Law and Legal

Liability for Providing Hyperlinks to Copyright-Infringing Content: International and Comparative Law Perspectives

Ginsburg, Jane C. and Budiardjo, Luke, Liability for Providing Hyperlinks to Copyright-Infringing Content: International and Comparative Law Perspectives (November 3, 2017). Columbia Public Law Research Paper No. 14-563. Available at SSRN:

“Hyperlinking, at once an essential means of navigating the Internet, but also a frequent means to enable infringement of copyright, challenges courts to articulate the legal norms that underpin domestic and international copyright law, in order to ensure effective enforcement of exclusive rights on the one hand, while preserving open communication on the Internet on the other. Several recent cases, primarily in the European Union, demonstrate the difficulties of enforcing the right of communication to the public (or, in US copyright parlance, the right of public performance by transmission) against those who provide hyperlinks that effectively deliver infringing content to Internet users. This article will first address the international norms that domestic laws of states member to the multilateral copyright agreements must implement. It next will explore how two of the most significant regional or national copyright regimes, the EU and the US, have coped with the question of linking, and then will consider the relationship of the emerging approaches to copyright infringement with national and regional laws instituting limited immunity for copyright infringements committed by internet service providers. We will conclude with an assessment of the extent to which the outcomes under US and EU regimes, despite their apparently different approaches, in fact diverge.”

Categories: Law and Legal

WIPO Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights Thirty-Fifth Session

Nobody among members of the World Intellectual Property Organization disputes the importance of the public services provided by libraries and archives. However, positions are different when it comes to providing exceptions to copyright to those entities so they can continue to dispense their services, in particular in the digital age. An updated study presented in a WIPO committee shows that most countries have exceptions relating to libraries, but termed in very different ways, and are hesitant on how to deal with digital technologies.  Prof. Kenneth Crews, former director of the copyright advisory office at Columbia University (US) and now an attorney at Gipson, Hoffman & Pancione in Los Angeles, today presented the latest version [pdf] of his original 2008 study, already updated in 2014 and in 2015, during the 35th session of the WIPO Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights, [that took] place from 13-17 November. According to Crews, since 2015, a number of countries have revised their copyright laws and the exceptions they provide to libraries and archives, which, he said, serves as a reminder that this is a dynamic issue. The study covers all 191 WIPO member states and found that 161 of those have at least one provision in their copyright statutes that explicitly applies to libraries or archives…”

Categories: Law and Legal

New Federal Data Protection Requirements Impact Higher Education Institutions

“In July 2017, Deloitte and EDUCAUSE convened an expert panel to discuss the implications for higher education institutions in protecting controlled unclassified information (CUI) received from the federal government in institutional information technology systems. Chief information officers and chief information security officers from American University, Coppin State University, George Washington University, Montgomery College, and Virginia Tech shared their insights about Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI) data protection requirements and their approaches to achieving compliance with those requirements. This paper provides a high level summary of their discussion as well as a roadmap for compliance activities.”

Categories: Law and Legal

Rising to the risk: Cybersecurity top concern of corporate counsel

“Risk management is not just a compliance exercise but an opportunity to gain a competitive advantage. More than ever, legal departments are playing a significant role in managing risk and monitoring its effectiveness, especially in the critical area of cybersecurity. Grant Thornton and Corporate Counsel magazine recently surveyed over 190 corporate general counsel to assess their views on the keys to business growth. The topics ranged from regulatory risk management and risk assessments to cybersecurity and data analytics. Below are a sampling of insights from Grant Thornton’s 2017 Corporate General Counsel Survey:

  • 58% of legal departments are highly involved in responding to data security risks; nearly a quarter have primary responsibility for the issue
  • Less than a quarter of counsel are very satisfied with their organizaton’s risk assessment
  • Nearly three-quarters of legal departments cite cyber issues as a top risk.
  • Of those very concerned about data security, only about a third feel adequately prepared

As a result of increasing risk concerns, the role of the corporate general counsel continues to evolve to include new, important areas of focus and responsibilities.  While maintaining a firm handle on the traditional functions of the legal department, the survey reveals that their role is increasingly concerned with regulation and compliance, as well as data privacy and related cybersecurity issues.”

Categories: Law and Legal

WSJ – Google, Shmoogle. Reference Librarians Are Busier Than Ever

WSJ (sub. req’d): “…Even in the internet age, reference librarians still dig up answers that require extra effort, searching old books, microfilm and paper files, looking for everything from owners of long-defunct firms to 19th-century weather reports. Though online searches are now at the fingertips of most people, many still prefer to call or visit a library. Some can’t or don’t use computers; others recognize librarians have search skills and access to databases that search engines can’t match…Even in Silicon Valley, where people might be expected to be search wizards, libraries get plenty of questions…” [“preaching to the choir,” but come on people, our expertise will always be in demand, our profession is all about “extra effort” and no Google is not the gateway to all knowledge…etc., etc., etc. – thank you to each and every librarian working in America and to those all over the world.]

Categories: Law and Legal

Google Maps gets a new look

 Google Blog: “The world is an ever-evolving place. And as it changes, Google Maps changes with it. As roads close, businesses open, or local events happen in your neighborhood, you’ll see it on Google Maps. When you schedule an event using Google Calendar, get a reservation confirmation in Gmail, or add a restaurant to your “Want to Go” list, Google Maps reflects that too. Now, we’re updating Google Maps with a new look that better reflects your world, right now. First, we’ve updated the driving, navigation, transit and explore maps to better highlight the information most relevant to each experience (think gas stations for navigation, train stations for transit, and so on). We’ve also updated our color scheme and added new icons to help you quickly identify exactly what kind of point of interest you’re looking at. Places like a cafe, church, museum or hospital will have a designated color and icon, so that it’s easy to find that type of destination on the map. For example, if you’re in a new neighborhood and searching for a coffee shop, you could open the map to find the nearest orange icon (which is the color for Food & Drink spots).”

Categories: Law and Legal

U.S. Circuit and District Court Nominees Who Received a Rating of “Not Qualified” from the American Bar Association: Background and Historical Analysis

U.S. Circuit and District Court Nominees Who Received a Rating of “Not Qualified” from the American Bar Association: Background and Historical Analysis – November 13, 2017 IN10814

“The process used by the American Bar Association (ABA) to evaluate judicial nominees has, over the years, remained a topic of ongoing interest among Senators during the judicial confirmation process. This CRS Insight provides background information and historical analysis of U.S. circuit and district court nominees who received, from 1953 to the present, a rating of “not qualified” from the Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary of the ABA. Since 1953, every presidential Administration, except those of George W. Bush and Donald Trump, has sought ABA pre-nomination evaluations of its prospective U.S. circuit and district court nominees. During the Bush presidency, as well as during the current Administration, the ABA has provided post-nomination evaluations of nominees. The ABA committee, which evaluates all individuals nominated to U.S. circuit and district court judgeships, is made up of 15 lawyers with varied professional experiences and backgrounds. According to the ABA, the evaluation by the committee focuses strictly on a candidate’s professional qualifications—specifically, a candidate’s integrity, professional competence, and judicial temperament—and does not take into account an individual’s philosophy, political affiliation, or ideology (note, however, that some have, at times, disputed this characterization). In evaluating integrity, according to the committee, it “considers the prospective nominee’s character and general reputation in the legal community, as well as the prospective nominee’s industry and diligence.” In evaluating professional competence, it assesses a prospective nominee’s “intellectual capacity, judgment, writing and analytical abilities, knowledge of the law, and breadth of professional experience.” And in evaluating judicial temperament the committee considers “the prospective nominee’s compassion, decisiveness, open-mindedness, courtesy, patience, freedom from bias, and commitment to equal justice under the law.” As stated above, the ABA, at present, provides post-nomination evaluations of individuals nominated to U.S. circuit and district court judgeships. At the conclusion of the evaluation process, each member of the ABA committee rates the candidate as “well qualified,” “qualified,” or “not qualified” and independently conveys his or her rating to the chair. If the candidate is found “not qualified” (either unanimously or by a majority of the committee), the committee determined that the nominee does “not meet the committee’s standards with respect to one or more of its evaluation criteria—integrity, professional competence, or judicial temperament.” There are instances when the committee is not unanimous in its rating of a nominee. When this happens, “the majority rating represents the committee’s official rating of the prospective nominee.” The data provided in this Insight includes only those nominees whose official rating from the ABA was “not qualified” (i.e., it does not include nominees who a minority of committee members evaluated as not qualified). The evaluations of judicial candidates are provided by the ABA on an advisory basis. It is solely in a President’s discretion, for example, as to how much weight to place on a judicial candidate’s ABA rating. Hence, a “not qualified” ABA rating of a judicial candidate in some instances may dissuade a President from nominating an individual, while in other instances the President may nominate regardless of the rating. As shown by Figure 1, the number of nominees who received a “not qualified” rating has varied across presidencies (ranging from a high of nine nominees during the Eisenhower presidency to no nominees who received such a rating during the Nixon, Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and Obama presidencies). Overall, of the approximately 2,950 individuals nominated to U.S. circuit and district court judgeships from 1953 through November 12, 2017, 40 (or 1.4%) received a rating of not qualified. Of the 40 nominees who received a not qualified rating, 6 (15.0%) were nominated to be circuit court judges and 34 (85.0%) were nominated to be district court judges. Of the 40 total nominees who received such a rating, 21 (52.5%) were nominated by a Republican president and 19 (47.5%) were nominated by a Democratic president. Among recent presidencies, the George W. Bush presidency had the greatest number of nominees, seven, who received a rating of not qualified. The seven nominees represented approximately 2% of all the individuals he nominated to circuit and district court judgeships. As discussed above, the ABA was not asked during the Bush presidency to provide pre-nomination evaluations of prospective U.S. circuit and district court nominees. This might explain, in part, the relatively greater number of nominees who were known to have received a not qualified rating since prior Presidents might have chosen not to nominate such individuals when confidentially informed by the ABA of its rating. As of this writing, 49 individuals have been nominated by President Trump to U.S. circuit and district court judgeships and have also received a rating from the ABA. Of the 49, 4 (8.2%) received a rating of “not qualified,” 17 (34.7%) received a rating of “qualified,” and 28 (57.1%) received a rating of “well qualified” (including 11, or 78.6%, of 14 circuit court nominees who received a well qualified rating). The number of nominees, as of this writing, who have received a not qualified rating during the Trump presidency is not notably high (when compared to the number of nominees who received such a rating over the entirety of each of the previous 11 presidencies). What is distinctive, however, at least when compared to other presidencies, is that both a U.S. circuit court nominee and at least one district court nominee have received a rating of not qualified during President Trump’s first year in office (which last occurred in 1961 during the first year of the Kennedy presidency). Note that a previous version of this Insight was published on November 9, 2017; this version provides updated data current as of November 12, 2017.”

Categories: Law and Legal

Membership of the 115th Congress: A Profile

CRS report – Membership of the 115th Congress: A Profile, Jennifer E. Manning, Senior Research Librarian. November 13, 2017.
“This report presents a profile of the membership of the 115th Congress (2017-2018) as of November 13, 2017. Statistical information is included on selected characteristics of Members, including data on party affiliation, average age, occupation,education, length of congressional service, religious affiliation, gender, ethnicity, foreign births, and military service.In the House of Representatives, there are 242 Republicans (including 1 Delegate and the Resident Commissioner of Puerto Rico), 198 Democrats (including 4 Delegates), and 1 vacant seat. The Senate has 52 Republicans, 46 Democrats, and 2 Independents, who both caucus with the Democrats. The average age of Members of the House at the beginning of the 115thCongress was 57.8 years; of Senators, 61.8 years, among the oldest in U.S. history. The overwhelming majority of Members of Congress have a college education. The dominant professions of Members are public service/politics, business,and law. Most Members identify as Christians, and Protestants collectively constitute the majority religious affiliation. Roman Catholics account for the largest single religious denomination, and numerous other affiliations are represented, including Jewish, Mormon, Buddhist, Muslim, Hindu, Greek Orthodox, Pentecostal Christian, Unitarian Universalist, and Christian Science.”

Categories: Law and Legal

Best Places to Shop on Black Friday

24/7 Wall St: Best Places to Shop on Black Friday – “Black Friday, the traditional start to the holiday shopping season, has lost its frenetic edge as holiday sales promotions creep into Thanksgiving, and some stores plan to open on Thanksgiving Day. Retailers such as Amazon and Target are offering deals even earlier than Black Friday. Also, Cyber Monday, the Monday after the first holiday sales weekend, has become a prime shopping day, as online shopping has surged at the expense of brick-and-mortar retailers. Even so, Black Friday should still be the busiest shopping day of the Thanksgiving Day weekend, according to the National Retail Federation. The retailer association expects 115 million people to shop that day, according to a survey released on Tuesday. That estimate is still well above the 78 million who plan to shop on Cyber Monday. While the shift to online shopping has disrupted the retail industry, many retailers still rely on foot traffic. In the U.S., an estimated 3.8 million retail establishments support around 42 million jobs. To generate big sales and keep people employed, stores pitch on Black Friday so-called doorbuster deals and other offers not available during the rest of the year.”

Categories: Law and Legal

Welcome to VinylHub

“Welcome to VinylHub! It’s like Discogs, for Record Shops & Record Events. Our mission is to document every physical record shop and record event on the planet. With your help, we can create an accurate listing of all record shops & record events, useful to diggers and travelers everywhere. VinylHub is brought to you by Discogs.”

Categories: Law and Legal

OPEN Government Data Act Passes the House for the First Time

“Today, for the first time, the OPEN Government Data (OPEN) Act passed the U.S. House of Representatives. The House unanimously approved the bill under suspension of the rules. The OPEN Government Data Act is included as Title II in Speaker Ryan’s Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act (FEBP) (HR 4174). The OPEN Government Data Act sets a presumption that all government information should be open data by default: machine-readable and freely-reusable. The Data Coalition, along with other advocacy organizations, have strongly supported the OPEN Government Data Act for nearly 3 years. Today’s vote marks a milestone in the open data movement. This bill prioritizes open data, which will increase accountability and improved internal data-driven management.”

Categories: Law and Legal

Leading News Outlets Establish Transparency Standards to Help Readers Identify Trustworthy News Sources

Google, Facebook, Bing and Twitter to use these “Trust Indicators” to highlight credible journalism: “At a time when the public’s trust in news is declining in much of the world, the news industry is launching a new set of transparency standards that help people easily assess the quality and reliability of journalism. Leading media companies representing dozens of news sites have begun to display Trust Indicators, which provide clarity on the organizations’ ethics and other standards, the journalists’ backgrounds, and how they do their work. These indicators, created by leaders from more than 75 news organizations as part of the nonpartisan Trust Project, also show what type of information people are reading – news, opinion, analysis or advertising. Each indicator is signaled in the article and site code, providing the first standardized technical language for platforms to learn more from news sites about the quality and expertise behind journalists’ work. Google, Facebook, Bing and Twitter have all agreed to use the indicators and are investigating and piloting ideas about how to best to use them to surface and display quality journalism. The Trust Project is led by award-winning journalist Sally Lehrman of Santa Clara University’s Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, and hosted by the Center. The German press agency dpa, The Economist, The Globe and Mail, the Independent Journal Review, Mic, Italy’s La Repubblica and La Stampa, Trinity Mirror and The Washington Post are among the companies starting to go live with Trust Indicators this month. The Institute for Nonprofit News developed a WordPress plug-in to facilitate broader implementation by qualified publishers.”

Categories: Law and Legal

Google’s job search feature now providing salary information

Google Blog – “Searching for a new job can be a painful process, but Google’s latest tool is looking to make things a bit easier. Google announced on Wednesday that salary information for job postings will be visible directly in the search results, which means people won’t have to click and scan job descriptions to determine if the salary fits their needs before applying. The company explained in a blog post that salary information is a crucial deciding factor that’s “missing from over 85 percent of job postings in the U.S. today.” Using history on the job title, location, and employer gathered from online resources like Glassdoor, PayScale, LinkedIn, and more, Google Search plans to determine and display estimated salary ranges to the side of each job listing to give future employees a better idea of what they’re applying for.”

Categories: Law and Legal

House or Senate Tax Bills Would Still Add to Debt

JCX-58-17 (November 16, 2017) – Distribution Effects Of The Chairman’s Modification To The Chairman’s Mark Of The “Tax Cuts And Jobs Act,” Scheduled For Markup By The Committee On Finance On November 16, 2017.

  • Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget Budget – Dynamic Scoring Confirms: House or Senate Tax Bills Would Still Add to Debt: “As more dynamic estimates of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) are released, they all confirm that tax cuts do not pay for themselves. Because both the House and Senate versions of the TCJA add to the national debt, they will only improve economic growth very modestly over the long term – less than they would have if they were completely paid for. Most recently, the Penn Wharton Budget Model (PWBM) estimated the growth effects of the Senate tax bill. PWBM found that the Senate bill (as introduced) would increase the annual average growth rate by between 0.03 and 0.08 percentage points over a decade, generating between $104 billion and $359 billion of dynamic revenue. However, because the resulting faster growth would increase federal spending on interest on the debt and on programs connected to inflation, the additional economic effects would reduce the ten-year debt impact of the bill by between $27 billion and $171 billion.”
  • Washington PostAfter clearing House, GOP tax plan faces obstacles in Senate – Senate Republican leaders are struggling to find enough support for their bill. Multiple Republicans have expressed reservations about the plan, which would permanently reduce the corporate tax rate but allow cuts for households and individuals to expire. The plan would also repeal the Affordable Care Act’s individual insurance mandate.”
  • Wonkblog: What’s in the House bill
  • Senate bill would cut taxes for millionaires but hike them for the poor, working class, report shows
Categories: Law and Legal

CBO – Trends in the Distribution of Household Income

Presentation by Kevin Perese, an analyst in CBO’s Tax Analysis Division, at the University of Michigan’s 65th Annual Economic Outlook Conference. November 16, 2017.

“Using CBO’s new distributional framework and improved estimates of income from means-tested transfers, this presentation examines the distribution of household income and how means-tested transfers and federal taxes affect that distribution. The presentation shows cross-sectional results for 2013 and then examines trends in income, means-tested transfers, and federal taxes from 1979 through 2013.”

Categories: Law and Legal

Beyond GDPR: The Challenge of Global Privacy Compliance

TechPrivacy – Daniel Solove: “For multinational organizations in an increasingly global economy, privacy law compliance can be bewildering these days. There is a tangle of international privacy laws of all shapes and sizes, with strict new laws popping up at a staggering speed. Federal US law continues to fade in its influence, with laws and regulators from abroad taking the lead role in guiding the practices of multinational organizations. These days, it is the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) from the EU that has been the focus of privacy professionals’ days and nights …and even dreams. As formidable as the GDPR is, only aiming to comply with the GDPR will be insufficient for a worldwide privacy compliance strategy. True, the GDPR is one of the strictest privacy laws in the world, but countries around the world have other very strict laws. The bottom line is that international privacy compliance is incredibly hard. This is what Lothar Determann focuses on. For nearly 20 years, Determann has combined scholarship and legal practice. In addition to being a partner at Baker & McKenzie, Lothar has taught data privacy law at many schools including Freie Universität Berlin, UC Berkeley School of Law, Hastings College of the Law, Stanford Law School, and University of San Francisco School of Law. He has written more than 100 articles and 5 books, including a treatise about California Privacy Law. Hot off the press is the new third edition of Lothar Determann’s terrific guide, Determann’s Field Guide to Data Privacy Law: International Corporate Compliance.  Determann has produced an incredibly useful synthesis of privacy law from around the globe. Covering so many divergent international privacy laws could take thousands of pages, but Determann’s guide is remarkably concise and practical. With great command of the laws and decades of seasoned experience, Determann finds the common ground and the wisest approaches to compliance. This is definitely an essential reference for anyone who must navigate privacy challenges in the global economy…”

Categories: Law and Legal

Teaching Newsletter: One Way to Fight Fake News

Chronicle of Higher Education – Teaching Newsletter: One Way to Fight Fake News – We Read It on the Internet

“Anyone who views college as an inoculation against fake news will find a new study from the Stanford History Education Group pretty disheartening. The study, by Sam Wineburg and Sarah McGrew, builds on the group’s previous work, which found that students in middle school, high school, and college were “easily duped” online. The new study tested three kinds of “experts”: historians, professional fact-checkers, and Stanford undergraduates. The fact-checkers performed well, but the students and the historians “often fell victim to easily manipulated features of websites, such as official-looking logos and domain names,” the report says. One test required the experts to evaluate information about bullying from two websites, those of the American Academy of Pediatrics, which has 64,000 members and publishes the field’s main journal, and of the American College of Pediatricians, a much smaller organization that has been labeled a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center for its positions on LGBTQ rights. All of the fact-checkers determined — correctly — that the American Academy of Pediatrics was the more reliable source. But only half of the historians and 20 percent of the students did, with the rest finding the American College of Pediatricians more reliable, or the two groups equally so. Why did the fact-checkers prevail where students at a top college and historians — who, as the report notes, “evaluate sources for a living — stumbled? They read differently. The students and historians tended to read “vertically,” the report notes, delving deeply into a website in their efforts to determine its credibility. That, the researchers point out, is more or less the approach laid out in many checklists designed to help students use the internet well, which tend to suggest looking at particular features of a website to evaluate its trustworthiness…”

Categories: Law and Legal

How Artificial Intelligence Will Affect the Practice of Law

Alarie, Benjamin and Niblett, Anthony and Yoon, Albert, How Artificial Intelligence Will Affect the Practice of Law (November 7, 2017). Available at SSRN:

“Artificial intelligence is exerting an influence on all professions and industries. We have autonomous vehicles, instantaneous translation among the world’s leading languages, and search engines that rapidly locate information anywhere on the web in a way that is tailored to a user’s interests and past search history. Law is not immune from disruption by new technology. Software tools are beginning to affect various aspects of lawyers’ work, including those tasks that historically relied upon expert human judgment, such as predicting court outcomes. These new software tools present new challenges and new opportunities. In the short run, we can expect greater legal transparency, more efficient dispute resolution, improved access to justice, and new challenges to the traditional organization of private law firms delivering legal services on a billable hour basis through a leveraged partner-associate model. With new technology, lawyers will be empowered to work more efficiently, deepen and broaden their areas of expertise, and provide more value to clients. These developments will predictably transform both how lawyers do legal work and resolve disputes on behalf of their clients. In the longer term, it is difficult to predict the impact of artificially intelligent tools will be, as lawyers incorporate them into their practice and expand their range of services on behalf of clients”

Categories: Law and Legal

EFF’s Street-Level Surveillance Project Dissects Police Technology

“Step onto any city street and you may find yourself subject to numerous forms of police surveillance—many imperceptible to the human eye. A cruiser equipped with automated license plate readers (also known as ALPRs) may have just logged where you parked your car. A cell-site simulator may be capturing your cell-phone data incidentally while detectives track a suspect nearby. That speck in the sky may be a drone capturing video of your commute. Police might use face recognition technology to identify you in security camera footage. EFF first launched its Street-Level Surveillance project in 2015 to help inform the public about the advanced technologies that law enforcement are deploying in our communities, often without any transparency or public process.  We’ve scored key victories in state legislatures and city councils, limiting the adoption of these technologies and how they can be used, but the surveillance continues to spread, agency by agency. To combat the threat, EFF is proud to release the latest update to our work: a new mini-site that shines light on a wide range of surveillance technologies, including ALPRs, cell-site simulators, drones, face recognition, and body-worn cameras….”

Categories: Law and Legal

Leonardo da Vinci painting sells in 20 minute auction for record price of $250M

Washington Post – “Leonardo da Vinci’s painting, “Saviour of the World,” sold for $450,312,500 Wednesday at auction, Christie’s said. The price, which includes a buyer’s premium, makes it “the most expensive painting ever sold at auction,” the auction house said in a statement. The previous record for the most expensive painting sold at auction was $179,364,992 for Picasso’s “Les Femmes d’Alger,” according to Christie’s. The highest price previously paid at auction for a da Vinci was in 2001 for his “Horse and Rider,” which went for $11,481,865. The bidding for “Saviour of the World,” (“Salvator Mundi”), coordinated out of Christie’s New York office, lasted a little less than 20 minutes, with two final bidders battling it out. The bids, jumped from $370 million to $400 million and then to the final astronomical price. The identity of the winning bidder was not known. “Saviour of the World” is one of some 16 known surviving paintings — including the “Mona Lisa” — by da Vinci, the master of the Italian Renaissance. The others are scattered throughout the world’s museums…”

Categories: Law and Legal


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