Category: Articles and Books

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Of Names, Auctions, and Contests

lemonysnicket.jpgLemony Snicket auctioned the naming right to a character in a forthomcing novel. (Sold for a lot–something like $6000.) So why shouldn’t Professor Eric Muller solicit help in naming his new book on the administration of the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II? Looks like a great book, btw, judging by his introductory chapter. And, of course, the contest has the virtue of getting lots of folks reading the introduction and driving traffic to his blog. This may catch on–at least I hope it does, because I enjoy hearing about new scholarship and it’s sort of a fun contest.

Alas, I have no good idea about the name for the book–I’d probably go for something dull like Administering Injustice. But it’ll be an important addition to the literature on the history of administrative state in the twentieth century, which has been drawing attention from really strong scholars, like Reuel Schiller.

One more thing: I was a coerced watcher of Snicket’s Series of Unfortunate Events last January on a flight out to Seatle. And, after the first couple of minutes when I couldn’t quite figure out what the was going on, I enjoyed the movie. Plus, I dig the role of a trust in shaping the plot.

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CJR on Judge Richard Posner

posner1.jpgThis article in the Columbia Journalism Review discusses Judge Richard Posner, with a focus on some of his First Amendment cases. From the article:

Still, for every decision that hints at a rigidity in his thinking, I find an article or opinion that contradicts it. Posner confounds categorization. He’s not a water-carrier, he’s not a true ideologue, he’s not even a pure free-marketeer. He’s trying to convince us all — lawyers, students, his readers, and now journalists — that moral reasoning, idealism, and the entire messy spectrum of human feeling are all imperfect ways of ordering the law. He’s just looking for the mathematical formula to prove it.

Hat tip: Political Theory Daily Review

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Information Privacy Law (2nd Edition)

casebook2.jpgShameless Self-Promotion Alert: Within the next week or two, the second edition of my casebook, Information Privacy Law (with Marc Rotenberg & Paul Schwartz) will be out in print. This book is a significant revision from the first edition, and it covers most topics in greater depth. Click here for the book’s website (where updates and other information are posted) and here to peruse the table of contents.

For those professors interested in adopting the book for their spring 2006 information privacy law courses, the book’s ISBN is 0735555761. To obtain a free review copy as soon as possible, contact Daniel Eckroad at Aspen Publishers via email or by calling 617-349-2937. If you have any questions about the book or the course, I’d be delighted to answer them.

For those law professor readers who have never taught a course in information privacy law before, I’ve reposted here an earlier post at PrawfsBlawg where I explain why I believe information privacy law is a rewarding course to teach.

For those of you who are interested in the book, but are not law professors, you’ll unfortunately have to shell out a small fortune to buy the book, which you can do here.

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The Open Library

openlibrary1a.jpgThe Open Content Alliance’s Internet Archive, which plans to scan in over 150,000 books next year, has set up a website where people can preview a few books: The Open Library. The format is quite striking, providing a great readable image of the actual book pages in the original.

The Open Content Alliance is composed of a group of university libraries, nonprofits, as well as companies such as Microsoft (MSN Search) and Yahoo!. According to the website:

The Open Library website was created by the Internet Archive to demonstrate a way that books can be represented online. . . .

Books are scanned and then offered in an easy-to-use interface for free reading online. If they’re in the public domain, the books can be downloaded, shared and printed for free. They can also be printed for a nominal fee by a third party, who will bind and mail the book to you. The books are always FREE to read at the Open Library website.

It doesn’t capture the smell and feel of an old book, but visually, it’s wonderful to peruse the pages.

Hat tip: BoingBoing

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The Law of Harry Potter

potter5a.jpgWhat are the criminal consequences of a curse? Can a person commit a tort by unfair Quidditch play? How can the law of the Muggles be harmonized with the law of the Wizarding World? For a long time, attorneys struggled over these issues without much legal guidance. But that problem has now been fixed by Aaron Schwabach (law, Thomas Jefferson), who has posted an article on SSRN analyzing the law of Harry Potter: Harry Potter and the Unforgivable Curses: Norm-formation, Inconsistency, and the Rule of Law in the Wizarding World. According to the abstract:

The astounding success of the Harry Potter series of children’s fantasy novels is an unexpected cultural phenomenon, but a welcome one for lawyers and legal academics: Harry’s story is a story about law, and about a society trying to establish a rule of law. There is law in every chapter, and on almost every page, of all six books. Sometimes the legal questions hang in the background, while at other times they are the focus of the story: We see numerous trials, and the author gives us statutes, regulations, school rules, and even international agreements to consider.

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