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Tuesday, April 30, 2002

Smart Stuff: Tech Briefs It's getting easier to find the text of court decisions free and online, but finding the briefs filed in a particular case can still be a challenge. The Samuelson Law, Technology and Public Policy clinic, and U.C. Berkeley's School of Information Management & Systems, appear to have a rescue strategy in mind. These folks have put up a searchable BriefBank for "law, technology and public policy" cases. The site appears to be in draft form (there are several "prototypes"), but is a great idea. The plan seems to be to become a central repository for briefs you might otherwise find spread around at other sources, and possibly only at fee-based ones. As the "about" page presently puts it, "The growing legal field of techlaw now contains a vast array of legal documents. Researchers are faced with wide-ranging searches. Our field is largely ignored by large information services, except in the instance that a decision goes to the U.S. Supreme Court. Current competing systems lack relevance to techlaw and are expensive, too large, disparate, and require a lot of support."

Monday, April 29, 2002

"Generic: Relating to or descriptive of an entire group or class..." [via Bartleby] Last fall, RealNames and Verisign got together to institute registration for "Keywords" that work in Microsoft Internet Explorer, as CNN, PC World and others reported at the time. In theory, Keywords have much to recommend them, in the way that ActiveWords does: type "la times" into the IE address bar and go straight to the Los Angeles Times web page - as long the Times has registered the Keyword (it has). As of February 13, 2002, RealNames began offering Keyword registration: for $49.00 U.S., you can instantly register a "Basic" Keyword that, when used, includes an ad for the service: "Basic Keywords are lower traffic web addresses which are available for immediate registration. Basic Keywords provide direct navigation through the Internet Explorer address bar and include a Keyword Window that is displayed at the top of your website. Basic Keywords do not work in MSN searches." [from RealNames] (Try the "la times" example.) Fees are charged on a per-country basis; if you'd like your Basic Keyword to work in the U.S. and Austria, for example, you will pay two $49.00 fees. (Most available countries are $49.00, but prices vary. France, for example, came up in my search results as costing $799.00 U.S.) Unlike the more expensive "Plus" product, "Basic" keywords do not appear to be subject to review by a human prior to registration; rather, a check is done to see if the desired keyword is available. If it is unregistered but uses a recognized brand or potential trademark, the would-be registrant gets this message: "Your Keyword may be available as a Keyword Plus. It must first be reviewed and approved for appropriate ownership." "Basic" keywords that do not raise such an "ownership" flag need only be available and not generic:
"When you check for Keyword availability, the RealNames database checks for terms which are already registered and filters out many generic terms. Generic terms include 'common terms' which can be found in the dictionary or identify an entire category of goods, products, or services. Terms such as these are identified in the RealNames system as generic are not available for registration." [sic; from RealNames]
So far, so good. But here's what caught my attention. A friend was telling me over the weekend about the Keywords he had registered, and they struck me as, well, common terms that identified an entire category of goods, products or services. So, to get a better idea of what RealNames considers too generic to register as a Basic keyword, I ran a few searches of my own: ● "plumber" - too generic, not available. ● "California plumber" - available. ● "best California plumber" - available. ● "guru" - too generic, not available. ● "plumbing guru" - available. ● "web guru" - available. ● "expert" - too generic, not available. ● "clog expert" - available. ● "web expert" - available. Elsewhere on the site (follow the link "for detailed descriptions of reasons why your Keyword may not be approved"), while explaining its "Plus" product, RealNames explains what it seeks to accomplish by restricting registration of "generic" terms:
"Web users understand that this term could reasonably be expected to apply to a collection of web sites or businesses, and would expect to receive a list of web sites that meet their needs, rather than to navigate directly to one particular site. User expectation, rather than asserted intellectual property rights, is the primary criteria during Keyword Review. Trademarks, which are granted by industry category, do not supersede the requirement for clear user expectation within the Country Keyword locale. As such, we encourage our customers to choose Keywords that represent their unique identities, across industries and geographies. Anything that increases the specificity of a Keyword will contribute to its success. We encourage Keyword submissions that include specific qualifiers, such as geographic location, e.g. Henry's Books of Monterey."
I'm curious: if you entered the term "web expert," would you expect to receive a list of sites, rather than navigating to one in particular because someone had paid a $49.00 fee?

Friday, April 26, 2002

Myths Debunked, With More To Come Eugene Volokh discusses common copyright misconceptions, and is contributing to a Cyberspace Law for Nonlawyers book. Will I have to May I burn the bar card to give it a read?

Speaking of Broadband On Monday this week I was working from home, so was there when Pacific Bell cold-called me about signing up for DSL. I've been an ISDN dinosaur for years as friends and colleagues have bemoaned their outings with high speed access. (See, e.g., Buzz.) I've turned down DSL before because of installation and reliability issues, and the thought of speed fluctuating with neighborhood use has kept me off cable. Satellites just seem more trouble than they're worth. So you're probably thinking I told the Pac Bell guy to remove me from the call list and that was that. He probably wishes I did. Instead, I cross-examined him into having to call his supervisor, who withstood the onslaught pretty well - though his responses had the ring of the saved sinner more than the telco rep (We know we really screwed this up before, but now we're Healed.). I had to give the guys a chance after all the talk of despair and redemption. The equipment's in the mail, so we'll see. I'm not disconnecting the ISDN any time soon.

Thursday, April 25, 2002

More "Complaints And Grievances" The samples alone are worth the visit.

Pardon me while I impersonate Andy Rooney for a moment 1) The Senior Class Trip. When exactly did this become a U.S. high school mainstay? I'm all for the broadening experience of travel, but kids today seem to be cruising the Bahamas, sashaying through Manhattan, etc. My most meaningful Class Trips were to Bob's Big Boy. 2) Junk Door Mail. We already contend with junk postal mail, junk email and telemarketers. Now this sort of thing ("Some cities require permits" - not mine, apparently). Just who told all the local retailers and service providers they could rubberband stuff to my front doorknob? The one I will read is the one offering to electrify the thing. 3) Cell Phone Call Forwarding. Oh, so now I can't leave the cell phone behind even if I want to? Great. (I have mixed feelings about this last one. My real gripe is I was so out of it I didn't know you could do this until a couple of days ago. Frighteningly, it's coming in handy.)

Tuesday, April 23, 2002

Live Justice Rory's court is webcasting oral argument. Cool.

2+2 and 1+3 For Will, a discussion from Signals, "an online magazine of analysis for biotechnology executives," examining the USPTO's gene patent guidelines and Amgen, Inc. v. Hoechst Marion Roussel, Inc., 126 F. Supp. 2d 69 (D. Mass. 2001):
"The PTO's new guidelines clearly describe the current criteria for patenting gene-based inventions. They've raised the bar by requiring that an invention show a specific and substantial utility, thus effectively eliminating patents on sequences of unknown function (such as first-generation EST patents). But the new guidelines still haven't answered all the questions posed by researchers, nor have they put to rest some genuine concerns voiced by academia. Despite the controversy and stiffer requirements, however, the PTO should grant scores of new gene patents in the next few years. Whether these patents will hold up in court is another matter -- as Amgen and TKT are still discovering.
. . .
Judge Young concluded that 'In order to avoid infringing a product claim, a competitor must not make that product regardless whether the process used to do so differs in some way from the process or processes described in the patent. If indeed the same product is ultimately obtained, it matters not that in order to do so the competitor tweaked the process in some manner.' "
Judge Young's lengthy decision is published, and while the article references an appeal it does not appear to have been pursued. An interesting related item: In February, BIO and Ernst & Young announced their collaboration on "a new primer and resource of first resort for the federal judiciary: A Jurists’ Guide to 21st Century Biotechnology." The site, which is up but still in "draft" form, provides background on how patent law has developed and been applied to the genetic and other biotechnology fields. Judges will find it useful, as it links to relevant materials, defines technical terms, and presents things in a neutral, even-handed manner. The site's "unresolved issues" page also looks promising as a way to highlight areas of controversy, but for now it strikes me as pretty brief.

Plan B Fishrush's Plan B has potential. It would get us out of the office, and doesn't current intel reveal the rebels have fled to Santorini?

Monday, April 22, 2002

Bajahhh Just returned from a few days in Baja California, which, if you haven't been, is much like Mars, only warmer and less red. Cream and russet are the hues of choice in a region that is six parts geology lesson, and, closer to Cabo San Lucas, two parts golf, one part strip club and one part sport-fisher paradise (actually, the last two may be interchangeable). My favorite area is up the Sea of Cortez side, toward La Paz and beyond. There, precipitous mountainsides drain to the coast by the most numerous and efficient means, and tracks crossing the occasional plateau barely resist forming Nazcan figures. Flood plains of cracked sand speak of bygone hurricanes. The sea engulfs the land in aqua shallows that plunge to immediate blue depths and form a massive, shifting foundation for the comet-tailed whitecaps and pangas skidding above. Just such a view accompanied my airborne read of Michelle Delio's article in Wired last week. The piece emphasizes how linking issues keep coming before judges who struggle to resolve them on a case by case basis with the help of common sense but scant precedent. The comments to Ernie's post illustrate some of the perspectives, and most are in line with Judge Harry Hupp's reasoning a couple of years ago that deep linking is "analogous to using a library's card index to get reference to particular items, albeit faster and more efficiently," and as such would not involve copying at all. Judge Hupp also noted that even when a link does copy its source (such as when data is not merely referenced but reproduced), a court should consider whether only unprotected factual information is involved, and whether the fair use doctrine may permit the use. Judge Hupp's orders in Ticketmaster v. never became part of a published opinion though, and decisional authority remains scarce. It would be nice if Dr. Bechtold would update his link controversy page, as he was doing a nice job keeping track of pending cases and scholarship worldwide, but he seems to be taking a break. If anyone else has tackled this task, I'd appreciate hearing about it.

Wednesday, April 17, 2002

Scrawl Or Click Y'know, I thought the e-sign law would be a bigger deal too. [, via llrx] I think it's a standards/useability issue. If the ability to comply with the law were built into standard email packages, we'd see more action here. As it is third party software is pretty much mandatory (e.g. CIC and Silanis), and no one wants to risk having an unenforceable or invalid document because they picked the wrong e-signature tool.

Hubba Hubba Sony's Vaio PCV-MXS10 edges out Apple's iMac in a feature by feature comparison, says Steve Morgenstern for Popular Science. Apple got highest marks for loading a music player with portable tunes and making DVDs; Sony's PictureGear, pre-installed Photoshop Elements and four flavors of movie editing software put it on top in those categories. My take is that at $3,400, the Sony should ship with more than stripped-down versions of Photoshop and Premiere. And that Apple's iTools add the Web to the hub quite nicely. (Sony's Imagestation may be striving for something similar (?) but is not online at the moment.)

Tracking SLAPPs Here's something I haven't noticed before on the California Courts site: a county-by-county log of cases in which a defendant is arguing the suit violates the anti-SLAPP law (CCP Section 425.16, barring Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation).

Microsoft/Mac OS Patches Running IE and Office on a Mac? Then chances are you need to patch some security holes (more here and here). The downloads live here: IE (Apple's site); Office (Microsoft's site). [The Screen Savers] I am too new to the Mac to grumble knowledgeably about this sort of thing not happening before Microsoft made products for the platform; this stuff's routine for an ol' Windows user.

Speaking Of Mel With the help of Elaine and Ken Layne, my dad's resistance to blogging is crumbling. This is all to the good, I promise.

Tuesday, April 16, 2002

Truer Speech When More Are Speaking Julie Hilden's piece today in FindLaw's Writ ("The First Amendment And The Internet: Why Traditional Legal Doctrines Apply Differently In Cyberspace") takes a thought provoking look at how premises and assumptions in First Amendment jurisprudence can be turned topsy-turvy by interactions on the Internet. Even so, Hilden believes further regulation is not necessary and that the truth-sifting effect of democratized Internet speech may be an appropriate new factor in the analysis.

Monday, April 15, 2002

"A Web Of Trust;" GrepLaw Martin Wolk's MSNBC article today considers blogs and businesses, with perspectives from Ernie Svenson, Evan Williams, John Robb and Dan Gillmor, among others. Ernie focuses on symbiosis, interaction and trust - all of which should help propel blogging across the individual/institutional divide. (Thanks, Buzz.) Speaking of which: seen this yet? "GrepLaw: Geeks. Laws. Everything In Between." (Part of Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet & Society.)

Notes From A Busy Weekend In the course of journeying to and from the southeastern U.S. in too little time, I caught Saturday's BookTV broadcast on C-SPAN 2, featuring Michael Moore (Stupid White Men), Benjamin Cheever (Selling Ben Cheever) and Barbara Ehrenreich (Nickel And Dimed). I had hoped to link to the online version, but unfortunately this one's not on the list. It was excellent - all of the writers were articulate and funny, and offered unique perspectives on economic realities. Time's side-by-side articles, Making Time For Baby and The Cost Of Starting Families had my head whipsawing like a Wimbeldon spectator's. Conclusion: it's never easy. My admiration for those managing families, at any age, knows no bounds. Finally, on a lighter note (ha), it seems California is one of the twenty-seven U.S. states without a single Waffle House. For those so unfortunately situated, the Web offers the look and sound, but not the "scattered, smothered, chunked, topped, diced & peppered" hashbrowns.

Thursday, April 11, 2002

Are You A "Public Figure?" The convergence of these items prompts me to pose the question - • John Hiler's article about, and proposed Code Of Ethics for, weblog "journalists." ("Sometimes a blog is just a blog. But sometimes it's not.") • Chris Pirillo's recent troubles, and Eric Norlin's observations about "super node status." • Attorney Richard Sprague's agreement to be treated as a "limited purpose" public figure in his libel lawsuit against the ABA, stemming from an ABA Journal article that dubbed him "perhaps the most powerful lawyer-cum-fixer in the state" (Sprague doesn't like the "fixer" part, because it could imply he improperly manipulates the outcome of cases). [] As illustrated by Richard Sprague's suit against the ABA, "public figure" status makes it more difficult to bring and win a defamation case. See also The Chilling Effects Clearinghouse ("The degree of protection [against a defamation claim] generally depends on whether the person commented about is a private or public figure and whether the statement is regarding a private or public matter. According to the New York Times rule, when the plaintiff is a public figure and the matter is also public, the plaintiff must prove 'malice' on the part of the defendant. If both parties are private individuals, there is less protection because the plaintiff only needs to prove negligence;" emphasis added). The proliferation of weblogs is bound to add twists to this area of law. Traditionally (and logically), public figure status has turned on "prominence," and can attach to those who, for example, "thrust themselves to the forefront of particular public controversies in order to influence the resolution of the issues involved." See Gertz v. Robert Welch, Inc., 418 U.S. 323, 345 (1974). Can the day be far off when a blogger will attempt to answer libel allegations (see John Hiler's article) by pointing to the subject's Daypop and Blogdex numbers?

Wednesday, April 10, 2002

Urgent Fax California Senator Debra Bowen's Anti-Fax Spam Bill (SB 1358) cleared committee this week. [Newsbytes, via llrx] Says Bowen, “Junk faxes aren’t just an annoying invasion of privacy, they also force people to foot the advertising costs of fax advertisers trying to hock wireless phone services, office equipment, vacation packages, and more. I put a survey up on my website in January to ask people about junk faxes and virtually all of the more than 400 people who have taken the survey said they – not some marketing company – should have the right to decide what gets sent to their fax machine.” I subscribe to a Web based fax service and get tons of the stuff. Bowen also spearheaded the 1998 amendment to California Business and Professions Code Section 17538.4, regarding unsolicited faxes and email. (As of this morning, 207 addresses are being filtered from my work email account alone.)

InstaPundit and ConservativeEconomist Articles Glenn Reynolds has a Tech Central Station column today on the future of weblogs. ("[E]ven top-of-the-line mainstream news institutions like The New York Times are becoming more like webloggers all the time, cutting the size and number of foreign bureaus, and relying more and more on wire services for original reporting to which they add commentary and 'news analysis.' That opens an opportunity for a widely-dispersed network of individuals to make a contribution.") Glenn also points to another TCS column by James Miller. Miller speculates about bloggers "selling out" if the economy picks up: "Soon, I suspect, the Internet will become a more profitable place to operate. When it is again profitable to attract a wide audience, bloggers will be hired by media companies. While not all bloggers will 'sell out' / 'sign up' those that do will get the advantage of working under a media brand name and will consequently grow in popularity and influence." Miller predicts "signing up" will occur because independent bloggers will be drowned out by the multi-media roar of corporate sites: "When high-speed Internet access proliferates...professional sites will go multi-media and the solo bloggers won't be able to compete." He presumes that "selling out" will follow. Maybe. But I'm reminded of the SXSW audience member who observed that fake corporate blogs are "like your dad trying to buy pot." They won't get read. So "selling out" has a built-in disincentive. See generally Gonzo Marketing.

Tuesday, April 09, 2002

Listening To Frank, And The Radio Frank Paynter writes that the University of Wisconsin's student radio station is going off Web air in light of the pending CARP recommendations, and he's right, this sux indeed. The red-letter day for WSUM and others will be Tuesday, May 21. The Copyright Office has until then to decide whether or not to accept the recommended rate structure. Hopefully the uproar and input will make a difference, and these stations will be able to breathe a sigh of relief (let's hope they can stick it out). Making a ruckus is the most useful thing to do in meantime (and - usefully - doesn't cost a dime). Save Internet Radio is a great place to start. ▪ (later) More ruckus: "The American Open Technology Consortium" and "GeekPAC". [Doc]

More re Kelly Google also has weighed in with a short (nine page) amicus brief in support of rehearing. (Was able to edit annoying typo in last post by coming home and Mac-ing. Go figure.)

Linking And Thinking The EFF and, more recently, journalist Patti Waldmeir, believe the Ninth Circuit went too far in its Kelly v. Arriba decision in February. I read the case when it first came out, and thought the Court had done a good job of balancing the interests of the copyright holder Kelly against those of the Ditto search engine in aggregating and linking to information on the Web. The EFF argues "the activity that the Panel has condemned is technically indistinguishable from linking generally." Waldmeir picks up on this and says the decision threatens the legality of all linking. As I read the decision though, there was something that set Ditto's conduct apart from others linking to online material. Ditto was not just linking. Instead, Kelly's copyrighted image was displayed on Ditto's page in its original, full-sized format, exactly as it would appear on Kelly's site. The Court reasoned that the search engine could function perfectly using thumbnail images instead of full-sized ones, and that linking through a full-sized image harmed Kelly by doing away with the need to visit the originating site in order to view the image in all its full-sized glory.

Monday, April 08, 2002

Blawging Along Rick Klau's article in the American Bar Association's Law Practice Management Magazine this month will help introduce more of the legal field to blogging. Along those lines, I am pleased to add Rory L. Perry II to the blawg roster today, in two manifestations (thanks to Will and Jenny). Rory is the Clerk of the Supreme Court of Appeals in West Virgina (the state's high court). He has his own blog, and also maintains one for the Court where new opinions and other information are available. Rory really gets how technology can help the courts conduct business and interact; some of his other efforts may be found here and here.

Small Piece David Weinberger writes that starting your name with a punctuation mark is like displaying a pierced tongue (e.g. ".Zannah"). What does this tell us about b!X's navel, exactly? (;->)

Sunday, April 07, 2002

Commander Taco, The Cyber-Poet (If you're into this sort of thing, also check out Ray Kurzweil's Cybernetic Poet.) Bag and ah, he is quick to take awhile back to the potential future. Use LANtastic? With a very well Fang will be resurrected from country to the Little trapping dismantling to a blog. I tell the Ninth Circuit Court of sadness itself, how can drag the web. The patented, isolated and overarching digital CEO proceeds to drive there. Are useful process, via telex on law. Review granted, a place already holds such vigorous debate. In the company According to practice remains a comment Wednesday, March 19, 2002. Still have known as demonstrable evidence, I want the idea of the plaintiff from visiting the applications. A lawyer has a comment Thursday, March 21, AM | link get_comment_link. Add a place open one of Appeal that the proliferation of the patent issued for laughing so be chilled through technology with Ed in order they have had a new, things. Roll your own. And if it spits out something as double-taking as "The Ninth Circuit, Court of sadness itself" or "the proliferation of the patent issued for laughing so be chilled through technology," I want to hear about it! (Thanks, Elaine.)

Blawgalanche The hummingbird outside my window this morning wants to read more blawgs. And since Chuck was kind enough to highlight some others, I'm happy to help her out: • ICANNWatch: where law professors from Temple, Wayne State and the University of Miami contribute to a blog about ICANN and its UDRP (try saying that five times fast). • Bret Fausett: a Los Angeles attorney blogging about ICANN and DNS issues. • Swerdloff: A New York attorney blogging about Being John Cusack (the sequel to Being John Malkovich?), neurolinguistic programming, a sign that gets around, etc.

Saturday, April 06, 2002

Say, When? There are two interesting blog bits in the May issue of Wired (blogging must really be hitting its stride if I can get a Saturday manicure and read about it). Andrew Sullivan writes about "The Blogging Revolution," and envisions a day when all writers will build an online presence with their daily musings, then sell books through print-on-demand technology direct from their Web sites. And Dave Winer has $1,000 that says blogs will outrank the New York Times site by 2007 based on a Google search for five top news story key words. He bet Martin Nisenholtz, Times Digital CEO (proceeds to charity). The curious thing is why Wired opts for the delay between the print edition and when the articles are posted to its Web site. Do they really think they're eating into their own sales if they post the articles when the magazine comes out? If so, I guess I'm playing into the whole strategy by making you think about buying the rag if you haven't picked it up. Here's a preview: the five "Power Bloggers" spotlighted in Sullivan's story based on their blogdex rankings - • Jessamyn WestAdam CurryJosh MarshallJeffrey ZeldmanClaire Robertson

Taking A Page The recent John C. piece is understandably unpopular. As I commented to Jeneane on Blog Sisters, he takes cheap shots for a cheap laugh and ignores the larger picture. (If the response is he intends to elicit cheap laughs and ignore the larger picture so be it - I'll take my laughs wherever they crop up.) On the loosely joining attributes of blogging, John C. has this to say in his Eight Rules for the Perfect Blog: under "Community," "Prove that you're a dedicated blogger by citing at least five other blogs that you just read. Praise them ad nauseum. Then comment on links that their authors discovered and cut and paste these links to your blog." And, under "Humility," "Make sure to rave about how great blogging is and why everyone should blog and how blogging will change the world." What John C. ignores that others would be wise to recognize is this: non-webheads are finding blogging a compelling reason to be online in staggering numbers. So staggering that my attempt to keep a comprehensive "blawg"-alogue probably is doomed from the get-go. But don't think I'm going down without a fight. Yes, it feeds my innate meta-mania, but it also shatters stereotypes about my much-maligned profession and makes it - and us - more accessible. Would you expect a Wall Street lawyer to be a gifted web designer? Faith is. A lawyer as the force behind a great time-saving software app? That's Buzz (ActiveWords; never would have known its background if Ernie hadn't connected the dots for me). And New York corporate lawyer Heather now reads Justice Bedsworth's column, which is published only in California - and online. File these under citing, praising and raving, I guess. But everyone should blog. And blogging has changed the world.

Multiple Applications... A landmark here in Newport, The Cannery restaurant, was headed for demolition in the fall of 1999. It had a bayfront location and a long history. A local resident, Jack Croul, hated to see the place go, so he bought it and fixed it up. It reopened in February with the help of Ron Salisbury (El Cholo), general manager Steve Herbert (Gladstone's), chef Felix Salcedo (Sonora Café) and sushi chef Yuji Nishimura (Hirozen). Those details had eluded me until this morning. What I did realize is that if there's a hot spot, my husband and his pals know and go. He's been at The Cannery maybe three times in the last month, including last night. I haven't been there since the reopening, so I had to know if the The Cannery now is "it."* His response was what got me: "The place is crowded, but you don't know anyone. Either trendy people don't go there, or I don't know the trendy people." *Hey, around here "it" comes along with all the frequency of Ikeya-Zhang or involves Dennis Rodman.

Friday, April 05, 2002

Feeding Back Ernie writes, and Larry concurs, that online spaces for (anonymous) lawyer comments about judges are good things, and wonders whether this is happening. (Excuse my shortcut of sharing this here and expecting you gents to come find it. I'm writing a brief and time is short.) A California attorney set up just such a system on his site a few years back. The practitioner comments are fairly sparse, and I'm not sure if that's blind terror, or lack of publicity, or both. Maybe if Calvin blogged. Regardless, I'm all for resource-oriented lawyer sites that are useful to practitioners and the public, and this has been one for a long time. Among all the other rich content, Calvin offers downloadable court forms that (last time I used one, anyway) are not available in editable electronic format anywhere else.

Wholly Comedy Larry Townsend's book "Secrets Of The Wholly Grill," which explores the humor in shrink-wrap software licenses, got a nice review today on Its first chapter had me cracking up too. Wish my pop would finish it so I could read the wholly thing.

Thursday, April 04, 2002

Blawg Additions Some cool blawgs join the roster today: Rebeca Delgado has been around the block as a lawyer and is appreciating La Belle France. (Her blog and her site sont très, très belle.) Rick Klau works on bringing technology and legal professionals together - a glutton for punishment, clearly. He's an author and a regular columnist for the American Bar Association's Student Lawyer. (Thanks, Ernie.) Finally, the EFF has been blogging about the Broadcast Protection Discussion Group - "Consensus At Lawyerpoint" - since March 27, and it looks like there's more to come.

Half A Century, And Counting Justice Mildred L. Lillie, who presides over the Second District, Division Seven, of the California Court of Appeal, was honored yesterday for her fifty-five years of service as a California jurist. Between the time Justice Lillie passed the Bar and I did, 133,300 people were admitted to practice law in California. Justice Lillie has authored over three thousand decisions, and in her own words she has been there, and she has done that. And will keep right on dispensing conscientious justice.

Wednesday, April 03, 2002

"I Have Seen The Future, And It Blogs" Geoffrey Nunberg's observations about language and culture almost always make me smirk, or consider, or both. He is a regular contributor to National Public Radio's "Fresh Air." Sadly, by the time I inhale "Fresh Air" it often has gone somewhat stale. (While my computer downloads the broadcasts each day courtesy of Audible, it can take awhile before they get added to what I'm listening to in the car as I commute.) This morning I caught up with a show from last December, where Nunberg put blogging in historical perspective alongside George and Wheedon Grossmith ("Diary of a Nobody") and Anais Nin, among others. Nunberg likens the "accretion of diurnal detail" in blogs to "what the novel was trying to achieve when eighteenth-century writers cobbled it together out of subliterary genres like personal letters, journals, and newspapers, with the idea of reproducing the inner and outer experience that makes up daily life." He wonders whether "anything as interesting" as the novel could "grow up in the intimate anonymity of cyberspace." Personally, collectively, I think it already has. (Nunberg's other "Fresh Air" commentaries are collected here on his site.)

Tell Your Friends Thomas Pacheco needs our help and people want to give it - so spread the word. Several friends we met for dinner last night will be checking out the site today, and the Little River Inn will be displaying Thomas's art and promoting the site in its lobby.

Tuesday, April 02, 2002

More re the Constitution and Fair Use Not everyone agrees with Ed Stroligo regarding the lack of Constitutional underpinnings of the fair use doctrine. The defense is arguing a Constitutional (First Amendment) basis for fair use in the ElcomSoft/Sklyarov case currently pending before Judge Whyte in the Northern District of California. (See also Ernie the Attorney's discussion of the case and overarching digital rights issues.) -Later: Still pending for decision before Judge Whyte is the defense's Motion to Dismiss based on its argument that the DMCA violates the First Amendment. [llrx]

Monday, April 01, 2002

Straight Talk About Fair Use Ed Stroligo at posted commentary yesterday that points out the distinction betweeen a Constitutional right and a legal one, as he characterizes the "fair use" exception permitting certain uses of copyrighted material. "In short, you have no constitutional right to convenience," writes Ed, in an interesting discussion of the Reimerdes case. [Thanks, Sabrina.]

April Fool In an abrupt about-face that has fattened the coffers of academia, LawMeme announced its new appointment as Voice of the Copyright Industry. Equally foolish: the Iowa law firm of Beckman & Hirsch has installed a Web cam in its reception room, according to the ABA Journal. A member of the firm says it helps him gauge a client's mood before they meet. And, that it helps him track down his partner when he slips out to an empty desk in the camera's line of sight to get some uninterrupted work done. (Access to the camera's feed is password-protected and encrypted, so no, we can't all enjoy these fascinating images...)

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