Canada’s online legal magazine.

WOW! Soon You Can Bank on It

This morning’s Globe and Mail contains a story about the application of the Toronto-Dominion Bank to obtain approval of the trademark WOW. Apparently, TD (having bought the New Jersey bank Commerce Bancorp) already has the trademark to WOW and WOW! in the United States.

A search of the Canadian Intellectual Property Office Trade-Mark database reveals that WOW, alone and in phrases, shows up in 180 applications, variously approved, expunged, abandoned etc. WOW, all by itself, has been approved as a trade-mark of, among others, Novartis AG veterinary preparations, Playtex in connection with “ladies’ underwear and foundation garments”, and for . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

Scan a 200 Page Book in 1 Minute!

This is very cool and very scary! A professor at the University of Tokyo, Masatoshi Ishikawa, is developing a rapid book scanner that will scan a 200 page book in about one minute.

Using a “Super Vision Chip” that will scan the flipping pages faster than the human eye can process, its camera operates at 500 frames per second. Check out the embedded video below:

While it’s unclear exactly how the technology will account for skipped pages, or if it would destroy archival quality materials, this is indeed the future of book digitization – and all the positives . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

The 100 Largest Sites on the Internet – You Will Be Surprised!

The Infographic of the Day site has a fantastic item with some amazing graphics comparing the 100 Largest Sites on the Internet.

The BBC charted the top 100 sites by unique users in January 2010, encompassing the U.K., France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Brazil, U.S., and Australia. Oops – Canada didn’t make it, but suspect we are not that different.

If you think Google and social networking own the Internet – think again – and it isn’t shopping either. Yes these three types of sites are among the more widely visited – but all together they only account for . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading: Recommended, Technology: Internet

Energy Efficient Law Books

My family is building a house, again. A dislike of reality TV has the effect that the P. and S. Mireau family builds things. One of the features of our new building will be a 38 foot long, full wall height library area extending down a wide hall from the door into the garage past bedrooms and bathrooms and taking up one wall of the living room. It will be lovely, clear fir shelves filled with our large collection of reading material. And I do mean filled. We last packed and moved in September 2008 and 39 boxes of books . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Publishing

Statistics Canada Report on Legal Aid

Statistics Canada released today a report on “Legal Aid in Canada: Resource and Caseload Statistics.” [HTML, PDF] The report consists, essentially, of some 30 tables of data; however, there is a helpful page of “highlights” that verbalizes some of this information. Thus, for example, we learn that:

In 2008/2009, legal aid plans spent approximately $730 million on providing legal aid services in 11 provinces and territories [excluding NL & PEI], which amounts to approximately $22 for every Canadian. After adjusting for inflation, legal aid spending was up about 6% from the previous year

The federal

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research

Employers Obligated to Report Child Porn Found on Their Computer Systems

Bill 37, the Child Pornography Reporting Act will amend the Child and Family Services Act to require Ontario organizations who find child pornography on their computer systems to report it to the authorities, or face serious penalties. The bill received Royal Assent on December 10, 2008, but has not received proclamation to come into force. However, this may change in the near future.
Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation

Vancouver Conference on Online Dispute Resolution

♫ If you want it you can get it
If you choose it don’t regret it
If you feel it make it real
It’s what you wanted don’t forget it..♫

Music and lyrics by April Start.

During the first week of November, 2010, Vancouver, British Columbia will hold the first ever conference devoted to the topic of Consumer Protection Issues and Online Dispute Resolution (“ORD”). The conference proponents include the US Government, the EU, The Czech Court of Arbitration, eBay and PayPal, and the ICANN Office of the Ombudsman.

According to Dr. Frank Fowlie, the Ombudsman for ICANN . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice

Learning From the Leaders

The Library Journal has issued its list of Movers & Shakers. (ht to Stephen Abram). See the list here, and more importantly, the stories which led to the nominations.

I like the way the list is categorized – makes navigation much easier. There are lessons to be learned from each of these people, but it is much more efficient to read up on those working in your own area of obsession/interest.

Like all good librarians, I encourage you to have a look through these profiles, and find some ideas we can steal, er, adapt to our own work. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

Extension of US Copyright Duration Effects

If the pre-1978 U.S. Copyright Act was still in effect, copyright-protected works from 1953 would have entered the public domain on January 1, 2010. Current U.S. law protects works for 70 years from the date of the author’s death, but prior to the 1976 Copyright Act (effective in 1978), the maximum copyright term was 56 years (an initial term of 28 years, renewable for an additional 28 years). Copyright-protected works from 1953 include Casino Royale, Marilyn Monroe’s Playboy cover, The Adventures of Augie March, the Golden Age of Science Fiction, Crick & Watson’s Nature article decoding the double helix, Disney’s . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Foreign Law

Canon Applies for Generic Top-Level Domain

ICANN, the international body that manages the business of approving domain names and numbers, decided about two years ago to permit generic top-level domain names (gTLD), creating an application process that is expected to get underway this year.

The camera and technology company Canon Inc. announced yesterday that it has done what it can now to apply for the gTLD “.canon”, not suprprisingly, and staked out its territory:

Following approval for the new gTLD system, which is expected to take place after the latter half of 2011, Canon will make full use of the new domain name to increase

. . . [more]
Posted in: Technology: Internet

Canada Needs Broadband Boost to Remain Competitive

The quality of Canadian internet access continues to decline in comparison to that of other countries. See, for example, previous Slaw posts here and here. This while high speed access is more increasingly considered crucial for the economy, competitiveness and innovation – even to the extent that many feel that the internet is a fundamental human right.

The Canadian government talked about a digital strategy in its recent throne speech, but so far we don’t know what that translates to.

Contrast that with what is happening in the US. The US FCC just announced an aggressive plan to . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology