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ICT Law Blog
Monday, August 30, 2004
  The Internet at 35: Still evolving
NEW YORK (AP) -- Thirty-five years after computer scientists at UCLA linked two bulky computers using a 15-foot gray cable, testing a new way to exchange data over networks, what would ultimately become the Internet remains a work in progress.

SNO could face more hiccups
[Johannesburg, 30 August 2004] - The licensing process for the second national operator (SNO) may face further hiccups, as it is not yet clear whether Nexus Connexion, the 19% empowerment shareholder, will proceed with its legal action against the communications minister.

The Case of the Vanishing Internet Law School
For those with tight budgets and time constraints, getting a law degree online from a "correspondence" school may be one of the real opportunities of a virtual world. Then again, it may just be another Internet scam. That's the lesson recently learned by D. Kelly Allin. At 42, a father of four and chief executive officer of a medical products assembly company, Allin is not your traditional law school student.

Spike Lee wins control of
GENEVA (AP) Ñ U.S. movie director Spike Lee has won control of the Internet domain name in a ruling released Friday by a United Nations body.

Friday, August 27, 2004
  Downloading Lawsuit Producing Court Twists
A woman in Milwaukee and her ex-boyfriend are under orders to pay thousands to the recording industry. A man in California refinanced his home to pay an $11,000 settlement. A year after it began, the industry's legal campaign against Internet music piracy is inching through the federal courts, producing some unexpected twists.

Work porn risk for businesses
Prison sentences could await business bosses who do not do enough to stop the most serious abuse of computer networks by employees.

Civil servants in net porn probe
More than 200 civil servants have been disciplined for downloading pornographic images at work. Computer use by 140,000 staff at the Department of Work and Pensions was monitored for eight months.

Phishing Scam Now Lures German Banking Clients
FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Two clients of Germany's Postbank (DPBGn.DE: Quote, Profile, Research) fell for an e-mail fraud that led them to reveal money transfer codes to a bogus Web site -- the first case of this scam in German, prosecutors said on Thursday.

Behind the online music
Before groups such as Aerosmith, Run-DMC and Bon Jovi hit the charts, they were struggling musicians, trying to promote their names and songs. These days, musicians still struggle, but the Internet takes promotion of their fledgling careers directly to music fans all over the world.

Thursday, August 26, 2004
  Internet pharmacies coming to England
More on-line pharmacies are to be introduced into England as part of a package of measures to make pharmacies more accessible. Until now an internet pharmacy could only be set up by an existing Òbricks and mortarÓ pharmacy business.

E-mail harassment by colleagues costs employer £10,000
A woman has received £10,000 in a settlement with her former employer after nine colleagues circulated obscene e-mails about her which she discovered by chance. She argued that her employer failed to take the matter seriously.

Career hazard of hitting Reply to All
E-mail is not the best way to conduct intimate correspondence, as London-based careers adviser Sharon Dyson discovered to her cost this week when she sent an explicit e-mail to her boyfriend, and inadvertently to 30 of his colleagues. According to reports, Dyson was responding to an e-mail sent to her and thirty others by boyfriend Alex Hewson, when she accidentally clicked the ÔReply to allÕ button.

Workers sacked for dealing drugs by e-mail
Two employees working at the Stirling headquarters of financial services giant Prudential have been sacked for allegedly dealing drugs over the companyÕs e-mail network, according to reports in the Metro and Daily Record newspapers.

Regulations to aid workplace communications jungle
A quarter of UK employees have found that one of their ÒfunnyÓ e-mails has gone down badly with colleagues, according to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), which hopes that new Regulations will help employers nip these potential disputes in the bud. The finding comes from a survey of 1,000 employees from the South West, carried out for the DTI by the British Marketing Research Bureau.

Since the media reported that Buys Inc. provided an opinion to Telkom in the matter, some claimed that our logo is based on the Telkom logo...

The Buys Inc. response to claims that our logo is based on the Telkom logo...

SNO licenced on 17 September 2004
Communications Minister Ivy Matsepe-Casaburri has announced that the SNO will be granted its licence on 17 September. The minister made her announcement at a media briefing in parliament this afternoon. The licence will be granted to the SNO consortium, comprising Esitel, Nexus Connexion, Transtel, as CommuniTel, Two Telecom Consortium, and the remaining un-allocated equity shareholder. The process of choosing a suitable investor for the remaining share will continue, said the minister.

Lawsuit Challenges Anti-Piracy Technology
PARIS - Copy protection technologies used to prevent CDs from being pirated online are facing a legal challenge in France, where a judge began a formal investigation of record label EMI Group PLC for using them.

RIAA Steps Up P2P Legal Campaign
The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) launched its back-to-school, anti peer-to-peer (P2P) campaign Tuesday with a national media briefing praising the efforts of a handful of colleges and universities to stop piracy. But Wednesday, the group showed its less friendly side, filing another 744 individual lawsuits for illegal file sharing.

Justice Dept. probes for pirates
The U.S. Department of Justice announced on Wednesday that it has launched a federal criminal probe of piracy on a peer-to-peer network.

Microsoft's Linux ad 'misleading'
Microsoft has been reprimanded over misleading advertising by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). The UK watchdog upheld complaints about a magazine advert which claimed that the open-source operating system Linux was more expensive than Windows.

Fourth ICT charter draft released
[Johannesburg, 26 August 2004] - The fourth draft of the empowerment charter for the ICT industry has been released, featuring significant changes from the third working draft.

Fourth ICT charter draft released
[Johannesburg, 26 August 2004] - The fourth draft of the empowerment charter for the ICT industry has been released, featuring significant changes from the third working draft.

Report: Universities showing progress in anti-piracy efforts
Despite evidence that sharing music and movies online remains popular, a report issued Tuesday by a committee of entertainment and university leaders says universities have made strides the past year to curtail online piracy. The report, submitted to Congress by the Joint Committee of the Higher Education and Entertainment Communities, highlights steps taken by the universities to tackle Internet piracy but offers few details of their effectiveness.

JibJab beats copyright rap
A music company claiming to own the rights to Woody Guthrie's "This Land is Your Land" may have gotten more than it bargained for when it took on JibJab Media, the Web animators behind a wildly popular parody of the U.S. presidential campaign.

Polish Cops Bust 100-Member Computer Piracy Gang
WARSAW (Reuters) - Polish police have broken up a gang of more than 100 hackers who sold pirated music and films, using academic computer systems around the world to store their wares, a police spokeswoman said on Tuesday.

Opinion: War Over File-Swapping Continues
P2P operators aren't responsible for their users' online file-swapping activities, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit ruled in the landmark MGM v. Grokster decision. Still, Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) boss Mitch Bainwol says, This decision does nothing to absolve these businesses from their responsibility as corporate citizens to address the rampant illegal use of their networks.

Disney fights back in SA copyright case
Judgement was reserved on Tuesday in an urgent High Court application by Disney Enterprises to set aside an attachment order against more than 240 of its trademarks registered in South Africa.Lawyers acting for the family of musician Solomon Linda, the composer of Mbube, in July obtained an attachment order in the Pretoria High Court against the trademarks in order to sue the overseas company in a South African court.

Yahoo must face French legal action
In a decision that could expose U.S.-based Web sites to free speech laws of other nations, a federal appeals court on Monday found that Yahoo could not escape legal action in France for violating a French ban on the sale of Nazi-related items. A divided panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals concluded that U.S. courts did not have blanket power to block foreign countries from enforcing their laws against Web sites such as Yahoo, the latest chapter in a case that has tested Internet free speech rights in unsettled global legal terrain.

Monday, August 23, 2004
I am elated that, after a long incubation period, we can now deliver the National Health Act, Act 61 of 2003, to the people of South Africa. I therefore wish to express my appreciation to the South African Parliament for passing this Act and to thank President Thabo Mbeki for signing the Bill into an Act. The purpose of today's briefing is to inform the public about how we intend to implement this Act and to outline a schedule of when certain sections of the Bill will be implemented.

Regulation of Interception of Communications and Provisions of Communications-Related Information Act 70 of 2002 (RIC)
Invitation to interested persons including private telecommunications network operators, wireless data operators, mobile radio trunking operators and other telecommunications operators excluding the mobile cellular operators, fixed line operator or internet service providers, to submit written comments on the draft directive to be issuedGenN 1601/GG 26644/04-08-2004

Metro Goldwyn Mayer Studios, Inc et al v Grokster, Inc et al
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Central District of California. To download, click on the title.

Web users bit by fake software
It's bad enough that spyware and adware are infecting millions of home computers. Now come fake programs that claim to remove these pests for a fee, but don't.

Gambling ads are free speech, claims lawsuit
The US Department of Justice is being sued by a web site operator who has asked a district court to rule that its crackdown on adverts for on-line gambling sites breaches the First Amendment right to free speech.

Gambling ads are free speech, claims lawsuit
The US Department of Justice is being sued by a web site operator who has asked a district court to rule that its crackdown on adverts for on-line gambling sites breaches the First Amendment right to free speech.

Software patents in Europe: debunking the myths
The City of Munich stalled plans to put Linux on thousands of desktops early this month, citing fears that a forthcoming European Directive on the patentability of computer-implemented inventions could leave it exposed to litigation. Although the rollout is back on track, this was just the latest attack on one of Europe's most controversial Directives. But much of the criticism is unfounded, according to John Gray, a patent attorney with Glasgow-based patent and trade mark attorneys Fitzpatricks. Here, Gray presents his views on separating the facts from the fiction.

On the Web, Branding Is Back
Like most auto makers, Honda Motor is a big buyer of online advertising. It's continually hawking low prices and special offers in banners and click-through ads on popular auto sites such as But last year, it witnessed the power of online branding.

Disaster-Recovery Plans Focusing on Business Continuity
Disaster recovery is a familiar topic for most information-intensive businesses. Disaster recovery is so familiar, in fact, that many businesses have been doing it the same way for years. The typical recovery scenario: retrieve backed-up data on tapes from remote sites, rush them to data centers where some disaster or occurrence has destroyed or corrupted operational data, rebuild operating systems and reload data.

Disaster-Recovery Plans Focusing on Business Continuity
Yesterday's strategies for disaster recovery have become ineffective in dealing with the risks and exposure of businesses in today's world. Business continuity, once a luxury available to only a select few companies, is now a fundamental strategy for success in IT-supported business.

Browser War: Alternative Web Browsers Gaining Popularity
The road to browser Nirvana is not always paved with improved productivity and better security. Switching browsers may be more challenging for hard-core Web surfers and business users. Many users who consider breaking with IE also have to resolve concerns about cost, staff training and compatibility issues.

Possible security breach seen at AOL
America Online Inc. is acknowledging an "issue" that allowed some of its members to gain access to online financial portfolios of other members. But the Internet service provider downplayed the incident, saying no personal identifying information such as usernames or credit card numbers was ever compromised. subscribers exposed
Subscribers to's mailing lists may have found recently that their interest in the anti-Bush political site was a matter of public record.

Anti-violence rules in effect at L.A. cybercafes
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- A new city law designed to prevent violence at cybercafes quietly took effect Saturday, but authorities had no inspections planned to check for compliance with the tighter rules.

Many banks lack risk programmes
Nineteen percent of banks around the world have no formal operational risk programmes in place, according to a survey by specialist information provider Risk Waters Group and business intelligence company SAS. However, this is an improvement on last year, when 24% of financial organisations fell into this category.

Sunday, August 22, 2004
  Helluva case for freedom of speech
There is a fine line between freedom of speech and encouraging hateful dialogue, between parody and trademark infringement, which makes the current Telkom versus Hellkom legal battle an interesting one to keep an eye on. Telkom, possibly the only non-monopoly in the world that still has no competition, has instituted a claim against parody Web sites Hellkom and for trademark infringement, seeking R5 million in damages.

Sender ID Gains Favor for Top E-Mail Security
"The coalition came to Microsoft asking for help in educating their member companies about Sender ID and in enabling ESPC as an organization to support the implementation of Sender ID. It's a collaborative effort," Craig Spiezle, director of industry and partner relations for Microsoft's Safety Technology and Strategy Team, said in a written statement.

MWeb buys Tiscali for R320 million
[Cape Town ITWeb, 20 August 2004] - MWeb is the winner in the race to buy Tiscali's South African operations, for a sum of R320 million, according to the European-owned Internet service provider today.

So you want to be a cybercrook...
Some Web sites are now offering surfers the chance to download free "phishing kits" containing all the graphics, Web code and text required to construct the kind of bogus Web sites used in Internet phishing scams.

P2P Services in the Clear
Peer-to-peer file-sharing services Morpheus and Grokster are legal, a federal appeals court ruled Thursday. The decision is a blow for record labels and movie studios which sued the peer-to-peer operators claiming that the services should be held liable for the copyright infringement of their users.

File-sharing systems in legal win
Fans of file-sharing have been handed a significant victory by a US court.
Federal appeal court judges have ruled that the makers of peer-to-peer software are not responsible for what users do with their network.

Compuware asks court to punish IBM
Software maker Compuware has charged IBM with keeping back key evidence in a long-running legal battle over copyright and anticompetitive practices. In an emergency motion filed Friday in U.S. District Court for Eastern Michigan, Compuware said that IBM failed to introduce crucial evidence, including several pieces of disputed software source code, until after the close of the case's discovery period.

SCO Suit Losing Impact on the Enterprise?
The contract dispute that made national headlines and sent shockwaves through the Linux community is starting to have less of an impact on how companies are conducting business, according to industry analysts monitoring the case.

Net firms set sights on spammers
Internet providers in Britain are getting tougher with those websites that use spam to drum up business. A new code of practice adopted by net firms lets them close e-commerce sites using junk mail marketing, even if the spam comes from elsewhere.

Vodacom: Eavesdropping impossible
[Johannesburg, 20 August 2004] - Vodacom says it has rectified the software malfunction that allowed people to randomly eavesdrop on other Vodacom subscribers' calls. The company's COO, Pieter Uys, told 702 radio this morning that the eavesdropping problem Ð reported in The Star and the Pretoria News this morning Ð has been corrected.

Friday, August 20, 2004
  Hellkom readies defence against Telkom
Parody site Hellkom is shoring up its defence for an anticipated Telkom lawsuit by launching a premium rate SMS service, which allows people to send messages of support at a cost of R30 per SMS.

Thursday, August 19, 2004
  Domain Name Geography: Mexico Loses Fight over
In this regard, the panel seems to have been caught up in the formality of the legal government entity chosen by the Mexican government to pursue this domain name and failed to appreciate that the Mexican government, as a whole, was around long before the disputed domain name was registered.

Sender ID Gains Favor for Top E-Mail Security
"The coalition came to Microsoft asking for help in educating their member companies about Sender ID and in enabling ESPC as an organization to support the implementation of Sender ID. It's a collaborative effort," Craig Spiezle, director of industry and partner relations for Microsoft's Safety Technology and Strategy Team, said in a written statement. crap at security (redux)
Small businesses are failing to take action against online security risks, according to the Institute of Directors (IoD). Its research highlights unregulated download services and instant message application as major security risks. The IoD investigation into its members revealed that 66 per cent of small businesses are aware that their employees are violating security policy on download services and email applications, yet eight per cent still lack the most basic online protection.

Let's Kill the Term IT
All around the globe, there were more than 10,000 extremely expensive, silly name announcements, and almost all of them failed. That frenzy has simmered down, and now it is humming around information technology or "IT." It seems we are all in IT. Everything we do is IT. IT, is it? So, why the fuss?

Wednesday, August 18, 2004
The Buys Inc. team of IT law specialists and support staff (including our BEE partners). Posted by Hello

N.Y. Atty General Announces Drug-Price Web Site
NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer on Tuesday said his office has created an interactive Web site to help New Yorkers comparison shop for prescription drugs, following a statewide survey showing widely varying prices at pharmacies.

Illinois Web site to import cheaper drugs
Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich on Tuesday said the state will create a Web site for residents to buy cheaper prescription drugs outside the United States. The online clearinghouse, which will be launched within a month, will help people order drugs from pharmacies in Canada, Ireland and the United Kingdom. The state plans to contract with a Canadian company to connect people with the pharmacies, which will be inspected and approved by state regulators for online purchases.

California Assembly approves employee e-mail protection
SACRAMENTO (AP) - Employers will be required to inform employees if job site e-mail and Internet activities are being monitored, under legislation approved Monday by the state Assembly.

Home users get key Windows update
From today home users will be able to get hold of Microsoft's long-awaited update for Windows XP. The version of the SP2 security update for the Home Edition of XP has become available via its auto-update service.

ISOC-ZA seeks new blood
[Johannesburg, 18 August 2004] - The Internet Society of South Africa (ISOC-ZA) is calling on members to make nominations for its executive committee, due to be elected at the organisation's next annual general meeting. ISOC-ZA claims this will be the first step in revamping the local chapter of the worldwide organisation.

Mike Lawrie still administers .za domain name address system
Remember Mike Lawrie, the man lambasted in parliament for battling government over control of SA's Internet address administration in mid-2002? Well, despite the misguided political hullabaloo and wild press reports that SA's Internet could crash, Lawrie is still running the .za domain name address system, a technical task he continues to do free of charge.

Net dissident's appeal against probation rejected
A court in central China has rejected an appeal by high-profile Chinese internet dissident Du Daobin against a sentence of four years' probation for subversion, state media said on Wednesday. An intermediate court in central Hubei province convicted Du, 40, of subversion on June 11 for posting 26 essays on the internet that contained varying degrees of anti-government content. He was sentenced to three years' imprisonment with a reprieve of four years.

Computer Generated Documents Not Acceptable Evidence - Supreme Court
THE Supreme Court yesterday sustained the petitioners' objection to production of documents relating to payment of duty by Pilatus Engineering for 91 vehicles in 2001 by President Mwanawasa's lawyers. In a ruling that was delivered by Supreme Court judge Peter Chitengi, the court said the documents the first respondent's lawyers attempted to produce through the Commissioner of Customs and Excise Kingsley Chanda contained information obtained from original documents.

China Cracks Down on Internet Porn
China's Ministry of Information, together with the Ministry of Public Security and the Information Office of the State Council, will set new regulations on text message services to punish those who spread pornographic information via text messages.

N.Y. Police Detective Arrested for Soliciting Boy Online
A 16-year veteran of the New York Police Department, who supposedly called himself a "boy hunter'' in an online profile, was arrested after the Westchester district attorney, Jeanine Pirro, said he tried to have a sexual rendezvous with an investigator from her office who had posed on the Internet as a 14-year-old boy. The arrest followed a six-month investigation that began in February, when the defendant, Michael Lapine, 37, a detective, entered a Yahoo chat room geared toward young teenagers and struck up a conversation with the undercover investigator, Mrs. Pirro said.

IBM strikes at SCO claims
IBM has taken another swing at the SCO Group's faltering attack on Linux, filing a motion seeking dismissal of SCO's contract claims. The motion for partial summary judgment, filed Friday in U.S. District Court in Salt Lake City, centers on SCO's claims that IBM violated a contract that permitted Big Blue to use Unix operating system code controlled by SCO. SCO contends that IBM overstepped its bounds by freely distributing Linux software that reuses parts of the Unix code.

Web site wants free speech for foreign gambling ads
NEW ORLEANS Ñ The operator of a gambling news site on the Internet has asked a federal judge to declare that advertisements in U.S. media for foreign online casinos and sports betting outlets are protected by free-speech rights.

Two plead not guilty in Ingram hacking case
LOS ANGELES (AP) Ñ Two men accused of aiding a Romanian man charged with hacking into the online ordering system of the world's largest computer equipment distributor pleaded not guilty Monday to charges of mail fraud and conspiracy to commit mail fraud.

Hackers Take Aim at GOP
Online protests targeting GOP websites could turn out to be more than symbolic during this month's Republican National Convention, possibly blocking a critical communications tool for the party. In the past, activists have been able to shut down the website of, say, the World Economic Forum for a few hours. But the impact of such a takedown was nebulous at best: It's hard to argue the organization really suffered from a few-hour lag in posting its press releases online.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004
  Service By E-Mail On Foreign Defendants In Domain Name Dispute Requires Showing That E-Mail Is Likely To Be Received
In a request to serve a foreign defendant by e-mail, the requestor must demonstrate to the court pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 4(f)(3) that (a) e-mail service is likely to reach the defendants and (b) other means of effectuating service have been exhausted. Pfizer Inc. v. Domains by Proxy, No. 3:04cv741 (D. Conn. July 13, 2004). The court noted that e-mail addresses proposed by the plaintiff, which were taken from the WHOIS database registrant information for the domains at the heart of the dispute, were problematic in that the domains either resolved to a blank page or did not resolve at all. The court also questioned the plaintiff's efforts to effectuate conventional service, and refused to conclude that "because an entity's primary presence is on the internet, traditional means of service are automatically obsolete." The court suggested that information already in the plaintiff's possession concerning the defendants' Internet service provider, hosting company, or domain name service company, might lead to better contact information, commenting: "The internet is not, by and large, anonymous; activity in cyberspace almost always leaves digital crumbs trailing back to the point of physical initiation."

No "Likelihood of Confusion" From Unauthorized Link To Plaintiff's Web Site
The existence of an unauthorized link to the plaintiff's Web site from the Web site of a party critical of the plaintiff is not likely to cause confusion regarding the source of the critic's Web site. Knight-McConnell v. Cummins, No. 03 Civ. 5035 (S.D.N.Y. 2004). The court, assuming arguendo that the plaintiff's name was a valid and protectible mark, dismissed plaintiff's claims under the Lanham Act for failure to state a valid federal claim. The court concluded that the "mere appearance on a website of a hyperlink to another site will not lead a web-user to conclude that the owner of the site he is visiting is associated with the owner of the linked site." The court also concluded that the inclusion of the plaintiff's name in the post-domain path of a URL, and the placement of such URLs in chat forums, discussion boards and search engines does not give rise to actionable confusion as to source.

Web Grocer Product Descriptions May Be Copyrightable If "Sufficiently Original"
Summary judgment dismissing a Web grocer's copyright claims in a database of product descriptions should not have been granted because the introduction of further evidence might support a finding that limited aspects of the arrangement and selection of the product information was sufficiently original to be copyrightable. MyWebGrocer, LLC v. Hometown Info, Inc., No. 03-7909 (2d Cir. July 13, 2004). The court concluded that the product descriptions may be protected by copyright if it can be shown that the descriptions "involve original selection" among various elements describing the products. The appellate court took note of evidence that various Web grocers used differing elements in their databases, suggesting that creative choices were made about what to include or exclude in those descriptions. While the court ruled that summary judgment dismissing the claims should not have been granted, the court declined to find that a preliminary injunction against the alleged infringement was warranted, however, because the Web grocer had shown only "fair grounds for litigation."

CDA Section 230 Does Not Protect Service Provider From Liability For "Distributor Liability" -- Distribution of Defamatory Information With Knowledge
An online site is not entitled to immunity under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA) for a user's alleged defamation of another user in a "feedback" posting, if the site's publisher "knew or had reason to know" of the alleged defamation and refused to remove the posting. Grace v. eBay, Inc., No. B168765 (Cal. Ct. App. 2d Dist. July 22, 2004). In analyzing the issue, the court focused on Section 230's immunity from liability as a "publisher or speaker" of information. The court distinguished this potential liability from that of a distributor, and found that the CDA immunity provisions did not shield against distributor liability. The court concluded that the auction site nevertheless escaped liability for the allegedly defamatory posting because the site's User Agreement contained a general release of liability for all claims of any kind related to disputes among users of the site.

FTC Settles Charges Alleging Retroactive Change In Privacy Policy
Gateway Learning Corp., settled Federal Trade Commission charges that it engaged in an unfair and deceptive trade practice when it revised its posted privacy policy - retroactively -- to allow the rental of consumers' personal information to marketing companies. In re Gateway Learning Corp., No. 042-3047 (FTC July 7, 2004). The privacy policy posted on the Web site marketing the company's "Hooked on Phonics" products initially stated that the company did not provide consumer information to third-party marketers without explicit permission, nor did it provide information on consumers under the age of 13 under any circumstances. Further, the policy stated that consumers would be given a chance to opt-out of any change in the privacy policy. Despite these promises, in 2003 the company changed its privacy policy to allow the company broader use of the customer information, and did not notify customers of the change or get their consent. As party to the FTC settlement, Gateway Learning agreed to abide by the initial privacy policy with respect to information collected under that policy, unless it first acquired express, affirmative, opt-in consent to the changes. The settlement also requires Gateway Learning to divest the income obtained from the sale of the information to marketers.

Court Imposes Duty on Attorneys To Take "Active Steps" To Assure Client Compliance With Electronic Evidence Retention and Production Responsibilities
An attorney has an affirmative duty to take active steps to oversee client compliance with discovery obligations and assure that relevant electronic documents are preserved and produced. Zubulake v. UBS Warburg LLC, No. 02 Civ. 1243 (S.D.N.Y. July 20, 2004). The court found that spoliation had occurred when relevant e-mails had either been purposely or inadvertently deleted, in some cases because of the re-use of backup tapes after the obligation to preserve electronic evidence had attached. The court commented that counsel's obligation in supervising compliance includes identifying sources of discoverable electronic information (including by becoming familiar with a client's document retention policies and data retention architecture), speaking directly with key individuals, including client information technology personnel and "key players" in the litigation, communicating directly with relevant employees to determine how documents are stored, etc., requiring employees to produce copies of relevant electronic evidence, and providing for the segregation and safeguarding of any archival media, such as backup tapes.

Monday, August 16, 2004
  Taken for a Ride by Identity Thief
Gregory Lukens has the unusual luxury of knowing when and where the breach in his defenses occurred. That didn't make what happened much easier, but it makes his case a good illustration of the risks of this crime, which struck an estimated 10 million Americans last year alone.

Ex-Verizon employee charged with fraud
SACRAMENTO, California (AP) -- A former Verizon Wireless employee was indicted by a federal grand jury Thursday on charges he stole more than $20 million from the company's prepaid cellular telephone service. Timothy Charles Mattos, 32, of Folsom, was indicted on 10 fraud and money laundering counts.

E-mail scam targets police chief
The head of Wiltshire Police fraud squad has issued a warning about a sophisticated e-mail scam - after his own work address was targeted. Phishing fraudsters send e-mails, claiming to be from banks and credit card companies, asking for confirmation of banking and card details.

Let the Web Games Begin
Among the unplanned international sporting events at the 2004 Summer Olympics could be the dodging of regional Internet broadcast restrictions and the unsanctioned relay of live online Olympic broadcasts to Americans. The Summer Olympics, which began Friday in Athens, is the first Olympic Games to be broadcast from a collection of websites. The BBC and other European networks are offering live, on-demand Internet video streaming of Olympic events to broadband viewers. But the BBC and fellow members of the European Broadcasting Union are required by their Olympic broadcast contracts to block U.S. Internet users and others from outside their home counties.

Gmail by any other name?
In another for the "whoops" file, Google risks losing trademark rights to the name of its Web-based e-mail service, Gmail. The search giant is fourth in line to be considered for ownership of the trademark name, Gmail, according to filings with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Because the office considers applications in the order they were filed, Google could be forced to change the name of its e-mail service in a worst-case scenario.

Telkom to take action against Hellkom
Telkom says it will go ahead with legal action against the owners of the and sites, saying they have not responded ÒadequatelyÓ to demands that the sites be shut down. Last week, Telkom sent a letter threatening legal action against the owners of the two sites, accusing them of infringing Telkom's trademark protection on the corporate logos. In a separate media statement, Telkom also implied that encouraged hate speech.

Friday, August 13, 2004
  FXI slams Telkom over Hellkom
The Freedom of Expression Institute (FXI) says Telkom is lying in its letter and statements against parody site Hellkom, in which Telkom accuses it of trademark infringement and encouraging hate speech. This follows Telkom's threat to launch a R5 million lawsuit against the originators and owners of and Letters were sent to the owners and administrators of the sites this week, demanding they refrain from making unauthorised use of Telkom's trademark and using disparaging logos.

Hacker cracks music technology
California - The Norwegian hacker famed for developing DVD encryption-cracking software has apparently struck again - this time breaking the locks on Apple Computer Inc's wireless music streaming technology.

Thursday, August 12, 2004
  MSBlast suspect pleads guilty
A 19-year-old Minneapolis man pleaded guilty Wednesday to unleashing part of the MSBlast worm attack that wreaked havoc on the Internet last summer.

Hizbollah Says Web Sites Shut by U.S., British Hosts
BEIRUT (Reuters) - Two Hizbollah Internet sites have been shut down in recent days by hosts in the United States and Britain, which both accuse the Lebanese guerrilla group of "terrorist" activities, Hizbollah said on Thursday.

Novell moves again to dismiss SCO's claims
Two months after a Utah judge refused to dismiss a slander lawsuit filed against Novell Inc. by The SCO Group Inc., the Linux vendor has again moved for dismissal in the case, according to documents filed late last week in the U.S. District Court for the District of Utah.

Don't try this at home, children, but a top-quality new hobby is grabbing hold of the leisure hours of a few ingenious individuals. Striking a blow for the e-mail in-boxes of all those who have been plagued for years by 419 scammers, and indeed for those sorry specimens who have fallen for this oldest of ruses, the 419 Eaters are scamming the scammers and having a cracking good time doing it.

A new adventure in law
As ICTs continue to proliferate, they also continue to become a target for government intervention and legislation. Within the legal profession ICT has been coming into its own as a specialist field and a number of firms have been established to cater to the growing demand for legal knowledge in this arena. Recent legislation aimed at controlling aspects of Internet and mobile communications, trade and copyright, to name but a few, means this exciting area is still in its infancy. And the lawyers involved with it are on the cutting edge of interpreting and advising on the new legislation.

Magistrate in porn probe
Pretoria - Two senior magistrates are to investigate an acting senior magistrate from the Pretoria magistrate's court on allegations of misconduct after explicit pornography was found on his computer.

Telkom threatens legal action
Johannesburg - Telkom has sent letters of demand to the subscribing partners of the domain names and requesting them to refrain from making unauthorised use of Telkom's trademark and using disparaging logos, the company's media relations specialist Ravin Maharaj said on Wednesday.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004
  Computer Glitch Discloses Unlisted Phone Numbers for Verizon Customers
As many as 12,000 telephone numbers that Washington area customers had paid to keep out of the phone book may have inadvertently found their way into directories as a result of a computer foul-up, Verizon Communications Inc. acknowledged. Verizon said it offered to refund affected customers any fees they paid to omit their numbers from the directories.

Software Group Creates "Play It Safe in Cyber Space" Campaign for Kids
The Business Software Alliance -- a trade group supported by Microsoft, Adobe Systems and other major software makers to enforce software licenses and copyrights -- revealed a spunky cartoon ferret mascot as part of a national campaign to scare kids out of using peer-to-peer networks. The "Play It Safe in Cyber Space" campaign will culminate with a four-page comic book, distributed in conjunction with tot journal the Weekly Reader, meant to impress kids with the idea that it's not OK to freely swap software, games, music and other copyrighted content.

Digital Copyright Laws Should Address "Efficiency," Report Says
The Congressional Budget Office released a new study on digital copyright issues, outlining economic problems that Congress should keep in mind as it grapples with making new laws. While stopping short of specific legislative recommendations, the paper offers a set of principles for lawmakers that's largely focused on avoiding being tied too closely to past practices or to the interests of powerful companies or consumer groups.

Judge Orders Transfer of to Pennsylvania Business Bank
When Pennsylvania Business Bank bought the rights to the trademark "BizBank," its owners had no idea their plans to launch a Web site would lead to a legal fight with a South Korean company over rights to the domain name After a three-year battle, a federal judge has ruled that the Korean company's registration of the domain name was done in bad faith and that it must immediately transfer the site name to the Pennsylvania bank.

Movie Industry Settles Copyright Suit Over DVD-Copying Software
The Motion Picture Association of America has settled a copyright infringement suit against 321 Studios for an undisclosed financial amount. The settlement concludes more than two years of courtroom wrestling over the legality of 321's DVD-copying software, which ultimately led federal judges in New York and California to order the product removed from store shelves.

Game virus bites mobile phones
A mobile phone "virus" inside a pirated copy of a game called Mosquitos is roaming file-sharing and software download sites, say security experts. The game only works on certain phones running on Symbian OS Series 60.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004
  Google Ends Its Dispute with Yahoo
As part of the settlement, Yahoo agreed to license the technology in question to Google for its continued use. It also agreed to drop an unrelated business dispute over the number of Google shares it had claimed to be owed under the terms of a separate agreement.

Online credit card usage soars
Online credit card usage has soared five-fold during the past four years, figures show. One in 10 of all UK credit card transactions is now carried out online, according to the Association for Payment Clearing Services (Apacs).

Piracy becoming prevalent, says BSA
A new study published today shows that almost half of 18-29 year olds in the UK own pirate or counterfeit goods. This, says industry group the Business Software Alliance, suggests that piracy is becoming increasingly prevalent within modern society.

Attorneys general warn P2P companies
In an open letter, 47 attorneys general have warned on-line file-sharing software providers, including Kazaa, Morpheus and Grokster, to do more to advise their users about the legal and security risks of using the software and to block offensive content.

Distance marketing of financial services: Regulations published
The UK Government last week published Regulations to implement the EU Distance Marketing of Consumer Financial Services Directive. The new rules will govern the sale of pensions, mortgages and other products on-line or by telephone, fax or mail.

Telco owns ex-employees idea, says appeals court
A Texas appeals court has ruled that telecoms giant Alcatel owns the rights to a former employeeÕs idea to convert old computer code into new languages, even though it existed only in his head at the time of his employment. The case was brought in April 1997 by DSC Communications (subsequently acquired by Alcatel), against employee Evan Brown, who had never committed his thoughts to paper during his time with the company.

Download patent holder settles with Apple, sues 14 others
E-Data Corporation has sued 14 US companies, including and Ticketmaster, saying they infringed its Freeny Patent, which covers music, books, movies and other products distributed digitally over the internet. It also settled a claim against Apple.

The cover of Cyberlaw@SA, second edition of The Law of the Internet in South Africa available from

Magistrates courts to get electronic banking
The Justice Department is to call for tenders for a national electronic banking system for the management of money at SAÕs magistratesÕ courts. The department proposed the public-private partnership to overcome the massive problems experienced by people who receive and pay money to courts. More than R2bn is paid out at the courts annually and many cash halls in rural areas have no modern systems for the control of cash, with some operating what a Business Day report describes as a shoe-box filing system. The envisaged new electronic system would allow recipients to check if their money has been deposited and made it easier for them to make withdrawals. It will also obviate the need to travel to a court to pay bail, making it possible for a parent from a rural Eastern Cape village, whose son, say is granted R100 bail in a Kimberley court, to pay at the nearest linked auto-teller.

KPMG partners face £65m fund bill
PARTNERS at KPMG face a £65 million bill to make good a huge hole in the accountancy firmÕs pensions scheme after they lost a key court case yesterday. The trustees of a closed pension fund at the accountancy firm had applied to the courts to find out whether the 568 partners at KPMG are liable for the deficit, after a long-running dispute with a group of disgruntled former partners.

Casino City Files Suit Against U.S. Department of Justice to Establish its First Amendment Right to Advertise Online Casinos and Sportsbooks
Casino City, Inc., operator of, has today filed a suit against the US Department of Justice ("DOJ") to establish its First Amendment Right to advertise online sportsbooks and casinos. The suit is in response to letters sent by the DOJ?s Criminal Division in June 2003 to the National Association of Broadcasters ("NAB") and a number of newspaper and magazine publisher associations urging them to remind their members that they could be breaking the law if they run advertisements for online gambling operations. This behaviour by the DOJ has been viewed by the online gambling industry as a blatant attempt at blackmail. By threatening broadcasters and publishers in this way (when the question of whether such advertising is legal or not remains to be tested) the DOJ has been able to enforce their prohibitionist stance by effectively forcing broadcasters and publishers to cease accepting online gambling advertising. The result? Effective enforcement without the cost of litigation, or the risk of the courts finding against this untested interpretation.

Monday, August 09, 2004
Launch of Cyberlaw@SA at the Michelangelo, Johannesburg

Snags could scratch CD-DVD launch
Legal and licensing problems could scuttle plans to sell new hybrid CD-DVDs that the hard-hit recording industry is counting on to help it recover, people familiar with the matter said this week. Record makers are enjoying a rebound after a three-year sales slump that they have blamed largely on online piracy. Efforts to control piracy and the growth of legal Web music services like Apple Computer's iTunes have helped.

Yahoo's Anti-Spy toolbar feature buggy
Yahoo on Friday confirmed that its recently released toolbar has mistakenly linked an alleged spyware program with a product that has nothing to do with the application in question. A company representative said late Friday that its toolbar's Anti-Spy feature incorrectly identified alleged "hijacker" software known as SearchCentrix as being bundled with Claria's Gator eWallet product, which is designed to manage usernames and passwords. Hijacking programs redirect search results or tamper with browser settings, according to Yahoo.

Judge Dismisses Lawsuit Against Over Nude Girls
A judge dismissed a lawsuit filed by a woman who accused of selling a book of photographs of half-naked underaged girls, including a cover picture of herself at age 10. In the order, District Judge Marcia G. Cook threw out the suit filed by Thais Cardoso Almeida of Miami.

Publisher of Pro-Jihad Websites Arrested on Terrorism Charges
The publisher of two pro-jihad Web sites has been arrested in London on suspicion of terrorism-related activities, U.S. investigators said. Babar Ahmad, 30, was remanded in custody by a London magistrates court on a U.S. extradition warrant.

Sheriff Violated Prisoners' Rights with Web Cameras, Court Rules
An Arizona sheriff violated the rights of prisoners by using Web cams to broadcast them being booked and held in cells in a kind of "reality show" for the Internet, a federal appeals court ruled. The San Francisco-based U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a lower court decision and ruled against Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio's online venture, which he had argued deterred crime and showed the public how jails work.

Fake goods tempting young adults
Almost half of young adults in the UK own pirated or counterfeit goods, a survey has found.
Software watchdog, the Business Software Alliance, found that the younger adults are, the more likely they are to own and use pirated goods.

Key Windows update ready to go
The long overdue security update for Microsoft's XP operating system will soon be available. Microsoft has released the SP2 update to PC manufacturers and it is expected to be widely available in late August.

Friday, August 06, 2004
  Men Charged in $10 Million Scheme to Steal Computer Goods
A Romanian man has been indicted by a grand jury that charged him and five Americans with a $10 million scheme to steal goods from a computer equipment distributor. The indictment accuses Calin Mateias, 24, of Bucharest, with hacking into the online ordering system of Ingram Micro and posing as a legitimate customer to place more than 2,000 orders over four years.

Yahoo sued over anonymous abuse
A California lawyer has filed a potential class action lawsuit against the internet search company Yahoo. Stephen Galton says he was subject to a "barrage of harassing, defamatory and abusive messages" from anonymous users on a Yahoo message board.

SNO judicial review sub judice
The Department of Communications has claimed the judicial review process surrounding the second national operator (SNO) is sub judice, and as such cannot be commented on. However, minister Ivy Matsepe-Casaburri's office did release a statement in which it condemned a report published yesterday in Business Day, saying it was "factually incorrect".

Online ads net billions
New York - The internet will be the fastest growing medium for advertising over the next five years, averaging an increase of 9.5% compounded annually from 2004 through 2008, PricewaterhouseCoopers predicts. After gaining sharply during the technology boom, spending on internet advertising in the US slumped 12.3% in 2001 and 16.6% in 2002, PwC data show.

Cyber cops to monitor Internet in Vietnam
Vietnam. A new police unit will start cracking down on Internet criminals next month as communist Vietnam works to maintain control over its growing number of on-line users.

Kerry Edwards website name for sale
INDIANAPOLIS A website with the same name as the Democratic presidential ticket failed to attract the $150,000 (U.S.) minimum bid its owner wanted at an on-line auction. Kerry Edwards, 34, of Indianapolis, registered his Web address in March 2002 to post family photographs on-line.

FCC wants VoIP to include a back door for bugging
WASHINGTON (AP) - Internet phone calls should be subject to the same type of law enforcement surveillance as cell and landline phones, federal regulators said Wednesday. The Federal Communications Commission voted for proposed rules that would require Internet service providers to ensure their equipment will allow police wiretaps.

Thursday, August 05, 2004
  Man Sentenced for Role in Illegal Internet Software Distribution
A man from Washington state received a $6,000 fine and three years probation for his part in a copyright infringement operation that copied and illegally distributed material over the Internet. New Haven U.S. District Judge Ellen Burns also sentenced Travis Myers, 30, of Yakima, Wash., to perform 200 hours of community service, urging him to educate others about the consequences of copyright infringement.

Pfizer Takes Legal Action to Stop Illegal Online Sales of Viagra
Pfizer Inc. announced legal actions against 30 Web sites to stop sales of fake Viagra. The pharmaceutical giant said it filed civil suits in New York federal court against five Web site operators, alleging trademark infringement and deceptive trade practices.

Online Gambling Ads Illegal in California, Lawsuit Alleges
Some gambling ads on Google, Yahoo and other major Web sites are illegal in California, according to a lawsuit. The 60-page filing, presented in San Francisco Superior Court, alleges that the companies sell rights to Web advertisements based on searches for terms such as "illegal gambling," "Internet gambling" and "California gambling."

Naming That Thing: A Critical Step
Without a name, there is no calling device. No customer will ever refer to it or even talk about it - basically, no name, no story; no story no ad campaign; no ad-marketing, no business. Get it? It seems what to call that thing is the most critical issue behind this total incubation strategy, with the initial idea leading all the way to final delivery. So, push.

Troubling Global Trends Emerging in Online Defamation
In the recent case of Roger M. Grace vs. Inc., the California Court of Appeal ruled that both the Communications Decency Act of 1996 and the User Agreement on eBay's Web site relieve eBay of liability for libel with respect to comments posted by a seller on the eBay Web site. The plaintiff, Roger Grace, an eBay seller, sued the buyer and eBay after the buyer had posted negative comments about Grace. The Superior Court of Los Angeles County held that Section 230 of the Act immunizes eBay against liability for libel and violation of the unfair competition law as a publisher of information provided by another person.

Cyberterror Impact, Defense Under Scrutiny
A terrorist threat is out there -- and not just against physical structures.
A coordinated cyberattack against the USA, the world's most wired nation, could topple parts of the Internet, silence communications and commerce, and paralyze federal agencies and businesses, government officials and security experts warn.

Apple, RealNetworks Live in Never Never Land
Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) FairPlay "consumer control" technology prevents people from playing iTunes tracks, which cost a dollar per track, on players Apple doesn't like, which is just about everything -- except iPods, of course. Apple wouldn't deal with RealNetworks to allow music from the RealPlayer music store to be transferred to music players in general -- including iPods. So Real came up with Harmony Technology to allow people to buy Real tracks and play them on any player, whether Apple likes it or not.

Phishers Dangle More Hooks in June
Phishing attacks increased 19 percent in June over May, according to a report released by the Anti-Phishing Working Group. Of the 1,422 new unique attacks, 92 percent of them used forged, or "spoofed," e-mail addresses. To some members of the working group, that fact reveals a crying need for sender authentication in all e-mail in order to limit both spam and phishing.

Contracting Your Way Around the CDA?
In its recent decision in Grace v. eBay, the California Second District Court of Appeal made significant law on two very different liability shields for online service providers -- (1) the federal Communications Decency Act (CDA) and (2) the provider's standard agreement with users of the site. But the Grace decision does not leave the law fully settled on either point. Copyright:

Increasing the Stakes for Electronic Document Retention
The growing importance of corporate electronic document retention policies has been apparent for some time. But the costs of failures to implement such policies have become much clearer as a result of two recent federal court decisions involving destruction of emails. On July 21, 2004, the District Court for the District of Columbia in United States v. Philip Morris issued a Memorandum Opinion and accompanying order imposing $2.75 million in sanctions against Philip Morris for destroying emails sought by the US government in its case against the cigarette maker. One day earlier, the District Court for the Southern District of New York in Zubulake v. UBS Warburg allowed adverse inferences against UBS Warburg for deleting emails it should have p roduced during discovery. Copyright"

Another Dog Day for Peer-to-Peer File Sharing
A federal court in New York has taken yet another step away from any broad right to Internet anonymity -- the idea that "On the Internet, no one knows you're a dog." In fact, the Internet is increasingly a forum where not only can other users tell you're a dog, but they can tell what breed of dog you are -- whether you want them to or not. In Sony Music Entertainment Inc. v. Does 1-40, a case involving the contentious issue of peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing on the Internet, the US District Court for the Southern District of New York granted a preliminary victory to the recording industry when it found that copyright owners have a right to know the identities of anonymous file swappers. The court held that the use of P2P networks qualifies as free speech only to a limited degree, and as a result the First Amendment cannot be invoked to protect a file-swapper's identity. Copyright:

Three plead guilty to trying to hack into Lowe's computer
Three Michigan men have pleaded guilty to charges that they conspired to hack into the national computer system of the Lowe's home improvement chain to steal credit card information, federal authorities said Wednesday.

German officials delay switch to Linux over patent concerns
Munich officials said Wednesday they are delaying plans to switch the city's 14,000 computers from Microsoft Corp.'s Windows software to the Linux operating system, citing potential patent risks. The officials are worried a move to the open-source software could make Munich vulnerable to patent disputes under legislation pending before the European Union, a statement from city hall said.

IBM pledges no patent attacks against Linux
IBM on Wednesday promised not to use its formidable collection of technology patents against Linux and challenged other companies to do the same, working to dispel one cloud that hangs over the open-source programming movement.

Apple settles with patent holder on iTunes
Apple Computer has become the latest in a line of companies licensing patents from the relatively obscure E-Data, a company that claims to hold property rights on the process of selling music online. E-Data said Wednesday that it had reached a European agreement with Apple that gave the company worldwide rights for its iTunes Music Store. It has now launched a new round of patent infringement suits against 14 companies including and The New York Times.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004
  Symantec sued for labeling product 'adware'
A small San Diego software company is suing Symantec, claiming that the computer security giant is driving away business by unfairly lumping it in with spyware distributors. TrekEight (which variably refers to itself also as "Trek8," "TrekData" and "TrekBlue") makes a product called Spyware Nuker, which it advertises as a tool for identifying and removing spyware on computer hard drives. But Symantec's Web site and Norton AntiVirus software has for months been identifying TrekEight's software as a potentially damaging piece of "adware."

Home PCs hijacked to spread spam
There is a good chance that your home computer has been hijacked by spammers if you have a broadband net link, but are not using a firewall or anti-virus software to protect your PC.

Email Privacy is Lost
Ah, humanity. We are a sneaky species, forever attempting to get a leg up on everyone else in as underhanded a manner as possible. If there's a way to listen in to conversations not meant for us, watch the actions of others furtively, or read someone else's secrets, we do it.

Tuesday, August 03, 2004
  Net fears stunt online travel Bigger discounts and better security could tempt more people to book holidays online, a survey has found. More than 50% would swap a travel agent for the net if it was cheaper, said technology consultants LogicaCMG.

Monday, August 02, 2004
  Apple stunned by RealNetworks iPod move
Apple Computer is unhappy with RealNetworks' move this week to make its RealPlayer music service compatible with Apple's iPod digital music player and may take legal action to counter it, the company said yesterday. Apple said in a statement it is "stunned that RealNetworks has adopted the tactics and ethics of a hacker to break into the iPod", adding: "We are investigating the [legal] implications."

Five Myths in E-Commerce About Personalization
Today, the online commerce market has reached a level of maturity that can be seen both in the myriad industries in which it can be found -- retail, travel and hospitality, media and entertainment, etc. -- as well as the revenue numbers it produces. Online retail sales in the United States soared past US$100 billion in 2003, an increase of 38 percent from the previous year.

The eagerly awaited blockbuster computer game, Doom 3, has been leaked on the internet.
A San Diego company has agreed to stop bombarding computer users with Internet pop-up ads to advertise its ad-blocking software, avoiding a court battle with the Federal Trade Commission. D Squared Solutions, which was created by two college students, reached a settlement Wednesday with the FTC, which had filed a civil suit against the company last year.

Long-awaited Doom 3 leaked online
The eagerly awaited blockbuster computer game, Doom 3, has been leaked on the internet.
Copies of the game on file-sharing networks and newsgroups are being downloaded by thousands of people.

Comms dept delays SNO judicial review
The legal issues affecting the yet to be licensed second national operator (SNO) continue to grow, with the communications minister apparently to blame for further delays in the process.
According to Daniel Pretorius, a partner in Bowman Gilfillan Attorneys Ð acting on behalf of 19% shareholder Nexus Connexion Ð the lawyers are still awaiting documentation from the Department of Communications that was due to be delivered to them by the end of June.

A Promise Falls in the Forest - the legality of website privacy policies
A decision by a federal court in Minnesota may have profound repercussions for the ability of consumers and others to rely upon promises of security and privacy made on corporate or governmental websites -- and that's just for starters.

Canadian ISPs should not pay royalties for file-sharing
In a landmark decision, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled on Wednesday that ISPs should not be forced to pay royalties for file-sharing by their customers because the ISP is merely a conduit for the transmission of digital information. The case had been brought by the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN), which was seeking an order that would force ISPs to pay blanket royalty fees to cover the music downloaded using their services.

Benetton settles Olympian marketing dispute
Benetton and the British Olympic Association have settled a dispute over the use of Olympic symbols and wording on a range of childrenÕs clothing, with Benetton agreeing to pay damages and costs, according to reports. The dispute concerned a range of BenettonÕs childrenÕs clothing that featured the Olympic Rings, the word ÒOlympicÓ and in one case, the word ÒOfficialÓ, without permission.

EBay not liable for user's comments
A Californian Court of Appeal has ruled that eBay is not liable for defamatory remarks made on its site by a user Ð due to the careful wording of its terms and conditions, not because of a federal law widely regarded as protecting web site owners. The case concerned the purchase of magazines over eBay by publisher Roger Grace. Unimpressed by the state of the magazines, and the way the sale had been handled, Grace expressed his feelings about the seller on eBayÕs site. In return the seller posted his own comments, accusing Grace of dishonesty.

India getting data protection laws within months
The Indian Government announced on Wednesday that laws to introduce a new data protection regime, which will help European and US companies when outsourcing to the sub-continent, are likely to be in place within the next few months. EU law in particular restricts businesses transferring data to countries with weak privacy protection, and with Indian IT wage costs rising Ð albeit still far behind those in the US and Europe Ð India wants to eliminate reasons for potential customers to outsource elsewhere.

2004 Big Brother Awards
Privacy International last night announced the winners of its Big Brother Awards 2004, the sixth year that the privacy group has run a competition to name those who have Òdone the most to devastate privacy and civil liberties in the UKÓ. Most Invasive Company was British Gas for, according to Privacy International (PI), Òits unfounded and cowardly claim that the Data Protection Act was the reason why an elderly couple died after British Gas had disconnected their gas supply.Ó

Businesses struggling with IT law compliance
British businesses are finding it hard to cope with the volume and complexity of rules and regulations governing the use of IT in the workplace, according to new research from internet solutions provider Star Internet. In a survey of 300 company directors and senior IT decision makers in April and May this year, 72% of respondents said that compliance with IT regulation had become more of an issue in the last year. Eighty-six percent believed that the situation would get worse over the next 12 months.

Confusing opt-out messages sent to SMS marketers
An advertising watchdog yesterday ruled against O2 after a complaint that the mobile company's text message marketing failed to provide an opt-out. But SMS marketers, it seems, receive confusing messages. The case highlights substantial differences between the CAP Code, a set of industry rules applied by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations, applied by the UK's Information Commissioner, and a European Directive of 2002 Ð which should be the blueprint for the entire regime.

Sunday, August 01, 2004
  Cartoon sparks race row
London - A cartoon used in a presentation by a British government official showing a group of men in stereotypical Arab dress in a "terrorist school" has raised the ire of Muslim leaders, the Independent on Sunday reported.







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