Buys Inc. Attorneys
ICT Law Blog
Thursday, September 30, 2004
  Copyright Office Pitches Anti-P2P Legislation
The U.S. Copyright Office has drafted a new version of the proposed Induce Act that it believes will ban peer-to-peer (P2P) networks such as Kazaa and Morpheus, while not putting hardware such as portable hard drives and MP3 players on the wrong side of the law.

Opinion: Internet Gambling -- Regulate or Litigate?
The U.S. government decided recently to negotiate with, rather than litigate against, the Caribbean islands of Antigua and Barbuda (both referred to as Antigua) over the issue of online gaming. This decision came about after the U.S. lost an arbitration proceeding under the trade dispute resolution process of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in March.

Fraudulent bugs
Over the past few years security has become one of the most talked about topics in the IT sector. Businesses have made huge investments in technology to try and ensure hackers cannot penetrate their networks and cause serious financial damage. However, the enemy can also lurk within and steal millions without the company even knowing. For example, it cost the Jasper State Bank in Minnesota $2.7 million before it realised that two former employees were engaged in fraudulent activities.

IT governance training
[Johannesburg, 30 September 2004] - Performance management firm Analytix is making major inroads in COBIT IT governance training, through its distinct approach of bringing it in-house.

Convergence Bill slammed as horrendous
[Cape Town ITWeb, 30 September 2004] - Neil Emerick, council member of the SA Free Market Foundation, describes the draft Convergence Bill that was released earlier this year as “a piece of horrendous legislation”.

Judge issues order in Tupperware dispute
For the moment, Tupperware Canada Inc. has put a lid on Internet-based criticism of how it deals with its sales force. Mr. Justice Donald Cameron of the Ontario Superior Court issued a temporary order this week requiring Canadian Alliance of Franchise Operators Inc. to close a section of its website describing disputes between Tupperware and five former area distributors.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004
  The advantages of compliance to the SANS/ISO 17799 Standard
This article is intended to provide general guidance and does not constitute professional advice relating to specific instances. Should you wish to place any reliance on the information presented in this article we strongly advise that you consult your legal advisor or the Electronic Law Consultancy

A hacker's nightmare
Massachusetts - It's a hacker's nightmare but a dream for bankers and spies: A computer network so secure that even the simplest attempts to eavesdrop will interrupt the flow of data and alert administrators to the snooping.

Integr8 IT designs IT networking jewel for Jenna Clifford
Well-known local jewellery designer Jenna Clifford, owner of Jenna Clifford (Pty) Ltd, which houses established brands Jenna Clifford Fine Jewellery and Renaissance Jenna Clifford, has selected network integration specialist Integr8 IT to install full networking infrastructure, including Active Directory services, and provide reliable uptime and effective branch connectivity for file sharing and administration purposes.

Pssst… Secret Service Web site launchesLast week, the SA Secret Service (SASS) launched its Web site, giving the public a glimpse of the world of a fo
Last week, the SA Secret Service (SASS) launched its Web site, giving the public a glimpse of the world of a foreign intelligence agency. The launch of the Web site,, went virtually unreported by the media, although the main aim of the agency's Internet presence is to keep the public informed of the role, developments and challenges that the SASS faces.

Users hamper information security
Employees still pose the biggest corporate security threat, while IT systems are the main corporate security focus, reports audit and business advisory firm Ernst & Young in its latest Global Information Security Survey.

Banks urged to restructure IT
Banks need to “future-proof” their IT architectures and applications to get ahead of the regulatory curve, says business software solutions provider SAP. Derik Seute, SAP industry solution manager, says there are few differences in the way local banks go about opening accounts.

Online dating generates millions in SA
Almost a quarter of a million South Africans have used online dating services and the market is worth at least R20 million annually, according to a study on online dating conducted by Internet marketing company NETucation.

The lion roars tonight...
A United States music publishing house controlling the first rewrite of a song which became the hit The Lion Sleeps Tonight has agreed to pay future royalties to the South African family of its composer, lawyers said on Monday.

Tough new measures to fight child porn
Large corporate companies could be prosecuted if any of their staff were caught with child pornography in their emails or attachment folders thought to have been deleted. The Film and Publications Act, which will soon be amended, will see perpetrators face up to 30 years in prison. The amendments are:
  • That the maximum jail term for producing, distributing and possessing child pornography has been raised from five to 30 years;
  • That Internet service providers will face criminal prosecution if they fail to block access to child porn sites after members of the public or the police have informed them of their existence; and
  • That people who repair computers will be held criminally liable if they do not report clients whose computer hard drives contain child porn. The same applies to photography on films sent in for developing and printing.

KPMG IT governance survey
Corporate governance is considered a top priority in many organisations; and information technology an essential ingredient in ensuring the successful delivery of products and services in these organisations. With IT being critical to ensuring that an organisation meets its business objectives, how are these organisations managing the risk of their high dependence on IT while simultaneously getting optimum value from IT? Are organisations actively managing information technology governance as part of their corporate governance framework and is IT management actively involved in corporate governance issues?

Something smells fishy
Between Ivy Matsepe-Casaburri's SNO buck-passing, Nexus Connexion's legal action and Telkom's sudden change in attitude, something is decidedly fishy in the telecoms industry.
READ IN THIS STORY:Bizarre actions Monopolistic minds

No end to Laugh it Off
Laugh it Off might have lost its case against SA Breweries in the Bloemfontein Appeal Court, but the satirical T-shirt company is not giving up so easily. At this stage it also doesn't seem that other large corporations are considering legal action against the company that makes fun of trade names. SAB lodged a lawsuit after Laugh it Off changed the company's Black Label logo to read "Black Labour, White Guilt"

Farm sector goes electronic
Agriculture company Afgri is expanding its electronic trading hub to allow other players in the industry to use it. Afgri says it has embarked on a national drive to centralise individual farmer and co-op grain volumes for the group, which represents 28% of the South African crop and has 73 silos with a capacity of 3.8 million tons.

SA's e-attacks jump 696%
Symantec's sixth biannual report on global trends in Internet attacks, vulnerabilities, and malicious code activity shows SA recorded a 696% annual increase in the number of these attacks, rising from 375 per user last year to 1 813 per user this year. The report released yesterday says SA needs to ensure businesses and the market understand the impact of these threats from an economic and IT infrastructure perspective.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004
  Website compliance survey - discussion on MyADSL
Thanks to Reinhardt Buys and ITWeb for the checklist! At least it's easier to start working out what needs to be said. South Africa needs more legal minds like this.

Click on the title to follow the discussions.

VoIP Looms Large, But Problems Persist
Telecommunications carriers see the future, and it is voice over IP services. This technology enables them to roll out high-speed multimedia services to consumers and businesses faster and at a lower cost than traditional Public Switched Telephone Network services.

HFC bank loses its marbles over customer CC details
Customers of HFC Bank, a subsidiary of HSBC, are threatening legal action after an "operator error" exposed personal information in emails from the bank. The bank emailed 2,600 of its Marbles credit card customers with a message marked "Urgent", asking them to contact the bank within 24 hours. But the sender somehow included the entire distribution list in the outgoing mail.

E-mail firm baits hackers with security challenge
A small British e-mail company is lining itself up for a possible challenge by inviting Internet users to break into its product. Avecho has offered $18,056 (10,000 pounds) to anyone who can sneak a virus past its GlassWall product, and it has even opened up the challenge to its developers.

CDs to Dominate for Years Over Net Downloads - Study
LONDON (Reuters) - The compact disc has at least another five years as the most popular music format before online downloads chip away at its dominance, a new study said on Tuesday. Technology consultancy Jupiter Research said in its annual report that in 2009 European music fans will buy 836 million euros ($1 billion) worth of music in the form of digital downloads and subscriptions to Internet radio services.

Anti-Spyware Legislation Could Pass This Year
Measures to curb the use of "spyware" -- the computer programs that surreptitiously track people's online movements -- are steamrolling their way through Congress, and a combined proposal could reach the President's desk before lawmakers break for the November election.

FDIC Warns About E-Mail 'Phishing' Scam
NEW YORK (Reuters) - The FDIC on Friday issued an alert about an increasingly common e-mail scam designed to steal personal information and money from millions of unwary consumers. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC), perhaps best known as an insurer of bank deposits, issued its warning about so-called "phishing" eight months after criminals began misappropriating its name and reputation to perpetrate e-mail fraud.

HFC bank in mass e-mail blunder
One of the UK's biggest providers of loans and credit cards has infuriated thousands of customers by revealing their personal details in an e-mail. HFC bank sent "urgent" e-mails to 2,600 people but an error meant that each address was visible to everyone else on the list.

Monday, September 27, 2004
  Web site offers after-death e-mail
E-mail from beyond the grave? Not exactly. But a Spanish Internet company is breaking fresh ground on the Web by offering people the chance to write one last e-mail, complete with video clip or photo attachments, and send it to loved ones, friends or even enemies after the person who wrote it is dead.

Sunday, September 26, 2004
  New Hampshire Firm Sues Provider of Wireless Hotspots
Duff said that Wayport originally offered a subscription Internet service that did not infringe on his company's patents. But he said company officials later realized that Wayport had begun to offer a pay- as-you-go option, similar to the one described in the PowerOasis patents. "We don't know exactly when they went to the infringing configuration," Duff said.

Most South African websites break law every day
A "DISGRACEFUL" 81% of local websites fail to comply with legal conditions designed to protect consumers. The laws are being flouted by companies that boast of their Proudly South African status, yet do not conform to SA's legislation, according to a survey by Buys Attorneys.

Jail time for California file swappers?
California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a law Tuesday establishing fines and potential jail time for anonymous file swappers. The new law says that any California resident who sends copyrighted works without permission to at least 10 other people must include his or her e-mail address and the title of the work. Swappers who do not include this information will face fines of up to $2,500 and up to one year in prison.

Friday, September 24, 2004
  Timing your text message marketing
Marketing text messages are twice as likely to annoy recipients as cold calls if received outside working hours, according to new research that was carried out on behalf of Cable & Wireless.

Treat surnames like other trade marks, says ECJ
An application for the registration of a surname as a trade mark must be considered on the same basis as any other application, the European Court of Justice ruled last week. The decision will change the way the UK Trade Marks Registry assesses surnames.

Hospital staff suspended for on-line shopping
The University Hospital of North Staffordshire has suspended 10 employees who visited holiday, sport and shopping web sites while they should have been working, according to a report from the BBC.

Thursday, September 23, 2004
  Bloggers respond to Buys Inc.'s involvement with the Hellkom matter
There has been quite a bit of speculation regarding the action against Hellkom and the law firms that was/will be used by Telkom. I have contacted BUYS INC. ATTORNEYS to try to gain some clarity on the matter, and they were happy to supply MyADSL with information about the situation and clarify some of the issues that are discussed here. I have to add that they were very friendly, approachable and professional regarding this matter (I might just start to prefer lawyers to telecom companies :-) You can read the full reply in the news section.

Online Advertising: The State of Play
What level has the online advertising market reached in 2004? Mike Butcher casts an eye over the current scene. It's almost ten years since ran an advert for a beer company on its web site, the first ever. In the intervening period we've seen an entirely new medium born. Imagine what it was like to be around in the first ten years of radio? You don't need to. This is what it was like. In 2004 the online advertising sector faces a tipping point. It now has many of the tools and momentum to start taking on the older media sectors. So what's the state of play?

Bloggers learn lesson: Don't trash your boss
When Penny Cholmondeley found piles of abandoned machinery and rusted cans lying on the snowy tundra outside Iqaluit, she decided they were a ''fascinating source of visual material'' and posted pictures of the garbage on her personal Internet blog.

Movie Trade Group Sues for Illegal Downloads
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Motion Picture Association of America said on Wednesday it has sued a company that sells Internet downloads of current movies like "I, Robot" and "Spider-Man 2" without permission.

Accountants and lawyers prepare for epic clash
Accountants and solicitors are squaring up for an epic clash after the Law Society this week said it would refuse to comply with new tax avoidance disclosure regulations coming into force in seven days.

Intellectual Honesty in the Electronic Age
In the 1896 H.G. Wells short story, A Slip Under the Microscope, protagonist William Hill, a poor cobbler’s son in college on a scholarship, thwarts his academic career by admitting to accidentally viewing a specimen under a microscope slide during a critical test. The rules were such that he was considered a cheater and expelled, even though he admitted to an honest accident. In contrast, the wealthy H.J. Somers Wedderburn got away with actual cheating during the same exercise, but he had no moral scruples and was rewarded with a pass (Wells, 2004). This story is over a century old, but the problems with cheating in higher education are very much the same. Many students strive to be honest, while some cheat and get away with it.

Viruses Aimed at Microsoft Rise Sharply-Symantec
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - The number of new viruses and worms aimed at Microsoft Corp.'s (MSFT.O: Quote, Profile, Research) ubiquitous Windows operating system rose 400 percent between January and June from the same year-earlier period, leading computer security company Symantec said on Sunday.

California To Set P2P Policy
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has ordered the State CIO to come up with a policy for the use of peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing applications by state personnel. While the order prohibited the use of state resources to illegally download copyrighted material, it specifically allowed for legitimate uses of the controversial software -- in moderation.

Open-source programmer rebuts charge
A programmer has rebutted an accusation that he contributed proprietary software to an open-source project called Mambo, while his accuser has moderated his legal threats. Programmer Emir Sakic's rebuttal, posted Saturday, said the code he wrote for a company called Furthermore was derived from existing open-source code and thus could not be made proprietary. Also, he said the specific code written for Furthermore was not what he later contributed to the open-source project.

E-Mail and Instant Messaging Face Compliance Challenges
Regulations imposed by the Securities Exchange Commission, the Freedom of Information Act and Sarbanes-Oxley make no distinction between public instant-messaging clients provided by AOL, MSN, ICQ and Yahoo and the enterprise-messaging systems provided by Microsoft Live Communications Server and IBM Lotus Instant Messaging.

10 nominees short-listed for the IT Personality of the Year Award
The quest for the IT Personality of the Year 2004 has reached its second round.
Out of nearly 60 nominations received from ITWeb readers and members of the Computer Society of SA, the judges have short-listed 10 candidates, all of whom have made outstanding achievements in their careers and significant contributions to the South African IT industry.
You have until Friday 1 October to cast your vote for the candidate you think is most deserving of this recognition.

Making Web site compliance easy
IT attorney firm Buys Inc has issued a checklist to help ITWeb readers get their Web sites legally compliant. This follows an article published on ITWeb on Monday, in which the results of the recent 2004 South African Web site Compliance Survey, conducted by Legalsentry and Buys Inc Attorneys, indicated that most South African Web sites did not comply with the necessary laws.

VeriSign Reports Domain Registration Hits All-Time High
VeriSign announced that online domain names registration hit a record high of 64.5 million, which is a 7 percent increase from last year. According to a new report by VeriSign, 4.6 million new domain names were registered in the second quarter of 2004, representing a 2.5 percent growth over the first quarter of 2004.

Employers should protect staff from spam
Employers should take more action to prevent spam containing offensive material from reaching staff in-boxes, according to a security firm which warns that a failure to protect staff in this way is like "asking for a Human Resources fiasco."

E-Mail and Instant Messaging Face Compliance Challenges
Regulations imposed by the Securities Exchange Commission, the Freedom of Information Act and Sarbanes-Oxley make no distinction between public instant-messaging clients provided by AOL, MSN, ICQ and Yahoo and the enterprise-messaging systems provided by Microsoft Live Communications Server and IBM Lotus Instant Messaging.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004
  Loop lig vir dié bedrieglike webwerwe
Meer as 40 bedrieglike webwerwe wat slagoffers "nooi" om buitelandse bankrekenings te open, is in die eerste week van September geïdentifiseer. Al dié webwerwe word deur Nigeriese 419-bedrogsindikate beheer. Mnr. John McClane, wat in beheer is van die webwerf 419Legal - waarop alle nuwe skemas van die 419-sindikaat oopgevlek word - sê informante het inligting in verband met die 419-webwerwe aan hom oorgedra.

The Second Coming of E-Commerce
Savvy online retailers already recognize that having intelligence on their competitors' sites can be extremely valuable in determining the right strategy for delivering optimal performance, giving users the most intuitive user experience and even increasing the conversion rate for actual sales!

Beyond File Sharing: P2P Radio Arrives
Mercora's Atri Chatterjee is confident that P2P radio will avoid legal entanglements with the RIAA because his network will closely regulate the actions of subscribers and will ensure that all required usage fees are paid to the recording industry. "We enable people to webcast music to each other in a P2P-style environment," Chatterjee told TechNewsWorld.

Arrest made in Cisco source code theft
The Metropolitan Police Computer Crime Unit searched residences in Manchester, U.K. and Darbyshire, U.K. on Sept. 3., confiscated computer equipment and arrested a 20 year-old man suspected of committing "hacking offenses" under that country's Computer Misuse Act of 1990. While authorities could not discuss the specifics of the case, the arrest was linked to the Cisco source code, according to Julie Prinsep, a Yard spokeswoman.

German Police Break Up Vast Internet Piracy Operation
German police have broken up an Internet piracy operation that peddled millions of euros (dollars) worth of bootleg films, computer games, music and software, police and prosecutors said Friday.

Labels, Microsoft in talks on CD copying
Record labels and Microsoft are in discussions about ways that the next generation of the Windows operating system, code-named Longhorn, can support copy-protected CD technology.

Microsoft: Can we check your software license?
Microsoft is trying to get to know its pirates a little better. The software maker has launched a pilot program in which some visitors to the main Windows download page are being asked to let the software maker check to see whether their copy of the operating system is licensed.

Open-source spat triggers legal threat
A small company is threatening legal action against some users of the open-source Mambo software for publishing content on Web sites, arguing that the package includes proprietary code.

Monday, September 20, 2004
  SA sites do not comply with ECT Act
A new study has found that most South African Web sites do not comply with the provisions of the ECT Act and related legislation. IT attorney firm Buys Inc reports that an annual survey of South African Web sites has found the number of sites that fail to comply with the provisions of related legislation grew from 47% in 2002 to 81% this year. Compliance levels dropped by more than 30% in two years, says Buys Inc.

Friday, September 17, 2004
  FBI seizes $87 million worth of illegal software
A two-year investigation by U.S. law enforcement authorities has resulted in one of the largest seizures of fake software ever in the U.S. and charges against 11 individuals, government officials said Thursday.

Judge Weighs Evidence in IBM, SCO Case
IBM attorneys argued that Utah-based SCO Group has failed to provide any evidence that IBM allowed proprietary Unix code to enter the freely distributed Linux operating system and its $5 billion suit making that claim should be dismissed.

Telkom ignores SNO news
Cape Town - Telkom's share price has barely moved on the announcement of the second network operator (SNO), made by Communications Minister Ivy Matsepi-Casaburri, on Friday morning.

Telecoms liberalisation will allow SA to leap from the information dirt road onto the information superhighway.
On 2 September, communications minister Ivy Matsepe-Casaburri announced liberalisation measures unparalleled in South African telecommunications history. The decades-old telephone monopoly will end on 1 February next year with the removal of the restriction on voice over IP (VOIP) transmission. What this means to the layman is the removal of Telkom's legal monopoly on retail voice services and the introduction of unprecedented competition into the sector. fixes flaw
[Johannesburg, 17 September 2004] - Online retailer this morning repaired a flaw that allowed account holders to view other customers' personal details. The flaw allowed users to view the order history of other account holders, tracking numbers of parcels, as well as addresses and telephone numbers.

Court refuses to just Laugh It Off
It was illegal to caricature the Carling Black Label trademark for commercial gain, the Supreme Court of Appeal found on Thursday.The court upheld an interdict against Laugh It Off. Promotions, obtained by South African Breweries (SAB) in the Cape High CourtLaugh It Off had been selling T-shirts emblazoned with the trademark but substituting the words "Black Labour, White Guilt" for "Black Label, Carling".

Thursday, September 16, 2004
  U.N. Economic Agency Releases International Electronic Signature Law Survey
Click on the title to download the U.N. Economic Agency Releases International Electronic Signature Law Survey.

Major Web sites hit with suit over gambling ads
Some gambling ads on Google, Yahoo and other major Web sites are illegal in California, according to a lawsuit filed Tuesday. 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."

Destruction Of Computer Files By Former Employee Permits Inference That All Files Were Copied
The destruction of misappropriated computer files by former employees who were served with a temporary restraining order gives rise to a presumption that the employees copied every file in the former employer's computer system. Advantacare Health Partners, LP v. Access IV, No. C 03-04496 (N.D. Cal. Aug. 17, 2004). The court noted evidence of the defendants' spoliation of evidence, including the defendants' admissions and the report of a computer forensic agency that one of the defendants visited Web sites searching for computer deletion software, installed such software, and deleted thousands of files from his computers. The court concluded that the imposition of a presumption that the defendants copied every file on the plaintiff's computer system satisfied the "evidentary" rationale for the imposition of such a sanction, because the defendants' behavior "suggests that the evidence would have been threatening to the defense of the case and that it is therefore relevant in an evidentiary sense."

Federal Judiciary Proposes New E-Discovery Rules
Judicial Conference's Advisory Committee on the Federal Rules released proposed new rules covering electronic discovery. The proposed amendments address five related areas: (a) early attention to issues relating to electronic discovery, including the form of production, preservation of electronically stored information, and review of electronically stored information for privilege; (b) discovery of electronically stored information that is not reasonably accessible; (c) the assertion of privilege after production; (d) the application of Rules 33 and 34 to electronically stored information; and (e) a limit on sanctions under Rule 37 for the loss of electronically stored information as a result of the routine operation of computer systems.

Use of Domain Name For Critical Comment Not Commercial Speech Under The Federal Trademark Dilution Act
An injunction prohibiting a domain name holder from linking to Web sites containing disparaging or negative commentary concerning a trademark holder is an invalid content-based restriction on non-commercial speech. Nissan Motor Co. v. Nissan Computer Corp., No. 02-57148 (9th Cir. Aug. 6, 2004). The court concluded that injunctive relief under the Federal Trademark Dilution Act (FTDA) was improper because the links to disparaging commentary fell within the exception in the FTDA for "noncommercial use" of a mark. The court commented that the links to negative commentary about the plaintiff and its litigation with the defendant "reflect a point of view" that is protected by the First Amendment. The court also ruled, however, that the defendant's use of the domain name for automobile-related advertising constituted actionable trademark infringement, and upheld the trial court's entry of summary judgment on those uses. The court remanded for further proceedings on the plaintiff's FTDA claims, including factual determinations concerning when the plaintiff's mark became famous, and whether the plaintiff could show actual dilution of the mark under the standard set by the U.S. Supreme Court in Moseley v. V Secret Catalogue, 537 U.S. 418 (2003).

Use of GPL-Licensed Software Utility Does Not Waive Developer's Rights In Resulting Code
The use of the "Bison" parser licensed under the GNU General Public License (GNU GPL) to create software code does not prevent a developer from asserting proprietary rights in the code output by the parser. Computer Associates International v. Quest Software, Inc., No. 02 C 4721 (N.D. Ill. June 28, 2004). Under the GNU GPL, the court noted, a user of the code making up the Bison program is restricted from claiming proprietary rights in any subsequent modification or distribution of the code. The court found, however, that the license accompanying the Bison parser contained a specific exception for output files created by the parser, releasing such files from the restrictions of the license.

Peer-To-Peer Software Distributors Not Secondarily Liable For Users' Infringement
The distributors of peer-to-peer file-sharing software are not contributorily or vicariously liable for copyright infringement committed by users of the software. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. v. Grokster Ltd, No. 03-55894 (9th Cir. Aug. 19, 2004). The court concluded that the software is capable of "substantial non-infringing uses" within the meaning of the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Sony Corp. v. University City Studios, 464 U.S. 417 (1984) (the "Betamax" case), despite the allegations of the plaintiff copyright owners that the vast majority of the software use was for infringing purposes. The court found that the design of the software was "of great import" in analyzing the issue of secondary liability, and noted the evidence showing that the software was designed such that the software developers did not maintain control of the operation of the network created by the software. The court concluded, therefore, that the software developers did not have "reasonable knowledge of specific infringement" by the users of the software, nor did the distributors "materially contribute" to the infringement. The court similarly concluded that the defendants were not liable for vicarious infringement, because they did not have the ability to block access to the network by individual users

Federal Trade Commission Proposes CAN-SPAM Regulations Defining "Primary Purpose" of E-Mail
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued a proposed rule setting forth a tri-category framework for determining the "primary purpose" of an electronic message under the federal Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act of 2003 (CAN-SPAM Act). 69 Fed. Reg. 50091 (August 2004). The proposed rule uses the Act's definition of a "transactional or relationship message" to define the key term "transactional or relationship content." The inclusion of such content in a message is used in the proposed regulation to determine the "primary purpose" of an electronic message.

Scottish newspaper settles internet defamation case
Lord Robertson and the Sunday Herald have settled a defamation dispute over allegations posted on the Scottish newspaper's internet message board that accused the former NATO Secretary General of helping Thomas Hamilton, the Dunblane killer, to obtain a gun licence.

FIFA wins World Cup trade mark dispute
Football’s governing body yesterday announced that it has won a six year dispute with former US network StarMedia, now Cyclelogic, over that company’s use of the domain names and

Airline data-sharing complaint dismissed
The US Department of Transportation last week dismissed a complaint filed against Northwest Airlines over its transfer of passenger data in breach of its own privacy policy, explaining that there had been no harm done to the airline’s customers.

Guilty plea for massive identity theft
A former employee of a credit software company has pled guilty in what is reported to be the biggest identity theft case in US history, involving the credit reports of over 30,000 people and an estimated loss of $50 million, according to media reports.

Fresh from Solving Iraq, the UN takes on Electronic Contracting
If you liked the way the United Nations dealt with Saddam Hussein, you'll be pleased to hear that it's now bringing those problem-solving skills to bear on electronic contracting. On August 31, the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) released its May 18 draft convention on international electronic contracting.

First Amendment to the Rescue – Court Finds PA Internet Blocking Law Unconstitutional
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has been enforcing a unique and highly impractical law requiring that Internet service providers (ISPs) block subscribers from going to child porn sites no matter where the sites are located. Because any blocking measure can easily be defeated and because IP address sharing is so widespread today that dozens of sites may be blocked by orders aimed at a single child porn site, the Pennsylvania law had a sweeping but silent effect well outside the borders of Pennsylvania.

SA fares poorly in domain name battle
An expensive New York court battle has resulted in little success for the South African government in trying to secure ownership of the Internet domain name

Merge microfilm and digital for successful archiving
By their very nature, governments are compelled to keep mountains of historical information. These are records that not only protect legal rights, but also contain information pertinent to a country's history. Nowhere is this more relevant than in our own past, where archival information has played an intrinsic role in recording SA's troubled history and ensuring redress.

Opinion: Is a Web Site Sufficient To Establish Jurisdiction?
Does the operation of a Web site mean that your company can be dragged into court in any jurisdiction? This is a question that has been the subject of numerous lawsuits in both the U.S. and other countries. Here are summaries of a few recent U.S. decisions that provide some guidance on this issue.

False addresses make mockery of spam law
SA IS in dire need of stronger laws against spam now that 65% of all e-mail is unwanted junk, says the Internet Service Providers Association (Ispa). The Electronic Communications and Transactions (ECT) Act has been used only once to punish a spammer successfully. That resulted in a mere R200 admission of guilt fine and no prosecution.

The Blogger on the Payroll
The spotlight shone on the role of Weblogs in corporate image-making last week when programmer Joyce Park said Friendster fired her for writing about the company on her "Troutgirl" blog. According to Park, Friendster booted her for three posts she made about the company, sharing her personal views on internal changes that had already been openly discussed in the blogosphere. Upon Parks' firing, a host of bloggers immediately pounced, calling on readers to cancel their Friendster accounts.

Ex-lover jailed for internet sex clip
A jilted lover was jailed for three months yesterday for setting up a spiteful website that showed the couple having sex. Paul Clarke, 26, a bus driver, paid a friend £50 to distribute the website address to guests at Cara Whitehouse's 21st birthday party.

Man pleads guilty in huge ID theft case
A help desk worker from a tiny Long Island software firm has pleaded guilty to enabling one of the largest identity theft schemes in U.S. history. Phillip A. Cummings, 35, admitted he helped steal credit reports on some 33,000 consumers around the country, starting a scheme that netted thieves between $50 and $100 million, authorities say.

Proxim, Symbol Make Nice After Settlement
Today, Holtsville, N.Y.-based Symbol Technologies (Quote, Chart) and WLAN equipment-making rival Proxim (Quote, Chart) of Sunnyvale, Calif., announced a settlement and partnership deal bringing to a conclusion the company's patent lawsuits of the last few years.

Major graphics flaw threatens Windows PCs
Microsoft published on Tuesday a patch for a major security flaw in its software's handling of the JPEG graphics format and urged customers to use a new tool to locate the many applications that are vulnerable.

Samba servers vulnerable to denial-of-service attacks
The Samba Team released on Tuesday a patch to fix two flaws that could result in disruptions for networks using the widely installed Unix and Linux software. The two relatively minor flaws could crash or make unresponsive systems running version 3 of Samba, an open-source software package that allows Windows files and printers to be shared by Unix and Linux systems.

Lithuania won't pull the plug on pro-Chechen site
Lithuania on Tuesday refused a Russian request to shut down a pro-Chechen Web site that published a $20 million reward for assistance in the capture of Russian President Vladimir Putin, saying it cannot take action without a court order.

Domain name registrations hit record
Domain name registration hit an all-time high of 64.5 million at the end of the second quarter, VeriSign said Tuesday. The figure represents a 7 percent increase over the end of 2003, the Internet domain name registry said. For the quarter, the number of registrations was 4.6 million, up 2.5 percent from the first quarter. VeriSign said the growth in registrations last reached this level in the late 1990s, during the height of the dot-com bubble.

Basel II compliance to stimulate spend on IT
Basel II, less commonly known as the International Convergence of Capital Measurement and Capital Standards: a Revised Framework, will have a major positive impact on IT budgets and spend in the next few years.

SA a potential mass spam target
There is a dire need for local spam legislation to be revised, as SA is a lucrative mass-spamming target, delegates at the iWeek conference were told. “International co-operation is required in order to tackle the problem. Legislation alone does not stop spam, but heavy penalties are a deterrent.”

Government clamps down on child pornography
Child pornography becomes one of the most serious crimes in South Africa from next week. Perpetrators will face prison terms of up to 30 years.

Government clamps down on child pornography
Child pornography becomes one of the most serious crimes in South Africa from next week. Perpetrators will face prison terms of up to 30 years.

'Idol' creator sues Cowell
The creator of U.K. talent show "Pop Idol" and its U.S. spinoff "American Idol" is suing his former collaborators, including Simon Cowell, claiming that their new project is a rip-off of the global "Idol" format.

Judge Rules Oracle Can Pursue PeopleSoft Takeover
The ruling yesterday came more than 15 months after Oracle made its initial surprise offer for PeopleSoft. The past year has been marked by numerous legal maneuvers and verbal grenades tossed between the two camps, particularly between Oracle CEO Larry Ellison and his counterpart, Craig Conway, a former high-ranking Oracle executive.

SA fights for .com domain
The South African government is slowly winning the battle against an American company that registered the domain name on the internet. The name was registered for $35 by a New York company called Virtual Countries, which now wants to sell it to the South African government for between $5m and $10m.

Government warns of net dangers
The government is planning a major public awareness campaign on computer security and internet safety risks. The aim of the initiative is to increase awareness of issues such as computer viruses and hacking.

Escrow Europe joins forces with Buys Inc
Escrow Europe, the world's leader in active escrow, has joined forces with Buys Inc, one of the first law firms in SA to specialise exclusively in information technology (IT) and Internet law.
The objective of the strategic partnership is to offer unique and practical escrow solutions to ensure businesses operating in southern Africa effectively and painlessly manage their continuity risks and software licensing.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004
  Microsoft Wins Tabbed Browsing Patent
Microsoft (Quote, Chart) has been granted a patent from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on a process known as tabbing through a Web page in order to find links.

Destruction of E-Mails in Patent Case Results in Sanctions of $566,838
Citing "breathtaking and absolute spoliation" that, at the least, comprised "extremely reckless behavior," a federal magistrate judge imposed $566,838 in sanctions against Samsung Electronics Co. and related entities for destroying e-mails in a patent infringement case.

Gateway wins trademark spat over former cow mascot
PIERRE, S.D. — A Colorado firm cannot market a whimsical novelty that is a near dead ringer for the black-and-white spotted cows that have become an icon for computer company Gateway, an appellate court has ruled.

Microsoft vs. Sendo: It's over
The legal battle between British phone manufacturer Sendo and Microsoft has been settled, the companies announced Monday morning.

Phishing E-Mail Fraud Becoming Epidemic
Phishing is reaching epidemic proportions. The Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG), a vendor consortium trying to address the problem, received reports of more than 1,100 unique phishing campaigns in April, a 178 percent increase from the previous month and a 4,000 percent increase from November 2003.

FCC Insists Broadband Deployment Improving
U.S. communications regulators on Thursday insisted the United States was making progress in rolling out high-speed Internet service, despite falling further behind other countries.
A new Federal Communications Commission report found that U.S. high-speed Internet lines had tripled to 28.2 million by the end of 2003 from June 2001, but the country at best was 10th place in international rankings down from fourth, lagging nations like Canada and South Korea.

Monday, September 13, 2004
  Internet user stats imperfect
South Africa's online publishing industry attracted over 3.5 million unique users and 106 million page impressions in August, the Online Publishers' Association (OPA) said last week. However, it admits its counting system is not perfect.

Pennsylvania Porn-Blocking Law Unconstitutional, Judge Rules
A federal court struck down as unconstitutional a path-breaking Pennsylvania law designed to prevent Internet users from seeing Web sites that contain child pornography. U.S. District Court Judge Jan E. DuBois threw out the 2002 law, ruling that it violated free-speech rights because it resulted in more than 1 million legitimate sites being blocked but shut down only about 400 offenders.

Back at School, 'F' Is for File Sharing
It's move-in day for freshmen at the University of Maryland's College Park campus and the narrow lawn outside Denton Hall is strewn with piles of suitcases, bedding and Dell computer boxes. If recent history is any guide, the smiling teens wandering amid the makeshift encampments are primed to join the next generation of hard-core music pirates who'll raid Internet file-swapping networks.

In Internet Calling, Skype Lives Up to Hype
How big a deal will Skype turn out to be? I have no idea whether the company itself, which was founded one year ago, will someday come to epitomize and dominate a particular booming business, the way Google, eBay and Amazon now do. But I feel confident that the service it provides will be attractive to most people who give it a serious look.

Internet user stats Ôimperfect'
South Africa's online publishing industry attracted over 3.5 million unique users and 106 million page impressions in August, the Online Publishers' Association (OPA) said last week. However, it admits its counting system is not perfect.

Liberalisation unshackles satellite industry
Satellite technology is set for takeoff now that telecommunications regulations are being eased, says Roy Ingle, regional director, Africa for satellite owner-operator Europe*Star.
Communications minister Ivy Matsepe-Casaburri announced this month that there would be major liberalisation of some telecommunications regulations from February 2005.

Thursday, September 09, 2004
  Downturn in inappropriate e-mails
The number of inappropriate and potentially sensitive images sent as e-mail attachments via office e-mail systems has declined over the past six months, releasing bandwidth for business use within firms, according to a report by MessageLabs.

All rap samples must be licensed, says court
Rap artists are liable for every music sample, no matter how small or unrecognisable, that they use in their work, the US Federal Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit ruled on Tuesday, according to the Associated Press. The case relates to the manipulation of a three-note riff from the 1975 Funkadelic song Get Off Your Ass and Jam. This, reports the Associated Press, was used by gangsta rap group NWA in their 1990 hit song 100 Miles and Runnin, which itself was featured in the film ÒI Got the Hook UpÓ produced by No Limit Films.

A New Twist in Nazi Paraphernalia Case
The latest skirmish in the long-running battle between Yahoo! and France over the Web portalÕs sale of Nazi paraphernalia has resulted in a ruling against Yahoo!, though on a rather technical ground. Yahoo! had won a declaratory judgment from the US District Court for the Northern District of California Ð which ruled that French content laws could not be enforced against Yahoo! in the US. Now, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has decided that the district court jumped the gun. The court of appeals held in late August that the district court did not (yet) have personal jurisdiction over the French groups that sued Yahoo!, and therefore could not (yet) render judgment in Yahoo!'s favor. Yahoo! filed a petition for a rehearing en banc on Friday, September 3, and we expect industry and public interest groups to line up in support.

Draft White Paper on e-Education
Click on the title to download the White Paper.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004
  Guidelines for Recognition of Representative Bodies in terms of Chapter 11 of the ECT Act
Notice inviting commenton proposed Guidelinesfor Recognition of IndustryRepresentative Bodies interms of Chapter XI of theElectronic Communicationsand Transactions Act, 2002:Government Gazette 26768,General Notice 1951, 8 September 2004.

Floppy disk nears obsolescence
ATLANTA, Georgia (AP) -- When Michael McCreary bought three new computers for his company, he had no need for one of the oldest and most common computer technologies, the floppy drive.

Spammers exploit anti-spam trap
Some spammers are getting their messages through using techniques designed to spot and stop them. A survey shows that spammers are the biggest users of a technique designed to find out if e-mail comes from the net address it says it does.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004
  Flood of VOIP competitors expected
A host of new companies will enter the voice over Internet protocol (VOIP) market following last week's announcement that it would be legalised in February. "I think we will see it expanding everywhere, because it is very cost-effective. But you will have to offer a decent service and grow with your user base. If you don't, you will fall out of the market", said JLC Gauteng IT manager Kowie Jacobs.

Nxasana: ÔNo need for Convergence Bill, SNO'
The need for convergence legislation and the business case for the second national operator (SNO) have been placed in serious doubt, says Telkom CEO Sizwe Nxasana.

Government set to declare inertia marketing illegal
Pretoria - Inertia marketing, also known as negative option marketing, is set to become illegal. This follows an investigation launched in October 2000 into the practice by the consumer affairs committee at the trade and industry department, which recently recommended to minister Mandisi Mpahlwa that it be made unlawful.

Net calls get their own area code
In the UK, the telephone area code for cyberspace will be 056. Government regulator Ofcom has picked the prefix for customers who sign up to make calls via the internet. Users can also opt for geographic numbers.

What's Hush-Hush Marketing?
We are living in dangerous times. The personal identity of each of us is a number one issue. Every corner of our daily life is now becoming a checking point; a simple credit card purchase to a job application. You better be the person you say you are, otherwise Uncle Tom Ridge and the staff of Homeland will decide for you.

Taking E-Commerce to the Next Level
Eventually, Chester Yeum hopes to sign up retailers to send his customers pitches via their cell phones or handheld computers that will entice them into a store they're approaching, perhaps using a 10 percent off coupon. Or maybe send them an e-mail reminding them that an outfit they abandoned in an online shopping cart is available in the store to try on.

Music industry sues 744 for file sharing
The trade group representing the US music industry has filed a new round of lawsuits against 744 people it alleges used online file-sharing networks to illegally trade in copyrighted songs, it said yesterday.

Industry welcomes Ôbrave steps' in telecoms
General feelings of jubilation over government's announcement yesterday on liberalising the telecommunications market were tempered by caution as market players and observers digested the news. This follows the communication minister's surprise announcement yesterday afternoon that voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP) would be legalised in February next year, as well as a number of other deregulatory issues.

Saturday, September 04, 2004
  Advertorials must be clearly identified
The UKÕs Advertising Standards Authority has reminded publishers that sponsored columns, published in exchange for payment and with content provided by marketers rather than publishers, must be clearly labelled as advertising.

Research firm sues data aggregator
An IT market research company is taking legal action against research aggregator eMarketer over alleged infringements of its copyright and database rights. One suit has already been filed in the US, with others anticipated in the UK and France.

Pub chain snatches from ex-employee
The company behind the Hogshead pub chain has won a dispute with an ex-employee over the domain name While the disgruntled worker could criticise the company on-line, his choice of domain name showed bad faith.

Software company settles false claims charges
Software firm Bonzi Software has settled charges brought by the Federal Trade Commission over false claims made by the company that its InternetALERT software significantly reduced the risk of internet attacks.

EBay Germany taken over by hijackers
EBayÕs German domain was taken over by hijackers for a short time last weekend, in what is suspected to have been an attack by phishers on the look out for the personal and financial details of eBay users.

HP sues over grey market sales
Technology company HP has sued one of its resellers, seeking the return of over $8.6 million in pricing discounts given to the smaller company for its purchase of computer equipment for onward sale to an authorised customer.

Fraudulent web site closed down
The company behind a web site promoting a fraudulent scheme known as a straight line matrix has been wound up in the public interest following an investigation by the UKÕs Department of Trade and Industry.

Google keyword trade mark case goes ahead
A trade mark infringement action brought against search engines Google and Overture is to go ahead after a Virginia District Court Judge refused to dismiss the case, according to a CNET News report.

Friday, September 03, 2004
  Staff PDAs unprotected, corporate data at risk
Two thirds of PDAs contain sensitive corporate data but do not have adequate protection, compromising customer confidentiality and putting companiesÕ reputations on the line, according to a survey published today.

Golf Scores v. Yacht Sales: Copyright Law and Data Extraction
Recent decisions suggest that U.S. courts are more likely to protect an online database if the work involved was tilted towards the compilation of data itself as opposed to the technology used to gather it. Or, perhaps, one might conclude that that judges are more likely to protect databases dealing with golf scores than they are those dealing with boats and taxes.

Spam volume keeps rising
Rising tides of spam are drowning the usefulness of e-mail, according to a new report from IDC.
Spam has accounted for 38 percent of the 31 billion e-mails sent each day in North America in 2004, up from 24 percent in 2002, the market researcher said.

Transforming Copy Protection from Roadblock to Rosetta Stone
The words "copy protection" make Adam Gervin wince. Gervin is senior marketing director for the entertainment technologies group at Macrovision, in Santa Clara, California. Macrovision is a company best known for cooking up ways to thwart the copying of movies and music from tapes and discs. Before Macrovision's grand scheme can take hold, consumers must be assured that if they buy a secure CD, they'll be able to do what they want to do with its contents, Gervin explained.

Games giant muscles in on mobiles
Games giant Electronic Arts is making a serious move into mobile gaming.
It is joining forces with the Scottish mobile entertainment firm Digital Bridges to make more of its games available for mobile phones.

Thursday, September 02, 2004
  VOIP to be legal at last
[Johannesburg, 2 September 2004] - Communications Minister Ivy Matsepe-Casaburri announced today that as of 1 February next year, value added network service (VANS) providers will be allowed to carry voice using any protocol. This means that thanks to the changes made to the Telecommunications Act, the long-awaited legalisation of voice-over IP will finally be realised early next year.

Opening doors with digital CVs
A four-day workshop has been staged in central Johannesburg to teach unemployed graduates how to create compelling digital CVs. Make a Connection is part of a global 17-country initiative of the International Youth Foundation and Nokia to promote positive youth development.

Privacy concern over email law
A NEW federal law could allow authorities easy access to private, stored emails without a warrant, according to civil libertarians.The bill, due to be debated in the Senate tomorrow, allows many new government bodies to access private emails, voicemail messages and SMS messages. Under current laws, unopened emails can only be accessed if they involve serious crime and only with a telecommunications intercept warrant.

Spammers using sender authentication too, study says
New technology for identifying the sender of e-mail messages has not been widely adopted despite backing from software giant Microsoft Corp. and may not be effective at stopping unsolicited commercial e-mail, otherwise known as spam, according to a survey by e-mail security company CipherTrust Inc.

Friendster fires developer for blog
Friendster, known for breaking new ground in online social networking and promoting self-expression among peers, fired one of its employees Monday for her personal Web log, or online diary. Joyce Park, a Web developer living in Sunnyvale, Calif., said her managers told her Monday that she stepped over the line with her blog, Troutgirl. They declined to elaborate, except to say that it was CEO Scott Sassa's ultimate decision, Park said. attorney seeks to make Gates deposition public
An attorney for a software company suing Microsoft Corp. for alleged anticompetitive behavior deposed Bill Gates last week and plans to ask a judge to make the testimony public.

SCO to cap legal expenses
The SCO Group, committed to an expensive legal attack against Linux, said Tuesday it has removed some financial uncertainty from its future by working out an agreement to cap payments to its law firm.

Pop-up purveyor Claria settles suits
Adware company Claria has quietly settled litigation brought by Wells Fargo, Quicken Loans and other online businesses, which charged that its delivery of pop-up ads violated their trademarks, CNET has learned.

Windows update prompts problems
Millions of business users face problems when installing Microsoft's big security update for Windows XP. About 10% of all desktop machines will suffer compatibility problems following the installation of the SP2 update warns Canadian firm AssetMetrix.







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