Saturday, November 14, 2009

New Google Digital Book Settlement

For Google-watchers and those interested in copyright, antitrust law, and the legal controversy over the use of millions of books that Google has scanned and digitized from library collections, the latest news is that the parties met yesterday's federal court deadline to file an amended settlement. The revised settlement is an attempt to address the concerns that authors, publishers, European governments, the U.S. Copyright Office, the Department of Justice, and other groups had with the original settlement filed earlier this year. The Author's Guild summarized the "big changes" here . The official documents are available at

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Friday, November 13, 2009

It's Friday the 13th

And if you are very fortunate, this Friday the 13th you will cross paths with a black cat.

But why is it some of you humans think that Friday the 13th is unlucky - a condition known at "paraskevidekatriaphobics"? (I'll have to save the derivation of that for another posting). Does it date back to Norse mythology and the banishment of the goddess Frigga (after whom Friday is named) and Frigga's revenge for that banishment? Or maybe Loki, not invited to Valhalla had his revenge?

Maybe there is a legal angle. Hammurabi’s Code, the first set of state initiated laws, omits the number 13.

I'm the one who should be worried. At one time a small town in Indiana forced all black cats to wear bells on Friday the 13th.

So what's a cat (or human) to do? Well, you should know my answer. Find a purring black cat and then take a long nap.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Environmental Protection Agency’s Enforcement and Compliance History Online

The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Enforcement and Compliance History Online (ECHO) offers rapid, integrated searches of EPA and state data for more than 800,000 regulated facilities.

ECHO integrates inspection, violation, and enforcement information for the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, and hazardous waste laws. The site also contains reports and other resources, and it offers the capability to search for particular facilities.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Jotwell is The Journal of Things We Like (Lots). It's mission is to create a space for academics to critique and discuss recent legal scholarship. With the huge amount of law reviews and journals being published, it hopes to help identify recent developments in in several scholarly fields. So far, there have been reviews and discussions about recent scholarly works in the fields of cyberlaw, criminal law, corporate law, tax law and legal profession.

Hat tip to The Faculty Lounge.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

New biography of Justice Scalia

Whatever else one may think of Justice Scalia, he is memorable, but until now he has not been the subject of a biography. Released by bookstores today is "American Original: The Life and Constitution of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia" by Joan Biskupic. The author granted an interview of the book to Tom Goldstein of SCOTUSblog and the podcast may be found here.

Yes, the law library is sure to purchase a copy. Put your name on the request list as this is sure to be a book many will want to read.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Monday, November 09, 2009

Research Resources: The Economists' Voice

If you are looking for serious economics analysis about public policy and current issues, try The Economists' Voice. Edited by Aaron Edlin and Joseph Stiglitz, recipient of the 2001 Nobel Prize for Economics, together with Jonathan Carmel, J. Bradford DeLong and Jeffrey Zwiebel, The Economists' Voice offers access to full text (PDF) articles on a broad range of policy issues.

To access The Economists' Voice:

  • Go to the Library's home page, click "Online Resources"
  • Click the "Commercial and Corporate Law" link
  • Scroll down to "Economists' Voice"

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat