Google’s newspaper ads

From The Arts section of today’s New York Times

A Google Search of a Distinctly Retro Kind

To Satisfy a Lawsuit, Internet Powerhouse Must Turn to Print Ads

By Noam Cohen

To comply with a class-action suit by copyright holders affected by Google’s plan to offer all of literature online, old-fashioned legal notices in 70 languages are being placed in newspapers worldwide.

. . .

Old-fashioned legal notices prove best in tracking down far-flung authors

Carl Malamud – Liberating Law

Earlier Erika wrote about Carl Malamud and his public.resource.org codes.gov site.  Today our friend and hero Carl is the subject of a story in the San Francisco Chronicle:

Man provides code manuals free online
Matthew B. Stannard, Chronicle Staff Writer

The San Francisco Chronicle, Saturday, September 27, 2008, p. B1

. . .

“Not everybody is going to read the building code, but everybody who wants to should be able to without putting 100 bucks in the slot,” Malamud said. “Primary legal materials are America’s operating system.”

. . .

“It’s very clear in American law that you can’t get intellectual property protection for law,” said Pamela Samuelson, co-director of the UC Berkeley Center for Law and Technology. “Law belongs to everybody.”

. . .

“This stuff has been locked up behind a cash register,” Malamud said. “(It’s) way too important to just leave it there.”

 

I especially enjoyed reading the comments — all favorable — and note that Carl is not just our hero:

Yep! This guy is my hero. When I had to repair parts of my house up “to code” I was like, “Okay, where’s the code book? Let me read up on it…” When I found out it wasn’t available for free from a government website (the most obvious place for it!) I was shocked. It just made NO sense…

. . .

Its about time!! I am a retired building contractor and I say its about time the public had ready access to laws like this that they are controlled by. if youre controlled by a law or regulation, you should have free and ready access to it Thanks, Mr Malamud

 

There are many more posted at SFGate.com.

 

Story update:

Carl is also the subject of a story in the September 29, 2008 New York Times:

“So many people have been moving into the public domain and putting up fences,” he said in an interview from his office in Sebastopol, Calif., where he runs a one-man operation, public.resource.org, on a budget of about $1 million a year. Much of that money goes to buy material, usually in print form, that he then scans into his computer and makes available on the Internet without restriction.

. . .

As of Labor Day, he had put, he estimates, more than 50 percent of the nation’s 11 public safety codes online, including rules for fire prevention. “We have material from all 50 states, but we don’t have all 11 codes for all 50 states,” he said.

I’m shocked, shocked, shocked – there are biased Wikipedia entries

Much has been written about Sarah Palin’s Wikipedia entry.  Today’s New York Times reports on edits made by a Wikipedia user who picked the user name YoungTrigg (Ms. Palin’s infant son is named Trig) and later self-identified himself or herself as “a volunteer for the McCain campaign, . . . ”  YoungTrigg’s edits were later revised by Ferrylodge, “a lawyer who has contributed to Wikipedia for years and describes himself as a independent-minded Republican, . . . “

The “Link by Link” feature, “Don’t Like Palin’s Wikipedia Story? Change It,” by Noam Cohen, also reports on WikiScanner and the discovery of self-promoting encyclopedia entries:

Last year, a graduate student, Virgil Griffith, created a clever Web site, WikiScanner, that made it easy to detect where anonymous editors of Wikipedia were accessing the site. In the process, companies, government agencies and, yes, politicians were caught in the act of spiffing up their Wikipedia entries . . .