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Archive for ‘Substantive Law’

Privacy Commissioner Sponsors Camera Surveillance Workshop

Surveillance cameras seem to be everywhere these days. They are one of the creeping invasions of privacy that raise difficult issues. Isolated cameras on private homes or businesses controlled by the owner and which retain images for short periods of time are easy to justify on security grounds. On the other hand, massive networks of connected and centrally controlled cameras that track everyone’s every move (the UK for example) and save that information for long periods of time cross the Orwellian threshold.

Some of the questions that don’t appear to have fact based answers include:
– Does camera surveillance really . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

“Charon QC” Posts Contract Text

Charon QC, the UK’s one-man blogging, podcasting and ‘zine publishing machine, has put a contract text online and made it available for free. Properly Mike Semple Piggot, he has taught contract law over the past 25 years at BPP Law School, an institution that he helped found. His text is, as he says, more of an outline, along with a collection of other resources related to contract law. On the site you’ll find up-to-date contract news; links to appropriate recent case reports are available within the text notes.

Semple plans a similar site dealing with the sale . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Education & Training: Law Schools, Legal Information, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Substantive Law

Summertime and the Living…isn’t That Easy

Law commissions like to operate on a relatively regular schedule of making documents public, whether consultation papers or interim or final reports, especially given the insatiable demands of today’s websites. As with any organization, however, the ready excuse of “best laid plans…” naturally operates to throw off the timetable. A consultation paper scheduled to be released in April may be postponed until September for unforeseen reasons, for example. Difficulties finding a translator may mean a delay of a month in releasing a final report. Even building in some leeway in setting timetables doesn’t always address delays, just like thinking you’re . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

This Week’s Biotech Highlights

This week was for introductions:

. . . [more]
Posted in: Substantive Law, Technology: Internet

And the Gold Medal Goes To

Karl-Heinz Schreiber, who I believe must have set some sort of record for the most appearances of any individual in reported Canadian caselaw. My count is 44 decisions.

Leaving aside the current story, the legal merits and the political background, which are in the hands of the Oliphant Inquiry and in the presciently accurate work of my friendStevie Cameron. The sheer quantity of court appearances and decisions is impressive. Two appearances in the Supreme Court of Canada, and on the extradition issues, as the judge noted, five applications for judicial review, four of which were dismissed, the . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Miscellaneous, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Foreign Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Controversy Continues, Even After Strike Resolution

Toronto City Council voted 21-17 this week to endorse a new contract with the 30,000 city workers who have been on strike for 39 days.

And although the garbage is being picked up, a political stink is being raised about how the situation was handled. The strikers themselves suggested throughout the strike that the public should be blaming the political leadership, with some claiming he has alienated his key supporters in the labour movement.

But the biggest emerging controversy out of the new agreement is that workers on strike actually gained sick days while on the picket line.

Although Councillor . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

Have I Heard That Song Before?

Sometimes new law is very old. According to the OED, the term plagiarism was first applied to music in the Monthly Magazine of 1797, when a composition was described as “the most flagrant plagiarism from Handel” (The Imaginary Museum of Musical Works by Lydia Goehr, OUP). Since then a pantheon of musicians have been accused of lifting melodies – from Jerome Kern (Fred Fisher Inc. v. Dillingham, 298 F. 145, 1924.), George Harrison (My Sweet Lord costs over half a million 1981 dollars to settle: Bright Tunes Music Corp. v. Harrisongs, 420 F. Supp. 177 (S.D.N.Y. 1976)), Mick Jagger (co-author . . . [more]

Posted in: Firm Guest Blogger, Legal Information, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Wired Lawyers

This week, the entertainment group at Heenan Blaikie has been commenting on various developments in the sector. But I thought it might be fun to ask how media and entertainment lawyers use the new media.

So I asked the group:

What sites are on your bookmarks, that you check daily or that you get email updates from or RSS feeds?

What are the must reads for clients? Does everyone read Variety or Hollywood Reporter? Is there an electronic equivalent?

Do you or your clients use social media? Facebook? MySpace? Linkedin? Legalonramp? Twitter? Follow any blogs? Contribute to any blogs? Or

. . . [more]
Posted in: Firm Guest Blogger, Legal Information, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Substantive Law

Farewell to Their Lordships

Courtesy of my friend and partner, Subrata Bhattacharjee, today is the last sitting of the Judicial Committee of the House of Lords (you can watch the feed here. So farewell to a court that has provided a vast range of legal judgments from Attwood v. Small in 1838, through Rylands and Fletcher, through M’ALISTER or DONOGHUE (Pauper) v. STEVENSON. In October, a Supreme Court will start sitting to hear appellate matters.

In this Guest Week on Media and Entertainment law at Slaw, it only seems fitting that they’ll spend part of the last day on pop . . . [more]

Posted in: Firm Guest Blogger, Legal Information, Miscellaneous, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Co-Producing Films in Canada – the Basics



In today’s financing climate, where pre-sales are more difficult than ever to attract and GAP financing requires two or three times coverage, the holy grail of many independent producers has become “soft money”- funds which are generated by means other than sales of a product, such as tax credits, government subsidies and equity investments. Canadians have become very good at chasing soft money, and that’s why Canadians are tops in co-producing.

In the context of reduced financing sources, it stands to reason that if accessing soft money in one country is good, then accessing soft monies from . . . [more]

Posted in: Firm Guest Blogger, Substantive Law

Lights, Camera… Insurance!

and by Michael Spanier

One of the most important aspects of film and television production is the clearance procedure. A little known fact about entertainment lawyers is that we spend much (okay…some… well, precious little actually) of our day in our offices watching movies. Or cartoons. Or television shows. All in the name of “E&O Clearance Procedures.”

The importance of ensuring that a production is clear from an errors and omissions perspective cannot be emphasized enough. From the day a producer acquires the rights to a script, an underlying novel or a real-life story, the E&O journey begins. Every single . . . [more]

Posted in: Firm Guest Blogger, Practice of Law, Substantive Law

How to Read a Privacy Policy

A New York-based non-profit known as the Common Data Project has published a report about the privacy policies of major Internet sites such as Google, Yahoo!, Wikipedia, Microsoft, Amazon, eBay, Facebook, and Craigslist:

“We realize that most users of online services have not and never will read the privacy policies so carefully crafted by teams of lawyers at Google and Microsoft.”

“And having read all of these documents (many times over), we’re not convinced that anyone should read them, other than to confirm what you probably already know: A lot of data is being collected about you, and it’s not

. . . [more]
Posted in: Substantive Law, Technology