25 August 2005

Welcome to NZLII

The Universities of Otago and Wellington in New Zealand (Aotearoa) appear to have joined forces with the AUSTLII (Australasian Legal Information Institute) to form a NZLII (New Zealand Legal Information Institute) to supplement the LII in the USA, BAILII in the UK and Ireland, CANLII in Canada and a growing number of other national and regional legal resources around the globe.

The NZLII is already pretty good. Collections include case law from the NZ Court of Appeal, Supreme Court, the Copyright Tribunal, Competition Commission and Privacy Commissioner, Acts of the NZ Parliament (so far only 3) and plenty of law reviews, law commission reports, links and many other goodies.

The resource that actually drew me to the site was in fact a report of the Trustpower reference to the Copyright Tribunal in respect of a newspaper cuttings licensing scheme run by the Print Media Copyright Agency along the lines of a similar copyright licensing scheme in Britain (see Trustpower Ltd Public Relations Institute of New Zealand v The New Zealand Press Association [2005] NZ CopyT 1 (27 July 2005). It is remarkable that a country with a fraction of the population of the UK could generate so many licensing schemes a high proportion of which seem to come on before the Tribunal.

A particularly helpful feature of the resource is the categorization of databases by subject matter. The Intellectual Property index is at http://www.worldlii.org/catalog/2913.html. It links to the websites of the Ministry of Economic development, IPONZ (NZ patent office), law firms, patent agents and plenty of other good stuff. As the Michelin guide puts it, "vaut le voyage".

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