I received a message from a library discussion list this morning informing readers of an open house and call-in event at Minister Prentice's constituency office tomorrow, Saturday December 8. The message notes that rumours are that the forthcoming copyright bill will resemble the US DMCA in some controversial respects. More information about the open house and call-in is available here. . . . [more]
Archive for ‘Legal Information’
The only thing that's needed now, Steve, is the RSS links for each, and the ability to mix a feed of our choosing right there on the site, and….
When you have time, that is. . . . [more]
Wouldn't it be cool to have Facebook as your Intranet? One company thinks so. Andrew McAfee from Harvard Business School and Bill Ives are both blogging about how Serena Software has made the leap to adopting Facebook as its Intranet. . . . [more]
There's now an industrial design database on the Canadian Intellectual Property Office website. The database goes back to 1861, seemingly, and contains all the designs registered, and so protected, under the Industrial Design Act. Industrial design protection is something like a copyright, but flowing out of the shape of an object rather than, say, a writing or a work of art; the definition section says it better:
"design" or "industrial design" means features of shape, configuration, pattern or ornament and any combination of those features that, in a finished article, appeal to and are judged solely by the eye;
. . . [more]
There are reports today that Wikipedia is about to start paying contributors for certain content. This represents a break from their roots as an all-volunteer project. The program, funded by a single donation right now, aims to improve the quality of the illustrations on the site – that's currently the only thing they have plans to pay people for.
I've always found Wikipedia a good place to go for images, and have never felt a lack of good illustrations to be a shortcoming, but I'm for anything that could improve the site.
UK law librarians are now following our lead, encouraging the UK legal publishers to produce a new titles RSS feed.
Publishing consultant Nick Holmes has been calling for this service for some time, and recently put the pressure on publishers by scraping their websites to create sample feeds, posting them on the infolaw site. He also wrote an open letter to UK legal publishers on November 2nd asking for RSS feeds.
Today is the International Day of Disabled Persons, a day to think about how well your firms do with hiring and accommodation and to worry about whether Slaw is up to snuff.
In what is surely no accident, StatsCan released a Participation and Activity Limitation Survey today on The Daily. The lead sentence reports: "An estimated 4.4 million Canadians—one out of every seven in the population—reported having a disability in 2006, an increase of over three-quarters of a million people in five years…" The increasing age of the population was, of course, a factor in this 21% rise over . . . [more]
The Law Foundation of Ontario has funded a large project to extend the historical coverage of CanLII's case law databases. This project's first results are already available to our users. All Supreme Court of Canada decisions originating from Ontario back to 1876 are now published on CanLII in searchable HTML and PDF-image format.
The project's next phase will bring you all Court of Appeal for Ontario decisions that were appealed at the Supreme Court of Canada. In a third phase, CanLII will publish all reported Ontario Superior Court of Justice cases back to 1994.
. . . [more]
Perhaps encryption isn't so easy after all, and some people could use a little primer. This is how I protect my laptop….
After a discussion among academics about the perils of crossing the U.S. border with your laptop full of research data, I began to wonder how diligent law firms are in ensuring that nothing leaves the office on a laptop that is unsecured. The shocking incident in which Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs lost a couple of disks containing private . . . [more]
I've only just noticed that CanLII has warnings that alert you if you wind up at a version of a statute that predates the last update of the collection. See, for example, this version of the Family Law Act. How might you get into an older version on CanLII anyway? Via Google. A Google search for "Ontario family property" gives a link to a 2004 version within the first 20 hits — and, alas, no more current link. . . . [more]
The Department of Justice Canada appears to have recently started to offer PDF, bilingual versions of key federal statutes on their site here.
The PDF versions are current to the same date as the HTML version.
However, one criticism – if I may – is that the PDF version does not have the currency date on its face. As such, once printed, the reader does not necessarily know how current . . . [more]
As a follow up to my prior post on full-text keyword searching versus controlled vocabularies, I am wondering what law firms are doing regarding harvesting and re-using their internal research work product (research memos, client bulletins and newsletters, reasoned opinions and the like).
I know of some firms that actually catalog them in a separate database using a simplified legal taxonomy. I assume the other extreme is doing nothing but making them available on a document management system (DMS) to be searched full-text by keyword.
For those that do some level of profiling or cataloging:
1) What taxonomy works best . . . [more]