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IP and Open Access Discussions Begin to Converge.

Maybe I’m slow, but it seems to me that the Open Access movement and IP Law bloggers have remained mostly unconnected in public fora. IP lawyers tend to blog on a range of substantive IP issues, and OA proponents, where they discuss the law, tend to focus on copyright. But today Peter Suber of Open Access points to this article by James Boyle, an IP professor and OA proponent, in the Financial Times which seems to bridge some of the gap. These two older articles are also worth reading: one, two. The latter outlines how, in the WIPO . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Preserving Canada’s Legal Heritage

I fully concur with Neil Campbell in lauding LLMC – no praise is too much. I’d also like to support his comments about the preservation of the legal heritage – something I was also talking with Balfour Halevy about this afternoon. We at Osgoode are currently developing plans for a major expansion of our ‘knowledge management’ capability over the next year or two, investing heavily in state of the art software that will enable us to take on some really large scale digitization projects. I’ve mentioned before projects that I have in mind like a collection of Confederation-related documentation, but . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

LLMC Digital

I’ve just finished reading the lastest Law Library Microform Consortium Newsletter (#17, February 2006), in which I found out that LLMC itself is 30 years old, and the digital project is now 3 years old this February.

I’ve sung the praises of LLMC before on SLAW but again I ugre SLAWers to take a look at what they are up to, particularly the digitizing of Canadian titles at

I particulary note their work with the Legal Information Preservation Alliance (LIPA) to develop an online, universally-accessible database for the tracking of hardcopy preservation copies of legal and law-related print . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

I Never Had the Latin

I don’t know if Slawyers ever heard the wonderful comedy sketch by the ’60’s English group Beyond the Fringe (Peter Cook, Dudley Moore, Alan Bennett and Jonathan Miller) in which a coal miner bemoans his fate, and opines: “Yes, I could have been a Judge but I never had the Latin. I never had the Latin for the judgin’.”

Seems that some parliamentarians are going to get to see whether Prime Minister Harper’s nominee for the Supreme Court has the Latin, all in front of TV cameras so we can judge the coal miners for ourselves. ” ‘These are public . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Syndication 101 for Publishers

In my last post I bemoan our publishers not yet using RSS. To make this criticism a wee bit more constructive, here are a few guides to the use of RSS for syndication of new titles for our beloved book providers.

Yahoo! Publisher’s Guide to RSS – send your feeds to Yahoo! and widen your client base.

Great articles from RSS Specification:

“5 Reasons Why Your Site Needs to Publish a News Feed”
Reason #1: More free traffic to your site
Reason #2: It’s a hands-off way to update your audience
Reason #3: Get visitors to click through to . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Desperately Seeking: RSS From Legal Publishers

Wouldn’t it be great to be able to take all the latest book release and other publication notices from all the publishers, and have them automatically feed onto a web page for you? Or into your email, as one discrete message rather than several? Then you wouldn’t have to hunt around websites quite so much, and the publisher reps wouldn’t have to belittle us for not having read their latest bulletin because, well, it was one of only twenty you received in the past week and you can’t quite keep track. Not to mention the mounds of paper created by . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

The Friday Fillip

A day or so ago, Elizabeth Ellis remarked that someone might help her write accented letters in her posts, so she could use French. It’s fairly easy to tell Elizabeth — and you — how to do that, and to put all sort of other lovely characters into your posts as well. It’s a good deal harder to explain the why’s and wherefore’s of UTF-8 encoding, so, because this is a fillip, I’m not going to try. The curious among you — yes, I’m looking at you — can work at this explanation.

How do you do it? You . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Legal Abbreviations

Under the heading “Things that you think people know about, but on second thought, maybe they don’t.”

Mood. / Moo. P.C. / Swab. / Dy. / Fonbl. These are all abbreviations that cause law students to give me a blank look. If your copy of Raistrick’s is not nearby; a very handy tool to quickly find out what these abbreviations stand for is the Cardiff Index to Legal Abbreviations. A quick search reveals what an abbreviation stands for, an alternative abbreviation and the jurisdiction in question. In many cases you can also see how many different titles use the . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

First Monday

First Monday
Volume 11, Number 2 — 6 February 2006: Law and Borders: The Rise of Law in Cyberspace, Ten Years Later

Law and Borders: The Rise of Law in Cyberspace
by David R. Johnson and David G. Post (originally published in May 1996)

The Great Debate — Law in the Virtual World
by David G. Post and David R. Johnson

Virtual Borders: The Interdependence of Real and Virtual Worlds
by James Grimmelmann

Dispute Resolution Without Borders: Some Implications for the Emergence of Law in Cyberspace
by Ethan Katsh

The Life of the Law Online
by David R. Johnson


. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous

Alberta Historical Law Collection

My first post was about a resource I like out of BC, one that I never see reference to. Moving east, this is one I rely on from Alberta. I never see reference to it either but I think it’s a valuable resource.

When asked to find an old (and I mean “old”) version of an Alberta Act, I stumbled upon the Alberta Historical Law Collection and I was VERY impressed! It has been developed as part of the Alberta Historical Digitization Project (check out its other interesting offerings) and is produced by the University of Calgary Press with the . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous