- EU - Parliament seeks complete overhaul of 'Television Without Frontiers' directive +/-
(EurActiv.com) The Parliament adopted a resolution on 4 September on the fourth report on the application of the Commission's directive on 'Television Without Frontiers'. MEPs restated their opinion that the directive requires a complete overhaul to take account of technological developments and changes in the structure of the audiovisual market. The current directive aims to ensure free movement of European television programmes, free access to events of major importance, the promotion of European and recently produced independent works and the protection of minors and of public order. MEPs want the directive to be re-presented in the form of a framework package which would bring together the current directive's underlying principles, the e-commerce directive and the directive co-ordinating certain copyright rules applicable to broadcasting and retransmission. The MEPs also reiterated that pluralism in broadcasting is an important safeguard for democracy and cultural diversity. MEPs are concerned about the integrity of the media, which they feel is threatened by growing concentration in the industry. Several amendments were adopted calling for rules to be laid down on ownership of television media in order to ensure freedom and pluralism. see European Parliament resolution and Report A5-0251/2003 rapporteur: Roy PERRY.
- EU-wide rules on TV ads should remain in force +/-
(EurActiv.com) The existing EU-wide rules on television advertising should remain in force, while the qualitative restrictions should be adapted to the new advertising techniques, participants in the informal Audiovisual Council decided on 12-14 September. According to the ministers meeting in Syracuse, Italy, the pertinent quantitative restrictions should be based on co-regulation, i.e., on reconciliation of the views of all affected stakeholders. In this context, Germany and Italy urged the relaxation of quantitative restrictions on advertising. The following new forms of television advertising - falling into the qualitative bracket - were considered by the Council: 'split screen', with advertising appearing simultaneously with televised content, product placement in films, interactive advertising, and 'virtual imaging' (ads that appear only on TV screens during broadcasts of live events, such as football games).
- UK - Labour orders BBC shake-up +/-
(Guardian) The BBC is to be subjected to the most wide-ranging review of its role in its 80-year history, amid a growing clamour for the abolition of the licence fee and a curb in the powers of the corporation's governors. Tessa Jowell, the culture secretary, signalled the start of a 'root and branch' review of the BBC's purpose and funding with a guarantee that its independence from government would be preserved. see also BBC 'in deep trouble' over licence renewal.
- Compulsory Licensing - The Death of Gnutella and the Triumph of Google +/-
(LawMeme) by Ernest Miller. Never have so many companies fought so hard to change the law so that they can so quickly be put out of business. A number of filesharing companies (Blubster, Grokster, BearShare, eDonkey 2000 and LimeWire - Kazaa being conspiculously absent) formed a trade association to push for, among other things, compulsory licensing, see File-Share Firms Hire a Lobbyist (New York Post). I wonder how much they have really thought this through. After all, a compulsory license that legimitized filesharing would quickly put most of these companies out of business.
- Copying isn't cool +/-
(Salon) by Scott Matthews. File sharing isn't just a problem for the music industry. It's a threat to anyone who depends upon intellectual property for a living. see also EFF response.
- EU - Brevets logiciels: rien n'est joué +/-
(ZDNet France) Brevets logiciels: rien n'est joué à quelques jour d’un vote crucial pour l'Europe. Veillée d'armes avant le vote au Parlement européen du texte adaptant le droit des brevets aux logiciels. Le député des Verts Daniel Cohn-Bendit reprend à son compte les arguments des "anti-brevets". Les autres groupes politiques sont plus partagés.
- Hollywood Faces Online Piracy, but It Looks Like an Inside Job +/-
(New York Times) According to Analysis of Security Vulnerabilities in the Movie Production and Distribution Process, a study published by AT&T Labs, the prime source of unauthorized copies of new movies on file-sharing networks appears to be movie industry insiders, not consumers. See also Movies on Web 'leaked from studios' (CNet Asia) and Movie insiders and file sharing (p2pnet.net).
- UK - Court Issues Bizarre Copyright Ruling +/-
(Slashdot) The High Court in London has allowed a copyright infringement battle between two rival airline booking programs to go to trial, despite agreement by all sides that the two programs are written in different code. The airline Easyjet is being sued by software house Navitaire, creators of an online booking system called Openres, over Easyjet's booking system named eRes, developed by Bulletproof Technologies of California. Openres was written in Cobol, while eRes was written in Visual Basic, and the programs are also different in structure.
- W3C - Eolas suit may spark HTML changes +/-
(CNET News.com) Eolas' patent victory over Microsoft and its Internet Explorer browser has sent shockwaves through the Web and the software industry. While Microsoft has pledged to appeal the ruling, it has already prepared for a worst-case scenario, as have companies such as Macromedia and Sun Microsystems whose technologies rely on IE's ability to play plug-ins - the capability found to infringe the Eolas patent. The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is on the verge of forming a patent advisory group, or PAG, in response to the Eolas patent suit. That group would conduct a public investigation into the legal ramifications of the patent on Hypertext Markup Language. see also Microsoft browser defeat has ripples (New York Times) and Patent could force web change (BBC).
- ICANN to continue its reign over the Net +/-
(CNET News.com) The Bush administration has extended for three years an agreement with the organization that oversees the Internet's domain name hierarchy and address space. A key change to the agreement establishes seven deadlines for the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to meet. The move is aimed at formalizing the process used to approve new top-level domain names, improving the accuracy of 'whois' contact information, and forcing ICANN to become more open and accountable to the public. see ICANN Announcement.
- Domain name disputes - Berkman Center Releases UDRP Treatise +/-
(Berkman Center for Internet & Society) The UDRP Opinion Guide has just been published on the Berkman Center website. The Guide was prepared by Amy Bender HLS '03 and Berkman Fellow Megan Kirk, and edited by Clinical Program Director Diane Cabell. The UDRP Opinion Guide summarizes results of UDRP domain name disputes into the various issues and types of arguments raised by the parties. Because it is difficult to adequately search the UDRP databases using keywords, the Opinion Guide was created to help counsel and users see how the panels react to various arguments posed by the parties.
- SiteFinder : ICANN and IAB Ask VeriSign to Suspend +/-
(CircleID) The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has released an advisory concerning VeriSign's deployment of DNS wildcard (Site Finder) service. Recognizing the concerns about the wildcard service, ICANN has called upon VeriSign to voluntarily suspend the service until the various reviews now underway are completed. See also document of the Internet Architecture Board (IAB), a committee of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF).
- SiteFinder : Quantifying Traffic +/-
(CircelID) by Benjamin Edelman. Want a sense of just how much traffic VeriSign is receiving from its SiteFinder service? Alexa, with its Alexa Toolbar and associated traffic tracking services, makes it easy to find out: Alexa analysis of VeriSign traffic. Over the past three months, taken as a whole, VeriSign had traffic rank 1,559. But today its traffic rank is 19 -- meaning, at least among Alexa users (who are generally representative of web users), the verisign.com domain has suddenly joined the top 20 sites, measured by page views. VeriSign's climb is even more notable when reckoned in 'reach' - proportion of users who visit the site at least once. Measured in this way, verisign.com is now in position 9 - meaning there are only eight sites on the web that more users visit in a given day.
- Sitefinder: VeriSign redirects error pages +/-
(CNET News.com) Criticism is quickly growing over VeriSign's surprise decision to take control of all unassigned .com and .net domain names, a move that has wreaked havoc on many e-mail utilities and antispam filters. VeriSign is now redirecting domain lookups for misspelled or nonexistent names to its own site, a process that has confused Internet e-mail utilities and drawn angry denunciations of the company's business practices from frustrated network administrators. see also ISC to Cut Off Site Finder (Wired). The Internet Software Consortium, a nonprofit that publishes BIND, the software that runs many of the Net's domain name servers, is about to release an emergency patch to block VeriSign's new Site Finder service. VeriSign sued over controversial Web service (Reuters). An Internet search company filed a $100 million antitrust lawsuit against VeriSign, accusing the Web address provider of hijacking misspelled and unassigned Web addresses with its Sitefinder service.
- WSIS - Global fight looms for Net management +/-
(Reuters) A battle is brewing over the role of governments in managing the Internet, as policymakers prepare for a United Nations-backed summit on the network's future.Mohamed Sharil Tarmizi of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) said two camps are forming over the wording of a key article to be adopted at the World Summit on the Information Society in December. 'Some governments are arguing that the management of things like (Internet protocol) addressing, global domain names (and) privacy should be done by an intergovernmental organization because they feel the Internet is a public resource, and they have responsibility over public resources,'' said Mohamed Sharil, who is chairman of the government advisory committee for ICANN, the body that governs Internet domain names.
- IT - Mobiles 'betray' cheating Italians +/-
(BBC) A new survey published by Italy's largest private investigation company says that in nearly 90% of cases, it is the mobile phone which reveals or betrays extra marital activities.
- Number of global broadband subscribers grows 72% in 2002 +/-
(ITU Press Release) A new ITU Internet Report on The Birth of Broadband prepared by the ITU Strategy and Policy Unit. According to the report, the number of worldwide broadband subscribers grew 72 percent in 2002 to approximately 63 million. The Republic of Korea leads the way in broadband penetration, with approximately 21 broadband subscribers for every 100 inhabitants. Hong Kong (China) ranks second in the world with nearly 15 broadband subscribers per 100 inhabitants and Canada ranks third with just over 11 broadband subscribers per 100 inhabitants. Home users are driving the vast majority of broadband demand in all markets.
- UK - Age, Not Wealth, Determines Internet Use +/-
(Reuters) Age, not money, is the primary factor determining Internet usage patterns in developed Western countries. No less than 98 percent of students in Britain regularly use the Internet while only 22 percent of British retirees surf the Web, according to the findings of a new survey by Oxford University's Internet Institute. see also Net 'worth little to many Brits' (BBC). The first Oxford Internet Survey covered 2,030 Britons age 14 and upwards. This representative random sample was interviewed face to face between 23 May and 28 June 2003 (OII).
- UK - Millions 'confused' by digital TV +/-
(BBC) Millions of people are not using digital TV because they find it too confusing, a study has said. Elderly and short-sighted people find it 'laborious and demanding' changing channels, according to research group Generics' Dr Jeremy Klein. 'Unless improvements are made, then about two million people will not easily be able to use digital TV in its current form,' he said. It said people unused to computers were at a particular disadvantage.
- 2003-09-23 UK, London - Computer Crime and Abuse Protecting ICT users and their information +/-
(JISC) Tuesday 23 September 2003, Regent's College Conference Centre, Regent's Park, London, organised by JISC Legal Information Service. The use of ICT exposes Further and Higher education institutions to new areas of vulnerability. How can institutions protect themselves for example from 'denial of service' attacks or software piracy? Can safe use be made of chat rooms and discussion groups? As creators, suppliers and publishers of web-based materials, institutions increase their risk of liability for this content. How can the right balance between managing the risk and using materials freely be found?
- 2003-10-09 BE, Namur - Le commerce électronique après les lois du 11 mars 2003 +/-
(CRID) L'arsenal législatif belge consacré au commerce électronique vient d'être complété par les lois du 11 mars 2003 relatives à certains aspects juridiques des services de la société de l'information. Quelques mois après l'adoption de ces textes et de certains de leurs arrêtés royaux d'exécution, le Centre de Recherches Informatique et Droit (CRID) vous invite à une première réflexion.
- 2003-10-22 FR, Nice - 11th CEPT Conference +/-
(ERO) The CEPT Conference addresses developments affecting regulation in the field of telecommunications. The conference aims to locate regulation in the fields of radio and non-radio telecommunications within a single perspective. 22-24 October 2003 Boscolo Hotel Plaza, Nice.
- 2003-11-03 NL, Amsterdam - European Information Security Awards +/-
(RSA) Presented at the opening of the RSA Conference Europe, this set of prestigious awards will recognise and reward the most significant achievements in the field of information security across Europe. The European Information Security Awards are genuinely independent and the finalists and winners will represent the absolute elite in their categories. Awards Categories: European Policy - Awarded to individuals / organisations responsible for driving and promoting security excellence through the development of public policy; Academic Research - Recognising future potential and awarded to individuals / organisations achieving security excellence in the field of academic research; Implementations - Recognising security excellence in end user implementations; in Business, in the Public Sector and in Public-Private partnerships. Entries must be received in full by September 30th, 2003.