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Archive for the ‘Legal Publishing’ Columns

Thoughts on Why I Write (And Why You Might Want to Too)

I have been thinking about writing lately. There are so many reasons why people write and so much it can give them and the community, so I thought I would share a bit here about why I write and give some suggestions on why you might want to write too.

When I started writing for publication in about 2010, I wrote about issues that mattered to me professionally (You can read some of these early pieces here). This started because I found that I had things I wanted to say and talked about it when I went out . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Publishing

Opportunities or Problems Around First Editions

It was a pleasure to read of the Canadian Association of Law Libraries / Association canadienne des bibliotheques de droit 2020 Hugh Lawford Award for Excellence in Legal Publishing, to Emond Publishing, for LGBTQ2+ Law: Practice Issues and Analysis by Joanna Radbord, and to note with interest the other nominated books.

It might be arguable that until such time as, in their totality, extremely large bodies of in-depth secondary legal material, analysis and explanation are produced for and initially delivered directly to electronic media and updated permanently in real time, the book format is the most substantial and familiar repository . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing

“Access Licensing”: A COVID-19 Refresh for Compulsory Licensing

In these extraordinary times of the pandemic, unusual steps must be taken to protect the public interest. On March 25, 2020, the Government of Canada’s sweeping COVID-19 Emergency Response Act received royal assent. Among its many measures is a compulsory licensing clause for patents that enables the Government “to make, construct, use and sell a patented invention to the extent necessary to respond to a public health emergency that is a matter of national concern.” This suspension of patent rights is not to be without recompense for the patent holder, but that, too, was framed in unusual ways on behalf . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing

Connecting Public and Private Legal Information Part III: Get Notified When Your Field of Expertise Evolves

On August 26th, Lexbox benefited from a major update. Among the new features included in this release is the capacity to link to the CanLII website the legal citations from your documents, as discussed in last month’s post. We invite you to try it out by submitting a few of your own files to your Lexbox account and checking how they get interconnected with CanLII’s content.

But this post is about Lexum’s next step in providing Knowledge Management as a Service (KMaaS): making it easier for you to keep track of changes to public legal information affecting the issues . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing

The Moral Rights of Researchers as Authors

I am working this year on developing a copyright amendment that is intended to do a much better job of supporting open access to research than the current law. This work is catching something of the tailwind filling the sails of open science, brought on by tragic, disruptive turns of the global pandemic. The rising tide of open preprints, data, and article access is accelerating the pursuit of vaccines and cures, and some believe science will never be the same. Yet science operates within an intellectual property regime that makes few distinctions over its particular economy. Thus the need to . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing

Connecting Public and Private Legal Information Part II: Linking Your Legal Citations to CanLII Material

A month ago, I introduced Lexum’s first step in providing Knowledge Management as a Service (KMaaS) via Lexbox. This development has made it possible for Lexbox users to start searching their own documents alongside the public legal information made available on the CanLII website. This post covers the upcoming release of the second feature tied to that approach. In a few weeks Lexum will integrate its citator to Lexbox, automating the linking of legal citations included in the body of documents submitted by users to the corresponding cases and legislation on CanLII.

The idea of enabling users to auto-link their . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Publishing

Unknown Unknowns

The world continues to change greatly and, whatever the future brings and despite any wilful and devious political and corporate hyperbole that abounds on these matters, it may well be that some aspects of the past will disappear or will alter to an extent. In the case of much that has been witnessed of late, we might certainly hope so. Almost without doubt, the pandemic is likely to create beneficial modernisation and efficiencies that can be enjoyed by the use of technology that was previously little-known, avoided or unavailable. We have indeed been forced lately to question much that has . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing

Platforms, Content and Duplication

As we continue to develop CanLII as a content platform and start to work more on developing original content, I have been thinking about the tension between platforms which gain value from lots of content, and organizations that create content as their primary value proposition.

The observation may be trite, but to illustrate my point using more general examples, Google and Facebook are examples of platforms that gain from having additional volume while devaluing each individual piece of content. Newspapers and magazines provide value primarily through the content they create.

In legal information we have analogous organizations with similar . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Publishing

Connecting Public and Private Legal Information

In a recent post Ivan Mokanov presented Lexum’s vision of providing Knowledge Management as a Service to the legal community. It is true that until now KM in the legal sector has been closely associated with expensive enterprise software only at the reach of law firms of a certain size. However, it is our belief that the infrastructure we developed for legal publishing can also be leveraged by lawyers for making the most out of the information they produce and store internally. That is why we recently started introducing features in Lexbox increasing the interactivity between public (legislation, case law, . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing

Toward a Post-Covid World of Open Access

The global scale of the current pandemic has led to what feels like a remarkably unprecedented level of solidarity in a world pulling together (while standing apart) amid this common cause of fighting the spread of Covid-19. In the area in which I work (from home) of scholarly communication, publishers have been not only creating public access to Covid-19 collections of research and professional resources, from Elsevier’s COVID-19 Clinical Toolkit to Wiley’s Coronavirus Resources & News. Wellcome Trust has reaffirmed its 2016 “Statement on Data Sharing in Public Health Emergencies,” which has been signed by every major biomedical publisher . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing

Weapons of Mess and Disruption?

Perhaps it is at least in part the fault of the idiot wing of the fund management business, that it seems to have become necessary for every aspiring new entity seeking to serve the legal and professional information sector to classify itself as a “disruptor” or “disruptive”. Whether or not such entities, their products and services are capable of achieving the criteria set by the fundamentalist religious cult enthusiast attributed with having identified the concept, nonetheless, to attract the funds and appear to be on message, they have to be disruptors. I find it tiresome to see commentators, as . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing

My Concerns With the Broadcast and Telecommunications Legislative Review Panel Report, and Thoughts About Taming the Internet

In January, the panel tasked with the review of Canada’s telecommunications framework issued its report. Some of the recommendations are to be saluted, but others have left me worrying, most importantly the recommendations that aim to effectively regulate the Internet the same way that we have regulated broadcast since the last century.

This post is certainly not intended to be a comprehensive discussion of the report. If you’re looking for such a thing you can, well, read the report to hear the panellists’ explanations for their recommendations, or head to Michael Geist’s blog to hear about the other side . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing, Legal Technology