Legal Publishers’ List – tracks mergers in the legal publishing field, and periodically posts related news items.
LLRX Newstand Archives
New York Times (reg. req’d)
The Search for the Family Tree Moves to the Web, June 30, 2001. Sites such as MyTrees.com, FamilySearch.org and www.ellisisland.org offer researchers seeking information on genealogy worthwhile, albeit not comprehensive, resources.
Invisible Publishing Sparks a Lawsuit, June 29, 2001. This copyright infringement lawsuit, filed in Belgium, concerns text that was copied from one site to another, verbatim, but using an invisible text technique. This involves publishing the text in white letters against a white background. Apparently the purpose of action is to trick search engines into providing a higher ranking for the site in their search results.
New York State Bar Association
Lawyers Ask for Exemption from Law That Requires Churning Out “Privacy Notices,” June 29, 2001. “The New York State Bar Association has informed the chair of the Federal Trade Commission that lawyers are already subject to strict rules requiring them to keep client confidences and secrets and should be exempt from sending out the “privacy notices” that have been flooding mailboxes over the last several months.
Inside the Spammer’s World, June 29, 2001. “Some bulk e-mailers, also known as spammers, have gone so far as founding their own Internet service providers (ISPs) to make themselves less vulnerable to interruption of service. This makes stopping spam a kind of cat-and-mouse game.”
Post-Tasini: Pity the Librarians, June 29, 2001. News librarians will be increasingly called upon to help determine which articles fall under the Tasini ruling, and therefore need to be removed from commercial databases.
Supreme Court Rules for Freelance Writers in Tasini Appeal, June 25, 2001. The text of the 7 to 2 decision, http://supct.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/00-201; http://laws.findlaw.com/us/000/00-201.html, will no doubt result in a large volume of articles being removed from database systems including LexisNexis.
Microsoft Proposals Violate Antitrust Laws, Threaten User Privacy and Security, June 21, 2001. “Microsoft’s plans to expand its monopoly to the Internet through its Passport, HailStorm and Instant Messaging initiatives involve new antitrust violations and also raise significant privacy and security issues, according to a new White Paper by the Project to Promote Competition and Innovation in the Digital Age (ProComp).” Please see: White Paper: Passport to Monopoly: “Windows XP, Passport, and the Emerging World of Distributed Applications.”
National Council on Disability Calls For Private Public Partnership To Increase Accessible Electronic and Information Technology (E&IT) To People With Disabilities, June 21, 2001. NCD’s call for that partnership is contained in its report: The Accessible Future.
Google a go-go, June 21, 2001. Just how long the Google search engine can remain the darling of the media and Web enthusiasts is unknown, but this interview with the company’s Director of Research offers insights into their successful strategy of providing “an answer to every query.” Whether the answer is on point is another matter altogether.
New York Times (reg. req’d)
How it Works: Online Maps for Here, There and Everywhere, June 21, 2001. MapQuest is a free service that responds to 20 million daily requests to create maps to assist travelers on local and long distance trips. The system will provide directions via your PC, PDA and cell-phone compatible devices. The site’s information is compiled and supplied by Geographic Data Technology’s 400 employees.
Consumers Union Projects Aims to Measure the Credibility of Web Site, June 21, 2001. “The Web Credibility Project, launched earlier this month, will focus on how health, travel, advocacy, news and shopping sites disclose business relationships with the companies and products they cover or sell, especially when these relationships pose a potential conflict of interest.”
Hackers Love Their TiVos, June 20, 2001. A code called ExtractStream allows users of TiVo digital video recorders to move compressed copies of television shows from their TiVo boxes into their computers, and beyond.
Privacy Notice Requirement Catches Firms By Surprise, June 20, 2001. “Although it was released more than a year ago, 16 CFR Part 313 — a Federal Trade Commission regulation designed to accompany Gramm-Leach-Bliley — went largely undiscovered until last month. The regulation requires law firms to send notice of their privacy policies to any individual with whom they have a “customer relationship” by July 1 – which is just over a week away.” The text of 16 CFR Part 313 is available at: http://www.ftc.gov/os/2000/ 05/65fr33645.pdf.
Online Sex Predators Pose Risks for Kids, June 20, 2001. “Nineteen percent of children between the ages of 10 and 17 have received unwanted sexual solicitations while online or from people who tracked them down through Web profiles, according to the study, published Wednesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association.” The report called Risk Factors for and Impact of Online Sexual Solicitation of Youth.
See also this related NYTimes article: http://www.nytimes.com/2001/06/20/technology/19CND-ONLINE.html.
Tax-Free But Not Trouble-Free, June 20, 2001. ” If you make purchases online, you probably like not having to pay sales tax much of the time. But a majority of states say a tax-free Net is just bad news.”
It’s Time to Rescue Yourself from the E-Mail That Has Swamped Your InBox, June 20, 2001. Most of us are overwhelmed by the amount of daily email we receive, especially if we maintain multiple email accounts. This article offers some practical suggestions on how to regain valuable time now spent on reviewing and deleting unwanted mail.
New Move to Put Centuries Old Newspapers’ Archives Online, June 18, 2001. Companies such as Cold North Wind (see the 6/18/2001 LLRX Buzz, for a review) and ProQuest Co. see revenue in newspaper archives databases that provide access to content dating back to the 1890s.
E-Mail Slips as Web Use Grows, June 19, 2001. “The number of people surfing the internet in the UK has risen to more than 16 million, according to a survey by the Consumers’ Association. That figure suggests that 36% of the entire population now goes online – up from 27% a year earlier.”
Lawyers Raise Fears Over AltaVista’s New Search Engine, June 18, 2001. According to AltaVista’s VP, Search Software division: “Wherever data resides, whether it is structured or unstructured, AltaVista’s software architecture provides a single, universal view to create efficiencies and more intelligent decision making throughout an organisation.” Personal data, e-mails, and other documents would technically be completely accessible, which raises the dual issues of privacy and data protection.
More Net Speak Enters Oxford English Dictionary, June 15, 2001. The dictionary’s online version now has XML, MP3, spam, and a whole lot more Web and IT related definitions. The hard copy version will not be published for another 10 years, so stick with online, but be aware of the high fee.
The State of Surveillance, June 18, 2001. The IRS, Census Bureau, HHS, and other government agencies have a plethora of information about citizens, and they are increasingly sharing this information, stored in a range of databases, with other agencies. The accelerated pace of e-government has many consequences including an increase in the collection and dissemination of private information.
Monitoring and Privacy: Is Your Head Still in the Sand? June 25, 2001. A recent survey indicated that 30.8 percent of respondents’ companies monitored Internet connections, and 54.1 percent monitored stored e-mail messages. Even in light of these facts, employees still maintain a reasonable right to privacy. This extensive and well documented article reviews legislation concerning privacy and monitoring, monitoring tools for voice and email traffic, and also includes a readers survey on privacy issues whose results are rendered in easy to read graphs and charts. Good article!
GPO Access Training Manual, June 2001. For those who have a little extra time to read a 73 page PDF training manual, this may be just the ticket! All kidding aside, this is a useful and detailed guide, and includes instruction on searching strategies, navigational links, and resources available via the site.
Salon: Last One Standing, June 15, 2001. With the recent demise of Feed Magazine, one of the longest running ‘zines, Salon now stands alone in its struggle to continue publishing its unique brand of commentary. Salon is turning to fee-based options and pleading for support from its readers.
Bolting Down the Secrets in Your Handheld, June 14, 2001. With more sensitive data being maintained on Palms and other handhelds, there is an increased need to secure information. There are two companies offering encryption tools designed specifically for PDAs. Certicom’s new MovianCrypt software encrypts all of the data stored on a Palm. F-Secure’s FileCrypto, due later this year, will provide similar protection for Pocket PC and Symbian-based handhelds.
Who Gives a Dam About Privacy, June 13, 2001. This article by Larry Pryor, director of the Online Program at the USC Annenberg School for Communication, focuses on the continued monitoring of personal data and activity on Web sites, and the growing need for the industry to self-regulate. The inevitable consequence of inaction on this important issue will be government restrictions on the active communication process supported by the Web.
Reporters’ Confidential Requests Make their Way Onto the Web, June 13, 2001. “A service designed to help journalists anonymously find sources for news articles has spilled some of its confidential contents onto the Web, making them easily accessible through popular search engine Google. ExpertSource, a collaboration of Business Wire and Round Table Group Inc., inadvertently left databases of requests from journalists available publicly. The entries included thousands of reporter names, phone numbers and details on stories they were pursuing — something many journalists view as confidential.”
Microsoft’s First Amendment, June 13, 2001. The author of this column, Eric Grevstad, forcefully details his position against the use of Microsoft’s new Smart Tag technology, bundled in Office XP. “IE has acquired the ability to parse each Web page as you browse and insert new links beneath words or phrases it recognizes.” As a result…”every mention of a company carries a pop-up menu that offers to jump you to a news page, stock quote, and price chart, all from MSN MoneyCentral.”
The Battle to Define the Future of the Book in the Digital World, May 28, 2001. This paper, by Clifford Lynch (Director of the Coalition for Networked Information), is a thorough and well documented examination of competing visions for the future of the book in the digital environment, with particular attention to questions about the social implications of controls over intellectual property, such as continuity of cultural memory.
New York Times (reg. req’d)
Arts Online: Making Federal Web Sites Friendly to Disabled Users, June 11, 2001. There are 16 new government guidelines that go into effect on June 21, and they will have an impact on Web site design, navigation and content. Examples of required changes to Web site appearance and access include: colors used for hyperlinks must be decipherable by colorblind users, and captions must now be available to accompany audio and video clips for hearing-impaired people.
U.S. Defends Law Aimed At Cyberporn in Libraries, June 8, 2001. “In a lengthy response to a First Amendment challenge to the Children’s Internet Protection Act, the Justice Department argues that the new law simply ensures that government funds are not used to subsidize material deemed harmful to minors.”
Online Ads Go Behind the Scenes, June 8, 2001. Regular readers of the NY Times and LA Times web sites may be wondering what they did to deserve such a fate: the constant, nagging appearance of ‘pop-under’ ads for X10’s wireless Internet camera appear with each request for an article. Apparently, this terrific ad concept has its origins in the porn industry. Thanks for sharing!
The Net Effect: May the Best Interface Win, June 2001. Amazon’s web site is a marvel in terms of a user’s ability to easily, effectively and even happily navigate, locate and purchase content. Why haven’t other e-commerce sites been able to put this same type of interface into practice?
MP3 Goes Pro, June 2001. MP3’s creators ready a better-sounding version of the ubiquitous online music format and finally reveal their licensing scheme for streaming MP3.
Finding Fences in Cybespace: Privacy, Property and Open Access on the Internet, June 2001. “The law must balance between property rights and open access on the Internet. A central assumption of this article is that a limited license must be implied by a connection to the Internet. The central concern of this article is not whether interactions on the Internet are sometimes free of liability, but rather determining which interactions are a basis for liability and which are not.”
DOD Internet Practices and Policies, May 31, 2001. The objective of this audit “was to evaluate the DoD practices and policies on personally identifiable information gathered on individuals who access DoD Internet web sites…. However, for 400 DoD Internet web sites reviewed, we identified:
128 persistent cookies, of which 38 were third-party commercial cookies, and
7 contained known web bugs. 100 sites that did not contain a privacy notice. 61 of 80 sites that requested voluntary personal information and did not contain a privacy notice.”
WashingtonPost.com Introduces New Personalization Service, Giving Users News and Info the Way they Want It, June 5, 2001. According the Post’s CEO, “my Washingtonpost.com is a place for local and national users to get washingtonpost.com the way they want it. The new service lets people take control of the news and information we offer, and have it delivered to them in a quick, easy to use format.” This is accomplished via the use of personalized modules that provide specific information, from weather to sports and traffic. Additional content modules will be added in the future.
LexisNexis Introduces Customized eSolutions for the Enterprise, June 5, 2001. LexisNexis has introduced a family of knowledge solutions for corporations and government agencies to allow users to access critical information and knowledge from internal and external sources, via customized features on their intranet.
2001 Digital State Survey, Part 1, June 4, 2001. This is the first of a four part survey that documents and evaluates the progress state governments have made in adopting and utilizing digital technologies to improve the delivery of services to their citizens. Part I, is “Law Enforcement and the Courts: The utilization of digital technologies by the judicial system, including online access to court opinions, the use of digital communications by police agencies and the availability of digital signature capability for contracts and filings.”
Search Copyright Office Records, June 4, 2001. The Copyright Office has implemented an experimental alternative search system to locate Registered Works (Copyright Monograph Database – since 1978), Serials (Copyright Serials Database – since 1978), and Documents (Copyright Documents Database – since 1978). You may search by fields (title, author, claimant) or by keywords.
Death of the Free Web, June 4, 2001. This overview links readers to a series of articles that will be available over the course of three consecutive days. The focus is the growing transition away from free content and services on the Web toward fee-based models. Today’s article titles reflect a scenario that may await us right around the corner, in which the digital divide continues to expand, and information is once again a commodity accessible only to those who can afford to pay for it. Direct links to the articles are as follows: Gated communities on the horizon; A segregation of information feared; Blind faith in traffic as Web currency.
New York Times (reg. req’d)
Paid Placement is Catching on in Web Searches, June 4, 2001. After trying several different business models, none of which lead to profitability, GoTo.com has landed on the upside of the e-commerce downturn. They provide search results to some of the major portal sites, and charge Web sites for top ranking in search results. Using this increasingly common practice, decisions about what is relevant to your request are weighted on the side of those sites that paid fees, rather than an unbiased evaluation of site content.
The Virtuous Search Engines, June 4, 2001. Google is pursuing the mighty mission of organizing the Web’s information, and it intends to carry out the feat by maintaining the integrity of its product.
Orbit z Takes Flight, June 4, 2001. Chris Sherman reviews this new travel site, whose significant advantage is that it has agreements with over 450 airlines around the world. Rivals Expedia and Travelocity are strongly opposed to this site based on the contention that it represents a monopolization of the online ticketing market.
In Search of Search: Google’s Co-Founder contemplates New Ways to Find Stuff Out, June, 2001. Sergey Brin explains data mining, back-end operations of the search engine (they use 8,000 servers running Linux), the site’s ad program, and more.
Building Digital Libraries: Pass the Cookies and Uphold the Privacy, June, 2001. This article is an excellent roadmap for libraries who are in the process of establishing privacy policies for their sites.
Web Site Design That Won’t Get You in Trouble, 2001. Shirley Duglin Kennedy’s thorough article covers major issues that web managers need to address, including: copyright issues, linking and framing, first amendment issues, advertising, and accessibility.
New York Times (reg. req’d)
Controversial Ruling on Library Filters, June 1, 2001. On May 23, the EEOC ruled in favor of twelve librarians at the Minneapolis Public Library’s central branch who claimed they were exposed to a hostile work environment as a result of public access to pornography via the library’s computers. This decision, coupled with the requirement that all libraries receiving federal funds must install Internet filtering software by 2002, has free speech advocates worried that patron’s Web usage will no longer be a matter of choice.
The Music Revolution Will Not be Digitized, June 1, 2001. The dust is clearing from the online entertainment wars. Who won? The record labels. Who lost? Consumers.
Silencing Critics – But Still Facing Competition, Microsoft Receives E-Book Patent , June 1, 2001. Microsoft’s technology, called ClearType, is a pivotal component in the company’s effort to revolutionize the e-book platform. ClearType allows a purported 300 percent increase in resolution over conventional computer displays.
Owning the Future: Looting the Library, June 1, 2001. This provocative article has a parallel theme to the recent book, Double Fold, mentioned in the Newstand last month. In this author’s opinion, however, it is publishers, not the librarians, who are the villains. Their purpose is to eliminate libraries by instituting a pay-per-access model for all current information, and their primary means of achieving this goal is through relentless attacks against fair use provisions of the copyright law.
Bill Would Require ICANN to Create ‘.Kids’ Domain, June 29, 2001. Reps. John Shimkus, R-Ill. and Edward Markey, D-Mass. introduced a bill that would compel the Dept. of Commerce to force ICANN to create yet another new domain, this one to be used as a safe-haven for children online.
New York Cell Phone Ban Not the End of Communication in Cars; Michigan-based Software Company Developing Solution For Reducing Driver Distraction, June 29, 2001. ” Under a legislation signed into law by New York Gov. George Pataki, motorists caught talking on a cell phone while driving will receive a fine of up to $100 starting in December. The law will also enable the Department of Motor Vehicles to document hands-free cellular devices as a cause for a car accident.”
House Leader Attacks Agency Information Sharing, June 28, 2001. House Majority Leader Dick Armey believes that privacy issues concerning citizens are primarily the result of the wide spread dissemination of personal data among federal agencies.
Bill: HR 2421 IH, the Jurisdictional Certainty Over Digital Commerce Act, June 28, 2001. To exercise authority under Article I, section 8, clause 3 of the Constitution of the United States to clearly establish jurisdictional boundaries over the commercial transactions of digital goods and services conducted through the Internet, and to foster stability and certainty over the treatment of such transactions.
Negotiations Stall on Net Sales Tax Bill, June 20, 2001. “Negotiations among a bipartisan group of senators stalled this week after business groups loudly objected to the absence of specific requirements that all states simplify their often Byzantine tax rules, congressional aides and lobbyists said.”
House Leader to Block Internet Taxes, June 20, 2001. “House Majority Leader Dick Armey said on June 20 he would seek a short-term ban on Internet sales taxes, throwing up a potential roadblock to states and municipalities that want to tax online commerce.”
Internet Gambling? In the United States, at Least, It’s a Bad Bet, June 20, 2001. “A new Nevada bill takes a tentative first step toward trying to get online casinos legalized. But don’t hold your breath.”
Lawmaker Says DMCA Controversy Will Continue, June 19, 2001. Rep. Rick Boucher says a clause that makes it a crime to circumvent copyright protection mechanisms will not be modified during this session of Congress.
Legislation Urged to Protect Corporate Data, June 18, 2001. A t a hearing before the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Crime, corporate execs urged new protections to secure the confidentiality of data shared with the government and prohibitions on the “harvesting” of e-mail addresses from Web sites by spammers.
House Judiciary Chair Nudges Industry on Database Accord, June 19, 2001. “House Judiciary Committee Chairman James Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., told high-tech industry leaders that unless they can hammer out a compromise position on a common database intellectual property protection bill, House leaders would forge their own version of the measure out of two conflicting pieces of legislation.”
House Commerce Chairmen Wants More Info on ID Theft Laws, June 19, 2001. Tauzin, R-La., sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft, urging the Justice Department to provide information about what steps it is currently taking to prevent identity theft.
Net Tax Moratorium Negotiations Clear Key Impasse, June 18, 2001. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore. is the co-author of legislation that would extend the existing three-year ban on new taxes that specifically target the Internet.
House Leader Gephardt Outlines Tech Agenda, June 18, 2001. According to Gephardt, “Democrats in the House take the role of guardians of the Internet Economy very seriously.”
Senate Shifts Renew Interest in Net Taxes, June 18, 2001. November, 2001 a moratorium on ‘net taxes expires. If at this time new regulations are not enacted, then towns, cities and states can then institute their own taxes.
Nevada Governor Signs Web Gambling Law, June 14, 2001. “Nevada Gov. Kenny Guinn has signed AB466, a law that allows Internet gambling casinos even though the Justice Department says the practice is illegal. State officials say court challenges elsewhere could change the federal government’s position and they don’t intend to defy federal law. Casino executives think there is a huge untapped market for Internet gambling.”
U.S. House Panel Approves New Antifraud Network, June 13, 2001. “A House of Representatives subcommittee on Wednesday approved legislation to create a computer network that would link together the existing databases of U.S. state and federal banking, securities and insurance regulators in an effort to combat financial fraud.”
Both Sides Claim Victory in Broadband Bill Markup, June 13, 2001. “The House Judiciary Committee put its stamp of disapproval on the legislation, sending it to the House floor with an amendment to try to cripple the bill. The committee in a voice vote said it would forward the bill with a so-called negative referral to the full House.”
Judiciary Plan Would Kill Tauzin-Dingell Bill, June 12, 2001. “The House Judiciary Committee leadership plans to introduce several amendments and at least one stand-alone bill that would eviscerate a sweeping broadband deregulation effort scheduled for markup on Wednesday, according to sources.”
Tauzin Issues Warning to SEC, June 12, 2001. According to Rep. Tauzin, “The SEC has had a regrettable tradition of attempting to regulate in areas over which it lacked jurisdiction… Internet portals should not become part of this tradition.”
Federal Cybercrime Experts to Tell House About Efforts, June 11, 2001. Federal law enforcement officials from DOJ, the FBI and Secret Service will testify before a House panel Tuesday on their agencies’ efforts to fight cybercrime.
U.S. Senate Leadership on the Web, June 8, 2001. New Senate Majority Leader Daschle updates his web site frequently (it has postings current as of this writing on June 8), while former Majority Leader Lott’s site was last updated on May 10, 2001.
Senate Passes Technology, Education and Copyright Harmonization Act of 2001, June 8, 2001. The Senate passed S 487. According to co-sponsor Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), the bill “will help clarify the law and allow educators to use the same rich material in distance learning over the Internet that they are able to use in face-to-face classroom instruction.” See http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/D?r107:46:./temp/~r107uxRGw7:e0: for the full-text.
Washington Mulls New Way to Combat Online Gambling, June 6, 2001. Efforts to ban Internet gambling have been a resounding failure, as evidenced by Nevada’s recent passage of an online gambling bill. Now there is a new tactic; banning the use of credit cards for such transactions.
Technology Industry Tells Washington What it Wants on Education, Privacy, Taxes, June 6, 2001. “If the country wants to continue its global dominance in technology, it must rush to get its national priorities in place now to regulate the Internet before individual states begin creating a “crazy quilt of onerous, contradictory new state laws.”
Privacy Measures Advancing to Defeat, June 5, 2001. Banks and business in California are lining up in opposition to two California state Senate bills that seek to protect the privacy of consumers and employees. One bill provides for consumers to “opt-put” of sharing financial information obtained by banks, insurers and investment firms. The second bill would require that employees be informed when their employers are monitoring e-mail and Web usage.
Committee Hearing Shows Tauzin-Dingell Bill is ‘Running Out of Steam’, June 5, 2001. The Judiciary Committee held a hearing on H.R. 1542, which would allow the four Bell giants to offer high-speed net access. According to the co-chairs of Voices Choices, a trade association that supports competition among service providers of telephone and Web access, opposition to this bill is strong enough to kill the bill.
Nevada Pushes Ahead With Net Gambling, June 4, 2001. Nevada lawmakers are certainly trailblazers when it comes to Internet gambling. Although the DOJ says ‘net gambling is illegal, legislators have approved AB578, and now the Gaming Control Board and the state Gambling Commission have to create rules to govern cybergambling.