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Archive for ‘ulc_ecomm_list’

Electronic Service X 2

1. Following the example of the UN Model Law on Electronic Commerce, the UN E-Communications Convention [PDF] contains a provision on when electronic messages are received. They are received when they are capable of being retrieved by the addressee at an electronic address designated by the addressee. (Article 10) An electronic message is presumed to be capable of being retrieved by the addressee when it reaches the addressee’s electronic address.

The explanatory note to the Convention explains at para 180 that this presumption of retrievability may be rebutted, for example, if the security filters of the addressee’s system prevent the . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, ulc_ecomm_list

Online Arbitration and the Statutes

The Uniform Arbitration Act (1990), in force in six provinces (and passed years ago in PEI but never proclaimed in force), sets out what were then modern rules for the conduct of arbitrations, with powers of arbitrators spelled out in default of agreement by the parties, and with restrictions on court intervention in the proceedings, as well as enforcement provisions. So far as I know, it works fairly well. (Ontario had a bit of controversy a few years ago about its application to family arbitrations conducted under religious law, and the statute was amended to better harmonize with family law . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Internet, ulc_ecomm_list

Jurisdiction Over or Law Applicable to Personal Information

Is anybody – any international body – studying the legal basis for jurisdiction over personal information as it crosses national borders, or considering the law that should be applicable to such PI?

This could be thought of as ‘law applicable to the cloud’ in these days of cloud computing, though I don’t think it’s limited to that.

The Hague Conference on Private International Law in April 2010 noted [PDF p.18] as an ‘additional subject’ for work, more I think in the lines of a watching brief:

The Council invited the Permanent Bureau to continue to follow developments in the following

. . . [more]
Posted in: Substantive Law, Technology: Internet, ulc_ecomm_list

E-Discovery and the Auto-Deletion of Emails

Some email programs automatically delete old emails after a fixed time. Most come with a function that allows the owner of the system to set up a time after which old emails are automatically deleted (unless they have been moved to particular storage folders, probably). This function seems useful to avoid clutter. It’s like a record destruction schedule.

Is there a standard time at which such auto-delete functions should be set, or should there be? What’s a safe time, legally as well as practically? It is clear enough that without such a function, some people (most?) would never get around . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Technology, ulc_ecomm_list

Ethical Obligation to Wipe Your Old Computers – and Other Media

It remains a continuing problem as to how to destroy digital data. In some instances one may have to destroy the storage medium itself.

Lately the Florida State Bar published a proposed advisory ethics opinion to the effect that lawyers have an obligation to ensure that confidential data — personal information but also client data generally — must be effectively erased from any storage medium before that medium is disposed of. This extends beyond computer drives to cell phones, digital fax machines and copiers (which have memories that keep the data), and even to third-party service providers’ equipment. The opinion . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, ulc_ecomm_list

NY Ethics Opinion on Public Information on Social Media Sites

The New York State Bar Association has decided that it is ethical for lawyers to gather information on adverse parties in litigation from publicly accessible social media pages of those parties. Lawyers are not allowed to ‘friend’ the adverse parties, or have anyone else do so. (This is consistent with the Philadelphia Bar opinion from last year.)

A story about the Philadelphia Bar view is here (the Bar’s own site is currently down for maintenance).

Here’s how the press characterized the NY State ruling: “Lawyers may comb social media for dirt”. Does that strike you as fair?

What would we . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, ulc_ecomm_list

The Ontario Reports – Confidential Information?

A member of the Uniform Law Conference – Electronic Commerce (ULC-ECOMM) email list points out that the electronic version of the Ontario Reports is announced by an email to members with a link to the latest edition and that states:

This communication is intended for use by the individual(s) to whom it is specifically addressed and should not be read by, or delivered to, any other person. Such communication may contain privileged or confidential information.

He asks, given that the material in the ORs is all likely available on library shelves or elsewhere: “Does this make any sense?”

Presumably the . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, ulc_ecomm_list

Responsible Journalism Defence – Online Archives Have to Be Updated

The Court of Appeal for England and Wales has recently decided, in Flood v Times Newspapers Ltd [2010] EWCA Civ 804 that the ‘responsible journalism in the public interest’ defence to defamation requires that an online archive of a story must be updated to take account of exculpatory developments.

Since the Canadian version of that defence (‘public interest responsible communication’) expressly applies to blogs and other non-mainstream-media publications, will bloggers have to update their stories too? Will they have to go back and amend or annotate the original posting? Does the usual blogging software allow for that?

(In Flood, . . . [more]

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

Utah Decision on Electronic Signatures and Elections

The Utah Supreme Court this week held that electronic signatures gathered through a web site were valid signatures for the purpose of nominating a person to run for elected office: Anderson v Bell 2010 UT 47 June 22, 2010.

To run for governor in Utah, one needs a nomination document signed by one thousand people. The would-be candidate submitted a nomination form with a combination of hand-written and electronic signatures, the latter appearing on the form only as a list of typewritten names. The state election authority refused to accept the electronic signatures, thus reducing the number of signatures to . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Foreign Law, ulc_ecomm_list

Digital Locks?

Bill C-32, the Act to amend the Copyright Act, has a lot of provisions, mostly aimed at balancing the interests of creators of copyrightable content with those who consume (or work with) that content.

Probably the most controversial provision involves ‘digital locks’, i.e. technical protection measures that are designed to prevent people from using the works in ways that the owner does not want. The Act makes it an offence to ‘break’ those locks for any purpose at all.

Some of the attacks on the locks rule have been a bit exaggerated, claiming that there should be no protection — . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation, ulc_ecomm_list

Any Case Law on E-Signatures in Canada?

One of the big issues that Canada’s e-commerce / e-transactions / etc. legislation in the past decade was intended to resolve was the legal status of electronic signatures. At least that was the popular impression. A lot of people (not necessarily lawyers) referred to the legislation as ‘the e-signature bill’. (The Law Commission of England and Wales concluded that no legislation was needed to make e-signature valid in that country / those countries, however, and I suspect that conclusion was valid here too.)

Have there been any cases in any jurisdiction in Canada on the legal status of electronic signatures . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, ulc_ecomm_list