Canada’s online legal magazine.
Carswell Start-up Guide for Sole Practitioner
LexisNexis Legal Products

Archive for ‘Substantive Law’

CRTC Announces Hearings on New Media

Somewhat buried in all the news today of Liberal infighting, market meltdowns, and U.S. electioneering was a CRTC notice announcing the beginning of hearings on broadcasting and New Media. This hearing follows up on its earlier consultations this year setting the terms of reference for the hearings, and more generally on the CRTC’s New Media Project Initiative, begun in 2007.

No one, surely, could accuse the CRTC of acting precipitously on this issue: even with respect to yesterday’s announcement, a CRTC spokesman (quoted in today’s Globe and Mail) emphasized that the proceeding is about “understand[ing] the . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

Persistent URLs for Legislation

The Library of Congress website THOMAS, which provides information about U.S. legislation, has established a system of persistent URLs for legislative documents. This means that hyperlinks using this format will always (i.e. for the foreseeable future) take a reader to the desired document, regardless of any server changes that might have occurred since the link was created.

The persistent link is created by following a syntax that assembles a document’s URI. (A “uniform resource identifier” is a unique string of characters that is used to identify a particular resource on the internet; a URL — “uniform resource . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Publishing, Substantive Law: Legislation

IP Osgoode

Osgoode Hall Law School will officially announce today the launch of a new program in intellectual property law and technology, IP Osgoode, aimed at promoting interdisciplinary research and commentary in the field. The website features a student-run blog, IPilogue, and what will clearly be a growing body of resources for those interested in IP.

Professor Pina D’Agostino is the Director of the new program; she is joined by Osgoode Professors Carys Craig, Ikechi Mgbeoji, and IP Osgoode, Assistant Director, Rex Shoyama. An impressive Advisory Board has been assembled, which includes the Honourable Mr. Justice Marshall Rothstein, the Honourable . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Education & Training: Law Schools, Substantive Law

Was “Slacker Uprising” a Thumb to Copyright Industry?

Elections are on everybody’s minds these days.

We have our Canadian Federal elections coming up in two days. But it was the American elections that Michael Moore had in mind when he made his new movie, Slacker Uprising.

The $2 million film covers the 2004 American election, where Moore visits 62 cities over 42 days in an attempt to get George W. Bush out of office.

But what made the film unique was that Moore chose to release the film online – for free. He claims this is the first time this has been legally been done for a . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

International Development Law Organization

The International Development Law Organization (IDLO) is an intergovernmental organization of 18 states aimed at helping developing countries establish the rule of law and good governance practices. Canada, though CIDA, has been working with IDLO in Afghanistan since 2002.

Readers interested in issues of law in developing countries might consult IDLO’s publications, where you will also find a library of links to relevant online resources (journals, newsletters, newspapers and news agencies). . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Substantive Law

Encrypting Personal Information

The states of Nevada and now Massachusetts require that holders of personal information must encrypt that information. Nevada imposes this requirement on businesses with respect to some kinds of information — names associated with social security numbers or various other kinds of access codes. Massachusetts imposes the requirement on everybody and applies it to storage on mobile devices and transmission through open networks.

A memo by the Chicago firm of Wildman Harrold describes both laws and gives citations.

Do we need this kind of rule in Canada? PIPEDA and its provincial counterparts require holders of personal information to keep it . . . [more]

Posted in: Administration of Slaw, Substantive Law, Technology, ulc_ecomm_list

New Proposed Apology Legislation in Ontario

Just over a month ago I said right here on Slaw,

government officials should also review legislation relating to liability of public apologies so that responsible companies like Maple Leaf are not penalized in the process.

It seems someone was paying attention.

A new proposed law would address this issue. The Ministry of the Attorney General of Ontario said in a release today,

The Apology Act would, if passed:

  • Allow individuals and organizations, such as hospitals and other public institutions, to apologize for an accident or wrongdoing, without it being used as evidence of liability in a civil
. . . [more]
Posted in: Substantive Law

Hockey Anthem Challenge

It’s nowhere near Friday, but that mustn’t matter. Even so there’s a tenuous connection with our regular programming, having to do with copyright law and Dolores Claman’s problems with the CBC (or vice versa). So… today’s the day you get to vote for the new hockey theme for Hockey Night in Canada. On CBC’s Anthem Challenge webpage you’ll find links to the five finalists’ music. Have a listen, and then vote. It’ll be good practice, anyway, for October 14. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Substantive Law

You’re Not Paranoid, You Really Could Be Watched

As a follow-up to the post on Google Picasa’s facial recognition software, there are other new potential Google products that are raising privacy concerns.

A Google spokesperson announced this week a patent application that will rank social network users based on their influence, measured by metrics that would include how many people visited their profile, number of friends, and how active they were on the site.

The product would even track how frequently people post on sites and how successful they are in getting others to read or watch things that they post. Ranking could also be based on . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Technology, Technology: Internet

Will Old Law Reports Ever Die?

From the earliest days of online legal research, the death of the traditional law report in print was predicted. Online access to cases would make print unnecessary. In the paperless world that was imminent, there would be no need for the traditional law report. Storage problems for sets of law report series would be eliminated and the cost of searching cases would be greatly reduced.

That was the vision for online legal research in 1973 when Lexis Nexis and Quicklaw pioneered in offering commercial online access to case law. It was going to be just a matter of time before . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Legal Information: Publishing, Reading, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Karake Et Al. and Universal Jurisdiction

Rwandan general, Emmanuel Karenzi Karake, is deputy commander of the joint United Nations/African Union “implementation” force in Darfur, UNAMID. General Karake (there is some uncertainty in the media as to how his name is properly to be given; I am following the Rwandan government’s use of “Karake.”) was also the commander of Rwandan troops during the reprisal killings of Hutus by the Tutsis. In February a Spanish judge of the National Court indicted Karake, along with 39 other Rwandans including president Paul Kagame, with crimes against human rights, claiming “universal jurisdiction” to do so. As a result there . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

Facial Recognition Software, for Everyone

Few people probably noticed the changes to one of the software features in Google Pack last month. Fewer still have considered the privacy implications.

Picasa, a photo management and sharing system, launched a facial recognition system. Users tag their photos, and the software searches through pictures to find the same people and place tags on them too.

Google, who owns Picasa, has had these capabilities for a couple years now since they acquired Neven Vision.

Theoretically a user could pick off other people’s photos from Flickr or Facebook, upload them to their Picasa account and tag . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Technology: Internet