- EU - European Commission proposes copyright extension Directive +/-
(OUT-LAW News) The European Commission has proposed a Directive that would give performers rights over recordings for 95 years after the recording. The change would give a player on a recording rights for the same length of time as the writer of the material. EU Competition Commissioner Charlie McCreevy has tried before to increase the term of copyright protection for performers but has previously lost the argument. The EU's commissioners have now decided to propose a Directive, though, extending the term from 50 to 95 years. See Terms of Protection page (Europa). See also Veteran rockers set for windfall (BBC).
- EU moves to free up music rights +/-
(BBC) Music download stores like Apple's iTunes could soon be able to operate one shop for the whole of Europe, under new rules brought in by EU regulators. Currently, iTunes has to negotiate the right to sell music with a different society in every European state. The European Commission says musicians should be free to choose from among the many collecting societies that handle music royalties in the 27-nation EU. The ruling will also let the societies license music in more than one country.
- Europe votes on anti-piracy laws +/-
(BBC) Europeans suspected of putting movies and music on file-sharing networks could be thrown off the web under proposals before Brussels. The powers are in a raft of laws that aim to harmonise the regulations governing Europe's telecom markets. Other amendments added to the packet of laws allow governments to decide which software can be used on the web. Campaigners say the laws trample on personal privacy and turn net suppliers into copyright enforcers.
- FR - EBay to pay out millions over French counterfeit sales +/-
(OUT-LAW News) Online auction site eBay has been fined £31.5 million and ordered to forbid the sale of some luxury perfumes in a French court order designed to battle the sale of counterfeit luxury goods. Handbag, clothing and perfume company Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy (LVMH) sued eBay in the French courts, claiming that the company did not do enough to combat the sale of counterfeits of its goods. EBay claims that it cannot police all the sales through its site and that it makes no guarantee that goods are genuine, and that it suspends counterfeit auctions when notified of them. The French court, though, found "serious faults" in eBay's processes that led to auctions of counterfeit goods going ahead. By allowing the sales, it said, eBay had damaged the reputation of luxury brands such as Louis Vuitton and Christian Dior.
- FR - Riposte graduée : la France propose son modèle à ses homologues européens +/-
(ZDNet) Le 1er juillet, la France prendra la présidence de l'Union européenne pour six mois. La ministre de la Culture entend en profiter pour dégager un consensus général sur la lutte contre le téléchargement sur les réseaux peer-to-peer. Christine Albanel, ministre de la Culture, veut transposer le modèle français de lutte contre le téléchargement illégal à l'ensemble de l'Europe. Elle a présenté à la presse ses objectifs en la matière, alors que la France s'apprête à prendre la présidence de l'Union européenne à partir du 1er juillet. voir aussi Projet Hadopi : retour sur les enjeux et les forces en présence.
- UK - Virgin admits disconnection threat mistake +/-
(OUT-LAW News) Virgin Media has said that a threat sent out to 800 of its customers that they could be disconnected from the internet because of alleged copyright infringement was a mistake. The envelope containing a letter warning subscribers that their account was being used for illegal file-sharing was printed with the words "Important. If you don't read this, your broadband could be disconnected". A Virgin Media spokeswoman told OUT-LAW that the message was a mistake. "We are not accusing our customers of doing anything, we are alerting them to the fact that illegal file sharing has been tracked to their account. This could have been someone else in the house or an unsecured wireless network. This is an education campaign," she said. The company has shared information with music rights holders' group the BPI in order to identify accounts which may have been used for copyright-infringing file sharing. The spokeswoman said, though, that no names or addresses were passed to the BPI and that it had been responsible for the envelope, a mistake that it was "rectifying immediately".
- US - Tiffany loses legal fight against eBay over counterfeit goods +/-
(Guardian) eBay has won a four-year legal battle with Tiffany over the jeweller's complaint that the online website amounted to a "rat's nest" auction of counterfeit watches, bracelets and necklaces. A judge in New York ruled that eBay could not be held responsible for policing the contents of its site, and that it was Tiffany's role to draw fake designer jewellery to the auctioneer's attention. The verdict is a relief to eBay which lost a similar case in Paris two weeks ago when a French court ordered it to pay 38.6m in damages to the luxury goods manufacturer LVMH for allowing the sale of fake bags, perfumes and designer clothes.
- EU - EDPS Opinion on safer Internet for children +/-
(RAPID) The European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) has adopted an Opinion on the proposed multiannual Community programme on protecting children using the Internet and other communication technologies. The EDPS fully supports the general orientations of the programme aiming at more efficiently protecting children using the Internet, while adapting to the evolution of new technologies. He stresses the fact that the protection of children's data is an essential first step in guaranteeing more safety and prevention of abuse on the Internet. Data protection considerations should also apply to all persons who are connected in some way with the information circulating on the network to prevent illegal content and harmful conduct (e.g. person reported as suspect, reporting person, victim of abuse). Data protection authorities play a decisive role in the protection of children on the Internet. This should be taken into consideration when it comes to the implementation of the multiannual programme.
- Google bows to pressure, adds privacy link to home page +/-
- UK privacy watchdog says EU laws are not good enough +/-
(OUT-LAW News) The UK's privacy watchdog has said that EU privacy laws are out of date and in need of reform. The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has commissioned a research firm to look into how the law could be changed. The ICO said that Commissioner Richard Thomas would lead an international debate on how the law could and should change. Data protection laws across the EU are derived from the European Directive on Data Protection.
- US - Google and Viacom reach deal over YouTube user data +/-
(Guardian) Google has struck a deal to protect the personal data of millions of YouTube users in the $1bn copyright court case brought against the video-sharing website by Viacom. Under the deal, Google will make user information and internet protocol addresses from its YouTube subsidiary anonymous before handing over the data to Viacom in the US legal case.
- US - Google must divulge YouTube log +/-
(BBC) Gooogle must divulge the viewing habits of every user who has ever watched any video on YouTube, a US court has ruled. The ruling comes as part of Google's legal battle with Viacom over allegations of copyright infringement. Digital rights group the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) called the ruling a "set-back to privacy rights". The viewing log, which will be handed to Viacom, contains the log-in ID of users, the computer IP address (online identifier) and video clip details. While the legal battle between the two firms is being contested in the US, it is thought the ruling will apply to YouTube users and their viewing habits everywhere.
- US - Social networking site divulges child's personal data +/-
(LA Times) Reunion.com previously linked to other data providers when users searched its site for names. Last month, the site decided to build its own database by acquiring files on as many as 260 million people from a private data broker. A mother was upset to find the name of her 4-year-old son.
- EU - Commission sounds alarm on 116 child hotline delays +/-
(RAPID) Parents and children need to be able to call help quickly and free of charge while travelling in the EU. In the UK and Belgium alone more than 7,500 children were reported missing in 2007. Public concern about child safety has been heightened by cases like the disappearance of Madeleine McCann in Portugal. In 2007, the Commission took action by reserving, at national level, six-digit numbers starting with 116 for missing children hotlines (116000) and for helplines (116111) with which children can seek assistance. However, a recent EU survey shows that only a minority of Member States have assigned these numbers to service providers: seven for 116000 and ten for 116111. The Commission has called on Member States to speed up implementation of these numbers. Under EU law Member States do not have to assign the numbers, but are required to reserve them and inform the public and providers of their availability. The survey shows few efforts by Member States to make known the numbers' availability, delaying their implementation.
- JP - Only 20% of known child porn sites heed watchdog's call to shut down +/-
(Kyodo News) Only 20 percent of some 1,600 known child pornography sites were taken off the Internet in 2007 despite pressure from a Tokyo-based watchdog that monitors the harmful sites. As the Internet Hotline Center Japan is not authorized to enforce deletions or issue requests for such action to foreign servers, cross-border exchanges of pornographic images continue. The center detected 1,609 child porn sites last year, based mainly on tipoffs, and urged the taking down of 526 whose servers are located in Japan. However, only 339 accepted the request.
- ZA - New website to expose child pornography +/-
(BuaNews) Members of the public can now anonymously report any images of sexual abuse discovered on the internet through a newly launched website in South Africa. The website, www.fpbprochild.org.za, which is available 24 hours, seven days a week was launched in Johannesburg by Deputy Minister of Home Affairs Malusi Gigaba. Mr Gigaba said the website service will afford members of the public an opportunity to report any incidences of child pornography online and remain anonymous. "Our internet content analysts will assess the contents of any reported website and will forward a detailed report to the law enforcement agencies in South Africa for further action. The Film and Publication Board fully supports the initiative Other stakeholders in the fight against child pornography included the South African Police Service, SABC and the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa.
- EU - Internet phone calls getting popular in European homes +/-
(RAPID) An EU-wide survey of 27,000 households has revealed the emergence of new consumption patterns in telecoms services in Europe. Technological progress and competition have brought more choice to European consumers; 24% of households have given up their fixed telephone in favour of mobile phones while 22% of them are using their computer from home to make phone calls over the Internet. In an increasing number of Member States, European households are using wireless access to connect to the Internet, via mobile or satellite networks. Meanwhile, 29% of European households buy bundled telecoms and media packages, an increase of nearly 10% since last year. Nevertheless, the top priority for consumers in this fast evolving environment remains the quality of services.
- EU - Special Eurobarometer survey "E-Communications household" +/-
(Europa) eCommunications household survey: The results of a special Eurobarometer survey conducted by TNS Opinion & Social between 9 November 2007 and 14 December 2007 to measure the attitude of European households and individuals towards fixed and mobile telephony, IT equipment and Internet access, TV broadcast services, bundled offers, telephone directories and 112 emergency call number. The survey covers the 27 EU Member States, with an average of 1,000 households interviewed per country. Full Report Summary.
- Social applications driving the mobile web +/-
(vnunet.com) New research suggests that global mobile web users will jump from 577 million today to over 1.7 billion by 2013. Juniper Research attributes the growth primarily to surging demand for collaborative applications, and greater penetration of next-generation mobile infrastructure. Accessing social networking, user-generated content, instant messaging and location-based services on the go will drive more and more people to the mobile web, the report claims. However, this shift towards the direct-to-consumer model will put pressure on mobile network operators and handset manufacturers to relinquish some of their control over the value chain by opening up networks and devices to third-parties.
- UK - Survey says 11% of kids have online sex chats +/-
(PC Advisor) 11 percent of children have had a sexually explicit conversation online, according to a survey by The Carphone Warehouse. The Mobile Life survey, which polled 6,000 adults and children about their web and mobile habits also revealed that a quarter of 11 to 18 years olds had visited adult websites and 10 percent had met people they first interacted with online. Almost half the children surveyed admitted they lie to their parents about their online activities, with most using homework as a cover for surfing the net or social networking. Thirty-three percent revealed they would be in trouble if their parents knew what they were really looking at.