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Mid-Week Miscellany

Here it is, just about half way between Friday Fillips, and I’m feeling the urge to share some frivolous findings with you. I hope that those who read Slaw for our contributions to your understanding of law and practice will forgive me this mid-week miscellany, most of it blithely immaterial.

But let’s start with law, in a way. The Globe and Mail this morning reported on a British scholar’s announcement (assertion?) that the 1613 Elizabethan drama, Cardenio, is in fact (mostly) by Shakespeare, and not Fletcher (his ghost blogger?) or Theobald, the later plagiarist. In the brief excerpt cited I . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Spanish Ruling on Non-Commercial File Sharing

A Spanish judge, Raul N. García Orejudo, has ruled that linking to copyrighted material is not illegal in SGAE (Sociedad General de Autores y Editores) vs. Jesus Guerra over the link site elrincondejesus.com.

Stan Schroeder of Mashable summarizes the proceedings:

First, he denied SGAE’s request to shut down Guerra’s site in June, saying that “P2P networks, as a mere transmission of data between Internet users, do not violate, in principle, any right protected by Intellectual Property Law.”

Now, he decided that “offering an index of links and/or linking to copyright material is not the same as distribution.” His decision

. . . [more]
Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Technology: Internet

Conservative Government Cuts Funding to Community Access Program Organizations

An article from yesterday’s Globe and Mail points out that the Tories are quietly cutting funding to organizations that benefit from Industry Canada’s Community Access Program (CAP). These organizations, which include hospitals, seniors groups and employment centres, use the cash from CAP to provide free Internet access to Canadians who don’t always have access to high-speed Internet or even access to computers, particularly those living in rural communities. Organizations that are located within 25 kilometres of a public library will no longer receive funding. . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Internet

ABA Techshow “Tips” Issue of Law Practice Magazine

The ABA Techshow “tips” issue of Law Practice Magazine is live today. The Editor in Chief is Dan Pinnington, and the issue is full of practical technology tips. I am not sure that I am truly “totally mobile” as described, but I do have some tips in that regard in my article Working Virtually: High-Productivity Tips for Traveling Lawyers. . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Office Technology

Charbonneau on Collaboration and Open Access to Law

Olivier Charbonneau, doctoral candidate in law, associate librarian at Concordia University, blogger, and all-around legal information expert, has a post up on VoxPopuLII, the blog associated with Cornell’s Legal Information Institute. In “Collaboration and Open Access to Law,” Charbonneau talks about certain aspects of his research work on the way in which the public and legal documents interact with each other on the web.

In this post he gives only a few suggestions as to how we might improve this interaction and points us to his paper submitted at the Law via the Internet . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Technology

CALL/ACBD Conference – Early Bird Deadline Extended

On Friday the Early Bird Deadline to register for the Canadian Association of Law Libraries conference in Windsor was extended from March 12th to April 9th. Before April 9th, the full conference registration is $460 for members ($505 after April 9th), $520 for non-members ($555 after).

This year’s conference runs May 9-12th with a pre-conference workshop on U.S. legal research and two local tours on Saturday, May 8th. This year’s conference is run jointly with MichALL, the Michigan chapter of the American Association of Law Libraries.

To register online, visit the conference website: English | French . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: CLE/PD, Legal Information

Implementing the E-Communications Convention in Canada – Some Issues

The Uniform Law Conference has asked for model legislation to implement the UNCITRAL Convention on the use of Electronic Communications in International Contracts (the E-Communications Convention, or the ECC). In order to prepare this legislation, one needs to answer a number of policy questions — and then some drafting questions.

I have done an issues paper outlining the questions that have occurred to me. I would very much like your views on the right answers.


Here are the questions, to pique your interest:

1. Should Canada accede to the Convention?

My proposed answer is Yes. Each province and territory can . . . [more]

Posted in: Administration of Slaw, Substantive Law, ulc_ecomm_list

Open Source Your OS

Lawyers are asking the wrong question when they wonder whether to upgrade their operating system (OS) to Microsoft Windows 7 or stay at Windows XP or Vista. If you’re upgrading, the question should be what are ALL my options? Now that Microsoft issues its operating system in so many versions that you need a score card to keep track of which does what – did you know that Windows 7 Starter for netbooks even locks down your wallpaper – you might as well compare them to other alternatives. The legal technology world has changed a lot since you installed that . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology

Avvo’s Top Legal Blogs

Simon Fodden already mentioned Avvo, a website that rates lawyers which was ironically sued soon after its launch.

I’ve noticed some traffic recently from one of their pages for Top Legal Blogs. Slaw ranks quite well at #26, which is rather impressive when you consider the size of our American counterparts (there aren’t many other Canadian sites in the listing).

Their methodology is based on Alexa Rankings, which do have significant flaws, and are subject to manipulation. The page might still serve as a useful resource for some of the top law sites out there, . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Internet

Slaw’s EasyReader

We’ve introduced a new feature to the website: EasyReader. It’s essentially the ability to read any entry in much larger type and isolated from surrounding material. The link to enable you to do this is the small image of a page with a plus sign in the corner — — that will appear to the right of the title of an entry. Clicking on the image will cause an “overlay” containing the enlarged text to appear above the webpage; clicking anywhere outside the overlay or on the “close” button at the upper right of the overlay will cause the normal . . . [more]

Posted in: Administration of Slaw

Terms of Reference for Review of National Security Information

On Saturday the Federal government released the terms of reference for the Iacobucci inquiry on Afghan detainees.

The report will include recommendations about what information should be disclosed in light of national security and international relations interests, and if any of the information is subject to solicitor-client privilege. The documents reviewed will include those listed in the December 10, 2009 motion by the House:

. . . [more]
Posted in: Substantive Law

The Friday Fillip

I have a quintet for you today, five easy — and small — pieces, the first of which, fittingly, is Five Easy Pieces. There’s the 1970 movie, of course, made famous by the chicken salad sandwich scene. The title comes from an opening scene not actually used in the movie, in which, in the words of the script, there’s a:

CLOSE-UP of a program announcing a Dupea family
recital. The CAMERA SCANS down the bill . . .

The CAMERA COMES to rest on:
Five Easy Pieces – Grebner – Played by Robert Dupea.

But Grebner is fictitious. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous