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Law and Government

Page history last edited by Amy H 4 years, 7 months ago

Law & Government

Types of Government Systems


Types of Government   http://tinyurl.com/k9e7g

From the BBC a brief introduction to various types of government systems. 


Law: United States


Look to see if the library has legal databases -- many public libraries have a Legal Forms database  or local links.  Many academic libraries have Lexis Nexis, which is a great source for case law.  There is a tutorial for finding a specific case and other tutorials on the Lexis Nexis YouTube page.    The official sites for most cities and states have links to statutes, legislation and legislative history. Many libraries also have links to local information.


Law Library of Congress Guide to Law Online     http://www.loc.gov/law/help/guide.html

The Guide to Law Online, prepared by the Law Library of Congress Public Services Division, is an annotated guide to sources of information on government and law available online. It includes selected links to useful and reliable sites for legal information. 


Legal Information Institute      http://www.law.cornell.edu/

The Legal Information Institute (LII) is a research and electronic publishing activity of the Cornell Law School. Popular collections include: the U.S. Code, Supreme Court opinions, and Laws about..., laws on specific topics.


Google Scholar Case Law        http://scholar.google.com/scholar_courts

Google Scholar will now allow you to search for case law from the United States State and Federal courts.  Underneath the search box http://scholar.google.com check off Case Law and then go to the list of courts to search selected courts.  Provides a bluebook citation, related articles, which are all court cases, and cases that have cited the case you're searching.  You cannot search for articles or patents at the same time. 


United State Code   http://uscode.house.gov/search/criteria.shtml


Cases and Codes from FindLaw   http://caselaw.findlaw.com/

This commercial site, which provides services for lawyers and lawyer referrals, also has a lot of information available on their site.  This page has a search feature as well as links to resources for both U.S. and State legal cases and legal codes (laws).


The Supreme Court   http://www.supremecourt.gov/

Official site of the U.S. Supreme Court, the web site gives you background information and also links to cases and opinions, as well as the calendar. 


Oyez Project    http://www.oyez.org/

This project of the Illinois Institute of Technology's Chicago Kent College of Law provides a multi-media guide to the Supreme Court, including recordings of Supreme Court opinions and a virtual tour of the court.



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Government:  United States


GovSpot            http://www.govspot.com/

GovSpot.com is a non-partisan government information portal designed to simplify the search for the best and most relevant government information online.


USA.gov    https://www.usa.gov/topics

A searchable guide to U.S. Government Services and Departments.  You may also browse by general topic. 


FedStats   http://fedstats.sites.usa.gov/

A searchable source for statistics from many U.S. government agencies.   


Ben's Guide to Government   http://bensguide.gpo.gov/

Ben Franklin is your guide to the United States Government and how it works.  Intended for 3-12th grade, it also provides good basic information on things like how a bill becomes a law and what the three branches of government do.





See Also Consumer Issues


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Copyright, Privacy and Intellectual Property




Stanford Copyright and Fair Use: Stanford University Libraries        http://fairuse.stanford.edu/

A comprehensive resource on copyright in the United States, including sections on legal cases, fair use, common questions and articles on current issues in copyright.  The charts and tools section includes resources on fair use and classroom use, and guidelines to determine if a work is in the public domain (and a resource to check if a copyright was renewed). 


The United States Copyright Office      http://www.copyright.gov/

Forms and information on how to register a copyright, interesting facts, frequently asked questions, and an interactive learning tool for students and teachers:  Taking the Mystery Out of Copyright.


Copyright and Primary Sources     http://www.loc.gov/teachers/usingprimarysources/copyright.html

Part of the teacher's resources section of the Library of Congress page, this page offers comprehensive guidelines for using primary sources in a classroom setting, with particular emphasis on their own American Memory collection. 


International Copyright Law      http://depts.washington.edu/uwcopy/Copyright_Law/International_Copyright_Law/

Part of the University of Washington's Copyright Connection site, this page gives you an overview of international law for U.S. Residents, including a chart of how the various treaties are related. 


Canadian Intellectual Property Office   http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/cipointernet-internetopic.nsf/eng/Home

Official site for trademark, copyright, and patent information for Canada


UK Copyright Service       https://www.copyrightservice.co.uk/

The official site of the UK Copyright service includes two sections, one for registration and one for information.  They also provide this simple guide to copyright information in the United Kingdom. 


Creative Commons    http://creativecommons.org/about

Information on creating a creative commons license for your work, allowing different levels of access and rights.   "Creative Commons is a nonprofit organization that enables the sharing and use of creativity and knowledge through free legal tools.  Our free, easy-to-use copyright licenses provide a simple, standardized way to give the public permission to share and use your creative work — on conditions of your choice. CC licenses let you easily change your copyright terms from the default of “all rights reserved” to “some rights reserved.”"


Copyright Clearance Center   http://www.copyright.com/

A for profit company that helps businesses and academic institutions manage copyright permissions.  Helpful for finding out costs of using copyrighted material.  Includes a section of information about copyright as well.




Electronic Privacy Information Center      https://www.epic.org/

A pro-privacy advocacy organization, this is a good (though not unbiased) source for information about privacy in the electronic world.  "EPIC is an independent non-profit research center in Washington, DC. EPIC works to protect privacy, freedom of expression, democratic values, and to promote the Public Voice in decisions concerning the future of the Internet."


Electronic Freedom Foundation    https://www.eff.org/issues/privacy

Also a pro-privacy group, this is a collection of articles on the subject.


Pew Internet and American Life Study:  Privacy and Safety   http://www.pewinternet.org/topics/privacy-and-safety/

The articles from the ongoing research study on privacy and safety in an online environment.


     Intellectual Freedom


Intellectual Freedom:  American Library Association    http://www.ala.org/advocacy/intfreedom

The Office of Intellectual Freedom is an advocacy and lobbying arm of the American Library Association.  This page provides a variety of links, including information on banned and challenged books.   


Intellectual Freedom:  Cooperative Children's Book Center, University of Wisconsin School of Education  https://ccbc.education.wisc.edu/freedom/

The Cooperative Children's Book Center (CCBC) provides support to librarians and teachers facing challenges to materials, as well as providing book lists and other information from their demonstration library. 


     Intellectual Property


Intellectual Property:  LII           https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/intellectual_property

Wex Legal Dictionary from the Legal Information Institute at Cornell University.  Includes links to additional information.  


World Intellectual Property Organization    http://www.wipo.int/portal/en/

"WIPO is the global forum for intellectual property services, policy, information and cooperation. We are a self-funding agency of the United Nations, with 188 member states. Our mission is to lead the development of a balanced and effective international intellectual property (IP) system that enables innovation and creativity for the benefit of all. Established in 1967."  The section What is Intellectual Property is especially helpful. 

Intellectual Property and the U.S. Economy:  Industries in Focus    http://www.uspto.gov/sites/default/files/news/publications/IP_Report_March_2012.pdf

A 2012 report from the U.S. Patents and Trademarks Office on the importance of defending intellectual property.


Fair Use and Intellectual Property:  Defending the Balance  https://www.eff.org/issues/intellectual-property

The Electronic Freedom Foundation presents information and articles on having fewer restrictions on copyright.


Open Source Definition   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Open_Source_Definition

What open source means in terms of software, with a list of open source software platforms and links to additional information. 


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For Librarians


Locating the Law: A Handbook for Non-Law Librarians     http://www.aallnet.org/chapter/scall/locating.htm

Southern California Association of Law Libraries' publication for non law librarians in PDF format.


Public Library Toolkit     http://www.aallnet.org/sections/lisp/Public-Library-Toolkit

"This is a toolkit meant to help public librarians understand the process of legal research, effectively develop and use the information located within their libraries, utilize information located outside their libraries, with the end goal of helping the patron locate the legal information they need."

The American Association of Law Libraries Public Library Toolkit covers:

  • Researching a legal problem.

  • Making sure you have the most current information.

  • Collection Development for federal, state, and general materials.

  • Knowing when to refer.


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Last Updated: 8/17/2015 AAH


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