Mondaq Law News, Alerts, Headlines

Mondaq (free registration required)
has some useful headlines, press releases and news alerts by professionals, law firms and institutions on national and international legal topics, e.g.

Intellectual Property
which is subdivided as follows:

Two recent examples of the types of materials available there are:

European Union: European Intellectual Property Cat-and-Mouse: ECJ Clarifies Jurisdiction in Patent Disputes,19 July 2006, Article by Duncan Bucknell

European Union: The (Cross) Border Is Closed: ECJ Rules on Patent Injunctions, 20 July 2006, Article by Friedrich Klinkert, Alastair J. McCulloch, Neil Coulson and Nora Kessler (Jones Day)

Other topics covered by Mondaq
which we produce here as a buttoned list (for our own use as well)

Anti-trust/ Competition Law

Banking and Financial

Construction Property & Real Estate

Consumer, Health and Family Law

Corporate/ Company Law

Environmental & Energy

European Union & International Law

Finance, Accounting and Consultancy

Government & Public Sector Law

Information Technology & Telecommunications

Insurance and Transport

Labour & Employment

Litigation, Arbitration and Dispute Resolution

Media & Entertainment


Pharmaceutical, Healthcare & Life Sciences

Life Sciences & Biotechnology

Pharmaceutical Law


Entertainment Law: Personal Manager Agreements

Ivan Hoffman has a new article on the personal manager agreement in the entertainment business. He discusses California labor and contract law, but notes that similar laws may exist in other states.

Book Review of Indefensible by David Feige (One Lawyer’s Journey into the Inferno of American Justice)

Shut up. Tell it to the judge….

Indefensible: One Lawyer’s Journey into the Inferno of American Justice
by David Feige
has just been published by Little, Brown and Company.
I agreed to do this book review for the Hachette Book Group based on an advance reading copy of the book.

Anger works. Anger is rejuvenating. It is anger — that smoldering fury — that allows a public defender to survive….

This book has all the potential of being the prospective beginning of a new successful TV series on the American criminal justice system.

Innocent people go to trial mostly because they’re naive….

Indefensible is a thought-provoking and yet lively and moving read about one actual whirlwind day in the life of a public defender “in and around the Bronx Criminal Courthouse“, where “justice” can mean only that the criminal law system has been applied to a given case – period.

No one had bothered to tell me that no one in his right mind picks an all-male jury in a rape case.

David Feige, who was trial chief at the Bronx Defenders, definitely has “novelistic” writing talent, even though this is non-fiction, so that this book reads easily.

By cataclysmic convictions, I mean the unjust conviction of beloved clients at trial. The first time it’s a shock…. There must be something I can do….

Indefensible is a no-nonsense hands-down portrayal of the work of a defense lawyer trying to obtain “justice” for his “clients” as he deals with a kaleidoscopic variety of accused, as well as with a diverse panoply of judges, prosecutors, social workers, investigators, and attorney colleagues, all of whom are part of a system of justice where the foibles of humanity prevail and the dictates of the law seem secondary.

it’s gotta come from here … you gotta know deep down that this is the most righteous work there is …

Buy this book for a realistic view of the American justice system at work in the Bronx.

Defending the guilty is easy.

But what about the rest?

Monitor Documents of EU Institutions and European Organizations by Keywords

Political Wizard has a keyword document monitoring service for institutions of the European Union (European Commission, European Parliament, Council of Ministers, Court of Justice) covering over 50 English language databases. Also covered are documents produced by independent European organizations who are major players in Europe.

Net Neutrality and Freedom on the Internet and the World Wide Web

Via digg we link to a recent posting by Sir Tim Berners-Lee on Net Neutrality: This is serious.

We agree, and refer the reader particularly to a Slate article by Adam L. Penenberg titled Should Google have to pay for the bandwidth it consumes?

The US House of Representatives recently rejected legislating the concept of net neutrality and would leave the issue with the FCC, which may not be the optimal solution.

The US Senate Commerce Committee has also been grappling with this issue – made more difficult by the fact that the Chairman of the Committee, Republican Ted Stevens of Alaska, by his own admission does not understand what net neutrality means. For starters, perhaps Senator Stevens and his colleagues should stick their noses into the Internet and the WWW to see what has been written about this issue by people who do understand it.

For those who do not understand what “net neutrality” means, let us quote a definition of “net neutrality” by Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web:

Net neutrality is this:

If I pay to connect to the Net with a certain quality of service, and you pay to connect with that or greater quality of service, then we can communicate at that level. That’s all. Its up to the ISPs to make sure they interoperate so that that happens.

Net Neutrality is NOT asking for the internet for free
. “

On a more technical level of definition, Daniel J. Weitzner, Principal Research Scientist at the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory in The Neutral Internet: An Information Architecture for Open Societies (also available as a PDF) describes four essential features of Internet Neutrality:

1. Non-discriminatory routing of packets
2. User control and choice over service levels
3. Ability to create and use new services and protocols without prior approval of network operators
4. Non-discriminatory peering of backbone networks.

What is the problem that has given rise to the recent discussion of net neutrality?

The problem is that some broadband providers have started tiered pricing practices based on Internet content, pricing policies directly in conflict with the principles for which the Internet and the WWW were founded, since it puts ISPs in the position of being able to engage in content price discrimination – with all of the evils which attach to such a power. One might compare this in principle to the telephone company charging you differently if someone sings Happy Birthday to you on the telephone rather than simply talking to you, or tripling the price (or even cutting off the call) if you start to voice political opinions which the telephone company does not agree with.

See Tyler Cowen’s Marginal Revolution for a good discussion of the problem at Net Neutrality I and Net Neutrality II.

The Internet and the World Wide Web are largely the products of government, university and private innovation. Use of the Internet for commercial purposes was originally even explicitly prohibited. The whole idea of the Internet and the WWW was that equal access for equal price was to be made available to all, regardless of content. If the US Congress or the FCC permit tiered pricing based upon content, the Internet as we know it will quickly end.

Note: We have posted on this and related issues previously at:

The Internet and the WWW as Patent-Free viz. Royalty-Free Zones by Law

Net Neutrality and the WWW Revisited

Net Neutrality and the WWW