News from the Reference Desk Category: Legal

Copyright Trends: Cobbler Nevada, LLC v. Gonzalez

Copyright infringement has been a hot topic since the 18th century for print materials and exceedingly relevant  for digital files since the era of Napster in 1999.  In recent years, entities like copyright trolls and other digital watchdogs are always on the lookout to acquire significant monetary gain through litigious means, even if the accused is not the infringer but unknowingly provides the means to do so.  For example, libraries safeguard against infringement liability by requiring patrons to acquiesce to not partake in ‘Conduct which violates Federal, State, or local law including copyright and licensing infringement. before using our internet services.’  Copyright Trolls frequently win cases against service providers, but a recent ruling is fighting this trend.

On August 27, 2018, the United States Court of Appeals (Ninth Circuit) decided that the owner of a senior living home which provides internet service to occupants will not be held responsible for copyright infringement inflicted by an unnamed guest or occupant.  Here is a synopsis by Stanford University Libraries and here is the Cobbler Nevada, LLC v. Gonzalez court publication itself. Whether or not the results of this substantial case will make any lasting changes to copyright policy remains to be seen.

Cook County Marriage Applications

Cook County Clerk David Orr recently announced a new online feature allowing soon-to-be newlyweds the opportunity to fill out most of their marriage application license information online.  Illinois law requires that before a couple marries, they must appear before the clerk in the county where they will be married to sign and complete their marriage license application and pay the fee ($60 in Cook County).  In the past the couple had to complete the whole process in the Clerk’s office.  Now they can start the process at home by going to this section of the county clerk’s website.  The process will still need to be completed at the Clerk’s office but with the online application feature the time spent there will be less than 10 minutes.  For more information about marriage application procedures and requirements please go online to the Cook County Clerk’s website.

The Cook County Clerk’s office has also made an index of Cook County marriage records 50 years or older available online at Cook County Genealogy Online.  This is only an index.  You must still pay for a copy of the actual record.  For $16.75 you can purchase a copy of the full record online with a credit card and receive the record immediately as a zip file.  Cook County Genealogy Online also includes indexes of Cook County birth records 75 years or older and Cook County death records of 20 years or older.

LexisNexis Legal Research Training Session May 18

LexisNexis, one of the most popular online resources, is a legal reference powerhouse. A representative from LexisNexis will discuss how to search state and federal cases, statues, codes and regulations, and law reviews and journals. You’ll get a demonstration of the product’s features, discover search strategies, and have a chance to ask questions.

Thursday, May 18, 2017
7:00 p.m. in the Training Room
Please register: Legal Research with LexisNexis

Electronic Legal Resources

The Library has many ways to help you understand and get a grip on your legal needs.

Web Resources: LexisNexis and Westlaw are both similar in that they provide access to U.S. Supreme Court cases, Court of Appeals decisions, Federal and State codes and regulations. Westlaw is useful because it helps you understand what portions of laws are obsolete. LexisNexis lets you email the documents to yourself or others. However, they also both share the stipulation that they can be accessed only through computers within the Library.

Legal Forms: Whether you need Power of Attorney, divorce papers, to write a will, create a lien or a lease, or thousands of other things, we most likely have it in Gale Legal Forms or Westlaw. You can search and download the forms from home from Gale Legal Forms, but for Westlaw you will have to use computers in the Library.

Program: Legal Research with LexisNexis. On Wednesday November 6 from 7 to 8:30p, a representative from LexisNexis will discuss how to search state and federal cases, statutes, codes and regulations, and law reviews and journals. You’ll get a demonstration of the product’s features, discover search strategies, and have a chance to ask questions.

And of course, Library Staff: Our librarians are not lawyers but can offer limited help using the products mentioned above.

Steven Browne, Reference Librarian