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Archive for January, 2012

Have Attorneys Read the iCloud Terms and Conditions?

There are some very interesting items in the T&C (Terms & Conditions) that most people never read. The tendency is to click, click, click just to get to the end quickly. The T&C for iCloud is around 12-13 pages long, depending on the device used to view it. So let’s dive right into some of the “features” presented in the T&C and what they may mean.

First, you are required to have a compatible device, duh? It also states that “…certain software (fees may apply)…” whatever that means. There are a lot of words about the location-based services and what . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology

Fair Use in the U.S. Copyright Act – Analysis and Interpretation

Fair use (s. 107) is an intentionally drafted ambiguous provision in the U.S. Copyright Act for the purpose of defending users of copyright works from a variety of otherwise infringing acts. Although often compared to the Canadian fair dealing, the two defenses are quite different. Two interesting documents on the analysis of fair use and its interpretation were recently released.

General Counsel from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office released a memorandum on 19 January 2012 on: USPTO Position on Fair Use of Copies of NPL Made in Patent Examination. The memorandum looks at three issues: . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Information Management, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Legal Information: Publishing, Substantive Law: Foreign Law

Prisons as a Dumping Ground for Mental Health

Steven Slevin had a lifelong history of mental illness. On August 24, 2005, Slevin was charged with driving while intoxicated and receiving or transferring a stolen vehicle, and checked into the Dona Ana County Detention Center.

He was placed in solitary confinement, and remained there for approximately 18 months. He was briefly released for 14 days to receive psychiatric care and was returned to solitary confinement, for a total of 22 months, before the charges were dismissed and he was released on June 25, 2007 due to incapacity of participating in his own defence.

Slevin files suit on December 23, . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Not Just an Apple a Day

How the U.S. Lost Out on iPhone Work

from the Jan 21, 2012 online New York Times

Apple executives say that going overseas, at this point, is their only option. One former executive described how the company relied upon a Chinese factory to revamp iPhone manufacturing just weeks before the device was due on shelves. Apple had redesigned the iPhone’s screen at the last minute, forcing an assembly line overhaul. New screens began arriving at the plant near midnight.

A foreman immediately roused 8,000 workers inside the company’s dormitories, according to the executive. Each employee was given a biscuit and

. . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

The Friday Fillip: 3D the Old-Fashioned Way

3D keeps coming (and going). It’s here now in the movies and threatens to poke itself (John-Candy-like) out of our TVs. It was there for a while about sixty years ago also at the movies and in the glories of Viewmaster. And just before the turn of the century before this one, stereographs or stereograms were popular, those almost double photographs that were viewed through a device that look rather like a small library card catalogue drawer.

Well stereographs have been brought back, this time by the New York Public Library, and thanks to the “miracles of . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

You Might Like… Diversions on Blouses, Consciousness, Fur, Pearls, Money, Umami, and More

This is a post in a series appearing each Friday, setting out some articles, videos, podcasts and the like that contributors at Slaw are enjoying and that you might find interesting. The articles tend to be longer than blog posts and shorter than books, just right for that stolen half hour on the weekend. It’s also likely that most of them won’t be about law — just right for etc.

Please let us have your recommendations for what we and our readers might like. . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading: You might like...

Small Talk Is a Big Opportunity: How to Work a Room

Do you rank attending law firm social events right down there on the popularity scale below having a root canal? If so, you’ll identify with a young lawyer in one of my seminars. He’d been told to attend a cocktail party being given by his practice group. Here’s how the evening went: “I had to work late, so when I rushed up to the boardroom, it was full of people at least 20 years older than me. I knew no one, and everyone else seemed to know everyone.” Another lawyer shot back: “Think yourself lucky. At our client event, I . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

U.S. Judges Report Little Juror Misuse of Social Media

Despite anecdotal evidence of jurors misbehaving when using the Internet and social media (for instance, the recent article on Slaw English Court Jails Juror Who Used Internet Search), a recent survey of members of the U.S. federal judiciary reveals that the problem appears less widespread than many assume.

The Federal Judicial Center was asked by a committee of the policy-making Judicial Conference of the United States to survey federal judges on the issue (response rate was 53%).

The results, based on the responses of 508 responding judges, indicate that detected social media use by jurors is infrequent, and that

. . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Internet

Slaw Site News – 2012-01-26

Site news for those who read Slaw only via RSS or email

1. Comment Watch:

In the last week there were 33 comments. You might be particularly interested in these:

  • the eight comments on Simon Fodden’s “Apple’s New iBooks Author” discussing the EULA required by that software
  • the thoughtful exchange on Jamie Maclaren’s column, “A Pay or Play Proposition for Access to Justice.”
  • the enthusiastic comments on Ruth Bird’s column, “Professional Associations and Why They Matter”

You can subscribe to the comments on Slaw either as a separate matter (RSS, email) or as part of a subscription . . . [more]

Posted in: Slaw RSS Site News

Lawyers Need Law Society Libraries

I was writing a comment in response to Melanie Bueckert who pointed out that Manitoba is reviewing their law society library services, much like Nova Scotia when I realized the comment was longer than my usual Slaw post. I hope that Slaw readers will indulge me with their attention to issues facing law society libraries, especially in less populated jurisdictions.

Let me preface this post/comment by sharing that I have never worked in a law society library. As a law firm librarian, I rely on law society libraries, locally and in other jurisdictions, their services and collections, to supplement . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research

US Supreme Court Approves Copyright of Works in Public Domain

Globalization takes its toll. This time the toll is to be paid by Americans who want to use works that had, according to US law at the time, entered the public domain but that have been removed from that status and place back under copyright by a 1994 act of the US Congress in order to bring that country into line with the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works. As you might imagine, a number of disappointed users sued the US government, arguing that according to the intent of the Copyright and Patent Clause of . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Foreign Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Draft of National Standard for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace Released

Last year I told you about the plan to release a voluntary national standard for mentally healthy workplaces. The standard aims to help Canadian employers support the psychological health and safety of their employees by providing them with the necessary guidelines and tools to achieve measurable improvements in psychological health and safety in the workplace. A draft of the standard was released on November 1, 2011 without much coverage and a consultation period followed which ended January 6, 2012. The final Standard is expected to be published in late summer 2012.

Unfortunately, since the consultation period is over, the . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation