- CN - The great firewall of China +/-
(Guardian) Hugo de Burgh, a journalism professor and expert on China, argued that only a "tiny" proportion of people in the world's most populous state were in prison for journalism or blogging. Speaking at a debate entitled the Great (Fire)Wall of the Internet, Professor de Burgh said it was important not to overstate the curbs on free speech in China, which were often a legacy of confused laws and perpetrated by local officials. His remarks drew opposition from several of those present at the debate, organised by the London School of Economics and Reporters sans Frontières (RSF).
- DE - Bischof Huber: Internet erhöht Gewaltbereitschaft Jugendlicher +/-
(Heise) Der Ratsvorsitzende der Evangelischen Kirche in Deutschland (EKD), Bischof Wolfgang Huber, hat das Internet für die erhöhte Gewaltbereitschaft Jugendlicher verantwortlich gemacht. "Was im Internet möglich ist, stellt eine große Gefahr dar. Jugendliche tauchen auf manchen Internetseiten in eine Welt der Gewalt ein, die dann real wird", sagte Huber im Gespräch mit der "Welt am Sonntag". Huber äußerte sich vor dem Hintergrund des Amoklaufes von Emsdetten. Am Donnerstag war an einem Berliner Gymnasium ein weiterer Amoklauf verhindert worden.
- DE - New calls for a ban on "killer games" +/-
(Heise) After a massacre at a school in the German town of Emsdetten, the dispute about whether killer games are one of the causes for the increase in violence among young people has heated up again in Germany, as has the call for a ban on such games.
- DE - Niedersachsens Innenminister startet Bundesratsinitiative gegen "Killerspiele" +/-
(Heise) Mit einer Bundesratsinitiative will Niedersachsens Innenminister Uwe Schünemann (CDU) ein Verbot von gewaltverherrlichenden Computerspielen erreichen. Ziel sei ein Herstellungs- sowie ein Verbreitungsverbot, sagte ein Sprecher des Ministeriums gegenüber dpa. Ein Herstellungsverbot sei zwar schwer umsetzbar, da der Großteil der Baller-Spiele im Ausland programmiert werde. Ein Verbot zur Verbreitung in Deutschland sei allerdings ein wichtiger erster Schritt. Siehe auch Kritik an "naiver Scheindebatte" um das Verbot von "Killerspielen".
- DE - Studien: Computerspiele können aggressiv machen +/-
(Heise online) Der Konsum von gewaltverherrlichenden Computerspielen erhöht Studien der Universität Potsdam zufolge die Aggressionsbereitschaft bei Kindern, Jugendlichen und Erwachsenen. Experimente belegen, dass solche Spiele aggressive Gedanken und Gefühle sowie aggressives Verhalten begünstigen, teilte die Potsdamer Universität mit.
- 'Enemies of the internet' named +/-
(BBC) A list of 13 'enemies of the internet' has been released by human rights group Reporters Without Borders (RSF). For the first time, Egypt has been added to the list while Nepal, Libya and the Maldives have all been removed. The list consists of countries that RSF believes are suppressing freedom of expression on the internet.
- IT - Italians mull computer games sales ban to kids +/-
(The Register) Italian MPs debated if computer games featuring sex and violence are sending their country's children berserk. The meeting was convened after the proposed release of Rule of Rose, a computer game some fear will corrupt Italian children, erupted into an international tizz - within the computer games industry and some corridors in Brussels, at least. A consensus emerged that retailers should be made legally answerable to PEGI, the European ratings system for computer games, set up in 2003. Even retailers are warming to the idea.
- IT - Italy investigating Google over bullying video +/-
(Reuters) Italian prosecutors put two Google Italy representatives under investigation as part of an inquiry into how a video of teenagers harassing an autistic classmate surfaced on its video site, a judicial source said. The two are accused of failing to check on the content of the video posted on the Internet search engine's Web site. The video, which sparked outrage in the country, showed four teenagers beating and poking fun at a 17-year-old disabled boy in a classroom in the northern Italian city of Turin.
- US - Study: Effects of violent games linger in brain +/-
(Reuters) Teens who play violent video games show increased activity in areas of the brain linked to emotional arousal and decreased responses in regions that govern self-control, a study presented at the Radiological Society of North America's annual meeting found. The study used functional magnetic resonance imaging to record tiny metabolic changes in brain activity in 44 adolescents who were asked to perform a series of tasks after playing either a violent or nonviolent video game for 30 minutes.
- US - Video game industry gets annual report card from watchdog group +/-
(Ars Technica) Issued by the National Institute on Media and the Family, the 11th Annual MediaWise Video Game Report Card attempts to provide a 'snapshot' of the video game industry and its relationship with parents, teens, and children.
- BE - Google copyright ruling due 2007 +/-
(Guardian) The judge presiding over the copyright infringement case between Google and a number of Belgian newspapers has said that he will not be announcing his ruling until next year. Google appeared in a Belgian court to defend claims that it took content from newspaper websites without paying or asking permission. In September, Copiepresse - an organisation that represents the French and German-speaking Belgian press - won a ruling ordering Google to remove content from some Belgian newspapers from its website.
- BE - Google settles copyright dispute with 2 groups in Belgium +/-
(Bloomberg, AP) Google has settled with two Belgian groups representing photographers and journalists in a copyright dispute. The agreement with the Belgian copyright groups Sofam, representing the rights of about 3,700 photographers, and Scam, which acts for journalists, is the first step forward in a dispute that started with the introduction of Google News in Belgium.
- CN - Music labels lose MP3 search case +/-
(BBC) China's leading web search engine has been cleared of copyright infringement by a Beijing court. Baidu.com faced a lawsuit from music companies after posting links to sites offering illegal music downloads. But the ruling said the service did not constitute an infringement as the music was downloaded from webservers of third parties.
- Google Suffers Setback in Copyright Case +/-
(Associated Press) Yahoo has rebuffed Google's attempt to learn more about its efforts to create digital copies of books, dealing the Internet search leader another setback as it prepares to fight against a copyright infringement suit.
- RU - Russia agrees to shut down Allofmp3.com +/-
(CNET News.com) Russia has agreed to shut down Allofmp3.com and other music sites based in that country that the U.S. government says are offering downloads illegally. The nation has struck the agreement with the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative as it seeks entry to the World Trade Organization. The U.S. has suggested that it would hold up Russia's acceptance in the WTO unless leaders there took action against digital piracy.
- UK - Recording industry plans authorisation for music CD copying +/-
(OUT-LAW News) The UK's main recording industry body wants to authorise UK music buyers to copy CDs for personal use. The British Phonographic Industry (BPI) has recommended to a Government investigation that a private right to copy be created.
- UK - Software patent rulings become Patent Office benchmark +/-
(OUT-LAW News) The UK Patent Office will use the judgments in two recent Appeals Court patent cases as the benchmark for all future disputes over the patentability of software. The cases will replace all past case law as the basis for future decisions, it said.
- US - How to gag your enemies using the DMCA +/-
(The Register) The DMCA is supposed to protect copyright owners, it can be an enormous hammer to crack a very small nut. Its safe harbor provisions mean that US webhosts and ISPs feel they have to remove entire sites from the web, to protect themselves from punishment. Take down first, ask questions later, is the order of the day. This gives copyright holders enormous scope to browbeat ISPs into acting as censors-by-proxy. Mischief-makers and bamboozlers can join the fun too.
- US - Internet Archive wins copyright reprieve +/-
(OUT-LAW News) The Internet Archive project has won an exemption from US copyright law, overcoming an obstacle which threatened the entire work of the not-for-profit group. It can now host copies of obsolete computer games and software without fear of prosecution. The Library of Congress has published six exemptions to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which criminalises duplication of material copyrighted to someone else. The exemption is from punishment for breaking the kinds of copy controls on material which are designed to stop unauthorised duplication.
- US - MySpace sued by Universal Music +/-
(BBC) Universal Music Group is suing MySpace - claiming the online social network site is encouraging its users to illegally share music and music videos. It accuses MySpace of allowing people to illegally upload videos and of providing the technology for users to share the content with others.
- US - NTP slaps Palm with patent infringement suit +/-
(CNET News) After settling with Blackberry maker earlier this year, NTP's lawyers are now going after Palm's wireless e-mail devices. Palm's Treo smart phones are likely the intended target of NTP's lawsuit. NTP is looking for an injunction on the sale of Palm products that allegedly violate its patents, as well as monetary damages. NTP settled a legal ordeal with RIM earlier this year for $612.5 million, after alleging that RIM's BlackBerry devices and wireless e-mail service infringed on NTP's patents.
- IGF - Discussion against Internet content control +/-
(EDRIgram) The first global Internet Governance Forum (IGF) was organized by United Nations in Athens between 30 October and 2 November 2006. The forum has shown a strong and large opposition to Internet blocking and filtering, putting under pressure repressive governments such as China. The three sessions devoted to content regulation and control have been dominated by the advocates of anti-censorship and access to knowledge that have criticized the state control of Internet content.
- IGF - Eine Erfindung für die Globalpolitik +/-
(Teepolis) von Wolfgang Kleinwächter. Das erste Internet Governance Forum (IGF) war ein Experiment, eine Innovation, von der niemand wusste, ob sie funktioniert. Das IGF betrete "unbekanntes Territorium" ("unchartered water") hatte UN-Generalsekretär Kofi Annan zu Beginn des IGF gesagt. Nach vier Tagen Diskussion in sechs Plenarsitzungen, knapp 40 Workshops mit mehr als 200 Vorträgen und nicht mehr überschaubaren bi- und multilateralen Gesprächen am Rande der Tagung über nahezu alle Aspekte der zukünftigen Internetentwicklung hat die Mehrheit der 1.500 Teilnehmer, die von Regierungen, der Privatwirtschaft, der Zivilgesellschaft sowie der technischen akademischen Community kamen, einen positive Bilanz gezogen. Das IGF funktioniert, es war ein Erfolg, es war sogar ein "außerordentlicher Erfolg" ("outstanding success") wie der sonst eher nüchtern urteilende Vorsitzende der IGF-Advisory Group, Kofi Annans Internet Berater Nitin Desai, am Ende sagte.
- IGF- Internet governance: it's like an arranged marriage +/-
(Guardian) By the last day of the IGF everyone had decided that the forum had come up trumps. A determined effort by the OECD to create an international coalition to fight spam finally took off. Another 'dynamic coalition' was formed to push open standards to governments across the world. A third coalition promised to look at gender issues; a fourth determined to set up an 'Internet Bill of Rights'. Another was set up to raise funds for developing countries. Yet another promised to push access to knowledge and to protect freedom of expression online.
- DE - German government reaches agreement on Telecommunications Act +/-
(Heise) The governing coalition of the CDU/CSU and the SPD has reached an agreement on amendments to the Telecommunications Act. The provisions to temporarily exempt new markets from regulation in the government's draft had "only been slightly modified." The dispute with the EU Commission is about to heat up. The Commission's legal experts believe that investigations into the legality of the revisions are inevitable if the bill takes effect in its current version.
- EU - Commission asks UK regulator not to include 3G auction costs in mobile phone termination rates +/-
(RAPID) In a letter sent to the Office of Communications ('Ofcom', the UK telecom watchdog), the European Commission expresses concerns as to how wholesale tariffs, charged by the five UK mobile operators for terminating calls to their customers, have been assessed. In the Commission's view, Ofcom's proposed tariffs keep termination values higher than necessary due to 3G spectrum cost valuations which risk overestimating the costs.
- EU - From Service Competition to Infrastructure Competition: the Policy Options Now on the Table +/-
(RAPID) Speech by Viviane Reding, Member of the European Commission responsible for Information Society and Media, ECTA Conference 2006, Brussels, 16 November 2006.
- LU - L'accès large bande au Luxembourg seront davantage ouverts à la concurrence +/-
(RAPID) Dans une lettre au régulateur luxembourgeois des télécommunications, l'Institut Luxembourgeois de Régulation ("ILR"), la Commission européenne accepte une mesure réglementaire proposée par l'LR et qui donnera aux nouveaux opérateurs sur le marché un accès à large bande (ou accès « bitstream ») aux clients finaux à travers les réseaux à haut débit de l'EPT (Entreprise des Postes et Télécommunications), l'opérateur historique de télécommunications au Luxembourg. La Commission salue en particulier le fait que le remède proposé garantit un accès large bande indépendant de la technologie utilisée par l´EPT (ADSL2, ADSL2+ et VDSL).