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The Right to Be Forgotten vs the Streisand Effect

It has always been a challenge in suing someone for defamation that the lawsuit may draw more attention to the defamation than it had previously obtained. A fortiori in cyberspace… This seems to have happened (again) recently in France, where a restaurant’s suit against a critic whose negative review featured high in Google’s search results about the restaurant has now replaced the review in the rankings… “In typical Internet style, Google searches for the restaurant now prominently feature articles about it suing [the author].“

The exercise of a right to be forgotten in Europe under the CJEU’s ruling on the . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Internet, ulc_ecomm_list

The Friday Fillip: Loco Motion

After more than a decade in one place, I’ve recently moved to a new neighbourhood — which means new eyes for what’s around me. And because it’s summer and near beaches, I’m seeing a lot of families with children, noticing, as I do every so often, how children move, how they get from point A to point B, eventually.

If there’s a low wall they walk on top of it. If the surface is relatively level, they skip. If it’s rainy, they wade straight through the middle of puddles. If there’s interesting stuff around them — and when is there . . . [more]

Posted in: The Friday Fillip

Motivation

In 1978 China abandoned a planned economy that the government thought could facilitate productive forces and would guarantee fairness. Li Yining, a professor of economics at Peking University stated that China was wrong on both counts. See How China’s Leaders Think (2010), by Robert L. Kuhn, page 98.

Professor Li states “After several decades under the planned economy, the facts tell us that enterprises and people are not motivated – and without motivation, productive forces cannot develop. Under the planned economy, there is no competition, no equal opportunities, and no freedom to relocate. ….. After the Cultural Revolution, China’s economy . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing

Some Suggested Holiday Listening From the Beeb

My blog posts have been fairly serious, dealing with issues we face as information professionals at a time of constant change, ranging from exciting digital futures to confronting publishers to saving endangered species (ie, books). However, even librarians and lawyers need to have some time out.

As I have spent a lot of time on planes this year, I thought I would go through some of the ‘must take’ podcasts I listen to on the long flight home. Listening live via the internet is marvellous, but sometimes when there is no wifi, this is just impractical – in the sky, . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Simple Is Not Easy

Have you ever used an app – whether on a phone, tablet, or desktop, and found them lacking?

Developers creating app versions of existing desktop software or online services face a dilemma. Apps are generally slimmed down versions of the original as they need to be used on touch interfaces, and the code needs to be smaller.

So app developers need to decide what features are important, how the app might be used differently in that context, and what can be left out. Even though desktop software is often bloated with features that are rarely used, deciding what to leave . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

Vexatious Employees Turned Vexatious Litigants

We’ve all had experience with vexatious employees (not to mention vexatious colleagues) but we employment and labour lawyers often deal with vexatious litigants who happen to be former or current employees. I’ve personally had experience with employees filing similar claims for similar incidents before the Human Rights Tribunal, Superior Court, the Workers’ Compensation Board and the Employment Standards Office. These claims can often by filed for free or minimal charge to the employee but generate huge cost for employers. Additonally, employees (particularly those who are self-represented) often file multiple pointless motions with each of those forums.

Thankfully, as chronicled here . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

I’m a Non-Engineer

It happened again yesterday in the CBA Futures Twitterchat – the term “non-lawyer” once again reared its ugly head. Granted, it was a Twitter chat with 140 character limits but even so, there must better ways to describe the vast majority of the population who are not licensed to practice law.

I’ve written here previously on my views of this term; since then, I’ve only become more deeply entrenched in my point of view, to the point where use of the term now grinds in my ears like fingernails on a chalkboard. (Incidentally, does anyone under 30 even know what . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Practice of Law: Future of Practice

An Exciting Time in Canadian Competition Bureau Policy – Substantive Guidance on Reverse Payment Patent Settlement Agreements May Be Imminent?

As part of the Canadian Competition Bureau’s revisions to its IP Enforcement Guidelines, some stakeholders have requested guidance on “new” issues of concern in the Competition Law area – including reverse payment patent settlement agreements. Prior to publication of the first Draft Update of the Guidelines (“Phase 1 Update”)[1], the Bureau held a Workshop to consider issues regarding competition and the pharmaceutical industry[2]. Having regard to the high cost of pharmaceuticals ($34.5 billion in 2013), and the recent decisions of the US Supreme Court and European Commission finding that reverse payments are “valid targets for antitrust . . . [more]

Posted in: Intellectual Property

Having Fun With Nostalgic Marketing

What is it about summer that makes us so nostalgic? I spend a lot of time between June and September wishing I was hanging out with friends or family in Saskatchewan, even though I have a perfectly nice life in Vancouver. I’ll respond positively to almost any marketing message reminding me of long, carefree days when my only concern was how to sneak another piece of Saskatoon berry pie without my mother noticing.

Nostalgia has a special place in marketing and public relations. It appeals to our need for safety and security. It helps us feel connected to each . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Marketing

Know Anyone Doing Something Truly Spectacular in Legal? Nominate Them for a COLPM InnovAction Award

The College of Law Practice Management (“COLPM”), an international organization honoring excellence and innovation in law practice management, is calling for entries for its 2014 InnovAction Awards. The awards seek lawyers, law firms, law departments, and other legal services professionals worldwide who have invented or successfully applied new business practices to the delivery of legal services. The goal of the InnovAction Awards is to demonstrate to the legal community and beyond the power of dedicated professionals with big ideas, strong convictions, and the determination to make a difference.

“We are seeking and recognizing creativity and new ways of thinking . . . [more]

Posted in: Announcements

Small Claims

Slaw readers likely know that there are special courts in Canada that have the jurisdiction to decide many types of civil claims where the monetary value of the claim is considered small. In my jurisdiction, until July 30, 2014 the upper limit for a Provincial Court of Alberta civil claim is $25,000. The upper limit of $25,000 also applies in British Columbia, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, Ontario, and in the Yukon.

The Territorial Court of the Northwest Territories can hear civil disputes up to $35,000. Until August 1, 2014, the NWT has the highest . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues