Friday, December 31, 2004

No Escaping Blogs and Legal Documentation (e.g. for Patents)

Why There's No Escaping the Blog is a "Tech Trends" article at Fortune Magazine by David Kirkpatrick and Daniel Roth.



The excellent article also touches on law in the following context:



"Says Bill Gates, who claims he'd like to start a blog but doesn't have the time: 'As blogging software gets easier to use, the boundaries between, say, writing e-mail and writing a blog will start to blur. This will fundamentally change how we document our lives.'



Google, the company that Microsoft is playing catchup with (its Blogger.com division is the largest blogging service right now), also expects blogs to become as important as e-mail and IM. Right now, it's working on ways to better help people find content they want in blogs, says Jason Goldman, Blogger's product manager. But if Google's internal use of Blogger is any indication, it also sees it as an essential business tool. Since 2003, when it bought Pyra Labs, the company that launched Blogger.com, Google's employees have created several hundred internal blogs. They are used for collaborating on projects as well as selling extra concert tickets and finding Rollerblading partners. Google's public relations, quality control, and advertising departments all have blogs, some of them public. When Google redesigned its search home page, a staffer blogged notes from every brainstorm session. "With a company like Google that's growing this fast, the verbal history can't be passed along fast enough," says Marissa Mayer, who oversees the search site and all of Google's consumer web products. "Our legal department loves the blogs, because it basically is a written-down, backed-up, permanent time-stamped version of the scientist's notebook. When you want to file a patent, you can now show in blogs where this idea happened."
[emphasis added]



Read the whole thing here.

Is all Justice simply "Local" ? - The International Court of Justice

Prof. Eric A. Posner has a Dec. 30, 2004 NY Times Op-Ed entitled All Justice, Too, Is Local, dealing with the status of the International Court of Justice in The Hague.



Posner outlines the decline of the International Court over the years, explaining that decline with a scathing commentary on judges:



"Why have countries abandoned the court? The most plausible answer is that they do not trust the judges to rule impartially, but expect them to vote the interests of the states of which they are citizens. Statistics bear out this conjecture. When their home countries are parties to litigation, judges vote in favor of them about 90 percent of the time. When their states are not parties, judges tend to vote for states that are more like their home states. Judges from wealthy states tend to vote in favor of wealthy states, and judges from poor states tend to vote in favor of poor states. In addition, judges from democracies appear to favor democracies; judges from authoritarian states appear to favor authoritarian states. This is not to say that the judges pay no attention to the law. But there is no question that politics matter."



It can probably be presumed that judges around the world are no better, defending the vested political interests of their persons and their personal "localities".



What does this tell us about the rule of law? Whose rule - in any particular country or place - is it?



Anyone who doubts that local "good old boys" run the world just about everywhere has just has not been around this world long enough.

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