Saturday, March 20, 2010

Legal Materials Product Review: Copyright Litigation Handbook on Westlaw Next and Kindle

West publishing is rolling out Westlaw Next, a whole new way of accessing and working with content accessed through Westlaw.  Searches are a lot more intuitive, content is found through Google-type searches and can be saved to folders.   Once you've saved content to your research folders, you don't incur additional charges for accessing that content.

The Copyright Litigation Handbook was first published in 2006 and was instantly hailed as "indispensable" by the New York Law Journal.   It is updated annually and designed to be a handy volume to keep for frequent reference at deskside for the busy litigator looking for practical solutions and a quick reference to the Copyright Act, the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, and to the cases interpreting their intersection in federal litigation practice.

Copyright Litigation Handbook was subsequently added to  the Westlaw database.  But anyone accessing Copyright Litigation Handbook on standard Westlaw had to know that the database is COPYLITIG in order to access it.   Now, if the content is relevant, it should pop up in easily accessible secondary sources pages that are better organized and easier to get at.  

If your West sales reps haven't given you the passwords to Westlaw NEXT, make sure to get the access keys, this is a tremendous time-saving product that makes it much easier to cut and paste relevant content.  A look at what the product looks like:

As you can see from the above, I went into Copyright Litigation Handbook and checked out what it had to say about default judgments.  The answers are clear and easy to read with your search remaining in the Google-type bar above.

You can see that once you are in the content, you can save to your research folder, add a note, highlight or copy with reference.   Again, much quicker and intuitive than Westlaw.  Saved folders are stored like Outlook and you can go back and view them in a really clear and intuitive manner.  In Westlaw, the research trails were annoying and confusing, I just always redid the research.   Your notes are searchable (I didn't test this feature).

Here you have a drop-down menu making it easy to email, print, download or send to your Amazon Kindle.  The Kindle format is nice, easy on the eyes book-style format.

Here you can see that viewing the outline of Copyright Litigation Handbook is again easier on the eyes.  As the text expands out, it is easier to follow where it came from and to follow it back.

Switching to full screen mode makes the text more readable.

You can add frequently-consulted texts like Copyright Litigation Handbook to your Favorites folder.

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