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Bill C-32

The government bill to amend the Criminal Code with respect to impaired driving is available online.

As reports have had it, the legislation provides, among other things, that a police officer with reasonable grounds to suspect that a person has had a drug (or alcohol) in “their” (sic) body within the previous three hours may require that person to perform “physical coordination tests.” A person who flunks the tests may be required to provide samples of breath, urine, saliva or blood in order to determine accurately the presence of a controlled substance (or alcohol). The physical coordination tests are . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

California: Internet Distributers Not Liable for Defamation

In a ruling Monday, the California Supreme Court interpreted the U.S. Communications Decency Act of 1996 “literally,” reversing a Court of Appeal ruling, and holding that under the statute internet publishers cannot be held liable for publishing defamatory information that originated from another source. In so holding, the Court brought California into line with other jurisdictions across the U.S. in recognizing the immunity of internet “distributors.”

The case is available in pdf format: Barrett v. Rosenthal. And the EFF has an overview of the decision along with links to other relevant documents.

Presumably this would mean that California bloggers . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Universal Sues MySpace for Copyright Infringement

Steve’s last post on Second Life IP infringement reminded me of this news that broke a few days ago: Universal Music Sues MySpace for Copyright Infringement – (New York Times, Nov. 18/06, registration may be required to access).

About the lawsuit:

The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Los Angeles, is seen as part of a strategy by Universal to test provisions of a federal law that provides a “safe harbor” to Internet companies that follow certain procedures to filter out copyrighted works. The law requires sites to remove such content after being notified by the copyright holder.

If Universal

. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous

Second Life Users Become IP Owners

Check out this Wired Magazine article on Second Life’s challenges with copyright protection, and the resulting legal battle.

The economic infrastructure of the SL user community is now being threatened by a software program that can duplicate any “in world” item on demand. The article provides an interesting discussion on the valuation of virtual goods, and how devastating this new ‘Copybot’ could be to SL merchants.

The response by Linden Labs is also very interesting. Beyond the idea of banning members who use the software, LL has also excluded the possibility of using DRM technology, or (ack!) IP lawyers. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Lisibilité Des Contrats Électroniques

Dans la même mouvance de ce que dit précédemment relativement au projet de loi 48 relatif aux amendements de la Loi québécoise sur la protection du consommateur , je suis sous le charme d’une disposition en particulier qui, en comparaison des autres dispositions applicables dans les autres provinces et autres États, correspond au standard le plus protecteur.

«Le commerçant doit présenter ces renseignements de manière évidente et intelligible et les porter expressément à la connaissance du consommateur. »

Inspiré du modèle d’harmonisation des règles régissant les contrats de vente par Internet (art. 3.2), la disposition s’approche de celle de l’ . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Legal Citation of Blawgs or Blogs

A question arose on how to cite to a blawg or blog in a footnote or bibliography.

From my quick scan of print citation guides, it would appear that the print guides have yet to catch up with the blog phenomena (although I stand to be corrected and please do correct me if you find print/published examples on this topic).

The page here on the online site for the Chicago Manual of Style has an example of citing to what they call a “weblog entry or comment” (scroll down the page).

In addition, although the new 6th edition of the . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Global Culture

Switching from Canadian culture (hockey and the Criminal Code) to global culture…

Wednesday evening I attended a “meet-up” for the Web 2.0 people in and abouts Toronto, a follow-up to the Mesh conference held last May and to be reprised in May 2007. I ran into few people I had met at the original conference, but talked to a number of fellow bloggers, entrepreneurs, and venture capitalists. A number of people stood out to me in my conversations, and one in particular I thought Slaw fans should know about: Juan, who has a blog on migration and global culture.

Global . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

The Friday Fillip

Because PlayStation 3 and Nintendo’s Wii are due out today and Sunday, respectively, I thought it might be appropriate to make a very brief visit to one small aspect of an internet subculture. Gaming is not something I do — though I suspect that within it lies much of all our digital futures, law people’s included — so I’m going to deal only with a part of gamer language — “leet” or “leetspeak”.

What is it? Leet is a kind of cant or jargon designed to create a community in the know and to exclude all others, rather like law, . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous