(Heise) Jetzt ist es soweit: Die größte Pleite der deutschen Nachkriegsgeschichte nimmt ihren Lauf. Das Münchener Amtsgericht hat bestätigt, dass Vertreter der KirchMedia wie erwartet Antrag auf Eröffnung eines Insolvenzverfahrens gestellt haben. Betroffen sind davon bundesweit rund 10.000 Mitarbeiter.
(Reuters) Pressure mounted for Germany's public broadcasters ARD and ZDF to buy the television rights for the country's football league if Kirch failed to make its payments. see also Stoiber turns up heat on chancellor over Kirch (FT) and The beginning of the end (Economist).
(Ananova) Channel 4's Brass Eye Special about paedophiles has been cleared of duping celebrities to take part in the show. The Broadcasting Standards Commission found that in the context of a satirical programme with a serious purpose, neither the appearance nor the involvement of the public figures was likely to have caused widespread offence. see Bulletin 52, March 2002 (BSC).
(FT) Carlton Communications and Granada have issued a writ against the Football League, seeking a declaration in the High Court that they are not liable for any media rights payments owed by ITV Digital, their near-insolvent pay-TV platform.
(Heise) Die Verwendung von html-Metatags, die keinen sachlichen Bezug zu den auf der Webseite angebotenen Inhalten aufweisen, verstößt gegen §§ 1, 3 des Gesetzes gegen den unlauteren Wettbewerb (UWG). Das entschied das Landgericht Düsseldorf . [Ed: A dispute between two companies selling gowns for members of the Bar and the judiciary, obviously a fiercely competitive branch of industry ...]
(RAPID) The European Commission decided today to launch the state aid investigation procedure into the €450 million cash advance granted by the French Government to the computer company Bull. The Commission's decision is prompted by its doubts about whether France has complied with the conditions laid down in the Community guidelines on state aid for rescuing and restructuring firms in difficulty.
(RAPID) Mario Monti European Commissioner for Competition Policy, British Screen Advisory Council, The Cavendish Conference Centre, London, 26 November 2001. see also Media in Europe: Media and EU competition law Speech by Herbert Ungerer, Conference on Media in Poland, Polish Confederation of Private Employers, Warsaw, Poland, 13.02.2002.
(The Register) The European Commission has closed an investigation into Check Point Software after the Israeli firm promised not to engage in exclusionary supply practices with its distributors. see Stonesoft's complaint to the European Commission and Commission closes probe into Check Point after receiving formal undertaking (RAPID)
(Newsbytes) A federal judge has told a California business to mention one of its competitors less often on its own Web site - an order intended to lower the site's profile in some Web searches. The unusual demand was part of a pre-trial injunction issued late last month in a lawsuit involving competing tax experts who would normally be battling the Internal Revenue Service on behalf of their tax-owing clients.
(FT) A News Corporation whistleblower has claimed that NDS, a software subsidiary of Rupert Murdoch's pay-television empire, directed an employee to leak secret codes belonging to its closest rival to internet pirates.
(Newsbytes) Microsoft is positioned to seize control of Internet-based telephone and messaging services in the same way that it monopolizes personal computer operating systems, an official of SBC Communications testified at a Microsoft antitrust hearing. He forecast a new battleground for services that will enable consumers to retrieve voice mail, e-mail and faxes from Internet-enabled telephones, cell phones or handheld organizers. see also IBM, Microsoft plot Net takeover (ZDNet), Economist Supports Some, Not All, Microsoft Penalties (Newsbytes) and Windows Features Not Vital, Expert Says.
(Heise) Die hessische Polizei hat einen Internet-Server entdeckt, über den vermutlich große Mengen kinderpornografischen Materials getauscht worden sind.
(Ananova) An internet paedophile who circulated images of his crimes online has received six life sentences after he was caught in the first surveillance operation of its kind in the UK. see also Reuters.
(Wired) Among 10,000 Americans who reported being suckered by online hoaxes last year, 16 fell victim to an elaborate plot that pinged millions of e-mail inboxes: Nigerian letter fraud.
(AP) A Connecticut consumer didn't have the right to sue Microsoft in state court alleging anticompetitive conduct, because the harm to him was too remote and indirect, the state Supreme Court ruled.
(Newsbytes) There is an escalating state investigation into allegations that Wall Street stock analysts promote companies they don't believe in while their banks earn fees selling the firms' stock and offering advice. Investors and securities watchdogs have long complained about inappropriate ties between analysts and investment bankers. But they've rarely had access to the e-mail and other gritty, behind-the-scenes details about dealmaking cited in this case.
(IDG) The European Parliament has voted against blocking access to Web sites as a way of regulating content on the Internet, instead pushing self-regulation and filter and rating systems. The vote - 460 in favor, 0 against and 3 abstentions - adopted a report on the protection of minors and human dignity that addresses many media, including the Internet. The Parliament's report is not a legislative document, but is in response to a previous evaluation report by the European Commission. see EP Report A5-0037/2002 Committee on Culture, Youth, Education, the Media and Sport Rapporteur: Christopher J.P. Beazley. see also EuroISPA news release.
(CoE) The Group of Specialists on on-line services and democracy has decided to invite the public to comment on a draft Declaration on freedom of communication on the Internet (EN / FR). Please send your comments to the Media Division by 1 May 2002.
(Heise) Das Europäische Parlament hat sich mit überwältigender Mehrheit gegen die Sperrung einzelner Websites im Kampf gegen vermeintlichen oder tatsächlichen Schmutz im Netz ausgesprochen. siehe auch Chat: Website-Sperrungen - Verantwortung oder Zensur?.see also EU - European Parliament says no to Web-site blocking
(Newsbytes) The Copyright Arbitration Royalty Panel, a body appointed by the U.S. Copyright Office, has proposed a royalty payment plan for Webcasters that has aroused staunch opposition, judging by a sampling of the criticism collected by the public commentary deadline. The proposed regulations would require webcasting services to collect and share listeners' information, including the country location, time zone, log-in time, channel, and the unique identifier assigned to the listener. see Notice and Recordkeeping for Use of Sound Recordings Under Statutory License (U.S. Copyright Office), Joint Comments on Internet Broadcasts and Anonymity (EFF / EPIC) and EPIC's Digital Rights Management and Privacy Page.
(Newsbytes) Entertainment giant Vivendi Universal has taken its beef with a group of hardcore online gamers to the next level by launching a copyright-infringement lawsuit against the developers of open-source software for hosting multiplayer games. see also Cnet News.comsee also USA - Group backs ISP in online gaming dispute
(FT) British employees are set to gain important protection against snooping by bosses under a new code determining rights to privacy at work. Blanket monitoring of e-mails and internet usage in the office will be banned, and hidden cameras can be used without staff consent only in criminal investigations where the police have been informed, according to the Employment practices data protection code.
(The Register) Nominet UK plans to make more information available about individuals and organisations that have registered domain names. At the moment anyone who makes a WHOIS enquiry for .uk domains receives the registrant's name, the date it was registered and when the entry was last updated. But from this summer the registry for .uk Internet domain names also intends to provide the address of the domain registrant.
(AP) Interest in IM monitoring is soaring as companies not only look to record important communications but also control information leaks and discourage cyberslacking.
(Court TV) In Gwinnett County, Ga., the mugshot of every person arrested is USA - National Academies Study Tempers Call For National ID Expand
(Newsbytes) Efforts to establish a national identification system could backfire unless policymakers address an exhaustive array of privacy, security and logistical concerns, the nation's top research and development institutions warned. The recommendations were offered in a report endorsed by the National Research Council's Computer Science and Telecommunications Board.
(OECD) This report summarises the problem recently met by the OECD wit regard to the cybersquatting of the ocde.org domain name, an identifies the general policy issues arising from this experience and the with registrar practices and the 'WHOIS' system
(BNA Internet Law News) An interesting dispute is brewing over the cnnews.com case, in which a Virginia court ordered the transfer of the domain using the in rem provisions of the ACPA. With the registrar located in China, the Virginia court acknowledged it could not create a binding order in China. Although CNN took no steps to enforce the judgement in China, ICANN apparently stepped in at their request, forwarding a request to the Chinese registrar asking that it "fulfill its responsibilities."
(IRIS) Par Pascal Fortin. Texte d'une communication dans le cadre d'une journée d'étude sur « L'internationalisation de la communication » organisée par la Maison des Sciences de l'Homme de l'Université Paris-Nord. Titre original de la communication : « L'ICANN au prisme de la gouvernance »
(Newsbytes) Congress took another step toward creating a kid-friendly Internet domain, when the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee unanimously approved the Dot Kids Implementation and Efficiency Act of 2002 (H.R. 3883). If passed, the bill would mandate the establishment of a child-oriented addressing space within America's sovereign "dot-us" Internet domain. see also CDT's letter to the Telecommunications Subcommittee.
(Hans-Bredow-Institut) Studie von Martin Eifert und Jan Ole Püschel im Rahmen der rechtswissenschaftlichen Begleitforschung zum Media@Komm-Projekt, durchgeführt im Auftrag des BMWI, Zwischenbericht (Februar 2002) (Arbeitspapiere des Hans-Bredow-Instituts Nr. 9) (PDF-Datei)
(European Commission) You are kindly invited to contribute to the open consultation on the IDA (Interchange of Data between Administrations) initiative on the provision of pan-European Government e-services. see Consultation document for a future policy paper on pan-European Government e-services. Deadline 17 June 2002. An IDA conference: 'Pan-European government e-services for citizens & enterprises: The role of IDA', is scheduled to take place in Brussels, on 19th - 20th September 2002.
(NetEconomie) La CNIL (Commission nationale de l’informatique et des libertés) refuse un projet d’expérimentation du vote électronique sur la commune lorraine de Vandoeuvre-lès-Nancy (Meurthe-et-Moselle). voir communiqué de presse.
(Le Monde) Encore marginale lors des élections municipales et cantonales de mars 2001, l'utilisation d'Internet à des fins de propagande électorale s'affirme pour la campagne de l'élection présidentielle. Si ce mode de communication peut rénover la façon de faire campagne, la justice continue à veiller à l'application des règles électorales.
(BBC) An ambitious electronic voting scheme will be tested in St Albans during the forthcoming local elections in the UK.
(BBC) Police have released the photograph of a convicted paedophile in an attempt to trace him.
(Guardian) Peter Robbins takes over as chief executive of the Internet Watch Foundation at a time when the self-regulatory group is facing increasing charges of censorship.
(RAPID) EU support for China's economic and social reform and efforts to implement its World Trade Organisation (WTO) commitments is being reaffirmed by Enterprise and Information Society Commissioner Erkki Liikanen, in a five-day visit to China this week.
(RAPID) In July 2001, the European Commission published its Communication on European contract law. The Commission has now published a synthesis of all contributions - so far more than 160 comments from governments and all sections of society, including businesses, legal practitioners, academics and consumer organisations.see also European contract law: Commission sets the stage for a broad debate
(RAPID) The United States authorities and the European Commission announced that they have developed guidelines designed to promote more effective US-EU regulatory cooperation. In particular, the EU and US will share better mutual access to the process of developing regulations.
(Le Monde) France Télécom a annoncé une baisse des tarifs de l'accès rapide à Internet ADSL. Cette baisse concerne aussi bien les prix de détail au consommateur que les prix de gros destinés aux fournisseurs d'accès à Internet ou aux opérateurs concurrents de France Télécom. Certains concurrents dénoncent des mesures ciblées préjudiciables à la concurrence.Tous attendent maintenant la position de lde l'Autorité de régulation des télécommunications (ART), mardi 16 avril.
(DCITA news release) The National Office for the Information Economy (NOIE) is conductingan examination into how to counter the problem of unsolicited bulkemail, commonly known as 'spam.' see also Spam saturates the net (Australian IT).
(Newsbytes) A California State Senate committee approved a bill that would ban the delivery of unsolicited faxes. The bill repeals a California law that requires fax users to opt out of receiving junk faxes.
(Newsbytes) Less than a month after de-listing an anti-Scientology Web site from its search engine on copyright infringement grounds, Google has begun providing copies of the infringement notices that it receives to a recently formed free-speech advocacy site. see also Google Begins Making DMCA Takedowns Public (Linux Journal) and Service providers as speech police? (AP).
(Newsbytes) Verizon Wireless is suing the Federal Communications Commission in an attempt to nullify an $8.7 billion bid for disputed spectrum licenses. In a filing with the Court of Federal Claims, Verizon Wireless said it was seeking to recover the remaining $260 million of approximately $1.7 billion it paid in deposits for the rights to airwave licenses that the commission revoked from NextWave Telecom.
(CNET News.com) Satellite radio stations and Wi-Fi wireless networks broadcast their signals on radio waves separated by only a small buffer. So far, that buffer has kept the millions of Wi-Fi networks from interfering with radio broadcasts. But the radio companies don't think the relative calm will last, so they are asking the U.S. Federal Communications Commission to step in.
(Consumers Committee) For the commercial communications industry children are an increasing important target market. European rules and regulatory regimes have not kept pace with this development.
(RAPID) Non governmental and other types of organisations have responded massively to the launch, two years ago, of the Daphne programme against all forms of violence aimed at women and children in Europe. The European Commission has issued a mid-term review on the way the Daphne programme against violence in Europe, which runs from the beginning of the year 2000 to the end of 2003, has been implemented.
(Newsbytes) A video-game industry trade group confirmed that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is asking for more data on how well video game companies are complying with media violence guidelines.
(Newsbytes) SingNet, the ISP arm of Singapore Telecommunications (SingTel), will offer a filtered broadband Internet service as an option to its subscribers and for a fee preventing users from accessing over a half million Web sites using a list updated by a U.S.-based Web filtering company. The blocking service is server-based - beyond the control of users - and does not require the download of filtering software.
(Yahoo FR) L'Anti-Defamation League (ADL), une association américaine de lutte contre l'antisémitisme et l'intolérance, se propose désormais de fournir une parade avec la nouvelle version de HateFilter, son filtre de sites Web.
(CoE) European Forum on Harmful and Illegal Cyber Content: Self-Regulation, User Protection and Media Competence, Strasbourg, 28 November 2001. Reports And Videos.
(ZDNet Australia) The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is advocating the use of alternative dispute resolution as an option for some e-commerce complaints. According to Commissioner David Cousins, the ACCC has made a submission to a Treasury discussion paper which looked at using Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) for some issues involving online transactions.
(ABA) The American Bar Association Task Force on E-Commerce and ADR has released a draft of its final report and recommendations along with proposed guidelines for best practices for ODR Service Providers. Proposed guidelines for recommended best practices by online dispute resolution service providers Addressing disputes in electronic commerce. The Task Force welcomes comments and suggestions. The comment period runs until May 31. Please send your comments to email@example.com.
(Europemedia) Regulator CRA has granted long-term licences for internet service providers and public telecoms network operators in Bosnia & Herzegovina.
(Europemedia) The German telecoms regulator ordered Deutsche Telekom to lower the one-time fee it charges rival operators to switch customers away from its business.
(Newsbytes) The Competitive Telecommunications Association (CompTel) said it would ask the Federal Communications Commission not to change rules that govern the ways local phone competitors access incumbent telecommunications companies' networks. But incumbent phone carriers countered that the change is vital to fostering competition.
(Newsbytes) U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft called on various law enforcement agencies within the Justice Department to construct a Web-based system for sharing terrorist data with state officials.
(Newsbytes) Bill Clinton has been outlining how technology can play a key role in defeating the new brand of terrorism. The former US president said that information management systems similar to those used by the big mass mailing companies could provide an early warning about suspicious behaviour.
(Economist) Power in your hand. The digital era is supposed to revolutionise television. The way people use it will change, but television will remain mainly a vehicle for mass entertainment. [Ed: Recommended]
(Europemedia) Mediteve expects the new interactive service will combine television, computers and telephone, providing live SMS, chats and games.
(Newsbytes) While it may not be unique on the Web, the local ABC affiliate in St. Paul, Minn., is offering an unusual news video-on-demand service its general manager hopes will lead his local TV station to the leading edge of Webcasting. KSTP-TV debuted its 5Cast service, which allows Web site users to select video segments from archived TV newscasts in any order they choose, giving them, in some sense, the keys to the editor's desk.
(MSNBC) Long a subject of half-serious jokes among devotees of computer and video games, game addiction is receiving serious attention lately as fantasy games such as "EverQuest" - nicknamed "EverCrack" by many players - proliferate.
(New Scientist) A new breed of spam-filtering technology that combines peer-to-peer communications with machine learning could intercept nearly all unwanted email, according to its creators.
(Europemedia) Local loop competition at last for ADSL services. The operator allows the user to perform the installation himself, a major cost saver on installation costs.. Customers can subscribe directly to Cegecom or keep their EPT subscription and have called routed automatically to Cegecom network.
(EPIC) Microsoft has abandoned its Hailstorm or "My Services" platform because of privacy and security risks inherent in centralized storage of personal information. Additionally, Microsoft was unable to find partner companies that were willing to use the Hailstorm system for collecting information on consumers. Now, Microsoft plans to sell Hailstorm to individual companies, allowing decentralized building of "data centers." see also Microsoft Has Shelved Its Internet 'Persona' Service (New York Times), Microsoft Puts Hailstorm's 'My Services' on Hold (Newsfactor) and Microsoft ends .Net linchpin (MSNBC).
(BBC) Thirty seven years after it was launched in London as a raunchy competitor to Playboy, Penthouse magazine's survival is up in the air. The rapid spread of internet porn and of porn movies on video and DVD have sent the magazine's circulation into a tailspin, from five million copies a month at its peak to just 650,000.
(Wired) For all their imperfections, free e-mail services have become hugely popular for the obvious reason that they cost nothing. That main reason for sticking with the free mailers is quickly vanishing, though, as Yahoo and Hotmail, the two largest free e-mail services, have started to not-so-gently nudge users to pay for "premium" features.
(Newsbytes) The Authors Guild wants members to remove links from their Web sites to Amazon.com, claiming the online retailer's used book service is hurting authors and publishers. The Authors Guild said Amazon.com tries to divert potential new book buyers into its used-book marketplace with ads for second-hand books accompanying each title's entry on the site. see also previous complaint (Authors Guild), Wired and New York Times.
(BBC) BT Group is pursuing a two-pronged strategy - re-establishing its brand in the mobile phones market, and setting up the UK's first public wireless LAN network, probably best described as broadband internet access for mobile people taking a break. see also ZDNet UK, A Wi-Fi world threatens 3G ambitions (FT), IDC: WLANs Are "Disruptive Technology" (802.11 Planet).
(CNET News.com) Google is quietly testing a new service that lets Web developers perform automated searches of its vast Internet database and publish the results on their own sites.
(CNN) The ability for hackers to go onto the Internet and chat up fellow hackers is as old as the Net itself. But with identity theft becoming a more popular form of fraud, according to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), more attention is being paid to chat rooms that serve as flea markets for hackers.
(Sydney Morning Herald) The cloak-and-dagger world of computer security testing is under attack by an open-source project that harnesses the world's best minds.
(Newsbytes) The economic slowdown in the U.S. has not dampened consumer interest in wireless communications services, according to the Telecommunications Industry Association. The study said total spending on wireless services will grow from $106.6 billion in 2001 to $116 billion this year, a leap of 8.5 percent. The consumer segment of the market is expected to be particularly strong.
(Max Dornseif) Die "Zentrale anlassunabhängige Recherche in Datennetzen" (ZaRD) wurde aufgrund eines Beschlusses der Innenministerkonferenz im Dezember 1998 beim Bundeskriminalamt eingerichtet; der "Wirkbetrieb" wurde im Februar 1999 aufgenommen. Diese Seite stellt die vom BKA für die ZaRD veröffentlichten Statistiken zusammen.
(RAPID) A new survey of consumer attitudes published by the Commission shows that a lack of confidence in their protection across Europe means that consumers are still losing out on the full benefits of the internal market. The survey also confirms the vital role of consumer associations, who are a popular source of information and who consumers see as the best means of protecting their rights.
(Newsbytes) The rate of growth in digital subscriber line broadband subscribers is increasing in Japan as more consumers switch on to high-speed Internet connections. Net additions to Japan's Internet population during February were dominated by DSL, which registered 288,704 of the month's approximate 483,700 subscriptions gain in total fixed line Internet users.
(BBC) Every minute of every day hundreds of networks connected to the internet are under attack by automatic software tools looking for and exploiting the vulnerabilities they find. Reports have shown that the net is awash with security problems and reveal the efforts anyone using the net has to take to stay safe. The studies also show that attackers and their tools are getting more sophisticated in their attempts to crash networks, steal data or deface websites. See Overview of Attack Trends (CERT).
(BBC) Most large businesses and government agencies in the US have been the victim of computer crime which has cost them millions of dollars, researchers say. A survey by the Computer Security Institute and the Federal Bureau of Investigation found that 85% of respondents had detected security breaches of their computer systems last year.
(Newsbytes) Nearly 43 percent of all cases of Internet fraud reported last year resulted from online auctions gone bad, said the Internet Fraud Complaint Center, a partnership between the FBI and the National White Collar Crime Center.
(Newsbytes) The U.S. online advertising market is "due for an expansion" this year after a brutal 2001, according to a study by Emarketer and Forbes.com. Last year was one of the worst on record for all advertising formats, and the Internet was not spared.
(Newsbytes) Online retail sales during the first three months of the year jumped 41 percent over the same period in 2001, according to a survey of Internet merchants. The growth is the biggest of four consecutive quarters, including the traditionally busy holiday quarter, according to statistics released by comparison-shopping site BizRate.com. The company says it sees online sales accelerating, not "maturing" or decelerating, and has adjusted its forecast for 2002 to reflect this.
(CNET News.com) Web surfers who thought online advertisements were becoming increasingly obtrusive may be dismayed by a new tactic: pop-up downloads. In recent weeks, some software makers have enlisted Web site operators to entice their visitors to download software rather than simply to view some advertising. see also Browsers Beware: Ad Technology Retools Toolbar (Newsbytes).
(FindLaw) By Goldberg, Godles, Wiener & Wrigh . This summary outlines many of the basic issues confronting communications law practitioners today.
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