Friday, February 13, 2004

Darius Cuplinskas has sent this:

Thank you for your interest in iCommons, which oversees the
internationalization of the Creative Commons Idea. We want as many countries
as possible to join our efforts to increase the sum of raw source material
online and to make access to that material cheaper and easier. We are still
looking for expert help all around the world. The following overview is
designed to help you understand what helping us would entail.


Wednesday, February 04, 2004

Bogdan posted this:

Ukraine tightens control of Internet, moves to stamp out porn
Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma passed a law banning publication,
including on the Internet of material promoting terrorism, the
overthrow of the state or depicting pornography. The law makes it
illegal to publish calls to overthrow the state or forcibly change the
country's constitution, material that is pornographic or promotes
terrorism, violence or discrimination. It also outlaws the
dissemination of information that "could harm the honour or business
reputation of individuals". Under the government-proposed
legislation, adopted in parliament on November 20, a state commission
will be formed to identify materials of a violent or pornographic
nature and ban them from all media including the Internet.

Copy protection: Consumers vs. copyright holdersDigital rights management took significant strides toward being
accepted by mainstream consumers and businesses in 2003, but hackers
and critics maintained their attacks on the technology in the name of
fair use and information freedom.

NO - Norwegian cleared of DVD piracy charges
An Oslo appeal court cleared a 20-year-old Norwegian man of DVD piracy
charges in a new setback for Hollywood studios which say unauthorized
copying costs them billions of dollars a year. Upholding a verdict by
a lower court in January, the court said that Jon Johansen had broken
no laws by helping to unlock a code and distribute a computer program
on the Internet enabling unauthorized copying of DVD movies.

US - Internet Law Year in Review 2003by Doug Isenberg. Internet law in 2003 was full of surprises, with
Congress passing an anti-spam bill, the courts blessing pop-up
advertising, the music industry losing lawsuits, and the Supreme Court
finally upholding an Internet law. And those are just a few of the
highlights from a year in which technology and the law saw their
biggest clashes yet.

Au Canada, le téléchargement de MP3 sur les réseaux P2P peut-il être
légal ?, Nicolas Vermeys - 05/01/2004

Frenchman sentenced in Senegal for Internet libel
A French national who ran an Internet website about Senegal has been
sentenced in his absence for libelling an official in and hoteliers in
the south of the country, legal sources said. Christian Costeaux, who
ran the '' website, was also ordered to pay damages
of 600 million CFA francs (around 915,000 euros) to the plaintiffs,
the mayor of Ziguinchor, the main city in the southern Senegalese
region of Casamance, and two hotelkeepers.

FR - Compétence pour un site internet en Espagne
Cour de Cassation, Première chambre civile, 9 décembre 2003, Société
Castellblanch c/ Société Champagne Louis Roederer. Propriété
littéraire et artistique - Contrefaçon - Site Espagnol - Compétence
juridictionnelle - Juge français compétent (oui). En admettant la
compétence des juridictions françaises pour connaître de la prévention
et de la réparation de dommages subis en France du fait de
l'exploitation d'un site internet en Espagne, la cour d'appel qui a
constaté que ce site, fût-il passif, était accessible sur le
territoire français, de sorte que le préjudice allégué du seul fait de
cette diffusion n'était ni virtuel ni éventuel, a légalement justifié
sa décision.

held that an Internet portal provider was liable for the content of
advertisements published on its website. The applicable terms and conditions
stated that, prior to posting, each advertisement was subject to a "manual
review". The Court assumed that this provision amounted to the acceptance of
a review and verification policy for highly sensitive information Koeln-28-O-706-02.pdf

regulations under the Consumer Protection Act that will govern consumer
sales transactions online. The new regulations specify information that must
be disclosed to consumers before and at the time of sale. They also mandate
the use of an Internet sales contract containing specified information, and
establish a consumer's right to cancel a contract and reverse credit card
charges for online purchases.

US - E-PRIVACY YEAR IN REVIEW: EPIC published its 2003 Year in Review,
noting the Can-Spam Act becoming law, school installing biometrics
technology to detect sex offenders, the Supreme Court allowing Internet
filters in libraries, and the legal battle involving the Do-Not-Call

Cuba Tightens Controls on Internet
Cuba tightened its controls over the Internet, prohibiting access over
the low-cost government phone service most ordinary citizens have at
home. Cuba's communist government already heavily controls access to
the Internet. Cubans must have government permission to use the Web
legally and most don't, although many can access international e-mail
and a more limited government-controlled intranet at government jobs
and schools. Now Cubans will need additional approval to access via
the nation's regular phone service.

FR - L'internet français se mobilise contre une loi jugée
La quasi-totalité des fournisseurs d'accès internet (FAI) français ont
menacé de fermer leurs services d'hébergement si le Parlement
approuvait en l'état un projet de loi visant à les contraindre à
contrôler préablement tous les contenus diffusés sur leurs réseaux.
Le texte destiné à renforcer la confiance dans l'économie numérique a
déjà été adopté en seconde lecture par l'Assemblée nationale et qui
doit examiner le mois prochain par le Sénat. Le texte stipule que les
FAI et portails internet hébergeant des pages personnelles ou
communautaires "mettent en oeuvre les moyens conformes à l'état de
l'art pour empêcher la diffusion de données constitutives des
infractions" d'incitation à la haine raciale, de négationnisme et de
pédo-pornographie. Outre l'obligation de surveillance et de filtrage
pour les hébergeurs, les FAI soulignent qu'une autre disposition du
projet de loi désacralise le courrier électronique, qui n'est plus
considérée comme de la correspondance privée.

URLs, IP Numbers, and Speech
by Susan Crawford. There's a great fight going on right now in
Philadelphia, CDT v. Pappert. The case is about a Pennsylvania statute
[PDF] that mandates that Pennsylvania ISPs remove access to sites that
the AG believes contain child pornography. Now, child pornography is
abhorrent and any ISP will cooperate in taking down such sites that it
is hosting. But the problem is that in complying with the statute with
respect to sites the ISPs don't themselves host, ISPs are (rationally)
using either IP blocking ("null routing") or "domain poisoning"
techniques, both of which (particularly the IP number blocking) result
in rendering inaccessible millions of perfectly legal sites.

US - PLAYBOY v. NETSCAPE: The Ninth Circuit reversed the lower court's
summary judgment against Playboy in its trademark infringement and dilution
lawsuit against Excite, Inc. and Netscape alleging that defendants include
the trademark terms "playboy" and "playmate" into a list of words and
phrases that trigger banner ads unrelated to Playboy, without identifying
that the ads are sponsored by others. The court found genuine issues of
material fact as to likelihood of confusion. In addition, the court remanded
the case for the lower court to consider the dilution claim under the new
standard which requires evidence of actual dilution.

India - Police to Monitor Cybercafes
Relatively few Indians can afford home PCs, so millions go online in
the nation's jammed Internet cafes, enjoying their low cost and
anonymity. But police in Bombay are planning to monitor cybercafes, a
move some are decrying as excessive regulation that could create a
dangerous precedent. Increasingly fearful that terrorists and other
criminals are taking advantage of cybercafes, Bombay police want to
require customers to show photo identification and give their home
addresses. Cafe owners would have to retain such records for up to a
year and show them to police on request.

US - Recording Industry Is Accusing 532 People of Music PiracyThe music industry returned to the courthouse with lawsuits against
532 people it is accusing of large-scale copyright infringement. The
new lawsuits are "John Doe'' lawsuits, an increasingly common type of
litigation in the Internet age, which allow plaintiffs to sue people
whose identities are not known. These suits identify the suspected
file traders only by the numerical identifier, known as an Internet
Protocol number, assigned to them by their Internet service provider.

CA - Consumer ministers approve e-commerce code
Canadian federal, provincial, and territorial ministers met to
approve a new Code of Practice for Consumer Protection in Electronic
Commerce. The code addresses issues such as clear information,
payment security, contract formation, and complaints handling.

EU - Do not touch B2B contract laws, says ICC
The International Chamber of Commerce has published its response to
the European Commission's consultation on harmonising EU contract
laws. The ICC's message was that businesses neither want nor require
new regulatory instruments.

Tuesday, February 03, 2004

Vera Franz posted:
Conference on Information Society : "New Opportunities for Growth in an
Enlarged Europe"
(26-27/02, Budapest)

Progress in implementing the eEurope+ Information Society action plan in the
new EU Member States and candidate countries, the eEurope 2005 mid-term
review and joint Information Society challenges for the whole of Europe will
be debated at a two-day, pan-European ministerial conference in Budapest on
26-27 February 2004. This event, hosted by the EU's Irish Presidency,
Minister Kálmán Kovács on behalf of the Hungarian government and
Commissioner Erkki Liikanen for the European Commission, follows similar
events held in Ljubljana in 2002 and Warsaw in 2000. Ministers from the 10
new Member States and 3 candidate countries, EU Member States, and the
South-East European countries have been invited to participate. The 450
participants will include high-level representatives of international
institutions, the private sector, academics, and civil society. As the
Commission emphasized in its recent call to the Spring European Council,
seizing economic growth opportunities created by EU enlargement can give
fresh impetus to the Lisbon strategy for making Europe the world's most
competitive knowledge-based economy (IP/04/74). The new Member States join
the Union on 1 May 2004.

Robert Horvitz (Global Internet Policy Initiative) sent:
Technology licensing reforms draw scepticism
Ingrid Hering, London - 01 February 2004
Managing Intellectual Property (MIP Week)

The European Commission's proposed reforms to its technology licensing
rules have failed to win the backing of industry and the intellectual
property community.

Submissions to the Commission suggest that though the need for reform
has support, there is apprehension that the proposals will instead make
licensing more expensive and cumbersome, stifling innovation and
clouding legal certainty.

The Commission wants to overhaul the Technology Transfer Block Exemption
Regulation to streamline licensing and modernize competition aspects.

The American Bar Association's antitrust, business law, IP law, and
international law and practice sections queried several aspects of the
proposals, such as the use of market share thresholds.

"Market share thresholds may not lead to greater legal certainty, given
the difficulty of measuring market shares and limited utility of market
shares in dynamic, technology-driven markets where the future is
uncertain and market definitions often change quickly."

The International Chamber of Commerce UK suggests that more time is
needed to tackle the issues and any changes should be postponed until
the existing Regulation expires in 2007.

The Chamber is concerned that the revisions will mean "a large part of
the onus of working out the acceptability or otherwise of licensing
arrangements under the EC competitions rules will fall on the business
community and judges in national courts"...

The revised rules are due to come into effect next year, when they will
be relevant for any newly signed agreements. Existing agreements, drawn
up under the current regime, are valid until October 2005, by which time
they must comply with the new rules.

To view the submissions: