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Category Archives: Intellectual Property

Harvard, MIT Sued Over Lack of Captioning for Online Courses

FindLaw Courtside: “The National Association of the Deaf filed two federal class actions complaints today. The suits — against Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) — allege that the universities discriminate against the deaf because their online content is not captioned, or is poorly or illegibly captioned. This lack of captioning, according to the plaintiffs, deprives the 48 million deaf or hard-of-hearing Americans of the same educational opportunities as those who can hear. It also violates federal law, the lawsuits assert. 2 Disability Rights Laws at Issue – At issue are two federal laws: the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Title III of the Americans With Disabilities Act. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act prohibits an educational institution that receives federal funding from denying the benefits of its programs to disabled people. This prohibition extends to “all the operations” of a college or university, meaning the university can’t discriminate against anyone, even people who don’t attend. The second law, the more familiar Americans With Disabilities Act, prohibits places of “public accommodation” — which includes universities — from discriminating based on a disability. The named plaintiffs, the same in each case, are individuals who are hard of hearing and thus can’t benefit from the online content or online course offerings. The complaint seeks class certification, alleging that the number of potential plaintiffs — any deaf person who can’t watch Harvard or MIT’s online content because of the lack of captions — is so large that they can’t all be joined as parties in a normal lawsuit. The complaint also seeks an injunction requiring Harvard and MIT to caption their content. Under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, once the defendant schools have been properly served with the lawsuits, they will have 21 days to file an answer. National Association of the Deaf v. Harvard University, class action complaint by FindLaw

Paper – New Ideas in Invention

New Ideas in Invention by Mikko Packalen, Jay Bhattacharya. NBER Working Paper No. 20922. Issued in January 2015. “A key decision in research is whether to try out new ideas or build on more established ideas. In this paper, we evaluate which type of work is more likely to spur further invention. When recent advancesContinue Reading

Vint Cerf Calls for Development of Digital Vellum to Save Knowledge

The Guardian – “Humanity’s first steps into the digital world could be lost to future historians, Vint Cerf told the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s annual meeting in San Jose, California, warning that we faced a “forgotten generation, or even a forgotten century” through what he called “bit rot”, where old computer filesContinue Reading

FTC Report on Internet of Things

Report Recognizes Rapid Growth of Connected Devices Offers Societal Benefits, But Also Risks That Could Undermine Consumer Confidence In a detailed report on the Internet of Things, released today, the staff of the Federal Trade Commission recommend a series of concrete steps that businesses can take to enhance and protect consumers’ privacy and security, asContinue Reading

Understanding the Federal Government’s IT Insecurity Crisis

A February 5, 2015 Report From the International Association of Information Technology Asset Managers – “U.S. taxpayers have paid $59 billion for data protection since Fiscal Year 2010, including $10.3 billion in the most recent year under the Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA). This week, the Obama Administration proposed a $14 billion cybersecurity budgetContinue Reading

4 Ways Copyright Law Actually Controls Your Whole Digital Life

By Kate Cox in the Consumerist – January 22, 2015: “The tendrils of copyright law reach worldwide into almost everything we consume, do, and are in the digital era. The rules and regulations about how the internet works, what privacy rights you have, and how the entire digital economy functions all spring from copyright. It’sContinue Reading

The Economic Value of Law Libraries

A Report of the American Association of Law Libraries Economic Value of Law Libraries Special Committee, January 2015 “This report is the result of the AALL Economic Value of Law Libraries Special Committee’s efforts to provide members with the best methods for reporting the law library’s value to its stakeholders. The Special Committee retained HBRContinue Reading

Libraries After Charlie Hebdo: The Threat of Violence, The Fear of Self-Censorship

Lisa Peet – Library Journal – “Although written texts often evoke strong, sometimes contentious reactions, political cartoons and caricatures can be equally incendiary. According to Barbara Jones, executive director of the Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) of the American Library Association. (ALA), “Cartoons are a particular problem in our office—graphic novels and books with cartoonsContinue Reading

Perma.cc Built & Run by Libraries

“Perma.cc is a service, currently in beta, that allows users to create citation links that will never break. When a user creates a Perma.cc link, Perma.cc archives a copy of the referenced content, and generates a link to an unalterable hosted instance of the site. Regardless of what may happen to the original source, if the linkContinue Reading

Google Search – Deep Learning Revives the Neural Net Revolution

Follow up to previous posting – Google – Still in the Search, How Google Search Dealt With Mobile – The Never Ending Search by Steven Levy, see also parts two, three and four of this series: Part 2 – Google’s Secret Study To Find Out Our Needs – To improve search, ask people what theyContinue Reading

Intellectual Property and Trust in the Age of Digital Media

Tonia Ries – Media Sources: Search Engines Now Most Trusted “The 2015 Edelman Trust Barometer reveals a new formula for building trust, one in which engagement carries a multiplier effect. Engagement and ongoing communication and dialogue with multiple stakeholders are both more critical than ever, but also more difficult to execute well. Today’s reality isContinue Reading

NISO Recommended Practice on Metadata Indicators for Accessibility – Licensing of E-Content

“The National Information Standards Organization (NISO) has published a new Recommended Practice on Access License and Indicators (NISO RP-22-2015) that defines metadata to be used to indicate free-to-read content and a link to license terms for the use/re-use of that content. Developed by the NISO Working Group on Access License and Indicators (formerly Open AccessContinue Reading