Tag Archives: Copyright

Links We Love Weekly Round-Up — September 21, 2015

weeklyroundupEliminate These 5 Words and Phrases to Simplify Your Writing

When people ask me to share writing tips, my answer is always the same. Simplify. You’ll get to the point faster and keep readers engaged longer.  If you can say something with fewer words, then do it.  If you can use smaller words, that’s even better (I’m looking at you, engineers, lawyers, doctors and government workers).

The Five Worst Things to Say in Your LinkedIn Profile

Your LinkedIn profile is your billboard to the world. Years ago, people built personal websites and showcased their resumes and professional accomplishments on them.

3 Beginner Friendly Data Visualization Tricks

Statistics and data validate your presentation. Many times, showcasing numerical research is the main point of a presentation. But charts and graphs are overused formats, and as a result they are easily forgotten and often completely ignored by audiences.

Technology and Legal Research: What Is Taught and What Is Used in the Practice of Law

Law schools are criticized for graduating students who lack the skills necessary to practice law. Legal research is a foundational ability necessary to support lawyering competency. The American Bar Association (ABA) establishes standards for legal education that include a requirement that each law student receive substantial instruction in legal skills, including legal research. Despite the recognized importance of legal research in legal education, there is no consensus of what to teach as part of a legal research course or even how to teach such a course.

For Your Book Club Reading List — Legal Fiction

From a very young age, mysteries, crime novels and other types of legal fiction were always my favorites.  I preferred the Hardy Boys to Nancy Drew.  In college, I always went to Georges Simenon and Maigret whenever I had to read a novel for French class.  And today when I’m on vacation you can find me with Agatha Christie, John Grisham, P.D. James, or any of the other “classic” writers.

The Psychology of Numbers in Design

When it comes to numbers, we’re not as rational as we think we are.

Appeals Court Clears Way for Trial Over Dancing Baby Video

A federal appeals court Monday cleared the way for a trial in a copyright lawsuit over a YouTube video showing a baby dancing to the Prince song, “Let’s Go Crazy.”

The Napsterization of Legal Services

The record labels used to sell plastic discs with data on them.  Today they sell nearly that same data over the internet, without the plastic discs.   On it’s face that seems like a relatively straight-forward, if not easy transition to make.  It’s the kind of transition from one media type to another that you would expect a mature business or industry to be able to navigate with minimal disruption.  But as we know, that transition was anything but straight-forward.  In fact it wreaked havoc on the recording industry for more than a decade and they are just now beginning to get back on track.

Who Uses Libraries and What They Do at Their Libraries

Libraries are in great flux as information is shifting from the analog age to the digital age, as people’s need to acquire knowledge shifts, and as Americans’ interests in personal enrichment and entertainment are reshaped.  The findings from a new survey by Pew Research Center highlight how this is a crossroads moment for libraries.

When Is a Headline Not a Headline?

I ran into problems recently when I looked up the online version of a Wall Street Journal article and couldn’t retrieve it by searching for the title. Eventually, I found it; my problem had been that the digital version had an entirely different title than the print. Curious, I compared a week’s worth of print and digital headlines of WSJ articles and found that fewer than a quarter of the headlines were the same.

How to Save Your Reputation after Having a Meltdown at the Office

We’ve probably all heard that warning too many times to count. And, to some extent, that advice holds true. You definitely want to maintain a stable and professional reputation while inside the four walls of your office. But, we all know that sometimes things just happen that cause us to lose our cool.

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Links We Love Weekly Round-Up — September 1, 2014


Making Friends in Law School

Across the country, law students are entering their august institutions. We here at Bitter Lawyer are happy to guide these students through the perils of their epic quest for a J.D. by reposting helpful tidbits provided by those that came before them. Stand on the shoulders of bitter giants, students.

Your Email Outbox is Full of Blog Posts

As a lawyer you struggle to find the time to blog. Ironically, you’re creating blog posts throughout a typical work day.  They’re in your email outbox. The emails just need to be worked into blog posts.

Study: People Don’t Want More Apps

Google and Apple’s mobile platforms each boast about 1.2 million apps right now, and the race to develop hit apps never stops. But using data from the digital analytics firm comScore, Quartz points out a surprising trend: Most smartphone owners in the United States download zero apps per month.

6 Ways to Become a Power User of the Public Library

You have a library card and you know the library is more than just a “Netflix for books.” Maybe you know about your library’s ebook offerings and maybe you know you can borrow audiobooks or DVDs. But how can you make the absolute most out of your local library? Here are 6 tips for becoming a power user of the public library.

Rules for Birth-Control Mandate After Hobby Lobby

The Obama administration, planning to change its health insurance rules to satisfy the Supreme Court’s ruling in June limiting the federal birth-control mandate, proposed on Friday that for-profit companies with publicly traded stock will not qualify for a new exemption.

The Lies Your Mind Tells You to Prevent Life Changes

The mind is a wonderful thing. It’s also a complete liar that constantly tries to convince us not to take actions we know are good for us, and stops many great changes in our lives.

Main Analysis: Political Issues and the Spiral of Silence

It has long been clear in the research community that people’s willingness to discuss political issues depends on their access to news and on the social climate for discussion. This study explores people’s willingness to share their opinions on and offline about an important political issue.

Who Owns a Monkey’s Selfie?  No One Can, U.S. Says

The question of who owns a striking image taken by a crested black macaque may be closer to being settled, as the U.S. Copyright Office says the photo can’t be copyrighted — by the person who owns the camera or by any other entity — because it wasn’t taken by a human.

Legal Self-Help Centers Are “Vibrant and Effective,” Survey Says; Can Unbundled Services Play a Role?

Legal self-help centers have proliferated since Maricopa County, Arizona, launched a groundbreaking court-based legal help center in the early 1990s for residents handling their own cases.  The ABA’s Standing Committee on the Delivery of Legal Services identified about 500 self-help centers around the country and surveyed them about funding, staffing and services.

 A Brooklyn Librarian Will Now Make You a Personalized Reading List, and You Don’t Even Have to Put on Pants

The BookMatch program launched quietly about two weeks ago. It’s completely free: just fill out the online form telling the nice librarians what you like to read, and they’ll come back to you in about a week with a list of five or six recommendations. You can even specify what type of format you prefer: ebook, for example, or a nice paper book if you’re a normal, civilized human being.

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Links We Love Weekly Round-Up — June 2, 2014



Sheryl Sandberg’s Advice to Grads: Banish Self-Doubt, Dream Bigger and Lean In, Always

For all her accomplishments and experience, Facebook’s COO still struggles with self-doubt. “I force myself to sit at the table, even when I am not sure I belong there — and yes, this still happens to me,” Sheryl Sandberg told City Colleges of Chicago graduates in her 2014 commencement address. “And when I’m not sure anyone wants my opinion, I take a deep breath and speak up anyway.”  While she urged graduates to “dream bigger — both for yourself and the world around you,” she acknowledged that they will also undoubtedly experience moments of profound self-doubt. But that should never stop them from taking a seat at the table, from voicing their opinions, or from taking a new job that scares and challenges them.

Maya Angelou on Identity and the Meaning of Life

The light of the world has grown a little dimmer with the loss of the phenomenal Maya Angelou, but her legacy endures as a luminous beacon of strength, courage, and spiritual beauty. Angelou’s timeless wisdom shines with unparalleled light in a 1977 interview by journalist Judith Rich, found in Conversations with Maya Angelou — the same magnificent tome that gave us the beloved author’s conversation with Bill Moyers on freedom — in which Angelou explores issues of identity and the meaning of life.

Anonymous Man Starts Internet Frenzy by Giving Away Cash

They’re giving away money in California. Well, one man is.  An anonymous man has been leaving envelopes filled with cash — sometimes $50 or $100, sometimes more — and then tweeting out clues about their location.  What started as a local treasure hunt has blossomed into an Internet sensation. The man, whose Twitter handle is @HiddenCash, began sprinkling money around San Francisco a few days ago but has since spread the wealth to San Jose and Los Angeles.

Killed the Mockingbird? American Classics Cut from British Reading List

For decades, British students have grown up reading the American classics To Kill A Mockingbird, Of Mice and Men and The Crucible. Now, if students want to read those books, it will be on their own time. Harper Lee, John Steinbeck and Arthur Miller are out — perhaps replaced by the likes of Charles Dickens, Jane Austen and George Eliot.  British Education Secretary Michael Gove has decided that the English literature list for a national exam needs to be more English, so he is swapping American texts in the curriculum for British ones. The new books have not yet been announced, but Gove’s changes have prompted an outcry. “To Kill a Mockingbird” was trending on Twitter in London on Monday morning.

The Library in History: Library Analyst Helped Launch NASA

Amid fear and anxiety following the launch of Sputnik 1, a Library analyst assisted Congress in creating the agency that landed Americans on the moon.

American Museum of Natural History Launches Free Online Image Database

The American Museum of Natural History’s (AMNH) research library last month hosted the official launch of its new online image database for Digital Special Collections. Begun as a project to digitize 1,000 of the museum’s photos and rare book illustrations using grant funding from the New York Metropolitan Library Council, the Digital Special Collections program has evolved into a long-term project that will offer the public free online access to the museum’s research library collection.

Vatican: You’re Fishing in the Aquarium if Not Using Social Media

As reported by David Gibson, the Vatican’s chief media strategist, Archbishop Claudio Celli, says the Catholic Church cannot ignore the opportunities presented by social media.  “In our church we are always fishing inside the aquarium, and we forget that most fish are outside the aquarium.  Unless the church engages social media, we will wind up talking to ourselves.”  He might as well have been talking about law firms.

A Reopened Washington Monument — Pics of the Week

Living in Washington, D.C., it can be easy to take for granted the monuments that people come across the nation and around the globe to visit.  Recently, the reopening of the Washington Monument has been big news here in D.C.  It had been closed for repairs since the earthquake in August 2011 (there was another small one in Virginia this week).  Soon after its reopening, I decided to go there and make the trip to the top.

Metropolitan Museum of Art Claims Copyright Over Massive Trove of Public Domain Works

All too often we seem to see people making copyright claims over public domain works. It’s especially egregious when we see museums do this kind of thing, as happens every so often.  While museums in some other countries like to try to claim that they can create a new copyright on the digital scan of a public domain image, in the U.S. it is generally considered settled law that museums cannot create such a new copyright. Public domain is the public domain….

The Book Every Movie Lover Should Own

This month sees the release of the sixth edition of David Thomson’s New Biographical Dictionary of Film, published for the first time in 1975. The book—now 1,154 pages long, with over 1,400 entries, more than 100 of them new to this edition—stands as a monument of film criticism, but a strange sort of monument, as if one had passed through the columns of a respectable-looking neoclassical temple to find the secret entrance to a tangle of graffiti-covered tunnels.

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Copyright Questions and Answers for Information Professionals: From the Columns of Against the Grain – A Book Review


For many information professionals, copyright fascinates and confounds. Copyright is glossed over in many classes, and librarians struggle to find clear answers to questions that arise in their practice. In the early days of a career, it is easy to blame youth for your befuddlement, but as years pass it becomes more and more difficult to plead ignorance. I have turned to a number of resources, including books, seminars, and massive online open courses, but all have skimmed over practical issues. For many librarians, copyright is simply a hurdle, not a concept to be lingered over, and swift resolutions to imperative questions are invaluable. Copyright Questions and Answers for Information Professionals: From the Columns of Against the Grain by Laura N. Gasaway goes a long way in fulfilling that need.

Gasaway, a recognized expert on copyright, has been wrangling with copyright problems for fifteen years now, answering questions from readers in a regular column in Against the Grain, the periodical offshoot of the Charleston Conferences. In her column, she addresses her audience of librarians, publishers, teachers, and authors, clearing the fog and replacing it with clear practicalities, one query at a time.

In her new offering, these questions and answers have been curated, updated, organized, and reassembled, giving readers access, in a single work, to Gasaway’s experience and expertise that was before scattered throughout her columns. Gasaway covers all the usual suspects, including fair use rights, library reserves, licensing, interlibrary loan, preservation, software, and digitization. Question-and-answer pairings are organized into topical chapters, and the book finishes with an emerging issues chapter providing current content on timely subjects such as HathiTrust and the first sale doctrine.

Each chapter features a brief introduction that provides context, but the value of the text lies in her answers to each questioner’s specific needs. While this idiosyncrasy does make the book poorly suited for cover-to-cover reading, it is perfect for quick reference. Other popular copyright texts use the question-and-answer format to show applications of broad concepts, but since the questions posed in this book are wide-ranging and true to life, it effectively provides applicable answers to specific questions. Unfortunately, this also means that when looking for concrete answers, there is no guarantee that guidance for a given question is present between the covers.

In this case, a comprehensive and exhaustive index holds the key to unlocking the precious wisdom inside this book. This is a weakness of the book. While a primarily question-and-answer format leads you to believe that this work would be well-suited for novices, specialized vocabulary or specific portions of the Copyright Acts are often indexed instead of the words used by the questioner. Underutilized cross references again hinder those without a strong knowledge base, and while excellent term definitions and clear, concise summaries of concepts are repeatedly provided throughout the text, the index does not easily lead a reader to them. Not having comprehensive keyword references may seem to avoid redundancy, but instead it limits usability. Readers will not be approaching this text with exact replicas of existing questions, but instead will need to glean their own answers through a careful reading of answers to similar inquires. Because the language of exact inquires is not carefully indexed, an e-book version of this work would be preferable, allowing readers to perform keyword searches and thus work with whatever vocabulary they have on hand.

While the index and other minor inconsistencies keep Gasaway’s content from shining as brightly as it should, Gasaway deserves great praise for her work’s greatest strength: her ability to strike a balance between handing out specific advice and teaching readers strategies to navigate the treacherous waters around best practices and general guidelines. Guidelines and fair use do not lend themselves to cut-and-dry answers, making many copyright texts full of generalizations. However, Gasaway brilliantly teaches her lessons through examples, focusing not only on the use of best practices, but also on the importance of careful risk assessment. She reminds readers that copyright is rarely a firm line, unfortunate though it seems. Instead, application of copyright law is often nebulous. Gasaway’s well-balanced advice guides readers in making their own choices, weighing their options, and choosing to overcome their copyright hurdles the way that is most appropriate for them. In this role, Gasaway is truly a master of her craft.

~Ashley Moye~

This book review first appeared in 106 Law Libr. J. 108-109 (2014).

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Need Student Publishing Support? Your Library has a Guide for That!

While some long to see their names in lights, and others their names in block lettering across the cover of a bound volume, publishing as a student is a route each and every one of you can benefit from, even those without specific dreams of grandeur.   Seeking out potential avenues of publications and creating content not only allows you to contribute to the profession and legal community, but also gives you a chance to build a public profile, develop your writing skills, and advance your learning in your chosen fields.

Do you know about our Research Guides page, which features a range of information tools designed to assist you with your research and study at Charlotte School of Law?

This page now plays host to our newest research guide, focused specifically on student publishing support.  Featuring both academic writing resources available through your library and free online materials, this guide serves as a one-stop resource to connect you with writing and publishing advice, submission guidelines for various journals and tools to help you decide where to submit.  It also provides information on copyright and your own rights as an author, resources for empirical research, and additional resources specifically tailored for law review.

And as always, if you run in to any questions or need further advice, don’t hesitate to ask your friendly library staff for assistance!

~Ashley Moye~

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