearranged or deleted over time. In the four years since the program began, the Chesapeake Group has built a digital archive collection comprising more than 7,400 digital items and 3,200 titles, all of which were originally posted to the Web. — Published May 19, 2011

Postcard from Vienna: The Vis Moot and the Triumph of Foreign and International Law

Nicholas Pengelley vibrantly documents, with accompanying photos, his latest experiences as evaluator of written memoranda, arbitrator at oral arguments, and sometime team coach at the Vis Moot, in which he has participated for a decade. The moot, which always takes place in the week leading up to Easter, is held in Vienna because of its associations with the Vienna Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods ("CISG"). This is the law of the contract for all of the moot problems, which always involve a contractual sale of goods dispute between parties from two different countries. — Published May 19, 2011

Commentary: Why we need two separate digital library systems - One for academics and another for the rest of America

In Mending Wall, a 1914 poem blessedly in the public domain, Robert Frost gives us a classic dictum for literature and life, and maybe for inter-organizational politics in particular: "Good fences make good neighbors." On the whole Frost is anti-fence. But he understands his neighbor's side; what's more, "Mending Wall" resonates even in this era of global networks and sharable digital files. Frost died at 88 on January 29, 1963, just a little over two years after his poetry recital in the chilly Washington air at John Fitzgerald Kennedy's inauguration; but on the Web you can still hear him reading Mending Wall and more.

— Published May 15, 2011

The Age of Innocence: Actual, Legal and Presumed

Ken Strutin reasons that any accounting of the justice system would put the presumption of innocence at the top of the ledger. The premise underlying this evidentiary rule is that no one should be found guilty of a crime unless the state has convinced a jury with proof beyond a reasonable doubt. The materials Ken has researched and documented for this guide focus on the drift from unitary innocence, which encompasses all possible claims to a wrongful conviction, to factual innocence rooted in exoneration jurisprudence. According to some scholars, factual exonerations may have confounded the wisdom behind the Blackstone Ratio and its overarching message, i.e., criminal law and procedure ought to be weighted in favor of innocence to avoid wrongful conviction, even if there is a chance that the guilty will benefit as well. In other words, a system of justice that is fair to all and seeks to protect the innocent from wrongful prosecutions must apply safeguards that will be over inclusive. The calculations of truth and fairness are rooted in a system of justice based on due process (or a presumption of due process). The scholarship collected here attempts to address questions of whether the concept of innocence is selective or categorical. — Published May 5, 2011

April, 2011

Researching Australian Law

Nicholas Pengelley and Sue Milne present a completely updated guide to researching law in Australia. The Commonwealth of Australia is a common law jurisdiction; a federation within the British Commonwealth, with Queen Elizabeth II as its head of state. The Queen is represented in Australia by a Governor-General at the national level, and in each of the six states by a Governor. The Australian Constitution, embodying the doctrine of separation of powers, prescribes the authority of the executive, legislative and judicial arms of government. It was enacted British Act of Parliament in 1901 and the then separate colonies were united as states of one country. As well as the six states there are three self-governing territories (one of them, the Australian Capital Territory, is the site of the federal seat of government, Canberra) and a number of external territories - islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans, and the Australian Antarctic Territory. — Published April 15, 2011

A Guide For the Perplexed Part IV: The Rejection of the Google Books Settlement

On March 22, 2011, Judge Denny Chin rejected the proposed settlement in copyright infringement litigation over the Google Library Project. Judge Chin found that the settlement was not "fair, reasonable, and adequate" as required by the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Judge Chin issued the decision over a year after the fairness hearing he conducted. His opinion agrees in large measure with the objections to the settlement asserted by the U.S. Department of Justice at the hearing and in its written submissions. This paper by Jonathan Band continues the series in which he discusses the opinion and where it leaves Google Books Search. — Published April 11, 2011

A Proposal for Creating a National Digital Library System in the Public Mode

David H. Rothman contends that "education at all levels should be the main priority of a public national digital library system even though it should serve many purposes. How can we train Americans for more complicated jobs, in this high-tech, globalized era, if they lack knowledge of the fundamentals? Even the nontechnical would benefit as, for example, better corporate strategists or marketers with a superior understanding of cultures outside the United States, and of history, commerce, and life in general. And if we can elevate the quality of public schools, not just private ones, won't U.S. colleges and universities come out ahead with an enhanced pool of talent?" — Published April 9, 2011

March, 2011

Emerging Legal Issues in Social Media: Part II

This is the second installment of an examination of notable and new developments in social media and legal practice. Part One highlighted important statutes, case law, ethics opinions, along with extensive news media coverage of law-related social media issues. Part Two focuses on recent items that have appeared in professional journals and blogs, 1 law reviews, reports, books and secondary resources, along with references to current awareness sources. 2

— Published March 21, 2011

SharePoint, Training Not Required

Lorette Weldon's research has identified that librarians are using SharePoint in the corporate, government, and non-profit sectors. She expertly identifies and illustrates how to leverage the power of this application through an understanding of the site templates that Microsoft bundles in SharePoint "out-of-the-box". These templates are based on social networking abilities and not program coding. Through "plug and play" efforts librarians can find the features in SharePoint that will assist them in managing their multifaceted "collections." — Published March 20, 2011

FOIA Facts: Funding FOIA

Scott A. Hodes contends that reducing FOIA Operations any further is the wrong way to go if the objectives of increasing government transparency are to be pursued. The actual process of searching for records in response to FOIA requests and processing those requests requires human interaction - in other words, while the documents themselves can be digitized, a person will always be required to search for and process responsive records. — Published March 19, 2011

Knowledge Discovery Resources 2011 - An Internet MiniGuide Annotated Link Compilation

This new guide by Marcus P. Zillman focuses on the most current and reliable resources for knowledge discovery available on the Internet. With the constant addition of new and pertinent information to the web, it is very easy to experience information overload. A critical requirement for researchers is finding the best knowledge discovery resources and sites in both the visible and invisible World Wide Web. These carefully selected knowledge and information discovery sources will help you accomplish your research goals. — Published March 12, 2011

Breaking Down Link Rot: The Chesapeake Project Legal Information Archive's Examination of URL Stability*

This guide for researches by Sarah Rhodes focuses on the highly significant impact of "link rot", which refers to the loss or removal of content at a particular Uniform Resource Locator (URL) over time. When an attempt is made to open a documented link, either different or irrelevant information has replaced the expected content, or else the link is found to be broken, typically expressed by a 404 or "not found" error message. This is not an uncommon occurrence. Web-based materials often disappear as URLs change and web sites are changed, updated, or deleted. — Published March 1, 2011

February, 2011

Basic Search Set-up in "Out of the Box" SharePoint

IT Librarian and SharePoint expert Lorette Weldon provides guidance on requisite questions for staff and other users to ask for content in Microsoft SharePoint out of the box (OOTB). The research requires you to ask the four "W"'s: What; Who; Where; When. What type of SharePoint item do you wish to obtain? Who contributed and/or created the SharePoint item? Where did the SharePoint item come from (the source)? When was the SharePoint item created and/or modified? This would work for Windows SharePoint Services (WSS) 3.0 and Microsoft Office SharePoint Server (MOSS) 2007. WSS is the basic compilation of applications. — Published February 12, 2011