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Tuesday, July 31, 2007
  Online Contract Changes Require Notification, Court Rules
A federal appeals court has ruled that companies can't change their contracts and post those revisions online without notifying customers first. The ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit paves the way for Joe Douglas, a customer of telephone company Talk America, to file a class-action suit against the company.

Online Contract Changes Require Notification, Court Rules
A federal appeals court has ruled that companies can't change their contracts and post those revisions online without notifying customers first. The ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit paves the way for Joe Douglas, a customer of telephone company Talk America, to file a class-action suit against the company.

New bill set to regulate interactive gambling
The department of trade and industry has tabled a bill that aims to regulate the interactive gambling industry in South Africa.

Monday, July 30, 2007
  Data Liability, Part 2: Name-Brand Trouble
If I'm a bad guy, I don't want one customer's credit card information -- I want lots of people's information,' said Mark Rasch, former head of the Justice Department's computer crime unit and managing director of technology for FTI Consulting. 'The bad guys really want to go after the companies with the most data.

Broadcasters Support Reversing Net Royalty Rates
Broadcasters threw their considerable support behind legislation to reverse the Internet radio royalty rates set in March by the Copyright Royalty Board. The controversial rate hike has roiled the industry for months.

Companies to Lobby for Stronger Domain Name Law
Well-known companies such as Dell Inc., Yahoo Inc. and Marriott International Inc. are lobbying Congress for tougher laws targeting online scammers who profit from their brand names. United as the Coalition Against Domain Name Abuse, 10 companies have hired the law firm Alston and Bird LLP to persuade federal lawmakers of the need to crack down against those who claim Web addresses, or domain names, that include -- or even resemble -- a legitimate company's trademark.

More Countries Adopt Limits on Net Use, Report Says
State restrictions on use of the Internet have spread to more than 20 countries that use catch-all and contradictory rules to help keep people off line and stifle feared political opposition, a new report says. In 'Governing the Internet', the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe presented case studies of Web censorship in Kazakhstan and Georgia and referred to similar findings in nations from China to Iran, Sudan and Belarus.

YouTube Attorney Promises to Stop Pirated Material
YouTube will launch a system in September designed to prevent pirated material from going up on the site, a Google lawyer said in court. Google, which acquired YouTube in October, plans to generate a library of video fingerprints that would be used by a computer system to screen clips being uploaded to YouTube, said Phil Beck, one of the attorneys representing Google and YouTube."

Saturday, July 28, 2007
  What has copyright got to do with newspapers?
Download this 8 page PDF document.

Friday, July 27, 2007
  Microsoft, Feds, and Chinese authorities seize $2bn in pirated software [printer-friendly] | The Register
Pirated Microsoft software, estimated by the firm to be worth more than $2bn, has been seized by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Chinese police following a long-running joint operation which began in 2005.

House panel scrutinizes threats of file-sharing - Security -
A diagram of a Pentagon computer network that includes passwords to defense contractors' systems is one of hundreds of classified documents accidentally available online, a House panel was told Tuesday.

FBI Seeks To Pay Telecoms For Data
The FBI wants to pay the major telecommunications companies to retain their customers' Internet and phone call information for at least two years for the agency's use in counterterrorism investigations and is asking Congress for $5 million a year to defray the cost, according to FBI officials and budget documents.

Data Liability, Part 1: Size Doesn't Matter
'When you look at the cost of protecting the data compared with the cost of not protecting it, it becomes a no-brainer,' Mark Rasch, former head of the Justice Department's computer crime unit and managing director of technology for FTI Consulting, told the E-Commerce Times.

Free Software Licensing, Part 2: Beyond GPL
In practical terms, developers use GPL v2 and GPL v3 if they want their software to be free and open and to remain free and open no matter how the code is used downstream. It can get more complicated than this, of course, especially since the copyright holder of GPL v2-licensed code, for example, can sell it and even use it in closed-source solutions.

Malaysian Government Warns Bloggers Critical of Islam
The Malaysian government has warned it could use tough anti-terrorism laws against bloggers who insult Islam or the country's king. The move comes as one of Malaysia's leading online commentators has been questioned by police following a complaint by the main governing party.

Identity Thieves Masquerade as Federal Agencies via E-mail
Identity thieves have sent thousands of bogus e-mails purporting to be from the Federal Trade Commission -- as well as the Internal Revenue Service and Justice Department -- in an attempt to trick consumers into divulging personal financial information. The agencies are the latest institutions to be exploited in 'phishing' scams, long the bane of large banks and credit card issuers.

Alleged sex blogger gets bail
The man allegedly behind a male prostitute internet blog has been granted bail on a theft charge in the Kroonstad Magistrate’s Court, police said today.

SABC 'wins' broadcast battle
The battle over soccer broadcast rights was settled on Thursday in a deal giving public broadcaster SABC the rights to broadcast all matches.

ICASA publishes interconnection and facilities leasing draft regulations
The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) has published interconnection and facilities leasing draft regulations for public comment.

Belgian ISP will appeal order to block file-sharing | OUT-LAW.COM
Belgian ISP Scarlet has appealed against a surprise court ruling forcing it to filter customers' traffic for unlawful file-sharing. The Belgian ISP Association says that the trial judge did not examine the law closely enough.

Contracts cannot be changed online without notice, rules US appeals court | OUT-LAW.COM
A company cannot change its contract with consumers simply by posting revised conditions on its website, a US appeals court has ruled. The position is similar in the UK, according to an e-commerce legal expert.

ConnectU struggles to prove that Facebook stole its ideas | OUT-LAW.COM
The founder of Facebook stands accused of stealing the ideas and business plan of three men behind a rival social networking site. But a Boston judge yesterday told ConnectU's founders that they must produce more evidence to support its claims.

Mail & Guardian gag remains : Mail & Guardian Online
After being pulled off shelves early on Friday last week following a temporary court interdict, the Mail & Guardian is still unable to report on an explosive final draft of an internal audit report of the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC).

Facebook Trying to Stop Claims Founder Stole Ideas
Facebook Inc., a popular social networking Web site, is headed to U.S. court to try to quash allegations that its founder stole ideas for the company from a group of former Harvard University students. The long-running legal battle revolves around accusations, strongly denied by Facebook, that Mark Zuckerberg stole ideas for Facebook after being hired as a Harvard sophomore by fellow students to write code for a site called Harvard Connection.

Court Allows MySpace to Ban Links to Competitors
A U.S. district court judge recently dismissed what may be the first antitrust case to address whether a social networking site can prevent its users from posting certain links. The Central District's Judge Howard Matz threw out the antitrust claim against last month, saying the social networking site was not required to display competitors' Web page links.

Peer-to-Peer Networks Called "National Security Threat"
Politicians charged that peer-to-peer networks can pose a 'national security threat' because they enable federal employees to share sensitive or classified documents accidentally from their computers. At a hearing on the topic, Government Reform Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) said, without offering details, that he is considering new laws aimed at addressing the problem.

Microsoft, Yahoo Start Limiting Retention of Search Data
Hopping on the privacy-protection bandwagon, Microsoft Corp. and Yahoo Inc. are limiting how long their Internet search engines retain potentially sensitive data about their users. With the safeguards confirmed by Microsoft and Yahoo, all of the Internet's largest search engines have changed the way that they handle the personal information collected about the millions of Web surfers who use their free services each day.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007
  Firms unsure of liability for staff net use [printer-friendly] | The Register
Almost two-thirds of companies don't realise their legal responsibilities regarding their employees and electronic communications, a new survey has revealed.

Man sues Pfizer over data on Net -- Baton Rouge, LA
A Baton Rouge man who once worked for Pfizer Inc. is suing the nation’s largest pharmaceutical company over its unauthorized release of personal data.

Computer Crimes Charged In College Cash-For-Grades Scheme
Ten people, including the former director of admissions and the former director of the computer center at a Manhattan college, were indicted as being part of a scheme that involved forging transcripts and altering grades.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007
  IT and compliance: A risk management 'odd couple' -
Handling compliance and risk have become inescapable elements of the modern CIO's role as they strive to ensure the business can forge ahead while not exposing areas of weakness or potential liability. Danny Bradbury explains the dilemma...

Google comes back to Earth
Google hit a bump in the road with its latest quarterly report that disappointed on the profit side, but analysts say the fast-growing Internet giant still holds a strong position against key rivals.

Editors warn key points law will curb media freedom
THE South African National Editors Forum (Sanef) sternly criticised the government yesterday for what it said was an attempt to introduce a draconian apartheid-era bill that aimed to limit press freedom.

Health Data on Service Members Sent Without Encryption
A government contractor handling sensitive health information for 867,000 U.S. service members and their families acknowledged that some of its employees sent unencrypted data -- such as medical appointments, treatments and diagnoses -- across the Internet. Air Force investigators are probing the security breach at Science Applications International Corp. (SAIC) of San Diego, an $8 billion defense contractor that holds sensitive government contracts, including for information security.

Technology News: Social Networking: YouTube to Flex Political Muscle With CNN Presidential Debate
Anderson Cooper and CNN will host a presidential debate Monday night, but YouTubers will be the ones asking the questions. For weeks, YouTube users have been posting videos of themselves posing questions they want asked during the Democratic Party candidate debate. A similar debate among Republican Party candidates is scheduled for September.

Monday, July 23, 2007
  Microsoft beefs up privacy protections
Privacy advocates applaud steps to give customers more control of their information and make search data anonymous.

Facebook races up the local web-rankings
Social networking is becoming increasingly popular in South Africa, and Facebook appears to be the hot favourite among locals.

How lawyers scammed the SABC
SABC boss Dali Mpofu is back in the spotlight after a man he hired now stands accused of defrauding the broadcaster of at least R1.8-million.

'Sex blogger' arrested
The man allegedly behind bizarre internet sex claims against prominent South Africans will probably be transferred from Kroonstad to Cape Town sometime this week, said police.

Storm erupts over office porn at Cell C
SENIOR executives and personal assistants at SA’s third cellular operator, Cell C, allegedly whittle away work hours by looking at graphic pornography, despite Cell C being a signatory to an industry agreement to clamp down on the “irresponsible use of adult content” to protect children.

Free Software Licensing, Part 1: Third Time's the Charm?
Many open source projects have been licensed under GPLv2, and while the open source world at large is on-board with free software and the ideal of free distribution, it is less concerned with the FSF's social movement to provide software freedom to all users. Consequently, most new features of GPLv3 address issues geared first toward protecting the rights of end users.

Bringing P2P File-Sharing Out of the Shadows, Part 1
Peer-to-peer, or P2P, file sharing is an attractive way for people to create culture and interact with music and film. However, trying to suppress this phenomenon results in driving the technology underground. While this continues to eat away at the entertainment industry's bottom line, some in the industry want to rethink the role of P2P.

Social Networking: Social Networks: Going Pro
The same technology that lets members of social networking Web sites share blogs, photos, music and video has gained popularity among businesses. Not only have big technology companies such as Cisco Systems bought firms that design social networking software, but some professionals have begun to use sites like Facebook as a way to link with coworkers.

Editors welcome ruling
The SA National Editors’ Forum (Sanef) has welcomed a recent Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) judgment that, it says, effectively makes the sub judice rule outdated.

FIFA suits coming
FIFA, the world soccer body, has aggressively protected its turf and has sent out almost 50 letters warning off South African companies aiming to cash in on the 2010 Soccer World Cup.

Google Seeks Greater Influence by Helping Politicians
As Google's ambitions grow -- along with the ranks of its rivals -- the company is relying on people to reinvent corporate influence-peddling for the Internet Age. Instead of just hiring a roster of lobbyists and tossing out millions of dollars in campaign contributions, Google has embarked on a quiet march through the conference rooms of Washington to explain how its products can help politicians get elected.

New Types of Cyber Attacks Harder to Spot and Stop
Hi-tech criminals have found novel ways to carry out web-based attacks that are much harder to spot and stop, warn security experts. Some cyber criminals have exploited file-sharing networks and popular webpages to attack targets.

Saturday, July 21, 2007
  University Adopts Zero-Tolerance for File-Sharing
In an attempt to deter students from illegally downloading music or movies in University of Kansas' student housing, the school has instituted a zero-tolerance policy. Beginning this fall, university officials said they will deactivate ResNet Network access for students in residence halls if they are notified of a copyright violation and an appeal is denied.

Thursday, July 19, 2007
  Websites Publish Alleged Excerpts from Harry Potter Book
Chinese Web sites published reports and photographs which they said may contain the ending to the eagerly awaited seventh and final installment of the Harry Potter book series. The author of a Potter article on the Web site of a newspaper called Strait News, said by telephone that the pictures came from an overseas peer-to-peer download site.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007
  How do I handle client data?
What duties does the business owner have when dealing with the personal information of clients, suppliers and other contacts? Can you keep the information for ever? Can you sell it to telesales companies?

Tuesday, July 17, 2007
  Sony BMG sues copy-protection maker
Music giant Sony BMG filed suit against The Amergence Group (formerly SunnComm International) this week, claiming that a version of the company's MediaMax copy protection software, which shipped on more than 6 million CDs, was defective and caused harm to its consumers.

Employees Pose Biggest Security Risk - Security
Put simply, the end user is the biggest issue when it comes to IT security, says Mark Loveless, white-hat hacker who goes by the handle 'Simple Nomad.'

ISPA explains RICA non-compliance
There is good reason why many smaller members have not bought interception equipment as mandated by the Regulation of Interception and Provision of Communication-related Information Act (RICA), says the Internet Service Providers' Association (ISPA).

Email notices and email footers
Disclaimers and confidentiality notices are automatic additions to the end of many organisations' email, sometimes adding half a page of text or more to the sender's message. There is no legal authority on the effectiveness of these notices in email messages; but that is not to say that they should not be used, provided care is taken in drafting them. The disclaimer and the confidentiality notice are intended to serve different purposes, and ideally should be separated.

Staff and their personal blogs
When an employee maintains a personal blog, the employer is unlikely to incur liability for its content unless there is some connection between the personal blog and the blogger's work. The boundary is sometimes unclear and will be determined by the particular facts in each case. There may be occasions when the employee is using his or her personal blog in a way which could be said to bring the company into disrepute even though they use it outside of working hours. An employer may wish to use disciplinary sanctions against the employee in these circumstances. The extent to which this is possible will also turn on the particular facts.

Legal risks of corporate blogging and user-generated content | OUT-LAW.COM
This guide focuses on companies that have staff who run a blog for the company. Many of the issues raised are common to all user-generated content sites.

Top 10 e-commerce developments of the decade | OUT-LAW.COM
Google has topped a list of the 10 most significant e-commerce developments of the past 10 years, as chosen by staff of the Software & Information Industry Association, a trade association for the software and digital information industry.

YouTube and Facebook the sites to watch
MySpace still tops the list for social networking websites, but it is Facebook and YouTube which lead in the growth stakes.

Monday, July 16, 2007
  Open Legislation, Part 2: It's the People's Choice
'Laws go through all kinds of markups, changes and amendments,' said Peter Leyden, director of the New Politics Institute. 'The process has evolved from making those changes on parchment to at least using word-processing documents, but it's not that big a step to think of moving to the next generation of tools and crafting a whole piece of legislation on a wiki.'

Apple Innovation and the Law: Everyone Wants a Piece of the Pie
Apple is rarely the first batter in the lineup for a new technology. It's built a very profitable image on always being fashionably late to the party -- taking a product line, destroying tired conventions, injecting new life and usually making big bucks in the process. As the company's history shows, that approach tends to keep Apple's lawyers busy.

Web Shoppers and Info Security: A Question of Credibility
Web shoppers have a need for speed. They've gobbled up broadband connections, and they're less patient in poking around sites that they perceive as wasting their time. They've also gotten a little smarter -- and more squeamish -- about credit card fraud, and they'll quickly take flight if they don't feel right about an e-vendor's security.

The Dispute is Decided
The SAIIPL released its 2nd official ADR Decision on Friday the 13th of July. The Decision, which was adjudicated by Mr. Andre van der Merwe, marks the first successful use of the Regulations by a Complainant. The Adjudicator has ordered that the (ZA2007-0003) Dispute can be found on the domain name Decisions page.

Chinese Company Says Google Copied Its Name
A Chinese company is suing Google Inc.'s China subsidiary for copying its name, saying the U.S. search engine's registered Chinese name is too similar to its own and has harmed its operations. A spokesman for Beijing Guge Science and Technology Ltd. Co. said Google's commercial name had led to the company being constantly disturbed by people calling up its office trying to contact the search engine.

Music Industry Says It May Be Lenient on Webcasting Fees
Internet radio programmers who warned that a dispute over royalties could cause the death of their medium have received a stay. Amid an outcry from online listeners and Congressional pressure, representatives for the recording industry indicated that they might not demand all the payments called for under the new royalty program, which was established in March by the federal Copyright Royalty Board.

Telkom wins domain dispute
Telkom has become the first company to win a domain name dispute in terms of the new arbitration procedure.

MXit not the root of all evil
MXit is continuously making headlines and is shouldering the blame for anything from pornographic image distribution to lower grades at school. Network operators however point out the obvious: it is just a messaging tool.

File sharing and copyright infringement – A legal perspective
Recent reports suggested that international watchdogs are monitoring illegal file sharing from South Africans and are even sending warning emails to ISPs. But can they really do anything?

Saturday, July 14, 2007
  Web Radio Standing on Gallows, Hangman Says 'Let's Talk'
The U.S. District Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit declined to issue a stay on increases in royalty fees for Internet radio stations. However, the group that actually collects the royalties, SoundExchange, on Thursday said it would not take legal action against stations after the July 15 deadline -- as long as negotiations on a new plan are ongoing.

Friday, July 13, 2007
  DTI moves Company Bill targets
The new legal framework for companies will now only come into effect on 1 January 2010, says the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

SA is Africa's ICT bright spot
SA is the “brightest spot” for ICT competitiveness on a continent that lacks many of the “competitive enablers”, says the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).

World's fastest internet connection unveiled
Sigbritt Löthberg is no ordinary 75 year-old. From Karlstad in Sweden, the mother of Swedish internet legend Peter Löthberg is the recipient of the world's fastest residential internet connection.

New Threat Pits Internet Explorer Against Firefox - Security Fix
Blueprints have been posted online detailing a cross-browser security threat that uses Microsoft's Internet Explorer Web browser to force Mozilla's Firefox browser to provide inroads for virus writers. While fans of both software makers are pointing the finger of blame at one another, one thing seems virtually certain: It may only be a matter of time before criminals begin exploiting the confusion to compromise home and business computers running the Windows operating system.Blueprints have been posted online detailing a cross-browser security threat that uses Microsoft's Internet Explorer Web browser to force Mozilla's Firefox browser to provide inroads for virus writers. While fans of both software makers are pointing the finger of blame at one another, one thing seems virtually certain: It may only be a matter of time before criminals begin exploiting the confusion to compromise home and business computers running the Windows operating system.

Google CEO: Will fight Viacom suit
Google CEO Eric Schmidt says he plans to fight a $1 billion lawsuit from entertainment company Viacom aggressively, saying the technology company has been obeying the law with its YouTube video-sharing service.

What If Everybody Got to Write Laws?
Wikis and other online tools make possible a level of collaboration that couldn't have been imagined a few decades ago, noted Peter Leyden, director of the New Politics Institute. 'Wikis are still a new technology that many people don't fully understand, but they're just useful tools to help collaboration, which ultimately is what much legislation comes down to,' Leyden said.

Firms breaching data protection
A 'horrifying' number of companies, government departments and other public bodies have breached data protection rules in the past year, a report says. A 'horrifying' number of companies, government departments and other public bodies have breached data protection rules in the past year, a report says.

Online advertising 'growing fast'
The annual value of pan-European online advertising is set to reach 16bn euros ($22bn; £10.8bn) by 2012, more than double that of 2006, says a study. The annual value of pan-European online advertising is set to reach 16bn euros ($22bn; £10.8bn) by 2012, more than double that of 2006, says a study. "

Sony BMG sues anti-piracy company
Record company Sony BMG is suing a firm that designed controversial anti-piracy software used on CDs sold by the label. Record company Sony BMG is suing a firm that designed controversial anti-piracy software used on CDs sold by the label. "

Software consultant who stole data on 110,000 people gets five-year sentence
A Michigan man who illegally accessed personal data on more than 110,000 people while working as a software consultant for an insurance company -- and then later tried to sell the information -- was sentenced to five years in federal prison in Nashville yesterday.

Ohio Man Gets 25 Years For Hacking Into Webcams, Recording Minors
A U.S. Attorney calls the Dayton man, who also distributed some of the recordings, a 'high-tech video voyeur.'

Military Secrets Discovered on Unprotected Web Sites
A security gap has allowed dozens of secret military documents to appear on the Internet, unguarded and for anyone with the right FTP address to access. The documents include plans for air bases and national laboratories. While one would have to know the exact location of the documents in order to find them, hackers are known to continually run scanners looking for open FTP sites. Daily News: Advice Not Protecting Children Online, Study Says
Almost every lesson on Internet safety warns against posting personal information such as phone numbers and school names. Researchers are now suggesting, though, that such advice, however well-intentioned, doesn't necessarily make children safer from predators and related threats.

New 7 Wonders of the World Announced
The new Seven Wonders of the World have been selected after a global poll. The winners were announced Saturday. Sabina Castelfranco reports from Rome.

Hacker let eNatis off lightly — expert
THE ease with which the transport department’s new electronic vehicle registration system, eNatis, was hacked into this week was indicative of a dramatic increase in the number of information technology security breaches in SA, an industry expert said yesterday.

ISPs say no to Vodacom
Local Internet service providers (ISPs) have little interest in being gobbled up by Vodacom as SA's biggest cellular network looks to boost its place in the ISP market.

MySpace predators exposed | Australian IT
MORE than 140 sex offenders convicted in New Jersey had profiles on the networking web site MySpace, the state's attorney general has revealed.

Our data retention is not data protection watchdogs' business, says Google privacy boss | OUT-LAW.COM
The retention of search engine query data is a security matter and not one for Europe's data protection officials, according to Google's global privacy chief. Peter Fleischer said that its retention of user search data was 'just not their field'.

Airport Workers Sue TSA Over Loss of Data on Hard Drive
Airport security screeners filed suit to expand the Transportation Security Administration's response to its loss of Social Security numbers, bank data and payroll information for about 100,000 employees. If the data, which was contained on a lost computer hard drive, 'were to fall into the wrong hands, false identity badges easily could be created in order to gain access to secure areas,' said John Gage, president of the American Federation of Government Employees.

Piracy Losses Less Than Estimated, OECD Report Says
International trade losses due to product counterfeiting and piracy are much lower than estimated by business lobby groups, according to the most detailed global study to date. Trade losses in 2005 were 'up to $200bn', according to the executive summary of a report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, obtained by the Financial Times. Daily News: Woman Sued by RIAA for File-Sharing Files Own Suit
Tanya Andersen, who had been defending herself against a debilitating RIAA lawsuit for about two years before the RIAA dropped its case, has launched a bigtime offensive against her former accusers, filing suit against Atlantic Recording Corporation, Priority Records, Capitol Records, UMG Recordings, and BMG Music, the RIAA, MediaSentry, and Settlement Support Center. Andersen's Complaint calls out the labels, their legal prosecution/lobbying arm, and the oft-maligned software it uses to find alleged infringers.

U.S. Lags Other Countries in Internet Speed, Study Says
The U.S. lags far behind many other countries in terms of how fast data move through the Internet for homes, schools, hospitals and workplaces, according to a study released by the Communications Workers of America. The study, which surveyed 80,000 Internet users, dovetails into pending legislation proposed by Sen. Daniel K. Inouye (D-Hawaii) to collect data on broadband deployment, redefine what 'high-speed' means and help local officials study the reach of broadband.

Ga. Court Reverses Child Porn on Computer Conviction
Judges of the Georgia Court of Appeals said they must 'reluctantly' issue an opinion that may make it more difficult for the state to prosecute people who look at child pornography. In what it said was an issue of first impression in Georgia, the panel reversed the conviction of a man on 106 counts of sexual exploitation of children because, the judges found, prosecutors didn't prove that the man knew he had pornographic images stored in his computer hard drive.

One-Third of Teenagers Bullied Online, Study Says
One in three teenagers say they've been bullied in some way online, but two-thirds of teens still believe they're more likely to be harassed offline, according to a new study. The most common form of bullying reported by teens online involves another person publicizing a private e-mail, instant message or text message, according to a study released from the Pew Internet & American Life Project.

Hollywood Studios Sue Websites Over Video Links
Several major Hollywood movie studios filed suit against two Web sites that direct users to online videos, alleging they contribute to and profit from copyright infringement. The Motion Picture Association of America Inc. filed the suits in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles against and on behalf of the studios, which include Paramount Pictures Corp. and 20th Century Fox Film Corp.

Celebrity Blogger Files Lawsuit Against Photo Agency
Lawyers for notorious celebrity blogger Perez Hilton have filed suit against the photo agency X17. has learned that lawyers for Perez Hilton, in documents filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, claim that the paparazzi photo agency competes unfairly by means of illegal business practices, including hiring illegal aliens and improperly labeling its employees as 'independent contractors,' to avoid payroll taxes and overtime pay.

Lawmakers Hear Complaints About Internet Radio Fees
Members of Congress expressed reluctance to intervene in a raging conflict over new Internet radio fees scheduled to take effect in scarcely two weeks, saying they hope Webcasters and the record industry can work things out. The controversial fee decision by U.S. copyright judges earlier this year has prompted opponents -- including large and small Webcasters, independent artists and record labels, public radio stations and listeners -- to lobby for relief from Congress.

Court Finds No Jurisdiction Internet Defamation Case
A New York-based moving company cannot bring a lawsuit in Manhattan federal court against an Iowa resident who operates a Web site the company says defamed it, the 2nd Circuit has ruled. Finding that Best Van Lines failed to demonstrate personal jurisdiction under New York's 'long-arm' statute, the circuit, in what it said was the first appellate decision to consider the issue, upheld a Southern District judge's dismissal of the complaint against the operator of

Free Software Foundation Releases New GPL License
After 18 months of sometimes inflamed debate, the Free Software Foundation released version 3 of the General Public License, a highly influential legal document that embodies the principles of the free- and open-source programming movement. The new license adjusts to software industry changes that have arisen in the 16 years since the foundation's founder and president, Richard Stallman, released GPL 2.

U.K. Music Group Investigates File-Sharing at Honeywell
The British Phonographic Industry is investigating allegations of an extensive illegal music file-sharing ring at a Honeywell plant in Scotland. Investigators from the BPI raided the plant in Motherwell with police officers.

Google's Lawyers Blogging About Public Policy Issues
Google's new public policy blog, which made its public debut June 18, broadcasts the company's opinions on a variety of issues, including privacy, so-called 'net neutrality,' patent reform and copyright protection -- all subjects in which Google has found itself tangled in recent years. The blog also offers a chance to hear from some of the legal muscle behind the company.

Cyberattacks Directly Target Executives at Top Companies
Online miscreants have targeted 500 key business executives in what is believed to be the first mass-targeted malicious-software attack, according to security vendor MessageLabs. Targeted attacks aim to bypass security measures by individually addressing e-mails, which often contain zero-day exploits.

Google Schedules Appeal in Belgian Newspaper Case
Google Inc. has scheduled an appeal for July 17 in its copyright dispute with Belgian newspaper publishers, although the two sides expect to request an extension while they try to resolve the conflict amicably, spokespeople for Google and the publishing group, Copiepresse, said. The court's schedule required Google to file its appeal 10 days ago, otherwise a ruling against it from February would have become permanent.

Kremlin Shuts Down Music Download Site
The music download website whose activities threatened to scupper Russia's entry into the World Trade Organisation has been shut down. The site,, was quietly closed as the Kremlin sought to end criticism from the United States that Russia was failing to clamp down on music and video piracy.

ISP Must Stop Illegal File-Sharing, Belgian Court Rules
A court has ruled that the Belgian ISP Scarlet Extended SA is responsible for blocking illegal file-sharing on its network, setting a precedent that could affect other ISPs in Europe, according to a recording industry group. Belgium's Court of First Instance has given the Internet service provider six months to install technology to prevent its customers from sharing pirated music and video files, the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry said. Daily News: Chinese City Considers Banning Anonymous Postings
A southern Chinese city is considering a new rule banning anonymous Web postings after residents used the Internet to successfully halt construction of a massive chemical factory, a report said. A Xiamen official told local reporters the proposed regulation bars anonymous postings online and requires Web sites to approve all postings, the Beijing Youth Daily reported.

Suspending Student for Violent IM OK, Court Says
The First Amendment was not violated by the suspension of a student who sent his instant-messaging buddies a violent image calling for the death of a teacher, even though the message was a joke, a federal appeals court ruled. The 2nd Circuit said the sending of the message 'crosses the boundary of protected speech and constitutes student conduct that poses a reasonably foreseeable risk that the icon would come to the attention of school authorities' and disrupt the work of the school.

1970s Psychic Creates Copyright Clashes with YouTube
Uri Geller became a 1970s superstar and made millions with an act that included bending spoons, seemingly through the power of his own mind. Now, the online video generation is so bent out of shape over the self-proclaimed psychic's behavior that he's fast reaching the same Internet pariah status as the recording and movie industries.

Data Breaches, But Not ID Theft Common, GAO Says
Data breaches are frequent, but evidence of actual identity theft resulting from the breaches is limited, according to a new report by the General Accountability Office. The report found more than 570 data breaches were reported in the news media from January 2005 through December 2006. Daily News: Company Sues to Show Cockfighting on Internet
A company that broadcasts cockfights on the Internet filed suit in federal court in Miami to challenge a largely untested federal law that makes it a crime to sell depictions of animal cruelty. Tthe question of whether the First Amendment allows the government to ban depictions of illegal conduct, as opposed to the conduct itself, is a difficult one, legal experts said. Daily News: Center Cites Google for Video Copyright Infringement
The National Legal and Policy Center released a list of the top 50 videos it found on the Google Video search engine, uploaded by Web users who might be guilty of copyright infringement. 'We realize that this is probably a drop in the bucket in ferreting out copyrighted content among the millions of videos posted on Google Video, YouTube and other popular video sites,' chairman Ken Boehm said. 'But we hope that our efforts serve as a resource for copyright owners to check if their content is on the sites without their knowledge or approval.'

'The greatest day in the history of MSN'
An MSN spokesperson described the Live Earth Concerts on – the most watched entertainment event in history – as the greatest day in their history.

Google launches Mapplets
Today Google officially released a new feature of Google Maps that enables users to layer valuable third-party information directly on Google Maps with a single click and to save these customized maps to their personal library.

Legal Technology - RAM and FRCP 34 Lock Horns
A recent e-discovery decision from the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California provides an opportunity to reflect a bit on the permanence of storage media. It has also inspired debate as to when temporarily stored information becomes 'electronically stored information' that needs to be preserved and, where relevant, produced in response to discovery requests.

WWE fighter: Mystery deepens : Sport: More Sport: News24
An anonymous user has confessed to altering professional wrestler Chris Benoit's online biographical Wikipedia entry to mention the death of Benoit's wife hours before authorities discovered the bodies of the couple and their 7-year-old son.

Paedophiles bombard 'Skype' girl: South Africa: News: News24
Paedophiles and other sex pests picked up a virtual 14-year-old South African girl within minutes of her posting a profile on the internet service Skype, bombarding her with sex offers and explicit images.

UW to aid crackdown on pirated downloads
Bowing to recording industry demands, University of Washington officials have agreed to help shake down students accused of illegally downloading music.

First .za dispute ruling delivered
Following the first dispute resolution by the South African Institute of Intellectual Property Law (SAIIPL), the .za Domain Name Authority (.zaDNA) expects hundreds of complaints to be lodged in the next few months.

WIPO broadcast treaty defeated by web activists | OUT-LAW.COM
A controversial new intellectual property right due to be created by the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) has been successfully opposed by a coalition of web activists and the technology industry.

SA surfers go mobile
Local Internet users are going mobile en masse. According to BMI-TechKnowledge senior analyst Richard Hurst, the trend in Internet usage is moving from dial-up connections to mobile options.

State to harvest IP rights
A new law that could be tabled in Parliament this Friday and enacted this year, will allow the state to benefit from patents and trademarks developed from research paid for by the government.

Service providers snub RICA
Internet service providers (ISPs) are flouting the Regulation of Interception and Provision of Communication-related Information Act (RICA) because of the cost involved, says IST Telecoms MD Magatho Mello.

King vows a royal corporate governance shake up
THE King 3 report on corporate governance is set to shake up corporate SA. It is due for release early next year, and its recommendations will be mandatory for all public interest companies, parastatals and institutions that fall within financial market regulations.

Woman in court bid to obtain hospital report
A WOMAN whose husband died at a Pretoria private hospital in 2002 has launched an application in the Constitutional Court to force the hospital to release a report which she believes would help her in instituting a claim against the hospital.

Telkom Media first to win domain name dispute
Telkom became the first company to win a domain name dispute in terms of the new arbitration procedure that governs local domain name disputes.







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