MANDAMUS PUBLISHING INC.
WHAT IS THIS?
AND OTHER FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
1. WHAT IS THIS?
This web-site is an online book store with only one product: ebook versions of the Statutes and Regulations of Canada and Ontario. We have over 13,400 individual documents which you can purchase for download to your smart devices, and have available anywhere, any time, on any of your devices.
Why did Mandamus choose to go through the difficult process of making ALL of the Statutes and Regulations available? Because ALL of them are important to someone at some level. And because no-one else appears to offer ANY of them for sale in ebook digital form. The Statutes and Regulations are not available anywhere else in ebook format. And because we can make ALL of them available.
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 always need 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 features do not exist in the on-line versions. These features make it simple to move around in a section oriented document like a statute, which has a structure quite unlike that of a novel or other text. If the statute has a Table of Contents, it will be an active, linked Table of Contents in a Mandamus ebook, whether or not it was a linked Table of Contents in the online version. Mandamus creates an Index of Section Numbers and Tables and Schedules at the end of the document. Each entry links back into the correct place in the document. In the body, links inserted at the beginning of each section (or Rule) provide quick navigation back to the Table of Contents, to Section 1 or to the Index. This document Is constructed using these same features and demonstrates the capabilities of built into Mandamus' ebooks. Your use of the link structurs in this document mimics what you will be able to do on your device.
3. WHAT HARDWARE DO I NEED?
Any reasonably modern smartphone, tablet, laptop or desktop computer can host the necessary software to handle ebooks. In addition, numerous dedicated ebook readers exist. Since dedicated ebook readers such as the Kindle and Nook readers use proprietary software, such readers may not be able to make use of all of the navigational features which the ebooks possess, 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.
4. WHAT (FREE) SOFTWARE DO I NEED?
Numerous versions of ebook reader software exists on all major platforms. But only some software programs are known to work properly, for our purposes. The majority of the available programs do not work properly with internal links and anchors. Luckily, software that works properly is all FREE.
Stanza is available for free at the App Store. If 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. Stanza is a powerful program and allows you to create groups of books. Stanza is available in versions optimized for iPhones and for iPads.
fbReader is available for free at the Google store. Like Stanza, it recognizes email attachments and can add them to your library.
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. Only the source code is generally available for Linux, although some distributions have pre-compiled binaries available in their repositories. 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 times 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.
5. THOUGHTS ON FILE HANDLING
Calibre is the only program which has built-in support for separate libraries of ebooks. It can easily be customized to show or hide information about the ebooks in the library. It can accomodate a massive number of ebooks easily, although you may have to scroll for some time. This is acceptable on a laptop or desktop. Neither Stanza nor fbReader are really designed to accomodate a massive number of ebooks, and a reasonable limit is probably around 40 books. Both programs allow you to set up storage groups for your various ebooks. 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, even after the book has been deleted.
Copyrights in the Acts and Regulations of the Government of Canada are held by the
Queen's Printer for Canada. These ebooks are published by Mandamus
Publishing pursuant to the Reproduction of Federal Law Order,
"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."
Copyrights in the Acts and Regulations of the Province of Ontario are 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 2016 in respect of the additions and deletions to the source code as published online and in respect of the navigational features introduced into the text of the Statutes and Regulations. Reproduction in whole or in part of any ebook, regardless of publishing format, is prohibited, except that 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 that printed copy to any person.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org. Some wuick 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.
8. ERRORS IN THE EBOOKS
We attempt to ensure that the ebooks contain all of the 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. If you find one of these files, please let us know. We will do our best to promptly fix the problems and replace your ebook free of charge.
9. OTHER LEGAL ADMINISTRIVIA
All the 'legal stuff' is in the Terms and Conditions page (q.v).
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