QuickLinks - 6 February 1998
issue no. 44
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.
EU - Full text of communication on International Charter
EU - Gates Backs European Calls For Internet Charter
France - Accord de coopération entre l'Etat et Microsoft
Legal and regulatory issues
- USA - DOJ broadens Microsoft investigation
The U.S. Department of Justice is broadening its investigation of Microsoft Corp. and has issued subpoenas to Web content providers developing for Microsoft's Active Desktop, the user interface component of Internet Explorer 4.0 and the forthcoming Windows 98 and NT 5.0 operating systems.
- France - Police uncover high-class prostitution Internet ring
(Nando.net - Agence France-Presse )
A vast network on high-class prostitutes working on the internet was dismantled by police who arrested the alleged organizer in France.
- Online indexer under attack
Northern Light Technology, which is trying to become the Lexis/Nexis of the Web, is under attack from multiple sources over copyright infringement.
- Brazil - Lawmakers approve computer copyright law
(Nando.net - Reuters )
Brazilian lawmakers approved a bill Wednesday guaranteeing makers of computer programscopyright for 50 years, a spokeswoman for Congress said.
- France - Controverse sur les droits d'auteurs liés aux médias électroniques
Un syndicat de journalistes français a demandé jeudi l'ouverture de négociations avec les patrons de presse, suite à une décision de justice favorable aux journalistes, concernant la reproduction de leurs articles sur des médias électroniques comme Internet.
- USA - Fonts copyrightable, judge rules
In a case that pitted Adobe Systems against a small software company in Florida, U.S. District Judge Ronald Whyte of San Jose, California, ruled that computer fonts are no different from other kinds of software, and enjoy full copyright protection.
- Latest news on DNS
New items in the DNS management file: Ira Magaziner on the US Administration's intentions and John Postel of IANA creates a stir by rerouting half the Internet's 12 dozen root servers to his own system
- USA - Olympic Games, But No Domains
With the Winter Olympics just a warm-up away, the world's sole central clearinghouse for domain registrations has received a steady flow of games-related name requests. But thanks to a little-known US law, Network Solutions Inc.'s InterNIC registry is blocking all attempts to create addresses that use the commercially sacred term "Olympic."
- Low cost Web information retrieval
Scoop Inc. launched a new Web-based search service Tuesday called Intellisearch, offering keyword searches and full-text retrieval of articles from over 1,600 newspapers, magazines, and wire services.
- USA - Net gambling supporters want regulation, not ban
Proponents of internet gambling want to see their industry legalized in the United States even if it means having their profits taxed. Internet gambling supporters testified before the House Judiciary crime subcommittee Wednesday, which is considering a bill that would allow states to outlaw such gambling.
Unsolicited commercial e-mail (spam)
- USA - FTC issues warning to spammers
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has put 1,000 spammers on notice that they aren't just luring victims with their get-rich-quick schemes and chain letters--they also are attracting law enforcement. The spammers will receive letters this week telling them that their unsolicited email asking for money probably violate the law. The FTC further warns they could face court action and fines.
- USA - Online auctioneer wages antispam war
Online auctioneer eBay, which publicly posts email addresses of its customers on its site, is waging a letter-writing campaign against those who pull those addresses off the site and then use them to send out unsolicited email.
- Human rights abuses get Internet spotlight
Amnesty International and other human rights groups are turning increasingly to electronic mail campaigns and World Wide Web pages in an effort to reach a wider audience and speed up their responses to reported torture cases or other abuses.
Information Society and Internet policy
- EU - Full text of communication on International Charter
The need for strengthened international coordination - Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions COM (98) 50
- EU - Gates Backs European Calls For Internet Charter
(Total Telecom )
Calls by European regulators for an Internet Charter to coordinate laws governing the Net received a surprise endorsement Wednesday by Bill Gates, chairman of Microsoft and no great friend of government interference.
- France - Accord de coopération entre l'Etat et Microsoft
Le gouvernement français va coopérer avec le groupe américain Microsoft pour développer les nouvelles technologies en France, a annoncé mardi le ministre de l'Economie Dominique Strauss-Kahn.
- EU - European Union hopes to boost global Internet cooperation
The European Commission launched plans on Wednesday to promote strengthened global cooperation on legal and technical problems caused by the Internet. The European Union executive proposed an "International Communications Charter" to increase coordination in removing obstacles in the world's fast-growing electronic marketplace. It said the charter could provide a blueprint for the treatment of questions ranging from data protection and copyright to taxation and consumer protection. "This is a global and fast changing business and the regulatory response must be rapid in order to be effective," said EU Trade Commissioner Sir Leon Brittan. "Otherwise we'll end up dealing with yesterday's issues." EU Industry Commissioner Martin Bangemann said the initiative had been received warmly abroad, including by Ira Magaziner, senior Internet adviser to U.S. President Bill Clinton.
- France - La France se livre à Microsoft
Le gouvernement souhaite «collaborer étroitement» avec la firme de Bill Gates en matière de recherche, de formation et de réglementation. La France a accordé hier l'asile politique à Bill Gates.
- France - Lettre ouverte à tous les amis de Bill, et néanmoins représentants du peuple français
(IRIS (Imaginons un Réseau Internet Solidaire))
Jacques Chirac, Président de la République, avait ouvert la voie en recevant Bill Gates, patron de Microsoft, lui accordant des honneurs dépassant largement la situation de ce dernier. Lionel Jospin, Premier ministre, et Dominique Strauss-Kahn, ministre de l'Économie, des Finances, et de l'Industrie, poursuivent aujourd'hui cette oeuvre majestueuse de consécration de l'insolence et de l'arrogance de l'argent.
- France - Multimédia - La France sera un acteur de premier plan/Jospin
La France sera un "acteur de premier plan" de la révolution des technologies de l'information qui s'amorce autour d'Internet, a déclaré mardi Lionel Jospin devant des dirigeants de groupes informatiques américains qui ont reconnu les potentialités du pays.
Security and encryption
- Mexico - Zapatista Rebel Supporters Wage Virtual War
In their most networked action yet, Zapatista rebel supporters hacked into a Mexican government Web site Wednesday and plastered it with pictures of the rebels' revolutionary namesake, Emiliano Zapata.
Taxation and tariffs
- WTO - U.S. wins networking tariff case
The World Trade Organization (WTO) ruled in the United States' favor in its case against the EuropeanUnion (EU), Ireland, and Britain over tariff hikes on computer equipment reclassified as communications technology,officials said today.
- Japan - WorldCom Applies To Operate Own Service
Acquisitive U.S. telecommunications firm WorldCom said it has applied with Japanese regulators for a license to offer local and long-distance telephone services in the Japanese market.
Market & Technology
- EU - Developments in surveillance technology
from An appraisal of technologies of political control - a report commissioned by the Scientific and Technological Options Assessment Unit (STOA) - (large file - 256 Kb)
Internet access and use
- ISPs face high churn rates
Internet service providers are suffering from monthly subscription cancellation rates that are five times greater than those of telecommunications services such as cellular phones, pagers, and long distance carriers, according to a report released today by telecommunications market research firm Strategis Group.
- France - Internet: accord entre France Télécom et Jet Multimédia
France Télécom et la société lyonnaise Jet Multimédia, éditeur du logiciel de connexion à internet France Explorer, ont noué un partenariat pour développer l'accès à internet et aux services en ligne sans abonnement, ont annoncé jeudi les deux groupes.
- USA - Netscape stock rises amid takeover talk
(Nando.net - Reuters )
Netscape Communications Corp. stock rose for a second straight day Thursday in the wake of speculation that the Internet software company was in talks to sell all or part of itself.
- Microsoft joins group seeking XML-based Web content specification
(InfoWorld Electric )
Microsoft on Thursday joined an industry group intent on creating a specification that allows for Extensible Markup Language (XML)-based exchange of Web content, such as automated syndication of news stories.
- Net broadcasts get a boost
A new addition to technology that aspires to alleviate current difficulties with multimedia broadcasts across the Net will be floated next week at the IP Multicast Summit, in hopes of adding much-needed reliability to the equation.
- 36 Million Copies of Navigator and Communicator to be Distributed
Netscape Communications Corp. Thursday announced that in less than two weeks, more than 3,000 OEMs, ISPs, software developers, Web content developers and others have committed to distribute more than 36 million copies of Netscape client software.
- Asian Internet Use To Rise 63 Pct, Forecast Down
The number of Asian Internet users is expected to rise by 63 percent for the 1995-2001 period, slightly down on forecasts made before the region's economic crisis began in July, a research report showed. International Data Corp Asia Pacific (IDC) said the compound annual growth rate for Internet users had been forecast at 69 percent until Thailand devalued its baht currency in early July 1997.
- Spain - Le nombre d'Espagnols ayant accès à Internet a triplé en deux ans
Le nombre d'Espagnols ayant accès au réseau internet a triplé en deux ans, passant de 487.000 en février 1996 à 1,5 million actuellement, a indiqué vendredi l'AIMC, une association spécialisée dans l'étude des médias.
QuickLinks are edited by Richard Swetenham
- Contributors: Alan Reekie
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