Lawyers & Librarians: Google’s Battle for the Books

I’m happy to announce the publication of my e-book, The Battle for the Books: Inside Google’s Gambit to Build the World’s Biggest Library.

This is a 50 page tale of gossip and rivalries between lawyers and librarians, and shows a cultural collision between Silicon Valley and the east coast over control of books and knowledge. You can order it here from Amazon, Apple or Barnes & Noble.


Welcome to My Website

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This website provides an overview of my work as a lawyer and a journalist and is only updated from time to time.

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Strauss-Kahn civil case will need more than accusations

(Reuters) – While civil suits have wider latitude of what may be introduced in court, a judge in the Dominique Strauss-Kahn civil case will want hard evidence rather than mere accusations from other women that he sexually assaulted them, analysts say.

In a lawsuit filed this week, Nafissatou Diallo accused Strauss Kahn, 62, of waging a “violent and sadistic” attack on her in a suite at the Sofitel hotel in Manhattan on May 14.

Strauss-Kahn has also been charged with sexual assault in criminal court and prosecutors are debating whether to move forward with that case despite concerns about Diallo’s credibility.

Read more at Reuters

A new U.S. law-enforcement tool: Facebook searches

(Reuters) – U.S. law-enforcement agencies are increasingly obtaining warrants to search Facebook, often gaining detailed access to users’ accounts without their knowledge.

A Reuters review of the Westlaw legal database shows that since 2008, federal judges have authorized at least two dozen warrants to search individuals’ Facebook accounts. Many of the warrants requested a laundry list of personal data such as messages, status updates, links to videos and photographs, calendars of future and past events, “Wall postings” and “rejected Friend requests.”

Federal agencies seeking the warrants include the FBI, DEA and ICE, and the investigations range from arson to rape to terrorism.

Read more at Reuters

Wine for “mommy” sets off trademark fight

(Reuters Legal) – Rival wine sellers targeting overworked mothers are fighting over use of the word “Mommy” on their wine labels, according to a lawsuit filed in San Francisco federal court.

In the suit, filed on Monday, California-based winery Clos Lachance Wines asked the court to declare that its “Mommyjuice” does not violate the trademark of “Mommy’s Time Out,” which is marketed by a New Jersey distributor.

Read more at Reuters

A Tale of Love and Kidnapping

Kristen Mulvihill and David Rohde knew of the risks involved in Rohde’s work as a foreign correspondent for The New York Times. Before getting married, they had even discussed the worst, including what to do if Rohde was killed overseas.

The couple had not, however, contemplated what to do if kidnappers grabbed Rohde and told his wife she must pay $25 million and secure the release of Guantanamo prisoners to save his life.

Read more in the Overseas Press Club Bulletin

Joining the Locals In Paris’s East

Perched high on the eastern slopes of Paris, the 20th Arrondissement has historically been a spot for local residents, with an emphasis on raucous music and hard-left politics. The few tourists who do broach the district usually get no farther than the Père Lachaise cemetery. Plentiful graffiti and one or two watch-your-step side streets attest to the area’s still-rough edges, but these are being smoothed over by growing clusters of dining and night life options.

Read more in the New York Times

The Buzz in France this Summer? Us

It has been a while since large waves of French immigrants followed Champlain to hew wood and haul water in a new land. That does not mean that the appeal has abated. In the midst of Paris’s sweltering summer, there have been large ads scattered through the metro system exhorting the good citizens of France to “Move to Canada.”

Those responsible are not the usual subjects from the Parti Quebecois. Instead, it is a respected French weekly newsmagazine, L’Express, that is behind the initiative.

“There are many French fantasies tied to Canada,” says Jean-Michel Demetz, an editor at the magazine, which puts out an annual issue that serves as a 150-page guide for French citizens pondering a move to Canada.

Read more in The Montreal Gazette

Play Ball! Blue Jays caps a surprise hit in NY

The Toronto Blue Jays’ starting lineup may look downright dreadful but the news is not all bad. Suffering fans can take comfort in the fact that, in the area of style at least, the team is near the top of the league.

Jays caps are flying off the shelf in New York, where young men across the city are rocking the Toronto logo and, in some neighbourhoods, the caps are outselling even the hometown Mets.

Toronto’s team has even made it big on Harlem’s fabled 125th Street.

“I would say they’re in the top three,” says Diallo Thierno, a salesman at Jerseyman Cap USA at 125th at Malcolm X Boulevard. “First it’s the Yankees, then the White Sox and then the Blue Jays.”

Read more in The Globe and Mail