Outdoor Legal Education: An afternoon at the museum with Wafaa Bilal

Photo inside the Art Gallery of a bench in front of a wall with 3 pictures

In this blog, Professor Pascale Chapdelaine discusses the pedagogical value of taking law students outside the classroom through a unique experience she had when she and her copyright law students visited the Art Gallery of Windsor, Ontario in the spring 2016. Read more…..  

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Canada’s Emerging Artificial Intelligence Leadership and the Need for Good Policy

Artificial intelligence is a significant and growing part of our daily lives. Artificial intelligence is a field of computer science research that studies and develops intelligent machines that act and work like humans through the use of techniques like machine learning (providing computers with the ability to learn patters from data, rather than being directly programmed with those patterns). Today, not only is artificial intelligence prevalent across many prominent industries (manufacturing, healthcare, transportation, and customer service), but artificial intelligence already possesses the generic powers of creation and destruction. Google’s Deep Dream creates its own art using its machine learning algorithms, while autonomous weapons could use artificial intelligence to select and atta ...

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Attorneys on Amazon? Online Marketplaces for Legal Services

Man sitting at laptop computer searching the Law Society of Upper Canada- Law Society Referral Service Website

For an individual with a legal need, shopping intelligently for a law firm can be a frustrating experience. It is difficult to get any objective information about price or quality, and comparison-shopping is arduous. Are online marketplaces, which play an increasingly central role in the consumer economy, part of the solution to this access to justice problem?   The Canadian Bar Association thinks so.  The CBA’s Futures Report called for a “full-blown technology-enabled marketplace where sellers of legal services can present their offerings, credentials and fee structures.”  In such a marketplace, consumers would be able to “choose the types of services they wish to purchase,” and “investigate a seller’s quality and reputation.”  Online legal services marketplaces ma ...

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Global Takedowns on Google: Canada leading the way, but are we going in the right direction?

Google Logo

On Thursday June 28, 2017 the Supreme Court of Canada (the “SCC”) released its highly anticipated decision in the Google Inc. v Equustek Solution Inc. case. The case involves the intersection of censorship, freedom of expression and anti-competition in the context of technology.   Equustek, a manufacturer of networking devices, sought an injunction that would force Google  to de-index the website of Equustek’s distributor-turned-competitor, Datalink. Datalink was formerly a distributor of Equustek’s products, until Equustek sued Datalink for infringing its intellectual property rights in 2011.  Datalink passed off Equustek’s products as their own by relabeling and repackaging the goods, and also used trade secrets to develop a product similar to Equustek’s product. A number of injunct ...

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Architectural Drawings, Drafting Software, and the Scope of Copyright Protection-

Photo of Dragana Bukejlovic standing in front of brick wall.

  June 21, 2017   Technological advancement has had a substantial impact on many industries throughout the last century.  Computer software has enabled professionals and every day users to perform their work in a more efficient way. Drafting software has had an impact on the architectural industry in particular. Gone are the days of architectural technologists and architects manually drafting hundreds of pages of blueprints or manually constructing 3D models of proposed buildings. Prior to attending Windsor Law, I worked as a Junior Mechanical Estimator. I was trained to read mechanical drawings, and while I am now in law school, I have taken opportunities to bridge my previous work experience with areas of the law I am exploring. This experience served as the inspiration for thi ...

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To Scan or Not to Scan

In 2012, the Copyright Modernization Act came into force, adding “education” to the list of fair dealing purposes that do not infringe copyright. Concordia University’s Centre for Expanded Poetics [the “Centre”] appears to have either relied on the expanded definition of fair dealing, or on their licence agreement with a copyright collective; since as early as 2015, the Centre has scanned books written by poets and made these texts available online for students and the general public to access for free. This activity went unnoticed until earlier this year, when the Writers’ Union of Canada and The Globe and Mail contacted the publishers of the texts reproduced online and asked if the Centre had requested their permission. They hadn’t. This prompted the publishers to complain to the Centre ...

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A Pivotal Technology in the Development of Gene Therapy: The ongoing CRISPR-Cas9 patent battle

On February 15,2017, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO decided to uphold the patents from both Feng Zhang and Jennifer Doudna regarding the CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing technology. The USPTO rejected Doudna’s claim that Zhang’s patents, had interfering claims with her earlier patents on the CRISPR-Cas9 technology. These patents cover biotechnology which could be adopted for gene therapy procedures in hospitals. Gene therapy procedures have the potential for curing many diseases like cancer and Alzheimer’s which we are currently unable to adequately treat using drug therapy. Due to their implications in medicine. patent battles over technology capable of being used in gene therapy are extremely important in the search for cures to such diseases. The CRISPR-Cas9 patent battle ...

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Blockchain has the potential to remake the internet landscape. Are we ignoring the legal and regulatory risks?

Satoshi Nakamoto[1] is a name that most people associate with the development of Bitcoin, the famous crypto-currency payment system that promises to make direct peer to peer payments between individuals without the use of an intermediary.  While Bitcoin has yet to displace traditional payment mechanisms as means of transacting, the underlying infrastructure of Bitcoin, the Blockchain, may prove to be Nakamoto’s most enduring invention.  It is this underlying internet infrastructure that is said to be ushering in what some commentators have referred to as the Internet of Value as distinct from the first iteration of the Internet, the Internet of Information.[2]   The Blockchain is a sophisticated network of computers running the highest level of cryptography that distributes a ledger a ...

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Technological Neutrality: Tension and Limitations

In this post, Professor Chapdelaine reflects on the principle of technological neutrality as applied to copyright law in recent judgments by the Supreme Court of Canada. While intuitively appealing, in particular in how the Supreme Court has applied technological neutrality to balance the competing interests of copyright holders and users, Professor Chapdelaine points to the inherent limitations and tensions that lie at the heart of the principle of technological neutrality. Technological neutrality has been defined in the context of Canadian copyright law as the principle that the law should ‘apply equally between traditional and more technologically advanced forms of the same media,’[1] allowing the relevant statute (e.g. Canada’s Copyright Act) to operate ‘consistently, regardless of th ...

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Does #MuseumSelfie Day Authorize Copyright Infringement?

This paper evaluates the use of social media for the promotion of museum programming within the framework of the Canadian Copyright Act (“Act”). More specifically, as arts professionals begin catering to a new cohort of museum-goers and embracing trends such as #MuseumSelfie Day, issues of potential copyright infringement arise. In light of the Act’s provisions on authorization, does the museum enter the zone of risk by allowing and/or encouraging the use of social media in the galleries? This question is evaluated vis-à-vis infringement of economic rights and moral rights of the artists as well as the statutory exceptions thereto. In accordance with the legal nuances of copyright protection, only certain works in a museum’s collection will come within the jurisdiction of the Act. Neverthe ...

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