(Guardian) A ruling by a Belgian court could potentially block Google's news aggregation business. A complaint against the internet giant was launched by Copiepresse, an organisation that manages copyright for the French and German-speaking press in Belgium. The court has ordered Google to stop reproducing articles from French-speaking newspapers in the news section of one of its Belgian websites. The court's ruling, which was issued on September 5, stipulates that Google must pay a fine of 1m euros (£675,000) a day if it does not comply. see also Google to appeal, as court rules news site is illegal (Guardian), Google loses Belgian news appeal (Register) and Google not above law, publishes Belgian copyright infringement ruling (ZDNet).
DE - Behind Google's German courtroom battle +/-
(CNET) A local business owner is fighting with the search giant for the right to use the term "Gmail." So far, he's winning. Google's free Web e-mail offering may be available for correspondence in 40 languages, but efforts at worldwide expansion using the moniker "Gmail" continue to face complications.
EU - Europe's software patent war ignites again +/-
(CNET) Three political groups in the European Parliament have warned that the possibility of introducing software patents is re-emerging. Last year, the Parliament derailed a proposed directive that, critics argued, would have legitimized software patents in Europe. Internal market commissioner Charlie McCreevy plans to deliver a new speech promoting the measure, called the European Patent Litigation Agreement.
EU - Tesco loses trade mark right over unsent documents +/-
(out-law.com) Tesco has lost the right to a Europe-wide trade mark on the word 'Metro'. The trade mark right for Europe has now passed to German retailer MIP Metro because Tesco did not submit a set of papers to the EU trade mark authority.
Microsoft gives go-ahead to open-source Web services +/-
(CNET) Microsoft is pledging not to assert its patents pertaining to nearly three dozen Web services specifications--a move designed to ease concerns among developers by creating a legal environment more friendly to open-source software. See alos Is open source getting to Microsoft?.
P2P File-sharing site eDonkey agrees to $30 million settlement +/-
(CNET) The parent company of popular file-sharing network eDonkey has agreed to pay $30 million to settle a copyright infringement case brought by six music labels, according to court documents filed this week. The settlement follows a federal district court ruling earlier this week that dealt what appears to be final blow to MetaMachine's peer-to-peer (P2P) client eDonkey; the eDonkey Web site has since been taken down.
SE - Voters Keelhaul Pirate Party +/-
(Wired) The Swedish national elections failed to bring the copyright reform movement its first political victory. The Pirate Party not only failed to score the 4 percent required for a seat in Sweden's Parliament, but appears to have missed the 1 percent that would have afforded the party state assistance with printing ballots and funding staff in the next election. The Pirate Party's single-issue platform includes a 5-year limit to commercial copyright, the abolition of patents and stronger privacy protections online.
UK - Copyright hindering scholarship in the humanities and social sciences +/-
(British Academy) A report from the British Academy expresses fears that the copyright system may in important respects be impeding, rather than stimulating, the production of new ideas and new scholarship in the humanities and social sciences. The Academy publishes with the report a draft set of guidelines for Fellows and scholars on their rights and duties under copyright legislation. They include : authors and producers of original creative material should understand that their interests in copyright are not necessarily identical with those of publishers and should not rely on publishers to protect them.
US - Copyright infringement - Universal will attack YouTube, MySpace +/-
(out-law.com) The world's biggest record label has said that it may pursue YouTube and MySpace for copyright infringement. The move reverses big business's recent courting of the new media titans.
- EU - ICC hopes to makes data transfer out of EU simpler +/-
(out-law.com) The International Chamber of Commerce has produced a standardised application form that can be used to seek permission from all 25 EU countries to send personal information from within the EU to outside it. It awaits approval by EU data protection authority the EC Article 29 Data Protection Working Party. The form relates to Binding Corporate Rules (BCRs), agreements which companies can enter into to control the passing of personal information from within Europe to out with it.
- EU - Ireland brings case against data retention to Europe +/-
(out-law.com) The Irish government has filed its case against the European Union's data retention directive in the European Court of Justice. Although it backs the principles of data retention, Ireland submits that the choice of Article 95 of the Treaty establishing the European Community as the legal basis for the Directive is fundamentally flawed.
- EU - Terrorism must not mean privacy breaches, says EU data guru +/-
(Silicon) The EU's data protection head has hit out at claims that privacy advocates are blocking governments' attempts to pass so-called anti-terror legislation. The EU Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) Peter Hustinx said effective legislation cannot exist without data protection controls. Including such measures in new laws can only improve them by introducing safeguards to make sure only the right individuals can access sensitive details, added Hustinx. Hustinx said in a statement: 'It is a misconception that protection of privacy and personal data holds back the fight against terrorism and organised crime.' see EU and the right to privacy: EDPS on mid-term state of play.
- Follow you, follow me +/-
(Guardian) GPS tracking can be used to stay in touch with friends, or more sinister purposes such as spying on a spouse. Ronan Fitzgerald examines the potential for abuse.
- FR - La Cnil condamne le Crédit Lyonnais à 45.000 euros +/-
(ZDNet France) Pour la première fois, la Commission nationale de l'informatique et des libertés a eu recours aux pouvoirs de sanction dont elle dispose depuis 2004, à l'encontre des entreprises ou autre entité violant la loi informatique et libertés. Le 28 juin, elle a prononcé une amende de 45.000 euros contre Le Crédit Lyonnais ( LCL) pour sanctionner une «entrave à l'action de la Commission» et l'«inscription abusive» de plusieurs clients dans un fichier central de la Banque de France.
- US - Social networking site fined $1m for gathering children's data +/-
(out-law.com) A social networking website, Xanga , has agreed to pay a $1 million fine to settle with the Federal Trade Commission in the US over allegations that it collected, used and disclosed personal details of children under 13, an offence under the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).
- EU - Distance Selling Directive: state of play and public consultation +/-
(RAPID) The European Commission has adopted a Communication on the implementation of Directive 1997/7/EC on Distance Selling, and launched a consultation in order to assess the need to update the Directive. see also Questions and Answers on Distance Selling
- FR - Jeux en ligne: la Française des Jeux et le PMU défendent leur monopole face à Bwin +/-
(ZDNet France) Les dirigeants du site de paris sportifs Bwin.com ont été mis en examen par la police française. Ils risquent plusieurs années de prison pour avoir violé le monopole d´État de la FDJ et du PMU, en proposant aux internautes français de parier en ligne. La police française a arrêté les deux patrons de la société de paris en ligne Bwin.com.
- French curbs on gambling face challenge +/-
(Financial Times) France is likely to face a legal challenge from the European Commission over its restrictions on gambling operators. The threat was made following the arrest in France of two senior executives of Bwin, an Austrian online sports betting operator. The French authorities claim Bwin has violated French gaming law, which bans private sports betting businesses from operating in the country. Under EU law, governments have the right to place restrictions on gambling and sports betting operators, but they must be "non-discriminatory, proportionate and consistent". Mr McCreevy's spokesman said: "It is not acceptable to limit the freedom to provide betting services on account of protecting consumers and at the same time allow monopoly holders to advertise betting services."
- US - Sportingbet arrest threatens internet gambling +/-
(Guardian) The future of all unlicensed forms of internet gambling - from poker to horse racing bets - in at least seven US states was under threat after it emerged that the arrest of Peter Dicks, Sportingbet's British chairman, at New York's JFK airport was linked to Louisiana state's wide-ranging laws against gambling by computer. Most legal experts had, until yesterday, seen the federal Wire Act 1961 as the main threat to internet gaming operators targeting US customers. But several states, including Louisiana, have more up-to-date laws, more suited to the internet age.
- Europäischer Gerichtshof überprüft Jugendschutzsystem +/-
(Heise) Das Landgericht Koblenz hat dem Europäischen Gerichtshof (EuGH) die Frage zur Vorabentscheidung vorgelegt, inwiefern Alterskennzeichnungen nationaler Selbstkontrollgremien wie der Freiwilligen Selbstkontrolle der Filmwirtschaft (FSK) mit EU-Recht zu vereinbaren sind. Konkret geht es um einen laufenden Rechtsstreit, bei dem ein Konkurrent einem Internet-Versandhaus untersagen lassen will, über dessen Internetpräsenz japanische Comics auf DVD oder Videokassetten ohne Prüfung durch die FSK zu vertreiben. Die verklagte Firma führt die Anime aus Großbritannien ein, wo sie durch das dortige FSK-Pendant, das British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) auf ihre Jugendfreiheit hin getestet und für Jugendliche ab 15 Jahren freigeben wurden.
- IR - Authorities boast of success in Internet filtering +/-
(Reporters sans frontières) Iran is doing its utmost to isolate its citizens from the rest of the world by purging the Internet of independent content, in the name of "morality", says Reporters Without Borders, noting that the authorities even brag about the success of their censorship. 'We are filtering more than 10 million websites', boasted the technical head of the Iranian company in charge of Internet censorship, on 11 September 2006.
- Microsoft tests parental-control software +/-
(CNET News.com) Microsoft has released a trial version of a free parental-control tool for Windows XP. Windows Live OneCare Family Safety is designed to help keep Web content that parents deem inappropriate from reaching their children. The beta version of the tool, available to the general public, updates an earlier preview version of the tool made available to about 3,000 testers in March.
Market & Technology
Main Sources and Contributors: Peter Finch, Gerhard Heine, Michael Geist, EDRI-gram, SafeKids/NetFamilyNews, David Goldstein, Beth Noveck.
- DE - Time Warner to sell AOL Germany to Telecom Italia +/-
(Associated Press) Time Warner has agreed to sell AOL Germany's Internet access business to Telecom Italia for 675 million (US$856 million), giving the Milan company a firm foothold in the German market. The all-cash deal, which is subject to regulatory approval, is expected to close early in 2007. Once complete, it will make Milan-based Telecom Italia the second-biggest provider of broadband Internet in Germany with 3.2 million customers, behind T-Online International, part of Deutsche Telekom AG.
- FR - Time Warner to sell AOL France to Neuf Cegetel +/-
(International Herald Tribune) Time Warner has agreed to sell AOL France's Internet access business to Neuf Cegetel, a French telecommunications network operator, for about $365 million in cash. Under the agreement, Neuf Cegetel will acquire AOL's Internet access business in France, including its 500,000 broadband customers. The French company will also acquire its ASME operation, which manages AOL France's customer service operations.
Links to news items about legal and regulatory aspects of Internet and the information society, particularly those relating to information content, and market and technology.
QuickLinks consists of
QuickLinks is edited by Richard Swetenham email@example.com
- a free newsletter appearing approximately once a week. The newsletter is distributed by electronic mail through an "announcement only" mailing list.
- a Web site with frequent updates, an events page, news items organised by category as well as chronologically by issue and full text search.
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