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Archive for the ‘Legal Publishing’ Columns

Of Amateurs Teaching Intellectual Property in the Age of Trump

I come to intellectual property law as an amateur. My interest in it has grown from a passing interest in sensational literary-estate cases, through a good deal of advocacy work on behalf of open access to research, into something of an educational mission. With the fervor of a convert, I now look for ways of introducing lessons on intellectual property into my teaching in the school of education and in the program in science, technology, and society (STS). I may throw a mini-lesson into a discussion of the materials that students are using for a project or on a headline . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing

The Future of Law and “Intelligent” Technologies: Prophecies, Technologies and Opportunities – Part 2

In the first part of this blog post, we looked at the current benefits we are enjoying from technologies resulting from AI research. We also examined some risks accruing when AI approaches are deployed in legal activities where transparency and justifications are required. In the following lines, we will borrow from a recent study made of the impacts of AI on lawyers employment. We will also try to enumerate potential benefits of AI technologies in our own line of business, legal publishing.

In “Can Robots be Lawyers?” (forthcoming in the Georgetown Journal of Legal Ethics, (Spring 2017), currently . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing, Legal Technology

The Future of Law and “Intelligent” Technologies: Prophecies, Technologies and Opportunities – Part 1

Career prophets have been announcing the demise of the legal profession for decades already. According to some, the traditional lawyer will soon follow the way of telephone operators, bank clerks and travel agents. Recently, the prophecies have taken a new turn. While outsourcing, offshoring, legal Taylorism—all previous threats of course remain, we are now being forewarned about a new source of disruption: “intelligent software” in law. Once again, prophets insist that those who are not already into it are laggards, and by now we should all know what will happen to them.

In this post, I address the deployment of . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing, Legal Technology

The Federal Court Confirms Office of the Privacy Commissioner’s Findings About Globe24h

Last Monday, on January 30th, the Federal Court issued a judgment in an application against the Globe24h.com website and its owner, Mr. Sebastian Radulescu. Mr. Radulescu’s activities have been discussed over the past couple of years in mainstream media as well as here on Slaw.

In June 2015, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner issued findings (Complaints against Globe24h.com, 2015 CanLII 33260 (PCC)) which we then commented. In his reasons (A.T. v. Globe24h.com, 2017 FC 114 (CanLII)), Judge Mosley confirms, among other findings, that Mr. Radulescu’s website has no journalistic purpose:

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Posted in: Legal Publishing

The Magic Ingredient

What makes CLEBC publications so popular with BC lawyers? There’s no doubt our talented editorial and production staff make a great contribution, but I believe the magic ingredient is the combined wisdom of our excellent authors and editorial boards.

Once the authors have made their submissions, their work is carefully reviewed—page by page—by the legal editor and the editorial board. Editorial board meetings usually involved spirited discussions of law and practice. The implications of recent decisions, the significance of new statutory requirements, a new practice or understanding that has arisen within the BC legal community—all are flagged and discussed to . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing

Subscribing to Open Access for Research and Scholarship

Among those of trying to imagine an alternative economic arrangement for scholarly publishing that will result in public access to research and scholarship, the journal subscription has become seemingly immovable impediment to the wider distribution of this form of intellectual property. This had led me to do a bit of historical digging into the commercial transaction of the subscription, as part of a larger project on learning’s role in the formation of intellectual property concept over many centuries.

I have come to discover that subscriptions were first used to raise money for scholarly publishing in the early 17th century. The . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing

Should Judges Be Appointed or Elected?

Ben Franklin thought that judges should be elected. He thought that the voting public would select the best person for the job. See page 455, Benjamin Franklin, An American Life by Walter Isaacson.

Judges are appointed in Canada. In the U.S.A. federal court judges are appointed. Some U.S.A. states elect judges. Many years ago a Denver lawyer told me that Colorado lawyers prefer to elect judges because it tends to make the judges accountable and responsible. In Canada supreme court judges are appointed until age 75. Some appointed judges act irresponsibly. For example, when I was practicing law in New . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing

Tolley – Cento Anni!

Reflecting on 2016, in many ways a turbulent and distressing year, I was reminded of the centenaries that it marked. Notable ones for me were the momentous Easter Rising in Ireland, the wasteful Battle of the Somme, the birth of my late father and the establishment of Tolley Publishing.

Its parent, Lexis Nexis UK has posted on Tolley’s web site a “100 Years of Tolley Infographic” and has published a book to celebrate its centenary, entitled, thanks to Jean-Baptiste Colbert, “Plucking the Goose”. The title, apparently not some kind of smutty euphemism or double entendre, serves to . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing

The Path From Print to Web Has Just Become Much Shorter

If you have print assets that you want to publish on the web, until now you had two options. The first one: the scanned material is OCR-ed, the text is then extracted into an editable text format (Word or XML), formatting and structure are applied throughout, and then the document is converted to a web-friendly format, like HTML. This is an expensive process even if done offshore. The second option: you can simply publish an OCR-ed scanned PDF file and accept that it will be clumsily rendered, not interactive, somewhat searchable, and in the case of large documents, your browser . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing

A Natural Experiment With Intellectual Property’s Original Intent Reaches a Milestone

In 2001, I and an undergraduate student at the University of British Columbia started an intellectual property experiment with the original intent of this area of law. I didn’t think of it that way at the time, but now that fifteen years have passed and the results of this imagined experiment could be said to be in, I want to set it out here in those terms (warning: unabashed hubris to follow). What we set in motion in 2001 and have worked on steadily since then is a piece of software. I sketched out workflow and wrote the words, while . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing

“Front Door to the Past”

One aspect of having a great affection for law publishing is that I have a tendency to search for its characteristics and qualities elsewhere. For me, it sets a general standard for non-fiction and published information provision. Perhaps not surprisingly, therefore, I find myself looking for snippets of law publishing in many unlikely places and am pleased to find it frequently. My enjoyment, not long ago, of Philip Wood’s The Fall of the Priests and the Rise of the Lawyers, in which the author stresses the centrality of law to human survival was, in part, for such reasons. Lawyers . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing

Using Established Legal Information Technologies to Support the Labour Sector

Some would say that in term of access to legal information, the labour sector has somehow been left behind. For sure, you can access labour codes and regulations on CanLII, as well as the latest judicial decisions addressing wrongful dismissal, but other sources are fundamental to the practice of labour lawyers. In a field where much depends on negotiation, collective bargaining agreements (CBAs) – contracts between unions and employers – are as important as any other document. Unfortunately this source of law is not as easy to locate and use online as one could hope.

Typically, the electronic version of . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing