- EU - European Commission is misleading EU on copyright extension, says academic +/-
(OUT-LAW News) The European Commission "wilfully ignored" studies that it paid for whose conclusions disagreed with its policy and the Commission is misleading the European Union Council, Parliament and citizens over copyright extension, a leading academic has warned. Professor Bernt Hugenholtz is the director of the University of Amsterdam's Institute for Information Law (IViR) and has written an open letter to Commissioner Jose Manuel Barroso that is starkly critical of its controversial policies on copyright extension.
- EU Piratage sur internet: les fournisseurs doivent informer leurs clients +/-
(AFP) Commission européenne et Etats membres sont tombés d'accord, lors de la réunion informelle des ministres européens de la Culture et de l'Audiovisuel à Versailles, sur la nécessité d'une "obligation d'information" sur les conséquences du piratage sur internet pour les fournisseurs d'accès.
- IT - Italian media company sues YouTube +/-
(IDG News Service) Italian media conglomerate Mediaset Group has sued YouTube for €500 million (US$780 million), alleging the Google video-sharing site illegally hosts thousands of video clips that belong to Mediaset. The suit, filed in civil court in Rome, names both YouTube and parent company Google. The company claims that on June 10, there were 4,643 video clips on YouTube, totalling more than 325 hours of material, owned by Mediaset.
- UK - Illegal filesharing: Government hits back at BPI over last-minute letter +/-
(Guardian) A hardline letter sent by the BPI at the 11th hour threatened to undermine a deal to tackle illegal filesharing, prompting the government to express its displeasure of the music industry body in a terse response to record label executives. The BPI's letter, signed by the body's chief executive, Geoff Taylor, was sent to Baroness Vadera, the business minister; the UK's six biggest internet service providers; and the Motion Picture Association of America, the Hollywood studios' trade organisation.
- UK - Leading ISPs agree to warn illegal file-sharers +/-
(OUT-LAW News) The UK's six major internet service providers (ISPs) have agreed to write to 1,000 of their subscribers a week on behalf of the music and film industries warning them not to engage in copyright-infringing file-sharing. The announcement came as the Government admitted that an industry-wide voluntary agreement to tackle illegal file sharing is unlikely to emerge. The Government has brokered a deal between content owners and the UK's six major ISPs on the writing to subscribers and on negotiation over what action to take against persistent illegal activity. Those ISPs and the film and music industries will create a code of conduct governing what to do with subscribers who do not stop their activities when warned. No decision has yet been made on whether or not the code will require ISPs to terminate accounts which have been used for illegal file-sharing. See: The Government consultation, including the Memorandum of Understanding(66-page / 499KB PDF) .
- US - Judge: Copyright owners must consider 'fair use' +/-
(CNET) A Federal judge refused to dismiss a suit claiming that Universal abused the Digital Millennium Copyright Act when it issued a takedown notice to YouTube over a 30-second video of a baby dancing to a Prince song. Judge Fogel held that copyright owners must consider fair use before sending DMCA takedown notices. See also Sampling a song can be fair use (OUT-LAW News).
- US - Microsoft patents 'Page Up' and 'Page Down' +/-
(News.com) Microsoft has been granted a patent on 'Page Up' and 'Page Down' keystrokes. The software giant applied for the patent in 2005, and was granted it on August 19, 2008. US patent number 7,415,666 describes "a method and system in a document viewer for scrolling a substantially exact increment in a document, such as one page, regardless of whether the zoom is such that some, all or one page is currently being viewed". However, Page Up and Page Down keyboard buttons have been in existence for at least quarter of a century, as evidenced by this image of a 1981 IBM PC keyboard.
- US - Open source licence conditions are backed by copyright law +/-
(OUT-LAW News) Breaching the open source licence that came with free software amounted to infringement of copyright, a US Court of Appeal has ruled. The landmark ruling has been welcomed as a major boost to the free and open source software publishing models.
- AU - New Filter Test by Australian Government Shows Filter Effectiveness +/-
(Filtering Facts) The Australian Communications and Media Authority released a report on Closed environment testing of ISP-level internet content filtering. This report presents the findings of the closed environment testing of ISP-level filters conducted in 2008. The trial was conducted in response to a ministerial direction received in June 2007. Among the report's findings: Successful blocking (the proportion of illegal and inappropriate content that should have been blocked that was successfully blocked) was between 88% and 97% with most achieving over 92%. The median rate of successful blocking was improved from the previous trial. Overblocking (the proportion of content that was blocked that should not have been blocked) was between 1% and 6%, with most falling under 3%. The median overblocking rate was significantly improved from the previous trial.
- DE - BKA fordert Sperrung kinderpornographischer Webseiten +/-
(Heise) Der Chef des Bundeskriminalamtes (BKA), Jörg Ziercke, hat sich bei der Vorstellung des Lagebilds zur organisierten Kriminalität 2007 dafür ausgesprochen, Internetprovider gesetzlich zur Sperrung von Angeboten mit kinderpornographischen oder fremdenfeindlichen Inhalten zu verpflichten. "Der Großteil der Kinderpornographie wird über kommerzielle Webseiten verwaltet", betonte Ziercke in Berlin. Es gehe dabei um "Millioneneinnahmen". Das "Access-Blocking" könne daher eine "wichtige Maßnahme" sein, um das Geschäft mit Kinderpornographie weniger lukrativ zu machen.
- Review: Livia Web Protection offers the first-rate filtering of Websense for Parents +/-
(Filtering Facts) Some former Websense managers have started up an Internet security solutions provider called Total Tech. Their product offering is called Livia Web Protection, and it's basically Websense's filtering "in the cloud" - i.e., with the filtering done on remote servers rather than on your desktop. This is a good thing, because filtering databases have become too large and are updated too frequently now to be practical running on individual desktops as they were in the 1990s. This is about the best quality filtering I've seen, blocking everything in my test sample.
- UK fails to bar internet access to child porn +/-
(Observer) Some UK households could access websites known to host images of child sex abuse despite a government pledge made two years ago to stop access to paedophile sites. Last night a coalition of leading children's charities, including Barnardo's, the NSPCC and National Children's Homes, described the situation as 'completely unacceptable'. They have written to the Home Office minister in charge of crime reduction, Vernon Coaker, urging him to take immediate steps to ensure all telecom companies offering internet access block customers from being able to see images that in some cases show children as young as a year old being sexually abused. Around 5 per cent of consumer broadband connections can access the images because their internet service providers (ISPs) chose not to subscribe to a scheme introduced by the Internet Watch Foundation to bar known paedophile websites. See open letter to Vernon Coaker.
- US - Cablevision To Block Child Porn Sites - NY AG +/-
(Dow Jones) Cablevision Systems is the latest Internet provider to reach an agreement with New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo to block access to bulletin boards and Web sites that distribute child pornography. Cuomo said the media and entertainment company has signed his code of conduct, which requires the companies to restrict access by their customers to Web sites and newsgroups - or public bulletin boards where they can upload or download files - that have been identified as sites that disseminate child pornography.
- Web filtering software is moving to the cloud +/-
(New York Times) Web filtering software is moving to the cloud - that all-knowing, pervasive, sometimes unreliable cluster of computers in the digital ether - and it's going to watch your every move online and tattle to your boss. Zscaler's idea is to relieve companies of the tiresome and costly burden of managing Web filtering and security on their own servers. Instead, the cloud-based service, which is rented to companies by the month, acts like a Web proxy, intercepting all incoming and outbound HTTP traffic from employees and scrubbing it for malware and online activity that violates company policy.