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First We … the Lawyers

First We … AACS*… The Lawyers

* AACS is pronounced, for present purposes, access.

Here are some links for those of you who have been following the HD-DVD movie decryption key gufuffle resulting from the posting one of the keys on Digg.

Blame the Digg revolt on lawyers? See Slashdot for links to a number of articles. One is on Market Watch where the writer (John Dvorak), under the heading “Digg’s DVD-decoder fiasco Commentary: Lawyers’ efforts can be counterproductive” pens gems such as “lawyers can be idiots and have no sense of public relations” and “the episode reemphasizes the new . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

CALL 2007 Pre-Conference: Managing Digital Collections

The 2007 conference of the Canadian Association of Law Libraries begins this weekend in Ottawa and continues until Wednesday, May 9, 2007.

Today, there was a pre-conference session on Creating and Managing a Digital Collection Project: From policy to technical requirements.

There were 3 presentations:

  • Sandra Wilkins, Law Librarian, University of British Columbia, described the British Columbia Reports Digitization Project: “The British Columbia Reports is a law report series that was first published in 1884 by the Law Society of British Columbia, with judgments dating back to 1867. The series ceased publication in 1948. This collection includes the
. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous

Merger Talks Sparks Rise in Legal Publishing Giants’ Stock Prices

The news that Thomson (West Publishing) is bidding for Reuters has sent the shares of the three major publishers dramatically higher, reports Forbes.

The trading day is far from over, but so far Wolters Kluwer NV is up 4.2 percent at 23.82 euros ($32.37) and Reed Elsevier has gained 4.3 percent to 14.29 euros ($19.42). Shares of Thomson rose 32 cents, or 1.7 percent, to $19.46. The target is up 25%.

Slaw readers may remember that Thomson is cash-rich because of its sale of Thomson Learning educational division, expected to close by September. The sale of the division, which sells . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

The Friday Fillip

I am filling in today and next week for Simon Fodden’s Friday Fillip, so this will have a more–for lack of a better phrase–“girlie” bent to it. Today we are looking at the low-tech side of the high-tech world: lugging around your laptop and other electronic gadgets when travelling. Definitely the unglamorous side of being wired (or wireless)! I have personally tried all sorts of solutions–knapsacks, bags on wheels, conference bags–but they all just spelled “geek”.

Until now! As soon as I purchased my funky, sleek and professional Monaco from Mobile Edge, I have been way cool, daddy-o. People . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Back to Jamaica

A few days ago we mentioned Soulette Gray’s proposal for another Legal Information Institute.

The Justice Department in Jamaica released a comprehensive paper on the reform of the justice system which included this recommendation:

The Task Force proposes that a Jamaica Legal Information Institute be established as an agency of the Ministry of Justice in order to increase accessibility to legal materials in a timely and effective manner. The Canadian Legal Information Institute can serve as a model for this initiative.

And a big round of applause to the Canadian Bar Association for their assistance to the . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Canada Post Are Using Their Noodle

Canada Post have made a few changes since the last time you bought stamps. Aside from the price going up by the usual cent a year, they have updated the process for the future. Ah! There is no longer a need to supplement last year’s stamp with those one cent stamps. They now have Permanent stamps (identified with a “P” rather than a monetary value). If you buy stamps this year and the price goes up next year, you continue to use those stamps without having to add any postage. This new scheme only applies to regular postage within Canada. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Do Not Hesitate to Forward This

A post in the blog summarizes a theory put forth by Ned Snow, assistant professor at the University of Arkansas School of Law, who found a 250-year-old common law tradition granting copyright protection to authors of personal correspondence and now claims that forwarding an e-mail is a violation of copyright law… Here is the paper: A Copyright Conundrum: Protecting Email Privacy.

I am of the opinion that, if no means are taken to protect the copyrights, it is not an infringement to forward the email. In fact, unless the sender uses IRM (Information Rights Management), that . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

Yahoo in Microsoft’s Crosshairs

In an apparent admission that isn’t quite snapping at Google’s heels, the financial press are reporting that Microsoft has renewed discussions with Yahoo.

Yahoo’s shares are up 18% in early trading at $33.29, while Microsoft was down 1 per cent at $30.66.

Last year Yahoo turned down an offer from Microsoft to buy a stake in Yahoo’s search business.

Okay Slaw readers, is this the markets in pursuit of an easy story? When did any of you last use Yahoo to access information?

For the background see Business Week. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous


As many of you are aware (and as Connie referred to last week) the CALL/ACBD conference is set to begin this weekend in Ottawa.

In preparation for the conference I want to draw your attention the CALL/ACBD Website, and more specifically the activities of the various committees and special interest groups of CALL/ACBD. Over the past year and a half, CALL/ACBD has embarked on an ambitious redesign and rethinking of how the organization is represented on the web. As part of that process, we have tried to flatten out the structure of maintaining the website. Currently, the chairs . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Is Outsourcing Legal Research Ethical?

Thinking of using one of the cheap Indian legal research outsourcing firms? Does outsourcing Legal Research breach any rules of professional ethics?

While there has been no determination of this issue in Canada, at least three American bar regulators have chimed in on this subject. The answer is yes, with full disclosure and the referring firm being liable for the work outsourced. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

“Researchers Use of Academic Libraries and Their Services” – April 2007

This study, commissioned by the Research Information Network and the Consortium of Research Libraries, looks at how researchers interact with academic libraries in the UK. Based on qualitative and quantitative data from over 2250 researchers and 300 librarians, its aim is to guide the future development of academic libraries in responding to researchers’ information needs. Key themes/issues discussed in the study:
-open access
-branding the library
-researchers’ behaviour (e.g., how they find information, their use of print information resources, etc)
-the library as a physical space/place
-availability of digital information
-researchers’ new ways of working
-communications between librarians and . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous