QuickLinks 135 - 5 December 1999
Forthcomings events | Background items
Legal and regulatory issues
- Spain Pushes Public Net Access (internetnews.com) In an effort to bring the Internet to disadvantaged sectors of society, Spain's government has announced plans to fund public access endeavors and improved infrastructure in rural areas.
- USA - City Council votes to fight e-mail disclosure ruling (Boston Globe) The Boston City Council voted in a closed-door session yesterday to hire an attorney to fight the state attorney general's recent ruling that councilors must turn over their e-mail correspondence to media organizations.
- Statt Rundfunkgebühren sollen Holländer mehr Steuern zahlen (dpa) Mit Jahresbeginn sollen in den Niederlanden die Rundfunkteilnehmer statt Gebühren höhere Einkommensteuer zahlen.
- EU - Soccer may win collective contract reprieve (Financial Times) Soccer leagues in Europe may be allowed by the European Commission to continue negotiating television rights on a collective basis but only if money from contracts is invested in small clubs, youth programmes and other grassroots activities.
- UK - BBC 'hampering' ITV plans (Financial Times) ITV plans for a dedicated children's channel are being hampered by uncertainty over the funding of the BBC, Chris Smith, the culture secretary, was warned. ITV executives are calling for a comprehensive public debate about the BBC's plans to develop two children's channels.
- Deux plaintes contre France Télécom (Le Monde) Après Cegetel et AOL, qui réclament une mesure conservatoire pour les offres " Intégrales " de Wanadoo, Club-Internet dépose une plainte contre France Télécom pour abus de position dominante auprès du Conseil de la concurrence.
- Complaint Website Bares It All (BizReport.com) A new Internet start-up, called eComplaints, plans to give angry, frustrated, or just unsatisfied, consumers a new outlet for their complaints, along with the hope that these complaints will be satisfactorily resolved.
- Open Access Proponents Garner Support of State Legislators (internetnews) The National Conference of State Legislatures Committee on Commerce and Communications has unanimously voted to table [Ed: i.e. to postpone indefinitely further consideration of] a resolution that would have put the group on record as closed cable access proponents. Supported by AT&T Corp. (T) and other cable companies, the vote rejects the argument that state officials do not have the legal authority to force cable companies to mandate open access to their cable networks.
- Amazon wins injunction (CNNfn) A federal district judge granted Amazon.com a preliminary injunction, barring rival online bookseller barnesandnoble.com from using an alleged copied version of Amazonís 1-Click billing and shipping technology.
- Christmas message warns online shoppers of piracy (silicon.com) The Federation Against Software Theft (FAST) has issued a Christmas warning to consumers to be on their guard for illegal software products when buying online.
- Machine Age: e-Toy Story (The Village Voice) The California State Court granted eToys.com, the leading online toy retailer, a preliminary injunction against etoy.com, an international Internet art site. This ruling could lead to an unfortunate precedent, as it clearly favors American corporations and American commercial law when settling disputes stemming from Net conflicts. see also other links.
- Traffic trackers in copyright battle (CNET News.com) A judge has issued a temporary restraining order against WebTrends, a company that analyzes Web traffic, to keep it from using a service that may be too similar to one created by a rival firm, WebSideStory.
- Germany - Telekom-Tochter erringt Etappensieg um Telefonbuch-CD (dpa) [Damages for copying phonebooks to CD-ROM] Das Landgericht Mannheim erkannte die Schadenersatz- Ansprüche der Telekom-Tochter DeTeMedien. Die DeTeMedien will von Topware Schadenersatz, weil die Mannheimer Firma Telefonbücher kopiert und als CD-Roms unter dem Namen «D-Info» verkauft hatte.
- Japan - Software Producers Sue Firm for Using Pirated Software (AisaBizTech) Microsoft and six other software companies filed a suit seeking compensation from a Tokyo environmental research firm alleged to have illegally copied and used software on its computers.
- USA - Death For Database Bill (Newsbytes) With the possibility that the House of Representatives could pass a database protection bill looming large, the House Commerce Committee and the Consumers Union have sent out a letter asking members to oppose it in favor of an alternative bill.
- USA / Canada - Online TV service may spark new Net battle (CNET News.com) A cross-border fight is shaping up over the legality of broadcasting live television content over the Internet. Canadian Internet start-up iCraveTV.com offers live television programming from 17 Canadian and American television stations over the Internet.
- Anti-Counterfeiting Association Examines Music Piracy in Asia (Asia Biz Tech)
- Not Fit to Print - or Transmit (Washington Post) The New York Times disclosed that it has just fired more than 20 employees for sending "inappropriate and offensive" e-mail messages.
- Commission bureau to monitor Y2K bug (Financial Times) The European Commission plans to set up a 24-hour nerve centre to co-ordinate news about millennium bug problems in Europe and the rest of the world.
- Insurers Sued Over Y2K Fixes (Newsbytes) Even as the total number of Y2K claims filed in the US dwindles, a comparatively new form of legal attack - wherein a company sues its insurer to recoup Y2K remediation costs - is becoming increasingly common. se also Potential Y2K Litigation (Newsbytes).
- France - Intervention du Premier ministre sur la régulation de l'internet (internet.gouv.fr) Allocution du Premier ministre lors de la réception concluant la conférence mondiale des régulateurs sur l'internet. voir aussi Ministre de la Culture et de la communication (culture.gouv.fr), Secrétaire d'Etat à l'Industrie (industrie.gouv.fr), Quelle régulation pour Internet et les réseaux par Isabelle Falque-Pierrotin (Le Monde) et Régulation d'internet: mission pour le député Christian Paul (AFP).
- Le consommateur, pierre de touche de la régulation sur Internet (Le Monde) A travers quelques exemples d'autorégulation ou de corégulation, le sommet mondial des régulateurs, organisé à l'Unesco les 30 novembre et 1er décembre 1999 par le CSA, le Forum des régulateurs et l'Institut international des communications (ICI), a mis l'accent sur la responsabilité et la capacité de choix de l'internaute. voir aussi Quelle régulation pour Internet? Discours de Madame Viviane Reding, Membre de la Commission(RAPID), la synthèse des contributions étrangères en vue du Sommet mondial des régulateurs sur Internet et les nouveaux services (CSA), Pourquoi faut-il réguler l'Internet? Hervé Bourges s'explique (Le Journal du Net), Weltgipfel der Regulierungsbehörden (Heise Online), Developing nations want better net access (BBC).
- Provocative Views on the Internet (New York Times) Lawrence Lessig, the Berkman professor of law at Harvard Law School sees a potential menace in the new technology of the Internet, and he issues a wake-up call in a new, provocative and pessimistic book on the future of the Internet. see also Law on the Cyberspace Frontier Lawrence Lessig, Harvard Professor and Cyber-Law Theorist, believes that the very code used to create cyberspace is also the best tool to use in regulating it. (ABC Chat). see also G-rated browsers
- France - "Nous refusons la banalisation de notre culture" : ministre français (AFP) Le ministre français de la culture et de la communication Catherine Trautmann a déclaré qu'elle refusait "la standardisation et la banalisation de la culture" européenne face à la domination des Etats-Unis.
- Australians step closer to routine surveillance (zdnet UK) The Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) now has the power to routinely access and alter the data on private computer systems after to a bill passed by the Australian parliament.
- Privacy Group Sues for U.S. Files on Spying (New York Times) The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) has filed a lawsuit that seeks to force the National Security Agency to release its records on potential government surveillance of the Internet communications of American citizens.
- USA - Internet Provider Not Liable For Defamation (New York Law Journal) In its first major ruling on privacy and defamation in cyberspace, the Court of Appeals held that an Internet Service Provider (ISP) is merely a conduit for information, as opposed to a publisher, and consequently is no more responsible than a telephone company for defamatory materials transmitted over its lines.
- USA - Advisory Commission on E-Commerce (ACEC) The Advisory Commission on Electronic Commerce (ACEC) was created by Congress to study federal, state, local and international taxation and tariffs on transactions using the Internet and Internet access.
Market & Technology
- Aussies Subsidizing US Surfers (Newsbytes) Australia's largest telecommunications and Internet backbone provider Telstra says that Internet users in Australia are paying more for their Net access because they are subsidizing American users.
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