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Archive for ‘Substantive Law’

CTLS Launched Today

Dean Mayo Moran today presided over a webcast to launch UofT Law’s participation in Georgetown’s Center for Transnational Legal Studies which brings together in London faculty and students from ten nations and five continents to study international, transnational and comparative law. Georgetown Law Professors David Cole and Nina Pillard are the Academic Directors for the Center’s first year.

Georgetown’s initial partners in the Center include the Free University of Berlin, University of Fribourg (Switzerland), Hebrew University of Jerusalem, King’s College London, University of Melbourne, National University of Singapore, University of Sao Paulo, University of . . . [more]

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

The Common Law and the Law of Islam

This post is a minor riff on a sentence in Omar’s comment on the Lords’ decision on whether the European Convention on Human Rights can accommodate the child custody presumptions in Sharia law. Omar reminded us that Islamic legal scholars have been arguing about precedent and employing analogies long before the English common law.

Which led to a breathless DaVinci Code ((Complete with references to the Knights Templar and tantalizing links between Merton College and Sicily in the age of Islam – for which see Chapter 27 in the late Tim Reuter’s New Cambridge Medieval History)), style BBC . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

New Canadian Book on Email Law

I’m surprised it has taken so long for a Canadian book on the law of something so ubiquitous, email. Lexis Nexis Canada has released the new title E-mail Law by Charles Morgan and Julien Saulgrain, both of McCarthy Tétrault, and General Editor Dr. Sunny Handa. The description of this 188 page book is given here in the Butterworths catalogue. From the McCarthy Tétrault press release (Oct. 24/08):

It includes systematic analyses of current and upcoming trends, cutting-edge information on e-contracts, spam, e-mail monitoring, document retention, and e-mail as evidence.

Designed for legal counsel, human resource professionals and business leaders,

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

Copyrighting Facts in Movies – “We Are Marshall”

Movie producers often attempt to purchase the rights of real stories they want to turn into film. However, media sources reporting events have no copyright interest in the facts they are reporting.

A recent American case helps illustrate this point.

The 2006 Warner Bros. film We Are Marshall starring Matthew McConaughey depicted the true story of a plane that crashed on Nov. 14, 1970, killing all 75 people on board. The victims included 37 members of the Marshall University Thundering Herd football team.

Although Warner Bros. had approached the makers of an Emmy-winning documentary film, Ashes to Glory: The Tragedy . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

House of Lords, Shari’a Law and the Grant of Asylum

The House of Lords has just released a judgment, Em (Lebanon) (Fc) (Fc) v. Secretary of State For The Home Department [2008] UKHL 64, of some interest.

A mother and her seven-year-old son from Lebanon sought asylum in the U.K., claiming a right to remain under article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights read in conjunction with article 14. She had been granted a divorce from her husband in Lebanon and had actual custody of their child; when the boy would turn seven, Shari’a law would automatically pass all custody, legal and actual, to the father; . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Foreign Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

SCC to Rule on Whether Licences Are “property”

Tomorrow morning, the Supreme Court of Canada will, finally, release its judgment in Saulnier v. Royal Bank of Canada. The case concerns whether a government-issued licence – in this case, a fishing licence – can be treated as a form of intangible “property” for purposes of the Personal Property Security Act and the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act.

This case has the potential to be quite significant. The traditional common law position, represented by cases such as National Trust v. Bouckhuyt (1987), 61 O.R. (2d) 640 (C.A.), was that a discretionary licence issued by a government body grants a mere . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Google Sued for Placing Ads With Typosquatters

Benjamin Edelman, who teaches marketing in the Harvard School of Business, has initiated a class action against Google on behalf of trademark owners whose marks have been infringed by typosquatters. (See the story on Arstechnica.) Typosquatting is the practice of registering domain names that approximate the names of real companies’ websites in the hope of obtaining advantage from internet users who arrive there by mistyping (e.g. http://goggle.com/). Edelman claims that Google places ads on these fraudulent sites and benefits from revenue generated when a user clicks into the sites by mistake. Given the number of such pseudo-sites, Edelman . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Technology, Technology: Internet

Seizing Domain Names

A court in Kentucky has (ex parte) made an in rem judgment ordering the seizure of 141 domain names because, the court determined, they are “gambling devices” or “gambling records” under Kentucky legislation. Domain names, said the court, “are virtual keys for entering and creating virtual casinos from the desktop of a resident in Kentucky.”

Apart from the dubious nature of the court’s application of the legislation to domain names, issues arise in the case as to whether Kentucky has jurisdiction and whether domain names are property or, as the defendants argued:

[D]omain names are akin to a telephone number

. . . [more]
Posted in: Substantive Law

Word Processors Won’t Help in Court

That’s the title of my latest London Free Press article. I thought Slaw readers might find the article interesting. Since my arrangement with the newspaper does not allow me to republish it for a period of time anywhere but on my own blog, you can read it on my blog, or on the Free Press site, or on the Canoe technology news page (although this weeks article is not yet there at the time I write this.)

The gist of the article is that a UK judge was very critical of the drafter of an agreement, accusing him/her . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Michael Sauers on Creative Commons

I am currently at the Internet Librarian 2008 conference in Monterey, CA. Under the category of “I wish you were here” is the presentation by Michael Sauers, Technology Innovation Librarian from the Nebraska Library Commission. I caught the tail end of his presentation and unfortunately didn’t take notes, but here are his Lessig-esque slides. Michael knows a lot about Creative Commons through practical use as well as trial-and-error.

Posted in: Education & Training: CLE/PD, Legal Information, Substantive Law

Iacobucci Report Released

The Canadian government has released the massive (544 pages) final report of the Internal Inquiry into the Actions of Canadian Officials in Relation to Abdullah Almalki, Ahmad Abou-Elmaati and Muayyed Nureddin [PDF] chaired by The Honourable Frank Iacobucci, q.c. Commissioner. There is a secret report, as well as this public version, containing material subject to national security confidentiality.

It is worth, I believe, quoting at some length from Justice Iacobucci’s opening “Commissioner’s Statement”:

[R]espect for rights and freedoms is a constraint on a democracy that ter-rorists do not share. Indeed by their very actions they repudiate these rights and freedoms.

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information, Substantive Law

Copyright and the Campaign

Copyright didn’t play a large part in the recent Canadian election (despite Michael Geist’s admirable efforts), and it hasn’t played much of a role south of the border either. However, it did make a brief appearance last week.

It turns out some of John McCain’s campaign videos, which had been uploaded to this year’s hottest campaigning tool, Youtube, contained copyrighted material (in particular, the infamous clip of Barack Obama describing – fill in the blank – as “lipstick on a pig”). In accordance with their obligations under the Digital Millenium Copyright Act, Youtube removed the ads after when the . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law