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 16,250 individual documents which you can purchase for download to your smart devices, and have them available where you need them, when you need them, 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, we expect that primary reference materials will be available any where and at any time and on our own smart devices. It is not just lawyers and paralegals, but also accountants, architects, engineers, HR personnel, insurance personnel and securities professionals who need and use these materials every day. Until now these materials were not available in any ebook form.  There was no good reason why these documents were not 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 single one file into an ebook, applied just as easily to a folder full of files. Downloading all of the files turned out to be more difficult than preparing an ebook from them. Standardizing and correcting the coding was merely time-consuming.

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 more than 16,250 ebooks. 

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

Because we can, and no-one else does.

ALL of the Statutes, ALL of the Regulations.

ALL of Canada, ALL of Ontario.

Over 16,250 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 near endless scrolling. The files do not contain 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. 

PDF files are effectively a packaged sequence of fixed page images. Unless carefully produced from original texts, they are not searchable. Making a searchable pdf doubles the size of the file as there is the page image and the text in the file. The page structure is fixed at production time and the font size cannot be adjusted. Generally, pdf files cannot be 'bookmarked' nor annotated. 

Ebooks combine the best characteristics of both. Documents are displayed in a page-oriented view but the font size may be changed at any time and 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 the document. If the document has a static Table of Contents, we turn it into an active, linked Table of Contents. We create an Index of Section Numbers and Tables and Schedules at the end of the document, linking back into the body. In the body, at each section, we insert links for quick access back to the Table of Contents, to Section 1 or to the Index. This document has those features: the inter-section links and the section Index at the end. Please try them out. It is these features which make ebooks efficiently usable. Mandamus is the only ebook publisher offering ebooks, and which have these features which make navigation efficient. We note that the Bank Act (Canada) has 1005 sections. We also offer a larger free sample book (Available from the front page) so you can test your hardware and demonstrate for yourself the capabilities of our ebooks.

Contents        Section 1        Index

3.  WHAT HARDWARE DO I NEED?

Any reasonable new smartphone, tablet, laptop or desktop computer can do this. Dedicated ebook readers such as a Kindle,Sony, Kobo, Nook or other reader may not work, or may provide reduced capabilities. 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?

There is a plethora of ebook reader software available for all of the major platforms for free. But not all programs completely and properly render ebooks. You may find some programs cannot properly handle the internal links and anchors. Most programs cannot render tables properly, although otherwise they do a respectable job with the rest of the text. But there are some programs that do everything for FREE. Each program has its own interface for handling the library and you may like or dislike the program for that reason. All of those mentioned below can directly open email attachments and store it in its library.

4.1  Apple Ipad

If you have a document which uses a lot of tables, there is at present only one program to choose.

Marvin3 is the only presently available program which properly renders tables.  The Building Code, for instance has over 300 separate (and important) tables. Marvin3 can open and import email attachments directly to the library. The handling of books in the library is clunky, but it works.

Kybook3 and Stanza have been around for some time.  Both can handle small tables, but can become confused. FbReader has the most polished and easily understood library coding, but it cannot in any way deal with tables. Any table comes out as a long list of cell contents, one cell per line. Since only a small minority of documents have tables, any of these may be acceptable. All can be downloaded for free from the App Store.

4.2  Android

eBoox:reader is the only presently available Android program which properly renders tables The library interface is odd. You open the attachment ebook from the email and it is listed under 'Books' in the program. But you then have to add it to a 'Shelf' before you can read it. This structure is not anywhere as easy or clear as that used in FbReader for example. But it does work, and if your particular documents have tables, this is basically what you must use.

All of FbReader, Lithium, Moon+Reader and ReadEra are perfectly competent ebook reader programs but none of them handle tables correctly. All of them are available for free at the Play Store. fbReader has the most east to use library interface and is my favourite for general reading. Some of these programs allow for annotations (individualized bookmarks). Unfortunately eBoox:reader does not have this capability.

4.3  Laptops and desktops: Calibre and Calibre

Calibre is actually a suite of programs dedicated to dealing with ebooks. It is available for Windows, Mac and Linux. It is intended for ebook production, but the stand-alone executable program, ebook-viewer or ebook-viewer.exe 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. It handles tables without any problem and is the best-of-class for use on the desktop.

FrReader is also available for Windows and Mac. It is basically a straight port of the Android and iOS apps. The source code is available for building in linux. As noted it does not handle tables.

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.

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 usable with these ebooks although the capability to handle tables is not known. 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. Our ebooks should work but delivery may be 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. Marvin3, and eBoox each allow the user to sort ebooks into different sections. As a result there is no real limit except storage capacity.

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 ofthe 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 2021 or its licensors in respect of all products in respect of the additions, amendments 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. Any capability to handle tables is not known.

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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