Yale Law Library - Reference Blog
April 2009 - Posts
Effect of the Economic Situation on American Universities
from the New York Review of Books describes the problems facing students and universities in the current financial situation as well as the impact on access to education and further stratification of education. Worth a read!
Turmoil in UK over Gurkha Immigration
Can Gurkhas who served in the British army settle in the UK? Rule denying automatic rights for those who served while the regiment was based in Hong Kong (until 1997) was overturned by the high court. Efforts to compromise look to be a mess. See this article
European Parlaiment votes to extend music copyright
The European Parliament has voted to extend the copyright from 50 to 70 years on recordings. The EU Internal Market Commissioner had proposed 95 years! If passed, will this become known as the "Beatles Act"? Their catalog was to start becoming copyright-free in 2012!More
EU Green Paper on Foreign Judgments
On 21 April 2009, the [European] Commission adopted a report and a green paper on the functioning of the existing rules on jurisdiction of the courts and the recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments. It concludes that time has come to achieve a free circulation of judgments in civil and commercial matters in the European Union on the basis of mutual recognition of judgments among Member States.
. . .
In this context, the report limits itself to presenting the outcome of the evaluation of the operation of the Regulation. Instead, the green paper outlines possible avenues for moving forward on the points raised in the report. In summary, the report and green paper address the following issues:
- The removal of the remaining obstacles to a free circulation of judgments, i.e. the removal of "exequatur"
- The protection of European citizens and companies in case of disputes with parties domiciled in third States, in particular by ensuring equal access to the courts of the Member States and equal protection against judgments given by the courts of third States against European defendants;
- Finally, certain imperfections in the application of certain rules of the Regulation, such as avoiding parallel proceedings in different Member States and ensuring the sound application of contractual agreements as to which courts will deal with the case in the Union.
The report and the green paper aim at launching a broad public consultation of civil society and Member States on the possible ways to deal with the issues referred to above. The deadline for consultation is 30 June 2009. The Commission's work programme foresees that a proposal for revision of the Regulation may be adopted by the end of 2009.More
UK copyright law is considered to be least user friendly
A recent report by Consumers International has concluded that the UK is the worst among 16 leading nations at protecting the rights of the users.
"UK copyright law is the oldest but also the most out of date. It’s time our copyright law caught up with the real world," said Ed Mayo, chief executive of Consumer Focus. "The current system puts unrealistic limits on our listening and viewing habits and is rapidly losing credibility among consumers. A broad ‘fair use’ exception would bring us in line with consumer expectations, technology and the rest of the world."
In addition, the UK government does not seem to see reform of copyright law as a priority.
Library 2.0 Symposium
This past Saturday, Yale Law School's Information Society Project hosted a fantastic symposium on "Library 2.0". Materials from the conference, including video of the sessions and the concurrent twitter conversations is available at: http://yaleispblog.net/ . Take a look, the issues are increadibly important: its no exageration to say that the future of society will, to a large extent, be driven by the resolution of these issues. Also, it was great fun.