- AU - Sharman witness: Tech can control illegal swapping +/-
(CNET News.com) In the Kazaa case, Justin Tygar, a University of Berkeley professor of computer science and information management, said that digital rights management systems make it very difficult for users to exchange files which infringe copyrights. Watermarking technology can help assist in catching cases where infringement happens.
- AU - ISPs accept copyright promise +/-
(News.com.au) Internet and telco companies have accepted a promise from the Australian Government to protect them from an avalanche of copyright law suits after the free trade agreement with the US comes into force on January 1. Following a last-minute lobbying effort involving industry bodies, Telstra and Optus, the Government wrote a letter to the Opposition defending the proposed law But after the lobbying, the Trade Minister said some details - such as when internet providers were required to block websites which allegedly breached another person's copyright - could be clarified by a special regulation.
- EU - Consultation on the review of EU legislation on copyright and related rights +/-
(Europa) 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. The Commission launched a consultation of all interested parties on the basis of a working paper. All interested parties were invited to send their comments on the working paper before 31 October 2004. The consultation has since then been closed. 134 Organizations and other stakeholders submitted their contributions. 126 contributions were authorised for publication.
- US - Google hit with trademark suit over 'Scholar' +/-
(CNET News.com) The American Chemical Society has filed suit against Google, alleging that the search giant violated a trademark held by the group when it launched the Google Scholar search tool. The suit claims that Google's use of the word 'scholar' violates a trademark held by ACS for the name of its Web-based academic search tool, SciFinder Scholar.
- US - Studios launch campaign against BitTorrent +/-
(Guardian) Hollywood stepped up its battle against internet pirates when the Motion Picture Association of America launched a legal battle against the filesharing networks BitTorrent and eDonkey. Both networks are widely used to trade pirated movies online. The association is working with police in the US and Europe to target individuals involved in the setting up of the filesharing facilities, as opposed to those using them, or the software companies behind the programs. BitTorrent itself is a piece of file transfer software, but the MPAA's targets are those who provide links to pirated files.
- US - Supreme Court to hear P2P case +/-
(CNET News.com) The U.S. Supreme Court will hear a controversial case on whether file-sharing software companies could be held legally responsible for copyright infringement on their networks. The court's action is good news for big record labels and Hollywood studios, which have lost successive rulings on the issue in lower courts. They want software companies like Morpheus parent StreamCast Networks and Grokster to be held legally responsible when copyrighted material is swapped using their software. At the core of the case is an interpretation of a 20-year-old decision that made VCRs legal despite their ability to copy TV shows and movies, which ultimately helped pave the way for a host of technologies ranging from CD burners to Apple Computer's iPod. That case, known as the Sony-Betamax decision, set out rough guidelines under which technology used to make illegal copies of copyrighted material could be distributed without the manufacturer being responsible for the resulting piracy, as long as the product was also capable of "substantial noninfringing uses".