- EU - Feasibility study on European research into private international law, civil law and law and civil procedure +/-
(TED) Feasibility study on the creation of a structure/network to increase European research into private international law, civil law and civil procedure from an EC point of view. The main purpose of this study is to compile an inventory of research being carried out at present in the Member States in these fields. It should describe the scope of this research work and initiatives currently underway to create a network and instigate cooperation between various institutions involving several Member States. The inventory will also consider issues such as the dissemination of research findings, resource pooling, defining priorities, and how ideas and experience can be of benefit to and shared between different Member States and with other university disciplines. The study will then suggest ways of increasing the role research plays when policies are being drawn up in Europe, and political decisions taken, and will propose various methods of achieving this (e.g. creation of a European institute, opening a specialist section in an existing institute, creation of an international association or a university network). This study will take place with the creation of a European judicial area in civil matters in view. Final date for obtaining contract document and additional documents: 6.10.2004. Final date for receipt of tenders: 15.10.2004.
- EU - Huge response to first call for proposals under security research +/-
(Cordis) The European Commission has declared the response to the first call for proposals under the Preparatory Action for security research as 'a strong signal of the strong support for a European coordinated action in the field of security research, by all stakeholders in the field.' The Preparatory Action, with a budget of 15 million euro for 2004, will help prepare the way for a security research programme. The first call for proposals closed at the end of June following the submission of around 175 proposals. The proposals request funding of 200 million euro in total, although only 14 million is available for the call.
- EU - Impact of free/open source software +/-
(TED) Impact of free/open source software on innovation and the competitiveness of the information and communication technologies (ICT) sector in the EU. Prior information notice. The study should analyse the economic impact of free and open source software (F/OSS) on the structure and dynamics of the ICT sector in Europe, as well as in the overall economy. The study should first draw the current picture with regards to the market share of F/OSS in the global and European software market. It should then analyse the economic impact of the projected deployment of F/OSS in the ICT producing sector in Europe. Moreover, it should analyse the dynamics and the innovation potential that the proliferation of F/OSS could bring about in the European economy (including in the IT producing and using sectors, and the society overall); the study should project the prospects for F/OSS in the short and long-term future, should describe different scenarios and identify relevant policy challenges. In this respect, it should seek for relevant competitive advantages of the European IT sector in this field, and should explore how such advantages could be further leveraged.
- AU - Labor bid to block net porn +/-
(Australian IT) All Austrakian internet service providers would be forced to block hard-core pornography reaching home computers under a radical plan to protect children being pushed by federal Labor MPs. Mark Latham's office is understood to have shown "strong interests" in controls that would automatically filter out violent pornography such as images of rape, torture, bestiality and coprophilia. A confidential paper from the left-wing think tank the Australia Institute, which is now being considered by the Opposition Leader's office, proposes that ISPs install compulsory filtering programs so only adults who can verify their age could view X-rated material.
- China combats Internet porn +/-
(Reuters) China is working with its top two search engines to crack down on Internet pornography by restricting the use of keywords, Xinhua news agency says. A recent survey of Internet use in China showed that 70 per cent of surfers used Chinese search engines such as Baidu and 3721 and U.S.-based Google Inc to look for information. Baidu has barred 40,000 keywords. China began its crackdown on porn sites in mid-July and closed 700 Web sites in the first 10 days of the campaign.
- Iran - Authorities take tough line on Internet +/-
(Reporters sans frontières) Reporters Without Borders voiced concern about increased efforts by the Iranian authorities to gag the Internet, including the trial of a theology student at the end of July for a message posted on a news website and a proposed law that would throttle online dissent.
- KJM: Sendungen zu Schönheitsoperationen verstoßen gegen Jugendschutz +/-
(Institut für Urheber- und Medienrecht) Drei Folgen der MTV-Show »I want a famous face« und eine Ausgabe der RTL II-Sendung »Big Brother« verstoßen nach Ansicht der Kommission für Jugendmedienschutz (KJM) gegen den Jugendschutz. Die Kommission hat laut Pressemitteilung nach einer Prüfung festgestellt, dass die Sendungen geeignet sind, die Entwicklung von Kindern oder Jugendlichen zu beeinträchtigen. Als Konsequenz legte die KJM Sendezeitbeschränkung von 22.00 Uhr bzw. 23.00 Uhr für den Fall einer Wiederholung fest. Die Entscheidungen beruhen auf dem Grundsatzbeschluss der Kommission vom 27. Juli, wonach TV-Formate, die Schönheitsoperationen zu Unterhaltungszwecken thematisieren, grundsätzlich nicht vor 23.00 Uhr gezeigt werden dürfen. Weiter bemängelte die KJM, dass es trotz der frühen Einbindung der Freiwilligen Selbstkontrolle Fernsehen (FSF) zu der Ausstrahlung derartiger Formate vor 22.00 Uhr gekommen sei. Mit der Freigabe habe die Selbstkontrolleinrichtung die rechtlichen Grenzen des Beurteilungsspielraums überschritten. Die Kommission kündigte ein Gespräch mit der FSF an, in dem die Prüfmaßstäbe für Unterhaltungsformate zum Thema Schönheitsoperationen erörtert werden sollen.
- KR - Comprehensive Measures Set to Protect Teenagers From Lewd Cyber Content +/-
(Korea Times) The Korean government will implement a set of comprehensive and systematic measures to prevent illegal harmful information from reaching juveniles. The Ministry of Information and Communication (MIC) plans to further fortify technological power for filtering noxious images and text flowing through Peer-to-peer (P2P) sites. It will also strengthen monitoring of cyber communities, including those for suicide, and P2P sites from next month.
- Vietnam unleashes cyber-police to track Internet +/-
(Reuters) Communist Vietnam, which tightly controls access to the Internet within its borders, has formed a special police unit to investigate online crime and curb distribution of banned publications in cyberspace. The Southeast Asian country jailed three dissidents last month who had distributed criticism of Vietnam's political system on the Internet. Hanoi has formed a police force to combat online fraud, 'cheating or gambling via the Internet, and saving and distributing banned publications on the Internet'.
- EU - Consultation on the review of legislation on copyright and related rights +/-
(RAPID) The Commission is reviewing legislation on copyright and related rights. The review is aimed at updating the legislative framework in the field of copyright and related rights, increasing its consistency and also simplifying the provisions. In addition, there is a need to analyse whether this framework still contains shortcomings which have a negative impact on the functioning of the Internal Market. In this case, additional harmonisation measures may have to be envisaged. It has launched a consultation of all interested parties on the basis of a working paper. Commission working paper. All interested parties are invited to send their comments on the working paper before 31 October 2004,
- Access all areas +/-
(Economist) Scientific publishing is having to change rapidly to respond to growing pressure for free access to published research. The House of Commons Science and Technology Committee told the British government that the country's universities should be required to ensure that all their research papers are available free online, and that government-funded research grants ought to include free access to the findings a condition of the awards. In October 2003, the leading research associations of Germany, France and Switzerland signed what has become known as the "Berlin Declaration" - another call for free access to research findings. One of the groups behind the declaration, Germany's Max Planck Society, is now changing its employment contracts to require staff to return the copyright of their work to the society. At the moment it gets assigned to the publishers.
- BE - Contre les pirates et les contrefacteurs +/-
(La vie du net) Le gouvernement belge entend, dès la rentrée, durcir la lutte contre les atteintes à la propriété intellectuelle. Deux avant-projets de loi sont en préparation au cabinet du ministre de l'Economie, Marc Verwilghen, révélait « L'Echo » ce mardi. En ligne de mire : les pirates de logiciels, de jeux vidéo, de CD et DVD mais aussi les contrefacteurs de vêtements, bijoux... Le premier de ces avant-projets porte sur les aspects civils de la lutte antipiratage et vise à faciliter la vie des plaignants et de l'ensemble de l'appareil judiciaire. Le plaignant pourra, par exemple, éviter des lenteurs en demandant une action en cessation devant le tribunal de commerce et non plus devant le tribunal de première instance, explique le cabinet Verwilghen.
- DE - Germany debuts Creative Commons +/-
(The Register) by Monika Ermert. The German version of the alternative license system Creative Commons was formally launched during the third Wizard of OS conference in Berlin. Larry Lessig, Stanford Law School Professor and Creative Commons wizard, presented the license as a simple idea to mark content with freedoms bestowed upon users by authors - in contrast to the trend of ever stricter copyright regimes.
- UK - Arrests in piracy crackdown raids +/-
(BBC) A total of 57 people have been arrested in a weekend operation targeting music, film and computer game piracy. Anti-fraud investigators swooped on a number of markets and car boot sales in the UK last weekend, netting over half a million pounds worth of DVDs and CDs.
- UK - easyJet wins High Court copyright case +/-
(Luchtzak Aviation) The High Court has ruled that easyJet did not infringe the airline reservation software copyright of Navitaire, a US-based company that is part of Accenture. The case was brought by Navitaire, which had previously supplied airline reservations software to easyJet, after the airline had developed its own reservations software. In an important precedent for the UK software industry, Judge Pumphrey ruled that allowing the "business logic" to be protected by literary copyright was an unjustifiable extension of copyright protection.
- UK - Music bosses head royalties fight +/-
(BBC) A campaign is under way to protect music copyrights due to expire on 50-year-old records by Elvis Presley and other rock legends. The UK music industry has begun the fight over a legal loophole on royalty payments. Starting on 1 January 2005, copies of songs can be issued in Europe 50 years after their release without the need for payments to copyright owners. It could affect records by Chuck Berry, James Brown - and by 2013, The Beatles.
- US - Congressional economists tackle copyright issues +/-
(CNET News.com) The Congressional Budget Office released a new study on digital copyright issues, outlining economic problems that Congress should keep in mind as it grapples with making new laws. While stopping short of specific legislative recommendations, the paper offers a set of principles for lawmakers that's largely focused on avoiding being tied too closely to past practices or to the interests of powerful companies or consumer groups.
- US - Disney urges "broadcast flag" content protection scheme on all music distribution platforms +/-
(EFF) The FCC is considering whether to impose a "broadcast flag" content protection scheme on digital broadcast radio. The RIAA is pushing for the flag, which would impose FCC technology mandates on all future digital radio receivers. Apparently, the MPAA's success in getting preemptive FCC regulation of next generation televisions emboldened the RIAA to seek a similar regime for digital radio. EFF has filed two sets of comments on this issue. Now, you may be wondering why we care about this little FCC backwater proceeding. After all, nobody has an HD Radio yet. The format might not even succeed. So who cares? Well, in their latest comments, Disney let slip what this is all about: In addition, to the extent the Commission considers such a content protection mechanism, it should also consider whether to extend that mechanism to all music distribution platforms, including satellite digital audio radio service, the Internet and broadcast radio service.
- US - JibJabbing for Artists' Rights +/-
(Wired) JibJab, a small animation site, is running an animation that mocks President Bush and his Democratic challenger Sen. John Kerry. The wildly popular cartoon may be goofy, but the legal wrangling about it is becoming a serious and important test of artists' fair-use rights in the digital age. The free This Land Flash-animated cartoon is set to the melody of Woody Guthrie's 'This Land Is Your Land.' With the exception of two lines, all of the lyrics have been changed to mock Bush, the 'right-wing nut job,' and Kerry, the 'liberal wiener.'" Ludlow Music, which owns Guthrie's copyright to the song, threatened to sue JibJab Media, which created the animation. But attorneys for JibJab struck first, filing a lawsuit last week in U.S. District Court in Northern California that asks a judge to declare that This Land does not violate copyright.
- US - Legal action closes DVD-copy firm +/-
(BBC) A US software firm which developed a program to copy PC games and DVDs has collapsed after repeated legal action from film and software bodies. 321 Studios said that despite 'best efforts', three federal court rulings against it had killed off the firm. The company had defended its program, saying it was meant to let people innocently back-up DVDs and games. Its programs, DVD X Copy and Games X Copy, worked by getting around copy protection codes.
- US - Prospect of Internet tollbooths stirs worries +/-
(New York Times) Acacia Research holds five U.S. patents covering streaming video and audio. It is demanding licensing fees fromfinancial and educational institutions and news organizations, including the New York Times. In June, Acacia sued nine cable and satellite companies. In late July, it sent out more letters demanding licensing fees from educational organizations that offer Web-based classes.The Electronic Frontier Foundation, an organization that is skeptical about the value to society of software patents, announced Acacia as winner of its "busting patents" competition, which sought nominations for the worst Internet-related patents.
- CA - A blueprint for a Canadian notice and takedown system +/-
(Toronto Star) by Michael Geist. Canadian policy makers and parliamentarians should adopt a notice and takedown system that respects the rights of copyright holders, the privacy rights of users, the fairness of court review, and the need to appropriately limit the burden placed on ISPs. Such a system would be characterized by a four-step process. First, a copyright holder, having exercised appropriate due diligence in confirming an alleged infringement, sends a notice to the ISP. Second, the ISP promptly notifies its customer of the allegation and leaves it to the customer to voluntarily take down the content. Third, if the customer refuses to take down the content, the copyright holder applies to a Canadian court to order its removal. The ISP serves as a conduit to ensure that the subscriber is aware of the court proceeding and can challenge if desired. Fourth, if the court issues an order, the ISP responds to the order by taking down the content. This notice and takedown approach would provide copyright holders with an efficient mechanism for removing infringing content. It would also ensure respect for subscriber privacy and free speech rights, while granting ISPs limited liability.
- US - File-sharing systems in legal win +/-
(BBC) Fans of file-sharing have been handed a significant victory by a US court. Federal appeal court judges have ruled that the makers of peer-to-peer software are not responsible for what users do with their network. They said the structure of the networks made it impossible for the system's creators to exert control over users. MGM v. Grokster. The Court held that distributors of peer-to-peer file-sharing computer networking software were not liable for contributory and vicarious copyright infringement by users. [Ed: good non-technical description of P2P].
- US - Major Web sites hit with suit over gambling ads +/-
(CNET News.com) Some gambling ads on Google, Yahoo and other major Web sites are illegal in California, according to a lawsuit which alleges that the companies sell rights to Web advertisements based on searches for terms such as 'illegal gambling,' 'Internet gambling' and 'California gambling.' The lawsuit demands that the companies stop accepting the advertisements and give California 'millions of dollars in ill-gotten gains'.
- US - Peer-to-peer networks urged to fight online risks +/-
(Reuters) American state prosecutors have urged Internet file-swapping networks to take greater responsibility for the copyrighted music, pornography and computer viruses transmitted with their software. Attorneys general for 45 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands said 'peer to peer' networks like eDonkey and Blubster should improve pornography filters, strip out 'adware' that tracks user activity and do a better job of warning their users about online risks.
- US - Yahoo sued over anonymous abuse +/-
(BBC) A California lawyer has filed a potential class action lawsuit against the internet search company Yahoo. Stephen Galton says he was subject to a 'barrage of harassing, defamatory and abusive messages' from anonymous users on a Yahoo message board.
- UK - Britain leads the drive to go digital +/-
(Guardian) Digital Britain has arrived, for most of us at least. Over the past five years consumers have embraced an array of technologies that have placed Britain at the digital cutting edge. A catalogue of developments drawn up by the media regulator, Ofcom, shows that in every area, from home entertainment to telecoms, homes and businesses are signing up to digital in droves. But the advances in technology mean the balance of financial power is shifting: Ofcom's report shows that income from subscriptions to pay-TV services such as Sky Digital have outstripped advertising for the first time, setting a tough challenge to advertiser-funded channels such as ITV; while revenue from mobile phones has overtaken that from residential fixed-line services for the first time.
- UK - OFCOM Consumer Panel commissons survey +/-
(Consumer Panel Web site) The Ofcom Consumer Panel has commissioned large-scale market research project into the current small business and consumer experience of the communications market. This will be an annual survey to test changing consumer concerns year on year. The research will focus on the consumer experience of telecommunications (fixed and mobile), the internet (including broadband) and broadcasting - including digital switchover - and use of technology. The research is due to be completed by November 2004 with publication of full results due in January 2005.
- UK - Ofcom publishes The Communications Market 2004 report +/-
(Press release) Ofcom has published The Communications Market 2004, its report on key trends within the radio, television and telecommunications sectors in 2003-4. The Communications Market report will be published annually. It collates data from numerous sources including Ofcom's own research and provides an interpretation of emerging trends within each sector as well as an analysis of new developments common to the communications market as a whole.
- US - The Internet and Daily Life +/-
(Pew Internet & American Life Project) The vast majority of American Internet users say the Internet plays a role in their daily routines and that the rhythm of their everyday lives would be affected if they could no longer go online. Yet, despite its great popularity and allure, the Internet still plays second fiddle to old-fashioned habits. See The Internet and Daily Life.
- US - Data Memo on Search Engines +/-
(Pew Internet & American Life Project) Search engines have become an essential and popular way for people to find information online. A nationwide phone survey of Internet users shows that 84% of online Americans have used search engines. On any given day online, more than half those using the Internet use search engines. And more than two-thirds of Internet users say they use search engines at least a couple of times per week.
- 2004-08-27 NL, Amsterdam - Guaranteeing Media Freedom on the Internet +/-
(OSCE) Representative on Freedom of the Media: Conference on Date: 27 - 28 August 2004. Location: Amsterdam, The Netherlands. The conference is a follow-up to the 2003 Amsterdam Internet Conference. More than 20 international experts will lecture. Interested representatives from IGOs, NGOs, academia, media and industry are invited to attend. Eventually a "Freedom of the Media - Internet Cookbook" with best practices and benchmarks for Internet legislation, regulation and education will be produced and published at end of this year.
- 2004-09-08 KR, Busan - 2nd OECD Workshop on Spam +/-
(OECD) 2nd OECD Workshop on Spam - Busan, Korea - 8-9 September 2004. The OECD's 2nd Workshop on Spam is being hosted by the Ministry of Information and Communication, Korea. It will be held in Busan, Korea on 8-9 September 2004. The objective of the workshop will be to build on the results of the Brussels Workshop on Spam, held on 2-3 February 2004, and attempt to deepen this work and explore some of the issues and problems in greater detail. Participants will: Consider the next steps in developing an "OECD Anti-spam Toolkit". Examine network management solutions to reduce spam. Examine the use of authentication and technical tools to reduce spam. Consider best practice and technical tools to reduce mobile spam and instant messaging spam. Consider how to improve co-operation with Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) economies and non-OECD countries in general.
- 2004-09-09 UK, Oxford - Internet Governance in the UK +/-
(OII) Date: 9 Sep 12:30-14:00 Location: Oxford Internet Institute, 1 St Giles, Oxford OX1 3JS Attendance: This event is open to the public. If you wish to attend, please register your name with the Events Office. Discussion of Internet governance has been shaped by three myths; that the market can decide, that the Internet is different to "legacy" media and that national governance is unimportant. The author challenges these three myths and argues that contemporary, well functioning, arrangements may be unstable requiring stronger hierarchical governance in the future.
- 2004-09-13 PL, Wroclaw, Privacy in a New Era: Challenges, Opportunities and Partnerships +/-
(Public Voice Symposium) September 13, 2004. Wroclaw, Poland. This conference aims to provide an opportunity for civil society leaders and academic experts, particularly in the New European Union Member States, to meet with European data protection authorities and to explore emerging challenges to the protection of personal privacy. The event will be held in conjunction with the annual meeting of the International Conference on Privacy and Data Protection Commissioners.
- 2004-09-16 FR Paris - Réagir face au "spam" : se plaindre ou porter plainte +/-
(DDM) Le groupe de contact des acteurs de la lutte contre le « spam » Conférences-débats. 16 septembre 2004 - Deuxième conférence. Réagir face au "spam" : se plaindre ou porter plainte. De 9h à 13h à la Direction du développement des médias, 69 rue de Varenne, 75007 Paris. Appuyé sur l'avancement des travaux du groupe de travail consacré aux plaintes et sanctions piloté par la CNIL et des retours d'expérience, ce thème contribuera à clarifier les conditions nécessaires au dépôt de plaintes par les utilisateurs, à la lumière du nouveau paysage législatif français. Il apportera en outre des éléments d'information techniques relatifs au mode d'identification des "spammeurs" par les utilisateurs et par les autorités en charge de leur poursuite.
- 2004-09-24 FR, Paris - Colloque "Les défis du peer-to-peer" +/-
(Forum des droits sur l'internet) Mardi 28 septembre 2004 au Palais du Luxembourg - salle Clemenceau. Ce colloque est l'aboutissement des travaux menés par le Forum des droits sur l'internet depuis juin 2003 (Groupe de réflexion 'Propriété intellectuelle et Peer-to-Peer'). Accueilli par le Sénat, il apportera ses enseignements aux parlementaires qui vont débattre, à la rentrée, des questions liées à la protection de la propriété littéraire et artistique dans la société de l'information. Enfin, cette manifestation s'inscrit dans le processus de concertation mis en place par le Ministre de l´économie et des finances, le Ministre de la culture et de la communication ainsi que le Ministre délégué à l´industrie le 15 juillet dernier.
- 2004-09-30 DE, Berlin - Business Models for Mobile Music and DRM +/-
(INDICARE) This workshop will bring together high-level experts from industry, academia and policy to discuss the chances and challenges of the newly emerging mobile music market and the role of DRM solutions. The conference will have an interdisciplinary approach with a focus on business models and market developments. Special attention will be paid to consumer issues - in particular the acceptability of new mobile music services by consumers.
- 2004-12-10 US, Cambridge - Internet & Society 2004: Transformational Politics +/-
(Harvard Law School) Are information and communication technologies transforming politics? The purpose of this conference is to take a hard, skeptical, results-oriented look at the election in 2004 as well as the many issue-based campaigns, emerging business models, and new technologies that affect and comprise ?politics? online and off. Key topics include: electoral politics; issue campaigns, including NGOs and labor organizing; business; and international development. This conference is the fifth in the biennial Internet & Society series.