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Archive for ‘Substantive Law’

Parliament Poised to Prorogue

Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced yesterday he has asked Governor General Michaëlle Jean to prorogue the current session of Parliament. The session was originally supposed to start again on September 17th. This means the Parliament would not sit again until October 16th, starting the Second Session of the 39th Parliament. See the Prime Minister’s Sept. 4th announcement.

According to a report by the CBC:

the move sets the stage for a non-confidence vote that could trigger an election campaign — a vote and election campaign that could turn on Canada’s commitment in Afghanistan.

Opposition parties must decide whether

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Posted in: Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation

First We … the Lawyers

First We … AACS*… The Lawyers

* AACS is pronounced, for present purposes, access.

Here are some links for those of you who have been following the HD-DVD movie decryption key gufuffle resulting from the posting one of the keys on Digg.

Blame the Digg revolt on lawyers? See Slashdot for links to a number of articles. One is on Market Watch where the writer (John Dvorak), under the heading “Digg’s DVD-decoder fiasco Commentary: Lawyers’ efforts can be counterproductive” pens gems such as “lawyers can be idiots and have no sense of public relations” and “the episode reemphasizes the new . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

Do Not Hesitate to Forward This

A post in the blog summarizes a theory put forth by Ned Snow, assistant professor at the University of Arkansas School of Law, who found a 250-year-old common law tradition granting copyright protection to authors of personal correspondence and now claims that forwarding an e-mail is a violation of copyright law… Here is the paper: A Copyright Conundrum: Protecting Email Privacy.

I am of the opinion that, if no means are taken to protect the copyrights, it is not an infringement to forward the email. In fact, unless the sender uses IRM (Information Rights Management), that . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

Canadian DCMA

Necessary reading for Slawyers 

This just posted on Michael Geist’s Blog

The Hill Times reports this week (issue still not online) that the Conservative government will introduce copyright reform legislation this spring provided that there is no election. The paper points to two main changes from the Liberals Bill C-60 – tougher anti-circumvention legislation (ie. DMCA-style laws that ban devices that can be used to circumvent as well as provisions that block all circumvention subject to the odd exception) and an educational exception that will provide for free access to web-based materials.


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Posted in: Substantive Law

Leadership From MIT

Michael Geist reports that MIT Libraries has cancelled a subscription to a product that required them to download and apply a DRM program. One professor pointed out that the publisher was adamant about protecting ‘its’ IP, but in fact the content of the database, like many in the legal world, consists of research produced at universities and handed over for free. . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

News Update on the Joyce Estate Copyright Litigation

Stanford Law School yesterday announced a settlement in the litigation over unpublished materials by the Joyce Family that we discussed last year.

The case resulted in a settlement not in the sort of authoritative court ruling that many had hoped for.

The work that had been cut from the book on Lucia Joyce will be published here – but it’s not live yet.

But at least one of the world’s most aggressive copyright plaintiffs has been pushed back somewhat.

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Posted in: Substantive Law

Federal Court Ruling From Canberra Rattles Search Engine Companies

A significant court decision on Monday in the case of Universal Music against a company that provided search software to locate MP3 files – an earlier single judge ruling was upheld by the full court.

As the Trib describes it:

Electronic Frontiers Australia, a nonprofit national Internet users’ group, said the decision would “create significant uncertainty for Internet publishers from Google to your average Internet user who posts on a message board.”

“If Google’s search engine links to material which infringes on copyright and this material was accessed by Australians, then there is potential for legal action,” Dale Clapperton, chairman

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Posted in: Substantive Law

Copyright and the Draftsperson

The latest issue of the New York Law Journal has an interesting piece on how the law of copyright applies to contracts and other documents drafted within a law firm.

Does contract drafting reach the necessary level of originality? I would have thought that these contracts are essentially collaborative works, given the extent to which one rarely sees someone starting with a blank sheet of paper. Novel clauses keep getting borrowed and reappearing in future contracts.

Does it matter what the status is of the lawyer drafting the contracts? Associates are employees and drafting is within the scope of their

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Posted in: Substantive Law