In a highly publicised decision that caught most music industry watchers off guard, a federal jury in Minneapolis last week handed the Recording Industry of America (RIAA) an unprecedented and overwhelming victory in the form of a $1.92 Million (U.S.) award against a mother of four for allegedly file-sharing 24 songs. At $80,000 per track, it represents a ratio of 80,000 to 1 of punitive damages to the actual damages suffered, assuming each song could have been legally purchased for $1.00. News reports on the case, the first of thousands filed in the U.S. against individual file sharers to actually . . . [more]
Archive for ‘Administration of Slaw’
The land title registration system in British Columbia, which is based on the principles of the Australian ‘Torrens’ registry system (named after Sir Robert Torrens) allows one to register title against real estate in a central registry. This system, which has been used since the 19th century, was a significant improvement from earlier, more cumbersome methods of proving title which required tracing back the historical “chain of title” in order to prove that the land was unencumbered.
A key part of BC’s land title system is the principal of “indefeasibility of title” which allows purchasers, lenders and other parties dealing . . . [more]
Recently, I ran across an excellent article in the Spring 2009 issue of Corporate Governance Quarterly called “Climate Change Disclosure Heats Up”. The authors, Patricia Koval, Tyson Dyck and Michael Pickersgill of Torys LLP, discuss public companies’ disclosures pertaining to the companies’ exposure to “climate risks”. This broad risk category includes matters such as: how climate change affects the company’s profitability, what opportunities / challenges climate change presents to the company, and what actions the company is taking in anticipation of the various climate change related regulations coming down the pipe (e.g. the anticipated mandatory cap-and-trade system on greenhouse . . . [more]
Suddenly …Nothing Happened! Despite Media Hysteria, Outs for Pre-Sale Condo Purchasers Remain the Same
It should be no surprise that, with the current market conditions, both developers and purchasers are closely scrutinizing just how firm their contracts are for residential property developments currently under construction. As such, the recent British Columbia Supreme Court decision in Dwane v. Bastion Coast Homes Ltd. drew a lot of attention from developers, pre-sale purchasers, and the media alike in this Province. Though headlines blared Judge lets buyer ditch deal on condo and B.C. court rules pre-sale condo contract invalid, the fact of the matter is that Bastion Coast is little more than the application of pre-existing law. . . . [more]
On June 22, 2009, Canada’s federal government announced that a team led by the chair of the B.C. Securities Commission, Doug Hyndman, will lead the transition to a new national securities regulator. Mr. Hyndman will be responsible for negotiating with the provinces—each of which currently has its own securities regulator—as well as developing the legislation that outlines the new national regulator’s mandate. A report is due in a year, with an implementation target of three years.
Goodness knows, this is long overdue. In the absence of a single national securities regulator, efforts have been underway for many years to harmonize . . . [more]
Neither civil libertarians nor privacy advocates are likely to be pleased with the two Bills introduced last week by Canada’s federal government, Bills which are intended to give police wider powers to access online data without a warrant. If passed, the Technical Assistance for Law Enforcement in the 21st Century Act (Bill C-47) will require Internet Service Providers (ISP’s) and other “telecommunications service providers” to install equipment facilitating the interception of communications, and to allow police access, without a warrant, to the personal information of users including names, addresses, telephone numbers, email addresses and internet protocol addresses. The Investigative Powers . . . [more]
Slaw has discussed a couple of times [* *] whether domain names are property of any kind, including property that can be seized to satisfy creditors. The California Court of Appeal — Palacio del Mar Homeowners Assn., Inc. v. McMahon, Cal.Rptr.3d 2009 WL 1668294 (Cal. App. 4 Dist. June 16, 2009) [PDF] — has recently decided the latter question in the negative: no seizure. (Internet Cases has a summary.)
Part of the issue was whether the domain name was property that could be ‘levied upon by taking it into custody.’ If that’s the test then lots . . . [more]
I’m a big believer in the idea of a solar panel on every rooftop. It just makes sense to me. I would also like to experience an electric car traffic jam, and to have the power of the ocean used to light my home. Some may say I live in a dream world. Maybe now I do, but our world is changing—and in British Columbia my dream has a chance to become reality, thanks to the provincial government’s commitment to renewable energy.
Premier Gordon Campbell proclaimed on April 23, 2009 that “We are going to be the alternative energy . . . [more]
The world wide economic downturn is prompting companies to sell non-core business units, consolidate operations and generally downsize. Lately, everyone seems to have at least one article devoted to some aspect of restructuring a business—see, for example, the cover story in the June 2009 edition of LEXPERT magazine.
Despite the fact that restructuring initiatives often have a profound impact on employees, few articles are talking about the human resources implications of restructuring a business. Employees have valuable know-how, technical knowledge, and relationships with customers, so their departure or disaffection can have significant and unintended financial consequences for a company.
CNET . . . [more]
Having spent two of the last three weekends in Las Vegas and San Francisco, I got to thinking about cross-border legal issues. I know that’s pathetic, but bear with me.
British Columbia is one of several provinces with reciprocating jurisdictions in the US for the enforcement of judgments. (In BC, this arises pursuant to Part II of the Court Order Enforcement Act, RSBC 1996, c.78). Rather than commence a new action on the foreign judgment, a judgment from a reciprocating jurisdiction can be registered in BC, and it becomes enforceable as if it was a BC judgment. This is . . . [more]
Surprise, surprise. Canada, with its stable equity market and a sound economic policy framework, was able to withstand some of the global credit market issues and moved to first place in the Milken Institute’s 2008 Capital Access Index.
The Index looks at such factors as macroeconomic environments, financial and banking institutions, the development of the equity and bond markets, and alternative capital sources. Because a firm’s access to capital allows it to implement innovative ideas and contribute to technological advancement, job creation and quality of life, the index is a tool for measuring how countries can act to reduce . . . [more]
Get ready for our second firm guest blogger here on Slaw. Starting Monday, you’ll be treated to a week’s worth of wisdom from the west coast, thanks to our guests from Clark Wilson LLP.
As BC’s Law Firm for Business, Clark Wilson LLP provides effective and practical legal advice on commercial issues affecting the business community. This week’s Slaw contributors will share their perspectives on a range of topics relevant to their respective practice areas including securities, intellectual property, corporate finance, insurance, real estate, employment, and renewable energy.
You’ll know that a post is from our guests because you’ll . . . [more]