Legal Research Blog
Our spotlight on public domain music this week is focused on Tchaikovsky’s 1812 and Romeo and Juliet overtures. These works are hosted by Musopen, a website dedicated to distributing works that are in the public domain.
(To download the mp3s, right click and select save target as)
With Broadway and movie deals, not to mention all the Flat Stanley swag in the works, one would think Hubert would demand some of the profits that the late Brown’s estate is raking in. Think again. Instead, members of Brown’s family are insisting that Hubert surrender his website, www.flatstanley.com, to the estate without the slightest compensation. The Brown estate believes that those wishing to buy the books, movies and memorabilia are accidentally ending up on Hubert’s site which carries the logical domain name for the project. Hubert’s site offers advice on how to start the project at your school and gives examples of past Flat Stanleys who have already completed their journeys around the globe.
The withheld file of Gregory Scarpa, a mobster who worked as an informant for the FBI and had ties to the Kennedy assassination suspect Carlos Marcello, the “Godfather” of New Orleans, has been requested in the past. A Congressional investigation led by G. Robert Blakey, now a law professor at Notre Dame, had also indicated that the FBI was less than forthcoming with information about both Marcello and Scarpa. Today, Blakey lauds the efforts of Ms. Clemente, questioning why the FBI documents used in his investigation in the 1970s were so heavily redacted and expressing frustration with the FBI’s secrecy.
For several years, Angela Clemente worked on a case tackling corruption and informants for the Brooklyn D.A., which required her to conduct an in depth investigation of Scarpa’s relationship with a former FBI agent accused of murder. When the case fell apart, Clemente reviewed her research on Scarpa, and became suspicious when she recalled the difficulty of obtaining information on him for her former trial. Her curiousity about the FBI’s hesitance to divulge his file ultimately drove her to pursue the Scarpa-Marcello-Kennedy link, and to file her lawsuit this week.
Source: The New York Times
Law is a common and yet distinct aspect of everyday life in modern societies. This course examines the central features of law as a social institution and as a feature of popular culture. We will explore the nature of law as a set of social systems, central actors in the systems, legal reasoning, and the relationship of the legal form and reasoning to social change. The course emphasizes the relationship between the internal logic of legal devices and economic, political and social processes. Emphasis is placed upon developing a perspective which views law as a practical resource, a mechanism for handling the widest range of unspecified social issues, problems, and conflicts, and at the same time, as a set of shared representations and aspirations.
We will explore the range of experiences of law for its ministers (lawyers, judges, law enforcement agents and administrators) as well as for its supplicants (citizens, plaintiffs, defendants). We will examine how law is mobilized and deployed by professionals and ordinary citizens. We cannot cover all aspects of the legal system, nor focus on all the different actors. A set of topics has been selected to develop understanding of the situational and systemic demands within which actors in the legal system operate and perform their roles; at the same time, we will try to discover systematic patterns in the uses and consequences of law. Throughout the course there is concern for understanding what we mean by legality and the rule of law.
Wikipedia junkies from throughout the Middle East were invited to partake in Wikimania 2008, which has dedicated a good deal of time to issues specifically related to Arabic Wikipedia. Some controversy was stirred up by several reporters, who questioned Wikipedia’s commitment to the Arabic version (which is tiny in comparison to the English, which has over 25 million posts), and who took an interest in the presence of Israeli contributors at the conference. The administrators of the Arabic Wikipedia site maintained that it was the responsibility of the users and public to make greater contributions, and that the collaborative process can take time. As for the two Israelis in attendance, while they did run into some skepticism from their Arab counterparts, their Arabic language fluency and desire to work and learn from the meeting’s cultural
dialogue eased the tension.
Most importantly, the conference addressed the urgent need for the dissemination of knowledge and freedom of speech in the region. The presence of the Israeli wikipedians was evidence enough of the site’s commitment to incorporating the valid content of any contributor, regardless of perspective or philosophy. Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales also graced the conference with an analysis of the current threat to the project in Egypt itself, where President Mubarak has been known to imprison bloggers and restrict the press.
But despite Wikimania’s message of free expression, the traditional liberty accorded Wikipedia posting may be tightening. Wiki has recently begun to tackle the plague of vandalism that has hit several of the Wiki sites. German articles have been especially prone to bogus posts, and so German Wikipedia has chosen to implement a system of “checks” which must take place before any article is viewed by the public. Administrators hope that the process will only be a temporary measure to discourage bad posts, rather than a permanent method of censorship. Jimmy Wales hopes this will allow Wikipedia to eventually feature “stable” versions of articles as well.
Source: The New York Times