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Archive for October, 2008

Spokeo and me.dium – Two New “Social Network” Search Engines

A thanks to colleague Brenda Wong for letting me know of two new “social network” search engines mentioned at a recent SLA event she attended. I was not aware of either. They are: Spokeo and me.dium.

However, maybe I am getting too old. Both seem geared towards the “younger crowd”, at least based on their own descriptions of their products but the first may help with due diligence type of investigations and the second appears to be taking advantage of the “wisdom of the crowd” philosophy.

Spokeo, for example, features a picture of teenage girls whispering in each other’s . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research

Ontario Bill 118 Now Online

The text of Ontario’s Bill 118, Countering Distracted Driving and Promoting Green Transportation Act, 2008 is now available online. There’s also a PDF version.

Display screens visible to the driver are prohibited, except for dedicated GPS devices and a few others. The “money” provision reads as follows:

No person shall drive a motor vehicle on a highway while holding or using a hand-held wireless communication device or other prescribed device that is capable of receiving or transmitting telephone communications, electronic data, mail or text messages.

With the proviso:

a person may drive a motor vehicle on a highway while

. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous

Canadian Government Launches Internal Wiki

As reported on the front page of today’s Ottawa Citizen, the federal government has launched its own internal version of Wikipedia to which all federal public servants will be able to contribute:

“At the annual Government in Technology (GTEC) conference, taking place at the Westin Hotel in downtown Ottawa, federal officials took the wraps off the government’s internal version of the popular online encyclopedia, Wikipedia, which it calls GCpedia.”

“The service will allow federal employees to post, comment and edit articles placed on GCpedia by their peers (…) ”

“For example, information about climate change policies could be posted

. . . [more]
Posted in: Technology

Govtrack.US is a site aimed at shedding light on the often byzantine operations of Washington. And it seems remarkably useful for doing so. It’s a portal to a comprehensive database of legislation that is either in the works or recently passed.

Each legislator has his or her own page with personal info and a list of all of the bills they have recently sponsored. For instance, Sen. Ted Stevens’ page shows that he sponsored Bill S. 94, the Gasoline Consumer Anti-price-gouging Protection Act, which was introduced in January 2007, while Sen. Barack Obama was sponsoring the Oil SENSE Act . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

Ontario Proposes Amendment to Limitations Period on Demand Loans

Schedule L of Bill 114 in Ontario, if passed, will effectively over-rule the Ontario Court of Appeal decision in Hare v Hare. The Bill will amend the Limitations Act, 2002, by tying the limitation period to the date of default under a demand loan rather than the date of the loan. The Ontario Bar Association discusses this issue in its October 28th e-newsletter. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Substantive Law: Legislation

Canadian IT Law Association Conference

I just returned from the annual conference of the Canadian IT Law Association in Halifax. Fellow Slawyer David Fraser was co-chair this year, and is now the president of the association.

I highly recomend this association, this annual conference, and its other educational activities to anyone who practices in the IT area. . . . [more]

Posted in: Uncategorized

Pay What You Want

Two law professors are offering a book for sale at:, on a pay what you want basis. It is a casebook on intellectual property law. An interesting business model — will they succeed? Time will tell for these and other entrepreneurs. A comment from their Web site: “Be a part of the solution to $130 casebooks, by fostering the creation of $30 casebooks: Please pay the suggested price. If you can’t pay it, please at least pay something to help Semaphore Press succeed.” . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Legal Information: Publishing, Reading

Century-Old Newspaper Goes Online Only

In 2009, the Christian Science Monitor will become the first nationally circulated newspaper in the United States to replace its daily print edition with its excellent website; the 100 year-old news organization will offer subscribers weekly print and daily e-mail editions.

It’s always been a thoughtful paper with excellent writing and probing journalists. The title has always been misleading. It’s a website worth putting on your bookmark list.

Agence France Presse draws the dots to Gannett job cuts – it remains to be seen who follows the CSM lead. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Publishing, Technology

Google Books Settlement

For a price-tag of $125 million ((Which must be small change for Google)) Google, the Association of American Publishers and the Authors Guild resolved a challenge to the Google Books project.

The settlement agreement resolves a class-action suit filed on Sept. 20, 2005, by the Authors Guild and certain authors, and a suit filed three years ago, by five major publisher-members of the Association of American Publishers: McGraw-Hill, Pearson Education, Penguin Group, John Wiley & Sons and Simon & Schuster. It is subject to approval by the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.

For . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Publishing, Reading, Substantive Law, Technology: Internet

Linking Isn’t Publication

Here is a link to a useful decision from the BC Courts yesterday which confirms what we always thought was the case: that linking to allegedly defamatory material does not constitute republication so as to expose the linking site to liability in defamation.

Good to have this confirmed. . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Comments From Ark Group Conference: Knowledge Management in the Modern Law Firm

I am attending the Ark Group conference entitled Knowledge Management in the Modern Law Firm (in Chicago – cold and windy but a great city).

On day 1 (Monday), there were a number of key points I took away, including:

1) Strategic planning: a number of presentations discussed the need to ensure that your knowledge management (KM) initiatives are aligned with the firm’s strategic goals and directly support those goals. Examples were given where user feedback (e.g., “What is it that makes your work more difficult?” and “What is it that can make your work more efficient?”) from firm . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Information Management

Case Law Demonitized – Free at Last.

The significance of the offer by Maritime Law Book of free access to its collection of over 215,000 cases under the name “Raw Judgments” has not yet been given the attention it deserves in the world of Canadian legal information as a portent of things to come.

Eric Appleby, the founder of Maritime Law Book, has long been a leading innovator in Canadian legal publishing, from the launch of the New Brunswick Reports, to the creation of a national jurisdictional law reporter system in print and online, to the introduction of the MLB Key Number System. Based on his track . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Legal Information: Publishing, Reading, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions