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Archive for ‘Substantive Law’

Hush Hush, Mein Kindle

As everyone knows by now, Amazon is poised to bring out Kindle 2 in the U.S. Apart from its other features, the Kindle 2 can read — out loud. This is, of course, no more than any competent computer can do nowadays, and in tones that are increasingly lifelike. But this ability to speak a book worries the American Authors Guild, which opines that an act of turning text to speech might violate copyright, or, more precisely, impinge on an author’s “e-book rights.”

(Most commentary you’ll read on this — WSJ, Boing Boing, and those quoted in . . . [more]

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

Ice Fishing as a Lottery?

Courtesy of the Northern European law firm Roschier comes news of this most alarming decision from the Finnish Supreme Court: running an ice fishing competition without a lottery licence.

Supreme Court Rules on Lottery Offence in Ice Fishing Competition Case

The Supreme Court ruled on 30 December 2008 that an ice fishing competition can constitute a lottery in accordance with the Lotteries Act. […]

[T]he participants were entitled a prize of monetary value for each fish caught based on the weight of that single fish. The value of this prize rose substantially along with the weight classes, but at the

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information, Miscellaneous, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Foreign Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

TVO Interview on Guantanamo

For those interested in the legal challenges posed by the “war on terror”, this Friday’s broadcast of “The Agenda”, on TVOntario, will have an interview with my good friend Ben Wittes, a scholar at the Brookings Institution and author of the recent book Law and the Long War: The Future of Justice in the Age of Terror. Well worth a look, especially for those who comfort themselves with the idea that maximal protection for human rights entails no trade-offs in terms of security – or vice versa. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Substantive Law

PBS – Nova Program – “Intelligent Design on Trial”

SLAW has had some recent posts on the availability of the works of Charles Darwin being available online (here and here), presumably as a result of tomorrow being the 200th anniversary of his birth.

Likely because of that anniversary, PBS in Buffalo/Toronto broadcast last night a documentary called “Intelligent Design on Trial.” The documentary can be viewed in clips at the foregoing link where there are also transcripts and extra video clips and links.

The show was a documentary on the attempt by the Dover Area School Board (in rural Pennsylvania) in late 2004 to . . . [more]

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

Bad Science, Journalism, Law and the Internet

Dr. Ben Goldacre writes a weekly column for the Guardian called Bad Science, in which he “skewers” journalists, politicians, advertisers and others who misrepresent, make up or ignore scientific evidence concerning the sorts of things that concern us all. He also maintains a blog by the same name, where he can (and does) expatiate on these issues. One of his recurring themes is the awful mishandling of vaccination data by the media and, consequently, the various vaccination panics that spring up around the world.

In this connection he writes about an interview he gave on LBC Radio in . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Practice of Law, Substantive Law, Technology: Internet

More Detail on the LCO Symposium & New Consultation Paper

I’ve been asked for more information about the LCO Symposium in May, so I thought I’d provide it here. We will be posting on the LCO website soon. The format is a series of conversations that are intended to encourage dialogue among panellists and audience (in the various configurations). I’m trying to avoid a “talking at” environment. The conversations are “What are We Talking About, Anyway?” when we’re talking about law reform;”How do We do It?”; and “What Challenges does Law Reform Face?”. Michael Tilbury of the New South Wales Law Reform Commission will give a free public lecture on . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

Taking Someone’s Picture Without Publication

The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that taking someone’s picture without their consent (or in this case, taking a newborn baby’s picture without its parents’ consent) is a breach of fundamental human rights, whether or not the picture is ever published. The story is on OutLaw.com. [The judgment in Affaire Reklos et Davourlis c. Grèce is available only in French.]

“The Court reiterated that the concept of private life was a broad one which encompassed the right to identity,” said an ECHR press release about the ruling. “It stressed that a person’s image revealed his or

. . . [more]
Posted in: Administration of Slaw, Substantive Law, ulc_ecomm_list

Your License on Facebook

There’s been some discussion about Facebook and privacy, but less, perhaps, about the matter of who may use the material posted to it. Remember the fuss when Google Chrome’s EULA claimed rights in everything that passed through the browser? Well, if you’re a Facebook user, you might want to take a look at their “contractual” offer.

Facebook’s terms of use make it clear that in using the site you:

hereby grant Facebook an irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, transferable, fully paid, worldwide license (with the right to sublicense) to

    (a) use, copy, publish, stream, store, retain, publicly perform or display, transmit, scan,
. . . [more]
Posted in: Substantive Law, Technology

Where Are You? Google Knows.

This past week, Google introduced a snazzy new application for smartphones. It’s called Google Latitude and it’s a bit like a location-based Twitter. It uses the GPS in your blackberry so you can know where your friends are and they can track you, too. In an age when more and more people are voluntarily putting personal information online, this takes it a next step by creating a record of where you are at almost all times.

Google touts the privacy settings, so you can adjust who can see where you are and when. The introductory video (below) has some good . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Technology: Internet

A Technology Project for the LCO?

An explicit aspect of the Law Commission of Ontario’s mandate is to “consider technology as a means to enhance access to justice”. I see this aspect of our mandate as something we should incorporate into all our projects, although the odd one may not call for it (we did not consider it in our pensions project, for example, which was narrowly defined). But it is obviously an invitation to undertake a project specifically focused on technology and the justice system. As a group devoted to technology and the law, Slaw bloggers are a prime resource for project ideas for this . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

Workplace Privacy and Social Networks: OBA Session on Privacy Law

As part of the Ontario Bar Association‘s 2009 OBA Institute (continuing today) the Privacy Law section held a program yesterday entitled “What Every Lawyer Needs to Know About Privacy”. Dan Michaluk has blogged about his session in which he was a panelist with Professor Avner Levin from Ryerson University; their focus was on workplace privacy issues that came out of the Ryerson study The Next Digital Divide: Online Social Network Privacy. . . . [more]

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