QuickLinks - 15 December 1997
issue no. 28
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.
Microsoft case in court
Digital Citizen Survey
Legal and regulatory issues
Access to public sector information / IT in government
- Microsoft case in court
U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson has dealt the software giant a legal setback, but it remains unclear what the final outcome of the Justice Department's historic antitrust case will be. This NEWS.COM special package provides detailed analysis of the legal, financial, and technological ramifications of the case in its gavel-to-gavel coverage.
- Barksdale: Browser war a horse race
(News.com - Reuters)
Netscape Communications (NSCP) geared up today to take advantage of a federal court decision rewriting the rules of competition with Microsoft. "We plan to be much more aggressive now in this whole area of PC manufacturers, showing them a lot of neat new ideas we have and new opportunities for them," Netscape CEO Jim Barksdale said in a telephone interview from Mountain View, California, where the company is based. "We're very excited...This is a horse race."
- United States of America, Petitioner v. Microsoft Corporation, Respondent
Text of court decision handed down by U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield forbidding Microsoft from requiring Windows 95 licensees to carry the Internet Explorer Web browser. Jackson ordered the company to "cease and desist" from the practice, known as "tying," which is at the heart of the case the Justice Department brought against the software giant in late October.
- Germany - Les groupes allemands Kirch et Bertelsmann ont décidé de suspendre la commercialisation du décodeur
Les groupes allemands Kirch et Bertelsmann ont décidé de suspendre avec effet immédiat la commercialisation du décodeur pour leur chaîne de télévision numérique à péage, Première, a confirmé lundi un porte-parole de la Commission européenne. TV à péage: Kirch et Bertelsmann suspendent la vente de leur décodeur
- EU-US - Joint EU-U.S. Statement on electronic commerce 5 December 1997
- Net alcohol sales the next porn?
(News.com - Reuters)
New York State attorney general Dennis Vacco is on the warpath against what he says is the latest Net evil: sales of alcohol to minors online. "These Internet bootleggers routinely ignore state laws, making no attempt to determine if purchasers are of legal age to buy their products. As a result, teenagers who can't legally buy a can of beer at the corner store, can get virtually any type of alcohol beverage delivered right to their doorstep," he said in a statement.
- Internet Puts Sentencing Guidelines To Test
(The Hartford Courant - Connecticut News)
On the day after Christmas 1995, John Salmon logged onto the Internet from the privacy of his home. With a few computer keystrokes, he was about to destroy his marriage and career as a police officer.
- California bill to limit liability
In an effort to protect companies from huge court awards for Year 2000 related problems, a California state legislator has proposed a bill that would limit damages in Year 2000 cases. State Assemblyman Brooks Firestone, a Los Olivos Republican, is expected to submit a bill next month that would prohibit awarding damages for pain and suffering, limiting them to cases of bodily injury and to reflect costs "reasonably incurred to reprogram or replace and internally test the relevant," computer system, according to the draft language of the proposed bill.
- EU - Les opérateurs européens se préparent au big bang des télécoms
Privatisations, rachats et renversements d'alliances ont marqué en 1997 la dernière ligne droite vers l'ouverture du marché européen des télécommunications à la concurrence dans moins d'un mois. A partir du 1er janvier, les consommateurs allemands, belges, français, italiens, suisses et autrichiens pourront choisir leur compagnie de téléphone, emboîtant le pas aux cinq pays européens où la concurrence est déjà une réalité (Pays-bas, Danemark, Finlande, Suède, Royaume-Uni). L'Espagne suivra en novembre 1998, et la Grèce, le Luxembourg, l'Irlande et le Portugal dans un an ou deux.
Market & Technology
- Entertainment no cash cow for Net
(News.com - Reuters)
Content may be king in the entertainment industry, but so far it is not making anybody much money on the Internet. As new distribution outlets like the Internet and satellite television began to take off in recent years, "content is king" became the rallying cry of Hollywood as it sought to dominate the market through control of the material on the airwaves.
Internet access and use
- Internet access heats as big players fuel market
It took them a while to even figure out that Internet access might make a nice little sidekick to the voice business. But telephone companies are now quickly recognizing the rosy future in broadband -- and while they struggle to play catch-up, they're forming partnerships with the cable companies that figured it out faster.
- Those Wonderful Web Sites: Will They Last?
Many Americans are now busy trying to find the perfect holiday gifts, having made the annual transition from "Thanks" to "giving." While cataloging my list of things to be thankful for, and my list of gifts to buy for loved ones, I began to ponder what services on the Internet are available for the asking, and which ones we have to pay for.
- Lycos adds site ratings from users
Lycos Inc. wants to harvest the opinions of its user base to improve the quality of its search results. This week at Internet World, the company debuted a set of tools for users to submit ratings for Web sites, and announced that the ratings data will be incorporated into its search feature.
Security and encryption
- New cryptographic system proposed
Networked computers require strong cryptography, the coding that makes data secure. Now cryptographers are looking to a mathematical system known as an elliptic curve to solve the efficiency conundrum. They believe that Elliptical Curve Cryptography (ECC) demands less computational power and, therefore, offers more security per bit.
- USA - Digital Citizen Survey
(The Wired/Merrill Lynch Forum)
The first in-depth poll finds Digital Citizens are optimistic, tolerant, civic-minded, and radically committed to change. Analysis by Jon Katz. The poll divided Americans into four categories, depending upon their usage of the Internet for exchanging email and their use of four other targeted technologies: cell
phone, laptop, beeper/pager and home computer. Very detailed (80 questions).
QuickLinks are edited by Richard Swetenham
- Contributors: Gunnar Bender, Alan Reekie
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