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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.

    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.