(FT) Jean-Marie Messier, Vivendi Universal's chief executive, looks set to pull out of the planned merger of Vivendi's Italian pay-TV unit with a rival owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp, after Italy's antitrust authority imposed restrictions on the deal.
(DG COMP) by Miguel Mendes Pereira, European Commission DG Competition - Media and Music Publishing Unit.
(Newsbytes) A 16-year-old Massachusetts boy is facing a civil rights complaint for sending five teenaged girls and the mother of one of them sexually explicit and violent threats using an instant messaging service. The state is seeking an injunction to forbid the boy from sending instant messages or e-mail to the girls or their families and friends, and to stop him from harming or harassing his targets.
(RAPID) A high common level of consumer protection, effective enforcement of consumer protection rules and the involvement of consumer organisations in EU policies - these are the three objectives of the new consumer policy strategy of the Commission.
(Euractiv) On 14 May 2002, the European Parliament adopted, in second reading, on the Council common position on the Directive concerning distance selling of financial services. This Directive will regulate the marketing of financial services, such as credit cards and pension plans, through the phone, fax, Internet, and traditional mail. It will ban the use of unsolicited e-mail and "inertia marketing", which involves sending unsolicited financial services to consumers and charging them for these before the consumer has agreed to buy them. see also Distance marketing of financial services (RAPID).
(Newsbytes) Internet domain naming giant VeriSign was ordered to halt a direct-mail campaign one day after BulkRegister filed a lawsuit against its No. 1 rival seeking to stop the mailing. BulkRegister alleged that VeriSign's "Domain Name Expiration Notice" direct-marketing campaign is deceptive.
(CoE) Information on initiatives undertaken in nineteen of the fourty-four member States of the Council of Europe, as well as Canada, in the field of regulation of illegal and harmful cyber content.
(Spiegel) Unmittelbar vor Beginn seiner ersten Anti-Gewalt-Konferenz mit 15 Vertretern von Internet-Providern und aus der Video- und Computerspiele-Industrie fiel die Entscheidung, dass das Computerspiel Counterstrike nicht indiziert werden soll. Rund 90 Minuten saßen Beck, Schröder und mehrere Minister mit ihren Gästen am Kabinettstisch zusammen und waren überrascht, schnell und ohne Reibungen zu einem Konsens zu finden. Wie viel Selbstkontrolle ist Zensur? (Spiegel)see also DE - Killer-Spiel Counterstrike wird nicht indiziert
(Wired) Reporters Without Borders protested the imprisonment of a former Jordanian legislator and television reporter who published a letter on a U.S. website accusing government officials of corruption. Toujan Faisal, 53, was sentenced to 18 months in prison for "slandering" state institutions on Arab Times, which is published out of Houston, Texas.
(Wired) A media bill to go before the Turkish parliament would expand already stringent regulations on all forms of media and would require websites to submit two hard copies of pages to be posted on the Internet to a government agency for prior approval.
(Wired) In Planned Parenthood v. American Coalition Of Life Activists, the so-called "Nuremberg files" case, a federal appeals court reversed course and ruled that anti-abortion activists who created Wild West-style posters and a website condemning abortion doctors can be held liable because their works amounted to illegal threats, not free speech.
(Supreme Court) In a divided opinion, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled on the constitutionality of the Child Online Protection Act (COPA), the law that restricts the online distribution of material that is "harmful to minors." The Court, which described its decision as "quite limited", held that COPA's reliance on community standards to identify "material that is harmful to minors" does not by itself render the law overbroad for purposes of the First Amendment. However, the Court refused to lift the injunction against the law and remanded the case to the appeals court for further proceedings.
(RAPID) Mr Erkki Liikanen Member of the European Commission, responsible for Enterprise and the Information Society, Conference on Media Convergence: Opportunities for a closer relationship between Europe and the Americas, Madrid, 13 May 2002
(House of Commons) Call For Evidence: Public Hearings. The Joint Committee on the draft Communications Bill invites interested organisations and individuals to submit written evidence as part of its inquiry into the draft Communications Bill. Submissions, reflecting the guidance on written evidence given in this press notice, should reach the Committee as soon as possible and must be submitted at the latest by Monday 10 June.
(BBC) Westminster Media Forum speech given by BBC Chairman Gavyn Davies on 12 March 2002. I shall start by commenting on the line-up of services which the BBC will need to play its central role in our digital future. Then I will comment on how the governance of the BBC needs to be modernised to dove-tail with the rest of the UK’s new regulatory regime after the creation of Ofcom. see also Speech by the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Tessa Jowell at the Westminster Media Forum. The Government's views on Public Service Broadcasting.
(Business Week) Open-source software could find itself locked out of a whole industry if the entertainment giants get their way on copyright protection.
(Newsbytes) Artists, authors and other content creators will have a forum to share their works with others without violating copyright laws if the brainchild of a Stanford University law professor comes to fruition. Creative Commons, a non-profit organization founded by Lawrence Lessig and a coalition of academics from several prestigious U.S. universities, is described by its founders as a way to help "ease the legal barriers to creativity through an innovative coupling of law and technology."
(New York Times) Internet privacy is like the weather. Everyone complains about it, and no one does anything about it. The latest example involves users of Yahoo, the vast Internet portal that set off howls of protest when it abruptly changed its marketing policy. Immediately, privacy advocates reacted with criticism, and outraged postings flooded message boards all over the Internet. But for all the smoke, there was little fire of reaction, according to a study conducted by comScore.
(Heise) Die International Telecommunication Union (ITU) hat die vom .de-Domainverwalter Denic beantragte Versuchsgenehmigung für die ENUM-Adresszone 9.4.e164.arpa in Aussicht gestellt. Das ITU-Büro Technische Standardisierung (TSB) bestätigte, dass die notwendige Genehmigung vom Bundeswirtschaftsministerium vorliege.
(Press Release) The International Trademark Association (INTA) has released responses to two studies that are critical of the Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) by Milton Mueller, and by Michael Geist. see also responses by Geist and Mueller.
(DTI) Government consultation. Comments should be received by Friday 14 June 2002. We have taken no view on the issues yet but come at the debate from the stand point of believing that a co-regulatory approach - where the Government sets the overall public policy objectives but where implementation is left to the private sector - is most appropriate.
(Law.com) by Eric J. Sinrod. Fed up with rampant fraud and deceit on the Internet, Congressional Representatives Howard Coble, R-N.C., and Howard Berman, D-Calif., have submitted a draft bill for consideration in the House of Representatives that would "provide criminal penalties for providing false information in registering a domain name on the Internet."
(AP) To keep youngsters away from porn and other online dangers, some child-safety advocates want to create a children's zone populated only by Web sites deemed safe.
(Baker & McKenzie) Ministers have lifted the ban on access to electoral register information to allow banks and other financial institutions to confirm their customers' identity but voters will be allowed to opt out of electoral registers sold to direct marketing companies. From December 2002 there will be two versions of the electoral roll. See government policy paper.
(FT) Imagine getting your exam results, an update on your passport application or news that your state benefit was in your bank via mobile phone. It could become a reality as the UK Government considers mobile communications as part of its drive to make all public services available electronically by 2005.
(Guardian) The debut of government services on digital television last month came without policy statement or consultation. This impulsiveness may cost the e-government programme dear. What is certain, however, is that by pressing on regardless, the government has allowed the desire to appear technologically progressive to prevail over its more fundamental duty of being consultative and commercially neutral.
(Europemedia.net) The European Parliament’s Citizens' Rights Committee and the European Telecoms Council of Ministers are deadlocked over the issue of whether to allow member states to decide if web surfers should opt-in or opt-out of unsolicited e-mail marketing schemes, prolonging the already-delayed anti-spam legislation.
(Globe and Mail) by Michael Geist. The Federal Court of Appeal issued its much-anticipated "tariff 22" decision. The ruling provides the latest word on the dissemination of music on-line, the liability of Internet service providers, Internet jurisdiction, and the copyright law balance, all within the context of a potential on-line music royalty.
(Spiegel) Der Versuch der Bezirksregierung Düsseldorf, Nazi-Propaganda und andere illegale Inhalte im Internet sperren zu lassen, lässt sich auf absehbare Zeit technisch nicht umsetzen. siehe auch NRW hält an Sperrung rechtsextremer Websites fest und Providerverband fordert Konsens über Sperrungen im Web (beide Heise) und Sperrungsverfügung in NRW: Provider wollen nicht Hilfssheriffs des Staates sein (de.internet.com).
(Heise) Medienexperten der rot-grünen Fraktionen konnten während einer gemeinsamen Arbeitsgruppensitzung im Bundestag Nachbesserungen am geplanten neuen Jugendschutzgesetz durchsetzen. So wird nun ausdrücklich klargestellt, dass Internet-Provider nicht zu einer pauschalen Kontrolle der durch ihre Netze geleiteten Inhalte auf jugendgefährdende Angebote verdonnert werden sollen.
(South China Morning Post) Beijing yesterday issued rules stipulating that all Internet users under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult when visiting Internet cafes. The new regulations, issued by the Ministry of Culture, also said children would only be allowed to go to Internet cafes during school holidays. They would be permitted to use computers between 8am and 8pm, for a maximum of three hours at a time.
(Digitv) Die Hamburgische Anstalt für neue Medien (HAM) will das Pornografieverbot losgelöst vom deutschen Strafrecht als eigenständige rudfunkrechtliche Norm regeln.
(Digitv) Die Gemeinsame Stelle Jugendschutz, Programm, Medienkompetenz und Bürgermedien (GSJP) hat wieder Sendungen unter die Lupe genommen. Zu den Übeltätern gehören RTL, Prima TV und Premiere.
(Netzwelt) Der Erfurter Massenmörder Robert S. saß oft stundenlang vor seinem PC und spielte dieses Spiel. Nach dem Schulmassaker wurde vielfach ein Verbot des Schießspiels Counterstrike gefordert. Doch die Prüfstelle für jugendgefährdende Schriften kam jetzt überraschend zu einem anderen Urteil. siehe auch Counter-Strike: Pressemitteilung der BPjS (pcgames.de) und Erfurt - Medienkompetenzförderung Gebot der Stunde Pressemitteilung der GMK (Gesellschaft für Medienpädagogik und Kommunikationskultur.see also DE - Gewaltspiele im Kanzleramt
(FT) NTL became the first UK cable company to open its broadband network to rival internet service providers in a deal with Freeserve, the France Telecom-controlled ISP. Freeserve customers, who use standard internet access via phone lines, will be free to buy much faster access from NTL provided they swap their BT accounts for cable telephony.
(FT) Bertelsmann, the German media group, in a surprise move will acquire the assets of Napster, the online music swapping service. It will pay $8m for the brand and products and also waive $85m worth of loans to Napster, which will file for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. see also Napster nears bankruptcy filing as Fanning quits (FT).
(Newsbytes) RealNames, one of the firms that pioneered the keyword approach to Internet addressing, will go out of business and as a result thousands of Internet keywords will go dark before the end of June. Triggering the shutdown was a decision by Microsoft, which allows keywords to resolve in its popular Internet Explorer Web browser, not to renew its exclusive contract with RealNames.
(Counterpane Crypto-Gram) Tsutomu Matsumoto, a Japanese cryptographer, recently looked at biometric fingerprint devices. These are security systems that attempt to identify people based on their fingerprint. For years the companies selling these devices have claimed that they are very secure, and that it is almost impossible to fool them into accepting a fake finger as genuine. Matsumoto showed that they can be reliably fooled using gelatin. Fake finger fools fingerprint detectors about 80% of the time.
(Newsbytes) Two thirds of Australia's biggest public and private organizations this year have already been victims of computer crimes. The 2002 Australian Computer Crime and Security Survey found the level of cybercrime in Australia has doubled since 1999. Sixty-seven percent of the 300 Australian organizations surveyed reported incidents of crime including fraud, data sabotage, trojan infection and laptop theft.
(NUA) A new report from Nielsen-Netratings indicates that UK Internet users who go online while at work look for information rather than entertainment.
(NUA) Traffic to America's top three search engines grew between 16 percent and 54 percent over the past six months, according to Jupiter Media Metrix. .
(CanLII) CanLII, now a permanent resource in Canadian Law, was initially built as a prototype site in the field of public and free distribution of Canadian primary legal material.
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QuickLinks is edited by Richard Swetenham firstname.lastname@example.org - Main Sources and Contributors: Michael Geist BNA - ILN, cybertelecom.org, jugendschutz.net, David Goldstein, Gerhard Heine