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Archive for the ‘Legal Publishing’ Columns

A Pandemic Update on Open Access to Research

For all the lives lost and human suffering experienced as a result of this pandemic, the rapid biomedical response to this scourge has been a ray of light and hope. A number of open science approaches – including publishers making all of the relevant research open access – have led to accelerated genetic sequencing, vaccine development, three-phase clinical testing and approval and a global vaccination roll-out. The open science movement has also been spreading beyond the immediate questions of treating COVID-19.

It is influencing the opening of scholarly publishing, more generally, which is the area in which I work on . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing

ROSS on a Break, as Other Friends Marry

The news of the demise of ROSS Intelligence appears to be a disappointing blow for some Canadian and US lawyers; beyond their jurisdictions, it has little relevance. As litigation proceeds, in the form of an antitrust claim against Thomson Reuters, alleging research monopoly, the story may not be over, and it may be for the courts to evaluate the relative merits in that particular case; others are more competent than I am to comment on both the specific facts and legalities of it. What I read, however, is that ROSS Intelligence has shut down its operations, revealing another legal . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing

A Natural Intellectual Property Experiment Proves What Is Necessary May Not Be Sufficient

On December 1, 2020, Dr. Sott Atlas resigned his position as “special advisor [on the coronavirus] to the president of the United States.” Many of us breathed a sigh of relief, if through our masks. After all, my Stanford colleagues had voted for a faculty senate resolution, that condemned this Stanford-affiliated man’s “disdain for established medical knowledge.” To take but one example I’ll return to below, Atlas had tweeted “Masks work? NO,” citing Oxford Professor Carl Heneghan.

What Atlas illustrates for me, as a long-time advocate of open access to research and scholarship, is a cautionary result of this . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing

Law Publishing, Editorial Freedom, Standards and Ethics

I would not have thought that in the relatively safe and narrow information publishing world with which I am familiar, I would ever encounter special interest, external interference and attempts to limit editorial freedom, other than, obviously, in giving and receiving training controls, rules and processes for the job and for other obviously legitimate and legally-compliant reasons. I have experienced it though, not for the first time, but most recently in my capacity as the editor of an information and communications periodical. It should be stressed that the publication in question does not overtly or primarily cover legal matters . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing

A New Three-Step Syllabus Rule for Dealing Fairly With University Course Readings

The 2020 appeals court ruling in York University v. The Canadian Copyright Licensing Agency, declared York’s fair dealing guidelines, which attempted to set out the terms for fairly using articles and chapters in the university’s courses without paying royalty fees, to be other than fair to authors and publishers. The court notes that “York did not justify [its claim to ‘fair dealing’] beyond invoking education as an allowable purpose” (258). In the face of the court’s refusal of York’s blanket appeal to the fair dealing exception to copyright infringement, and now that the case is headed to the . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing

Legal Publishing: Open Access, Open Minds, Open Wallets

I found it challenging recently to be asked if I have any further observations or opinions in relation to open access to the law book environment. The short answer is, “probably not”, but the fault for that is mine. However, given that the significant issues relate almost exclusively to primary legal materials, most of what needs to be argued on that is done elsewhere.

However, I do think that the question of open access in legal information publishing is entirely bound up with other related ones. Open access is part of an innovation debate. Key issues include the . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing

Connecting Public and Private Legal Information Part IV: Integrate CanLII With Your Practice Management Solution

Last May my colleague Ivan announced four upcoming major milestones in Lexum’s plan for getting started with legal Knowledge Management-as-a-Service. Early this summer we reported the transformation of Lexbox into a private document repository allowing you to search your own material straight from the CanLII website. Later we integrated our citator to insert links pointing to public legal information cited by your documents, as well as an alert system for tracking updates to this material. We are now ready to announce the latest development in line with this strategy: Lexum and Clio have partnered to facilitate the integration . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing

Thoughts on Why I Write (And Why You Might Want to Too)

I have been thinking about writing lately. There are so many reasons why people write and so much it can give them and the community, so I thought I would share a bit here about why I write and give some suggestions on why you might want to write too.

When I started writing for publication in about 2010, I wrote about issues that mattered to me professionally (You can read some of these early pieces here). This started because I found that I had things I wanted to say and talked about it when I went out . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Publishing

Opportunities or Problems Around First Editions

It was a pleasure to read of the Canadian Association of Law Libraries / Association canadienne des bibliotheques de droit 2020 Hugh Lawford Award for Excellence in Legal Publishing, to Emond Publishing, for LGBTQ2+ Law: Practice Issues and Analysis by Joanna Radbord, and to note with interest the other nominated books.

It might be arguable that until such time as, in their totality, extremely large bodies of in-depth secondary legal material, analysis and explanation are produced for and initially delivered directly to electronic media and updated permanently in real time, the book format is the most substantial and familiar repository . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing

“Access Licensing”: A COVID-19 Refresh for Compulsory Licensing

In these extraordinary times of the pandemic, unusual steps must be taken to protect the public interest. On March 25, 2020, the Government of Canada’s sweeping COVID-19 Emergency Response Act received royal assent. Among its many measures is a compulsory licensing clause for patents that enables the Government “to make, construct, use and sell a patented invention to the extent necessary to respond to a public health emergency that is a matter of national concern.” This suspension of patent rights is not to be without recompense for the patent holder, but that, too, was framed in unusual ways on behalf . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing

Connecting Public and Private Legal Information Part III: Get Notified When Your Field of Expertise Evolves

On August 26th, Lexbox benefited from a major update. Among the new features included in this release is the capacity to link to the CanLII website the legal citations from your documents, as discussed in last month’s post. We invite you to try it out by submitting a few of your own files to your Lexbox account and checking how they get interconnected with CanLII’s content.

But this post is about Lexum’s next step in providing Knowledge Management as a Service (KMaaS): making it easier for you to keep track of changes to public legal information affecting the issues . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing

The Moral Rights of Researchers as Authors

I am working this year on developing a copyright amendment that is intended to do a much better job of supporting open access to research than the current law. This work is catching something of the tailwind filling the sails of open science, brought on by tragic, disruptive turns of the global pandemic. The rising tide of open preprints, data, and article access is accelerating the pursuit of vaccines and cures, and some believe science will never be the same. Yet science operates within an intellectual property regime that makes few distinctions over its particular economy. Thus the need to . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing