(RAPID) The European Commission intends to take a favourable view towards the draft new rules of UEFA, Europe's soccer governing body, regarding the sale of the broadcasting and other media rights to the Champions League. UEFA's draft new rules will bring the Champions League media rights within the reach of Internet content providers and UMTS operators as well as of a greater number of television and radio companies. Instead of selling the rights as a bundle to only one broadcaster per country, UEFA will sell the rights in several packages for shorter periods of time, and individual football clubs will also be able to exploit some of the rights with their fan base.
(DG COMP) Speech by Herbert UNGERER, Digital TV Regulation and Competition Law Conference, Brussels, Belgium, 22.04.2002
(Commission DG COMP) Overview of major developments. Speech by Jean-François PONS, IBA/ABA, Communications and Competition: Developments at the crossroads, Washington D.C., USA, 20.05.2002
(RAPID) Speech by Mr. Mario Monti European Competition Commissioner Conference on Reform of European Merger Control British Chamber of Commerce - Brussels, June 4, 2002
(Europa Press) La Policía detuvo en Málaga a cuatro personas por su presunta implicación en un grupo que utilizaba canales de 'chat' para la exhibición y difusión de material pornográfico a menores de edad, tras el registro de varios domicilios en la capital malagueña.
(Xinhuanet) European experts are meeting in Switzerland to discuss ways of combating child pornography on the Internet. Several prominent European experts from Switzerland, France, Britain, Ireland and Sweden are taking part in the meeting, which aims to address the legal and technical obstacles to dealing with child pornography on the Internet. The two-day congress will draw on the experiences of police, psychologists, lawyers andothers involved in tracking, prosecuting and dealing with paedophilia and child pornography.
(Sunday Times ZA) The government will soon strike at senior public and private figures who are indulging in child pornography on the Internet.
(politechbot.com) Digi.no reports that the district court of Oslo, Norway has ruled that the Scandinavian Internet Service Provider and telecom company Tele2 is liable for distributing pictures containing child pornography, violent pornography and forced pornography (all banned in Norway) in its newsgroups. Tele2 was fined to pay NOK 500,000 (around USD 64,000). As a consequence of the verdict, Telenor, the main competitor of Tele2, immediately shut downall newsgroups that may contain pictures.
(Wired) Tunisia's recent crackdown on cyber-dissidents has taken an ominous turn with the arrest and detention of journalist Zouhair Yahyaoui, founder and editor of the online news site TUNeZINE. Better known under the pseudonym Ettounsi ("The Tunisian"), Yahyaoui was charged with "knowingly putting out false news" and also for "stealing" Internet connection time at a local cyber café where he was working.
(AP) Turkey's highest court declined to overturn a controversial law that critics contend could lead to government media censorship on Turkish Web sites. The court voted to suspend implementation of some clauses of the law, while it decides whether to annul those and other parts of the law. Among the articles the court suspended was a clause that would have permitted more consolidation by Turkey's biggest media conglomerates. The court did not suspend sections of the law that could extend tight controls that are already applied to traditional media to Web sites.
(Commission) Fifth Annual Report on the situation regarding the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and privacy in the European Union and in Third Countries covering the year 2000 Part 1 (PDF) Part 2(PDF); Working document on the surveillance of electronic communications in the workplace; Working document on determining the international application of EU data protection law to personal data processing on the Internet by non-EU based web sites; Opinion 1/2002 on the CEN/ISSS Report on Privacy Standardisation in Europe and Opinion 2/2002 on the use of unique identifiers in telecommunication terminal equipments: the example of IPv6
(CNET News.com) Add music-player software to the list of technologies the European Union is considering regulating in the name of privacy. In a new working document adopted May 30 and recently made public, an EU data-protection group studied the many challenges of enforcing privacy protections when it comes to technology that tracks people without their knowledge, such as cookies and scripts. It also extended the group's privacy study to include music software.
(IDG) Data protection officials from the 15 European Union (EU) countries will meet on July 1 and 2 with the European Commission to decide whether to open a formal investigation of Microsoft Corp.'s .Net Passport authentication system. A Commission official on internal market issues said that the member states of the EU might take legal action against .Net Passport, on the grounds that it breaks European privacy laws.
(Guardian) A draft order to be debated by MPs reveals that ministers want the list of organisations empowered to demand communications data to be expanded to include seven Whitehall departments, every local authority in the country, NHS bodies in Scotland and Northern Ireland, and 11 other public bodies ranging from the postal services commission to the food standards agency. Until now, the list included only police forces, the intelligence services, customs and excise and the inland revenue.
(IDG) German Internet users have shown little interest in using digital signatures so far, according to a study by the market research group Fittkau & Maass GmbH. The study comes on the heels of an announcement by the German government of an initiative to promote electronic verification technology in the public sector.
(CENTR) CENTR's response to the Lynn Proposal for ICANN Reform
(Globe and Mail) Michael Geist argues that the ICANN was never about an experiment in global democracy but rather an experiment in self-regulation. ICANN's failure to facilitate meaningful public participation and accountability has led the return of government with the U.S., E.U., and United Nations all arguing for greater government involvement in recent weeks. see also ICANN attorney replies to Michael Geist. (politechbot.com)
(BBC) Nominet, which runs the .uk domain, is planning to expand the information returned by its database to include the name and address of a domain owner. Before now Nominet's database has only returned basic information about an owner such as their name, when the name was registered and the servers hosting it. Nominet says the change is needed to bring it in line with other registries and to make it easier to contact and identify domain holders in the event of disputes. But the proposed changes have worried some people who fear that the change could erode their personal privacy.
(Heise) Das Informationsfreiheitsgesetz ist vorerst gescheitert. Die Bündnisgrüne Grietje Bettin drückt es so aus: "Die Ministerialbürokratie hat das Gesetz zu Grabe getragen."
(AP) Citibank, the nation’s largest credit card issuer, has agreed to block online gambling transactions using its credit cards, the New York state attorney general said. The agreement is expected to significantly reduce illegal, underage and potentially addictive Internet gambling, Spitzer said. It applies to all Internet gambling transactions, not just those in New York, and goes into effect in 60 days. Other companies, including Bank of America, MBNA and Chase Manhattan Bank, also have begun blocking the gambling transactions.
(Reuters) An effort to ban Internet-based gambling was slowed by opponents who said the bill would hurt dog tracks, intrude on people's private lives and lead to excessive regulation of the global computer network. The debate in the House or Representatives Judiciary Committee showed the difficulty of trying to pass a bill that would ban the unregulated, offshore gambling sites without stepping on the toes of the established, highly regulated domestic gambling industry.
(INHOPE) First Report covering the period from November 1999 to 2002 published in May 2002. (PDF-format)
(Press Release) European Digital Rights is a new organisation founded by 10 privacy and civil rights organizations from 7 different countries in the European Union. They have joined forces to defend civil rights in Europe in the age of information- and communication technology. European Digital Rights will focus its activities towards developments in the European Union and the Council of Europe. Some examples of regulations and developments that have the attention of European Digital Rights are data retention requirements, telecommunications interception, the cyber-crime treaty, initiatives for rating and filtering of internet content, notice and takedown procedures of websites and fair use restrictions.
(Observer) Plans being drawn up by Europol, the police and intelligence arm of the European Union, propose that telephone and internet firms retain millions of pieces of data - including details of visits to internet chat rooms, and of calls made on mobile phones and text messages.
(AP) Nicolai Lassen considers linking such a fundamental element of the World Wide Web that he sees nothing wrong with creating a service around linking to news articles at more than 3,000 other sites. Danish publishers, however, equate such linking with stealing - and have gone to court to stop it.
(Fordham University) by Joel Reidenberg. This essay examines the French court order requiring Yahoo to prevent French Internet users from accessing images of Nazi memorabilia available on its American web site. The essay uses the French case to challenge the popular belief that an entirely borderless Internet favors democratic values. Professor Reidenberg shows that Yahoo's extensive business in France justifies the application of France's democratically chosen law and argues that the decision has important normative implications for pluralistic democracy on the global network.
(RAPID) The European Commission has adopted a Communication entitled "Towards the Full Roll-Out of Third Generation Mobile Communications" as a report to the forthcoming Seville Council. It takes stock of the situation in Europe at a moment when nearly all Member States have issued licences for third generation (3G) mobile services and networks, as the first 3G networks are starting to be rolled-out and when the first commercial applications are being announced. see also 3G Communication Mr Erkki Liikanen, Member of the European Commission, responsible for Enterprise and the Information Society, Press conference Strasbourg, 12 June 2002.
(Heise) Der Bundesgerichtshof (BGH) hat die Erhebung einer besonderen Gebühr für die Abschaltung eines gekündigten Mobiltelefonanschlusses für rechtswidrig erklärt.
(Heise) Nachdem sich Bayerns Innenminister Günther Beckstein zuvor schon für ein absolutes Verleih- und Produktionsverbot gewaltverherrlichender Filme und Computerspiele ausgesprochen hatte, fordert die bayerische CSU-Landesregierung nun auch ein grundsätzliches Verbot der Ausstrahlung indizierter Filme im Fernsehen. Die Forderungen sollen in den geplanten Staatsvertrag zum Jugendmedienschutz einfließen, der die Kontrolle über Fernsehen und Internet vereinheitlichen soll. Kontrollorgan soll eine selbstverwaltete "Kommission Jugendschutz in den Medien" werden. ARD und ZDF sollten in Form eines neuen Beirats an der Fortentwicklung der Jugendschutzstandards beteiligt werden. Die Zeit für gemeinsame Richtlinien sei gekommen. Bisher hatten die Aufsichten über die öffentlich-rechtlichen und die privaten Sender getrennt gearbeitet.
(Heise) Der IT-Branchenverband Bitkom und der Bundesverband der Deutschen Industrie (BDI) warnen vor einer übereilten Verabschiedung verschärfter Regelungen zum Jugendschutz.
(Heise) Der "neue" Jugendschutz kann nach Ansicht der Wirtschaft nur über technische Filter, Vorsperren und Altersverifikationssysteme gewährleistet werden. Das machten Vertreter von Unternehmen und aus der Forschung auf einem Workshop vom Bundesverband der Deutschen Industrie (BDI) und dem Bundesverband Informationswirtschaft, Telekommunikation und neue Medien ( Bitkom) in Berlin klar.
(Heise) Das Landgericht Frankfurt hat ein früheres Urteil gegen einen pensionierten Lehrer bestätigt, der 1999 mit rechtsextremen Äußerungen in Internet-Foren aufgetreten ist.
(Heise) Rechtsextremisten tarnen ihre Hetzschriften im Internet nach Erkenntnissen von Verfassungsschützern immer geschickter
(RAPID) From today, it will be easier for businesses across Europe to check the validity of their customers' VAT identification numbers on the Internet. The Commission has launched an online service which gives businesses access to certain parts of the system of electronic information exchange used between tax authorities, known as the "VAT Information Exchange System" or VIES. The new service will save time and administrative costs both for businesses and tax administrations.
(Commission DG COMP) From sector specific regulation to Competition law (223 KB) - Speech by Christian HOCEPIED, IBA/ABA Communications and Competition: Developments at the Crossroad, Washington DC, USA, 20.05.2002
(BBC) Engineers at bankrupt telecoms firm KPNQwest have agreed to keep the company's fibre-optic cable network open, averting the threat of major disruption to internet access in Europe.
(CNET News.com) CD burning contributed to a surge in music piracy across the globe in 2001, with sales of pirated discs jumping an estimated 50 percent from the previous year. The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), a lobbying group, said pirated disc sales jumped from 640 million units in 2000 to 950 million units in 2001.
(Guardian) The number of internet users in the UK has continued to rocket with a further 5 million people joining the online population in the last year, despite the lingering effects of the dotcom crash, According to new figures, the trend is being repeated around the world.
(Wired) After appearing on the Web for a few hours, a much-anticipated report on the possible threats to national security posed by open-source software was pulled by its authors, who said that the report needed more editing. But despite its hasty un-publication, the full report -- called "Opening the Open Source Debate," by Kenneth Brown of the Alexis de Tocqueville Institution -- still made it onto Slashdot, where its low opinion of open source was roundly criticized.
(Bertelsmann Stiftung) Medienforum nrw - Special der Bertelsmann Stiftung am 19. Juni 2002 von 13:00 - 15:00 Uhr
(Association of the Bar of the City of New York) 42 West 44th Street, Thursday, June 20, 2002, 7 - 9 pm. This panel will address financial and legal issues contributing to the development and deployment of broadband technologies. We will examine current (de)regulatory proposals dealing with both infrastructure and content and how they impact investment. As part of our discussion, we will focus on the nexus between technology and intellectual property and ask whether current laws provide the requisite framework to support development of content for broadband delivery and protect both public and private interests. Moderator: BRUCE P. MEHLMAN Assistant Secretary for Technology Policy, U.S. Department of Commerce Speakers: DOROTHY ATTWOOD Bureau Chief, Wireline Competition Bureau, Federal Communications Commission DAN REINGOLD Global Telecom Research Coordinator/Senior U.S. Wireline Services Analyst, Credit Suisse First Boston RANDAL S. MILCH Senior Vice President and Deputy General Counsel, Domestic Telecom, Verizon ROBERT QUINN Federal Regulatory Affairs Vice-President for AT&T For more information, contact (212) 382-6713.
(Berkman Center for Internet & Society) Registration is now open for this summer's Internet Law Program, the residential segment of which will take place July 1-5, 2002 on the Harvard Law School campus. On the agenda: IP rights, the evolution of copyright, privacy v. security on the Net, the future of peer-to-peer, and more. Among the highlights will be a debate between Lawrence Lessig and a representative of Microsoft on open source software; a session on the Internet and developing countries; and a panel discussion of Eldred v. Ashcroft, now slated for hearing before the U.S. Supreme Court. The program will be taught by leading experts in the field, including Lawrence Lessig of Stanford, Yochai Benkler of NYU, William Fisher III, Charles Nesson and Jonathan Zittrain of Harvard, Jerry Kang of UCLA (guest lecturer), and Julie Cohen of Georgetown (guest lecturer). No previous experience with Internet law is necessary to enroll.
(RAPID) The Commission is following with close attention the issue of access to the last mile of telephone lines into European homes or, as specialists say, the unbundling of the local loop (ULL). The Commission's Competition Directorate-General is calling a public hearing in Brussels on 8 July 2002 to fully analyse the remaining difficulties in the implementation of ULL and the progress of competition in the provision of broadband access and services. Those interested to participate in the hearing must send their request by e-mail to the Commission by 15 June 2002 to firstname.lastname@example.org. (Please include contact details and indicate "invitation" in the subject of your e-mail).
(Centre for Intellectual Property Policy & Management) Bournemouth, UK, Tuesday, July 9th 2002 - 9.30am to 4.30pm Cost: £15 including buffet lunch and refreshments. Protecting software as literary works under copyright is conceptually incoherent. It also has the undesirable consequence of granting in effect permanent restrictions on the use of software products. We shall never see the source code of Windows. By contrast the patent system is said to be based on a trade-off between disclosure and protection. Why then treat software differently from other products of human ingenuity? Awarding patents to software related inventions appears theoretically plausible, but commercially problematic. In an industry advancing through incremental innovations, the deadweight costs of a patent system have been rejected by many independent software developers. The European Patent Office has shirked the issue sheltering behind the myth of a “technical effect”. In practice, protecting software under the European Patent Convention has now become a matter of clever drafting. This symposium seeks to explore some of these issues in an informal setting, away from the lobby interests of the Proposed Directive of the European Commission.
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