New Ways to Search Congress.gov

Have you been wishing for some better ways to search on Congress.gov? Well your prayers have been answered.  Check out their recent blog post about the new ways to search on Congress.gov.

Oh No! Not MORE Amazon!

It looks like Amazon is getting into the peer-review business and they will even use AI to make sure the reviews are authentic.  Take a look.

The Other Side of the Coin?

Publishers Weekly has an interesting story about some big publishers and how 2017 treated them.  I admit I have never given much thought to how slow and/or flat sales might impact publishers.  Luckily someone can make me with just a blog post.

Congress.gov upgrades and the April Tip

More great enhancements from Congress.gov this month!

Check out this blog post describing how they have improved the sorting of search results and the continuing work on committee authority records.  This month’s tip is about printing a list of search results from Congress.gov. All this hard work on the website is probably why my students love it so much.

Fastcase enters alliance with Wolters Kluwer to add Treatises

Fastcase has been busy lately.  They announced their acquisition of Docket Alarm on January 10th, and last week they announced a partnership with Wolters Kluwer Legal & Regulatory US to provide an expanded collection of treatises, handbooks, and other secondary sources to legal researchers through the Fastcase platform.  This includes more than 150 titles from a broad array of legal specialties such as bankruptcy, consumer finance, elder law, employment, litigation, health law, insurance, pension and benefits, and real estate.  These titles will be fully integrated and searchable within the Fastcase system and available now to lawyers in firms smaller than 10 lawyers.  Firms of 10 or more will still purchase access through Wolters Kluwer.  Current Fastcase users will see the new treatises in search libraries immediately.  Click here to read the Fastcase press release.

Elsevier’s acquisition of Bepress

Did you miss the big news this past August? This is certainly going to be interesting for many librarians.  Elsevier has acquired bepress.

Casetext releases enhancements to CARA

Casetext has just announced some new enhancements to its product CARA.  CARA allows you to securely upload any brief or memo, and then it searches the universe of federal and state law to find relevant cases you may have missed.

Here is what’s new:

  • Search within results to narrow down your CARA recommendations to those specific to your search terms
  • Jurisdiction filters make sure your results are all in the jurisdictions you care about
  • CARA is getting smarter, so you should expect to see even more relevant CARA result

Check out their website for more information.

HeinOnline added what!?

HeinOnline added 964,179 pages to their products in November 2016.  You can read bout highlights of the new additions at their blog.  You can also check out the entire list of new content.

Webinars provided by Lyrasis

Planning to have a little down time as we wrap up 2016?  Take a look at at the variety of webinars offered by Lyrasis.  Many of them are offered free of charge and with the variety of topics covered, there is sure to be one relevant to you and your library.

 

TR price increase on outside content

Thomson Reuters today announced a price increase on content not included in fixed-rate subscriptions for large and medium law firms.  The increase, effective January 1, 2017, will not affect fixed-rate contract terms.  For details on the rate increase, contact your Thomson Reuters representative or Customer Service.

Ravel Law Announces a New Analytics Product

AALL’s Best New Product of 2016 Winner, Ravel Law, is releasing a new analytics product.  To get all the details and watch a live demonstration with legal tech-blogger Jean O’Grady check their website.

 

EU Decision on E-book Lending

An important EU Court case advances the doctrine of first sale for e-books in the Europe Union:  https://teleread.org/2016/11/14/bill-rosenblatt-inconclusive-ruling-on-library-e-book-lending-in-europe/

Program Manager and Copyright Advisor for Harvard University, Kyle K. Courtney, responded to this recent decision: “Although strictly an EU decision, this could generate some thoughts for our struggles with e-books here in the U.S. Remember, the case comes from the Netherlands, where public libraries are required to pay royalties for the books they lend out as part of a “public lending” right.  These fees are distributed to writers, artists, and publishers via collecting societies. However, this public lending right in the Netherlands did not apply to e-books. Therefore, libraries could only lend out e-books for which they have purchased a license from the publisher.

That’s where we are in the U.S.: We “rent” our e-books. We don’t own them. And when we don’t own them, we lose a lot of use-based options. These e-books are governed by restrictive licensing (truly, it looks a lot like a lease or limited license) that can prevent some of our core practices such as basic loans, interlibrary loan, preservation copies, or even printing for distribution.

This EU decision is hopeful because it suggests that a “dynamic” or “evolving” interpretation of the EU copyright directive should be applied, and that lending of e-books is certainly the modern equivalent of the lending of printed books. That is a big statement! We need something like that here in the U.S. – a fresh reading of the copyright act, especially the first sale doctrine, which is the law that allows libraries to loan print books, as long as they have purchased the work legally.

But our courts, our copyright office, and others have rejected this notion of a “digital first sale” right.  This rejection makes it clear that first sale rights mainly apply to physical, not digital, disposal of copies.

If we can’t have legislation, and we are stuck with licensing, then maybe we can do what the EU court advocated for in its opinion via license: If libraries are purchasing e-books, they need to advocate for clauses in the contract that best serve their mission, their community, and their collection policies. A contract isn’t formalized until it is signed – take the time to try and negotiate. Introduce interlibrary loan clauses, preservation clauses, reject terms that harm collection development goals, or the mission of the libraries.

Perhaps we can learn from this decision on how to advocate for our own U.S.-based e-book purchasing and lending.”

Stay tuned for Kyle’s full analysis in the next issue of CRIV Sheet.

Congress.gov Webinar

Set your calendars for a webinar which will provide a basic overview of the newly launched Congress.gov, formerly THOMAS.gov, for Thursday, November 10 (2:00 to 3:00 PM EST).  From their announcement:  “While the focus of the session will be searching legislation and the Congressional member information attached to the legislation, the new features of Congress.gov will be highlighted as well.”  Click here to register:  https://www.eventbrite.com/e/congressgov-webinar-tickets-28053155744

Listen to This

Keeping up with legal news and building subject area expertise are challenging for librarians, attorneys, professors, and students. ModioLegal works to make this easier. ModioLegal records legal news and provides access via a high-quality, proprietary platform that can be played back on devices such car audio systems, mobile or home devices. This service allows users to multitask by listening to current awareness content while commuting, traveling, exercising, or even grabbing lunch.

News content is recorded by law school students in a natural speaking voice to provide a higher level of comprehension than a computer-generated narration. Students also gain legal verbal communication practice and possible name recognition (student narrators provide their name, school and year of graduation at the beginning of each recording).

ModioLegal is currently negotiating agreements to add additional content and plans to expand its presence in academia by providing discounted access to law schools.

CRIV Sheet Vol. 39 No. 1 Now Available

The latest edition of The CRIV Sheet is now available. In this new issue, we continue the tradition of recapping programs from the  AALL Annual Meeting.   We have summaries of several programs from this summer’s meeting in Chicago. If you missed the meeting in the Windy City,  were unable to attend a program because of a scheduling conflict, or want a quick refresher, we invite you to check out this new issue.

Click to access CRIVSheetVol39No1.pdf