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Archive for the ‘Legal Publishing’ Columns

Facilitating Fair Copyright Compensation in Canadian Universities

During the first week of June this year, Canada’s Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology issued its Statutory Review of the Copyright Act Report, after an exhaustive and expensive Canada-wide polling of opinion. The result of a legislated five-year review of copyright, the report’s first recommendation is to strike this review mandate from the legislation. More than one witness pointed to how the conventional legislative reform process is working just fine.

That duly noted, if with a touch of irony, I’d like to focus my attention on a pair of consecutive recommendations, beginning with number 16: That the . . . [more]

Posted in: Intellectual Property, Legal Publishing

The Optimum Time to Buy or Sell Law Publishing Businesses

For reasons that I barely remember with clarity, I am the owner of a pitifully small number of shares in two companies that are participants in law, tax and professional publishing. I worry, however, that I, personally but unintentionally, might be doing harm to the law publishing business.

It’s not that in any way the expression of my opinions can hurt them, nor can I do so by my abilities in clever financial wizardry, nor am I able at all to affect their managements or shareholders; it is much more subtle and subliminal than that. Quite simply, my wagers on . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing

Asia Ignored by the Media?

In the 1940s during World War II, I remember the war news being mostly about the war in Europe and very little news of the war in Asia. The bombing of Europe dominated the North American radio news and newspapers. Apart from the atomic bombs, I do not remember news items about the bombing of Japan which was extensive.

Today some of our news media are again ignoring some of the news from Asia. For example, “Uzbekistan’s growth rate of 8 percent is one of the world’s highest.” The population of Uzbekistan is 32 million. We do get some news . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing, Miscellaneous

Not Your Grandparents’ Civil Law: Decisions Are Getting Longer. Why and What Does It Mean in France and Québec?

(I’m very pleased to welcome Antoine Dusséaux from Doctrine as a guest contributor on this post. You can read more about and from Antoine below.)

Given my job (CEO at CanLII – saved you a click ) and law degree from a civil law program, I often get to talk about the differences between legal information in Québec compared to the rest of Canada.

I was an intellectual property (IP) lawyer before joining CanLII and although I wasn’t a litigator per se, I was routinely involved in IP cases before the Federal Court. Before that, I did a bit of . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Publishing

Applying the Logic of Intellectual Property Incentives Outside the Law

One common interpretation of intellectual property law is that it is not so much about protecting a creator’s natural law property rights (as is the case with bicycles and beachfront properties). Rather, intellectual property law is about motivating individuals to create and invent for the benefit of all. It has been carefully structured and revised over the years, by this reading, to spur on individual and corporate investment in fostering and consuming novelty. In the eighteenth century, when intellectual property took its modern legislative form, the intent was boldly declared to be the encouragement of learning and to promote the . . . [more]

Posted in: Intellectual Property, Legal Publishing

NMOneSoure 2.0: Open Access to New Mexico Legal Information Is Now Powered by Lexum

New Mexico is one of the few U.S. States where the official publishing of legislation and case law is centralized in the hands of a specialized enterprise agency, the New Mexico Compilation Commission (NMCC), created in 1941. Over the last fifteen years, the State of New Mexico has been its own self-publisher of its official laws. NMCC has been providing three distinct online services: its agency website for posting slip opinions, formal and unreported opinions and new court rule amendments on behalf of the Supreme Court of New Mexico; a free, word-searchable online database of unannotated statutes at the request . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing

The Gift to Law Publishing of the English Language

As someone of relatively proud Irish and Italian heritage, among others, no doubt, and while daily rejoicing in the good fortune of being able to have the City of London, England, as my primary place of work and residence, nevertheless, I would not necessarily put England and “Englishness” at the top of any preference lists. I value my many English friends, family members, colleagues, neighbours and acquaintances enormously and with much affection but I rate the place, apart from London, its history, traditions, political structures and culture, no higher than those of any other great country; I am . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing

Tiger Woods and Changing the Game

Tiger Woods won the Masters on April 14, 2019. His fifth Green Jacket at Augusta National, earned 22 years after his first when he demolished world-class competition with a 12-stroke margin of victory in a tournament where first and second place are typically separated by a single, well-placed putt. I vividly remember that 1997 final, as it fell smack in the middle of my 3L final exams and I thought (correctly) that the best use of my time that day was to sit my then-infant daughter on my lap and watch history unfold rather than break the spine on that . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing, Practice of Law

AI4A2J

The title of this post stands for Artificial Intelligence for Access to Justice. It sounds a little like buzzword festival. Rest assured however – there is no mention whatsoever of block chain or design thinking further down in the text.

A few months ago we sent out an invitation to industry partners to join Lexum Lab (Lexum’s R&D team) to test a few AI / Deep Learning applications that are in the making. More specifically, Lexum Lab and the Montreal Institute for Learning Algorithms (MILA) are collaborating on the development of a link prediction algorithm for law. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing, Legal Technology

Calling for Greater Public Accountability in Big Pharma‘s Patent Collaborations

My beat on SLAW.ca is typically, if not all too predictably, the copyright trials and tribulations of scholarly communication. I’d be the first to admit that matters of access to this body of knowledge are relatively straightforward compared to what takes place next door with patent licensing, especially when pharmaceuticals are involved. Still, such patents disputes, which often involve government, university, and industry, can shed light on my interests in legal reforms that restore some part of intellectual property law’s original intent to promote the progress of science and encourage learning for the benefit of all.

This has led me . . . [more]

Posted in: Intellectual Property, Legal Publishing

Rule One: Calculate Precisely Why You’re Trading Your Mustang for a Horse

I was bemused, recently, when a highly-respected and knowledgeable professional publisher intimated to me a partial preference, presumably based on a degree of evidence, for content which was aimed at lawyers, that did not rely on or make significant reference to rules. It caused me to ponder, as a sometime law publisher and one who holds certain systems of rules in high esteem, on their value, not least for purposes of providing information to lawyers and their like.

It is not within my competence to attempt to deal in any depth with the complex jurisprudential analysis that has always . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing

For Want of a Distinction: The Copyright Act and the York University Appeal

A year ago in this blog, I addressed York University’s appeal of the federal court’s decision against its clams to “fair dealing” in its instructors’ reproduction of course materials in Canadian Copyright Licensing Agency (CCLA) v. York University. I am returning to this case, even as the appeal proceeds, because I’ve begun to think that it reveals the extent to which the Copyright Act is currently unable to serve both party’s legitimate rights and interests.

Judge Michael L. Phelan’s ruling in the original case, rendered July 12, 2017, denied York’s claim that the copying of materials by instructors . . . [more]

Posted in: Intellectual Property, Legal Publishing