- FR - Deux ministres à l'assaut de la cybercriminalité +/-
(01net.fr) Thierry Breton a remis au ministre de l'Intérieur, Dominique de Villepin, une série de propositions destinées à améliorer la lutte contre la cybercriminalité. Chargé de travailler sur le sujet en tant que PDG de France Télécom, en juin 2004, Thierry Breton a présenté son rapport en tant que ministre de l'Economie, des Finances et de l'Industrie. Première proposition, disposer de meilleures statistiques. Le doublement des effectifs de policiers et gendarmes spécialisés dans le cybercrime est confirmé. Le contrôle des contenus illicites devrait bénéficier de la création d'un organisme de centralisation des données. Pour ce qui est de la prévention, entreprises et mineurs sont encouragés, par les deux ministres, à faire état des actes dont ils auraient été victimes. Enfin, le ministre avance l'idée d'un « certificat citoyen » à délivrer aux FAI. Deux ajouts au code pénal sont proposés. L'un pour permettre aux enquêteurs de s'infiltrer sur un support de communication électronique afin de participer à des discussions, de stocker des contenus illicites et d'entrer en contact avec des auteurs d'infractions. L'autre pour punir explicitement les sollicitations sexuelles faites à un mineur par le biais d'un moyen de communication électronique, Internet ou SMS. voir Communiqué de presse et Rapport de M. Thierry Breton (Ministère de l'Intérieur).
- U.N. urges companies to crack down on child porn +/-
(Reuters) Credit card companies and technology firms should do more to combat child pornography on the Internet, a United Nations expert said. Credit card companies may unwittingly process illegal Web transactions. see Report submitted by Mr. Juan Miguel Petit, Special Rapporteur on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography.
- UK - Software pirates go to jail +/-
(Silicon.com) A City banker at the heart of the DrinkOrDie software piracy ring has been sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison at the Old Bailey in London. Alex Bell, 29, was one of four criminals involved in the DrinkOrDie group which cracked encryption and digital rights management code on software. Two of the others were handed lesser sentences while a third was released on a suspended sentence. The maximum penalty would have been 10 years. Although they billed themselves as latter day Robin Hood's the judge at the centre of the case said their motives were not benevolent but owed more to self-promotion and the kudos in tech circles linked to such criminal activity.
- 'Disappointed' GSMA holds MPEG-4 off mobiles +/-
(PC Pro) The dispute over MPEG-4 licensing for mobile devices is no nearer a resolution after the GSM Association rejected new terms. The GSMA - which represents some 800 GSM network operators and device makers - described MPEG LA's revised licensing fees for its Open Mobile Alliance's Digital Rights Management technology for MPEG-4 content as a 'serious disappointment'.
- Court yanks down FCC's broadcast flag +/-
(CNET News.com) by Declan McCullagh. In a stunning victory for hardware makers and television buffs, a federal appeals court has tossed out government rules that would have outlawed many digital TV receivers and tuner cards starting July 1. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled that the Federal Communications Commission did not have the authority to prohibit the manufacture of computer and video hardware that doesn't have copy protection technology known as the 'broadcast flag.' The regulations, which the FCC created in November 2003, had been intended to limit unauthorized Internet redistribution of over-the-air TV broadcasts. ALA et al. v FCC
- DE - Erneut Razzia wegen illegaler Filmkopien durch Release Groups +/-
(Heise) Nach Angaben der Gesellschaft zur Verfolgung von Urheberrechtsverletzungen (GVU) wurden zeitgleich insgesamt zehn Hausdurchsuchungen in Deutschland durchgeführt. Im Visier der Ermittler stand die deutsche "Release Group" Flatline (FTL), laut GVU eine "Top-Gruppe der professionellen Raubkopierer-Szene", die für die Veröffentlichung einer großen Menge hochwertigen Ausgangsmaterials für die Herstellung und Verbreitung von Raubkopien der aktuellsten Kinofilme in Deutschland verantwortlich sein soll.
- Deconstructing stupidity +/-
(FT) by James Boyle. In two earlier columns on Europe's database directive, and European public information, I pointed out that our policy-process is almost evidence-free. New rights are created on the basis of anecdote and scaremongering. There are other examples and they are not confined to Europe. Since only about 4 per cent of copyrighted works more than 20 years old are commercially available, this locks up 96 per cent of 20th century culture to benefit 4 per cent. The harm to the public is huge, the benefit to authors, tiny.
- EU - Commission clarifies Enforcement Directive +/-
(outlaw.com) The European Commission has published a statement clarifying which intellectual property rights will be covered by the controversial Directive on the Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights.
- EU - EP: Rocard Working Document on software patents +/-
(Europarl) Working Document on the patentability of computer-generated inventions Committee on Legal Affairs Rapporteur: Michel Rocard. See also Informal Memorandum (EICTA).
- EU warns Microsoft to follow '04 order +/-
(Reuters) The European Union's executive has told Microsoft that it must comply immediately with a year-old order related to its Windows virtual monopoly or face action. EU Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer met on short notice at Microsoft's request to discuss the tech giant's failure to comply with a March 24, 2004, decision setting out steps that Microsoft must take.
- FI - Authorities gear up for strikes against peer-to-peer file sharing networks +/-
(Helsingin Sanomat) In keeping with moves in several other countries, steps are now being taken by Finnish authorities to stamp out illegal distribution of copyright music material via the Internet. Suomen Ääni- ja kuvatallennetuottajat (ÄKT, the Finnish Branch of IFPI) have sent police requests for investigations of 28 individuals who they would like to see brought to justice for net piracy through the peer-to-peer file sharing networks.
- FR - Le Snep satisfait de la lutte contre le téléchargement illégal +/-
(ZDNet France) «La lutte contre la piraterie fonctionne», s'est félicité Gilles Bressan, président du Snep (Syndicat national de l'édition phonographique). Au premier trimestre 2005, elles ont progressé de 5,8% en valeur par rapport à la même période en 2004, pour atteindre 236,6 millions d'euros. En volume, la hausse représente 16,3%. Cette meilleure santé est également attribuée à la politique de baisse de prix des maisons de disques. Gilles Bressan a également précisé les grands chantiers de l'année à venir, en termes de musique numérique: le développement de la musique en ligne légale, l'approfondissement des premiers acquis de la charte signée avec les fournisseurs d'accès à internet, et enfin le soutien au projet de loi sur les droits d'auteurs et droits voisins.
- UK - Court releases file-share details +/-
(BBC) The British music industry has secured access to the names of 33 people it suspects of sharing up to 72,000 music files on the internet. The British Phonographic Industry (BPI) applied to the High Court for internet service providers to hand over personal details of the alleged file-sharers.
- UK - Creative Commons licences for England and Wales +/-
(Creative Commons) Finally after 16 months of intensive public consultation and high powered legal work the Creative Commons licences for England and Wales are now ready - Scotland is soon to follow.
- UK - Record labels count cost of music piracy +/-
(Guardian) British record labels lost the equivalent of £650m to illegal computer downloads over the last two years, according to the music industry's trade body, the British Phonographic Industry (BPI). A two-year study by research group TNS showed that music fans would have spent £1.5bn on recorded music between 2002-2004, but because of downloads spent only £858m.
- UK - Thatcher sues BBC over use of famous phrase in ad +/-
(Daily Telegraph) Lady Thatcher is suing the BBC over unauthorised use of one of her most famous phrases. The claim, made against BBC Broadcast, alleges it unlawfully transmitted the clip 407 times in four days last year to advertise Thatcher Week. The BBC admits the infringement but has been unable to agree compensation. A source close to Lady Thatcher said: "The BBC is offering a derisory sum."
- US - RIAA cracks down on Internet2 file swapping +/-
(CNET News.com) The Recording Industry Association of America will file suit against students at 18 universities accused of trading files on the supercharged Internet2 network. The suits are the first to focus on the next-generation research network operated by universities. The i2Hub file-swapping service has operated for a year on campuses that are connected to Internet2.
- EU - European Digital Library Is Proposed +/-
(Associated Press) Six European leaders jointly proposed that works contained in European libraries be made accessible online, in what they called a 'European digital library.' The appeal to European Union officials was signed by French President Jacques Chirac, German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski and Hungarian Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany. 'The heritage of European libraries is unequaled in richness and diversity,' they said in their letter. 'But if it is not digitalized and made accessible online, this heritage could, tomorrow, not fill its just place in the future geography of knowledge.'
- EU - Les bibliothèques nationales de l'UE s'unissent contre Google +/-
(ZDNet France) Les bibliothèques nationales de l'UE ont entendu Jean-Noël Jeanneney, le président de la Bibliothèque nationale de France. Dix-neuf autres bibliothèques nationales le soutiennent. Dans un manifeste publié le 27 avril, elles «souhaitent appuyer une initiative commune des dirigeants de l'Europe visant à une numérisation large et organisée des oeuvres appartenant au patrimoine de notre continent».
- EU - L'UE veut décupler son effort de numérisation des archives +/-
(Libération) La Commission européenne s'engage à décupler son soutien au projet de bibliothèque virtuelle européenne, comme le lui ont demandé la semaine dernière six dirigeants européens, dont Jacques Chirac. Le débat, lancé par le moteur de recherche Google, qui a annoncé la numérisation de millions de livres destinés à être mis gratuitement en ligne, a fait des vagues, la France redoutant notamment une domination de la langue anglaise.
- Europe rallies against Google library +/-
(AFP) Nineteen European national libraries have joined forces against a planned communications revolution by internet search giant Google to create a global virtual library. The 19 libraries are backing instead a multi-million euro counter-offensive by European nations to put European literature online.
- No Google, please, we're French +/-
(International Herald Tribune) Scarce resources would be used more wisely and efficiently in making the intellectual wealth and diversity of Europe available to a worldwide audience - and in using for that purpose all the tools available in the realm of the Internet, including Google.
- Chinese control Internet by sophisticated means +/-
(Associated Press) The Chinese government has become increasingly sophisticated at controlling the Internet, taking a multilayered approach that contributes to precision in blocking political dissent. see Internet Filtering in China in 2004-2005: A Country Study (OpenNet Initiative).
- CN - Face to Face With The Great Firewall of China +/-
(Michael Geist) China, which boasts the world's second largest Internet user base, is currently home to more than 94 million Internet users, yet their Internet is far different from ours. On a recent trip to China, I sought to access common news sites that I found myself face to face with the "Great Firewall of China". Google News would not load into my browser, apparently blocked by a filtering system that employs 30,000 people to regularly monitor Internet traffic and content. Attempts to access news stories on BBC website yielded only error messages. My frustration increased when I attempted to download my own email. The Chinese system was filtering my email messages and cutting off the connection. Search engines were subject to similar restrictions. Searches for articles on circumventing the Chinese filters yielded a long list of results, none of which could be opened. Moreover, inputting politically sensitive words such as the "Falun Gong" cut me off from the search engines completely.
- NL - Rating system introduced for Dutch mobile content +/-
(Saferinternet.org) Kijkwijzer, the Dutch labelling system for TV programmes, videos and cinema films has been extended to include content for mobile phones. As soon as a mobile phone user searches for pornographic images or text, a Kijkwijzer icon pops up with a recommended age restriction. For the moment Kijkwijzer only applies to sexually explicit content, but there are plans to extend the application to other types of sensitive material. The Netherlands Institute for the Classification of Audiovisual Media (NICAM) is the organisation behind Kijkwijzer. They signed a contract with mobile operators KPN Mobile, Orange, Telfort, T-Mobile and Vodafone. These five operators introduced the Kijkwijzer system on 1 April.
- UK - Ofcom media labels to warn of content +/-
(Guardian) Media regulator Ofcom is considering an industry-wide classification system to help consumers better understand the suitability of everything from TV shows to online videos and music downloads. Ofcom believes such a classification scheme - similar to that in place in the Netherlands - could help manage the spread of harmful or inappropriate material. However, the plan could not work without the agreement of internet service providers, telecom firms and media groups. The FT reported that the proposal has found favour with the BBC but some commercial broadcasters have claimed labelling could dilute their brands.
- AU - Internet safety needs highlighted as cyber survey reveals kids online younger and longer +/-
(ABA) NetAlert and the Australian Broadcasting Authority (ABA) have found that children are online younger and longer with the growth of broadband in a joint report . The report also found that while Australian parents and children are overwhelmingly positive about the benefits of the Internet, nearly forty per cent of parents said that their children have had a negative experience when using the Internet at home. Kidsonline@home, the second report of its kind, shows parents are increasingly picking up on Internet safety messages. However, because of the dynamic nature of the medium, the findings also highlight the need for a continuing focus on education programs to keep children safe in the online environment.
- UK - Dangerous liaisons +/-
(Guardian) Children are routinely putting themselves at risk on the internet. Many children seem unaware of the dangers - nearly half have given personal information to someone they met online, 30% have made an online acquaintance and a worrying 8% have had a face-to-face meeting with someone they first met on the net. The research paper is the final report of the Children Go-Online project, a two-year study into internet use and abuse, based on face-to-face interviews with 1,511 children and young people aged nine to 19. Parents were also questioned. The LSE research was supported by the media regulator Ofcom, the children's charity NCH, and the internet service provider AOL. Funding came from the Economic and Social Research Council.
- UK - Net-illiterate 'failing children' +/-
(BBC) Internet-illiterate parents could leave their children on the wrong side of the digital divide, researchers have said. Many parents lack the skills to help their child's internet use, a London School of Economics study has said. It said 85% of parents surveyed wanted stronger laws to clamp down on internet pornography. And one in five said they did not know how to help their children use the web safely, according to the UK Children Go Online report.
- 50 Millionen Downloads für Mozilla-Webbrowser Firefox +/-
(Heise) Die Mozilla-Foundation bejubelt 50 Millionen Downloads ihres Standalone-Webbrosers Firefox. Mitte Februar erst erreichte Firefox die Marke von 25 Millionen Downloads, 99 Tage nach Veröffentlichung der Version 1.0. Browser-Anteile auf heise online im April 2005: Firefox 39,6 %, Internet Explorer 6.0x 29,7 %. Browser-Hersteller: Mozilla & co (Gecko-Engine)48,8 %,Microsoft 32,1 %.
- P2P Fuels Global Bandwidth Binge +/-
(Wired) Internet users consumed more bandwidth than ever last year, driven by the growing popularity of peer-to-peer networks and heightened demand for video files. Burgeoning demand also prompted internet carriers to upgrade their network capacity to handle the upswing in traffic. "From mid-2004, we saw a significant shift away from music and on to video," said Andrew Parker, chief technical officer at CacheLogic, a firm based in England that monitors global peer-to-peer traffic. CacheLogic estimates that P2P applications consume between 60 percent and 80 percent of capacity on consumer ISP networks. Efforts by the film and recording industries to crack down on illegal trading of copyright works haven't resulted in a drop in traffic volumes. In North America, where the Recording Industry Association of America and the Motion Picture Association of America have focused enforcement efforts, Parker said there has been virtually no change in P2P traffic levels since the groups began cracking down on illegal file trading. "In some parts of the world we have seen the opposite happen. The publicity created by the MPAA actually drove users to find out what all the fuss was about and resulted in an increase in traffic levels," Parker said.
- UK - Broadband hits 43 per cent of net connections +/-
(vnunet.com) The latest monthly update from National Statistics shows a modest 1.9 per cent increase in the number of active UK subscriptions to the internet in the 12 months to February 2005. The market share for broadband connections continued to increase, and currently accounts for 43 per cent of all connections. This compares with a market share of 23.6 per cent a year earlier.
- UK now has more mobiles than people +/-
(vnunet.com) There are now more mobile phones in the UK than people, according to a report from management consultants Analysys. Mobile penetration in the UK, Sweden and Italy rose to 101 per cent, 103 per cent and 104 per cent respectively in 2005. The company expects the rest of Europe to reach 100 per cent by 2007, largely due to customers with more than one phone. Attempts by some countries to move customers from pre-pay to contract services have hurt growth.