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The Friday Fillip

Words, words, words. Where would we be without them. #+)&%~! — that’s where. And we’d all be out of jobs.

But since we do ‘ave ’em, I’ve got a pair of places to point you to today that ought to offer hours of lexical — the other ‘lex’ that is — edification and amusement.

First up is WordNet. The official word from the site is that:

WordNet® is an online lexical reference system whose design is inspired by current psycholinguistic theories of human lexical memory. English nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs are organized into synonym sets, each representing one

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Posted in: Miscellaneous

Another Late Copyright Note

From Current Cites:

von Lohmann, Fred. “The Season of Bad Laws, Part 2: Criminal Copyright Infringement, Drug War Style” DeepLinks (25 April 2006). – A draft copyright bill making the rounds in Congress is causing concern. Under the bill, an attempt to infringe copyright would be a criminal offense as would conspiracy to commit infringement. Law enforcement officials would have the “same criminal and civil forfeiture powers used in drug prosecutions,” and wiretapping would be permitted in criminal infringement investigations. Prison terms would be significantly increased for criminal infringement…

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Posted in: Substantive Law

Making Ontario Regulations More Accessible

Thanks to the sharp-eyed Laurel MurdochPerforming in Session 11 at CALL next week – don’t miss her for pointing out a new pilot site for explaining in plain language the rationale for Ontario regulations.

The site explains that it’s a one-stop website that makes it easier for businesses to find out about the Government of Ontario’s proposed Lieutenant-Governor-in-Council regulations that affect them and learn about regulations recently approved.

It’s run by the Small Business Agency of Ontario, so it has a business law focus. It’s designed to facilitate the exchange of information between government regulators and businesses regarding regulatory proposals . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Internet Archive and Copyright

Too late for our Theme Week on copyright but still interesting:

Michael Shamos, a computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon University, said archiving like that done by the Internet Archive is “the biggest copyright infringement in the world,” but said it is done in a way “that almost nobody cares about.”
CNEWS (via AP): Internet Archive faces copyright suit

A couple of weeks ago a there was an item in the newsThe NY Times article is good, as is the piece in about a lawsuit by a company, Healthcare Advocates, against the Internet Archive for failing to do . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

ALM and Lexis-Nexis Split – ALM Goes to Westlaw

LexisNexis and American Lawyer Media Part Ways

This week notices went out that American Lawyer Media publications would no longer be available via LexisNexis.

The notice offers no explanation for the discontinuation of ALM databases. Rather, it asserts that the lack of availability through LexisNexis “does not, in any way, alter LexisNexis’ value for customers or our overall market position.”

But there is no word of this on Lexis’ Press Release page. And the logic of why becomes apparent with a new announcement out of EaganAlso on the ALM page:

New ALM/West Strategic Partnership Brings ALM Content Exclusively to

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Posted in: Miscellaneous

Blogging Tips From ALA

Came back from the awesomely large Association of Legal Administrators conference in MontréalOur session on Practical Paranoia – Remote Computing doesn’t really fit the Slaw agenda, so I won’t bore folks on the topic – and that’s why no live blogging from ALA in Montréal by Slaw this week, only to realize that I should have delayed my train to stay for the session following ours. The smart thing would have been to hear the discussion on Blogs: The Hot New Technology for Communication and Information.

The session included a presentation by Bonnie ShuchaBonnie Shucha, Reference & Electronic . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous


A post by John Davis last week — Open Text Mining Interface — led me to a service called (unhappily) CiteULike. It’s a kind of for scholars: you find a scholarly article you like and “send” it to your CiteULike account. Automatically a citation is formed and stored, along with an abstract where available and your own tags. Others can then see the material you’ve uploaded if the tags you’ve used interest them.

There is a host of features I haven’t yet plumbed: watchlists, interest groups, the capacity it seems to upload a pdf from your hard drive, . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Making Slaw Better

We’ve been running Slaw for over 9 months now, and it’s time to ask the Slaw community – how are we doing?

We’ve designed a three minute web survey for you to let us know what you like – and don’t like – about Slaw.

Please give us 3 minutes to make Slaw better.

You can start the survey here, or cut and paste this URL into your browser:

Thank you

Slaw . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Kim Nayyer

I’m delighted to announce that Kim Nayyer is joining Slaw as a core contributor. Kim is an associate at Miller Thomson LLP and is their National Research Lawyer. Her bio gives you an indication of the depth of her experience:

She has taught legal research for the Bar Admission Course in Alberta as well as to first-year law students at the University of Alberta.

In addition to other presentations on legal research, Kim worked with the Edmonton Law Librarians Association to initiate an educational program for legal research and analysis for articling students in Edmonton. The program was well-received and

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Posted in: Miscellaneous

Webby Awards

Slaw-ers, In case you were not aware, our friends at Jurist are neck and neck in voting with Court TV for a 2006 Webby Award in the Law category. (Let’s push to get Slaw nominated next year). If you wish to vote you can either visit Jurist and click on the Webby banner near the top of the page or go directly to the Webby Awards.

To lend a little partisanship, Jurist is the only law school/law-student powered entry in this particular horserace.

Just doing my part for Web-democracy… which is supposed to be a good thing… right? And . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Legal Research in a Digital World

I just finished writing a paper for the Computer Aided Legal Instruction Conference (CALI) in June, called “Research in a Digital World -or- Personal Knowledge Management for Legal Researchers“. From the executive summary:

The increasing volume of digital information with which researchers work is making the task of finding, capturing, organizing and eventually collaborating with digital data more difficult. Electronic information in multiple formats sitting in multiple silos of data present a challenge to researchers who have difficulty finding a specific piece of information in a timely fashion.

The two major benefits that come from effective

. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous