Law and Legal
Make Use Of: Many ebook subscription services offer unlimited access to ebooks for a monthly fee. Here are the best ones, compared – “Internet subscription services are the future. They offer unlimited streaming of media for a flat monthly rate, offering some of the best entertainment value around. But what about an internet subscription for literature? Ebook subscription services have been around for a while now, and if you’re an avid reader, if you don’t use one, you’re missing out. These are the best ebook subscription services that will satisfy your need to read…”
“Modern, intuitive design, deeper product integrations and advanced technologies deliver improved data-driven legal insights while enhancing user experience – LexisNexis® Legal & Professional, a leading global provider of information and analytics, today announced the official commercial launch of Lexis+, a feature-rich, premium legal solution. Lexis+ unites advanced research, practical guidance, brief analysis and enhanced tools with a modern user experience to deliver data-driven insights, greater efficiency and better outcomes.
Lexis+ users will appreciate the dramatic visual styling and simplified layout designed to set a new standard in ease of use. Striking imagery, bold colors and typography improve readability, reduce visual “clutter” and emphasize essential information and tasks. The new Experience Dock creates an integrated starting point for core legal tasks and enables seamless switching between product experiences and workflows. New and intuitive features, such as Search Tree, Code Compare and Shepard’s® At Risk, make it easy for practitioners to access the information and insights they need, control their search experience and provide better counsel. Altogether, Lexis+ delivers on the demand for legal solutions that look and work more like the modern technology products that attorneys use in their personal lives…”
Via LLRX – Internet Archive Open Library lawsuit moves forward; arguments set for November 2021 – Chris Meadows discusses the ongoing case by four publishers, Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins Publishers, John Wiley & Sons and Penguin Random House, against the Internet Archives Open Library respective to the scanning, public display, and distribution of entire literary works. As noted, this is “a potentially sensitive, and complex litigation.” The future of the Internet Archive may hang in the balance. This case is shining light on the heightened importance of evaluating fair use during a pandemic that is keeping vast books collections out of users reach for the unforeseeable future, while most education is confined to distance learning.
The New York Times – With two former solicitors general and hundreds of lawyers, the Biden campaign is bracing for an extended legal battle and hoping to maintain trust in the electoral process. “…Inside the campaign, they are creating a “special litigation” unit, which will be led by Donald B. Verrilli Jr. and Walter Dellinger, two former solicitors general, who are joining the campaign. Hundreds of lawyers will be involved, including a team at the Democratic law firm Perkins Coie, led by Marc Elias, which will focus on the state-by-state fight over vote casting and counting rules. And Eric H. Holder Jr., the former attorney general in the Obama administration, will serve as something of a liaison between the campaign and the many independent groups involved in the legal fight over the election, which is already raging in the courts. “We can and will hold a free and fair election this fall and be able to trust the results,” Ms. Remus said in an interview. Mr. Bauer, who was general counsel on both of Barack Obama’s presidential campaigns, said the operation would be “far more sophisticated and resourced” than those during past campaigns. Ms. Remus and Mr. Bauer outlined a multipronged program that will include some elements common to past presidential campaigns, such as fighting off voter suppression and ensuring people understood how to vote, and some more unique to 2020, such as administering an election during a pandemic and guarding against foreign interference…”
“The Law Library of Congress and the Library of Congress Center for Learning, Literacy and Engagement invite you to our 2020 Constitution and Citizenship Day event, “The Bulwark of Freedom”: African-American Members of Congress and the Constitution During Reconstruction, on September 17th at 3 p.m. EDT. This year’s lecture will be an online event and will be given by Michael J. Murphy, a historical publication specialist in the Office of the Historian for the U.S. House of Representatives. Learn about the lives of the first African Americans to serve in the United States Congress during Reconstruction and the challenges they faced. To register for this lecture, please visit our Eventbrite page.” [h/t Emily Carr]
United States: Federal and State Executive Responses to COVID-19. Anna Price, Legal Reference Specialist; Louis Myers, Librarian-in-Residence. September 2020. “The executive branches of federal and state governments in the United States have authority to enact rules and regulations designed to implement, enforce, and carry out laws passed by Congress. The executive branch generally relies on government agencies to perform these actions. Typically, the process is lengthy, including time for public comment and congressional oversight. Under certain circumstances, however, exceptions can apply to the process, allowing agencies to act immediately, lawfully bypassing normally longer regulatory procedures.Although emergency rulemaking has been used in response to previous emergent situations, the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in emergency rulemaking affecting every jurisdiction in the United States. The functional effects of emergency rulemaking are wide-ranging and can be contentious. The nature of emergency rulemaking creates difficulties for oversight at both the federal and state level. The rules and regulations enacted under the emergency framework will shape current and future generations as the United States begins to recover from COVID-19’s economic and societal impacts…”
New Statesman “After years of complaints from users, Goodreads’ reign over the world of book talk might be coming to an end. On a typical day, a long-time user of Goodreads [owned by Amazon], the world’s largest community for reviewing and recommending books, will feel like they’re losing their mind. After numerous frustrated attempts to find a major new release, to like, comment on, or reply to messages and reviews, to add what they’ve read to their “shelf” or to discover new titles, users know they’ll be forced to give up, confronted with the fact that any basic, expected functionality will evade them. Sometimes even checking what they’ve already read will be next to impossible. Across a huge range of reading habits and preferences, this the one thing that unites millions of Goodreads users: that Goodreads sucks, and is just shy of unbearable. There should be nothing in the world more benign than Goodreads, a website and app that 90 million people around the world use to find new books, track their reading, and attempt to meet people with similar tastes. For almost 15 years, it has been the dominant platform for readers to rate books and find recommendations. But many of the internet’s most dedicated readers now wish they could share their enthusiasm for books elsewhere. What should be a cosy, pleasant corner of the internet has become a monster…”
OECD September 2020, The Economic Impacts of Learning Losses: “The worldwide school closures in early 2020 led to losses in learning that will not easily be made up for even if schools quickly return to their prior performance levels. These losses will have lasting economic impacts both on the affected students and on each nation unless they are effectively remediated.While the precise learning losses are not yet known, existing research suggests that the students in grades 1-12 affected by the closures might expect some 3 percent lower income over their entire lifetimes. For nations, the lower long-term growth related to such losses might yield an average of 1.5 percent lower annual GDP for the remainder of the century. These economic losses would grow if schools are unable to re-start quickly. The economic losses will be more deeply felt by disadvantaged students. All indications are that students whose families are less able to support out-of-school learning will face larger learning losses than their more advantaged peers, which in turn will translate into deeper losses of lifetime earnings..”
Washington Post – “This spring, adults suddenly working from home full-time got a lesson in ergonomics the hard way. This fall, make sure your kids don’t have to. To ensure learning from home isn’t a pain in the neck (or strain on the eyes), we turned to experts in ergonomics and children’s health. They prioritize two conditions for healthy learning: frequent movement throughout the day and a screen at eye level.
Movement and having the screen at eye level are the biggest things to reduce issues of lower back and neck pain,” says Daren Molina, a sports medicine specialist at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston, where he’s starting to see an uptick in kids coming in with problems related to not moving and poor neck posture…”
The New York Times – “Working remotely may have eliminated your commute and allowed you to spend the day in your pajamas, but it also means you’re most likely bombarded with digital communication every second of the day — from personal and professional emails crowding your inboxes to push notifications reminding you of every news development to the nonstop viral allure of Twitter and Instagram. If you are suffering from tech fatigue, or simply trying to become more productive online, here are steps you can take to organize your digital landscape…”
How Google, Facebook, and Twitter plan to handle misinformation surrounding 2020 presidential election results
Fortune via Yahoo Finance: “Google, Facebook, and Twitter are preparing for an unprecedented hurdle they may face on the night of Nov. 3: Not knowing who won the 2020 presidential election. A massive number of voters are expected to vote by mail, at least partially driven by a desire to avoid contracting the coronavirus. But it’s still unclear whether all ballots will be counted by the night of the election. Any difficulties or delays could ultimately postpone election results by days or weeks, which could allow election misinformation and false claims of victory to go viral. Google, Facebook, and Twitter will be under increased pressure to control election-related misinformation, which the three have historically struggled to police. Politicians, political campaigns, foreign actors, and even average users have long used the services to disseminate false claims about candidates, and in some cases undermine the credibility of this year’s election given its unique circumstances. The three companies recently announced new policies aimed at mitigating false claims of victory. Here’s what they plan to do…”
Fisher KA, Tenforde MW, Feldstein LR, et al. Community and Close Contact Exposures Associated with COVID-19 Among Symptomatic Adults ≥18 Years in 11 Outpatient Health Care Facilities — United States, July 2020. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2020;69:1258–1264. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm6936a5external icon – “Findings from a case-control investigation of symptomatic outpatients from 11 U.S. health care facilities found that close contact with persons with known COVID-19 or going to locations that offer on-site eating and drinking options were associated with COVID-19 positivity. Adults with positive SARS-CoV-2 test results were approximately twice as likely to have reported dining at a restaurant than were those with negative SARS-CoV-2 test results..Community and close contact exposures continue to drive the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. CDC and other public health authorities recommend community mitigation strategies to reduce transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19…”
Leonard Downie Jr., former executive editor of The Post, is the Washington-based Weil Family professor of journalism at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School. This article is excerpted from his book “All About the Story: News, Power, Politics, and The Washington Post,” to be published by PublicAffairs this month.
The Nation – the largest corporations in publishing want to change what it means to own a book. “…The Internet Archive is far more than the Open Library; it’s a nonprofit institution that has become a cornerstone of archival activity throughout the world. Brewster Kahle is an Internet pioneer who was writing about the importance of preserving the digital commons in 1996. He built the Wayback Machine, without which an incalculable amount of the early Web would have been lost for good. The Internet Archive has performed pioneering work in developing public search tools for its own vast collections, such as the television news archive, which researchers and journalists like me use on an almost daily basis in order to contextualize and interpret political reporting. These resources are unique and irreplaceable.
The Internet Archive is a tech partner to hundreds of libraries, including the Library of Congress, for whom it develops techniques for the stewardship of digital content. It helps them build their own Web-based collections with tools such as Archive-It, which is currently used by more than 600 organizations including universities, museums, and government agencies, as well as libraries, to create their own searchable public archives. The Internet Archive repairs broken links on Wikipedia—by the million. It has collected thousands of early computer games, and developed online emulators so they can be played on modern computers. It hosts collections of live music performances, 78s and cylinder recordings, radio shows, films and video. I am leaving a lot out about its groundbreaking work in making scholarly materials more accessible, its projects to expand books to the print-disabled—too many undertakings and achievements to count.
For-profit publishers like HarperCollins or Hachette don’t perform the kind of work required to preserve a cultural posterity. Publishers are not archivists. They obey the dictates of the market. They keep books in print based on market considerations, not cultural ones. Archiving is not in the purview or even the interests of big publishers, who indeed have an incentive to encourage the continuing need to buy…”
Fast Company: “With all the death and destruction raging across America right now, it’s almost hard to believe that one of the country’s greatest tragedies happened 19 years ago today. On September 11, 2001, two planes slammed into the World Trade Center towers, and another two planes crashed—one into the Pentagon, the other in a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania. In total, 2,977 victims died that day and another 25,000 were injured. Every year since, memorial services have been held to remember the lives lost in 9/11—and this year is no different. However, while a ceremony will be held this year as usual, it’s format will be slightly altered due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Normally, family members of those who lost their lives gather at the 9/11 Memorial in New York City to read out the names of the victims. This year, however, the victims’ names will be read via a pretaped recording. Here are the details about today’s ceremony conducted by the 9/11 Memorial & Museum…And here’s how to watch the NYC September 11 anniversary ceremony online…”
“We’ve compiled what you need to know about voting in your state so you can make sure your voice is heard this November.” This is an easy to use site – you provide the name of your state, Y/N are you registered to vote, how you plan to vote – In Person or By Mail – and the site provides you the following information: Last day to register; Last day to request a ballot; First day ballots are sent; First day to vote in person; how to request an absentee ballot; how to fill out you ballot; how to return your ballot; how your ballot is verified and counted; and links to all relevant official state websites associated with the voting process. This is an excellent guide for voters in every state – the information is aggregated and accessible on page, is well designed, and easy to navigate. Please Share – and Please Vote.
In Custodia Legis: “We want to hear from you! Your feedback is critical to the development of new features on Congress.gov. We hope you will join us for the Congress.gov Virtual Public Forum today at 10 a.m. EDT. Also, please take a moment to fill out this feedback form to let us know how we can better meet your legislative information needs. In August, we added the Bound Congressional Record for 1983-1994 to Congress.gov. This month we are excited to begin adding committee hearing transcripts to Congress.gov. The first batch includes transcripts for hearings from the 115th and 116th Congresses. The Senate Communications search form now displays historical committee names in the selection list when previous Congresses are selected. In the footer, you will find a link to our revamped Ask A Librarian service, where you can seek assistance with your Congress.gov research and legal reference questions. We have also added a link to the Congressional Web Archive in the footer, an archive that consists of congressional websites dating back to the 107th Congress (2001). You can now use ReadSpeaker to listen to the text of a committee report, and you can also download the audio file of that report. We have also made it easier to link to Congressional Budget Office reports of cost estimates and some committee profile pages now contain historical notes about that committee. You can read the full list of enhancements below…”
“Working and schooling from home are part of the new normal. Putting together a home office setup that’s pleasant, comfortable, and productive can be tough and time consuming, but lucky for you, we’ve been working from home for years here at Ars. We’re here to tell you remote work doesn’t have to feel so remote. Naturally, as discerning tech connoisseurs, we have some well-curated picks for all the gadgets and furniture you need to make your home office setup cozy and productive. We also threw in a few nice-to-have upgrades for your workspace if you’ve already got the basics down…”
NYU Libraries: “The Barbara Goldsmith Preservation & Conservation Department recommends the following procedures for safe handling of library materials during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The goal of these recommendations is to protect the health of all members of the NYU community. This information is subject to change based on ongoing research, and this page will be updated as new information becomes available…”
“With the digital-dominated 2020 election shifting into high gear, OpenSecrets is releasing a new searchable, sortable online ads database that provides comprehensive details about political ad spending on Google and Facebook. OpenSecrets is tracking over 80,000 online political advertisers, more than four times the number of committees registered with the Federal Election Commission. Each advertiser has its own profile, which includes:
- Its total spending on both Facebook and Google ads over time
- Information about and links to each of the Facebook and Google pages where it runs ads
- Its total Facebook ad spending in each state
Online ads are at the center of strategies to misinform and deceive voters ahead of Election Day. This section will help users identify the online forces behind political messages and better understand their affiliations with political groups. Mysterious “dark money” organizations, industry groups and fake news websites are among the advertisers pouring millions into ads to influence voters…”