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Wired Lawyers

This week, the entertainment group at Heenan Blaikie has been commenting on various developments in the sector. But I thought it might be fun to ask how media and entertainment lawyers use the new media.

So I asked the group:

What sites are on your bookmarks, that you check daily or that you get email updates from or RSS feeds?

What are the must reads for clients? Does everyone read Variety or Hollywood Reporter? Is there an electronic equivalent?

Do you or your clients use social media? Facebook? MySpace? Linkedin? Legalonramp? Twitter? Follow any blogs? Contribute to any blogs? Or

. . . [more]
Posted in: Firm Guest Blogger, Legal Information, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Substantive Law

RSS Reader Change

A colleague informed me about an email notice to me regarding my preferred RSS reader Newsgator. After my gasp of dismay, I loaded the site to check my feeds and wham:

NewsGator’s Online Reader will no longer be available for consumer use as of August 31, 2009.

In conjunction with the release of our latest versions of NetNewsWire and FeedDemon which synchronize with Google Reader, NewsGator will no longer be supporting our online reader for consumer use. Paid customers who utilize the online reader or our online platform will continue to be supported.

For free versions of the latest

. . . [more]
Posted in: Technology

Embracing Change…and Survival…

♫ JUST TO LET YOU KNOW
I Am Not Extinct
JUST TO LET YOU GO
This Is Not My Extinction
Hopefully It Won’t For A Long Time For Now (now)
cuz’ I am not extinct oh oh Extinction ♫

Recorded by Avril Lavigne

Albert Einstein once said: “Problems cannot be solved by the same level of thinking that created them”. Accordingly, I am looking at the new court rules for British Columbia and the attempt to revamp the civil trial process with a heavy heart. Notwithstanding the effort and work that has been put into this process by many learned . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Farewell to Their Lordships

Courtesy of my friend and partner, Subrata Bhattacharjee, today is the last sitting of the Judicial Committee of the House of Lords (you can watch the feed here. So farewell to a court that has provided a vast range of legal judgments from Attwood v. Small in 1838, through Rylands and Fletcher, through M’ALISTER or DONOGHUE (Pauper) v. STEVENSON. In October, a Supreme Court will start sitting to hear appellate matters.

In this Guest Week on Media and Entertainment law at Slaw, it only seems fitting that they’ll spend part of the last day on pop . . . [more]

Posted in: Firm Guest Blogger, Legal Information, Miscellaneous, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Technology Advances Creep Up on Us

Bill Gates has been quoted as saying: “We always overestimate the change that will occur in the next two years and underestimate the change that will occur in the next ten.”

To put that in perspective, lets compare some specs. The space shuttles will soon be retired – they were first launched in 1981 – almost 30 years ago.

In 1981 an example of a computer available then was a PDP11. It cost US$110,000, had 192 KB of memory, 5MB disk packs, and the footprint of a large desk.

Today, we buy cellphones for around $200 or so that . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Co-Producing Films in Canada – the Basics



In today’s financing climate, where pre-sales are more difficult than ever to attract and GAP financing requires two or three times coverage, the holy grail of many independent producers has become “soft money”- funds which are generated by means other than sales of a product, such as tax credits, government subsidies and equity investments. Canadians have become very good at chasing soft money, and that’s why Canadians are tops in co-producing.

In the context of reduced financing sources, it stands to reason that if accessing soft money in one country is good, then accessing soft monies from . . . [more]

Posted in: Firm Guest Blogger, Substantive Law

Lights, Camera… Insurance!

and by Michael Spanier

One of the most important aspects of film and television production is the clearance procedure. A little known fact about entertainment lawyers is that we spend much (okay…some… well, precious little actually) of our day in our offices watching movies. Or cartoons. Or television shows. All in the name of “E&O Clearance Procedures.”

The importance of ensuring that a production is clear from an errors and omissions perspective cannot be emphasized enough. From the day a producer acquires the rights to a script, an underlying novel or a real-life story, the E&O journey begins. Every single . . . [more]

Posted in: Firm Guest Blogger, Practice of Law, Substantive Law

How to Read a Privacy Policy

A New York-based non-profit known as the Common Data Project has published a report about the privacy policies of major Internet sites such as Google, Yahoo!, Wikipedia, Microsoft, Amazon, eBay, Facebook, and Craigslist:

“We realize that most users of online services have not and never will read the privacy policies so carefully crafted by teams of lawyers at Google and Microsoft.”

“And having read all of these documents (many times over), we’re not convinced that anyone should read them, other than to confirm what you probably already know: A lot of data is being collected about you, and it’s not

. . . [more]
Posted in: Substantive Law, Technology

Eady J, Paparazzi and Privacy

Celebrities thrive on the oxygen of publicity. As Wilde put it, “there is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about”. Between the tabloids and the celebrities, goes on a complex galliard of hunt and court. . . . [more]

Posted in: Firm Guest Blogger, Legal Information, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

A Few Comments on Wilson Colony

One of the biggest challenges facing the Supreme Court of Canada in my view is how to address religious claims. In some ways, the recent Supreme Court of Canada decision in Alberta v. Hutterian Brethren of Wilson Colony, 2009 SCC 37 illustrates why that is. While the case poses the usual question of what are the limits to the realization of religious beliefs in a pluralist society (rather than the limits to government activity when contrary to the religious beliefs of particular adherents), it is also a good example of how the majority’s and dissenting judges’ characterization of the . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

Droit.org

Droit.org, the web presence of L’Institut Français d’Information Juridique, is one of the many participants in the glorious global project to make law freely available, as you can see on CanLII’s “international” page. Droit.org presents a simple, elegant front page, offering you three options: Journal officiel (akin to our Gazette), Codes (where all of France’s legal codes are made available), and Novelles (containing news feeds from a variety of sources having to do with law).

I wonder whether the design effort that produced the attractive front page is continuing, because the design of the rest of the . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Legal Information: Publishing