Star Mapping the Law Docs and ‘Digg’-ing Legal Opinion

Great press release from the fed-facing open-source activist site public.resource.org.

The news in the announcement is worth celebrating and well worth the wait: a huge, free, digital archive of federal case law, including all Courts of Appeals decisions from 1950 to the present and all Supreme Court decisions since 1754!

But what I really like is the last paragraph, explaining how open-source archives circa 2007 are taking the extra step to convert two-dimensional, law record formatted content into the online sphere:

Public.Resource.Org intends to perform an initial transformation on the federal case law archive obtained from Fastcase using open source “star” mapping software, which will allow the insertion of markers that will approximate page breaks based on user-furnished parameters such as page size, margins, and fonts. “Wiki” technology will be used to allow the public to move around these “star” markers, as well as add summaries, classifications, keywords, alternate numbering systems for citation purposes, and ratings or “diggs” on opinions.

Yahoo! MapMixer is Cool

Just as it was becoming clear this week that Yahoo! Co-Founder Jerry Yang’s first “100 days” as CEO isn’t setting up to be all that, a stream of new toys, deals, and partnerships have been announced. MapMixer is a product of Yahoo! Hack Day, according to TechCrunch and Reuters, and as you can see above, it enables you to overlay graphics on Yahoo! Maps (above is the USC campus, zoom out for full effect). Of course, not everything scales so nicely (see the Chicago ‘L’ map).

Yahoo is seeking more applied ingenuity and is pronouncing it’s “openness.” (NOTE: Jeremy Zawodny posted a much-better-written rebuttal/addendum to the BizWeek article on his blog.)

Is this real or a back-against-the-wall reaction to the apparent leak of a Google in-house video purporting a confluence of Google apps in a streamlined Facebook platform sort-of-way? Was Page and Brin’s $1.3 million landing at NASA’s Moffett Field near the Google HQ merely a decoy to overshadow speculation on the video? Is it true that there’s a bubble keeping the fog and cold bay air out of Silicon Valley?

The real big deal for Yahoo! this week was the announcement of a hefty deal to serve ads for Bebo, one of the most popular social networking sites in the UK (and a oft-rumored acquisition interest of Yahoo).

Also, tonight marks the launch of a partnership with Woot.com in which one item per night is featured on Yahoo! Shopping for purchase at sellout.woot.com.

Continue reading “Yahoo! MapMixer is Cool”

Cartoon: ‘A Fair(y) Use Tale’

Found this excellent satire/mashup via WFMU blog Apparently it’s been up on Stanford CIS blog since March. In it, cartoon characters from Buzz Lightyear to the Little Mermaid explain copyright law.

Professor Eric Faden of Bucknell University provides this humorous, yet informative, review of copyright principles delivered through the words of the very folks we can thank for nearly endless copyright terms.