Legal Issues

Military Tribunals Intro

LLRX writes \"United States Military Commissions: A Quick Guide to Available Resources
Stephen Young provides an historical introduction to military commissions, and addresses their statutory authority, judicial consideration and executive authority. He also covers relevant secondary texts, web resources and journal articles. Published March 1, 2002 at \"


US PATRIOT act, library privacy

Someone writes \"This Salon Story requires a password for the whole story, but even the section that doesn\'t require a password is worth a read. scary stuff. \"

There\'s also stories at Evolt and a story by Karen G. Schneider at ALAOnline as well.


Explaining why Daddy\'s CD won\'t play on the computer

Liz writes \"Appeared last week -- refers to up-and-coming legal challenges for CDROM copy protections, and has a good little list of links for background. Also refers to trying to explain sharing to his three-year-old son, and how it gets pretty hard when to try and talk about CDs and other content.

Copyright: Who Should Benefit?\"

by Adam Engst in this week\'s issue of TidBITS\"


The Continuing Saga of the SSSCA

A hearing on the future of the Security Systems Standards and Certification Act is being held as I type this:

A Senate committee is stepping into the middle of an increasingly vocal spat over the future of technology: how to prevent illicit copying of digital content.

On Thursday morning, Senate Commerce chairman Fritz Hollings (D-South Carolina) will convene a hearing on digital copy protection, which he believes should be embedded in nearly all PCs and consumer electronic devices . . .

The SSSCA and existing law work hand-in-hand to steer the market toward adopting only computer systems where copy protection is enabled. First, the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) created the legal framework that punished people who bypassed copy protection -- and now, the SSSCA would compel Americans to buy only systems with copy protection on by default . . .

More from Wired, with thanks to Library Juice and Politech.


Libraries Crack Down On Rude Behavior

Here\'s A Very Short Story on a new county law banning people from library facilities for up to 90 days for rude behavior. Clackamas County, OR, librarians say they\'re seeing an increase in troublemakers, and they want to do something about it.
No details on the law, but they do mention that libraries often double as babysitting services for parents who drop their children off for extended periods of time.


Bookstore Subpoenas and the First Amendment

Julie Hilden has written an article at FindLaw about the increasing frequency of bookstores, both online and off, being subpoenaed to turn over customer purchase records to prosecution attorneys. She makes reference to an Ohio case in which was subpoenaed to release the purchase records of Ohio customers who bought certain erotic audio CDs. (That Article available at More from FindLaw


internet archive et al argue copyright to supreme court

Ryan writes: \"If it wasn\'t for the purportedly archaic copyright law, argues law professor Mark Lemley, representing the non-profit Internet Archive, \"digital archives could inexpensively make the other 9,853 books published in 1930 available to the reading public starting in 2005,\" he wrote. If the law \"still stands, we must continue to wait, perhaps eternally, while works disappear and opportunities vanish.\"

Brief filed by Archive and friends.

NYT Story, Login may be needed before long; wasn\'t at 11.40 this morning, don\'t know how long it takes \'fore this is no longer breaking news.

Gary Price pointed to a number of see also\'s over on his Virtual Acquisition Shelf and News Desk.


State legislative history research

LLRX writes \"
Jan Bisset and Margi Heinen provide a range of Web
resources to assist you with the challenging task of
researching the legislative history of a state statute.
State Legislative History
from \"


Big Brother is watching you read

Someone writes \"Increasingly, the government is demanding that bookstores reveal what books their customers have purchased. Bookstore owners and privacy advocates say that\'s scarier than a Stephen King novel.

Full Story is @ Salon \"

From the article:\"If we allow law enforcement access to customer records whenever they think it\'s convenient, customers won\'t feel secure purchasing books and magazines that are their constitutional right to buy,\" said Chris Finan, president of the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression. \"It\'s important because many books are very private, or about sensitive issues, and if they feel booksellers turn over buying information at regular intervals, customers won\'t buy those books.\" By extension, this could have a chilling effect on the types of books that end up being published.


Search Engines Sued Over Pay-For-Placement Policies

From CNN, with thanks to Metafilter:

The maker of a popular weight-loss system filed suit against four search engines this week, alleging that their policy of letting advertisers pay to appear in top-ranked search results violated federal and state trademark and fair-competition laws.

Mark Nutritionals Inc. [is] asking for at least $10 million in compensatory damages and $100 million in punitive damages from each company . . .

More (Altavista,, and Overture Services Inc. are named in the suit.)



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