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Archive for May, 2011

When Free Access Publishing Leads to Hong Kong

The Law via the Internet 2011 International Conference will be held at the University of Hong Kong on June 9 and 10. This will be the eleventh international gathering of promoters of free access and innovation in legal publishing.

This year’s meeting will give a new opportunity to assess if Free Access to Law is here to stay? The published program seems to reveal expansion. No one can say for sure about the long term sustainability of free access, but after 20 years the number of countries where the approach is used continues to increase. The growth is especially important . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing

PBS Video Contrasts EU Broadband With US (Faster & Cheaper)

PBS has a new 13 minute video called High Fiber that looks at broadband in the Netherlands and Britain, and compares it to the US. The differences are striking. 

In Canada, we have controversies over usage based billing, and the costs of both basic internet services and fees for going over the monthly limit. And various surveys put us on a downward path in international rankings for various broadband metrics. This recent OECD survey, for example. 

The video shows that in the Netherlands and Britain more fiber is being installed (including to the home), competition is increasing, speeds are . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

World Bank’s Open Access Publishing Program, Copyright & Licensing

As recently announced, Carlos Rossel, Publisher, The World Bank, is guiding the transition of the Bank’s print publishing to largely electronic, open access publishing. As part of this transition, The World Bank invited several of its employees including editors, economists, researchers, lawyers and invited non-Bank guests to a two-hour session yesterday in Washington, DC.

Carlos opened the session introducing the issues and speakers. I then gave an overview of relevant copyright and licensing/contractual issues relating to OA publishing. The information I provided was based on U.S. law as well as international copyright principles from the leading copyright treaty, the  . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Information Management, Legal Information: Publishing

The Hargreaves Report on IP in Britain

The UK government commissioned a review of intellectual property policy back in November of last year. The report [PDF] of commission chair Professor Ian Hargreaves was released today, making:

10 recommendations designed to ensure that the UK has an IP framework best suited to supporting innovation and promoting economic growth in the digital age.

A significant thrust and recommendation of the Hargreaves Report is that policy must be made on the basis of actual evidence, principally economic evidence, rather than the urgings of lobbyists as has been too often the case. The Commission considered adopting the American “Fair . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading, Technology

Integrated Domestic Violence Court – One‑Stop Courthouse Shopping

Regular readers of my SLAW column will know that, while I’m an ardent supporter of initiatives that enhance the efficiency of our criminal justice system, I am also a regular critic of how that same system deals with the deluge of domestic-related charges that clog our courts on a daily basis. For these very reasons, a promising new pilot project has recently caught my attention.

The Integrated Domestic Violence Court (IDV) has ambitious plans to combine cases from two of Toronto’s busiest courthouses: the criminal courts of The Old City Hall and the family courts housed at 311 Jarvis Street. . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

Do You Need Permission to Link to a Website?

Can the owner of a web site accessible on the public internet refuse to allow some other person to post a link to that site, identifying whose site it is? Can the owner of the site insist that the person who wants to post the link enter into a licence agreement?

Does it make a difference to the answer if the person who wants to post a link wants to identify the site in part by the use of the principal trade mark (or logo, more likely) registered by the owner of the site? Or would it be cleaner for . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Internet

Is the Minimum Wage a “Living Wage”?

When I started working about 15 years ago, I was paid about slightly above minimum wage, at $6.90 per hour. I worked at large clothing retailer, folding khakis and giving on advice on whether or not a customer looked best in “boot cut” or “loose fit” jeans. Since those halcyon denim days, I have noticed a steady and continual increase in the minimum wage rate in Québec.

Indeed, as the Commission des Normes de Travail helpfully outlines on its site, minimum wage has been steadily progressing from its institution at $4.35 per hour in 1986. As of May 1, . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation

A Little Help From My Friends

As Connie mentioned, there are a number of us in Calgary sharing good times at the Canadian Association of Law Libraries Annual Conference.

One of the great things about our group, and this event in particular, is the opportunity to get together in special interest groups. Our SIGs, as we call them, are communities of practice whether that be a workplace type, like the Academic Law Libraries SIG or a broader topic like the Access Services and Resource Sharing SIG. The CALL website offers details about all the committees and special interest groups as well as contacts.

The Private . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research

Rebuilding a Law Library, Part 5: Library as Place

[This is the fifth in a series of columns about the trends, theories, principles and realities that have influenced the redesign of the new library of Osgoode Hall Law School – part of the renovation and rebuilding of the School currently underway.]

The topic of this column was suggested to me when I read Karen Sawatzky’s interesting column on “Future Ready Libraries”. In her column, Karen refers to The ARL 2030 Scenarios (Washington, DC: Association of Research Libraries, October 2010), which imagines four possible futures for our research libraries. I find such exercises interesting and a good catalyst . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

Twitter at CALL 2011

Howdy from Calgary! I am at the annual conference of the Canadian Association of Law Libraries.

There is a lot of interest in the discussions taking place at this year’s conference. I am hearing from law librarians, legal publishers, knowledge management directors, and many others as to how they can follow along if not in attendance. There is a lot of buzz about greening the library, time management, workflow, digitization, budgeting, cost recovery, legal project management, and ebooks. All the hot buzzwords! I have had more than a few people ask me to let them know the outcome of discussions. . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Reading

Clouding the Issue

This week’s Lawyer’s Weekly features an article by Luis Milan titled Experts Warn Cloud Computing Still Risky. The article cites recent data breaches at Sony Corp. and Epsilon Data Management as a catalyst for concern around cloud computing, and goes on to cite several experts on the potential privacy implications of these data breaches.

The only problem? Neither data breach, as the article’s title implies, has anything to do with cloud computing.

The Sony data breach, where personal information for millions of its Playstation Network users was compromised, was not the result of Sony’s cloud computing infrastructure being . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Internet, Technology: Office Technology

The European Court’s View of UK Privacy Law

Should there be a legal duty to notify people about whom a story is to be published, to give them an opportunity to go to court to stop the publication?

Max Mosley, former Formula 1 motor racing chief says so.

The News of the World, a UK tabloid, ran a story a few years ago revealing that Mosley had taken part in a sadomasochistic orgy with prostitutes. In 2008 Mosley won damages from the UK High Court of for breach of privacy.

Mosley claims that the UK is in breach of human rights laws because there is no remedy for . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Substantive Law: Foreign Law