FAQ

 

MANDAMUS PUBLISHING INC.

WHAT IS THIS?

AND OTHER FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

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CONTENTS

1.

WHAT IS THIS?

2.

WHAT MAKES EBOOKS DIFFERENT?

3.

WHAT HARDWARE DO I NEED?

4.

WHAT SOFTWARE DO I NEED?

5.

THOUGHTS ON FILE HANDLING

6.

COPYRIGHT

7.

EBOOK FORMATS

8.

ERRORS IN THE EBOOKS

9.

OTHER LEGAL ADMINISTRIVIA

Contents        Section 1        Index

1.  WHAT IS THIS?

This web-site is an online book store with only one product: ebook (epub) versions of the Statutes and Regulations of Canada and Ontario. We have over 15,000 individual documents which you can purchase for download to your smart devices, and have available anywhere, any time, on any of your devices.

Mandamus Publishing Inc. is a private Ontario corporation, founded to provide ebook digital versions of the Statutes and Regulations. In a digital world, primary reference material such as this should be available any where, any time and on any smart device. Lawyers, paralegals, accountants, architects, engineers, HR personnel, insurance personnel and securities professionals need and use these materials every day but these materials are not available in any portable electronic format. And there was and is no good reason why these documents should not be available in a digital format.


It started with the idea of creating an ebook of the Rules of Civil Procedure and the Small Claims Rules and a few other books. It soon became apparent that the steps required to turn any one file into an ebook, applied just as easily to a folder of file.


The corporation and this web-site are the result. And rather than just one or two or a dozen ebooks, this web-site now gives you instant access to any one of the 15,000 ebooks.  These books can be available for instant access on your tablet, smartphone, laptop or desktop, where-ever you are, when-ever you need that access, not left behind or unavailable.

There are literally hundreds of Regulations which of are specific interest to only a few people. So why did Mandamus Publishing go to the trouble of creating ebooks of each and every one of the statutes and regulations?

Because we can, and no-one else has.

ALL of the Statutes, ALL of the Regulations.

ALL of Canada, ALL of Ontario.

Over 15,000 individual ebooks with more to follow.


Contents        Section 1        Index

2.  WHAT MAKES EBOOKS DIFFERENT?

The Statutes and Regulations are available online on government websites for browser access. These books are based on those texts. But unless you plan ahead and save the html pages, you will need good internet access. Html files are not organized in a page like format and require scrolling to navigate. The files do not contain extra navigational links to make them easy to navigate. Scrolling is not easy on a tablet or smartphone. An html file can be searched but cannot be 'bookmarked' during use, nor annotated. There is no page numbering scheme.

PDF files are effectively a packaged sequence of fixed page images. Unless carefully produced from original texts, they are not searchable. Searchable PDF's contain the page image and the text and thus are very large. The page structure is fixed at production time and the font size cannot be adjusted. Generally, pdf files cannot be 'bookmarked' nor annotated. Since the page structute is fixed, the page numbering is also fixed.

Ebooks combine the best characteristics of both. Documents are displayed in a page-oriented structure but you may change the display font size at any time and the amount of text displayed on the page is adjusted automatically. Ebooks can be searched, bookmarked and annotated during use. Ebooks can contain link structures such as we see everywhere on the web. The best ebook readers recognize the anchors and links in the text.

Mandamus adds anchors and links throughout the text which are not in the on-line versions. These features make it simple to move around in a section oriented document like a statute. If the statute has a Table of Contents, Mandamus ensures that it will be an active, linked Table of Contents, whether or not the original had a linked Table of Contents. Mandamus creates an Index of Section Numbers and Tables and Schedules at the end of the document, linking back to the correct place. In the body, we insert links to provide quick navigation back to the Table of Contents, to Section 1 or to the Index. This document exemplifies those features. A free sample book is also available so you can test your hardware and demonstrate for yourself the capabilities of Mandamus' ebooks.

Contents        Section 1        Index

3.  WHAT HARDWARE DO I NEED?

Any smartphone, tablet, laptop or desktop computer can handle this. Dedicated ebook readers (Kindle, Nook) use proprietary software. These may not be able to make use of all of the navigational features, but will provide a reduced capability. Mandamus can provide ebooks in proprietary formats but will only do so on special order. Purchasers wishing an ebook in a proprietary format must be willing to be a 'beta' tester of the ebook, since we have no idea whether everything will work as expected on a Sony, Kobo, Nook or other reader. Kindle mobi ebooks appear to work properly, on a very cursory testing. If you are considering buying a tablet,you should buy a platform which is not restricted in its capabilities. This means an Android tablet or an Apple Ipad.

Contents        Section 1        Index

4.  WHAT (FREE) SOFTWARE DO I NEED?

Numerous versions of ebook reader software exists on all major platforms. But only some software programs provide all of the capabilities we would want. Your programs needs to work properly with internal links and anchors. Luckily, software that works properly is available for  FREE.

4.1  Apple

Stanza is available for free at the App Store. With Stanza installed when you receive an epub as an attachment to an email, you will be asked whether you wish to open the attachment in Stanza and add it to your Stanza library. You do not have to move the file to its proper place. Stanza is available in versions optimized for iPhones and for iPads.

4.2  Android

fbReader is available for free at the Google store. Like Stanza, it recognizes email attachments and will add them to your library. fbReader has built in capabilities to sort and display documents, by author, title, tag, recently opened or favourite categories. In each category, books are then sorted alphabetically. The only real limit is the storage capacity. For reference, all of the Statutes and Regulations together require 1.9 Gigabytes of storage.

4.3  Laptops and desktops: Sigil and Calibre

Sigil is a standalone ebook reader program available on Windows, Mac and Linux. Executable binaries are available for Windows and Mac. Some Linux distributions have pre-compiled binaries available in their repositories, otherwise is can be built from the source code. Sigil is a very capable program.

Calibre is actually a suite of programs dedicated to dealing with ebooks. It is available for all platforms. It is intended for ebook production, but the stand-alone program ebook-viewer makes it worth downloading the whole suite even if the other capabilities are never used. Calibre allows separate libraries to be created, so that ebooks of various kinds can be segregated.

4.4  Kindle, Nook and Other E-readers

The built-in ebook reader software in a hardware Kindle, and in the Kindle App for iPads and iPhones is perfectly usable with these ebooks. Email delivery is made through the personalized email address at kindle.com, rather than through your usual email address. We have no experience with the Nook or other e-readers. These ebooks are probably usable on them but delivery may be extrememly difficult due to the proprietary nature of the hardware.

Contents        Section 1        Index

5.  THOUGHTS ON FILE HANDLING

Calibre has support for separate libraries of ebooks and can be customized to show or hide information about the ebooks in the library. Stanza is not really designed to accomodate a large number of ebooks. fbReader has built-in sorting on various metadata and tags with alphabetical sorting underneath. As a result there is no limit except storage capacity. The Kindle App on iPad always displays the cover images of ebooks in an inefficient grid format and retains the image of every book ever downloaded, until deleted through the Kindle store.

Contents        Section 1        Index

6.  COPYRIGHT

In the case of Acts and Regulations of the Government of Canada, copyright is held by the Queen's Printer for Canada. These ebooks are published by Mandamus Publishing pursuant to the Reproduction of Federal Law Order, SI-97-5 which states:

        • "Anyone may, without charge or request for permission, reproduce enactments and consolidations of enactments of the Government of Canada, and decisions and reasons for decisions of federally-constituted courts and administrative tribunals, provided due diligence is exercised in ensuring the accuracy of the materials reproduced and the reproduction is not represented as an official version."

In the case of Acts and Regulations of the Province of Ontario, copyright is held by the Queen's Printer for Ontario. These ebooks are published by Mandamus Publishing pursuant to the policy of the Queen's Printer which states in part:

        • "The Queen's Printer for Ontario holds copyright in Ontario statutes, regulations and judicial decisions. The Queen's Printer permits any person to reproduce the text and images contained in the statutes, regulations and judicial decisions without seeking permission and without charge. The legal materials must be reproduced accurately, and Crown copyright in the legal materials must be acknowledged.."

All ebooks published by Mandamus Publishing are Copyright © by Mandamus Publishing 2013 or its licensors in respect of all products in respect of the additions and deletions to the html text files and in respect of the navigational features introduced into the texts of the Statutes and Regulations. Reproduction in whole or in part of any ebook, regardless of publishing format, is strictly prohibited. Purchasers are allowed to copy and store multiple copies of any ebook purchased by them, on their own personal electronic devices, which may include multiple computers, tablets or smartphones, but are not entitled to reproduce any ebook or transmit any ebook in any form or by any means to any other person. Notwithstanding the foregoing, there is no restriction on the printing of the content of any ebook or portion thereof, and the provision of the printed version to any person.

Contents        Section 1        Index

7.  EBOOK FORMATS

At the moment, ebooks are available in epub format which is the standard for Apple and Android devices. If you are interested in obtaining documents in mobi or another format, please contact us for personalized service: info@mandamus.ca. Some quick testing has shown that we can produce workable mobi format documents for use on the Kindle platform, but we have not tested very large files, such as the Criminal Code, the Income Tax Act or the Building Code.

Contents        Section 1        Index

8.  ERRORS IN THE EBOOKS

We attempt to ensure that the ebooks contain all of the legal text and expected features, but given the nature of the computerized transcoding process, and the variety of formatting used in the regulations, it is quite possible that some ebooks will get produced with improper formatting. Much less likely, but possible is that some text is omitted. If you find one of these files, please let us know. We will do our best to promptly fix the problem and we will replace your ebook free of charge.

Contents        Section 1        Index

9.  OTHER LEGAL ADMINISTRIVIA

All the 'legal stuff' is in the Terms and Conditions page (q.v).

INDEX

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