Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Show Support for Open Access

In the wake of the publication of the report from the "EU Study on the Economic and Technical Evolution of the Scientific Publication Markets of Europe" a consortium of organisations working in the scholarly communication arena is sponsoring a petition to the European Commission to demonstrate support for Open Access and for the recommendations in the report. Signatures may be added on behalf of individuals or institutions.

Please register your support for Open Access in this way. To sign the petition, please go to

The sponsoring organisations are JISC (Joint Information Systems Committee, UK), SURF (Netherlands), SPARC Europe, DFG (Deutsches Forschungsgemeinschaft, Germany), DEFF (Danmarks Elektroniske Fag- og Forskningsbibliotek, Denmark).

Monday, January 15, 2007

Patry on Copyright

William Patry has substantially revised his thoroughgoing treatise on copyright law. For more details, please visit Bill's entry describing the work in his insightful and informative blog.

This is a welcome addition to the discourse.


The coordinated attack by some in the Bush administration and some of its allies on pro bono lawyers representing Guantanamo detainees is beyond the pale. Charles D. Stimson, an official in the Defense Deparment and an attorney, argues that CEOs should withdraw their firm's legal business from law firms that are representing detainees. I don't use this blog to express political opinions, and the point here is non-partisan. It is an outrage for public officials of any party to use or threaten to use regulatory and purchasing power leverage to retailate against a lawyer for representing a party that is in active litigation adverse to the government.

There are so many things wrong with Stimson's position that it is hard to know where to begin. The most troubling is how deeply unpatriotic and unAmerican the sentiments Mr. Stimson expresses are. He rejects the fundamental values that make us American, including a presumption of innocence and the right to due process. While Mr. Stimson's statements are understandably politically embarrassing, the Justice Department's tepid distancing effort is equally troubling because it indicates a lack of full blooded commitment to the American conception of justice. Shame.

The Dream/It's Time

Dr. King's "I Have a Dream" speech is one of the most moving and powerful exhibitions of public oratory one can experience. I hope that it remains a part of public memory for at least as long as Pericles' funeral oration has. While Dr. King's speech by itself has memorable rhythmic and lyrical intensity, for me, these features are rendered sublimely by Max Roach's posthumous duet "The Dream/It's Time," in which Roach accompanies King on drums.

The piece is on the out-of-print album Chattahoochie Red (Columbia). There's a partial video clip here. It's time for the album to be re-released on CD.