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Archive for ‘Substantive Law’

Publication Bans in the Era of Online Information

The website of the Ministry of the Attorney General for Ontario includes an interesting discussion of publication bans in Ontario, but really misses the point when it comes to the distribution of court judgments and publication bans in the era of online distribution and access to legal information.

Publication bans are described on the website as “an exception to the constitutional right of the media to publish information about court cases”. The website goes on to say that publication bans may be necessary in certain cases “to protect the fairness and integrity of the case, the privacy or safety of . . . [more]

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

Australian Ice: Right on Schedule?

Slashdot had a post yesterday about an Australian copyright case (IceTV Pty Ltd & Anor v Nine Network Australia Pty Limited) in which leave was granted back in August to appeal to the High Court, Australia’s highest court. (The transcript of the leave hearing is available on the marvelous AustLII. Isn’t that a civilized way to run a legal system? Wouldn’t it make sense for transcripts of Supreme Court hearings to be available to all online?)

Seems IceTV published the weekly broadcast schedule of the competing Nine Network, along with that of other broadcasters; they have a TV . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

Canada Bans BPA in Bottles

In an announcement yesterday, Canada became the first country in the world to ban biphesnol A (BPA) in baby bottles, adding it to the toxic substance list.

The plan implements a 6-month program by the government to consult with scientists and experts. The sale, importation, and advertising of BPA bottles can now be controlled by the Minister of Health. But the substance is so commonly used in manufacturing, that many suggest eradicating it will be a challenge.

The European Union and the U.S. FDA have looked into the risks of BPA, but have not moved to ban it yet. The . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

Disclosing Encryption Keys and IP Addresses

European courts have had something to say lately about whether disclosing encryption keys would amount to self-incrimination, and whether disclosing an IP address involved an undue disclosure of personal information.

An English court (R. v. S and A [2008] EWCA Crim 2177) held that compulsory disclosure of an encryption key was not improper. Out-Law.com has the story:

“In this sense the key to the computer equipment is no different to the key to a locked drawer,” said the judge. “The contents of the drawer exist independently of the suspect: so does the key to it. The contents may

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

HR Declaration Animated

As a supplement to Omar’s post, the US Human Rights Action Center has a beautiful animated and musical version of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Not the exact text, mind you, but a faithful rendering of its spirit and parts, minus a bit of stiffness. It proves that, as Simon suspected , not all lawyers are typographically challenged.

I’m introducing International Legal Research to our Jessup Moot team today, and the compromis raises, among others, issues of human rights and humanitarian intervention. On these topics the best guide I have found is Marci Hoffman’s chapter in the . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Substantive Law

Individual Freedom and the Common Good

The Canadian Constitution Foundation (CCF) is hosting a conference this weekend in Toronto on Defending Human Rights in a Free Society.

The line-up promises a keynote by David Frum, a Canadian lawyer/journalist. Frum was also a former speech-writer for outgoing U.S. President, George W. Bush. But don’t hold that against him – instead look at Frum’s new book due late this year that defends the Iraqi invasion, and advocates adding Iran and Syria to the list.[*]

 Starring Line-Ups

CCF is also presenting some semblance of balance by pairing off Elizabeth Brubaker of the Energy . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

Leave Joe Alone!

In the space of a week, “Joe the Plumber” from Toledo, Ohio has become a minor celebrity. Since he asked Barak Obama on the campaign trail about the effect of Obama’s tax policy last week, he was repeatedly used by John McCain as an example and archetype of a small business owner.

I think the story is a bit of an archetype of inadvertent celebrity and dirt-digging that just about anyone is vulnerable to when their private life is thrown into the prevailing media orgy. Dirt is dug with little concern about the effect on the unwitting subject.

So what . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

Jones Day Linking Lawsuit

Sarah Bird at SEOmoz has an interesting post regarding the recent Jones Day linking law suit (link to EFF’s amicus brief), where the firm launched a claim against an ecommerce site for using its trademark, “Jones Day”, to refer to the firm in a headline, and link to the firm website, which could lead to confusion over the sponsorship of the site.

Specifically, I found this quote from Sarah’s post very interesting:

“Instead, Jones Day is suing over the use of its name as anchor text for a link to its website. It claims that its mark is being diluted

. . . [more]
Posted in: 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