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Archive for December, 2009

Lucasfilm Loses to Stormtrooper in U.K.

The Court of Appeal for England and Wales has ruled against Lucasfilm in its breach of copyright suit against Andrew Ainsworth, the British designer who produced the Stormtrooper costume for the Star Wars films. (Lucasfilm Limited et al. v. Andrew Ainsworth [2009] EWCA Civ 1328)

Ainsworth had been selling a few Stormtrooper helmets both in the U.S. and in Britain. Lucasfilm claimed that the models for the helmet were copyright works as “sculptures” within the meaning of s.4 of the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988. After a long review of the legislative history and the caselaw, . . . [more]

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

Answers to Ontario Lawyers’ Questions About LAWPRO’s New Enhanced Fraud Coverage

[A post for Ontario lawyers only.]

We have received various questions and comments on the enhanced coverage for counterfeit certified cheques and bank drafts that we are providing under the 2010 LAWPRO insurance program and policy. To respond to those questions and comments, we’ve prepared an extensive list of FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) that help explain this new enhanced coverage>, and also to provide some tips and guidance on how to make the coverage requirements work in your law practice.

These FAQs should help answer your questions as some recent media coverage about this new enhanced fraud coverage was not . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

But Was Her Majesty Alarmed?

From today’s news of import (:-P)

Noisy British lover admits anti-social sex

LONDON (AFP) – A British woman admitted Tuesday breaching an anti-social behaviour order by having noisy sex.

Caroline Cartwright was served with a civil order over marathon romps with husband Steve, described in court as “unnatural” and “like they are both in considerable pain.”

And on Tuesday Cartwright pleaded guilty at Newcastle Crown Court to violating the order three times in April.

We must not, of course, conclude from this that the Caroline and Steve had sex only 3 times in April.

For those who must know, . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Cornell University’s Digitized Law Books

Thanks to a tweet by @richards1000 I was reminded about Cornell University Library’s digitization project, which has resulted in over 2000 law books’ becoming freely available online at the Internet Archive. Slawyer Michael Lines spent some time at Cornell in 2008 and reported on the digitization project then current. As with most texts in the Internet Archive, you are able to read these materials online in an interactive version of the actual books, see or download them in plain text or PDF, or obtain them in, among others, a format suitable for Kindle or EPUB.

I’ve done a fairly . . . [more]

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

Another Reason to Back Up Your Laptop

Or perhaps, as I mentioned in a recent article, don’t have anything important on it when crossing borders. And take only an old laptop that you can afford to lose.

This incident has been mentioned in a few places. To paraphrase from a Wired post:

US citizen Lily Sussman took a vacation in Israel.

After pulling her aside for questioning, she was left alone. An announcement was made that Israeli security needed to blow up suspicious passenger luggage. They then put three bullets through her computer. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Update: Custom Google Search of Canadian Law Firms

I have made the following enhancements to my Custom Google Search of Canadian Law Firms available at

– Renamed the site to “Search Canadian Law Firm Websites, Blogs & Journals”

– added 28 more law firms to include boutiques and regional (smaller) firms for a total of 79 Canadian law firms (and I broadened URLs to include subdomains of law firms [e.g., instead of*]).

– added 205 Canadian law-related blogs

– added 20 Canadian law journal websites, the BC Courthouse Library and the CBA and CBAO

– added refinement tags to refine search results to publications . . . [more]

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

Playing With Linux and a USB Internet Stick

Simon Fodden recently quipped that Apple was becoming so mainstream that he might have to switch to Linux to keep his “smug sense of computer specialness.” This reminded me that, a little more than a year ago, I posted a little note here indicating that I was thinking about getting a Linux netbook and an internet stick. I eventually did just that, and thought I would offer some reflections on my experience so far.

The bad news is that most people using Linux (at least those without IT support) are going to feel “special” at least some of the time, . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: CLE/PD, Technology

U.S. Supreme Court Agrees to Review Right to Read Employee’s Messages

Yesterday the United States Supreme Court granted certiorari in the case of Ontario, CA, et al. v. Quon, Jeff, et al.. (No, not that Ontario; no, not that CA.) Quon is a police officer who sent hundreds of personal text messages to his girlfriend and others on a device provided by Quon’s employer, which had an informal policy that it wouldn’t inquire into an employee’s use of the device if he or she paid for the cost of extra usage. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals [PDF] ruled that the town’s review of Quon’s messages was an . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Technology

This Week’s Biotech Highlights

Well, Dylan said it and December made it true: “accept it that soon, You’ll be drenched to the bone.” Winter finally arrived in Toronto, and in the world of biotech, it did feel like The Times They Are A-Changin’.

It may not have been “a battle outside,” but the Canadian Science Policy Conference did shake some windows and rattle some walls in October; and as of this week, you can check out the audio and video recorded there including Bruce Alberts and Preston Manning.

Dylan’s verse for “writers and critics” said “don’t speak too soon,” but for biotech founders toiling . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

ABA Techshow 2010 Schedule Released

In case you overlooked it in our selected #slawca retweets from last week, the ABA Techshow 2010 schedule has been released. ABA Techshow will be taking place March 25-27, 2010 in Chicago. View the quick web version of the schedule (session titles only, speakers aren’t listed here) or download the PDF schedule and registration info. Keynote is Ari Kaplan: “The New Big Bang – The Convergence of Technology and Marketing”. Faculty from our Slaw community and the larger Canadian legal industry include:

  • Joel Alleyne
  • David Bilinsky
  • Jean-François DeRico
  • Peg Duncan
  • Dominic Jaar
  • Nils Jensen
  • Steven Matthews
  • Donna S.M.
. . . [more]
Posted in: Education & Training: CLE/PD, Miscellaneous, Substantive Law, Technology

An Opportunity to Serve

Volunteers are still need through the holiday period for the Lawyers Feed the Hungry Program run out of the cafeteria at Osgoode Hall in downtown Toronto. Most everyone at one time or another has thought of volunteering and this may be the opportunity to do something that you have always wanted to do but never quite got around to it.

There is a particular need for help at the special holiday dinner this Wednesday, the 16th of December, when over 600 guests are expected. Dinner is served starting at 4:00 p.m. Volunteers are needed as early as 1:30 p.m. to . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous