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(RAPID) The European Commission has formally requested Greece to take the appropriate national measures regarding broadcasting services in order to comply with a Court of Justice ruling of 14th April 2005. The Court ruling confirmed that Greece had failed to transpose within the deadline the electronic communications liberalisation Directive 2002/77/EC. The Commission has asked Greece to reply before the end of December to its request.
(RAPID) The European Commission has decided to refer Sweden to the European Court of Justice for its failure to change rules giving state-owned company Boxer TV-Access AB a monopoly to provide access control services in Sweden's digital terrestrial broadcasting network. According to the Directive on competition in the markets for electronic communications networks and services (Commission Directive 2002/77/EC), Sweden had to abolish all monopoly rights for broadcasting transmission services by July 2003. However, Sweden has so far failed to abolish Boxer TV-Access AB's monopoly. The referral to the Court is the final stage of the infringement procedure under Article 226 of the EC Treaty.
(Yahoo News) Microsoft a procédé à quelques modifications pour se conformer aux exigences de Bruxelles. Internet Explorer 7 pourra ainsi être paramétré avec n'importe quel moteur de recherche et le centre dé sécurité sera en partie désactivé.
(CNET) A senior Microsoft executive has revealed details of the European Commission's anti-competition probe into the upcoming Windows Vista operating system. He said that regulators noted four aspects of the Windows update as raising potential anti-competition concerns. Microsoft and the EC have been in protracted discussions regarding Vista since March, over regulators' concerns that parts of Vista may violate anti-competition laws.
(Insafe) In August 2005, representatives of the Ministry of Transport and Communications, the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of the Interior and the Office of the Prosecutor General decided that Finland should put forward voluntary restriction measures of websites with child sexual abuse content, following the example of other Nordic countries and Great Britain.
(Techdirt) It's always tempting for people to blame technology for certain problems, but sometimes it helps to look a little more thoroughly at the issue. An AFP report quotes the head of the FBI's cyber division talking about the rising caseload concerning pedophile predators targeting children. It's unclear if it's the reporter or the FBI who implies this, but the article focuses on how much easier technology has made life for pedophiles.
(Wired) A police investigation grew from 1,000 lines of computer code I wrote and executed some five months earlier. The automated script searched MySpace's 1 million-plus profiles for registered sex offenders - and soon found one that was back on the prowl for seriously underage boys. MySpace could do more. It should more diligently employ its technical resources to look for the signs of predation, perhaps automatically scanning the contents of private and public messages between adults and children for sexual content, backed up by a manual inspection.
(ZDNet News) by Declan McCullagh. While many countries block off some Web sites, China has long drawn heightened scrutiny because of the breadth and sophistication of its Internet censorship. Which is why it came as a surprise when a Chinese government official claimed at a United Nations summit that no Net censorship existed at all. The only problem: Few cases of Net censorship are as carefully and publicly documented as the Great Firewall of China. see also Firms defend dealings with China Keyword: IGF.
(OUT-LAW News) The arrest of a blogger by Greek police just days before Athens hosts the inaugural meeting of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) has left the blogosphere in uproar and the authorities with egg on their face.
(CircleID) by Milton Mueller. The Internet Governance Forum has opened the opportunity for a major assault on Internet blocking and filtering, and put repressive governments on the defensive by heightening awareness of the practice and pressuring them to justify it or change it. There were no less than three sessions devoted to content regulation and control. Each of these sessions was dominated by anti-censorship advocates, access to knowledge advocates and critics of overbearing state control of internet content. See transcript of plenary session on Openness, descriptions of workshops on content regulation and Freedom of Expression and Internet content filtering and blocking by national states.
(Heise) Cisco, Microsoft, Yahoo und Google hatten sich in einer lebhaften Debatte beim Internet Governance Forum in Athen erneut gegen den Vorwurf zu wehren, sie würden mit den Machthabern autoritärer Staaten gemeinsame Sache machen auf Kosten der Internetnutzer in Ländern wie China oder dem Iran.
(Guardian) Iran's Islamic government has opened a new front in its drive to stifle domestic political dissent and combat the influence of western culture - by banning high-speed internet links. Service providers have been told to restrict online speeds to 128 kilobytes a second and been forbidden from offering fast broadband packages.
(Michael Geist) Telus CEO Darren Entwistle: A voice for a copyright policy that encourages innovation, compensation for artists, and full respect for consumer rights. It is not everyday that the CEO of a major Canadian company says "lastly, and perhaps most importantly, it is time to update our copyright regime" and then proceeds to outline a vision that focuses on robust fair use rather than dangerous anti-circumvention legislation.
(IFPI) A Danish court has delivered a fresh blow to illegal music website allofmp3.com in a ruling that will make it harder for users to access the site. Allofmp3.com sells and distributes copies of hundreds of thousands of songs by international and local artists without any permission to do so. The Danish court ordered the internet provider Tele2 to block its subscribers' access to the illegal Russian music service. The case was filed by IFPI Denmark, representing the Danish recording industry. The order sides unconditionally with IFPI Denmark and directs Tele2 to stop its subscribers' access to allofmp3.com. see also MP3 Web site in Russia goes from cheap to free amid legal battles (IHT).
(01net) Le Syndicat national de l'édition (SNE) poursuit en justice Google pour contrefaçon et atteinte au droit de la propriété intellectuelle. L'organisme, qui représente 90 % des éditeurs français, reproche à l'américain de numériser sans autorisation des oeuvres littéraires encore protégées par le droit d'auteur. Il en met des extraits à disposition - de façon aléatoire - sur son service « Google recherche de livres ». Plusieurs milliers d'ouvrages seraient concernés.
(CNET) Big Blue files suit, saying mega e-tailer is infringing intellectual property ranging from advertising to hyperlink technology. IBM has targeted Amazon.com with two patent infringement lawsuits filed Monday, claiming that the online retail giant is willfully exploiting a number of its patents.
(Heise) As a counterpoint to ever more stringent copyright provisions an international treaty on Access to Knowledge (A2K) should be drawn up, a South African representative during a discussion on the openness of networks at the Internet Governance Forum has said. For some time now South Africa, a number of governments of newly industrialized countries as well as non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have been advertising the A2K Initiative toward the member states of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).
(BBC) Video-sharing service YouTube has wiped nearly 30,000 files from its website after Japanese media companies said their copyright was being infringed. The Japan Society for Rights of Authors, Composers and Publishers found 29,549 music video, movie and TV clips had been posted without permission. YouTube was recently bought by search giant Google for $1.65bn.
(BBC) Social networking site MySpace is to block users from uploading copyrighted music to its pages. It will use a file-filtering application to scan old and new content to weed out any unauthorised material. Illegal files, the company said, would be removed and persistent offenders would be banned from the site.
(BBC) It is not the music industry's job to decide consumer rights, says Institute for Public Policy Research. The think-tank has called for outdated copyright laws to be rewritten to take account of new ways people listen to music, watch films and read books.
(OUT-LAW News) A landmark Court of Appeal ruling has refused a company the right to a patent for a piece of software. The ruling, at an unusually high judicial level, is a blow for companies which want the UK to follow America's lead and allow software to be patented.
(Lessig blog) by Lawrence Lessig. So as noted here before, Britain is considering extending its copyright term for recordings from 50 years to 95 years - including both existing recordings and recordings in the future. The ippr just released a very smart report about IP issues generally. It identifies well the errors in this pattern of extension.
(Techdirt) This has been quite a week for stories about people abusing the DMCA. Now we've got more examples of similar abuses. The first also comes from the EFF who has filed a lawsuit against someone for abusing the DMCA. The person in question apparently did some stuff online to annoy a lot of people, and when others wrote nasty articles about him, he simply filed DMCA complaints to get ISPs to take down the stories -- even though there was absolutely no copyright infringement at all.
(The Register) Microsoft has agreed to sell cancer. Or least to support Novell's SuSE Linux and be more friendly to the open source operating system. In a bizarre corporate tie-up, Microsoft looks set to announce a partnership with a company it's spent years trying to crush. The company will reveal a support and software development deal with Novell around SuSE Linux. In addition, Microsoft is expected to pledge that it will not sue over IP issues around the OS.
(CNET News) The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to wade into a patent case involving Microsoft and AT&T. The outcome could alter the scope of damages that software companies must hand over for infringing activity occurring abroad.
(BBC) A perceived threat to privacy posed by radio tags has emerged as the main fear in an EU study of the technology. Unveiling the study, EU commissioner Viviane Reding said citizens needed re-assuring that radio tags would not lead to large-scale surveillance. Many of those contributing to the EU study also wanted the radio frequency ID tags to be turned off if needed. Ms Reding said she was ready to draft new laws to control how the radio frequency tags could be used.
(RAPID) Speech by Viviane Reding, Member of the European Commission responsible for Information Society and Media. EU RFID 2006 Conference: Heading for the Future, Brussels, 16 October 2006. see also Radio Frequency Identification Devices (RFID): Frequently Asked Questions on the Commission's Public onsultation.
(BBC) As we enter a more connected world, where devices talk to each other and make sense of the masses of data we create, the issue of how much control we have over this process becomes more important.
(IGF Community) At the Internet Governance Forum (IGF), a diverse group of stakeholders has agreed to launch a Dynamic Coalition on Privacy, which will address emerging issues of internet privacy protection such as digital identities, the link between privacy and development, and the importance of privacy and anonymity for freedom of expression. It will initiate an open process to further develop and clarify the public policy aspects of privacy in internet governance in the perspective of the next IGF meeting in Brazil in 2007.
(CNET News) Despite security and privacy concerns, all but three of the countries required by the U.S. to issue passports with radio tags are now doing so, the Department of Homeland Security said Thursday. Except for Andorra, Brunei and Liechtenstein, all of the 27 countries whose citizens can travel to the U.S. without a visa are now issuing "e-Passports," the department said in a statement. The passports include a radio frequency identification, or RFID, chip with the holder's information and a biometric identifier, such as a digital photograph.
(BBC) Fears that the UK would 'sleep-walk into a surveillance society' have become a reality, the government's information commissioner has said. Richard Thomas, who said he raised concerns two years ago, spoke after research found people's actions were increasingly being monitored. "
(out-law;com) Changes planned to the rules surrounding Freedom of Information legislation will prevent the most controversial information from being made public, according to legal and political experts. The media is likely to be hardest hit by proposed changes, they said.
(The Register) A campaign by Diebold to torpedo a TV documentary investigating its controversial e-voting machines looks set to backfire. Byrd cites "egregious" errors and misrepresentations, while Albrecht alleges some kind of pinko-liberal-Hollwood conspiracy against Diebold. It seems to be common practice for machines to record votes for Democrats as Republican while machines have also been hacked under tested conditions. Diebold has always maintained its machines are tested and secure.
(CNET News) Fears of glitches and foul play on computerized voting machines have prompted widespread calls for paper receipts. After reports of a rocky primary election this year, Maryland's Republican governor called for a return to all-paper ballots.
(Silicon News) OpenLearn will allow anyone across the world to access, download and use the OU's educational resources for free. The online learning material is taken from Open University courses and uses technologies including videoconferencing, mind maps and instant messaging to get teachers and students interacting and learning.
(International Herald Tribune) The British government plans to seek international support for legalized, regulated online gambling, emphasizing a trans-Atlantic difference on the issue after the Bush administration's recent move to outlaw transactions with Internet gambling services. During a conference at the Royal Ascot racecourse, the British government plans to seek adoption of a broad code of principles on Internet gambling. Officials from more than 30 countries are expected to attend, though the U.S. Justice Department has declined to send a representative.
(BBC) Online gambling sites registered in the UK would offer a "hallmark of quality" to people around the world, Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell has said. Signing up to the UK's regulatory code would enhance the sites' reputation and protect players, argued Ms Jowell. The UK hopes to become a "world leader" in internet gambling following a US ban on the activity. About 30 countries have pledged to ensure online gambling is not a source of crime and to protect consumers.
(OUT-LAW News) The UK will set itself up as an online gambling haven but will extradite executives to the US if asked, according to Sports Minister Richard Caborn. The US effectively banned online gambling with a new law earlier this year, and Caborn and Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell outlined plans to welcome internet gambling companies to the UK and to regulate them.
(BBC) by Peter Robbins, Chief executive, Internet Watch Foundation. It is exactly 10 years since the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) was set up by the internet industry to combat potentially illegal content online. Today sees the launch of our first consumer advertising campaign followed by a national series of conferences.
(BBC) More than 30,000 websites containing child pornography have been removed in the last 10 years, new figures show. The Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) said the key to addressing the problem was a partnership between the public, global authorities and web providers. The number of these sites from the UK and containing illegal material fell from 18% to 0.2% in the decade. The figures marked the IWF's first 10 years and its chief executive Peter Robbins said reporting porn was vital. See IWF Press Release.
(CNET News.com) Debate erupts at United Nations summit over Cuba's Net connection, including why it's expensive and whether it's censored. A Cuba government official told the Internet Governance Forum that the U.S. government was to blame for the poor Internet access that its citizens enjoy. A longtime Internet engineer and researcher was present and challenged those claims.
(BBC) Bloggers are being asked to show their support for freedom of expression by Amnesty International. The human rights group also wants web log writers to highlight the plight of fellow bloggers jailed for what they wrote in their online journals. The organisation said fundamental rights such as free speech faced graver threats than ever before.
(RAPDI) Speech by Viviane Reding, Member of the European Commission responsible for Information Society and Media, Internet Governance Forum Athens, 30 October 2006.
(CNET News) A long-simmering dispute over whether the U.S. government has too much control over the Internet's underpinnings will heat up again next week at a United Nations summit in Greece. Officially, the inaugural meeting of the United Nations' Internet Governance Forum is designed to explore topics like free speech, security, spam and multilingualism. But the diplomatic subtext is more pointed: Does the U.S. government have too much influence over how Internet addresses are allocated and domain names are assigned?
(BBC) The future of the net is the ambitious topic under discussion at the first global Internet Governance Forum being held in Athens. It has been set up by the UN to give governments, companies, organisations and individuals space for debate. see Reporter's Log.
(Berkman Center) If you're interested in 'the future of the Internet,' the long-term trend of parsing out Internet functions to specialized devices, or the One Laptop Per Child Initiative, check out this summary of Prof. Jonathan Zittrain's presentation on the future of the Internet at LSE.
(BBC) The developer of the world wide web says he is worried about the way it could be used to spread misinformation and "undemocratic forces". The web has transformed the way many people work, play and do business. But Sir Tim Berners-Lee told BBC News he feared that, if the way the internet is used is left to develop unchecked, "bad things" could happen. He wants to set up a web science research project to study the social implications of the web's development.
(OUT-LAW News) Anti spam organisation Spamhaus will recognise an Illinois court's authority when it fights a $11.7 million order against it. Previously the London based not-for-profit had argued that the court has no jurisdiction over it. The company has filed papers with the Illinois court room saying that it will fight the case brought against it by email marketing company e360insight. E360 claims that it is a reputable email marketing company and sued Spamhaus because it was put on the 'blocklist' which Spamhaus operates in order to identify spammers and keep their messages out of inboxes.
(New York Times) As Google has grown into the world's most popular search engine and, probably, the most powerful internet company, it has become entangled in scores of lawsuits touching on many legal questions. These include copyright violation, trademark infringement and its method of ranking websites.
(Heise) Nach Providern und Webanbietern will die Kommission für Jugendmedienschutz (KJM) nun auch die Mobilfunkbetreiber stärker in die Verantwortung nehmen, um die Verbreitung jugendschutzrelevanter Inhalte einzuschränken.
(ZDNet UK) 02 is introducing a new roaming scheme for voice calls in Europe, whereby incoming calls - currently costing 35p per minute - will be free in exchange for a monthly supplement. Starting immediately with UK customers roaming in Spain, the new tariff is planned to extend to 35 European territories by mid-2007. see also Talk as long as you like, but carry a big stick.
(FDI) Le Forum des droits sur l'internet publie sa Recommandation « Classification des contenus multimédias mobiles » . Points clés : pour les contenus accessibles sur les portails opérateurs et Gallery; une information claire des utilisateurs; Des contenus classés selon des critères communs à l´ensemble des acteurs; un système d´auto-classification des contenus par les éditeurs; une modération des services blogs, chats et forums publics. La concrétisation de la mise en place d´un système de contrôle parental : un système de contrôle parental activable lors de l´ouverture d´une ligne destinée à un mineur fin 2006, complété par un contrôle parental « renforcé » à l´étude en 2007; un système d´opt-in pour les contenus adultes. Un dispositif de mise en uvre opérationnelle pour la grille de classification. voir communiqué de presse
(RAPID) The Commission has assessed 500 notifications from Member States reviewing competition in their electronic communications markets. The most recent EETT notification concerned low speed narrowband access to fixed telephone networks in Greece. The Commission now has a clearer picture of the state of competition in all Member States, in time for the review of the regulatory framework.
(New York Sun) Thousands of Ivy Leaguers circulate their resumes each year to New York's investment banks, but few garner as much attention as Aleksey Vayner, who last week submitted an 11-page resume and video to UBS's human resources department. By the week's end, the Yale University senior's video had raised scores of eyebrows and sparked much laughter in nearly every firm on Wall Street.
(Digital Media Wire) EMI Music boss Alain Levy says CDs are dead and soon, music companies won't be able to sell them without 'value-added' material. Some 60% of consumers put CDs into PCs to transfer the contents to digital music players, he declared.
(CNET News) Google has bought JotSpot, a 3-year-old company with a system for building collaborative Web pages called wikis. JotSpot CEO Joe Kraus announced the acquisition on a blog Tuesday morning, saying that being part of search giant Google will give JotSpot access to "world-class" data centers and engineers.
(International Herald Tribune) Google's search engine became a cultural phenomenon and a verb back around 2003. Since then, Google has introduced more than two dozen applications and tools. Last week it bought YouTube, the video-sharing site, one of the most habit-forming services on the Web. The acquisition gives Google's regular users - 41 percent of those who search the Internet - one more reason to feel they are living on Planet Google.
(Guardian) Virgin has been forced into an embarrassing U-turn after a new viral advertising campaign backfired spectacularly. The company had asked readers of b3ta.com, an online community known for bad taste jokes, to create a new advert for the Virgin Money brand. Hundreds of entries were submitted, but last week the company pulled the competition from the internet after concerns over some of the submissions.
(Economist) The use of mobiles in protest and politics and even banking is evolving faster than governments' efforts to control it. Academics also find the phenomenon baffling, though they are studying it hard.
(BBC) A bespoke search engine that can be included on people's websites or blogs is the latest offering from Google. Google Custom Search Engine, as the tool is known, allows users to choose which webpages to search.
(Netcraft) There are now more than 100 million web sites on the Internet, which gained 3.5 million sites last month to continue the dynamic growth seen throughout 2006. In the November 2006 survey we received responses from 101,435,253 sites, up from 97.9 million sites last month. The Internet has doubled in size since May 2004, when the survey hit 50 million.
(BBC) The number of people in the UK who have no intention of getting internet access has risen. Net refuseniks account for 44 percent - or 11.2 million - of UK households. Of those, more than 70 percent say they have little or no intention of getting connected.
(BBC) More parents than ever now see mobiles as vital tools in supervising children's behaviour, giving them peace of mind, and making young people feel safer. Despite fears over 'happy slapping', text bullying and mobile crime, parents say that young people are safer with them than without, say researchers.
(Times) As who understood the myriad byways of authors' copyright, Charles Clark was a rarity among publishers. But before he turned to the legal wrangles of the media, he had made his name with Penguin Books in the 1960s. see also Daily Telegraph [Ed: Charles Clark was a member of the Commission's Legal Advisory Board for the Information Market. He was the author of the phrase "the answer to the machine is in the machine".]
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