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(Guardian) In an extraordinary about-turn, the office of fair trading has found BSkyB not guilty of breaching competition law after a protracted investigation that that has dragged on for almost three years. see Press Release.
(FT) Regulators in Brussels have taken another step to shake up Europe's market for football TV rights by taking action against the English Premier League. The European Commission's move is set to prompt the League's 20 clubs to change the way they sell rights for England's top competition. The Commission believes joint selling of the rights by the clubs "is tantamount to price-fixing" and could breach European competition rules.
(RAPID) The European Commission has sent a Statement of Objections to the English Football Association Premier League (FAPL) over the joint selling of the media rights to Premier League matches. Joint selling is tantamount to price-fixing, which could only be exempted if the restrictions of competition were strictly necessary to ensure the legitimate goals pursued by the arrangements for example solidarity among clubs - and if they resulted in benefits for other interested parties, in particular football fans. These same considerations have led the Commission in June to reach a preliminary positive view on the modified rules of UEFA for the joint selling of the media rights to the final stages of the Champions League.
(Reuters) Two computer industry trade groups will appeal an antitrust settlement with Microsoft that was endorsed by a federal judge. The Computer and Communications Industry Association and the Software and Information Industry Association said they had filed with the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, announcing their intention to appeal.
(Heise) Die Aufdeckung des mutmaßlichen Täters im so genannten Kannibalismus-Fall von Rotenburg wertet das Bundeskriminalamt als Beleg für den Erfolg der "Streife im Internet". Jeden Tag surfen rund 20 Beamte durchs Internet und suchen unabhängig vom Anlass nach möglichen Straftatbeständen. Bund und Länder haben die Zentralstelle für anlassunabhängige Recherche in Datennetzen (ZaRD) vor vier Jahren nach dem zunehmenden Onlineverkehr gegründet.
(Reuters) Thirty-four men have been arrested in dawn raids in the biggest-ever assault against child pornography by London police as part of a nationwide crackdown on users of Internet paedophilia sites. More than 250 officers swooped on homes around the capital in the latest phase of Operation Ore, which has resulted in 1,300 arrests nationwide, including 50 police officers.
(Press Release) The quarterly ITC Cable Statistics has been replaced with the ITC Multi-channel Quarterly. This new report has been expanded to include the digital terrestrial, satellite, and DSL platforms.
(AP) Agents posing as a 14-year-old girl have arrested nine men on charges of surfing the Internet to find and lure minors for sex over the last 18 months.
(Europemedia) Three cable-TV stations in Finland, who have been showing late-night porn for the past four years, have all decided to cancel these shows. However, part of their downfall has been the fact that companies are not happy about advertising during these time slots. The other main influence appears to be the country's political climate at present, which is tending toward conservatism as Finland heads toward general elections in March.
(Helsingin Sanomat) The proposed law correlates message boards on web sites with the letters to the editor pages of newspapers.
(CDT) Policy Post 8.29. A briefing on public policy issues affecting civil liberties online.
(Reuters) Key players in the entertainment industry declared war on each other, as Washington gets set to loosen media ownership rules and allow another tidal wave of media consolidation. After weeks of huddling in secret, opposing sides revealed their battle plans in thousands of pages of documents filed with the Federal Communications Commission, center of the action. see also Washington Post and FCC Should Retain, Strengthen Media Ownership Safeguards (Center for Digital Democracy).
(Baker & McKenzie) by Anne Flahvin. 2002 has been a year for major case law development. The Australian Federal Court has rendered three important judgments interpreting and applying the Copyright Act. In Desktop Marketing v Telstra it considered whether anything more than labor and expense is necessary to satisfy the requirement of "originality" for copyright protection in the White Pages and Yellow Pages telephone directories. In Channel Nine v Network Ten it considered the question: "what is a broadcast?" And in Kabushiki Sony Computer Entertainment v Stevens it considered whether a mod-chip to override the regional access code on Sony PlayStations was a device to circumvent copyright protection.
(AP) If Hollywood gets its way, future broadcasts of digital television will not only have crisp video and sound but also invisible data to block unauthorized sharing. The "broadcast flag" is promoted by content owners as the least intrusive way to keep consumers from illegally redistributing copyright works. Digital TV technology, they say, can finally take off once popular movies and shows can be safely broadcast without fear of Internet piracy.
(WIPO) This report addresses the far-reaching impact that digital technologies - the Internet in particular - have had on intellectual property (IP) and the international IP system.
(FTC) The Federal Trade Commission has amended the Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR) to give consumers a choice about whether they want to receive most telemarketing calls. Consumers soon will be able to put their phone numbers on a national do not call registry. It will be illegal for most telemarketers to call a number listed on the registry.
(Le Monde) Stuart Lynn, le président de l'Icann (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) quittera ses fonctions en mars 2003. Il laisse une réforme inachevée et de nombreux détracteurs pour qui cet universitaire symbolise la tentation hégémonique américaine sur l'Internet. Il s'explique sur son action, mais donne également son avis sur les grands sujets du moment
(Reuters) The group that oversees the Internet's traffic system plans to approve a host of new address suffixes to join the likes of .com and .org in the coming year. But most Internet users will not be able to register Web site names in the new domains, as they will be limited to organizations in specific fields such as health care. The precise number and names of the domains will be determined by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) in early 2003. see Preliminary Report - Fourth Annual Meeting of the ICANN Board in Amsterdam (ICANN).
(Reuters) Managers of the .biz Internet domain have agreed to pay roughly $1.2 million to settle charges that their system for handing out hot names such as "www.show.biz" amounted to an illegal lottery. Most of the settlement will go to cover attorneys' fees, as NeuLevel has already sent millions of refunds to customers who paid an average of $5 for a chance to win control of desirable names such as "computer.biz" when the new domain was opened to the public. The firm had hoped that the system would discourage frivolous registrations and help it cope with an expected land rush as Internet users sought to stake out territory in the new domain.
(Associated Press) President Bush signed legislation aimed at improving online access to government information and services. ., the legislation establishes a new Office of E-government within the White House's Office of Management and Budget to oversee government-wide efforts. The measure also requires regulatory agencies to conduct administrative rule-makings on the Internet and federal courts to post information and opinions on their Web sites; provides for temporary exchanges of information technology workers to government from the private sector; and authorizes "share-in savings" contracts, in which contractors provide upfront technology and are paid out of some of the savings they reap for their federal agency customers.
(New York Times) Universities are rushing toward a wireless future, installing networks that let students and the faculty surf the Internet from laptop computers in the classroom, in the library or by those ponds that always seem to show up on the cover of the campus brochure. But professors say the technology poses a growing challenge for them: retaining their students' attention.
(Guardian) Eleven workers at a nuclear power station have been sacked for sending "inappropriate material" by email, British Nuclear Fuels has said.
(CNET.com) By Charles Cooper . The do-gooders have found a new cause for 2003: Saving the Internet from the private interests intent on mucking up the cyberlandscape. Considering that 40 percent of all U.S. citizens have been online for more than three years and that most are able to find the information they seek when surfing the Web, that's a curious cause. One of the most articulate and forceful examples of the something-must-be-done mind-set was recently served up by Zoe Baird, president of the Markle Foundation.
(Cato Institute) It seems like everybody's got a plan to tame the freewheeling Internet these days. The technology and telecommunications sectors of the American economy are increasingly under assault at the local, state, federal, and international levels. Republicans and Democrats alike are looking for ways to regulate everything from privacy to porn, while simultaneously seeking ways to subsidize access.
(Findlaw) by Anita Ramasastry. During 2003, we are likely to see the development of two new government initiatives to use computer technology in terrorism prevention. Each will give the government greater access to Internet data. One relates to a new federal network-monitoring center, described in the government's September draft of its National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace. The other is the Orwellian sounding Information Awareness Office, which will be engaged in a project aimed at "Total Information Awareness." Both are cause for concern..
(News.com) by Declan McCullagh. Why is everyone so surprised that the U.S. government wants to create a Total Information Awareness database with details about everything you do? This is an unsurprising result of having so much information about our lives archived on the computers of our credit card companies, our banks, our health insurance companies and government agencies.
(MSNBC) Unlike Napster, Kazaa’s multinational nature defies attacks . Lawyers for U.S. entertainment companies say Kazaa is perpetrating an "intricate international shell game aimed at evading the U.S. court’s jurisdiction."
(BBC) An urgent shake-up of British libel law is needed to protect free speech on the internet, according to a new report. Businesses are increasingly using legal threats against Internet Service Providers (ISP) to close down websites set up by angry customers or protest groups, the Law Commission found. see Defamation and the Internet: A Preliminary Investigation - Scoping Study No 2. see also UK - Report backs ISP libel law claims (Guardian).
(BBC) Europe's hard-pressed mobile phone operators have a long wait ahead of them before their massive investments in next-generation mobiles bear fruit, the European Union's top telecoms official has warned. In an interview with German news magazine Focus, Enterprise and Information Society Commissioner Erkki Liikanen warned that a boom in 3G phone sales was unlikely before 2008.
(Computerworld) The U.S. Department of Defense has played the antiterrorist and rogue state card in its attempts to restrict the use of wireless LANs, including those already operating in the lower portion of the 5-GHz band, according to engineers and analysts. The Pentagon is concerned about the ability of military radar to detect terrorist vehicles as well as stealth aircraft or missiles operated by foreign powers in the face of WLAN interference.
(ITV) Council bosses have banned parents from filming and taking photographs at school concerts in a bid to crack down on paedophiles. Education chiefs at Edinburgh City Council introduced the unique guidelines after hearing how paedophiles across the UK had been caught in possession of photos and videos of school plays. Now, any mother or father wanting to record their children in nativity plays and pantomimes have to seek the permission of every child in the class.
(IDG) The German state government of North Rhine Westphalia (NRW) has won one battle in its efforts to ban Web sites carrying neo-Nazi content, but has yet to win the war. The administrative court in Arnsberg, Germany, ordered an ISP (Internet service provider) to immediately block access to objectionable sites. The ISP, whose name is being withheld, filed a lawsuit earlier in the year against the state government's ban, which was initiated in February.
(Nintelligent Network) Consumers in the UK and throughout Europe will soon see the appearance of new age ratings and symbols on computer and video games, whether bought at retail or accessed online. This will give parents, shoppers and online consumers added confidence that the content of the game, whether it is bought at a high street retail outlet, or accessed via the internet, is suitable for a specific age group. The development is significant in that it is the first time that any form of entertainment medium has come up with an age rating system that meets the varying cultural standards of different European countries. see also EU - Age limits for children on violent video games (Observer)
(Press Release) The Australian Brodacasting Authority has released a brochure containing safety tips for using Internet chat rooms. The ability to keep in touch with friends and make new ones is one of the main reasons children and young people will go online over the coming school holidays. This is usually a fun and rewarding experience but, as in the real world, it's not without some risks. The chat safety brochure is the fourth in the ABA's 'Cybersmart Kids Online' series.
(MSN) Afin d'assurer une meilleure sécurité dans les salles de discussion, les autorités ont lancé une campagne de sensibilisation à grande échelle, en collaboration avec ChildFocus, la Police (Federal Computer Crime Unit) et les opérateurs belges de Chat. Une charte décrivant les devoirs et responsabilités de chacun a été écrite en ce sens. Tout chat activera une fenêtre individuelle où les utilisateurs pourront faire part de leurs observations ou de leurs remarques au sujet des points précités. Des liens vers les sites Clicksafe, Child Focus et la FCCU de la Police fédérale seront également prévus.
(CNBC) America Online is in the holiday giving spirit. The company is quietly offering limited free service to customers who threaten to leave, a move that points to bigger problems for the nation’s No. 1 Internet service provider.
(Wired) South Korea is busy proving that the discredited telecommunications industry mantra, "Build it and they will come," might have life in it yet. With a population of 48 million, South Korea has a formidable position as the world's broadband Internet leader, far outstripping the United States and Europe. As of last month, 10 million Koreans -- which equates to 70 percent of households -- had home broadband connections supplying high-speed Internet access, said Jin-wook Son, managing director of Korea Telecom UK.
(Wired) The world's biggest, best-loved search engine owes its success to supreme technology and a simple rule: Don't be evil. Now the geek icon is finding that moral compromise is just the cost of doing big business.
(Telepolis) Zwischen 1995 und 2000 fand die explosionsartige Entwicklung der Internet- und Multimediadienstleister in einer Art neuer Jugendbewegung statt. Die New Economy der neuen Generation trug auch zu einer Entgrenzung des geregelten Karriereweges. Doch dann fiel fast ebenso schnell wie entstanden die Branche wieder in sich zusammen. Die einst blühende Internetblume ist verwelkt oder hat sich mit der traditionellen Medien- oder Werbebranche verschmolzen. Heute "normalisiert" sich die Branche mit allen Merkmalen eines Sektors der "Old-Economy":
(BBC) To make the internet even more convenient, many keen users are installing home wireless networks that gives every room access to the web. Part of the reason for this popularity is because setting up these networks is easy. The latest edition of Microsoft's operating system, Windows XP, works well with these wireless, or so-called wi-fi, networks.
(BBC) The software giant Microsoft has agreed to translate their popular Office software into a language very few people know exists. It is called New Norwegian, or Nynorsk, and it is Norway's second official language.
(CNET News.com) Terra Lycos is relaunching HotBot. The new site will allow users to query the FAST, Google, Inktomi and Teoma search engines on one page.
(ITU) ENUM is a protocol that is the result of work of the Internet Engineering Task Force's (IETF's) Telephone Number Mapping working group. The charter of this working group was to define a Domain Name System (DNS)-based architecture and protocols for mapping a telephone number to a Uniform Resource Identifier (URI) which can be used to contact a resource associated with that number.
(Nua) Over the period July to September 2002, 11.4 million households in the UK could access the Internet from home. This is equivalent to 46 percent of all UK households and is over twice the number three years earlier and an increase of seven percent versus the same period last year. source Internet access (Office of National Statistics).
(Reuters) The Internet has become a staple source of information for American households about health care, government services and potential purchases. About 60 percent of 2,000 people surveyed in the Pew Internet and American Life Project study said they use the Web regularly. Two-thirds of those had been online for three or more years. At least 80 percent of the Internet users questioned in September and October said they expect to find reliable information about news events, health care and government services on the Web. see Counting on the Internet.
(Europa) This is the website for the Public Opinion Analysis sector of the European Commission. Since 1973, the European Commission has been monitoring the evolution of public opinion in the Member States, thus helping the preparation of texts, decision-making and the evaluation of its work.
(Europa) Play an active role in the European Union's policy-making process. The European Commission wants to listen to your ideas, face up to your criticism and learn from your experience. "Your voice in Europe" is part of the European Commission's Interactive Policy-Making initiative.
(Europa) Join Europa Chats, the internet facility for off the cuff cyber talk! The European Commission leaders are keen to discuss and learn your views on European current affairs. Transcripts of chats . Recent chats: Enlargement and the Future of the Union: the New Frontier, Romano Prodi, 27/11/2002. New WTO Trade Round: Talking Trade - What's going on? Pascal Lamy, 21/11/2002 .The European Convention: time to take stock, Valéry Giscard d'Estaing, 28/10/2002
(Europa) Europe Direct is a service to help you find answers to your questions about the European Union. New Freephone Number: 00 800 6 7 8 9 10 11. You may use the single Freephone Number from anywhere in the 15 Member States and you will reach an operator who speaks your own language. It can provide direct responses to general enquiries and, if you have more detailed questions, signpost you to the best source of information and advice.
(Arnoud Engelfriet) Information regarding patents and copyrights. The site offers over 150 unique in-depth articles in English and Dutch on intellectual property law, including crash courses, FAQs and articles on specific topics, as well as explanations of technology from the law's perspective. Arnoud Engelfriet is a Dutch patent attorney.
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