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Moritz Law  /  Law Library  /  Opinio Juris  /November 2010


Opinio Juris - November 2010

Scroll down to learn about UK Legislation online, U.S. Supreme Court Audio Recordings, HeinOnline's Intellectual Property Law Collection, Wikipedia-Academia Collaboration, and the new search engine, Blekko.

UK Legislation

The freely available site legislation.gov.uk, maintained by the UK National Archives, is the new official online home for UK legislation. The site will eventually merge the content currently available in The UK Statute Law Database and the Office of Public Sector Information website. These sites will remain active until all content is migrated. Users of the new site can browse or search for original and revised versions of most types of UK legislation. There is also an advanced search option. The site's coverage is extensive and includes legislation as early as the Statute of Marlborough, a 1267 Act of the English Parliament.

U.S. Supreme Court Audio Recordings

Starting with its October 2010 term, the U.S. Supreme Court has begun releasing audio recordings of oral arguments at the end of each week in which arguments are held. This practice is a break from the past when audio recordings were typically unavailable until the start of the next term. The recordings as well as transcripts are accessible from the Oral Arguments section of the court's website. C-SPAN issued a statement praising the change but advocating for a continuation of the court's policy of same day release for high-interest cases. Click here for access to audio recordings of cases heard so far this term.

HeinOnline's Intellectual Property Law Collection

The Library has subscribed to HeinOnline’s new Intellectual Property Law Collection.  This collection focuses on copyrights, patents and U.S. trademarks.  Included in the collection are legislative histories, books, and periodicals, as well as relevant statutory and regulatory materials.  Users can search across the entire collection or limit their searches by document type. The sources can also be browsed. The Intellectual Property Law Collection is accessible on campus or off campus with proper authentication.

Wikipedia-Academia Collaboration

Wikipedia is collaborating with eight universities to increase the number of its articles on public policy issues. Public policy professors will have students contribute new articles and edit existing ones as part of their coursework for the 2010-2011 academic year. Universities participating in what Wikipedia calls its Public Policy Initiative include Harvard, Georgetown, George Washington, George Mason, Indiana, Lehigh, UC-Berkeley, and Syracuse. Wikipedia "ambassadors" will train students on how to edit and create entries. The Chronicle of Higher Education's Wired Campus section has more information.

New Search Engine

The startup company Blekko has received much press recently for its new search engine, released in beta form earlier this month. The search engine is designed to filter out spam and untrustworthy websites from searches. Users can search within "slashtags" created by Blekko for information on various topics such as baseball, botany, and Buddhism. Searching within these slashtags yields sites determined to be of a high quality. Users can also create their own slashtags for searching across a selected group of sites and can share these slashtags with others. While not a current threat to Google's superiority, Blekko does offer a unique type of Internet searching that could improve with more participation. See write-ups in the New York Times, Wired, and Law.com.