Law and Software

Dworkin passes. Judge Hercules invents a search engine.

[February, 2013] By Andy Bartlett. Filed under: law,software

Ronnie Dworkin died on Valentine’s Day. I found out through a link in The Browser to a delightful blog post by Randy Barnett. I once sat next to Randy on a bus in Nashville.  I never met Ronnie, but I took John Oakley’s Jurisprudence class, and got to meet Judge Hercules. Judge Hercules is Ronnie Dworkin’s smarter brother.

I wonder when Google died. Judge Hercules doesn’t know, but he thinks we need a search engine with integrity to give us the right answers. And then it won’t matter. more…

A Little Attorney-Client Privilege in the Cloud

[February, 2013] By Andy Bartlett. Filed under: Ethics,law,Legal Technology,software

Recently I posted about how to keep confidential files encrypted in the cloud storage you may be using with an online practice management system. The screenshots below are unrecognizable but are from me using Clio. This is just a quick note about the other side. I’ll blog it in more detail when I get a moment.

Attorney-Client Privilege is the #1 issue facing lawyers who wants to use super-convenient cloud solutions to get away from having to run their own office computer infrastructure. Apart from documents, the big problem is that day-to-day data in a cloud based practice management system may occasionally be very sensitive. What if your client is undocumented? Adding their name to an online data record may be malpractice. It is certainly not wise. more…

Encrypted Cloud Storage for Lawyers

[January, 2013] By Andy Bartlett. Filed under: Ethics,law,Legal Technology,software

Do your clients tell you secrets? Mine do. That makes my business different. Clients don’t have to get me to sign an NDA. I am a walking, talking, living, breathing NDA. The license to be an attorney and practice law is a very nice thing to have. The right to be a Keeper of Secrets is priceless.

So when I hear of lawyers discovering the wonders of Evernote (which is wonderful) or cloud storage (which is free) or Software as a Service (which is better than aspirin), I wonder if they practice law on the same planet as me. more…

Flatlining and the Immigration and Nationality Act

[January, 2013] By Andy Bartlett. Filed under: Immigration Law,law,software

I took a break recently from working through the ILRC Immigration Law practice guides, so I could flatline. The result is a new online edition of the Immigration and Nationality Act. The work was done in 17 days, with time off for good behavior during the holidays. more…

Emergent Properties, Virtual Mashups and Internet Performance Art

[September, 2012] By Andy Bartlett. Filed under: law,mashups,software


The Pussy Riot Gangnam Style Player (PSP) was not written to breach anyone’s copyright, or to test the limits of copyright law. It was written as an example of code that might allow people to make mashups without infringing copyright. The original Punk Prayer Gangnam Style performance and Romney Shaduppayaface is here. Another example can be found here.

“Might” is the key word here. And in the spirit of Eminem in 8 Mile, we’re going to try to make the case for the copyright troll. Please feel free to use this post as a starting point for any takedown notice or other action you choose against this player with a long and ungainly name.

PSP raises one question. Can we use code to enable expression and creative imagination on the Internet out in the sunshine and not in the shadow of copyright infringement? The virtual mashup is performance art. It does not make or distribute derivative works. It takes original works and creates a collage of ideas that may have little or nothing to do with the raw materials used. And the raw materials are used, not copied. Virtual mashups allow original performances to take place locally all across the Internet, without the need to copy and redistribute the performance. Each PSP play is a unique performance with unique e-merging and communication of ideas from the performance artist to their audience.


Hey Sexy Lady. The Punk Prayer Gangnam Style

[September, 2012] By Andy Bartlett. Filed under: law,mashups,music,software

This is a virtual mashup. No copyright owners were harmed in the making of this movie. Because it was never made.


Comparing Nodes in a Tree

[September, 2012] By Andy Bartlett. Filed under: software

I have no idea whether this algorithm is old or new, or even whether there are more efficient alternatives. But for a long time now, I’ve had a geeky fondness for an orphan data structure. I call it an orphan because I could never see any way of using it. It was just one of those pretty things. If you’ve ever had a geeky fondness for a data structure, then you’re pretty weird too.


the first entry

[September, 2012] By Andy Bartlett. Filed under: law,software

i thought of having two blogs. one for legal stuff, the other for software. and two sites. one for law-related work, the other for software projects. then i decided to call my site instead.

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