Archive for September, 2010

September/October issue of Spectrum online

Threats & Opportunities

We face threats/opportunities everywhere.  A threat can often become an opportunity; a mishandled opportunity becomes a threat. See below for some interesting examples I’ve recently found.

Unbundling legal services and document assembly services LegalZoom change who use lawyers and in turn how law libraries are viewed and ues.

Hiring private companies to run public libraries not only those in dire financial straits but also those doing ok.

BlockBuster filing for bankruptcy – failing to respond to changing competitors and letting 2 key factors slip: quality & quantity of inventory and customer service.

Big law firm upheavals - a consultant suggesting thousands of jobs may be lost, may or may not be realistic conclusions.  What is certain that the practice and business of law – and of all of those supporting the profession, the business and the education must change to cope.

Seizing the opportunity to distinguish oneself: Ace Hotels based in Seattle and succeeded with starting a hotel in a down economy

Libraries adapt technology to serve their users and the University of Scranton library explores smartphones and information literacy

Banned Book Week

While few books get banned from law library collections, Banned Book Week should be one of the weeks in our law library lectionary. Halfway through the week, take a short break and watch some videos on the topic.

Book Review: U.S. Antitrust Law and Enforcement: A Practice Introduction

Broder, Douglas.  2010.  “U.S. Antitrust Law and Enforcement: A Practice Introduction.”  New York: Oxford University Press.  312 Pages.  $185.00.

In the forward to Douglas Broder’s introductory text “U.S. Antitrust Law and Enforcement”  he writes that there is a “need for a one-volume book, written in plain English and readable in a sitting (admittedly a fairly long one), that surveys and categorizes the United States antitrust laws and the cases interpreting them, describes how and by whom these laws are enforced, and introduces the reader to the practice of antitrust law.”

The book consists of roughly 200 pages of text broken up over eight chapters: (1) Overview and History of U.S. Antitrust Enforcement; (2) Federal Antitrust Statutes; (3) Agreements in Restraint of Trade–Sherman Act, Section 1; (4) Monopolization and Attempted Monopolization–Sherman Act, Section 2; (5) Mergers, Acquisitions, and Joint Ventures–Clayton Act, Section 7; (6) Premerger Notification–The Hart-Scott-Rodino Act; (7) Price Discrimination–The Robinson-Patman Act; (8) Antitrust Enforcement.  In addition, it includes over 100 pages of Appendix materials, which includes a very basic description of the U.S. federal legal system, common law, and case procedure in federal courts.  There is also an extensive glossary of antitrust and other legal terms and a table of cases.

Broder’s prose is simple and his summaries of antitrust law are clear.  He has accomplished what he set out to do, which was to provide an introductory text that is accessible for law students, attorneys, and I would also add undergraduates and international students.  In fact, antitrust law is so simplified in this text that I believe the target audience should be international students who come to the U.S. to study for an LLM.  Among other things, the appendix includes very brief summaries of such broad topics as the bill of rights, the constitution, and the three branches of government.  All 1L’s will learn about these topics in far greater detail during their constitutional law course, so the addition to this text of these topics cannot be for their benefit.  However, students from foreign countries studying for their LLM and who have had none or very little exposure to the U.S. legal system would benefit from the straightforward summary and facts provided in the appendix.  The glossary of antitrust terms is filled with hundreds of defined terms that is helpful for JDs, LLMs, and beginning practitioners.

One final note, two weeks after I first commenced writing this review I was walking through the Harvard Law School Library’s reading room when I noticed someone reading “U.S. Antitrust Law and Enforcement: A Practice Introduction.”  I walked up to him and I told him that I was writing a review of this book and I wanted to know what he thought of it.  He was a visiting scholar from Germany and he needed an introductory text on antitrust law.  He said that the book was perfect for him as he knew very little about antitrust law.   So, at $185 this book is expensive but I would recommend it highly to any library with a sizeable international student body.

George Taoultsides

Research Librarian and Student Services Coordinator

Harvard Law School Library

Resources related to new Sustainabile Law Librarian Column

Resources and Conversation on Sustainability in Law Libraries

I am the author of the new Sustainability Law Librarian column published in the Spectrum. Please join the conversation and share ideas about column articles and sustainability in general.

I intend top publish additional information related to each column article to help individuals understand and take action relating to sustainability in their library’s/organizations. In addition, I hope the blog will help us share and discuss issues relating to sustainability.  I hope you will join the conversation!

The first article in from the new column is: “The Triple Bottom Line and Why We Care about Sustainability.”

See my Diigo list of resources on topics covered in this article at the bottom of this post.

Topics covered in this article:

What is Sustainability?
See the article for 2 definitions. Do you have something to share?

Why do we care about sustainability?
We care because scientific consensus says human caused climate change is happening and the world is warming at an unprecedented rate. We face a 5 to 10 degree rise in temperature in this century with no policy and a 2 to 5 degree increase with aggressive worldwide policy. These predictions are based on the most sophisticated computer models. Scientist have claimed that more than 2-3 degrees increase will set off catastrophic and irreversible changes. See MIT charts at: http://test-globalchange.mit.edu/resources/gamble/no-policy_F.html

See my 2009 Power Point presentation: “Librarians and Environmental Sustainability” at: http://www.aallnet.org/chapter/coall/selden.ppt At risk is our health, national security, water resources, plant and animal extinctions, entire island states….

This presentation presents scientific data and reports relating to projections for our future.

What is the “triple bottom line?”
Classic book on the TBL –  http://tinyurl.com/2c44v45

Tip: save energy, money and reduce your climate impact by using energy efficient lighting.
See page 6 EPA’s Law Office Guide to Energy Efficiency at: http://www.abanet.org/environ/climatechallenge/lawofficeguide.pdf

My Relevant Links From Diigo:

David Selden
National Indian Law Library/NARF
dselden@narf.org

Book Review: Copyright, Contracts, Creators: New Media, New Rules.

Giuseppina D’Agostino.  Edward Elgar, 2010.  ($129, hardcover, ISBN: 978-1-84720-106-5, 352 pages).

In Copyright, Contracts, Creators: New Media, New Rules, author Giuseppina D’Agostino presents an exhaustive and thoroughly researched and documented treatment of copyright protection for independent authors, or freelancers.  She narrowly defines freelancers as those who write for mainstream magazines and newspapers.  This book however, has practical applicability to a very limited U.S. audience.  While there is some analysis of U.S. law, particularly Tasini v. New York Times Co (972 F. Supp 804), the emphasis is on copyright protection in Canada and the U.K.  The author also proposes methods of achieving fair international copyright protection for freelancers.  As such, this niche publication would appeal mostly to U.S. copyright lawyers with an international practice or with a strong interest in copyright legislation, Canadian and U.K. copyright attorneys, and authors or other persons with a personal interest in this aspect of copyright.

As the author explains, the book “evaluates the adequacy of copyright law to address the exploitation of freelance authors’ works in the digital era.”  She posits that as publishers have become global and technologically sophisticated, “they exploit freelancers’ works not only in print form but also digitally, often by making them available through their own web sites or by selling them to third-party databases.”  Freelancers often give no consent nor obtain payment for these additional uses of their work.  They are becoming increasingly more vulnerable as new digital and other currently unknown technologies are developed, providing additional means of dissemination for their work that they could not have anticipated.  Publishers expect to own the copyright in freelancers’ works outright; freelancers want compensation.  The author concludes that copyright law inadequately addresses this problem and she offers solutions to “balance the interests of freelancers, publishers and the user communities.”

Chapter 1 introduces the topic and gives background information.  Chapter 2 discusses the current imbalance of power between freelancers’ and publishers in the digital milieu, with publishers holding the upper hand.  Chapter 3 analyzes the history of copyright, concluding that it emerged to protect publishers, not authors.  Chapter 4 addresses the fight over copyright in U.K. courts, stating that there is only a negligible amount of legal history dealing with contracts between authors and publishers.  Chapters 5 to 8 “examine the legislative and judicial copyright treatment from national regional and international perspectives,” with Chapter 7 containing the Tasini analysis.  Chapter 9 explores ways in which the publisher-freelancer copyright protection inequity could be resolved in U.K. courts.  Chapters 10 discusses the two predominant justifications of copyright law: natural law and economic theory.  In Chapter 11 the author proposes legislative and judicial solutions and explores other methods of enhancing the fairness of copyright law to freelancers.  Chapter 12 summarizes and concludes the book.

The author’s own research “confirms that a sizeable body of (mainly American) literature exists dealing with digital technologies and freelancers’ digital uses.”  Her book fills a gap in discussing Canadian, European, and U.K. law, but U.S. attorneys needing practical guidance on domestic law would better be served by availing themselves of U.S. sources.

D’Agostino is Associate Professor at Osgood Hall Law School, York University, Canada and Founding Director of IP Osgoode, Osgoode’s Intellectual Property Law and Technology Program (www.iposgoode.ca).

Donna M. Fisher is a solo law librarian at Senniger Powers LLP, an intellectual property firm in St. Louis MO.

September 17 is Constitution Day

The day and the week could be an opportunity to highlight constitutional law material.



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