Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Federal judge rejects Google settlement agreement

On March 22, a federal judge rejected a proposed settlement agreement between Google and groups representing authors and publishers. In The Authors Guild v. Google, 2011 WL 986049 (S.D.N.Y. 2011), Judge Danny Chin stated antitrust concerns, among others, as a reason for not approving the proposed agreement. He felt that the agreement would grant Google a de facto monopoly over unclaimed (or "orphan") works and would arguably give the search engine giant control over the search market. Judge Chin also raised concerns over the privacy rights of Google Books users, finding that proposed agreement fails to provide adequate protections for users of Google Book Search. In his conclusion, Judge Chin stated that his concerns might be ameliorated if the agreement were converted from an opt-out settlement to an opt-in settlement.

This is the latest development in a much-publicized battle that began in 2005, when the Authors Guild and the Association of American Publishers sued Google for copyright infringement after the company scanned millions of copyrighted titles without securing permission.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Must-Have eReader Applications for Lawyers

Technologist, Findlaw's legal technology blog, reviewed eReader applications which are particularly good for lawyers. The March 28th blog entry lauds GoodReader for iPads because it quickly and clearly displays large pdf documents, efficiently navigates through very large documents by finger-swipe and scroll bar, and has sophisticated annotation capabilities, including the ability to highlight in color, circle text and make notations. Also recommended for iPads are Air Sharing and ReaddleDocs. For Androids, the blog recommends RepliGo Reader and Quickoffice Connect Mobile. RepliGo is also available for Blackberries.

Real World Research - Lunchtime Sessions

Join the BC Law librarians for a series of lunchtime sessions on "Real World Research" to prepare for your summer job or to launch your career. All sessions will be held from 12:15-1:00 pm in Law Library Room 253 and will feature hands-on, practice-oriented research problems.

RSVP: (RSVP preferred but walk-in participants are welcome, too)

TUESDAY, APRIL 5 - Approach, analyze and complete a research problem
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 6 - Statutory research: locate controlling statutes, validate your findings
THURSDAY, APRIL 7 - Administrative law research: track down regulations and agency decisions
WEDNESDAY, April 13 - Navigating court rules to avoid practice pitfalls
THURSDAY, April 14 - Legal research using free web resources: how to boost your research power

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Research in the Real World Panel

The Boston College Law Library is hosting a panel discussion titled Research in the Real World on Tuesday, March 29, 2011 from 4:00 - 5:15 pm. Panel participants are Susan Sullivan, First Circuit Court Librarian, Suzanne Reed Kidder, Law Librarian at McDermott Will & Emery, Eleanor Williams, an associate at Choate Hall & Stewart, and Jared Wood, an associate at Rosenberg, Freedman and Goldstein. Our panel members will offer the law students an inside look at legal research in a court setting and in a law firm setting. As a follow-up, the BC law librarians will be offering lunchtime research sessions on specific research issues in the coming weeks.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

CALI Making Strides Toward Free e-Casebooks

CALI, the Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction, has been working on developing a new legal casebook model that will provide free e-books for law school courses through their eLangdell project. Embracing the growing popularity of e-book readers, CALI plans to release several free e-casebooks for law schools courses that can be read on any e-book reader. During the early phases of the project, CALI has released a number of sample e-casebooks and exercises for law students that are written by law professors.

CALI's newest initiative with eLangdell is their Stimulus Project, where they pay authors $500 per chapter for e-casebook material. These e-casebooks and chapters will be made available to students and other interested readers under a Creative Commons licenses to allow for flexible use of the copyrighted materials. Depending on the number of e-casebooks CALI eventually publishes and law professors' willingness to adopt these materials, the days of costly law casebooks may be a thing of the past.