Canada’s online legal magazine.

Archive for October, 2008

Copyright and the Campaign

Copyright didn’t play a large part in the recent Canadian election (despite Michael Geist’s admirable efforts), and it hasn’t played much of a role south of the border either. However, it did make a brief appearance last week.

It turns out some of John McCain’s campaign videos, which had been uploaded to this year’s hottest campaigning tool, Youtube, contained copyrighted material (in particular, the infamous clip of Barack Obama describing – fill in the blank – as “lipstick on a pig”). In accordance with their obligations under the Digital Millenium Copyright Act, Youtube removed the ads after when the . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

NDAs: One Tight, One Loose

Ideas are certainly a coin of the internet business realm, if not the only specie, and so it’s natural that makers and marketers want to claim and protect them. Since there’s no copyright in ideas, corporations are careful to require strict non-disclosure agreements from those whom they employ or with whom they do a certain business, relying on secrecy (and prompt NDA enforcement) to protect a notion until it can be matured to a patentable or copyright-able form. Apple, for instance, imposed a NDA obligation on anyone who wanted access to that company’s iPhone operating system data in order to . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Publishing, Technology

Copyright, New Media Law & E-Commerce News

Copyright, New Media Law & E-Commerce News

Vol. 12, No. 6, October 19, 2008
ISSN 1489-954X


1. Studies, Legislation and Conventions:
WIPO Study on Copyright Limitations and Exceptions for Libraries
Creative Commons Launches Study of “Noncommercial” Use
Bill C-61 Dies With Canadian Election Call

2. Legal Cases:
Harry Potter Lexicon Breached Copyright
Peer-to-Peer Magazine Site Settles Dispute

3. Of Interest:
Hollywood Demands Royalties From Irish Playschools
U.S. Music Groups Agree on Royalties for Online Streaming
Copyright Law is a Balancing Act
OCLC Pilots Copyright Registry

4. Seminars and Publications:
Canadian . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

JD Supra – Sharing Documents With RSS and Widgets

Steve Matthews frequently teaches us about using RSS feeds and how to repurpose them for different uses. I like this example: last week JD Supra announced all documents are now available for redistribution using RSS feeds and widgets. If you are a member of JD Supra, you can re-purpose your own documents using these tools. Whether you are a member or not, you can also pull specific types of documents (hot documents, law practice articles, legal alerts and newsletters) or specific subjects (currently commercial, environment and energy, and technology law) onto your blog, website, or intranet page.

For an . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research

Publication Bans in the Era of Online Information

The website of the Ministry of the Attorney General for Ontario includes an interesting discussion of publication bans in Ontario, but really misses the point when it comes to the distribution of court judgments and publication bans in the era of online distribution and access to legal information.

Publication bans are described on the website as “an exception to the constitutional right of the media to publish information about court cases”. The website goes on to say that publication bans may be necessary in certain cases “to protect the fairness and integrity of the case, the privacy or safety of . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Publishing, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Australian Ice: Right on Schedule?

Slashdot had a post yesterday about an Australian copyright case (IceTV Pty Ltd & Anor v Nine Network Australia Pty Limited) in which leave was granted back in August to appeal to the High Court, Australia’s highest court. (The transcript of the leave hearing is available on the marvelous AustLII. Isn’t that a civilized way to run a legal system? Wouldn’t it make sense for transcripts of Supreme Court hearings to be available to all online?)

Seems IceTV published the weekly broadcast schedule of the competing Nine Network, along with that of other broadcasters; they have a TV . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

Canada Bans BPA in Bottles

In an announcement yesterday, Canada became the first country in the world to ban biphesnol A (BPA) in baby bottles, adding it to the toxic substance list.

The plan implements a 6-month program by the government to consult with scientists and experts. The sale, importation, and advertising of BPA bottles can now be controlled by the Minister of Health. But the substance is so commonly used in manufacturing, that many suggest eradicating it will be a challenge.

The European Union and the U.S. FDA have looked into the risks of BPA, but have not moved to ban it yet. The . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

Disclosing Encryption Keys and IP Addresses

European courts have had something to say lately about whether disclosing encryption keys would amount to self-incrimination, and whether disclosing an IP address involved an undue disclosure of personal information.

An English court (R. v. S and A [2008] EWCA Crim 2177) held that compulsory disclosure of an encryption key was not improper. has the story:

“In this sense the key to the computer equipment is no different to the key to a locked drawer,” said the judge. “The contents of the drawer exist independently of the suspect: so does the key to it. The contents may

. . . [more]
Posted in: Administration of Slaw, Substantive Law, ulc_ecomm_list

HR Declaration Animated

As a supplement to Omar’s post, the US Human Rights Action Center has a beautiful animated and musical version of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Not the exact text, mind you, but a faithful rendering of its spirit and parts, minus a bit of stiffness. It proves that, as Simon suspected , not all lawyers are typographically challenged.

I’m introducing International Legal Research to our Jessup Moot team today, and the compromis raises, among others, issues of human rights and humanitarian intervention. On these topics the best guide I have found is Marci Hoffman’s chapter in the . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Substantive Law

Individual Freedom and the Common Good

The Canadian Constitution Foundation (CCF) is hosting a conference this weekend in Toronto on Defending Human Rights in a Free Society.

The line-up promises a keynote by David Frum, a Canadian lawyer/journalist. Frum was also a former speech-writer for outgoing U.S. President, George W. Bush. But don’t hold that against him – instead look at Frum’s new book due late this year that defends the Iraqi invasion, and advocates adding Iran and Syria to the list.[*]

 Starring Line-Ups

CCF is also presenting some semblance of balance by pairing off Elizabeth Brubaker of the Energy . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

The Friday Fillip

Condé Nast publishes magazines that cater to those with money — Vogue, Vanity Fair, Gourmet, and perhaps thirty others (including the New Yorker and Wired, by the way). Which in turn means that they earn a fair bit of change themselves; and one advantage to that, for us their readers, at least, is that they have the means to make interesting websites. The one that caught my eye recently is, and particularly the part with interactive features.

Interactivity is where the web really shines. Computers are too smart to spend all of their time reproducing the various . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Deux Pour Ceux Qui Parlent…

Voici deux sites web qui pourraient intéresser nos amis francophones:

Les présentations des conférenciers de Legal.TI 2008 – Droit et technologies de l’information à Montréal sont disponibles. La plupart (tous?) est en PDF. Et vous pouvez acheter la documentation remise aux participants.

Le site ReadWriteWeb a une version française:

ReadWriteWeb est un blog dédié aux technologies web qui en couvre l’actualité et se distingue par ses notes d’analyse et de prospective ainsi que par l’accent mis sur les usages dans les nouvelles technologies. Classé parmi les 10 blogs les plus influents au monde par Technorati et Wikio, il

. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous