Buys Inc. Attorneys
ICT Law Blog
Sunday, October 31, 2004
  New body to manage SA's web turf
CONTROL over internet addresses in SA should soon be handed over to a new authority formed specifically to guide and grow internet usage in the country. The .za Domain Name Authority will apply to be given responsibility for the .za domain from the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), an international nonprofit body responsible for allocating internet addresses. There are between 100000 and 150000 .za domain names registered, and about a third of these are in use, said Arthur Goldstuck, MD of research firm World Wide Worx.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004
  FT escapes liability for share plunge in libel dispute
Stockbroking firm Collins Stewart has failed in its attempt to hold the Financial Times liable for a significant drop in its market capitalisation after the newspaper's coverage of a former employee's allegations of insider dealing. The article is still the subject of a separate libel claim for damages of £37 million for lost business and profits; but the High Court yesterday said that the London firm's £230.5 million claim for the share price drop was "untriable and a waste of the resources of the court."

Mind those IMs--your cubicle's walls have eyes
Big Brother is watching you at work, and making a pretty penny doing it. As more and more companies install monitoring software to track employee activities--threatening to turn cubicles into no-privacy zones--businesses that offer workplace surveillance tools are enjoying a boomlet.

Monday, October 25, 2004
  Protect your wireless network
Flash presentation with tips to protect your wireless network.

Thursday, October 21, 2004
  ECJ Agrees - Surnames Can Function As Source Identifiers
In February of this year, the writer considered the referral from the Chancery Division of the High Court of England in the matter of Nichols plc v Registrar of Trade Marks (Case C-404/02 [2004]) to the European Court of Justice ("the ECJ") regarding the question of whether a common surname could be considered capable of distinguishing, and therefore registration as, a trade mark.

The Call Center Compliance Mess
Canadian call centers were recently estimated by U.S. law enforcement authorities to be doing US$100 million in illegal business annually in the U.S. In comparison, estimates that South Asian call centers operating illegally are currently generating four to five times that amount in total revenues. estimates that in India on any given business day, there are at least 300 call centers actively engaged in violations of U.S. telemarketing rules. The actual number of outlaw facilities in India could be twice that figure if unincorporated operations and those with less than 10 seats are included.

Maybe It's the Republicans Who Sing Versus the Ones Who Don't . . .
Where do Republicans stand on the question of expanded intellectual property liability? Though the party dominates all three branches of government, it's getting harder and harder to tell what Republicans really think about aggressive enforcement of the laws that make Barbra Streisand and Aaron Spelling rich. On the one hand, the Justice Department, led by conservative John Ashcroft, has just written a report on IP policy that goes deep into the tank for Hollywood, while Majority Leader Frist and Judiciary Chairman Hatch joined their Democratic counterparts in proposing S. 2560, yet another expansion of third-party liability for IP violations. (Both Ashcroft and Hatch are known for their singing and their songwriting, while Frist's home state includes Nashville. Perhaps there's a pattern there?) On the other hand, the legislation th at all these Republicans joined to endorse ended up being stalled, probably fatally, by a coalition of business interests and the American Conservative Union, at the same time that the Supreme Court refused to hear the RIAA's appeal of a decision over file-sharing subpoenas. The singing might explain everything, if Justice Scalia weren't such a notorious opera buff.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004
  Comment called for on telecoms deregulation
TELECOMMUNICATIONS companies and consumers are being invited to comment on sweeping changes that will deregulate the voice and data communications industries next year.
A call for public comment has been made by the Independent Communications Authority of SA (Icasa), which will have to interpret and enforce a policy overhaul that was announced by Communications Minister Ivy MatsepeCasaburri in September.

Digital forgery threat growing
Laws throughout the world need to be changed in order to cope with the growing threat of digital forgeries, says Gartner. While digital media presents companies with new options for handling information, it also allows unscrupulous entities to create an entire world of digital forgeries that will become virtually impossible to detect through casual inspection, says the international research group.

Four charged in landmark UK phishing case
Four eastern Europeans appeared in a London court yesterday charged with defrauding online banks of hundreds of thousands through an elaborate 'phishing' scam. The two men and two women from Russia, Estonia and Ukraine are allegedly leading members of a gang that siphoned cash from ebanking accounts after conning consumers into handing over confidential banking details. Russian Olga Borissova, 31, Ukrainian Vitalij Kirilenko, 34, and Estonians Liiv Ravino, 30, and Teni Terje, 25, were each charged with one count of conspiracy to defraud financial institutions and a single laundering charge at a hearing in Bow Street Magistrates Court. Bail was refused for all four. A preliminary hearing at Southwark Crown Court has been scheduled for 21 October.

Calif. Supremes Take Up Online Liability, Turn Down Malpractice Case
The California Supreme Court on Wednesday once again injected itself into the rapidly growing world of online law by accepting a case that will determine whether Internet businesses such as eBay Inc. can be held liable for defamatory Web site postings.

Counterfeiting on the rise in SA
SA is sixth in the world in terms of counterfeiting problems, with PC and gaming products the biggest growth areas. Of the top seven countries with the most counterfeit activity worldwide, SA is sixth with seizures/losses of R8 954 348 in September.

Pushing the envelope
Key portions of an Act, delineating the powers of authorities to intercept communications, are expected to come into force within the next few months.This legislation gives law enforcement agencies wide-ranging powers to intercept the e-mails, cellphone and fixed-line calls of suspected criminals and, in some cases, they will be able to do this without an order from the courts.

Court Dismisses Charges Where State Fails to Produce Forensic Image of Hard Drive
State v. Kandel, 2004 WL 1774781 (Minn. App. Aug. 10, 2004). In a criminal prosecution for possession of child pornography, the state appealed a trial court’s order dismissing the case against the defendant as a sanction for the state’s discovery violations. Pursuant to a court order, the defendant had requested a "forensically sound" image copy of his computer hard drive, which had been turned over to the state by someone other than the defendant. When the state failed to comply with this and other discovery requests, the defendant moved to suppress any evidence derived from the computer and to have the charges dismissed. Refusing to award sanctions at that time, the district court granted the state more time to produce the disclosures. However, the state still had not produced the requests or allowed the defendant to access the computer even after several months had passed. As a result, the trial court granted the defendant’s motions for suppression and dismissal. On appeal, the state argued that it did not want to lose the forensic value of the computer by giving access to the defendant since that would violate laws prohibiting dissemination of child pornography. Affirming the trial court’s decision, the appellate court noted, "[a]lthough dismissal is an extreme sanction, ‘[t]he values sought to be achieved through reciprocal discovery will be attained only if the rules are properly observed, and to this end the trial courts must have the ability to make those obligations meaningful’."

Court Sanctions Defendant for Deleting Computer Files in Attempt to Hide Document Theft
Advantacare Health Partners, LP v. Access IV, 2004 WL 1837997 (N.D.Cal. Aug. 17, 2004). The plaintiffs filed suit against the defendants, former employees of the plaintiffs, alleging the defendants’ newly created company competed directly with the plaintiffs’ business. In support of their claims, the plaintiffs hired a computer forensic expert to examine the defendants’ former work computers. The forensic expert discovered that, prior to leaving the company, one of the defendants accessed the plaintiffs’ computer network, copied company confidential files, and deleted the copied files from his hard drive, in an attempt to conceal the file copying. Based on this evidence, the court granted the plaintiffs’ request to make forensic copies of the defendants’ current home and business computers and server. The forensic expert found that after the court issued the order, numerous computer searches for data deletion software were performed and a program called "BC Wipe" was use d to delete more than 13,000 files from the defendant’s home and office computers and server. The forensic expert also found an additional 100 files deleted just hours before the defendants submitted the hard drives to the plaintiffs for analysis. Based on these facts, the court ordered the defendants to permanently delete the files and authorized the plaintiffs to re-image the defendants’ hard drives to verify compliance. Upon re-imaging the hard drives, the plaintiffs’ expert discovered thousands of confidential files still existed on the drives. The defendants argued they could not ensure whether they had deleted all of the files because the plaintiffs failed to identify the files by name, directory, and computer. Declining to accept the defendants’ argument, the court stated, "[d]efendants’ behavior, from the very inception of this case, has demonstrated willfulness, fault, and bad faith." The court awarded $20,000 in sanctions and indicated that it would instruct the jury to make a negative inference concerning the deleted files.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004
  Vivendi wins games copyright battle
Gamers who created their own multiplayer gaming community have lost a copyright dispute with Vivendi Universal over the provision of free software that interoperates with on-line video games created by Blizzard Entertainment, a Vivendi subsidiary.

Beware of buying e-mail marketing lists
The UK’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has today issued a ruling against an on-line DVD rental company that sent marketing e-mails to addresses on a list that it had bought under the impression that those on the list had consented to third party marketing.

Monday, October 18, 2004
  Prepare for the impact of Sarbanes-Oxley in SA
The world was shocked when corporate scandals emanating from respected companies such as Enron and WorldCom hit the US. These examples of greed overriding good business sense made legislators take note of the ease with which shareholders could be duped and lose money, and they rushed new legislation, such as Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX), into effect to make it harder to hide irregularities.

Friday, October 15, 2004
  Pirates Hijack Xbox's 'Halo 2'
A version of the popular "Halo 2" video game for Microsoft's Xbox platform has appeared online in an act of digital piracy. While games figure as the least pirated digital entertainment medium, falling far below music and movies, "there was going to be piracy, no matter what," Yankee Group senior analyst Mike Goodman told TechNewsWorld.

Old Ideas Threaten New Technology
The hot topic at this week's massive Telecom '04 conference in Las Vegas was voice over Internet protocol (VoIP), otherwise known as Internet telephony. VoIP revolutionizes telecommunications, but as attendees discovered, an obsolete pro-regulatory mindset threatens its growth.

Thursday, October 14, 2004
  Government Cracks Down on Employees' P2P Use
If you are a federal employee, don't plan on downloading the latest version of Kazaa – or any other version for that matter. True to the well-worn government maxim "better late than never," the federal government is finally adopting the kind of personal use policy regarding peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing technology that most security-conscious companies put in place months if not years ago. A September 8 Office of Management and Budget memorandum for Chief Information Officers (CIO) set out the specific actions agencies must take to ensure the appropriate use of "certain technologies used for file-sharing across networks." The memorandum, issued more than five years after an earlier government study on appropriate employee use of computers and software, acknowledges that some appropriate uses for this technology exist, but it states that the vast majority of files traded on P2P networks are copyrighted music files, pornography, and computer viruses. Each agency is directed to update or establish a personal use policy, to train employees to comply with that policy, and to implement security controls to prevent and detect personal use policy violations. Agencies have until December 1, 2004, to establish a file-sharing technology policy if they have not done so already.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004
  Mere Registration Of Domain Name Not Trademark Use For Purposes Of Establishing Priority
A prior domain name owner's use of a domain name does not necessarily constitute prior use for purposes of establishing priority of trademark use by a transferee of the domain name. Pure Imagination, Inc. v. Pure Imagination Studios, Inc., No. 03 C 6070 (N.D. Ill. Sept. 29, 2004). The court noted that it is well-established that mere registration of a domain name does not constitute the use of the domain name as a trademark. The court also ruled that the even if the original domain name registrant used the domain name as a trademark, the subsequent owner of the domain name could not rely on the prior owner's use of the trademarked term, where there was no transfer of the goodwill associated with the trademark. The court found that the evidence established only that the domain name owner had acquired the domain name for consideration, and the domain name owner offered no evidence that the goodwill was transferred along with the domain name. The court held that the mere fact that both the parties that used the contested trademark did business on the Internet did not establish actual confusion, and that further factual analysis was required to determine the area and manner of concurrent use factor under the Lanham Act.

No Likelihood Of Confusion In "Truthful" Use of Competitor's Trademarks On Web Site and In Metatags To Sell Replacement Parts
The use of a competitor's trademarks on a Web site and in metatags to advertise the sale of replacement parts for the competitor's lubricating system does not create a likelihood of confusion under the Lanham Act or New Jersey trademark law. Bijur Lubricating Corp. v. Devco Corp., No. 00-5157 (D.N.J. Aug. 26, 2004). The court found that there was no evidence that the defendant intended to confuse the public or do anything other than inform the public concerning its replacement parts in using the competitor's trademarks. The court also held that the defendant's use of the competitor's trademarks was a "nominative fair use" that was not dilutive under federal or state law, because the defendant used the competitor's mark merely to describe its own product.

Two-Second Digital Music Sample May Constitute Copyright Infringement
The use of a two-second digital sample of a sound recording in the sound track of a motion picture may constitute copyright infringement. Bridgeport Music, Inc. v. Dimension Films, Nos. 02-6521, 03-5738 (6th Cir. Sept. 7, 2004). The Circuit Court reversed the District Court's ruling that the sampling did not constitute actionable infringement under either de minimis or substantial similarity analysis. The court ruled that neither analysis was applicable to digital sampling of a sound recording, which violates the copyright holder's exclusive right to duplicate a sound recording under 17 U.S.C. Section 114(b). The court acknowledged the widespread practice of digital sampling in the rap music community, but concluded that requiring samplers to get a license would not stifle creativity because, among other reasons, artists wishing to incorporate a "riff" from another artist's work are "free to duplicate the sound of that 'riff' in the studio."

Microsoft warns of 22 new security flaws
Microsoft on Tuesday published 10 software security advisories, warning Windows users and corporate administrators of 22 new flaws that affect the company's products. The advisories, and patches published with the bulletins, range from an "important" flaw affecting only Microsoft Windows NT Server to a collection of eight security holes, including three rated "critical," that leave Internet Explorer open to attack. Microsoft's highest severity rating for software flaws is its "critical" ranking, while "important" is considered slightly less severe.

Beware Beckham photo virus
Anti-virus (AV) experts are warning users of a virus hidden in a message purporting to contain compromising photographs of David Beckham.

FTC Files Complaint Against Alleged Spyware Distributor
Moving to shut down alleged purveyors of spyware before a slew of legislation aimed at curbing the practice can become law, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has targeted a New Hampshire man it says ran a spyware and pop-up advertising ring. The FTC filed a complaint in federal court in New Hampshire against Sanford Wallace and two of his companies.

Top 20 Security Flaws Revealed
Businesses, vendors and individual computer users could stop most viruses and cyber attacks spreading by fixing a small number of common technology flaws, according to research. Viruses, spam and distributed denial of service attacks could all be reduced by patching a number of common vulnerabilities found in Windows and Unix systems.

Buys Inc. MD selected as finalist for Top African ICT Acheiver Awards
The finalists for the 14 categories of the African ICT Achievers Awards were named at a function in Midrand this morning. ForgeAhead MD Jane Mosebi says the awards remain as relevant today as they were five years ago.

Supreme Court won't hear Internet case -- for now
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Supreme Court on Tuesday sidestepped a dispute about whether Internet providers can be forced to identify subscribers illegally swapping music and movies online.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004
  SABC pays for beheading
Johannesburg - The SABC has been fined R15 000 for screening the beheading of an American in Iraq last month. The Broadcasting Complaints Commission found the "explicit" video footage of Eugene Armstrong's beheading impaired viewers' dignity.

Police: Increase in child porn cases in SA
There has been a marked increase in child pornography in South Africa in the past year, the police's family violence, child protection and sexual offences unit said on Monday.

Monday, October 11, 2004
  Mobile broadband will be life-changing
Technology is developing at such a rate that most people cannot even comprehend how much it will change our lives in the next five to 10 years. This is the view of telecoms analyst Andre Wills, of Africa Analysis, who says people already have an almost symbiotic relationship with their cellphones, with most people feeling something is missing if they don't have their phone at hand.

Friday, October 08, 2004
  Thousands of companies are paying off online extortionists
Despite the numbers of companies involved, victims are too embarassed to report the crime, says a UK security expert. Alan Paller, director of research for security organisation SANS, said today that online extortion was rife and that cybercrime was set to get worse.

Web site promotes SA
A new Web site, SA: The Good News, has been launched to boost efforts to eliminate negative perceptions about SA. SA: The Good News (SAGN), an independent initiative, and its sponsor, First National Bank, launched the new site,, in Johannesburg this week.

British P2P File Sharers Face Legal Action
Peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharers in the UK could soon face legal action from the recording industry. Record companies in other countries have already started legal action against people sharing copyrighted music online. Now the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) said that there was a hard core of music uploaders that it believed could only be stopped through the courts.

Judges Take Second Look at E-Mail Privacy Decision
A court decision that civil libertarians argue could have a far-reaching effect on the privacy of Internet communications in the United States will be reviewed again by federal judges in Boston. The ruling, handed down by a panel of three federal judges in June, found that e-mail service providers may divert and read their customers' messages without restriction.

FTC files case against spyware companies
WASHINGTON — The Federal Trade Commission on Thursday filed the first case in the country against software companies accused of infecting computers with intrusive "spyware" and then trying to sell people the solution.

New threat to computers may send phone bills rocketing
A new threat to computers is on the way, hard on the heels of viruses My.Doom.T and Bagle. Not a virus this time but a new breed of Trojan horse, the rogue dialler or modem hijacker.A rogue dialler, like all Trojan horses, is a software application that installs itself onto computers and can cause considerable destruction. "A rogue dialler secretly installs itself on the computer's internet modem, shuts down the internet connection and reconnects the modem to an international preset phone number with minute rates between R20 and R65 a minute," said lawyer Reinhardt Buys, whose company focuses on IT law and monitors virus and hacker activity.

Bushisms pale in comparison to Cheney blunder
United States Vice-President Dick Cheney probably did not intend to direct millions of television viewers to a website calling for President Bush's defeat but that's what a slip of the domain achieved.Anyone who heeded Cheney's advice and clicked on "" was greeted on Wednesday morning with a message from anti-Bush billionaire investor George Soros entitled "Why we must not re-elect President Bush."

Thursday, October 07, 2004
  Hackers Attack Dutch Government Web Sites
Several Dutch government Web sites remained offline Tuesday after an attack by hackers protesting unpopular policies of the right-wing Cabinet, the government said. In what is known as a denial-of-service attack, the hackers continually made fake requests for information from the Web sites, effectively shutting out legitimate users, a government statement said.

Government could make gambling online legal
The government has taken its first steps to legalise online gambling.It has published the National Gambling Bill which also deals with online gambling. Online gambling is done through internet casinos that run off software players download. Players buy credits via bank deposits or credit cards.Research has shown internet casinos usually pay out more money than land-based casinos as they have fewer overheads and need to attract players.

Opt-In Marketing Offers Alternative to Spyware, Adware
New Internet advertising approaches being developed by two Israeli-based marketing firms are offering Internet marketers a more direct channel to deliver their sales messages. These methods adopt long-standing practices of one-to-one marketing and customer relations management (CRM) to the Internet.

Science weirdos line up for IgNobel Awards
Researchers who found a link between country music and suicide, and a man who patented his combover hairstyle won IgNobel Awards for true but funny experiments on Thursday.Other prizes went to a soft drink maker that bottled Thames River water in London and sold it as a designer drink, and to a woman who investigated the "five-second rule", according to which if food falls to the floor for fewer than five seconds, it is safe to eat.

Amazon, Microsoft Sue Spammers
Microsoft has filed 70 lawsuits since early this summer to try to put spammers out of business and to warn others of the potential consequences of spoofing and phishing. Amazon lawyer David Zapolsky said, "When people use our name to get by spam filters, it's an abuse of our trust."

Microsoft Asks EU Court To Keep Source Code Secret
Microsoft argued that if it prevails on appeal of the European Commission's March ruling that the company abused its market dominance in the operating system arena to boost its other products, the fact that it shared its source code would be irreversible and could cause competitive harm.

Jail Time for File Sharer Bill Passes House
Legal experts warned that the Department of Justice is almost always reluctant to pursue cases against criminal copyright infringers, and that attitude will lead to selective enforcement of the law. P2P advocates see the bill as a direct attack on their industry.

Ten Steps to E-Mail Security
Organizations would be wise to establish clearly defined security and e-mail policies. More than 137,000 computer security incidents were reported in 2003, nearly double the figure from 2002, according to the Carnegie Mellon's Computer Emergency Response Team. The team says that figure is expected to rise more than 50 percent again in 2004.

Study: Consumers take cyberattacks lightly
Consumers have a casual approach toward cybersecurity and fail to grasp the pervasiveness of online threats, according to a study released Thursday. More than a third of the 493 PC users surveyed by the nonprofit National Cyber Security Alliance said they had a greater chance of winning the lottery or being struck by lightning than of being hit by malicious code.

Feedback required
Good old-fashioned television is coming out of its box and interacting with viewers in the comfort of their own living rooms. With people pushing buttons on all sorts of devices to make things happen on screens, watching television seems a rather quaint, antiquated activity from centuries gone by. The fact that TV was invented in the last century might have something to do with this. But the way we watch TV is changing.

Not all users will be equal
Telkom and Intel have promised to test wireless broadband Internet by December and provide a service next year. But the service quality may depend on where you are. Telkom and Intel's plans to test wireless broadband Internet access by year-end, using the much-vaunted WiMAX set of standards, may provide a real connectivity solution to rural areas and satisfy a need for high-speed mobile data in cities. Rueben September, CTO at Telkom, says that, beyond the pilot phase, access to the service will be a reality in March or April next year.

M-Web move shakes up ISP sector
M-Web will use Internet Solutions (IS) as its service provider, terminating its six-year relationship with UUNet. The move effectively shifts the balance of power in the Internet service provider sector. M-Web issued a statement today saying it had signed an agreement with Dimension Data subsidiary, IS, to supply all its Internet connectivity needs for the next three years. The deal was signed on 17 September.

Convergence Bill slammed as ‘horrendous'
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”.
Speaking at today's session of the Futurex conference in Cape Town, Emerick questioned the need for a Convergence Bill and said its model of attempting to license all types of communications activities is unnecessary.

Award in sight for state's R2.3bn IT tender
The long-awaited winners of the R2.3 billion tender to offer information technology (IT) solutions, maintenance and upgrading to government departments were likely to be announced next month, Mavuso Msimang, the chief executive of the State Information Technology Agency (Sita), said yesterday.He said the selection process was complex because "we want to select a group of suppliers that will guarantee quality goods and services".

Mail & Guardian Online launches blogs
The Mail & Guardian Online has created a “Blogspot” where readers can publish their own blogs. Weblogs or “blogs”, a form of online journals, are reported to be flourishing worldwide, with up to 8 million “bloggers” in the US, and a great deal more who regularly read these blogs. These personal blogs are run by anyone from experts in their fields to political groups and teenagers.

FNB helps you bank online safely
Transacting financially in the 'real' world and in the 'virtual' world present different safety threats, but of equal detriment to the safety of an individual's cash. When transacting online people should be aware of two new threats in safety, namely phishing (pronounced "fishing") and spoofing. History in the making
Durban - Legal history could be made on Monday if wins its application in the Durban High Court to broadcast the Schabir Shaik trial.

Companies warned of risks if workers install software
Canadian employees are increasing the risk of software piracy on workplace computer systems, according to a Decima Research survey conducted for the Canadian Alliance Against Software Theft.

Workplace: High-tech consumer devices a risk to companies
Most UK companies are taking no steps to stop their employees connecting insecure high-tech consumer devices into corporate networks, according to research published today by encryption and security firm BeCrypt.

Sony Nixes Copy-Protected CDs in Japan
TOKYO - Sony Corp (NYSE:SNE - news) (news - web sites).'s Japanese music unit says it will no longer sell CDs with built-in copy protection, a technology it had been pushing for two years.

Manhunt Banned Down Under
Manhunt, Rockstar Games' extremely-violent, highly-controversial release, has been banned after being denied classification by the Australian OFLC (Office of Film and Literature Classification).

Tuesday, October 05, 2004
  Surnames can be trademarks – European Court
The European Court of Justice has set a precedent in a recent ruling that will effect how European trademark offices examine surnames. The Legal Media Group reports the court ruled that surnames will have to be treated as trademarks and their registrability considered under the same criteria as any other trademarks. The ruling follows the refusal by the UK Trade Marks Registrar on May 11 2001 to register the surname Nichols as a trade mark, as applied for by the British company Nichols plc. The UK Registrar has in the past refused to register common surnames using as a criterion how common a surname was in the telephone directory. The Registrar said the surname Nichols, as well as its phonetic equivalents Nicholls and Nichol, was too common to distinguish a trader in the food and drinks market from others. On appeal, the High Court of England and Wales held that first applicants should not have an unfair advantage of a name over other owners of the same name. But the European Court has clarified that such a practice was not provided for under EU trademark law and that surnames could not be refused to protect other applicants.

Monday, October 04, 2004
  Mexican churches jam cell phones for quiet Mass
Some Mexican priests, tired of Mass being interrupted by ringing cell phones, are using counterintelligence technology made in Israel to silence the devices. In four Monterrey churches, cell phone blockers the size of a hand-held radio have been tucked among the paintings of the Madonna and clay statues of saints to bring peace back to Mass.

Poison porn pics show up online
The first images crafted to contain a malicious program that can take control of a PC have been found on the net. Security experts have been expecting such images to turn up after Microsoft revealed a weakness in the way Windows handles the popular Jpeg format.

Judge disarms Patriot Act proviso
A key part of the USA Patriot Act that allows the FBI to secretly demand information from Internet providers violates the U.S. Constitution, a federal judge said Wednesday in a ruling that could have a broad impact on government surveillance. U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero barred the FBI from invoking that portion of the law in the future, saying the mandatory gag orders amount to an "unconstitutional prior restraint of speech in violation of the First Amendment."

Lawyer Wins First Round Against AOL in Suit Over Customer Service
Internet Goliath America Online lost a battle against a pro se opponent, attorney Russell Scarcella, earlier this month when Civil Court Judge Debra R. Samuels ruled invalid the forum-selection clause in the company's online service contract.

Desktop Linux a vehicle for pirating Windows
PCs running Linux are growing in popularity in part because they can be loaded with a pirated copy of Windows, according to a study from analyst Gartner. The consulting firm issued a report on Wednesday stating that about 40 percent of Linux PCs will be modified to run an illegal copy of Windows, a bait-and-switch maneuver that lowers the cost of obtaining a Windows PC.

Friday, October 01, 2004
  Amazon, Microsoft team for spam suits
IT industry leaders and Microsoft said Tuesday that they have joined forces to file several lawsuits targeting individuals accused of carrying out Internet crimes such as spamming, phishing and e-mail address spoofing.

UCLA to stop short of P2P snooping
The University of California at Los Angeles is using technology to discourage Net piracy of films or music, but it's holding off on playing campus snoop, a school official said Monday at the Digital Hollywood conference here. As previously reported, UCLA has implemented a technology system to give notice and warnings to students who have been fingered by Hollywood studios or record labels as perpetrators of digital copyright theft.

Half of Internet Viagra Could Be Fake - Study
As many as half of the Viagra anti-impotence pills sold on the Internet could be counterfeit, British scientists said on Tuesday. They analyzed samples of Viagra sold on the Web and found that some of the little blue pills contained different components or less of the active ingredient than the top-selling drug made by pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Inc.

SA online casinos set to be licensed
The government has taken its first steps to legalise online gambling. It has published the National Gambling Bill, which deals with online gambling, among other issues.Online gambling is done through Internet casinos which run off secure software that players download. Players deposit and purchase credits via bank deposits or credit cards.

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.

Tupperware to ask court to shut down critic's website
The Canadian arm of Tupperware Corp., a business built on cheery sales parties at which housewives learned to burp air out of plastic food storage boxes, is going to court today to try to shut down a website it says falsely accuses it of wanting to force its area distributors out of business, disband its party sales force and sell mainly through stores.

Worthy act more honoured in the breach
After the silence and suspicion of the apartheid era, the Open Democracy Bill, when it was first mooted, sounded extraordinary . It was the first shot at producing a freedom of information statute for the new SA and it went as far as seeking to make minutes of cabinet meetings public.
The bill endeavoured to put meat on the bones of the constitutional guarantee that all South Africans have a right to know what information is being held about them by the state.







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