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ICT Law Blog
Wednesday, August 31, 2005
  Companies Step Up Electronic Monitoring of Employees
Although employers have every right to implement processes for the electronic monitoring of employees, it would be wise for employers to select the less intrusive methods and avoid highly intrusive tools such keystroke logging unless absolutely necessary.

Court Okays Use of Trademarks in Google Searches
Despite the many flaws noted by the Court of GEICO's expert survey, the Court did find the survey results to be sufficient to establish a likelihood of confusion regarding advertisements displayed in Google's ad program that included GEICO's trademarked terms in the actual advertisements next to the organic listings.

Lawsuits Cause Shift in File-Swapping Traffic
Forrester Research analyst Josh Bernoff said legitimate download opportunities are essential to lowering levels of piracy taking place via P2P networks. While the music industry finally moved to offer those choices, the movie studios have been slower to get into the digital distribution act.

Apple Appeases iPod Owners Over Battery Battle
At issue was the length of the iPod's battery life. Apple had advertised the iPod could last 10 to 12 hours after being charged, but customers complained that the device would die after as little as four hours, and sometimes not recharge after a certain number of battery charges.

Conn. Man Admits to Selling Microsoft Source Code
Microsoft had previously shared parts of its source code with some companies, U.S. agencies, foreign governments and universities under tight restrictions that prevented them from making it publicly available.

Teleworking -- Is It Right For Your Enterprise?
"There's a sense that people who telecommute are more flexible," said Interarbor Solutions principal analyst Dana Gardner. "They can combine their home and work life, and they will go the extra yard when needed because they've been given the opportunity to better manage their time."

Movie Studios Poised for Piracy Fight
A now-famous AT&T Labs report, "Analysis of Security Vulnerabilities in the Movie Production and Distribution Process," revealed that of a total of 285 movies sampled on P2P networks, 77 percent were leaked by industry insiders.

Rings royalty dispute settled
Hollywood producer Saul Zaentz and New Line Cinema have reached a settlement over Zaentz's claim he was owed an additional $20m in royalties from the Lord of the Rings films.

Garbage In, Garbage Out
The only common ground between certain recent ICT conferences and actual ICT is the old computing adage: “garbage in, garbage out”. The spate of conferences on ICT and its relevance to society held in Cape Town last week generated little more than verbal garbage that emphasised the irrelevance of the participating organisations, rather than real issues surrounding technology.

Nigeria 'a risk for SA banks'
South African financial institutions doing business with Nigeria run the risk of tarnishing their reputations, parliament's finance portfolio committee heard on Wednesday.

Beware of nude web chats
A Chinese researcher has warned of a new threat to public health and morality - naked internet chatting. Up to 20 000 Chinese log on to chat rooms each night in various states of undress and communicate using webcams, the Shanghai Daily newspaper said on Tuesday, citing China Youth Association researcher Liu Gang.

Mobile porn providers operate outside the law
Wireless applications service providers (WASPs) supplying adult content for cellphones are technically operating illegally, says the Film and Publications Board (FPB).

Tuesday, August 30, 2005
  Now playing on radio station e-mails: Disclaimers
Thanks to New York State Attorney General Elliot Spitzer, the burgeoning trend in e-mails from radio programmers seems to be formal disclaimers. As Spitzer's payola investigation of the radio and record industries continues, even programmers who are unlikely to ever have been associated with the probe have made disclaimers a standard part of their automated e-mail signatures.

Conn. man sells Microsoft source code
A Connecticut man known on the Internet as "illwill" pleaded guilty in Manhattan federal court on Monday to charges relating to the theft of the source code to Microsoft Corp.'s Windows operating software, considered among the company's crown jewels.

The next big thing
Podcasting is still a fringe technology, while 4G – or fourth generation, really high-speed mobile Internet – is still five to ten years away. But, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) – voice carried over internet-based networks and recently legalised in South Africa – is almost becoming widely adopted. And it got there in less than two years.

Web copyright dispute settled
A company accused of online copyright infringement has paid an out-of-court cash settlement to the copyright owner, financial advisor directory

Pa. student hackers quietly offered deals
Most of the 13 students accused of tinkering with their school-issued laptop computers to download programs and spy on administrators are being offered deals in which the felony charges would be dropped, lawyers and a family member say."

Indictment against alleged creator, buyers of computer spyware aimed at tracking lovers online
The creator and several buyers of a computer program designed to allow jealous lovers to snoop on their sweethearts' online activities have been indicted for allegedly violating federal computer privacy laws.

Monday, August 29, 2005
  Judge sides with Google in latest Internet advertising battle
On August 8, 2005, a federal court entered a partial judgment as a matter of law against GEICO in a lawsuit with the search engine company Google. The court ruled that GEICO had failed to prove that Google’s use of GEICO’s registered trademarks to generate “sponsored links” was trademark infringement.

Report reveals cybercrime hierarchy
A new Virtual Criminology Report by McAfee shows there is a ‘hierarchy' of cyber criminals, and that ID theft is the most damaging Internet crime.

E-mail wiretap case can proceed, court says
In a closely watched case governing Internet privacy, a federal appeals court has reinstated a criminal case against an e-mail provider accused of violating wiretap laws.

Clamour over Convergence Bill spreads
Existing and aspirant cellphone network operators, the internet industry and even the SA Post Office yesterday added their voices to the growing chorus of technical objections to the Convergence Bill, which they claimed might widen, instead of bridging, the digital divide.

Google Earth 'could aid terrorists'
Two members of the Dutch parliament have questioned whether a popular free software program distributed by Google Inc. may be making life easier for would-be terrorists by providing aerial photos of potential targets.

Shuttleworth: Open source ‘unstoppable'
The global momentum behind open source is now unstoppable and SA could be at the front of this trend, Mark Shuttleworth told journalists on Friday, ahead of the Go Open Source Task Team Conference taking place in Johannesburg today and tomorrow.

VoIP Equipment Now Trumps Traditional Lines
IP-based (define) telephone line shipments are expected to surpass those of traditional lines this year, signaling the continued growth of voice traffic on data networks. According to a report by market research firm In-Stat, network administrators are increasingly moving their telephone networks, the PBX (define), onto the data network as their traditional phone networks reach the end of their equipment lifecycle.

Trademarking Linux: Some Pay License Fee, Some Don't
Should companies be paying a license fee for the use of the Linux trademark? Red Hat the number one Linux distributor, said it does not. Novell, the number two Linux distro, has a license but wouldn't publicly comment on whether it pays for it.

The Evolution and Death of the Laptop Computer
The laptop will probably last through this decade, but we are exploring different alternatives and as such it is likely that conclusions on this subject will be different in 2011. The market desperately needs to move to a more appliance-like device that is much more portable and much less power-hungry.

Air Force Database Accessed by Potential Hacker
"[The military] have historically done much better at protecting operational systems than at protecting administrative systems," said John E. Pike, director of

ID theft spyware scam uncovered
Thousands of computer users have been caught out by a huge ID theft ring. Security firm Sunbelt Software said it stumbled across a US-based server storing megabytes of data stolen from compromised computers while researching spyware infections.

CSIR woman patents multimedia system
A video on demand system, used to personalise multimedia content viewed over satellite, is one of three new products to be patented by women inventors at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).

Intel sees WiMax project expanded to 100 cities
Intel Corp. (INTC.O: Quote, Profile, Research), the world's largest chip maker, expects to work with more than 100 cities around the globe to improve public services, using the latest wireless technology, an executive said on Thursday.

Google exec rebuffs Microsoft's claims
Kai-Fu Lee, whose hiring by Google prompted a lawsuit by former employer Microsoft, has denied the software giant's claims about his role in its business.

Since the start of 2005 there has been a significant increase in the number of Internet related judgments from South African courts.

Google tool watches as you work
Google's desktop search software is being overhauled to become a digital helper that reacts to what users do.

Nando's 'mocked stereotypes'
Several complaints against Nando's latest advertisement were submitted last week to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). The plaintiffs said the ad, in which a black man cannot play the "race card" in order to get a promotion, encourages the myth that black people are not intelligent enough to express their needs at work and to motivate for a promotion. It apparently also suggests that black people in powerful positions are corrupt and easily bought.

Berners-Lee on the read/write web
In August 1991, Sir Tim Berners-Lee created the first website. Fourteen years on, he tells BBC Newsnight's Mark Lawson how blogging is closer to his original idea about a read/write web.

UK's internet industry 'thriving'
The .uk domain name business is thriving, according to a report by Nominet, the body which manages and oversees .uk domain name registrations.

Cracking the code
On the face of it, watching lines of code scroll down the monitor is a tedious pursuit. Not this time. Each line reveals a dirty secret, a hole in my target's defences thanks to a mistake by the gatekeepers of the network I want to penetrate.

Google Uses Blog to Spin Court Decision
The meaning of a recently published ruling in the trademark infringement case between Geico and Google is being fought in the court of public opinion. Last week, U.S. District Court judge Leonie Brinkema published her written decision in the case brought by Geico over Google's former practice of letting advertisers in its AdWords program use competitor's trademarks.

Mob Pirates: Menace or Myth?
In the latest public relations strike in the war on copyright infringement, the music and film industries are sowing fears that content piracy, like drug trafficking before it, is being taken over by organized crime syndicates.

Microsoft bears some blame for worms
One-third of business users blame Microsoft for the recent worm outbreak, despite the company's security efforts, according to a poll.

Suspected computer worm authors arrested
Authorities in Morocco and Turkey have arrested two men for unleashing computer worms that disrupted networks across the US last week, the FBI said on Friday.

SA card-skimming gang arrested
First National Bank (FNB) says its efforts have helped lead to the arrest of 11 suspects in connection with a card-skimming scam that allegedly defrauded customers of thousands of rands.

VANS licences ready for collection
Value-added network service (VANS) licences are available for collection at the Independent Communications Authority of SA's (ICASA's) offices in Johannesburg.

Friday, August 26, 2005
  Violent internet material to get new laws in the UK
The Government has said it will announce plans to strengthen laws applicable to violent internet adult content in the next few weeks. Such material is generally illegal to publish but legal to view in the UK under the current regime.

Hyped technologies for 2005: Gartner rates the buzz-words
Hyped technologies: digital paper, P2P VoIP, podcasting, grid computing, corporate blogging, XBRL, RSS, biometrics. Expectations inflate, disillusionment sinks in and eventually a plateau of productivity is found. Gartner researchers have charted the lot.

'Terminator 2' shape-shifting copyright claim moves forward
A copyright infringement case brought against James Cameron, director of Hollywood blockbuster "Terminator 2; Judgment Day" can proceed, a US appeals court ruled last week, according to the Associated Press.

AOL pays $1.25 million to settle cancellation probe
America Online has agreed to pay $1.25 million to settle an investigation launched by New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer into procedures set up by the ISP to try to reduce the numbers of subscribers cancelling their internet service.

Libraries offering audiobook downloads
A new way to borrow audiobooks from the library involves no CDs, no car trips, no fines and no risk of being shushed.

Brazilian police arrest 85 in crackdown on hackers
Brazilian police arrested 85 people on Thursday accused of stealing more than $33 million by hacking into the online bank accounts of unwitting Internet users, authorities said.

A Perfect Storm of Infringement
A publisher of nude photos is calling Google a massive infringer of copyright as part of a lawsuit.
Norman Zada is CEO of Perfect 10, which publishes a print magazine and a subscription-only Web site showing nude photos of models under exclusive contracts. On Wednesday, his lawyers asked a U.S. District Court in Los Angeles to order Google to stop showing images of Perfect 10 models.

Will Telkom ever say die?
Just when one thinks democracy is beginning to turn the tide in SA, along comes Telkom with another ridiculous objection. Even before we could fully digest the news that Knysna is preparing to become the first South African town to become fully WiFi connected, Telkom has begun to raise objections.

Monday, August 22, 2005
  Submarine cable ‘key to e-commerce growth'
Freeing up access to the submarine fibre-optic cable around Africa would provide e-commerce and Internet banking with the accelerator they need for more widespread adoption in SA, says World Wide Worx MD Arthur Goldstuck.

Zuma supporters take to the Net
As crack investigators from the elite Scorpions unit scoured former deputy president Jacob Zuma's homes in Johannesburg and Zululand on Thursday, messages of support were pouring in to a website which has been set up by Zuma's supporters.

Local technology providers are celebrated by Microsoft Partner Programme Awards 2005
Microsoft South Africa has announced that 18 local companies have been recognised as winners of the 2005 Microsoft Partner Programme Awards. The awards recognise top Microsoft partners that are delivering market-leading, Microsoft-based solutions. Award winners were announced on Friday, 12 August at the Partner Summit held at Sun City.

Child porn rising on Web
Despite highly publicized arrests, law-enforcement officials say that the sexual exploitation of children on the Internet is growing dramatically.

Simon Cowell and ABC sued over “Idea” format rights
The makers of US reality TV show “Million Dollar Idea” have sued Simon Cowell and ABC Television Network over their plans to create a new show called “The Million Dollar Idea”, alleging that the proposed programme is a rip-off of their work.

AOL raffles spammer's loot
America Online is raffling a Hummer H2 and almost $100,000 in gold bars and cash that it won after a lawsuit against a spammer who peddled enhancement pills and more, its first lawsuit under the CAN-SPAM Act.

Nominet wins decision
The English High Court has rejected an entrepreneur's attempt to annul Nominet UK's decision to transfer to Apple Computer. Ben Cohen's Cyberbritain Group had sought judicial review on the domain name ruling.

Chilling SMS sent from crashing plane
A Cypriot airliner carrying 121 people crashed north of Athens on Sunday after the pilot and a passenger reported cabin pressure problems moments before the plane was due to land.

Tools drive point-and-click crime
New software tools make stealing data from users as easy as browsing the web. The easy-to-use tools are being created by malicious and criminal hackers to run the networks of compromised home computers they control, said security firm Websense.

Game players say Blizzard invades privacy
A number of "World of Warcraft" players are up in arms over software being used by the game's publisher to scan users' computers for hacks prohibited under its terms of service.

Recording industry: CD-burning a bigger problem than file-sharing
Copying music to CDs is becoming a bigger threat to record stores' and music labels' bottom line than online file-sharing, according to the head of the recording industry's trade group.

Verizon Web Site Let Customers See Others' Records
All users who registered to use the "My Account" system were affected by the glitch, which could have been in place for as long as five years. It did not appear that anyone had taken advantage of the error to pry into individual accounts, he said.

In 'Cookie' Fight, It's Not Clear Who's Winning
"Cookies are critical from a business perspective," said Lorraine Ross, vice president of sales at "They help us do things like track our profitability per unique visitor, for instance. But if you don't know how many people are coming in, you don't really have a handle on whether your profitability is improving or not."

Advice From a Black Belt Online Shopper
The fact that major retailers are struggling with handling user load without degradations in the user's experience during a relatively low volume period makes me worry about them during the upcoming holiday experience. Retail sites need to constantly measure and test for capacity.

IBM Donates Code to Firefox
IBM (Quote, Chart) is donating Web accessibility code to the Mozilla Foundation, officials from the Armonk, N.Y.-based computer giant announced Sunday. IBM is donating DHTML (define) accessibility technology currently wending its way through the World Wide Web Consortium's (W3C) standards process. Big Blue is also contributing code that makes it possible for Web pages to be automatically narrated or magnified as well as navigated by keystrokes rather than mouse clicks.

InterVideo sues Dell over patent
InterVideo Digital Technology slapped Dell with a lawsuit on Monday, charging the No. 1 PC maker with violating patents related to InterVideo's DVD playback software.

Lloyd's may offer open-source indemnity
Lloyd's of London, the oldest insurance organization in the world, may soon underwrite open-source software against claims of intellectual property infringement.

Chain attack nets 3m e-mail addresses
Security experts have uncovered what they describe as a highly sophisticated global 'chain' attack, which uses the pamNet.A Trojan to infect victim PCs with up to 19 malware programs.

Passports go digital
The US passport is joining the digital age. After three years of research and discussion, the State Department has finalised most of the technical and logistical details of new, supposedly tamper-proof passports, embedded with a "smart-card" chip, USA Today reports.

SNO shareholders sign up
The shareholders in South Africa's second national operator (SNO) signed a shareholders' agreement on Monday, pursuant to the issue of the public switched telecommunication service (PSTS) licence by the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa).

Content Mavens: Trump Blog a Slog
The latest high-profile blogger is TV-show host and real estate mogul Donald Trump. Will he make it to the A-list? The Trump Blog quietly went live on the Trump University Web site last week. Trump posted on August 4 and again on August 10. Other so-called A-list bloggers said the Trump blog has the potential to be widely read, but gave his initial posts a D -- and that's not D for Donald.

Coming to the Web: TV Commercials, With a Twist
"TV is moving to the Web in a major way," Enderle Group principal analyst Rob Enderle said. "Specialized programming, movie previews and news programs are finding new audiences who want to watch. Thanks to broadband and an audience shift away from TV to the Web, advertising resources are following the users."

Google may be liable for trademark infringement
Paid third-party ads on Google that use the trademark of car insurance company Geico in the text of ads could infringe trademark law, and Google may be liable for such ads, according to a recent court opinion.

Yahoo, Miva settle pay-per-click patent suit
Online marketer Miva has agreed to pay Yahoo $8 million and ongoing royalties to settle a patent infringement lawsuit over pay-per-click technology used in search result ads.

Telkom names new CEO
Telkom has named Transnet group executive Leapeetswe “Papi” Molotsane as its new CEO. He takes over from Sizwe Nxasana.

Disaster Recovery: Dealing With 21st Century Threats
"The good news is technology has advanced to a point where disaster recovery isn't a single choice, but a collection of choices which have to be evaluated with diligent planning and execution with the full knowledge of executive management to the ramification of their choices," said David Pendergast of Titan Technology Partners.

Microsoft, Apple Continue iPod Patent Fight
While the rejection of Apple's patent application for iPod technology -- reportedly the player's software interface and menus -- has been described as a mistake or a major setback for the company, patent attorney Roger Cook said patent applicants typically "test the waters" of what their patents cover.

Tech Boards: A New Secret for Bridging Business, IT
Breaking the business down into a component view -- from a discrete process or the business processes supporting the entire enterprise -- is critical to achieving business improvement and growth. These business components form the blueprints of any successful service-oriented architecture implementation.

Cheap laptops provoke Mac mayhem
A sale of second-hand Apple laptops costing only $50 have caused a near riot in Virginia in the US. More than 5,500 people queued for a chance to buy one of the 1,000 laptops and stampeded when the sale of the computers started.

Details for sale in India
FRAUDSTERS are offering to sell the personal details of thousands of Australians, culled from information gathered at call centres located in India.The ABC's Four Corners program, in a program to be aired tonight, has revealed it was offered information on 1,000 Australians.

£200K card skimming gang caged
Four members of an ATM card skimming gang blamed for stealing at least £200,000 were each jailed for four years on Thursday. The unfantastic foursome, all from Eastern Europe, put false facias on cash machines and filmed shoppers entering their PIN numbers.

Kutztown 13 Face Felony Charges
They're being called the Kutztown 13 -- a group of high schoolers charged with felonies for bypassing security with school-issued laptops, downloading forbidden internet goodies and using monitoring software to spy on district administrators. The students, their families and outraged supporters say authorities are overreacting, punishing the kids not for any heinous behavior -- no malicious acts are alleged -- but rather because they outsmarted the district's technology workers.

Huge computer-theft case gets conviction
A Florida man was convicted Friday of stealing information from data-management company Acxiom Corp. in what prosecutors said was the largest federal computer theft trial ever.

Critics Slam Net Wiretapping Rule
An FCC ruling that internet telephony services must provide the same built-in wiretapping capabilities as conventional phone companies has civil libertarians feeling burned.

Microsoft Exploit Code Hits the Web
"On discovering two instances of exploit code online, the research team conducted thorough testing to confirm that both present a legitimate threat to Windows 2000 systems (completely patched Service Pack 4 with all hotfixes)," said the company in an alert.

NIST, DHS add national vulnerability database to mix
The National Institute of Standards and Technology and the Department of Homeland Security took the wraps off the National Vulnerability Database this week, but questions still remain whether the federal initiative improves upon existing databases or just adds another choice to the current collections of flaws.

Content licensing opposed
The Online Publishers' Association (OPA) and the Media Institute of SA (Misa) have come out strongly against any intention in the draft Convergence Bill of licensing content providers.

Integr8 IT wins prestigious duo at Microsoft Partner Summit 2005
National network integration and infrastructure management specialist Integr8 IT clinched two of the four awards for which it was nominated at the annual partner awards which took place during the annual Microsoft Partner Summit held recently at Sun City.

Online shoppers 'are killing world wildlife'
Internet shoppers in search of the exotic have sparked a booming trade that is threatening the existence of many endangered species, according to a report issued on Tuesday.

Porn raid amazes top officials
Cape Town - Two high-ranking government officials are amazed at the extent of the porn industry after visiting several outlets in the Peninsula as part of a countrywide crackdown on illegal and unlicensed material.

Protect personal information
First National Bank (FNB), during its annual ATM Security Week, has cautioned consumers to treat their personal information with the strictest confidentiality, as criminals can use it for fraudulent activity.

African banks ‘cannot neglect Internet'
African banks are investing heavily in the Internet as a channel in a bid to drive down costs and improve efficiency, but the adoption of this channel by customers is slow, says Godwin Emefiele, deputy MD of Nigeria's Zenith Bank

SA Internet services market 'stable'
SA now has a "stable and mature" Internet market, says ICT market analyst firm BMI-TechKnowledge in its latest South African Internet services report.

Porn and the local loop
The local loop and pornography were two issues raised yesterday during the Parliamentary hearings on the draft Convergence Bill, with recommendations that the local loop should be unbundled while porn is a separate issue entirely

Scheme to resolve .eu domain name disputes
The launch of the .eu top-level domain, due to take place by the end of the year, will also introduce a new procedure for the resolution of domain name disputes. A consultation has been launched on the proposed .eu dispute resolution system.

Yahoo, Google Tops in Satisfaction Study
Google and Yahoo are true crowd pleasers, according to the University of Michigan's American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI). The report, released on Tuesday, measured how satisfied consumers were with their experiences using over 200 search engines, portals and online news and information sites.

Rath sues media for 'offensive' comments
Controversial vitamin entrepreneur Matthias Rath is suing the Cape Times, former education minister Kader Asmal, and others in the Cape High Court for damages over the publication of alleged "offensive" remarks against his Dr Rath Foundation.

Hanekom calls for intellectual property protection
In a fast-changing and increasingly competitive world, South Africa urgently needed to boost its capacity to protect its intellectual property (IP) rights, deputy minister of science and technology Derek Hanekom said yesterday.

Companies in race to meet info cut-off
IN ACCORDANCE with the Access to Information Act, private companies, close corporations, partnerships, trusts and sole proprietors must submit information manuals of records to the Human Rights Commission by the end of this month.

Windows worm spreads quickly
A computer worm targeting corporate networks with the Windows 2000 operating system arrived less than a week after Microsoft warned of the security flaw.

New worms hit US media outlets and companies
Several new computer worms were being blamed for causing computer system outages at some media outlets and companies in the United States on Tuesday.

Friday, August 19, 2005
  Internet takes soldier into delivery room
Sgt. William Hamrick II witnessed the birth of his daughter Monday. That may seem unremarkable -- except that Hamrick was 6,000 miles away in Iraq.

Harmless hackers or teen criminals?
They're being called the Kutztown 13 -- a group of high schoolers charged with felonies for bypassing security with school-issued laptops, downloading forbidden Internet goodies and using monitoring software to spy on district administrators.

Microsoft urges update for flaws
Microsoft is urging Windows users to update their systems with the latest security patches it has released to fix three critical flaws in its software. The flaws mostly affect Windows 2000 and Internet Explorer. Users with updated Windows Server 2003 and XP systems are not as much at risk

Government-computer hacker sentenced
The co-founder of a San Diego computer security firm was sentenced by a federal judge yesterday to 60 days in a work-release program for hacking into government and private computers to show they were vulnerable and to drum up business.

CAN SPAM case upholds email filtering rights
US appeals court judges have upheld the right of a University to filter unsolicited emails even if they conform to the CAN SPAM Act. The 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the University of Texas was within it rights to block emails from White Buffalo Ventures, which operates dating site, irrespective of the fact that they featured an unsubscribe option, valid return address and accurate subject line.

Suit Accuses Google of Overbilling AdWords Clients
Through its AdWords program, Google does indicate that it will refund customers charged more than 120 percent of their daily ad budget. However, the suit claims that in several cases, one of the plaintiffs has had his account overcharged for between 121 and 162 percent of his budgeted daily payout.

Corporate Name Change Challenges
Every hour round the clock and every single day of the year, a major corporation is forced to change its name for several reasons, such as that the name becomes a liability or is no longer appropriate due to changes of businesses models or technology or trademark litigation. Nonetheless, corporate name changes are done all the time and often very successfully.

MTN, Standard launch cellular bank
MTN and Standard Bank have launched a mobile banking joint venture, MTN Banking, giving Standard Bank access to MTN's subscriber base and offering MTN an opportunity to grow its subscriber base and revenue.

Kept Alive by Open Source
In 1999, Eric S. Raymond published The Cathedral & the Bazaar, a seminal tome on the open source movement in which he writes: "Every good work of software starts by scratching a developer's personal itch."

Internet scammers keep working in Nigeria
In Festac Town, an entire community of scammers overnights on the Internet. By day they flaunt their smart clothes and cars and hang around the Internet cafes, trading stories about successful cons and near misses, and hatching new plots.

Another way past Windows antipiracy found
Microsoft's efforts to fight counterfeiting have hit another snag with the posting of a new method claimed to get around a Windows piracy check.

ICANN reassigns Iraq domain to new government
The Internet's key oversight agency has quietly authorized Iraq's new government to manage its own domain name, allowing for the restoration of Internet addresses ending in ``.iq.''

Napster Waits for Business to Boom
"We think subscription music is going to explode -- it's a great product," said Kit Spring, an Internet media analyst at Denver-based Stifel, Nicolaus & Co. "Consumers don't understand it yet, but once they do, it will be very big." As the first of its kind and the object of an intense music industry legal attack, Napster has great name recognition.

Lost Laptops Sink Data
Any machine that has the potential to hold sensitive data or e-mail should be encrypted. But don't bother with Windows XP's Encrypting File System. "If you know your Windows password, you know the keys to the hard drive. There are a lot of ways to hack that," says Clain Anderson, director of wireless and security at Lenovo.

Emerging Alternatives to Windows Vista
In the end, Apple's ability to advance in this market remains up to Apple, as has always been the case. Apple has to either be responsive to the business buyer or remain a niche player which, though safer, bars them from any potential opportunity that would result from a Microsoft stumble.

Reports of Vista virus rebutted
Microsoft has hit back at reports of the first virus for its new version of Windows, dubbed Vista.
Last week an Austrian programmer published examples of malicious code that exploits a Microsoft command shell technology currently under development.

Wireless networks easy to hack
Wireless Internet users may not know that it's easy for outsiders to read their e-mail or scoop up passwords or other sensitive information. Secretly using a stranger's WiFi connection is so easy that sniffing out open connections has become a sport among computer hackers.

Google needs chefs to fuel its programmers
Thriving Internet search engine Google is hunting internationally for two talented chefs to crank out haute cuisine for its Silicon Valley workers, company recruiters said on Friday.

7/7 suspect used SA cellphone
The Briton suspected of links to the al-Qaeda terror network was deported to Britain from Zambia on Sunday. Britain sent a plane to collect Haroon Rashid Aswat, who was detained in the Zambian capital on July 20, and he boarded a flight to Britain at 09:00 (07:00GMT), Zambian Home Affairs Secretary Peter Mumba said in Lusaka.

The new threat to Hollywood: Darknets
Fresh from its victory in the Supreme Court Grokster case, Hollywood faces a new Internet threat -- the rise of ``darknets,'' or private, encrypted networks that allow the anonymous exchange of music, movies and other digital files.

U.S. charges man in camcorder-piracy crackdown
A Missouri man is the first to be indicted under a new federal law that prohibits people from secretly videotaping movies when they are shown in theaters, the U.S. Justice Department said Thursday.

Cisco says Web site was compromised
Internet computer gear maker Cisco Systems Inc., which last week went to court to keep a security flaw in its routers under wraps, on Thursday said its Web site had been "compromised" and users' passwords changed as a precaution

Yahoo Launches Beta to Search for Music, Audio
Although Yahoo's audio search service might seem like an opportunity for it to divert traffic to its own music offerings -- and away from those of competitors such as iTunes -- users actually have the option of designating a preferred audio service, such as iTunes or Yahoo Music.

US charges man in piracy crackdown
A Missouri man is the first to be indicted under a new federal law that prohibits people from secretly videotaping movies when they are shown in theatres, the US Justice Department said yesterday.

Firms urged to have risk policies
South African companies that put risk management policies in place now, are the ones that will be rewarded when US-style governance principles become obligatory here, says Marius Schoeman, commercial services executive at Business Connexion.

Econet, Altech in court battle
Econet Wireless Group claims that Altech's court bid to wind up Econet Wireless Global is aimed at scuppering a hearing into an alleged racist statement.

New ADSL pricing structure on its way?
A new wholesale pricing structure for ADSL was released to ISP’s recently. An anonymous source informed MyADSL that per-Gig-billing and local capping will come into effect on 1 November 2005.

Lawyers are cautious about patents bill
Patent lawyers have welcomed efforts by the department of trade and industry to tackle the tricky issue of patenting indigenous medicines or plants, but some warned that the system would have to be monitored carefully to avoid bogus patents being registered.

Scorpions sting Zuma in day of high drama
THE reality of life as a suspect in a criminal trial finally dawned on former deputy president Jacob Zuma yesterday as the Scorpions raided his houses and those of his key backers.
In a day filled with drama, Scorpions officials faced off against armed Zuma bodyguards, trying to stop the raid on his new Forest Town, Johannesburg, home. But the Scorpions held their ground and walked off with computer hard drives and numerous files.

IM Threats Bombard Systems
New security threats are bombarding instant messaging clients, thanks to a rise in scams for the second consecutive quarter. The Akonix Security Center reported a total of 42 new threats aimed at corporate IM systems in July, which is a 24 percent increase over the previous month.

Wi-Fi Hotspot Spat Heats up at Logan
Boston's Logan International Airport wants Continental Airlines to take down an antenna it uses to provide free Wi-Fi access in the airline's frequent flier lounge. Safety, the airport claims, is the issue.

Google anticipated fight over hiring of Microsoft exec
Newly released court documents reveal that Google Inc. anticipated a fight when it hired away a top Microsoft Corp. executive to launch a new research and development center in China.

Antiphishing group casts line at new threats
Faced with a rise in so-called pharming and crimeware attacks, the Anti-Phishing Working Group will expand its charter to include these emerging threats.

Court deals blow to dating-service spammer
An online dating service does not have the right to blast unsolicited e-mail at thousands of University of Texas e-mail addresses, a federal appeals court ruled.

Bloggers Cautioned About Being Copy Cats
"Bloggers, because they probably don't have legal counsel and often operate on their own, are more likely to copy more than probably is permitted," Thomas Smart, who is co-chair of the intellectual property and patent litigation group at Kaye Scholer in New York City, said.

Jail sentence for piracy couple
A married couple arrested for music, film and game piracy have received jail terms of between six and 21 months.

One in seven new mobiles 'faulty'
An estimated two million of the 18 million mobiles sold last year in the UK could have been faulty, according to a Which? magazine consumer report.

OPA slams Telkom on ADSL
The Online Publishers' Association (OPA) has lashed out against Telkom for its reported refusal to adhere to a decision made by the Independent Communications Authority of SA (ICASA) that the operator may not charge added monthly fees to ADSL subscribers.
ICASA's report was based on hearings

Telkom seeks private ICASA talks
Telkom prefers to engage the Independent Communications Authority of SA (ICASA) in private to educate it on how its ADSL service works rather than take it head on, says Steven White, Telkom's executive for product development.

Vodacom defends Telkom
Telkom is being unfairly criticised for its line access charges, says Vodacom CEO Alan Knott-Craig. He says deregulation in February provided an opportunity for mobile network operators to build their own infrastructures. However, they elected not to, because using Telkom's infrastructures still proved more cost-effective.

MOZAMBIQUE:Journalists welcome draft Information Bill
Mozambique has finally put together a draft Freedom of Information Bill, which media experts hope will pave the way towards greater transparency and government accountability.

Documentary on baby Jordan halted by court is vowing to fight an urgent court order that prevented it broadcasting a 3rd Degree documentary on Tuesday night about the murder of six-month-old baby Jordan Leigh Norton.

Friday, August 12, 2005
  University spam blocking constitutional, says court
The University of Texas was within its rights to block spam sent by an internet dating agency, even though the unsolicited emails complied with the requirements of federal anti-spam laws, an Appeals Court has ruled.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005
  Telkom's shares wobble as furore over Icasa report grows
Telkom's shares wobbled yesterday as the furore grew over a report from the Independent Communications Authority of SA (Icasa), which found that the company was charging too much for high-speed internet access.

Enterprise: Hang On To What We Got
When it comes to enterprise hardware, the theme song is "Let's Hang Onto What We Got," said Yankee Group analyst Laura DiDio. In the course of completing a global server survey, to be released next week, DiDio found that three out of five businesses keep their server hardware anywhere from four to six years. The grip was especially strong when it came to file servers, but held true for application servers, as well.

Google Seeks to Patent RSS Ad Approach
"The automated targeting and insertion process allows ads to be kept current and timely while the original feed may be considerably older," Google wrote in its application. "Once the automated ad server has combined keyword or content-based ads with the syndicated content, the feed would be delivered to the user via the news aggregator of their choice."

Police Say Pennsylvania Newspaper Reporter Snared in Internet Sex Sting
A newspaper reporter has been charged with trying to arrange a sexual encounter via the Internet with an undercover police officer posing as a 13-year-old girl.

EU plan could put open sourcers in court
The European Commission has proposed a law that could allow criminal charges to be pressed against a business using software believed to infringe upon another company's intellectual property.

FBI Flight Plans Hit Turbulence
An FBI proposal to shoehorn a sweeping and sophisticated internet wiretapping capability into emerging in-flight broadband services would be illegal, unconstitutional and costly to implement, a civil liberties group is arguing.

Army punishes soldier for blog posts
The U.S. military has demoted and fined a soldier for publishing "classified" information on his personal blog, an Army spokesperson confirmed Tuesday.

Appeals court denies RIM a rehearing of NTP case
A U.S. appeals court has denied Research in Motion (Overview, Articles, Company) Ltd.'s (RIM's) petition for a rehearing of its long-running patent dispute with NTP Inc., once again raising the possibility of an injunction on sales of RIM's popular Blackberry devices in the U.S. But the court Tuesday also reversed one of the more controversial aspects of its December 2004 decision that upheld NTP's claims of infringement.

Finding a Blog in a Haystack
Blogs are the fastest-growing segment of the Web, and the posts -- many of them dispatched directly to subscribers -- are perfect for the kind of targeted advertisements favored by search engines. Strategically, whichever company masters blogs gains an edge: It can serve up its archived treasures with timely updates from the blogs.

Nevada Casinos Moving Into Mobile Gambling
Casinos in the U.S. are eager to find ways to compete with the burgeoning online gambling industry, which is based in offshore locations but is drawing millions of dollars from U.S. gamblers, especially those interested in sport betting and in casino-style games such as poker.

Time Warner Settles Shareholder Lawsuit
The announcement of the settlement came as Time Warner released its second-quarter earnings report. For the quarter ending in June, the company posted a net loss of $321 million, or 7 cents a share, versus a profit of $777 million, or 17 cents a share, for the comparable period a year ago.

States Create Voluntary Online Tax System
Online merchants will collect and remit taxes for sales originating in any of 11 states that have fully amended their state laws to comply with the project's standards. In the other seven states, collection is optional until their tax codes are brought into compliance.

Friday, August 05, 2005
  Source code loss due to virus was insured, says UK court
A UK company that lost critical source code after it had the misfortune to be hit by both a computer virus and a burglary can recover its losses after an Appeals Court ruled that exclusions in the firm's insurance policy did not apply.

Careless wording defeats software patents in High Court
A UK court has declared two European software-related patents owned by Halliburton invalid because the patent specifications were deficient. But the judge considered that the drill bit design programs they described were eligible for patent protection.

Too many ATMs are exposed to fraudsters, warns Gartner
Fraudsters can get cash from ATMs because some banks fail to scan security codes in the magnetic stripes on cards, according to Gartner. Counterfeit cards are made when consumers, tricked by phishing, disclose account numbers and PINs.

Security download must clearly disclose adware has settled charges made by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) that it failed adequately to disclose the bundling of adware with a free security download. The adware was mentioned, but only in a user licence that was easy to ignore.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005
  Google tries to patent Web syndication ads
Google is claiming that it has invented a unique way to distribute online advertising via syndicated news feeds--and it wants a patent for the technology.

Rath wins the right to search computers
Lawyers for controversial vitamin entrepreneur Dr Matthias Rath have won the Cape High Court's permission to search computers belonging to a former Rath employee.

The employee – asset or liability?
Delegates at the ICT law conference in Johannesburg have heard that employees are responsible for up to 80% of IT security breaches.

SMME Forum slams Telkom Net bundles
The SA SMME Forum has criticised Telkom's new Internet bundles, saying it will take the matter to the Competition Commission because the product takes business away from small Internet service providers (ISPs) and PC dealers.

Telkom slams broadband report
Telkom says that the Independent Communication Authority of SA’s (Icasa’s) findings report regarding the cost of the operator’s high-speed Internet services is flawed. The regulator last week said Telkom’s broadband services were “financially burdensome to the consumers and not in line with the practice in other international jurisdictions where there is a single fee for both access and Internet portions.”

Shaiking up records management policy
Recent judgments in SA and the US have turned a harsh legal spotlight on the importance of having effective document management policies in place.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005
  Buys Blogger hit by virus
My apologies for the eradic update of the Buys IT Law Consulting Blog for the last two weeks. I've been lying in bed with the flu! Please note that I am busy updating the blog and backdating the articles that I've missed. There should be new articles all the way back to the 16 of July. If you read this blog often and wish to comment on it, email me at

Publish an 'information manual' on your website - or go to jail
Owners of businesses who fail to publish so-called "information manuals" on their websites by 31 August 2005 may be imprisoned for as long as two years, says Reinhardt Buys of IT law firm Buys Inc. “This rather severe penalty follows a 2003 amendment to the Promotion of Access to Information Act,” he explains. “The original Act did not provide for penalties or offences and, as a result, very few businesses cared to incur the trouble and expenses to publish their information manuals, notwithstanding a repeated extension of the final compliance date.”

Judge grants Microsoft request in Google case
A judge has temporarily barred a former Microsoft executive hired by Google from performing any duties at the search giant similar to those he performed at Microsoft.

Monday, August 01, 2005
  Leatherwear Barbie whips Mattel
Mattel has lost a legal battle over the name Barbies Shop, a Canadian leather, rubber and fetish-wear boutique run by a woman who says she has always been known as Barbie. It is the latest in a line of trade mark humiliations for the toymaker.

Logo designer sues Volkswagen after 60 year dispute
An 86-year-old graphic designer who says he was commissioned by the Nazis to design the famous VW logo for Volkswagen is suing the car company for failing to recognise his work, although he does not want money, according to reports.

Software user did not acquire ownership, says court
A Lancashire software house has defeated a claim by its customer to ownership of a database system that took four years and over £1 million to write. The High Court refused to imply an assignment or exclusive licence into their contract.

Banks can buy trust online for 10 cents per user
A patent-pending tool has been released that seeks to protect against phishing attacks by verifying a bank's website and emails to accountholders by displaying a personalised watermark before they divulge their login details.

Granny sues over Grand Theft Auto
An 85-year-old grandmother is suing the company behind Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas after buying the ultra-violent video game rated Mature 17+ for her 14-year-old grandson – only to learn that it contained hidden scenes of a sexual nature.

Internet Security gets injunction vs former worker
A U.S. court ruling has barred a former Internet Security Systems employee from further disseminating research he has already disclosed on how computer hackers could undermine Internet equipment made by Cisco Systems that is vital to the operation of the Internet.

Posting of 'Johns' on the Web Raises Rights Issue
Chicago's use of the Internet to humiliate customers of prostitutes, or "johns," has led to concerns that the practice may violate constitutional rights.

Windows Vista: Killer Product or Dud?
Based on my experience with large firms, success is actually the long shot. For me this feels like a repeating theme: As companies increase in size it often becomes more important for those in power to get the final say than to be successful.

Mobile Phone Industry Seeing Boom in 'Original Content'
According to Edward Bilous, a professor at the Juilliard School in New York, "Ringtones are pointing toward a kind of new interactive media in which the user and the creator have a more democratic relationship with each other."

Cisco struggles to plug net leak
Efforts to stop information spreading about flaws in the hardware that keeps the net running appear to be failing.

MyADSL welcomes ICASA report
The MyADSL forum has welcomed the Independent Communication Authority of SA's (ICASA's) report on Telkom's ADSL services. The report was published in the Government Gazette last week.







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