About Open Access Law Canada


Invitation to Canadian Law Reviews to Participate in the Open Access Law Canada Program



Open Access Law Canada is part of the Open Access Law Program.



Launched in June 2005 in Ottawa, the Open Access Law Program is a part of the Science Commons Scholar's Copyright Project, which is working to support open access to scholarly research in a wide range of disciplines in science and social science, including law. The Scholar's Copyright Project aims to increase access to knowledge by reducing the technological, economic, and legal barriers that have traditionally restricted access to scholarship. The Open Access Law Program, of which Open Access Law Canada is a part, specifically promotes open access to legal scholarship.

Open access provides free public access to scholarly literature and promotes the dissemination of this scholarship, which benefits the author, the law review, and the public. Some of the benefits of open access for scholarly publication are to permit quick dissemination of scholarship, to increase access to research for educational purposes, to increase awareness of research among the public, to allow authors to receive comments and feedback in a timely manner, and to facilitate international and interdisciplinary scholarly conversations. Open access for legal scholarship enhances the profile of the law review, with increased citation and visibility, and raises awareness of the institution hosting the law review.



The Open Access Law Program provides a number of resources to encourage open access archiving. These resources include the Open Access Principles for Law Reviews and information about open access publishing agreements. The websites for Open Access Law Canada (in English), and Libre accès au droit Canada (en Français), provide further information about this program in Canada and a set of open access resources for Canada.

The Open Access Principles are a small number of principles that commit the law review to taking the least restrictive licence consistent with its needs, a promise to provide an electronic copy of the final version of the article to the author, and a commitment to allow public access to the law review's standard publishing contract. The Principles do not ask the law review to undertake the archiving of articles or change the publication format of the law review; they simply ask the review to allow the archiving of articles by authors at university repositories, scholarly portals, and the authors personal webpages.



The Canadian Model Publication Agreement enshrines these commitments in a neutral contract that is easy for both authors and law reviews to accept. The Program also encourages authors to deposit electronic copies of their work in open access repositories.

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Class Action Lawsuit To Use Against Your Creditors and the Credit Bureaus





The Problem



Consumers are being hurt right and left by the carelessness of Credit bureaus and unethical practices of collection agencies.


It’s true that the credit bureaus databases on the credit histories are full of inaccuracies; a recent study put the figure at 1 in 3 credit reports contains inaccurate data. It’s true that the large amount of data the credit bureaus handle make it difficult to stay on top of things and make sure their databases are correct. But credit bureaus are for-profit corporations who could be doing more with their profits to make sure that the data they have is accurate.





Consumers are being hurt right and left by the carelessness of Credit bureaus and unethical practices of collection agencies.


It’s true that the credit bureaus databases on the credit histories are full of inaccuracies; a recent study put the figure at 1 in 3 credit reports contains inaccurate data. It’s true that the large amount of data the credit bureaus handle make it difficult to stay on top of things and make sure their databases are correct. But credit bureaus are for-profit corporations who could be doing more with their profits to make sure that the data they have is accurate.


In some cases, the data inaccuracies are grievous, making it difficult or impossible for some people to purchase a home, pay higher interest rates or insurance premiums. To prevent undue hardship from befalling innocent consumers, the credit bureaus should be making a bigger effort to ensure data accuracy in their credit databases. So what is a consumer to do? Call your congressman, lobby congress? Sure, you can do all these things, and in time, laws may be tightene d which will help protect the consumer.However, these things take time, lots of time. And actually the laws are in somewhat decen shape as they stand right now; they are just not enforced as well as they should be.





Enforcement of the current consumer credit protection laws





I’m going to run some figures by you to show you what a huge problem it is to enforce the current laws. In each case, the numbers used are going to be conservative, which means the scope of the problem is probably much bigger than these numbers show


If you figure that this country has 260 million people, with some too young to have a credit file and some don’t have a credit file at all, there are at least 100 million credit files for the bureaus to maintain


If 1 in 3 credit files are inaccurate, then there are 33 million cases where the credit bureaus might be contacted to correct the problem. If you consider that only 5% of these inaccuracies are impossible to remove through the fault of the creditor or the creditor not taking the time to investigate the problem or just being unresponsive, then there are 165,000 cases which should be handled by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).


If you figure that that in a good year, the FTC in Washington has 1000 workers just to investigate complaints, and each case takes 7 days to investigate, then it will take 1155 days or 3.14 years to investigate the current cases , that is, if everyone complained about the problem. And this is for current cases. As time goes by, obviously, more and more inaccurate data is entered into a consumer’s credit file.


So how come the FTC isn’t drowning over all of the complaints it receives each year? People aren’t complaining as much as they should be. Many people aren’t even aware of their rights.


In addition, the FTC investigative process is a long one, and in the case of many consumers, waiting years for an investigation to be completed, an injunction against the violator to be filed, and any appeal which may be brought to US Court of Appeals to be heard is not an option. Most consumers need relief from credit inaccuracies immediately to purchase that home or get the best deals on interest rates. The exact progression of how the FTC handles its investigations is presented in Appendix A





So what’s the answer??





Of course, you want to take non-legal steps first in resolving the issues you have. In many courtrooms, it will hurt your case if the judge feels you haven’t made enough effort to settle your dispute out of court. In many cases, you can get what you want by calling or writing the collection agency, credit bureau or creditor and asking for the corrections or updates you need. You can cite the law using the information in this report to help make your case.





Suing in small claims court is often called the “poor man’s class action lawsuit”.



You know the old sayings, “Money talks” and “Vote with your dollars”. Well, most companies, the credit bureaus and creditors included, are not going to change their ways unless it is in their best interest to do so. All of these companies have stockholders to report to, so if one of their practices is costing them a better bottom line, you better believe they will act to change their ways. One of these ways is for you the consumer, to take action legally against these companies when your rights have been violated.





Profit while helping others



The best news is that typically, each violation is between $1000 fine, so it’s money in your pocket. In addition, you are going to help make someone else’s life better by suing someone who has broken the law. If everyone took action when their rights were violated, the credit bureaus would lose a fortune in legal disputes. It’s time to protect your rights as a consumer as well as protecting the rights of your fellow United States citizens. Let’s run some numbers again to see how much the credit bureaus could be liable for if everyone took action:


If 165,000 violations (the conservative number we calculated above) by a single credit bureau were taking place, and everyone of those consumers who were harmed took the credit bureau to small claims court and won a $1000 settlement, then the cost to the credit bureau would be $165 Million . You don’t think that would make a company sit up and take notice? That it might think about reviewing its business practices? You bet it would


In addition, many credit files contain more than one inaccuracy and in some cases, the way the data is reported on the credit report violates more than one law. The $165 M cost of litigation could actually be much higher.


America is called a litigious country because everyone sues at the drop of a hat. Why not use the legal process for good? You have every right to these companies to court when they break the law and your reputation is harmed