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Search of Smartphones Incident to Arrest

Although we are all excited to try out the new iPhone 5, Samsung Galaxy S III, or Blackberry 10, few of us think what it means for us to be carrying this enormous amount of information in our pockets.

The Canadian Charter grants the “right to be secure against unreasonable search or seizure,” but one of the main exceptions to this is a search incident to an arrest, which allows a police officer to frisk a person who has been lawfully arrested. This exception exists largely because it has been considered a minimal intrusion on individual rights necessary to ensure . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Foreign Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

SCC Issues Rulings on Copyright Pentalogy

While lawyers and academics will surely be allocating a significant amount of short term resources to analyzing the SCC’s pentology of copyright decisions issued this morning, a quick look demonstrates a vindication of fair dealing, online innovation, technical neutrality and general common sense.

In brief and lacking any nuance, the Court’s decision in Entertainment Software Association v. SOCAN, 2012 SCC 34 seems to imply some interesting developments in copyright law:

Online distribution of video games should not be impeded with additional tariffs for musical works embedded in the games simply because the games are sold ‘by means of telecommunications’. The . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Technology, Technology: Internet

The Most Important Book on Statutory Interpretation Since 2000 – Yes But…

On June 15, our friends at Eagan published a brilliant and in some ways strange book that should be in every law library, since it is (as my headline says) the most important book on statutes this millennium: Reading Law, The Interpretation of Legal Texts. Its strangeness is due to the identity of its authors – the fiercely intelligent and challenging Justice Antonin Scalia the senior justice of the US Supreme Court , and the leading legal lexicographer of our time, Bryan Garner of LawProse in Texas. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Publishing, Reading: Recommended, Substantive Law: Foreign Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Anti-Spam Law Musings

Pending legislation always makes good fodder for lawyers to comment on in annual predictions articles. The pending anti-spam legislation has resulted in several such comments.

In my predictions article scheduled for publication next week, I comment that:

The Federal anti-spam legislation that was expected to be in force in 2011 is still waiting for regulations to be passed before coming into force. The draft regulations received a lot of criticism, and may be revised prior to the Act coming into force. The Act will be a compliance headache for many organizations, unless the regulations effectively narrow the broad definition of

. . . [more]
Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Substantive Law: Legislation

Anti-Spam Regulations Draw Critical Comment

The draft regulations under the anti-spam legislation have attracted a lot of comments, most them negative. See this article by Lorne Salzman and Barry Sookman for a detailed summary.

In essence, the common theme is that the legislation and draft regs will be a compliance burden on business and charities, and the regulations don’t do anything to temper that.

From the article:

Unless the proposed regulations are reformulated, many worry that CASL will impede rather than facilitate e-commerce. It will hurt small and large businesses, cause significant economic harm and stifle innovation in the use of electronic messaging systems. It

. . . [more]
Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation

Second Set of Proposed Regulations Under Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation

The July 9 issue of the Canada Gazette was published and it includes the second set of proposed regulations under Canada’s anti-spam legislation (CASL). These are the Governor in Council regulations from Industry Canada, not to be confused with the CRTC regulations that were pre-published last week for consultation.

You can read the pre-publication in the Gazette here:

The consultation period for these proposed regulations is 60 days. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Substantive Law: Legislation

Kicking Into (Over)drive

A storm broke on February 26th when word got out that publisher HarperCollins had unilaterally decided to limit the “shelf life” of its ebooks catalogue. Overdrive, a major distributor of ebooks in the public library world, found itself caught between the publishing powerhouse and a furious library community when it was announced that library loans of ebooks would be capped at 26. After that, the book will disappear from the library’s collection automatically. If the licensing library wished to keep the title, another virtual book would have to be purchased.

I was attending Podcamp Toronto at the time, so . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

Canadian Library Association Set to Restructure

On May 25th CLA Executive Council put forward two resolutions, to postpone elections (considered an unconstitutional but necessary move) and to operate on a zero-based balanced budget going forward. I have heard that, to balance the budget, it will mean closing down some or all divisions and special interest groups. These resolutions were voted on at the AGM on Saturday, June 5th.

Like most law librarians in this country, I am unfortunately not a member of the Canadian Library Association (CLA). Some of my colleagues, however, have been members of its CASLIS division for specialized libraries (as opposed . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research

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

Lawyer Type

Adobe Caslon “a”

Typography is one of my fascinations. Tiny adjustments to the height of ascenders, to the contours of the very thin lines, to the flares that finish off the ends of strokes — all can affect our reading in ways that are too subtle to be noticed by the ordinary eye. Ever since the invention of movable type, there have been people — typographers — who worried about how to make these minature (minuscule!) moves, how best, in effect, to make reading as effortless and as enjoyable an experience as possible.

But this subtlety has a price. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Publishing, Practice of Law

Stephen’s Lighthouse

A week or two ago Connie posted a question, which I was not then able to address a comment to, about how we keep up with Web 2.0. A suggestion is Stephen’s Lighthouse, Stephen Abram’s blog. I always find him to be a great source of information on this and other new developments generally (as he is VP of Innovation at SirsiDynix). And, by virtue of being Stephen Abram, he is always fun to read/listen to; I’ve seen him at SLA and CLA events a number of times. He frequently does informative presentations on various topics including . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous