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Archive for June, 2009

Increased Personal Information Privacy Breaches in Saskatchewan

As covered by CBC News earlier today, Saskatchewan Information and Privacy Commissioner Gary Dickson expressed his concern about an increase in privacy breach complaints in the province in his 2008-2009 Annual Report. His office opened 62 new breach of privacy investigations over a recent 12 month period. According to today’s Press Release from the Commissioner, Dickson said:

this explosion in the volume of breach of privacy complaints however constitutes the single most significant change in our caseload since the appointment of a full-time Information and Privacy Commissioner in 2003.

He called for improvements in the areas of leadership, . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Substantive Law

Beatles’ Song Copyright

According to the headline of an article in Wired, “Jackson’s Death Puts Lucrative Beatles Copyrights in Play.” Part of the tangle that is the estate of Michael Jackson is 50% ownership of the copyright to the songs composed by the Beatles. Jackson beat out McCartney in a 1985 auction of the rights (for a mere $47 million) and sold half ownership to Sony. Jackson’s half was subsequently given as collateral for one of the loans he obtained.

Of course, it will take some time to sort out who owns and who owes what. One imagines lawyers will be . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Substantive Law

The LCO & Consultation: Part II

A few posts ago, I talked about how important face-to-face (in person) consultation is to the LCO. Today I’ll provide some examples of actual recent consultations relating to particular projects. This doesn’t mean that we’re opposed to using technology to extend our consultations (in fact, we are looking at getting software to help us do exactly that), but we’ll continue with the old-fashioned kind. The consultations I’ll mention relate to our projects on the Provincial Offences Act and with respect to persons with disabilities. . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

Hey, Yu! Anybody There?

This too shall pass, a wise man once said. It certainly was the case with the state formerly known as Yugoslavia. And for that reason it will soon be equally true for the stranded .yu country domain suffix. According to the Yugoslav Internet Domain Name Registry “propagating information on .yu domains on the Internet will cease on 30 September 2009.”

The fact of the matter is that nations come and nations go, as anyone with a less than recent map of Europe or Africa could tell you. And political change is not the only source of instability: global warming has . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Substantive Law

Microsoft Bing Roundtable Today

Microsoft is holding a roundtable meeting this afternoon in the UK to answer questions about their new search engine Bing. The meeting starts at 1900 UK time (I’m calculating that at 2 pm ET). The discussion on Twitter can be tracked here: (no Twitter password necessary). If you are on Twitter, the tag being used is #meetbing. Questions may be addressed to various people including @karenblakeman, @Philbradley and @leggetter to relay to Microsoft during the meeting.

See related Slaw post: Microsoft’s Bing Goes Live (June 1, 2009) . . . [more]

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

Will Canadians Be E-Voting in the Next Election?

On June 26, 2009 Elections Canada released its report and related surveys 40th General Election Evaluations, assessing our last federal election held on October 14, 2008. It shows this was the lowest voter turnout since 1962 at 58.8 percent of registered voters, a trend consistent with that seen in other jurisdictions around the world. Reasons cited for not voting include being out of town, being too busy, apathy, and a dislike for all candidates.

The Evaluations look at the last election from various points of view including those of voters, candidates and election administrators. In addition to increasing voter . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

In Kazakhstan We Have Many Hobbies, Except Blogging

I agree with Simon Chester, Borat was a “silly film.” The real country of Kazakhstan is making headlines, and few people online are laughing.

The parliament in that country has approved a new law that would allow criminal prosecution for blogs, chat rooms and social networking sites. Foreign sites considered unsuitable can also be blocked.

The government defends the recent move, saying it is intended for child pornography and extremist literature. But critics cay that it can also be used to censor content on elections, strikes, demonstrations, and inter-ethnic strife.

The popular blog site,, is already inaccessible to . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Technology

Humanists Can Benefit From Intelligence

South of the Border, the Council on Library in Information Resources has received a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to explore what de-classified intelligence gathering and analysis techniques have to offer the humanities, and especially humanities computing.

From the press release:

The confluence of digital conversion activities and technological advances allows researchers in the humanities to examine questions that require scale and computational power. Intelligence-gathering agencies are a potentially excellent source for tools, resources, and methodologies that have direct bearing on and applicability to contemporary digital humanities research because of the similarity in the methodological challenges, namely,

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information

Where’re You Going to Put That?

“Digitization” is certainly a term to conjure with in libraries these days. A variety of reasons has motivated these projects. The physical degradation of irreplaceable collections is a considerable spur, as is the trend toward greater openness and improved access to information. The Library of Congress has been developing significant digital collections, including the American Memory project, Thomas (the legislative archive), and newspaper collections. In Canada, government and university libraries are looking closely at their holdings, with an eye to making rare materials available via the web. The Library and Archives Canada is also building digital collections of literary . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

Indian High Court Judge Gives Lecture

If you happen to be in Ottawa on Monday, June 29, you’ll have the opportunity to attend a lecture by Madan B. Lokur, a judge of the Delhi High Court, entitled “The Role of the Indian Supreme Court in Human Development.” The lecture is being presented as part of the India Lectures series of the International Development Research Centre.

If you’re going to be elsewhere on that day, despair not: the IDRC has been putting up the India Lectures as podcasts. So make a note to check in a few weeks later to hear Justice Lokur. . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: CLE/PD

The Friday Fillip

I like Alice. I have a (very) modest collection of her adventures, as told by the oddman Dodgson orse Carroll (including a “Wonderland” published in Moscow in English — 1 rouble 30 kopek — with Russian commentary and illustrations). I bring this up because Disney is at it again, it seems, and, traditionalist curmudgeon that I am, I have deeply resented what Disney has done to some of the great children’s classics in the past. But this time I wonder…

For one thing, the new movie is being directed by Tim Burton. Hard to think of anyone more a . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous