Canada’s online legal magazine.

Quebec and Ontario Move to Attract Foreign Film Productions

Recently, the Quebec and Ontario governments announced changes to enhance certain tax credits aimed at the film and television industry with the goal of bringing more foreign based productions into these provinces. In doing so, both governments have recognized the increasing global competition to attract film and television productions with the use of government incentives.

Canada was already a pioneer in the development and implementation of government incentives when it introduced the current system of tax credits in 1997. The success of Canada’s tax credit model in attracting film and television projects to the major production centers of Vancouver, . . . [more]

Posted in: Firm Guest Blogger, Substantive Law

Sweating the Small Stuff: Copyright in a Yodel, a Tweet, and the News

Small is sometimes beautiful; and sometimes, too, it’s valuable—if you hold the copyright. Three illustrations of this “small meets copyright” story have cropped up recently with somewhat different twists to the tales.

Up first is the yodel—you know, that voice-break corruption of singing common to cowboys and Alps dwellers. It seems (see the article in the Guardian) that one of the favourite beer hall songs in Germany and Austria, Das Kufsteinlied, which sings (mostly) of the beauty of the village of Kufstein in the Tirol, contains a chorus of the absolute favourite yodel in Germany and Austria. The . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

Google’s Legal Agenda

Well Google has been the subject of many Slaw comments, but it’s on the legal side that it’s hit the news recently.

It won an important decision before Justice Eady of the English High Court in which the court held that Google was not liable as a publisher of defamatory comments when comments made in an internet forum about Metropolitan International Schools, a British company that operates Internet-based training courses, surfaced in the top rankings of a Google search for the company. Of course now the Schools’ highest hit is Eady’s judgment.

“When a snippet is thrown up on the

. . . [more]
Posted in: Firm Guest Blogger, Legal Information, Substantive Law, Technology, Technology: Internet

Petition to Improve PACER

I’m currently at the American Association of Law Libraries‘ annual conference in Washington, DC. One of the things speakers have been talking about is lobbying being done to make PACER more accessible. The PACER service from the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts provides on-line access to U.S. Appellate, District, and Bankruptcy court records and documents. The petition, through the care2 petitionsite website ( reads as follows:

We ask the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts to improve PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) by enhancing the authenticity, usability and availability of the system.


. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Substantive Law, Technology

The Return of the Music Soundtrack: Pulp Fiction or a New Reality?

and by Paul Chodirker

What was the number one selling album on Billboard’s top 200 chart at the end of January 2008? It wasn’t Radiohead’s In Rainbows, or Mary J. Blige’s Growing Pains. Can you guess what it was? It was a soundtrack album from “the little film that could” known as Juno.

If you’re not familiar with the Juno soundtrack, it’s basically made up of indie darlings and unknown musicians like Barry Louis Polisar and Kimya Dawson. Barry Louis Polisar is actually a musician who writes music for children. In fact, five soundtrack albums currently appear in the top . . . [more]

Posted in: Firm Guest Blogger, Substantive Law

Firm Guest Blogger: Heenan Blaikie’s Media and Entertainment Practice

This month’s firm guest blogger is Heenan Blaikie‘s Media and Entertainment Practice. As always, you’ll know our guest’s posts by the banner we put at the top:

They’ve kindly provided Slaw with this introduction.

Heenan Blaikie is one of Canada’s leading law firms, with over 480 lawyers and professionals in nine Canadian cities including Toronto, Montréal, Calgary and Vancouver. We are also one of the youngest large firms in the country – literally. Our firm was founded just 35 years ago, with three lawyers (all still active) in Montréal. Growth has been spliced into our DNA. So has the

. . . [more]
Posted in: Administration of Slaw, Firm Guest Blogger

Toronto Strike Can Be a Life and Death Issue

Toronto residents have been raising a big stink recently over the CUPE Local 416 strike recently, now entering its second month.

The union’s president, Mark Ferguson, has indicated that if a decision is not reached by today they will break off negotiations.

Meaning this could go on even longer…

Paramedics part of the union also have a partial right to strike. Response times before the strike, eight minutes and eighteen seconds, has risen to nine minutes and eleven seconds, twelve seconds longer than the gold standard.

The Ontario Ministry of Health is conducting an inquiry to see whether a . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

Tomorrow’s Texts

From time to time we let our columnists here at Slaw take a break, if they’ve been good… and if Your Editor has something he’d like to say and wants the column inches for himself. Herewith, then, the first of the very occasional “ed hoc” columns.

You can’t manage a WordPress blog for four years and not think a fair bit about electronic publication. But it’s surprising how easy it is to get caught up in day-to-day matters and to let the functionality that working on the web makes available slip beneath your awareness. And what marvels these . . . [more]

Posted in: ed hoc

Supreme Court Splits on Freedom of Religion and Driving Licence Photos

This morning the court released Alberta v. Wilson Colony of Hutterian Brethren, a decision that turns on whether Alberta’s driving licence requirements, which mandate photographs of licensed drivers to address identity theft breach the Hutterians’ Charter rights of Freedom of Religion.

The court split with Chief Justice McLachlin writing the majority judgment for herself and Justices Binnie, Deschamps and Rothstein. Strong dissent from Justice Abella, with Justices LeBel and Fish agreeing. The Court reversed the Alberta Court of Appeal and the Queen’s Bench, which had both struck down the Regulation in question.

“The goal of setting up a . . . [more]

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

The Friday Fillip

Well the results are in and the winners have been announced for this year’s Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest, that annual dark and stormy nightmare1 in honour of poor Lord Lytton, the one time Secretary of State for the Colonies (Canada, I’m looking at you) and novelist of less than wretched quality. (After all, folks, it was Himself who coined “the pen is mightier than the sword” which in full is “beneath the rule of men entirely great the pen is mightier than the sword” — but that’s another story.)

The contest now has numerous categories, because we just . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Searching Through SpaceTime3D

There are times when Google’s minimalism palls and you want something just a little more… racy, perhaps, when you’re hunting down that special website that contains all the answers you need. When ennui de recherche strikes, move your operations over to SpaceTime3D, the cosmically inflated name for a pretty front end to Google, Wikipedia, Amazon, etc. What you’ll get is what we Mac users know as “cover flow,” that old fashioned jukebox effect where the website pages emerge from a stack like records on the old machines.

This isn’t very efficient, unless you’re looking for a certain kind of . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information