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The Need to Digitize Historical Canadian Legislation

The recent posting on SLAW about Carl Malmud’s “maverick” actions of shaming the U.S. government by himself publishing American case law on the Internet got me thinking.

Can we in Canada not shame our governments into digitizing the historical versions of federal and provincial legislation in a manner similar to that done in Alberta through the Alberta Heritage Digitization Project (AHDP)?

Perhaps this will be a topic to be discussed at the 8th International Conference of Law Via the Internet conference in Montreal in October.

If not, treat this post as a rallying cry.

Surely it would only be . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

When Bad News Follows You

There was a really interesting article in the NY Times on Sunday about the consequences of information floating around forever in cyberspace. Apparently the Times’ aggressive search engine optimization techniques are resulting in old, negative, and sometimes erroneous articles about people surfacing in search results.

Many of these people have requested that the articles be removed from the archive – which, for obvious reasons, is not an ideal solution. The Public Editor doesn’t have any solutions of his own, but offers a number of questions and a few intriguing suggestions, such as an archive programmed to “forget” less important information . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Any Podcast Listeners Out There?

Last week’s discussion on reading digital books had me thinking about another way of getting them into your head – having someone read them to you. Every week I get an e-mail from the Economist telling me their audio edition is now available online. I can download the parts that interest me (or the whole thing if I’m ambitious) and have them read to me in a soothing BBC accent.

And yet, even though it’s so easy, I never do. The idea of podcasts has always appealed to me, but somehow I never get around to listening them. They’re one . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Welcome David Whelan to the Great Library, to Slaw and to Canada

While the Law Society and Great Library websites are unusually silent on the topic, the American library blogosphere is proudly proclaiming that David Whelan has been appointed Manager of Legal Information for the Law Society of Upper Canada Pause to note that Great Librarian was a wonderful and hallowed title – why would it have been abandoned?
He has written High Octane Internet Legal Research, recently published by the Ohio State Bar Association, 2007 and is obviously dynamic and talented.
From a Slaw perspective his most interesting accomplishment is his work as Director of the American Bar Association’s Legal . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Truscott Decision Released

In one of the longest decisions in the Court’s history, the Court has closed the book on the case of R. v. Truscott:

we have concluded that, while it cannot be said that no jury acting judicially could reasonably convict, we are satisfied that if a new trial were possible, an acquittal would clearly be the more likely result. Having regard to the highly unusual circumstances of this Reference, we have determined that the most appropriate remedy is to enter an acquittal.

Accordingly, in the words of s. 696.3(3)(ii) of the Criminal Code, the appeal is allowed, the conviction

. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous

Surprising BlackBerry Fan

Both the BBC and the Sunday People are reporting that Her Majesty has become fascinated with her BlackBerry which she uses to surf the net for racing results.

Prince Philip sounds more like his age, reported as commenting “At 85 he’s more reluctant to embrace technology and thinks his wife is like a distracted teenager.

“He even muttered he wished she would ‘get rid of the bloody thing’.” . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

AltLaw Launches

Timothy Wu, at Columbia Law’s Program on Law and Technology, and the Silicon Flatirons Program at the University of Colorado law school have launched AltLaw, a convenient way to find and search the full text of 170,000 decisions of the U.S. Supreme and Circuit Appeals Courts. The coverage of the database is described here. There’s an advanced search function and the ability to browse cases chronologically.

There is a press release.

[via DigitalKoans] . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Reminder: 8th International Conference of Law via the Internet

We alerted you a couple of months ago, and now we remind you: Lexum is hosting the 8th International Conference of Law Via the Internet in Montreal on October 25 and 26. You can see the schedule of events below, with session titles linked to the official site’s descriptions.

According to the conference blog, 16 LII’s have registered to attend. So should you. As you’d imagine, you can register online. See you there.


. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous

The Friday Fillip

John Baez — for those of you over 60 that’s John, not Joan — is a mathematical physicist who specializes in quantum gravity and n-categories, both of which seem like thoroughly Good Things. Which should show you how much I know about physics, or any categories if it comes to that. And that carefully curried ignorance has the potential to make me a crackpot, I learn from John’s 37-item crackpot identification list. The great thing here, apart from the fact that the list is amusing, is that it might, with some small modifications, be made to apply to those . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

European Media Monitor

There’s some hyper-sophisto online stuff coming out of the EU. A while back I pointed you to the European Navigator, a complex search and education tool for the community. Now I’ve run across the Europe Media Monitor (EMM) [en français], a joint initiative of the European Commission Directorate General’s Joint Research Center and the Directorate General Communication .

Essentially, EMM offers you two views. The News Brief does pretty much what Google or Yahoo news does, in that it gathers together and excerpts current news stories. You can focus it in various ways to filter your news: . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Video Killed the Text Star?

The U.S. Supreme court made an historic first a few months ago posting video footage on the Internet to go along with the opinion in the case, Scott v. Harris. (Alternatively visit the site here and see Scott v. Harris on April 30.) The particulars of the case are a police chase which resulted in the pursued being severely injured and suing the police. The chase was caught on video and the U.S.S.C. posted the video along with the opinion. One of the interesting aspects from the posting of this video is that, when posted it was viewed . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

WikiScanner Watches Over Wikipedia

A war is quietly being waged over Wikipedia. Governments, political groups, and corporations are suspected of making anonymous changes in their own favour. A quick search of Google News for “Wikipedia” shows a wide range of censorship assertions from around the world.

Of particular interest is the website List anonymous wikipedia edits from interesting organizations, commonly called WikiScanner, by self-described mad scientist and disruptive technologist Virgil Griffith.

On the WikiScanner FAQ page, with regard to whether one can prove changes are actually made by an organization, technologist Virgil states:

Technically, we don’t know if it came from

. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous