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Archive for July, 2009

Clash Public Library

I’m not sure whether Mick Jones was inspired or disgusted by his experience at the British Music Experience (probably the latter). In any case, it has moved him to set up a temporary “Rock N Roll Public Library” in some kind of office building under a highway in London. This is a great example of the do-it-yourself ethic that often accompanies punk culture, and which some claim is central to it. Sounds like a great excursion for the whole family to learn about every-day self-empowerment. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Change Ahead at Heenan Blaikie

Wrapping up a week of Guest Blogging from Heenan Blaikie lawyers across the country, we’re going to end by focusing on big changes at Heenan Blaikie’s Toronto offices.

After nineteen years at Royal Bank Plaza, the firm is moving 400 metres up Bay Street to the new Bay Adelaide Centre.

The move presents all sorts of practical and logistical challenges. Soon to join us at Bay Adelaide will be Goodmans and Faskens. They’ll be watching carefully to see how we move the Library. Physically packing and transporting an entire law library is not a trivial undertaking. Here is a . . . [more]

Posted in: Firm Guest Blogger, Legal Information, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Technology

The Friday Fillip

There I was, racking my brains late in the week (no easy thing) for a subject for this Friday Fillip. And then it came to me: jellyfish. We haven’t talked about jellyfish on Slaw, which, seeing that we’ve talked about pretty much everything else (law lords, marijuana, street racing, deserts, the BBC, Canada’s home page, and the like), was a clearly open invitation.

So let’s start big. Very very big.

That big.

Meet Noruma’s jellyfish, some of which can reach over 400 pounds in weight. As if that singular prospect weren’t enough to turn this into a fillip upside the . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Have I Heard That Song Before?

Sometimes new law is very old. According to the OED, the term plagiarism was first applied to music in the Monthly Magazine of 1797, when a composition was described as “the most flagrant plagiarism from Handel” (The Imaginary Museum of Musical Works by Lydia Goehr, OUP). Since then a pantheon of musicians have been accused of lifting melodies – from Jerome Kern (Fred Fisher Inc. v. Dillingham, 298 F. 145, 1924.), George Harrison (My Sweet Lord costs over half a million 1981 dollars to settle: Bright Tunes Music Corp. v. Harrisongs, 420 F. Supp. 177 (S.D.N.Y. 1976)), Mick Jagger (co-author . . . [more]

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

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…

I Am Not Extinct
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