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Monday, July 29, 2002

Bags: packed. Outfit
Itinerary: grueling. Fun

Company: ecclectic. puffer

Waves see you next week Torch

Saturday, July 27, 2002

Gather No Spoofs

Chris pointed me toward a good Rolling Stone opinion piece by David Kushner about the peer-to-peer network seige. Chris has more at his place about the cluelessness of things like the Berman/Coble bill (PDF, via Politech), and the article itself offers examples of why these sorts of measures are a huge waste of time.

with, bear

Hmm, am having the fun of Blogger refusing to update my template. Sorry if your sidebar link just vanished. Hopefully it will let me bring things up to speed later. --Better now.

Commendations, Pack Your Bags

The Blawg Patrol has had such a smashingly successsful week that the Bureau's jet is fueling to take the field unit to the Azores. Who knows what they may dig up there, but they've earned it so off they go. Here are some of ways they've been strutting their stuff this week, but first don't forget we've already had an interim report featuring three fine blawgers. The home office also has been behind on its paperwork and meaning to highlight Jennifer Granick (The Shout: Opinions on Everything), of Stanford Law School and Donna's blogroll. Now that's done, back to the unit. Agent Altreuter reports in that Strike Team Charon is the brainchild of Mark, a Connecticut lawyer in private practice. (If Mark has no objection to use of his last name, I'll add that later and remove him from the "deep cover" division.) Mark's a gamer and compadre of Dorothea's (Hi Dorothea, you Paynt-splattered goddess, you), and I'm enamored not just of his writing but also his comment-comments: "Report in!" ... "1 casualty" ... "[x] victims in the mayhem" Ernie, Rick: ready? Agent Cooper has tracked down The LitiGator, a Radio, um, URL maintained by "Michigan lawyers specializing in civil litigation." More from their inaugural 7/6/02 post:
We are a Michigan litigation law firm.  Our postings will naturally follow our work and our other interests, which include legal applications of technology, politics, social and moral issues, and other discrete areas. We do not call this a "blog", because we don't happen to like the term.  If we have to name it, it will be called a weblog or web-based log.
Hopefully no one will object to "blawg..." ;-] (I'd encourage them to stop worrying and learn to love the "blog," especially in light of what William Safire [via Scripting News] and Geoffrey Nunberg have to say on the subject. By the way, Rick, there's no question: you're Hot.) The stewardess (we'll never keep good staff if I keep throwing that sort of language around!) flight attendant has been instructed to provide Agent Cooper with all the snacks he desires, as an added bonus for his double blawg-spot this week. I'll let him introduce you to Sam Heldman in his own words:
Sam Heldman works in the Washington, D.C. office of an Alabama law firm; his weblog focuses on the Alabama court of appeals, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit (which includes Alabama), and the National Labor Relations Board.
(The culprit must have realized Agent Cooper was hot on his trail because he also sent in an email confession. Always appreciated.) Sam mentions being "a little queasy in the effort to balance candor and style, on the one hand, with not-alienating-people on the other." I liked his post on the subject, and enthusiastically recommend Rebecca Blood's The Weblog Handbook if these sorts of things are on your mind. These reviews help explain why. Finally, the home office urges the field unit (who're now too schnockered somewhere over the Atlantic to pay any attention, but oh well), and any as yet unapprehended blawgers, to consider their blawging roots and hang awhile with witty and prolific blawger Burt Hanson (BurtLaw's Law And Everything Else), who's been at it since 2000. Bring a biscuit for Mathilda. --Later: There's little chance you'd neglect him either, but just wanted to note Dodd Harris has been around the blawg a few times himself (ok stop; those groans were audible), firing things up as he did in November '00.

Friday, July 26, 2002

That George Partington

In case you were wondering about how WorldCom was clued enough to generate this -- Blogging: Electronic Postings And Links Bring Vital Information To The Surface -- and just who was the primum mobile within the organization, Jeneane explains and comments. I second those emotions, and Hot Damn, it's been exhilarating connecting by phone this week with Jeneane and Chris. Just as it was pure joy to meet up with Frank and Mrs. Frank last month. It's high irony, as Chris has deliciously pointed out, that it takes a global Internet backbone and technology I can never hope to fully grasp to ultimately connect people in the most low tech of ways. I'm more fired up about that one thing, and the promise it holds for individuals, business and society, than anything else that comes to mind right now. (Except maybe the fact I'm about to enjoy a few days' vacation and catch seriously up on my reading. A close second.)

Thursday, July 25, 2002

Declare Your Judicial Candidacy Electronically

Judicial candidates in the State of Washington (which elects its jurists) may submit their ballot information electronically at the Washington Courts Web site. A similar system exists for those who would serve in the state legislature. [Via The Daily Journal] I am all for combating bureaucratic red tape with technology, and simply would urge those in charge to be sure and share the more unusual submissions.

Can I Get A Little (Declaratory) Relief?

So asks the ACLU on behalf of Ben Edelman in the U.S. District Court, Massachusetts (great looking courthouse, btw) concerning Edelman's potentially DMCA-barred plans to discover and make known the "block list" used by the N2H2 Internet filtering software. Donna Wentworth and Declan McCullagh have this well covered with discussion, commentary and links (here, here and here), and Donna's interview with Ben Edelman is well worth the read. Donna notes it can be a long, hard road before a DMCA challenge like this may result in legal precedent, and Ben points out the differences between "extracting and analyzing an encrypted block list" and "extracting an encrypted movie from a DVD." This reminded me to check the status of another DMCA declaratory relief action pending here in California and discussed here and many elsewheres back in April. The 321 Studios case against MGM et al. (complaint here) reportedly was scheduled for hearing on the defendants' motion to dismiss before Judge Susan Illston (more here) tomorrow, according to a 321 Studios 6/14/02 Press Release. However, Judge Illston's calendar does not agree and I see no recent related news(?).

Split The Circuit Hearing Statements

The statements of the witnesses at Tuesday's hearing before the House Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet and Intellectual Property are now available here. Howard has more here (and an unrelated but not to be missed and perfectly contextualized Ice-T quote here).

Wednesday, July 24, 2002

That'd Be It

Next time anyone asks me why I went to law school, practice law and/or give a ding-dang about any of this stuff -- and you'd be surprised (or maybe not) how often lawyers get grilled on these points -- I'm skipping the usual routine and pointing them here: rip-roarin' Barbie law. (Thanks, Howard!)

Annie Got Her Blog

Cool, Annie's here. Proving once again there's a doctoral thesis lying somewhere in the intersection between Ursula K. Le Guin, Christopher Locke and weblogging. And she's Frankalouguing famously. Do check her out.

PopTech Blog Tease

Watch for it soon, on Buzz's site.

Was Cable, Now Spaghetti

Seems this (Adelphia's Family Fools at Slate, via Outside Counsel), was just the tip of the iceberg. Now there's a civil lawsuit by the SEC over "one of the most extensive financial frauds ever to take place at a public company," (via FindLaw), and five arrests (via The Nando Times) for using the (my!) hapless cable company as a "personal piggy bank." Forbes offers a concise chronology, beginning, appropriately enough given the spectacle, with a movie theater purchase. Should this interfere with any September Sopranos viewing, the appropriateness of emotional distress damages for subscribers deserves serious consideration . . . (I'm just kidding, folks at Overlawyered; unless of course you're as strung out for your next hit of the arrabiata-soaked stuff as I am, and thus with me on this??). Many thanks, RB, for the heads up.

O'Reilly Open Source Convention, San Diego

Doc and Dan are dexterously delivering the details.

Legislative Ping Pong

Kevin Marks was going in an interesting direction regarding 18 U.S.C. Section 1030 and digital rights management recently, and it's a direction I think would be undone -- where a peer-to-peer network was involved -- if the Berman/Coble bill to be introduced this week were enacted. [Via c | net and Politech] Frank Field doesn't think this particular bill will pass, so I wouldn't give up just yet on seeing a Section 1030 claim aimed at damage resulting from a peer-to-peer network hack. The Milberg Weiss class action concerning copy protected audio cds (complaint -- PDF) seems like the kind of suit that might try for the relief Kevin suggests, but it pleads no federal claims (presumably, to stave off removal to federal court).

Tuesday, July 23, 2002

Today's Hot Trailer

You can't wait for the second coming of Matrix. Have bled bandwidth to the Two Towers. Wish Nemesis were Next Week. Hanker for Harry Potter. But -- are you prepared for the blockbuster of them all? WEBLOG: The Movie (a wonderchicken joint).

"Dow-burt" Versus "Dough-bear", And Other Mysteries

For the lawyer types: Peter Nordberg is webmastering a useful and well thought out site all about litigation under Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc., called Daubert On The Web. In addition to answering the great pronunciation question, Peter's signature graphic alone is worth the visit (a lawyer? trapped in a beaker), plus over 250 appellate decisions under Daubert (organized both by circuit and field of expertise), statistics and explanations regarding admissibility and exclusion affirmance rates, a user forum, and some slick "ideas . . . that the author wishes somebody else would try first." More like this, please!

Coffee, A Chili Dog, Or A TRO?

But why choose, when in sunny Southern California you can have it all? Legal Grind, with locations in Santa Monica, Tarzana and Inglewood, offers "coffee and counsel" for $25 a session, and an array of other basic legal services at a cost somewhat more suited to the café than the conference room. If those prices still would force your latte out your nose (in a manner generally frowned upon in café society), head over to Law Dogs in Van Nuys, where lawyer/owner Kim Pearman and colleagues dispense hot dogs for $2 and legal advice for free each Wednesday from 7:00 - 9:00 p.m. Should those leave your daily dose of "only in L.A." sightings unfulfilled, here's another: a helicopter has been chasing a Piper Cub across the skies outside my office, over Dodger Stadium, for the last twenty minutes. (Last fall we moved offices, and I traded "HOLLYWOOD" for "THINK BLUE.") This can mean one of two things: (1) someone's filming Swordfish II (uh, let's hope not), or (2) news-at-six slow speed chases have taken to the air...

Blawg Tuesday

  • Agent Hallstrom turns in Kevin Gregorius ("Who Cares What You Think?"). Kevin's last post was nearly a month ago (heavens forfend!), and Eric thinks he needs a little persuasion. Right up the Blawg Patrol's alley.
  • Agents Reynolds, Bashman and Svenson welcome Stuart Buck back to the Blawging Big House after a short-lived escape. As do I.
  • I finally got a chance to take in Frank Field's weblog ("FurdLog"), after reading his work filtered through Donna, and Frank joins our illustrious Academics.
  • Nice Doing Blog With You

    Rick Klau rounds up some good links on Blogs And Business Value, including the excellent John Foley article from yesterday's Information Week, Are You Blogging Yet?.

    Use It Or Lose It

    Declan McCullagh's Politech has two items today that impact the future of digital fair use: Senator Hollings' letter of July 19, 2002, to FCC Chairman Michael K. Powell, encouraging the FCC to act "without legislation" to implement a "broadcast flag" system. Declan's c | net article about new bills planned to target peer-to-peer networks. [Politech post here]

    West KM

    "[W]hen a researcher finds a case of interest on Westlaw, if the case is also cited by any of the documents in the firm's internal archives, the firm's icon is automatically displayed on the case. The researcher can click the icon to review the list of internal documents. The researcher can then retrieve the full text of any of these internal documents from the firm's DMS to edit it, or incorporate portions of it into a new document." Genie Tyburski's TVC Alert points to this press release about a new knowledge management product from West. If this is just one thing the system can do, it's got my attention. (Now, if it can fold in material that may not be in the document management system -- how? got me -- I'll be really impressed.)

    Monday, July 22, 2002

    Split The Circuit Hearing Tomorrow reports that a congressional hearing is taking place tomorrow on the question of splitting the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and creating a new Twelfth Circuit. [Howard had a pointer to this story on Friday.] The hearing will be before the House Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet and Intellectual Property, starting at 3:00 p.m. Eastern. Audio is available during the time of the hearing from this link.

    Sunday, July 21, 2002

    WorldCom Files Chapter 11 - On A Sunday?

    You've no doubt already heard or read that WorldCom, Inc. has filed what is widely being reported as the largest bankruptcy proceeding in U.S. history. See, e.g., MSNBC. My father called up wondering how they pulled it off on a Sunday. Seems the digital era knows no weekends: the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of New York accepts filings via the ECF/PACER system, which lets registered attorneys file court documents 24/7. More about ECF (Electronic Case Files) is here, from the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, and here is a comprehensive list of courts which have implemented or are implementing the system. (Sadly, these factoids will do nothing to prop up the morning's markets; see --Update: Here is the Petition, in all its e-filed splendor. [Via FindLaw]

    Saturday, July 20, 2002

    EFFing Mnemonic

    Seth Schoen of Consensus At Lawyerpoint drops a classic mnemonic for the proposed CBDTPA: "Consume, But Don't Try Programming Anything." This joins the one Cory Doctorow mentioned in a recent interview as proxy for the BPDG ("Billionaires Producing Damaged Goods"). Ernie points out the EFF hopes to find a volunteer to provide training on litigation-specific word processing issues. (Acronym refurbishment skills also a plus?) See also NASA's "Mnemonicizer."

    This Week's Blawg Busts

    The recent vice raid was a great success, although the agents are exhausted and things in the holding cell are getting a little scary. It's been a slow week as the new inmates are processed, but Robert Fortuno decided to come quietly. His blog is brand new and he has hit the ground running. Also, Agent Salisbury put her badge to good use and brought in two renegade blawgers: Fritz Schrank of Sneaking Suspicions, who had the post on the new pet-friendly policy at the House I so enjoyed via Ann's pointer, and William Sulik of Blithering Idiot, who writes of law and politics and judging from his title has a healthy sense of the important contributions we bloggers are making to Humanity. Agent Steffens lets us know his News For Christians [update: Antioch Road] updates more frequently than his Random Notes. Also, the syndicate that is i330 has gone more anonymous with its contributors, so our link at right will behave accordingly (formerly "Hensley").

    Friday, July 19, 2002

    You Need This

    After finishing up the work week everyone could use a chuckle or three, and Ann provides some gems.

    Two Artists Consider Creative Commons

    Fishrush may decide to drown me in kelp for using the "A"-for-Artist word about him, but you and I know this is one incredibly talented guy, who manages to combine a wide-ranging intellect with a sharp wit and turn them into writings and visual works any self-respecting SpongeBob fan could love. The "A" word also fits Andrea James like a proverbial catsuit, when it comes to both her written and more technical creations. So it's particularly appropriate that the two of them have been discussing Creative Commons and how it might or might not prove useful to artists. Andrea points out the value of creating a convenient and simple way for artists to navigate the legal landscape concerning the use of their works by others. Fishrush raises several good questions, including: How does Creative Commons plan to handle the situation of an artist who generates a Creative Commons Custom License for a work or series of works, and decides later to revoke that license? How will those who may be using the work per the (now superseded) terms of the license be notified? Must they then stop using the work(s) or face liability for royalties and/or infringement? Same questions, except suppose the artist initially chooses the Public Domain Option and changes his or her mind down the road? These are eventualities Creative Commons is sure to have considered in detail, and since it is quite open to feedback I'll forward an email and follow up here as appropriate. Also, Andrea encourages your input on the discussion she has blogged. Thanks, Frank, for letting me know and for your superb interview with Andrea.

    Thursday, July 18, 2002

    Stats (courts, not blogs)

    Howard is 100% right on this, and I appreciate the clarification. The outcome of any given appeal depends on the reviewing court's evaluation of the correctness of the decision below, and I didn't mean to suggest a fixed number of appeals considered on their merits (e.g., 90% or so) fail to obtain the relief they seek because courts have set targets or limits on the number of cases to be reversed. Each case is considered independently by a reviewing court, and if all of its cases in a given year call for reversal under the applicable law and standards of review, then all of those appellants will go home victorious. Courts probably hate to see sweeping statistical generalizations about themselves as much as you or I do. But statistics, flawed as they are, provide a historical overview. It's impossible to say in any given case what will happen, but -- owing to the conscientious efforts of trial judges, and the appellate courts' deference to them in many instances, among other considerations -- as an appellant in most jurisdictions (including the Third Circuit), Vegas would give you long odds. Of course, that doesn't mean you don't have the legs to win the Derby.

    Wednesday, July 17, 2002

    Congratulations, It's An Appeal

    The Reuters report widely circulated today about the recent Third Circuit filing is a little off (see below). As RAIN: Radio And Internet Newsletter explains (and the Third Circuit docket confirms), the Appellant's brief was filed yesterday in Bonneville Int'l. Corp. v. Peters, Third Circuit docket no. 01-3720, in connection with the appeal initiated in October, 2001. The RAIN article also provides links to the brief and a summary -- available as PDFs here on the National Association of Broadcasters site -- and Kurt Hanson offers his take on "How does this logic relate to Internet-only radio broadcasters?" Thanks to Kevin Marks, the brains behind encourage copying, expect payment, for spotting this on Slashdot, where there is much discussion about whether Internet-only radio broadcasters may be harmed or helped if the appellants prevail; see, e.g. here (FCC licensed broadcasters benefitted) and here (discussing licensing options for Internet-only broadcasters). Given the long odds on appeal, however -- for example, the Adminstrative Office of the U.S. Courts reports that only 10.5% of appeals resolved on the merits in the Third Circuit between 9/30/00 and 9/30/01 resulted in a reversal of the challenged judgment or order -- regardless of what the appeal could accomplish, Judge Schiller's decision is likely to stand.

    Visually Tabloided

    Audibly Excited

    "D00d, you're getting a Mac!" Will Cox blogs about MacWorld today (new iTunes/iPod support for Audible!).

    Stream Analysis

    This decision of the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania -- which held that royalty exemptions available to offline AM and FM radio broadcasts do not apply "when the same broadcast is transmitted digitally over the internet," and spawned the recent CARP and LOC royalty rate determinations -- is being challenged in the Third Circuit Court of Appeals as of this week, report The New York Times [registration required, via TVC Alert], Reuters [via GrepLaw], and Wired News [via llrx]. The Reuters report (carried by Wired and others) characterizes Monday's filing as both a "motion," and an "appeal;" this case is pending on Howard's home turf, so maybe he can shed some light(?). Meanwhile, Doc's Linux Journal article today wonders why so many Internet radio stations are still on the air given the newly fixed royalty rates: "Clearly these webcasters have faith in something. Could it be the marketplace?" Doc goes on to highlight a public workshop on digital entertainment and rights management hosted today by the US Department of Commerce Technology Administration, and the public comment invited through e-mail via the workshop site.

    Tuesday, July 16, 2002

    WAGBYKT, R?: Episode II, Attack Of The Weblogs

    Ok, I've done today's theme into the ground, but that certainly won't stop it from creeping into future posts. My final "weblogs are great" thought of the day actually fits more in the "weblogs are insidious" category -- as in, they demontrably alter your brain waves (see also my Top Ten Signs Of A Microcontent Obsession, and Jeff Cooper's recent thoughts). Mostly in positive ways, I'm convinced; but it may not be, strictly speaking, healthy when the first thing that occurs upon glimpsing a Crushed Ho-Ho on a sunny summer sidewalk is "huh -- cool name for a blog."

    WAGBYKT, R?: Episode I, The Phantom Weblog

    More from the "weblogs are great" department, and my first opportunity to think blogChalking might turn out to be pretty remarkable. (Dr. Weinberger kindly provides a more eloquent description.) Raymond of Cafe Angst (see comments) Tiger Cafe, a slick collaborative blog, found Bag and Baggage through its blogChalk and offers these comments in keeping with today's theme:
    One of the things I love about blogs and journalling is that they have attracted so many types of people into the fold that we can share the thoughts and wisdom of older, more experienced professionals in a wide range of fields. Of people completely opposite to us. I like how they are not just the home of computer geeks or teens or people wandering around searching for themselves. I like how, in one swoop, blogs and the friends you make from them shoot holes through the borders of geography, age, sex, race, religion, social class, physical attractiveness, and personality (like shyness) into which we keep smashing in real life. I like how I don't have to comb my hair before I talk to you. I like how I don't need to care whether someone, who left me a comment, picks his teeth in public. He has an idea and zaps it to me. I welcome it, naked and unfiltered. Blogging is pure broadcasting for the mind. Patrick Henry would have loved it.


    Keeping today's theme going, if the last post was "The Weblog Strikes Back," this must be "Return Of The Weblog," specifically MLOD and its evil genius Gary Turner. Gary couldn't really confess his world domination plans to Frank Paynter in his interview because, well, they're no secret and they're coming further to fruition each day. But my favorite transplanted Scot did provide his usual wit and wisdom, which I urge you to enjoy. A visit to Gary's blog always picks me up from whatever funk I've fallen into, and now I can fit more pieces into the "why" of it all: the man has the good sense to appreciate Formula One [via FiA], for one thing. And to make these kinds of observations about weblogs and "voice":
    For me, voice isn't just speaking frankly or in a way that might seem controversial to the pack. It isn't non-conformism for the sake of it, and conformism isn't exactly the most appropriate word to use here buy anyway. In some ways, voice is what you use to connect yourself with other people but not just on a conversational level, I mean to _really_ connect, a live feed directly into their brain or and soul.
    Gary, you've done it, and Frank, you've done it again!

    "Split The Circuit" Debate Heats Up In Congress

    Theme for the day: "Weblogs are great, but you knew that, right?" And this time in particular Howard Bashman's. Howard writes today about Senator Murkowski's (R-AK) statement that he plans to keep offering amendments that would divide the Ninth federal appellate circuit and create a new one (the Twelfth), "on every bill until we obtain a vote on this issue." The Senator's full statement in the Congressional Record is the tenth item on this page. This is big news in my neck of the woods (i.e., the Ninth Circuit), and I believe Howard -- thanks to an email from one of his readers, Law Professor Arthur D. Hellman of the University of Pittsburgh School of Law -- may be the first, other than the Senator himself, to get the word out. (These searches presently reveal only Senator Murkowski's press release on the subject.) --Correction: the press release is from last year, Howard's still the sole Web source on this unless Google's missing something. Of course, Ernie and his trusty Radio news aggregator spotted Howard's post even before I did. (I've had no initial success getting Radio to run right on the Mac. Guess I need to try, try again.)

    Link Controversy Page Updated

    Weblogs are great, but you knew that, right? Example: I have referred here before to Dr. Stephan Bechtold's Link Controversy Page as a valuable one-stop shopping point for global cases and scholarship about link related disputes. Trouble was it was starting to get a little out of date, but Dr. Bechtold has surfaced with a comprehensive update as of July 13 (Happy Fifth Anniversary to the Link Controversy Page as well). Bill Slawski of the Delaware Law Office spotted the update, and mentions two other excellent resources: a Linking Rights page by Brad Templeton, Chairman of the EFF, and CyberSLAPP, a site sponsored by a coalition of civil liberties and privacy groups aimed at developing legal standards to protect the privacy of online speakers in SLAPP suits (strategic law suits against public participation; a bit more about California's anti-SLAPP legislation here). Thanks Bill, thanks Dr. Bechtold. (And don't forget to check in with the dmoz Open Directory Project's Linking Law page if you are researching or interested in link controversy issues.)

    Monday, July 15, 2002

    Pathetic Moments While Revising/Filing A Brief

  • 9:30 a.m.: while consuming a Diet Coke With Lemon for the pure caffeine of it all, considered how the Lemon must surely boost the nutritional value...
  • 2:30 p.m.: tried to italicize something in a Word document (unintended for Web use) by inserting the < i > tag...
  • Client Control

    Don't spank your clients! In case you were, ah, tempted. [Via]

    Sunday, July 14, 2002

    Covert Operations

    When the field unit members decided to squander their bonuses in Havana and Port-au-Prince, we knew it was time to get back to discipline and core values. They returned, unwashed and dysenteric, to find shiny new badges,
    The utility belts, The
    and resident directors ordering vice raids in every quadrant. They were also reminded to peruse the Ten Most Wanted list before hitting the streets: 1. Blawger Enemy No. 1 is an honest to goodness blogging member of the judiciary (we're keeping a close eye on William Bedsworth to see if he crosses the line). / 2. Blogging legislators: a slippery bunch, still undocumented in the wild as far as we know but it's just a matter of time. / 3. Blogging law firms: first offenders appear to be Larry Sullivan and William Slawski (Delaware Law Office), but copycat crimes are bound to ensue. / 4. Blogging legal secretaries or court reporters: must be hiding out with the legislators. / 5. Blogging current or former heads of state, or their spouses (Bill Clinton's bound to blog). / 6. - 10. Of course, the unit can't ignore its stock and trade: the lawyers and recovering lawyers, lawyers-in-training, academics, law librarians and legal technolgy buffs already crowding our detention facility. Thus, with a renewed sense of purpose, the agents got to it. Here are the early fruits of their efforts: Practicing: Hensley writes, is primarily a plaintiff's lawyer, and gets search hits for "sniper t-shirts" and "underage sex." Need we say more? (Except keep up the good work, Agent Harris.) Jeralyn Merritt is a criminal defense attorney in Denver and the author of a blog about the politics of crime, Talk Left. Agent Bradley snagged Jeralyn. Learning The Craft: Agent Cooper left The Tarheel Pundit John Branch in the dead letter box (where he thrashed about and made quite a ruckus). John imparts sad tidings that the last episode of Dennis Miller Live will air on August 30, and much other "news, views and commentary, all in Carolina Blue..." Iowa law student Jason Steffens somehow has time for two blogs (including a candidate for Agent Bradley's TheoBlawg collection), and was brought in by Agent Bashman. And last but by no means least, JCA (Sua Sponte) will commence studies at Hastings in the fall, with extra funds in her pocket courtesy of a newly awarded academic scholarship. JCA is no stranger to blogging or the Web, although Sua Sponte seems to be a fresh effort just for her law school persecution experience. I knew JCA and I were going to get along when I read one of her early posts about buying law books: "Yesterday I bought my first law book: a legal style guide by someone named Garner, which looks like the type of tome to which I'll eventually refer by the author's name alone, à la Strunk & White. 'Oh, that's in Garner.' 'Check Garner on that one.' And so forth." (Regarding JCA's mom's concerns about the effect of the performance incentive aspect of the scholarship, a quote sent my way by another law student seems worth passing along: "After the first two weeks in law school, if you haven't found out who the jerk is in your's you." [Anon. professor during 1L Orientation Week]). Though new to the ranks, JCA seems destined for Blawg Patrol decoration and commendation, as she aced her Academy courses on counterespionage (stay tuned). Be careful out there. (And do stop by Katie Stahl's place with words of encouragement, but not lengthy or interesting ones because she really needs to study; the Bar Exam's almost here.)


    Typical raucus Saturday night around here: early dinner, catch up on laundry and reading, bed by midnight -- briefly interrupted by bulletins concerning the Blawg Patrol vice raid (more later) and an HBO program that said, "Back away from the pile of socks and camisoles, sit down and give me just half an hour to blow your mind." This voluble show was HBO's Def Poetry Jam: eight performance poets who each took the stage and belted forth the powerful. (Here's Def Poetry's home page; there's also a related book.) All were inspiring in their unique ways -- this must be what the Ferlinghetti era was like -- and all had great wit, but Big Poppa E was unabashedly hilarious. Here's his online journal and check out these MP3s of his work, including a version of the Wussy Boy poem from the show ("No, Dad, I'm not gay, I'm just a little sensitive"), and Chain Record Store Blues: a four minute guffaw, but pretty raunchy so be warned.

    Saturday, July 13, 2002

    Rare Loss

    Ed Heafey raised great kids, was a friend and mentor to my father for nearly forty years, at the top of an unforgiving professional discipline, a voracious intellect, and a master of the well-placed, sardonic, conversational shotgun shell. One of the most harrowing things for Ed about his battle with cancer, lost this week, must have been the unfamiliar experience of confronting an adversary that no amount of hard work, cleverness and sheer force of will could give him the tools to dismantle. Jahna Berry writes more in the Recorder. [Via] "A man is a summons and challenge." --Walt Whitman, Song of the Answerer We'll remember.

    Friday, July 12, 2002

    Google! DayPop! This is my blogchalk: English, United States, California, Newport Beach, Denise, Female, 36-40!


    The art of medicine consists of amusing the patient while nature cures the disease. -- Voltaire Marek and Daniel: speedy recoveries.

    Thursday, July 11, 2002

    Tarnishing The Goods

    Martin Schwimmer has this fascinating observation about record companies serving fake songs on file sharing networks in order to discourage downloads:
    If the record companies are in fact spoofing, then the practice, from a trademark point of view, is unique (to me at least). The owner (or licensee) of the artist's trademark is intentionally distributing an inferior or defective version of the product associated with that trademark, deceiving the user (albeit a non-paying one), in the hopes that the experience will tarnish not the trademark owner but the means of distribution. While it seems metaphysically impossible for the trademark owner to counterfeit or infringe itself, self-tarnishment seems possible (to say the least). Also of interest is whether the free services will respond by filtering out spoofs and advertise that they offer only real unauthorized copies. The question then arises whether spoofing can be extended to the real world in order to disrupt counterfeit operations. An intractable problem fighting counterfeits is that consumers knowingly buy low-quality fakes, i.e. $30 Rolexes. It seems that the insertion of not low-quality but no-quality fakes is one of the few ways of disrupting this market. However it seems like playing with dynamite if it becomes known that the trademark owner is responsible for the fakes.

    The B.(lawg) P.(atrol) Files

    The top brass didn't believe me, but I knew those midyear performance bonuses to the field unit would galvanize the troops. Sure, we blew the budget, but the agents are bringing 'em in: Agent Bashman nabs law student Nikki Furrer, a hardened offender with twenty days of weblogging under her belt, and a template Timothy Leary would love. Agent Bradley collars (heh) First Amendment/religious cause lawyer and writer David French, plus an embryonic meme: "TheoBlawgs are blogs written by lawyers with a religious edge." Agent Bradley, not long out of the Academy, also is learning from Agent Bashman one of the realities of the profession: "print is dead." (Sorry if those direct links don't work; Agent Bradley may need to republish his archives.) These blawging fugitives harbor in all facets of society.

    Wednesday, July 10, 2002

    "Billionaires Producing Damaged Goods"

    I'm frustrated. Why? Because Cory Doctorow was on The Screen Savers tonight, and provided a concise, eloquent run-down on Consensus At Lawyerpoint -- and why you really ought to pay attention to what they're talking about over there. Great, so why am I frustrated? You need to see the video if you have not had the chance, and there's no link I can point you to. *sigh* Maybe Cory can talk to them and get the clip posted on BoingBoing or Consensus At Lawyerpoint. (Hey, stop thinking what you're thinking. I've had plenty of trying to take things down accurately today, so I'm not going to be transcribing from the TiVo, thanks just the same.) In the meantime, there's a mini BPDG -- see the title of this post for the handy mnemonic mentioned by Cory -- FAQ that goes with the segment and is posted here. Be warned though -- at the time of this writing the FAQ contains an error which hopefully will be corrected by the time you read it, namely: Billy Tauzin is a Republican congressman from Louisiana, not a Democratic congressman from Los Angeles (which has not yet attained statehood). Also interesting from Cory's segment, following up on the show's Question Of The Day ("Do you have the right to share your Internet connection?," which stems from this c | net News.Com story), is the fact the EFF plans to publish a list, by tomorrow or Friday, of ISPs known not to prohibit the sharing of paid-for bandwidth. (If you're into things Wi-Fi, by the way, you might also enjoy this, from Fresh Gear.)

    Creative Commons: What's Ahead, With Glenn Brown

    Well, I certainly have a more healthy appreciation for Donna, Dan, Doc and anyone else who decides to blog a presentation or discussion. A course in court reporting would be a big help! Failing that, I've fleshed out and added some links to my realtime notes on Creative Commons Assistant Executive Director [thanks Kevin] Glenn Brown's presentation this afternoon here at Crosby, as follows. Preliminarily, I should note Glenn ran his PowerPoint from his Mac laptop (could not tell from my videoconferenced view whether an iBook or PowerBook), and the Mac made itself right at home here after a little projector-futzing. Additionally, although we had initially thought Glenn might touch on Eldred v. Ashcroft, there must have been some miscommunication there. Creative Commons ("CC") is a separate, nonprofit entity with its own mission and no direct involvement in the Eldred case. Glenn's comments focused on Creative Commons: what it is, how it will work, and what are its more long term goals and strategies. First slide, the traditional copyright notice: ©. This is a "brand" known worldwide, but copyright is undergoing a brand crisis, partly as the result of the shift in the U.S. (late 70's, early 80's) away from a scheme where creative works automatically went into the public domain unless affirmative steps were taken to protect. The automatic copyright scheme now in place began to cause confusion. Then came the Internet. Massive creation of works, all automatically copyrighted. Most people, most 'net users, don't know that. Brand dilution: the © notice has lost some meaning now by being attached to what actually are noncopyrightable works. The CC logo, CC, is a take-off on the immediately recognizable copyright symbol. Well, they assumed people would make that connection, but at least one person has thought the logo stood for "Cape Cod." (Big laugh.) So no one is immune from brand dilution problems. The idea for CC has been kicking around for a couple of years. CC received a startup grant from The Center For The Public Domain, in Jan. 2002. Wilson Sonsini and Cooley Godward have been assisting with pro bono legal services. One of the first hurdles CC faces is propagating the CC brand on the 'net. The default rule is automatic copyright protection, and this is hard and expensive to change; it's also unclear in the Internet context what is required to change it. This means creative works are going under-used. CC strives to make it easier for people to identify works in the public domain and increase the amount of materials people can use for free. The primary CC project is its Web application, which will look and feel like most Web applications (think airline ticket purchase). The Web application will generate the CC license, logo and metadata that will help with searchability - both from the CC site, and from third party search engines. A common question Glenn and CC get is: Who is interested? Mostly scholars, authors, photographers, and owners of online collections now, but CC expects broader use too. Also, Why do owners want to share their works using CC, especially when open licensing and GPL already exist? CC will provide a simple way to relinquish some use and distribution rights while maintaining control, and many people would like to be able to do this. Public domain is ill-defined in the case law and not at all in the statutes. CC seeks to marry public domain dedication to a metadata translation of the dedication. A CC custom license will allow an artist to turn over various aspects of the work while still maintaining the copyright. CC intends at least at first to leave the software arena to the GPL scheme. (GPL and Copyleft briefly explained; uncertainties about how Copyleft applies and how far it extends touched upon.) Another slide showed an example of a CC custom license (see here and here): this will specify the kind of use permitted, whether derivative works are ok (whether the work can be changed), whether public or nonpublic use is authorized (nonpublic = personal use, no distribution). A Copyleft provision is also available: specifies that derivative works (example: sample of musical work incorporated into another song) must also be freely useable - chain effect. The CC Web application will generate a CC logo in HTML and other forms to be embedded in a Web page or file. It also will generate a license, in triplicate: human readable form (Commons Deed), machine readable form (browsers), and lawyer readable version (full license). CC is in the process of working out the precise language of the Commons Deed, and seeks to keep it simple and plain english. End users and copyright holders will be able to link through the Commons Deed - most important aspect of this application - to the other versions/layers (machine readable and lawyer readable). On the machine readable/metadata side of things, CC's guru is Aaron Swartz; see also his CC bio sketch. Aaron is 15 years old, an RDF expert, involved in W3C and a heckuva lotta other stuff that impacts how the Web works and will work. [Aside from DMH: You've probably been pointed to his weblog many times.] Glenn fears for his job, as Aaron is bound to take over the whole CC enterprise - ha ha. CC's primary use will be in identifying and searching for useable works. It is very close to finishing a first draft of the full ("lawyer readable") license. There will be an open peer-review-type process from the CC site, but prior to then Glenn invites feedback from lawyers in the copyright field. Email him if you are interested,; he plans limited circulation of the draft and a sheet of related questions before publishing the proposed license for further review on the CC site. [Aside from DMH: several Crosby folks, me too, are taking part.] CC's other big focus will be helping users locate "featured content." There will be a featured content registry, linking to trusted third party sites. CC also plans to partner with third party search engines to ensure smooth operation of the machine readable part of the license. Brief discussion of Semantic Web concept - search engine turns Web into database built on the fly. CC works also will be findable through everyday Web browsing: locate work, click logo, takes you to the Commons Deed (which links through to the full license for more detail). By fall, 2002, CC hopes to have the Web application functional, and plans an incremental release. Looking ahead: Global commons? Working on jurisdictional issues. [Aside from DMH: see my initial discussion here; Glenn got my email on this way back when, and says they're devoting much gray matter to the jurisdiction and fraud questions.] CC also is thinking about forming/providing an Intellectual Property Conservancy - this would be a means for CC to actually own and host some content, including software and other kinds of media. Similar to a land trust: you have a public good, and responsibilities incumbent upon owner. Sun and Java analogy: strategy was to offer Java free to the world and have products developed around it. Dilemmas for the owner included wholesale, unauthorized appropriation; dilemmas for the developers/users included trust (if copyright retained by Sun, no guarantee charges wouldn't apply down the road). With the Intellectual Property Conservancy, CC would ensure widespread availability of works in the conservancy/trust, while still being able to maintain their integrity. Another analogy: like a park. Q&A: How would CC work on non-Internet based material? It's anticipated CC will apply almost entirely to Web based material, but consider books or paintings: you could have a Web page for the item which would have the CC logo and link to Commons Deed/license. The Cathedral And The Bazaar example (Eric Raymond) given. Open publication license used for a print book. How will the logo work? The public face of the CC structure will be the "CC" logo, with more symbols delineating use specifics on the Commons Deed. A "CCPD" logo for works entirely in public domain is anticipated. What about these thorny issues of the international scope of the CC license? These are thorny issues. For example, there are moral rights questions in Germany and France; some terms of the license-in-progress may face enforcement issues in those countries. [Aside from DMH: see here and here.] CC is being cautious not to be U.S. centric. Does CC plan to track the location/jurisdiction of its users? This is an open question, but CC is not in this to track users or certainly to collect detailed user data; its primary focus is to simplify license issuance and put creative works together with those seeking them. What will the legal representation of the CC license be? It will be the logo on the work and/or on the Web page related to the work. Linking is anticipated as the significant legal act, but all this is pretty wide open. What about fraud? What warranties and representations of authorship and ownership will be provided by those registering works? Registrants have to say they are who they say they are. Spoofing is a big issue that CC is working on addressing. Glenn thinks the license-in-progress has an indemnity clause to protect the user in case the registrant manages to register something to which he/she does not have the actual rights. Note that the software and online world is different and more insular than some other contexts - norms play a bigger role and may aid this issue. Concerning photos, how do you see the interplay between CC and groups like Corbis and Getty Images? Glenn doesn't know if those organizations have a similar metadata component and/or are issuing a court enforceable license. Audience member suggests Tom McCarthy with Getty would make a good CC advisor. What about the music aspect of CC? Expected to be most popular; will work like all other aspects. What will the "featured content" consist of? Still in negotiations with several anticipated providers, but expect online libraries with thousands of photographs, archived articles and Web pages, and works offered by progressive book publishers. What is your funding situation? Funding comes from grants and foundations; CC is doing well here, Glenn is comfortable they'll be in business for awhile; might even find a way of generating revenue. Are you getting any resistance to the overall concept? Initially, CC fielded questions from the EFF and various free software camps, and assured them CC is not doing digital rights management or intruding on the turf of other licensing strategies. The biggest question CC gets is "where's the demand for this?" Is CC politically active? CC can't lobby for legislation given its 501(c)(3) nonprofit status. Nor does it really see the need to try to change the current legal framework for CC to work. Instead, it seeks to strike a balance between total control of works, on the one hand, and anarchy, on the other, under the current legal structure. It doesn't need to change the laws to accomplish this. This was the end of the formal presentation, but Glenn and I talked briefly afterwards about the fraud/spoofing question, and my other (previously emailed) question about whether CC anticipates playing any role in any disputes that may arise between registrants and the users of works. He told me CC sees itself primarily as a facilitator, and that redress for any wrongdoing probably will be left to conventional means of policing fraud on the Internet and the available civil remedies.

    I'll Take That To Go, Please

    Summing Up ILaw: From Donna Wentworth, who also provides all the links to Dan Gillmor's, Drew Clark's, Frank Field's and Cedar Pruitt's notes/thoughts/etc. Huge thanks, some Tiger Balm and a bottle of Aleve to these writers (for aching finger joints and harried heads).


    Dorothea Salo's interview with Frank has swamped my synapses. Beautifully written, subject matter rich and wide ranging. Dorothea's merely 30; see also "Things Other People Accomplished When They Were Your Age [Or Younger, You Slouch]" [via The Screen Savers].

    Bugs, Morals And Sock Puppets

    After that tease, here are a couple of things to check in the current Wired: The Bugs in the Machine (by Brendan I. Koerner): on how code could be cleaner and products liability law may concur. --Not mentioned, but relevant: transparency. [Via The Linux Journal and Doc] The Moral Minority (by Denise Caruso): on an "open house" approach to bioethics. There are more good pieces but those caught my eye. Also (not in Wired), did you see where the Sock Puppet has gotten himself a second chance? [Via E-commerce Times] With a car loan group and a new tag line: "Who says pets can't drive?"

    Tuesday, July 09, 2002

    Mailbox Revelation

    Come home from work, pick up the mail: bills, bills, junk, Wired Magazine - which I suddenly realize I now view as their way of telling me the magazine part of the Web site has been updated. (Duhn-duhn-duhn; dissolve to black.)

    Tomorrow: Glenn Otis Brown of Creative Commons

    Don't forget, tomorrow afternoon Bag and Baggage will share Creative Commons Assistant Director Glenn Otis Brown's thoughts on "The Future Of Copyright In The 21st Century," courtesy of our intellectual property practice group (my second, along with appellate). I can still get you in if you ask nicely (more here); otherwise, check here a little after 1:00 p.m. PDT.

    Turn Yourselves In, Or You Will Be Apprehended...

    Sometimes, justifiably in awe of the perilous tactics of the Blawg Patrol field unit, blawgers just remand themselves to my custody, and turn in their cohorts to boot. Such was the case with Jason Rylander, who practices appellate and land use law in Washington, D.C.:
    In my 30 years, I've been an election lawyer, an environmental journalist, a freelance writer, an expert chess player, and a classical tenor. I live in the Washington, D.C. area, but I'm a native New Yorker who can't understand why there's no good Chinese food and pizza by the slice around here. I'm also an opera freak, audiophile, and chowhound who likes Bach, Puccini, Sapphire martinis, fine food, and sleeping late.
    Jason also ratted out the indefatigable Pejman Yousefzadeh. I had come across Pejman's site awhile ago and didn't register he was a lawyer. Some force must have been trying to clue me in, as the phrase "PejmanPundit" has since gone through my head several times during yoga class like a mantra. Meanwhile, the field unit remains fully deployed and operational. Agent Will Cox reports, "blawgspotting: almost as fun as trainspotting, but without the toilet-diving," and has nabbed our first Canadian blawg: Michael Girard's e-Lawg. Michael is a bona fide Barrister and Solicitor in Toronto, who reckons e-Lawg will reflect his interests in professional liability (legal and accounting), technology, privacy, Conflict of Laws, insurance, litigation, management and KM.

    License To Blog

    Anyone who plans to click the publish button with regularity should read Rebecca Blood's book, The Weblog Handbook. Dr. Weinberger captures it in his jacket quote: "[N]ot just a How-to but also a What-to, Why-to and a So-what..." I started reading last night, and now Chapter 1's poor pages are all folded down and marked up so I can come back to the many pearls. Here are some:
    The very best weblogs, in my opinion, are designed to accommodate unexpected turns, to allow for a little experimentation. ...
    When a weblogger and his readers share a point of view, a weblog constantly points its readers to items they didn't know they wanted to see. ...
    Though he knows his audience will read and make their own evaluation, the weblogger will discover that he conveys his point of view in even the few words of his description. With each choice, the weblogger learns the power of a single word to affect the perception of his readers. ...
    Sure, you can swerve onto the freeway without driver's training, but it's not the greatest idea - you could do unnecessary harm to yourself and others. From the little I've read of Rebecca's book (and I can't wait to finish it), an alternate title could be "Blogger's Ed."

    Monday, July 08, 2002

    You Can Take It With You

    Technology + law + convenience = good: Larry Sullivan writes: "Starting today, the law office is offering scanned copies of your legal documents (such as wills, living wills, power of attorney, etc.) on a specially prepared business-card-sized CD. ... It is our belief that we are the first law firm to offer such a service, and the cost is negligible." Given the frequency with which wallets, keys, cars, etc. can go missing, security seems important here too. How about strong encryption/password protection - or a tiny destructive charge that could be remotely triggered in the event of loss or theft? Pity the poor culprit who totes your cd in a jeans pocket... --Later: Larry answers the less tongue in cheek part of my security question in his comments, here.

    Toward Sensible Solutions

    "mediAgora defines a fair, workable market model that works with the new realities of digital media, instead of fighting them." Wow, Kevin, I'm impressed, and hope this project generates ideas that might tame the hornet's nest touched on in the articles below.

    P2P Morning

    Three stories on the fate of the music industry and P2P networks greeted me before I could even pour a cup of coffee:
  • Declan McCullagh on Rep Howard Berman's bill to permit attacks against file swapping networks: Much Ado About Nothing. [Via c | net News.Com and Politech] As the title suggests, the article surveys technology related legislation proposed this year and examines why it's not going anywhere.
  • Chuck Philips on the sluggish market for Vivendi Universal: Industry Woes Hit Vivendi's Music Unit. [Via the L.A. Times] This piece looks at how buyers for the company responsible for 40% of all cd sales are scarce, in light of fears about the future of the music business as it currently operates.
  • John Healey on dissension among record companies about the value of P2P networks: Labels See Perks In File Sharing. [Via the L.A. Times] Healey points out how independent record labes could undermine the major labels' argument that P2P networks have "no significant legitimate use," because the indies and their artists see the value in exposure gained from file swapping.
  • Stow your tray tables, there's turbulence ahead.

    Sunday, July 07, 2002

    Reports From The Field

    Ernie, head of the highly trained, fiercely committed Blawg Patrol field unit, has nabbed another one: Peter Sean Bradley, who quips that Howard "scoops me on Fresno appellate decisions." (Spooky, isn't it?) The home office did its bit earlier today with Ann, just to keep current on the old tradecraft, and also appreciates Howard's preemptive efforts to keep us from enthusiastically blogrolling fictional, blog-deprived cartoon lawyers (soon's Harvey gets a blog, we'll talk).

    Lecture Notes

    Hylton Jolliffe's Corante On Blogging reminds me of UCLA's lecture notes: missing a day of class isn't the end of the world because Hylton will help you catch up.

    Between The Lines

    One Bucket, Two Tears

    Ann Salisbury has been hiding under my nose here in Newport Beach. Her blog's great fun. Political commentary, PowerPuff Girls, pointers to posts considering the travails of "decent mammary support," and the Newport Pier Surf Cam. Unrelated novelty: Mike Kania designed my BlogSkin.

    Thought You Should Know

    I've been enjoying ...thisisforever^net..., including its crunchy photos.

    Saturday, July 06, 2002

    Insightful Interview With Insiteview Author

    The tradition continues: Frank's interview with Tom Shugart of Insiteview is up and explores a number of thoughtful issues including, "Would anyone even think of getting married now without having lived together?" I can't think of a soul I know who hasn't kicked the tires for at least a year prior to matrimony.

    Friday, July 05, 2002

    Independence Blawg

    Ed Still, a Washington D.C. lawyer with much experience in government affairs, yesterday declared his independence by starting a blog. Though Votelaw is just getting going, I have the feeling Ed's writing will be enlightening. While in Washington, Ed was the Director of the Voting Rights Project of the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, a nonprofit public interest law firm dedicated to providing legal services to address racial discrimination. He has represented minority citizens in more than 200 cases under the Voting Rights Act and has argued and briefed cases in the U.S. Supreme Court. Ed also knows much about campaign finance reform and the McCain-Feingold bill. Ed practiced for many years in Alabama, serving as general counsel to the Alabama Democratic Party, counsel for several Alabama cities in redistricting matters, and counsel for former Alabama Attorney General Bill Baxley in an election contest. He will be moving/returning to Birmingham, AL later this summer. Ed tells me Rick Klau's recent article encouraged him to take the plunge. From here it appears dad and baby are recovering nicely.

    The Eye-Brain Barrier

    Anyone who has been reading this blog for awhile knows how I feel about Bill Bedsworth, Justice of the California Court of Appeal, Fourth District, Division Three, to wit: any qualms I have about human cloning or "eugenics" could be mostly allayed by assurances of worldwide propagation of the Bedworth gene. This month, Justice Bedsworth's column is about a proposed amendment to California criminal jury instructions, prompted by hippopotomus regulation and jailbreaks. It includes this arch aside about the county Beds and I call home: "I live, after all, in the epicenter of American Libertarianism. I'm in the process of formulating a theory that for every law enacted in California, there is an Orange County Register reader who is violating it-purely as a matter of principle." How I love the smell of amphibious African mammals in the morning. (The one in question resided closer to Chuck, and must have been giving Pongo fits.)

    Wednesday, July 03, 2002

    Program Next Week, Creative Commons Assistant Director Glenn Otis Brown on The Future Of Copyright In The 21st Century

    I just learned from our head of professional development at the firm that we have a real treat coming up on our in-house MCLE (Mandatory Continuing Legal Education) schedule. Next Wednesday, July 10, Glenn Otis Brown, Assistant Director of Creative Commons, will be speaking from Noon to 1:00 p.m. in our San Francisco office about "The Future Of Copyright In The 21st Century." (This officially qualifies as V-for-Voluntary CLE, don't you think?) The program also will be video conferenced live in our Oakland, Los Angeles and Century City offices. Non-firm members are welcome but our conference rooms are only so big. So, if you are interested in attending the program in S.F., or one of the video conference sessions in our other offices, please email me and I'll sign folks up on a first come, first-served basis. (I'll be tuning in from L.A.; driving directions are available from the links above.) Of course, you can always read about it here next Wednesday afternoon. I'm told Glenn plans to discuss Creative Commons' efforts to cultivate the public domain, and also share his thoughts on Eldred v. Ashcroft (Eric Eldred is on the Creative Commons Board). Crosby is an approved California MCLE provider, so if you join us and are a California lawyer you will earn an hour of general participatory credit. Plan on arriving early to clear building security.

    Give This Lawyer A Blog - Oh, Got One

    I was just thinking it had been a long while (ok - an Internet long while) since anyone had pointed me to another blawg, which I define broadly around the author rather than the content; if it's a weblog maintained by someone who calls some aspect of the legal field home, or did at one time and hasn't completely renounced it, it counts. Had the blog tool folks finally decided to bar the doors against the legal scourge? Seems not, Ernie has come to the rescue and found the superbly titled Unbillable Hours and TBP, Esq., a New Jersey lawyer with a great, direct voice, an affinity for Lincoln and Montaigne, and (for example) court hearings that rival The Spanish Inquisition. I look forward to reading and so should you. (Aside: I love Ernie's observation that because Rick Klau blogged it we get to read Rick's article before the print magazine even arrives, and I would add before the ABA has gotten around to posting the current edition of LPM Magazine on its Web site, which still features May/June at the moment.) While saying hello to TBP, I also bid a bittersweet au revoir to Rebeca Delgado, and look forward to what she has in store for us down the road. --Later: Two in one day? Law professor Jeff Cooper as well (thanks, Howard).


    Rick Klau writes, about weblogs and firm-wide knowledge management,
    Whether you embrace weblogs for their individual benefits or the larger, institutional benefits, one thing is certain: weblogs will become a powerful tool for those in the legal profession that seek ways of more efficiently and intelligently managing their information.
    His article appears in this month's ABA Law Practice Management Magazine.

    Unpublished Opinons, Budgets, Separation Of Powers And - Where's The Media?

    University of Arizona law librarian Leah Sandwell-Weiss wonders how West's print set of unpublished U.S. appellate decisions is selling (since unpublished decisions aren't precedent in her jurisdiction, and in any event are available from other sources), and whether Congress will allocate more tax dollars to courts and libraries if it concludes federal courts should be issuing more published opinons. Howard Bashman questions whether the Legislature can regulate how the Judiciary decides appeals, and I'm enjoying Howard's articles about nonpublication (referenced at the last link), given that I've "grown up" as a lawyer in a jurisdiction where unpublished decisions are the norm and he offers a characteristically well-considered perspective. Now granted - this is an esoteric issue that only an appellate wonk (and a few of you other crazies) could love. But wouldn't you think there'd be a news story by now about last Thursday's congressional hearing? Aren't there reporters who hang out at the House just to relate what goes on there? There's a scheduling note on the Washington Post's "Today In Congress" page, but I haven't seen anything about the hearing itself. (Shoot, you know you've gone niche when you can't even find it on C-SPAN.)

    Tuesday, July 02, 2002

    "Web Posting Is Like Print In Libel Case"

    I haven't read the opinion, but it sounds like New York's high court got this right. [Firth v. State, PDF, Via New York Law Journal/]

    Happy Birthday, Overlawyered

    A fine site has just turned three. And posted a list of legally preoccupied weblogs for the reading.

    Noticing Notices

    Harriet Klausner gave my Dad's book a great review. And if that doesn't warrant links to her site and the current Wired News article about her, I don't know what does. [Via Daypop Top 40]


    This William Levin guy is toooo funny. [Via Daypop Top 40]

    Touching Speech

    According to the California Court of Appeals, Fourth District, Division Two, topless dancers at a sports bar where alcohol was served who touched and fondled their bare breasts during dances were not engaged in constitutionally "expressive" speech. (Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control v. Alcoholic Beverage Control Appeals Board of California, June 26, 2002, PDF) This may be the first time a court has been asked to take judicial notice of Michael Jackson's inter-performance crotch grabs [n.24], and the opinion also wryly posits that "gentlemen do not go to topless bars to see 'Swan Lake' or even Twyla Tharp." The court concluded that preventing self-touching during performances in a bar licensed to serve alcohol is no more burdensome on speech than requirements for "pasties" and G-strings, and caressing of the breasts during a performance in such a bar is right out. (You may alternately be relieved or appalled to learn the court left for another day the question of whether manipulating the breast "by pulling on an implanted ring" is subject to like prohibition; see n.25.) Still no pictures. There's always the chance this will go up to the California Supreme Court for further review, so those who prefer "breast snapping" (snapping??) with their cocktails may wish to light a candle.

    Monday, July 01, 2002

    ILAW Coverage

    Catch Donna Wentworth blogging live from the Berkman Center's ILAW program, today through the 5th:
    Okay, folks--here I am at ILAW, which, if you haven't tuned in here at Copyfight before and didn't catch the news, means I'm trying out real-time blogging for the first time. The victims, er, subjects of my scribing: Larry Lessig, Jonathan Zittrain, etc. Ah...Larry has just walked up to the podium...
    Dan Gillmor's at it too, so there should be much to absorb. (But hey - what about the fireworks??)

    Creative Commons LicenseUnless otherwise expressly stated, all original material of whatever nature created by Denise M. Howell and included in the Bag and Baggage weblog and any related pages, including the weblog's archives, is licensed under a Creative Commons License.