Delaware Law Office
of Larry D. Sullivan, Esquire

A Weblog?
The column to the right, is a news/editorial/comment column. It is a weblog, also know as a blog.

The weblog thing comes from www.blogger.com, which offers us a convenient way to manage the posting, administratively. You don't really need to know all of that, but we have included this explanation so that you won't be confused by the term "blog".

Another important topic here is that since the column includes editorials and comments, you can be sure that we are just exercising our free speech rights as guaranteed by the Constitution and as not yet abridged by a reactionary opportunistic vocal minority.

opinions, everybody's got one...
If you would like your opinion published here, forward it for consideration and editorial review to: info@delawoffice.com.
Or add a comment. Comments by: YACCS

We encourage the exchange of responsible ideas.

Friday, November 09, 2001

 
Owners of web sites in the United States had something to be concerned about in a case involving Yahoo auctions, Nazi memorabilia, and an order from a French Court. On Wednesday, a federal district court ruled that Yahoo is not required to abide by a French Court ruling barring Yahoo from allowing Nazi memorabilia to be displayed and sold on it's American based website. See U.S. judge says Yahoo not bound by French Nazi ban.

While we don't advocate the buying or selling of nazi memorabilia, having the U.S. Court enforce a $13,000.00 fine per day for an American web site which doesn't find a way to deny access to French citizens of objectionable material would have implications for all U.S. web sites. It would place our web sites at the mercy of more restrictive laws of any nation.

A quote from Yahoo's attorney, Mary Catherine Worth:

"Today the judge basically he said it was not consistent with the laws of the United States for another nation to regulate speech for a U.S. resident within the United States"
- William Slawski


 
The 250 Million Dollar Sting, and still rising. Many of us donated to what we thought was a fund for the victims of the September 11th attacks. What we are now learning is that the American Red Cross is trying to embezzle more than 250 Million Dollars from this trust fund, and divert the funds to other uses. Regardless as to whether the other uses might be philanthropic, it does not justify the theft. Would it not be a crime if someone broke into your house to steal your belongings just to donate them to the GoodWill? Surely we have always held the Red Cross in high regard and trust. And to a large extent, I am sure that the trust we had in the Red Cross had a lot to do with the generous donations to this particular fund. Unfortunately for those persons who will have future needs for assistance from the Red Cross, that trust has been severely tarnished. The Washington Post announced today that the Red Cross is rethinking its position. I sure hope so. I sure hope our future view of the Red Cross doesn't look like this: Ouch


Thursday, November 08, 2001

 
If you create your own artwork, music, or writing, and you're concerned about someone else copying those works, you should look into copyrights. A nice plain english guide to the basics of how to copyright protect something can be found at this article entitled Protecting Your Writing, Art and Music. Even more details can be found at the U.S. Copyright Office, which is part of the Library of Congress.

The Copyright Office contains some interesting internet related material, including the Amicus Curiae brief they filed in the case against Napster. Their what's new page also links to three large pdf files on the subject of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. The first file is the study conducted by the Copyright Office, the second is the public comments received on the subject, and the third is the public hearing involving the DMCA. The comments from the Library Associations are definitely worth reading, as are the many comments made from the participants at the public hearing.
- William Slawski


Wednesday, November 07, 2001

 
Is it legal to link to a website outside of your own site? Isn't that what the internet is about, to a large degree? Of course, there are some web sites that are available to subscribers only, and passwords are required to enter those pages. Linking to a protected page like that would be akin to trespass. Autozone.com has a page on their site describing the linking agreement that one needs to fill out to get permission to link to the Autozone.com pages. While they do have a password protected ordering section, their linking agreement doesn't make any distinction between protected pages, and pages that are available to the whole world. Maybe we should fill out the paperwork described on their linking agreement page before we link to their site.
- William Slawski


 
Sometimes the left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing. Case in point, the entry immediately below this one(about trusts), which is the first blog entry to point to a page somewhere else on this site. There's nothing wrong with that in itself, but while Larry was making the entry, I was submitting the Delaware Law Office news page to the Blogdex add-site page. The idea behind Blogdex is that weblogs have a tendency to pick up on news stories as fast, or faster than traditional news sources. The Blogdex site goes out to blogs and looks at the links they have added recently to see which are the most linked stories or pages for a particular day.

While at almost the same time that Larry was creating his entry, I was reading the following from the blogdex page:

"what sorts of sites should not be added?

sites that have static content, or focus only on internal documents will be of little use to the system. blogdex looks only at the difference in content of a website over time; if your website is static, then nothing will ever be added to our database. furthermore, we only consider outward links, or links that point to sites outside your own. if you only link to content inside your own website, then your website will not affect our statistics here. if you are unsure in any case, please submit it and we will help you make that decision."

Hopefully they will overlook our first interior link on the blog, and include us in their data. Interested in seeing the most popular places linked to by weblogs registered with Blogdex? Here's their top 25 recent links in the weblog community
- William Slawski


 
Privacy concerns and retirement/estate planning goals frequently point to the use of certain kinds of Trusts in Delaware. Trusts can be very useful tools to manage your assets and channel them to your intended beneficiaries when you die. In addition, Trusts can provide your heirs with privacy as to the inner workings and values of your finances, as opposed to the open public record of probate. There are many kinds of Trusts, and certainly one should use thorough planning and expert advice to choose the Trust that is appropriate for you.


Tuesday, November 06, 2001

 
An interesting article from former Delaware governor Pete du Pont on a social security reform plan. Of particular impact was a comparison of what benefit someone getting ready to retire now gets out of social security versus what someone just entering the workforce will receive. A baby-boomer-aged male will probably see a $71,000 profit from social security. A twenty-year-old male entering the workforce will pay "$312,000 more in taxes over his lifetime than he will receive in benefits."
- William Slawski


 
How frequently do we read of a home burglary or home invasion in which the perpetrators walk in through an unlocked door? Just like making sure that our doors are locked, it is effective against most interlopers for us to take simple and basic computer security precautions.

There are a number of simple tools and that we can use to secure our computer information, just as there are methods to secure our homes. Computer Privacy and Security efforts are more and more important as the interlopers become more sophisticated, but there are a few basics that will protect most of us against most of them. SecurityPointer provides a handy list of software and application tools. It's certainly going on my "favorites" list.


Monday, November 05, 2001

 
The Privacy Rights Clearinghouse Fact Sheets are extremely informative and cover many different aspects about protecting your privacy. While the site includes references to California law, many of the suggestions they make on various topics are often very good ones. Here are some of the subjects that they consider:

  • Wireless Communications: Cordless/Cellular Phones and Pagers

  • Telemarketing: Whatever Happened to a Quiet Evening at Home?

  • How Private Is My Medical Information?

  • How Private Is My Credit Report?

  • From Cradle to Grave: Government Records and Your Privacy

  • Coping with Identity Theft: What to Do When an Imposter Strikes

  • Privacy in Cyberspace: Rules of the Road for the Information Superhighway

  • Children in Cyberspace

  • Online Shopping Tips


- William Slawski








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