- EU - Council agreement on Directive on computer-implemented inventions +/-
(RAPID) The Competitiveness Council has reached a political agreement on the proposed Directive on computer-implemented inventions. The Commission supports the text adopted by Council, which it believes restores the overall balance between the interests of the rights holders and other parties (competitors and consumers) struck by the original Commission proposal. However, there are still differences between the positions of the Council and European Parliament and, under the 'co-decision' procedure, both institutions must agree before the measure can become EU law. see most recent publcly available text.
- Film chiefs meet to tackle piracy +/-
(BBC) Leaders of the movie industry in Cannes have appealed to directors and actors to sign up to their anti-piracy message before piracy wrecks the film business. Executives from Hollywood, France, India, China, and Russia held an 'unprecedented' meeting on Sunday. They said directors should be involved in the campaign because 'they are the major victims' of piracy. The meeting involved criticism of 'members of the showbusiness community who profess to be pirates and seem proud of it'.
- FR - Contrefaçon de la marque "hotmail" par une société de vente de logiciels de spams +/-
(Juriscom.net) par Sandrine Rouja. Commentaire de l'ordonnance du Tribunal de grande instance de Paris du 6 avril 2004, Microsoft c/ E Nov Developpement. L´ordonnance rendue le 6 avril dernier par le Tribunal de grande instance de Paris, statuant en la forme des référés, est une illustration de la lutte engagée par le leader mondial du logiciel, Microsoft, contre le spamming.
- NL - Court clears music search engine of copyright violation +/-
(DMEurope) A court in the Dutch city of Haarlem has cleared Techno Design, the operator of music search-engine portal, Zoekmp3.nl, of copyright violation. The charge had been brought by BREIN, the Dutch entertainment industry's anti-piracy association. The court ruled that providing links to an MP3 file did not constitute disclosure or publication of contents according to Dutch copyright law.
- UK - Research boss wary over web publishing +/-
(Guardian) The government would have to be 'pretty brave' to demand open access publishing for all publicly funded scientific research journals, a government adviser said. Professor Sir Keith O'Nions, the director-general of the Research Councils, yesterday said that it would be 'unwise' for ministers to demand that government-funded journals should be available without charge over the internet.
- UK - RIAA Bags 493 More Swappers +/-
(Reuters) A U.S. music industry group says it has sued 493 more people for copyright infringement as part of its campaign to stop consumers from copying music over the Internet. The Recording Industry Association of America has now sued nearly 3,000 individuals since last September in an attempt to discourage people from copying songs through peer-to-peer networks like Kazaa and LimeWire.
- UK - Undercover agents fight net piracy +/-
(BBC) The investigator known only as Mr X has the job of 'cleaning the internet of some of the filth out there'. It may sound like the synopsis for the latest Hollywood spy thriller but Mr X has a much more down-to-earth name in real life and works for the British Software Alliance.
- Microsoft wants to meld antispam proposals +/-
(CNET News.com) Microsoft is lobbying to combine its technical proposal for authenticating e-mail, Caller ID for E-mail, with a competing process, SPF, or Sender Policy Framework, backed by America Online. Microsoft has submitted the proposal to industry standards body Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) for consideration as a standard. Yahoo has also submitted its own e-mail authentication proposal, DomainKeys, to the IETF. See also Antispam framework scores Microsoft endorsement (CNET News.com).
- Spam messages on the increase +/-
(BBC) Junk mail now accounts for nearly 70% of e-mails worldwide, according to filtering firm MessageLabs. Despite efforts in the US to cut down on the sending of unsolicited messages, new laws seem to be having the opposite effect. Spammers are simply adapting rather than shutting up shop. 'The law goes part way to legitimise spam rather than outlaw it,' said Natasha Staley, information security analyst at MessageLabs.
- US - Porn spammers ignore new rule +/-
(CNET News.com) by Declan McCullagh. Spammers flooding the Internet with pornographic solicitations apparently are not abiding by a new federal rule that took effect last week. Not only did illegal sexually-explicit spam fail to slow down after the regulations took effect May 19, but pornographic e-mail measured by one antispam company jumped from around 2 million messages in a 40-hour period last week to around 2.5 million during the same period this week. Brightmail, an antispam company in San Francisco, said that it measured 2 billion junk e-mail messages in the 40-hour period last week after the FTC rule took effect. Of the 2 million that were pornographic, 40 percent had some sort of label that resembled what the FTC mandated. see Spam Statistics.
- CH - La responsabilité des prestataires techniques en Suisse +/-
(Juriscom.net) par Bruno Cinelli & Julien Bruchet. Alors que l'Union européenne s´est dotée d'une directive sur le commerce électronique afin de définir la responsabilité des prestataires techniques sur Internet quant à la diffusion du contenu illicite, la Confédération helvétique fait une nouvelle fois figure d'exception. Elle laisse place à un terrain vague et à des développements doctrinaux contradictoires. La problématique de la responsabilité sera principalement étudiée au regard des fournisseurs d´accès Internet (FAI) et des fournisseurs d´hébergement.
- FR - Hyperdossier sur la responsabilité des acteurs de l'Internet en France +/-
(Juriscom.net) par Lionel Thoumyre. A l'occasion de l'adoption définitive par le Parlement du projet de loi pour la Confiance dans l'économie numérique, Juriscom.net vous offre un dossier complet sur la 'Responsabilité des acteurs de l'Internet en France'. Principalement constitué d'hyperliens, ce dossier vous permet de retrouver les principales sources d'étude et de documentation liées à ce sujet : les lois et projets traitant de la responsabilité des acteurs, les avis et les rapports sur la LCEN ainsi que les principales décisions de justice concernant la responsabilité des auteurs, des éditeurs, des hébergeurs, des fournisseurs d'accès, des créateurs de liens, des organisateurs de forums de discussion et des employeurs.
- UK - Government should assist industry to create a notice and takedown procedure +/-
(ISPA UK) Unlawful content is not just limited to material such as child pornography. Child pornography is illegal "full stop", both in the UK and throughout the world. It is almost always perfectly clear whether the material is illegal or not so it can be removed relatively easily. However unlawful content also includes other less obvious material such as instances of defamation, infringement of copyright and other intellectual property rights, criminally racist or sexist content. Assessing the legal status or otherwise of such content is very difficult for the Internet industry. UK E-Commerce Regulations stopped short of introducing clear and effective procedures for removing unlawful content, known in the industry as "notice and takedown". Formal procedures governing the removal of unlawful material need to be developed to further clarify the rights and responsibilities of service providers who currently operate a self-regulatory notice and takedown procedure. The Government should assist the UK Internet industry to create a universal procedure for establishing the illegality of material, and the notification of such content to ISPs by a designated authority. see also Content Liability.
- UK - How ISPs could curb our freedom +/-
(Guardian) by Damian Tambini. Although ISPs are involved in regulating content, they do not dedicate enough resources to performing this role to conform to the most minimal standards of transparency, accountability and appeal that would be observed in other media sectors.
- US - Why You Can't Sue Google +/-
(FindLaw) by Julie Hilden. Search sites are, in effect, immune from much of the liability risk a traditional publisher of news and other factual information faces. search sites such as Google, in particular, are immune from defamation liability despite the fact that they widely disseminate information and news. The author considers what the liability difference may mean for the future.
- EU - Persistent regulatory disparities chill investor enthusiasm +/-
(EurACtiv) The latest telecoms industry scorecard (ZIP) shows high variations in regulatory regimes across the EU. Least attractive to investors are those where state ownership of the incumbent operator is still substantial. The latest industry scorecard shows that the United Kingdom, Ireland and Denmark are the most favoured destination countries for investors in the telecoms sector while France, Belgium and Germany bring up the rear. The survey, conducted by the European telecoms association ECTA, also included Italy, Sweden, the Netherlands and Spain.
- Europe - Study: Broadband a hit in Belgium, Denmark +/-
(CNET News.com) In Europe, small countries are racing ahead in broadband development, as larger markets are stymied by a lack of competition, according to a study by Strategy Analytics. At the end of 2003, broadband in Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom reached only 13 percent to 15 percent of homes--half the level of smaller markets like Belgium, Denmark and the Netherlands, the market research company said.
- US - 28% of American adults are wireless ready +/-
(Pew Internet Project) More than one quarter of all Americans use devices ? either laptop computers with wireless modems or cell phones ? that enable them to go online to surf the Web or check email. According to a survey by the Pew Internet & American Life Project, 28% of Americans ? and fully 41% of all Internet users ? have within the past month used a laptop that can connect wirelessly to the Internet or a cell phone that lets them send and receive email. This means that 56 million American adults are "wireless ready". That is, they have used devices that allow them to connect to the Internet by wireless means. On a typical day, approximately 5 million Americans with wireless ready devices go online from some place other than home or work.
- US - Broadband Penetration on the Upswing +/-
(Pew Internet Project) Adoption of high-speed Internet connections in the home grew strongly in the United States in the first several months of 2004, with home broadband penetration standing at 39% among American Internet users by the end of February. Overall, 48 million American adults had high-speed connections in the home in February 2004. This represents a growth of 60% since March 2003. 55% of adult internet users have broadband at home or work.