Monday, November 21, 2005

ANTI-CORRUPTION CONFERENCE & FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT in AZERBAIJAN

ABA/CEELI and OSCE co-sponsored the "National Integrity Conference: Best Practices for Ministries" on October 14, 2005 in Baku, Azerbaijan. ABA/CEELI and OSCE have invited www.Bilgiedinmehakki.Org, to take part in this conference. Avniye Tansug attended and presented Turkish FOIA experiences in the Conference...





TUNIS AGENDA FOR THE INFORMATION SOCIETY
Document: WSIS-05/TUNIS/DOC/6 (Rev. 1)-E
Date: 15 November 2005
Original: English
http://www.itu.int/wsis/docs2/tunis/off/6rev1.html



COMBATING CHILD PORNOGRAPHY

The International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children (“International Centre”), in collaboration with the International Association of Internet Hotlines (INHOPE), held its first focus group titled, "Combating Child Pornography: Greece, Turkey, Romania and Bulgaria", in Athens, Greece on 18 October 2005.The event was very successful as it was well?attended, issue?focused and resulted in clear action itemsfor each country and for the region in general. The next two focus groups will be held in the Baltics and Eastern Europe in 2006. Representing "Cyber-Rights Cyber Liberties" A. Tansug attended in the Seminar & Focus group and presented the situation as follows:

The issue of child pornography is largely unknown in Turkey for cultural reasons. There is low internet penetration. In 2005, there was 263% growth in internet use however, only 9.9% of the population of Turkey is online. Mobile phones are more favorable to computers for accessing theInternet. Therefore, there is little e?readiness in Turkey.
The first child pornography investigation by Turkish law enforcement was an international case called “Operation Landmark” which was started by Interpol and the National Crime Squad of the UK. TheTurkish suspect was a teacher who had four local victims. This has been the only case with extensive publicity in Turkey.

In Turkey, there were thirteen child pornography cases in 2004 and seven cases in the first ten months of 2005, all of which were international cases and initiated by Interpol. The new criminal code for child pornography came into effect in December 2004 and includes computer crimes involving the sexual exploitation of children. There is a new child pornography unit of the national police in Turkey but there is no reporting hotline.

There has been no research in Turkey on the issue of child pornography.

The key issues in Turkey were discussed and included:
• Lack of public knowledge about the issue;
• Unwillingness to call attention to child sexual exploitation;
• Lack of precise definition of child pornography in the penal code;
• Lack of research on the makeup and extent of the problem;
• Lack of an official police or government hotline for reporting complaints.

Some possible action items discussed to improve in this area included:
• Create an official police or government hotline for reporting complaints;
• Engage the ISP industry to get involved in co?regulation;
• Educate public on the issue and on technology.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

ICT / Roadmap by Berkman

-A call for nations in favour of open standards -

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Subject: new open standards initiative - three more links/stories

The report on open technology standards released today at the World Bank, was the result of a meeting convened by the Berkman Center at Harvard Law School, with participants from 13 countries and a collaboration with IBM and Oracle.

The report itself is here: Roadmap for Open ICT Ecosystemshttp://cyber.law.harvard.edu/epolicy/roadmap.pdf and the web site for the project is here: http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/epolicyand a story from InfoWorld:http://www.infoworld.com/article/05/09/09/HNworldbank_1.htmlGroup urges IT open standards in World Bank report Participants claim open standards are critical to economic growth and innovation By Nancy Weil, IDG News ServiceSeptember 09, 2005

A road map aimed at guiding governments and companies in the development of open information and communication technologies is being presented Friday at a World Bank meeting in New York by a group comprised of academics, government officials and industry representatives. The Open ePolicy Group contends that the adoption of open standards is vital to global economic growth and innovation.
"Almost by necessity, a new openness, fueled by a wave of information and communication technologies (ICT), is evolving and unlocking the efficiencies, standardization and flexibility needed to propel the transformation of governments and businesses," says the report, which included input from representatives of 13 nations and is spearheaded by the Berkman Center of Internet and Society at Harvard Law School. IBM Corp. and Oracle Corp. have also been involved in the project leading to the report.
Open standards are defined by the group as those that are not proprietary, or owned by any one company, and that are published and freely available for use by developers. However, the road map does not focus on any one aspect of what the group calls an open "ICT ecosystem," but covers various components. Such an ecosystem "encompasses the policies, strategies, processes, information, technologies, applications and stakeholders that together make up a technology environment for a country, government or an enterprise. Most importantly, and ICT ecosystem includes people -- diverse individuals who create, buy, sell, regulate, manage and use technology."
An open ICT system allows for interoperability across "diverse architectures," is user-centric, collaborative, sustainable and flexible, according to the report, which emerged out of a meeting arranged last February by the Berkman Center and which has led to ongoing work by meeting participants. Open standards are not the same as open-source software, the road map says. Both open-source software and proprietary software are components of an open-standards approach, according to the report.
A standard is open when it has six elements, the report says. Such a standard "cannot be controlled by any single person or entity with any vested interests" and further evolves and is managed is a "transparent process." Such systems also are "platform independent, vendor neutral and usable for multiple implementations," as well as being "openly published," and "available royalty free or at minimal cost." The standard also is open if it is "approved through due process by rough consensus among participants."
Though the report says proprietary software can be part of an open-standards systems, the ePolicy Group's road map comes out at a time when Microsoft Corp.'s Windows is under increasing pressure from open-source advocates worldwide. In an effort to lower costs, enhance open systems, enhance security and promote local developers, national and municipal governments around the world have started drafting policies that call for adoption of open-source software.
The ePolicy Group report says that governments should be among the participants in the process that leads to open standards and "play a critical role in the adoption and endorsement of open standards," and contends that government policy should mandate choice in technology.
Bolstering the role of government, the report outlines specific open ICT ecosystems employed by various nations, including Denmark's eBusiness initiative, aimed at creating a centralized ordering and invoicing process that is expected to save the country €160 million (US$198 million).
Denmark's initiative uses work by the OASIS Universal Business Language Technical Committee and the open standard UBL specification. The Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards, or OASIS, is a nonprofit international consortium focused on e-business standards. The group includes more than 4,000 participants that represent over 600 organizations and other members, including Sun Microsystems Inc., Oracle, IBM, SAP AG, Nokia Corp., General Motors Corp. and Microsoft.
"For many governments, open ICT ecosystems are becoming a key element of their economic development strategy. They see a virtuous cycle of openness increasing access to technology and market opportunities for local industries," the report says. Open systems also foster competition, which is good for users as well as to drive economic growth, and the same is said for innovation and efficiency. "Open technologies lower barriers in the marketplace and in the community," the report says. "Open standards, in particular, allow any company or person to build on existing protocols and procedures, and to innovate on top of them."
Such systems evolve over time, says the report, which offers examples showing how open ICT systems can be developed.
Interestingly, the 33-page report opens with a recounting of last December's tsunami that sounds eerily akin to similar issues that arose after Hurricane Katrina slammed into the U.S. Gulf Coast not quite two weeks ago. "Responding agencies and nongovernmental groups are unable to share information vital to the rescue effort," the report recalls of the government in Thailand in the tsunami's immediate aftermath. "Each uses different data and document formats. Relief is slowed; coordination is complicated. The need for common, open standards for disaster management was never more stark or compelling."
The government in Thailand created a common Web site for registering missing persons and also made open file formats "an immediate national priority," the report says.
The road map is meant to be a starting point for consideration and "a catalyst for changing mental models globally about ICT ecosystems and pathways to innovation," wrote Jeff Kaplan, director of the Berkman center and founder of the Open ePolicy Group, in an introduction to the report. The group's Web site is http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/epolicy.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Canada-Australia Comparative IP & Cyberlaw Conference

Join us this fall in Ottawa for a bilateral conference between Canadian and Australian IP, Privacy and IT legal experts.

Conference Programme and Registration Form (pdf)



Canada-Australia Comparative IP & Cyberlaw Conference will be held at the University of Ottawa on Friday, September 30th and Saturday, October 1st, 2005. Bringing together leading academics from Canada and Australia, the conference will explore comparative approaches to intellectual property and discuss privacy, information technology and other cyberlaw issues.

A Techlaw Student Summit will be held on the afternoon of Thursday September 29, 2005 for technology law students clubs across the country. Students are invited to a networking lunch held at the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Law. The afternoon will feature presentations by local and visiting students on current technology law issues and contemporary research. Interested students are asked to contact UO’s Information Technology Law Society (ITLS) for further details at: exec@itls.ca

Speakers
Jane Bailey, University of Ottawa (CANADA)
Carys Craig, Osgoode Hall Law School (CANADA)
Michael Deturbide, Dalhousie University (CANADA)
Peter Drahos, Australian National University (AUSTRALIA)
Brian Fitzgerald, Queensland University of Technology (AUSTRALIA)
Graham Greenleaf, University of New South Wales (AUSTRALIA)
Dan Hunter, University of Pennsylvania (AUSTRALIA)
Elizabeth Judge, University of Ottawa (CANADA)
Ian Kerr, University of Ottawa (CANADA)
David Lametti, McGill University (CANADA)
David Lindsay, Monash University (AUSTRALIA)
Carolyn Penfold, University of New South Wales (AUSTRALIA)
Matthew Rimmer, Australian National University (AUSTRALIA)
Myra Tawfik, University of Windsor (CANADA)
Sam Trosow, University of Western Ontario (CANADA)
Kim Weatherall, University of Melbourne (AUSTRALIA)


Thursday, July 07, 2005

No software patents in Europe

Free Software Foundation Europe:

No software patents in Europe, requests EPO review instrument



After years of struggle, the European Parliament finally rejected the
software patent directive with 648 of 680 votes: A strong signal
against patents on software logic, a sign of lost faith in the
European Union and a clear request for the European Patent Office
(EPO) to change its policy: the EPO must stop issuing software patents
today.

"This outcome does not affect patents on high-tech inventions in any
way," explains Stefano Maffulli, Italian representative of FSFE:
"High-tech innovation has always been patentable, and even if the
directive had been passed with all proposed amendmends, it would have
remained patentable. It is important to point this out because the
proponents of software logic patents have tried to confuse people
about high-tech inventions being subject of this directive."

FSFE's president, Georg Greve adds: "The parliament understood this
when it amended the directive in the first reading to keep high-tech
innovation inside and software outside the patent system."

"Unfortunately, the council of the European Union ignored this
decision of the Parliament and removed those amendments. Many MEPs
were appalled at this obvious corruption of democratic process that
day and seem to have lost faith in seeing their amendments treated
with more respect this time."

"Rejection of the directive became the very last option to send a
clear and strong signal against software patents in Europe," Greve
continues. "The Free Software Foundation Europe commends the European
Parliament on this decision: in the interest of harmonisation we would
have preferred a directive along the lines of the first reading, but
we understand that rejection became the last realistic option to avoid
doing irreparable harm to European economy."

Jonas Öberg, vice-president of FSFE: "This reaffirms the 1973 European
Patent Convention (EPC), which excludes software from patentability.
The European Patent Office (EPO) has largely ignored this central
convention and granted approximately 30.000 software patents in the
past years: this must stop today! The EPO should not be allowed to
further ignore European policies!"

Georg Greve explains the proposal of FSFE: "Much trouble was caused by
the inability of the European Union to hold the European Patent Office
responsible for acting against agreed-upon policies: unlike other
parts of a democratic executive, the EPO is not liable for the
decision it takes. We propose to establish an EPO supervision
instrument that holds the EPO management liable for its decisions and
prevents further patent system degradation."

About the Free Software Foundation Europe:

The Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) is a charitable
non-governmental organisation dedicated to all aspects of Free
Software in Europe. Access to software determines who may
participate in a digital society. Therefore the Freedoms to use,
copy, modify and redistribute software - as described in the Free
Software definition- allow equal participation in the information
age. Creating awareness for these issues, securing Free Software
politically and legally, and giving people Freedom by supporting
development of Free Software are central issues of the FSFE. The
FSFE was founded in 2001 as the European sister organisation of the
Free Software Foundation in the United States.

Further information: http://www.fsfeurope.org

Sunday, June 12, 2005

=================================================
CALL FOR PAPERS
=================================================

First International Conference on Information and Communication
Technologies and Development (ICTD 2006)

May 25-26, 2006
Berkeley, California, U.S.A.
http://sims.berkeley.edu/ictd2006

The past decade has witnessed an explosion in projects that apply
information and communication technologies (ICT) to support socio-economic development.

Every sector is involved - governments, academia, small start-ups, large corporations, inter-governmental organizations, and non-profits and non-
governmental organizations. In spite of the tremendous energy and
resources behind these projects, scientifically sound research in this space is
just beginning to emerge. What is the actual impact of ICT projects? What novel technology is required to meet development needs? What methodologies lead to success or failure of a project?

The goal of the ICTD conference is to provide a forum for academic
researchers working with ICT applied to development. The conference will be
scientifically rigorous and multi-disciplinary - papers reporting high-quality original research are solicited. Submitted papers will be subjected to double-blind peer review, and a full proceedings will be published at the time of the conference. (Best papers, as selected by a subset of the program committee, will be published in a special edition of the journal, Information Technologies and International Development.)

The conference will bring together researchers in both the social and
technical sciences, with anticipated representation from anthropology,
sociology, economics, political science, computer science, electrical engineering, industrial design, and so on.
We expect this to be the first of an ongoing series of conferences to occur every
one or two years, and moving from country to country.

For the purposes of this conference, the term "ICT" will comprise
computing devices (e.g., PCs, PDAs, sensor networks), technologies for voice and data connectivity, the Internet, and related technologies. Application
domains include, but are not restricted to, education, agriculture, healthcare, poverty alleviation, general communication, and governance. Papers considering novel design, new technology, project assessment, policy impact, content, social issues around ICT for development, and so forth will be considered. Well-presented negative results from which generalizable conclusions can be drawn are also sought.

Important Dates (exact dates to be updated on website):

* Deadline for abstracts and intent to submit: October 21, 2005
* Deadline for full paper submissions: December, 2005
* Notification to authors: January, 2006
* Deadline for camera-ready copy: March, 2006
* Conference dates: May 25-26, 2006

Only original, unpublished papers in English will be considered. Reviews will be double blind. Abstracts will facilitate the review process, and should be 200-400 words in length.

For further information, please see the conference website at
http://sims.berkeley.edu/ictd2006. Inquiries should be sent to
ictd2006@yahoo.com.

Organizers:

Honorary Chairs: VS Arunachalam (Tamil Nadu Planning Commission) and
Ken Keniston (MIT)

Chairs: Raj Reddy (CMU) and AnnaLee Saxenian (UC Berkeley)

Organizing Committee: Joyojeet Pal (UC Berkeley), Balaji Parthasarathy
(IIIT- Bangalore), Rahul Tongia (CMU), Kentaro Toyama (MSR India)

Sponsors: MSR India, SIMS UC Berkeley. We are seeking additional
sponsors, primarily for travel grants.


Friday, April 29, 2005

Multilingualism for Cultural Diversity and Participation of All in Cyberspace: UNESCO-CI

Multilingualism for Cultural Diversity and Participation of All in Cyberspace: UNESCO-CI

Policy Loundering

http://www.privacyinternational.org/article.shtml?cmd[347]=x-347-185519
Privacy International Announces Project to Stop "Policy Laundering"13/04/2005Privacy International, in concert with its partners the American Civil Liberties Union and Statewatch, today announced the formation of a new international "Policy Laundering Project". This international project will monitor and influence the increasingly common formation of civil liberties-sensitive security policies through international organizations. "Governments are increasingly pushing the illiberal policies through international treaty organizations, then bringing them back home", says Dr. Gus Hosein, Senior Fellow with Privacy International.
"This is the strategy we call policy laundering. The UK has recently laundered communications surveillance policies through the European Union and ID cards through the United Nations. The Government returns home to Parliament, holding their hands up saying 'We are obliged to act becauseof international obligations' and gets what they want with little debate."[...] the website for the project is http://www.policylaundering.org/

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Our friend Schneider is currently a Research Fellow at the Berkman Center, Harvard Law School...

Our friend Henrick Schneider from the ICT 2003 Training Program in Budapest, Hungary, goes to The Berkman Center for Internet & Society as a Research Fellow. Beside The Berkman Center, you can also meet him in April 2005 at the “Seeing, Understanding, Learning in the Mobile Age” conference, where he will introduce his research findings. (Here is a UsabilityNews.com article about the conference, discussing it as an example of a working private-academic partnership.)

For his personal page, recent works and e-mail address at the Berkman Center just click on his photo!
Congratulations and good luck Henrik!

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Weekly Digest 4.13 for March 25, 2004

is now available at
http://www.markle.org/weekly_digest/weeklydigest_vol.4_issue13.pdf

Stefaan Verhulst- Markle Foundation

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

WIPO OFFERS NEW TOOL FOR ANALYSIS OF UDRP TRENDS

The Arbitration and Mediation Center of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has created and made available online a new information tool that offers a concise overview of trends in decisions taken under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) – a quick and cost effective dispute resolution procedure relating to Internet addresses. The WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions considers common and important substantive and procedural questions that have been extracted from the over 7,000 UDRP cases handled so far by WIPO. The Overview is available at http://arbiter.wipo.int/domains/search/overview/index.html.

"By offering a concise overview of UDRP decision trends, this new tool will further enhance the consistency and reasoning of decisions taken under the UDRP and will help parties to better assess their chances under the UDRP," said Mr. Francis Gurry, WIPO Deputy Director General who oversees the work of the Center. Mr. Gurry said he expected a wide variety of professionals, as well as Internet users to benefit from this analysis. "Of course, legal practitioners will find this tool very useful. But I also expect academics, policy-makers, as well as existing and potential owners of domain names to benefit from the analysis of thousands of cases we have handled to date," he added.

The UDRP, which was proposed by WIPO and has become accepted as an international standard for resolving domain name disputes, is designed specifically to discourage and resolve the abusive registration of trademarks as domain names. Under the UDRP, a complainant must demonstrate that the disputed domain is identical or confusingly similar to its trademark, that the respondent does not have a right or legitimate interest in the domain name and that the respondent registered and used the domain name in bad faith. Disputes are decided by independent panelists drawn from the Center’s list of 400 trademark specialists from over 50 countries.

The rules governing the UDRP – whose popularity stems from its cost-effectiveness, the predictability of the process and swift enforcement of the results – are clear and concise. As a result, as the WIPO Overview shows, consensus or clear majority views have developed on most issues. However, with UDRP decisions covering a multitude of facts and arguments, it is hard to avoid genuine differences of opinion on some of the issues, all the more so in view of the fact that panelists and parties come from a multitude of jurisdictions. By providing this analysis of UDRP decisions, the new WIPO Overview will enhance the predictability of the UDRP mechanism.

The introduction to this new tool on WIPO’s website recalls that decision-making authority under the UDRP lies exclusively with the appointed panels. The Overview assists awareness of their views on key procedural and substantial issues. Decision references supporting each line of opinion are included, with over 100 decisions from over 80 different UDRP panelists listed.

While some of the listed issues arise only infrequently, all of them are, or are perceived to be, relevant to the operation of the UDRP. The Center’s identification of questions and evaluation of opinions is based on the 7,000 UDRP cases it has administered through February 2005. More detailed information on all views is available from the Center’s frequently used online Legal Index of WIPO Panel Decisions (http://arbiter.wipo.int/cgi-bin/domains/search/legalindex), as well as from the decisions themselves which are also available on-line.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

European iLaw program

The first European iLaw program will take place in Turin, Italy, on 25-27 May 2005 at the Fondazione Giovanni Agnelli; it will be organized in cooperation with the Berkman Center and will feature an intensive three-day schedule dedicated to the analysis of legal, economic, and technical issues related to the Internet and digital technologies in general. Five world-famous professors from the Harvard Law School, who will be joined by select Italian and European professors, will address topics such as:
  • the future of copyright on the Internet;
  • Intellectual property and software protection measures;
  • the architecture of the Internet;
  • cyberspace regulation: from peer-to-peer to wireless, digital contents and privacy.
For more details and registration see :
http://ilaw.ieiit.cnr.it/index_en.html

Monday, February 21, 2005

WIPO ACADEMY OFFERS NEW COURSES IN 2005

Since the launch of its General Course on Intellectual Property (DL 101), in 1999, some 33,000 participants from 180 countries have registered for the course. In 2003, an interactive learning management system was deployed by the Academy which provided on-line learning resources for participants and a live discussion forum. The Academy’s tutorial faculty includes some 80 experienced IP teachers and experts from across the globe who tutor in 7 languages. The next General Course on Intellectual Property (DL 101) will start on March 1, 2005. The course is available in 7 languages (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Portuguese, Spanish, and Russian) and is free-of-charge. To register for the course, please go to ( http://academy.wipo.int). Since 2003, completion of this course has been a requirement to participate in other training programs offered by the Academy and other institutions.

New advanced courses on different aspects of intellectual property will also be available this year. These include the Advanced Course on Copyright and Related Rights (DL 201) in English, French and Spanish. This course covers a range of issues including WIPO’s role in this area as well as recent developments and trends in the area of international copyright law. The course will run from May 1 to July 10, 2005.

The Advanced course on Electronic Commerce and Intellectual Property (DL202) will also be available in English. This course covers IP aspects of e-commerce in three main areas, namely copyright, trademarks and patents. This course will run from May 1 to June 15, 2005.

Registration dates for both courses run from March 1 to 15, 2005.

Three additional courses: Traditional Knowledge and Intellectual Property (DL 203), Biotechnology and Intellectual Property (DL 204) and the International Protection of Plant Varieties (DL-205) are expected to be launched later this year.

These courses will be offered on a fee basis with reduced charges for participants from certain countries. Further information about fees is available from the Academy website (http:// academy.wipo.int).

The WIPO Summer School will also resume this year. This is a four-week program in English held in Geneva from July 4 to 29, 2005. The program consists of lectures and individual or group research on assigned topics. The program is open to candidates from all regions of the world and from all academic backgrounds. Details of how to apply for the WIPO Summer School are available at http://www.wipo.int/academy.

Friday, February 18, 2005

SOME SAMPLES OF EU CASE LAW:

TELECOMMUNICATION - COMPETITION POLICY-
TREATY, ARTICLE 82 - 86 (*)


DOMINANT POSITION: ABUSE :
TELEFONICA SA : INTERNATIONAL DIALLING CODE : GIBRALTAR : REFUSAL TO RECOGNISE

By the contested decision the Commission rejected a complaint by the applicant filed on 31 October 1996 alleging that the Spanish telecommunications operator, Telefonica SA, had committed a series of abuses of dominant position contrary to Article 82 EC in refusing to recognise Gibraltar's International Dialling Code (‘350’) and insisting on acceptance of restrictive conditions for the exchange of automatic direct dial traffic between Spain and Gibraltar. The applicant later converted that complaint into a complaint under Article 86 EC, in conjunction with Articles 82 EC, 49 EC and 12 EC against Spain, alleging that Telefonica was acting under instructions from the Spanish Government, which claims sovereignty over Gibraltar. /

LAWTEL TEXT: Action by Gibtelcom Limited against the Commission 15/9/2004
Action for the annulment of a Commission Decision rejecting a complaint that Telefonica SA, had committed a series of abuses of dominant position.
Gibtelcom Limited claimed the Court should annul a Commission Decision rejecting Gibtelecom's complaint under Arts 86 and 82 of the EC Treaty, that Telefonica SA, had committed a series of abuses of dominant position, by refusing to recognise Gibraltar's international dialling code, and insisting on acceptance of restrictive conditions for the exchange of automatic direct dial traffic between Spain and Gibraltar. Gibtelcom argued that the Commission had erred in finding that Telefonica SA was not a public undertaking or that it enjoyed special rights. Further, Gibtelcom argued that Spain had infringed Directives 90/388, 97/33, 2002/21 and 2002/77. Gibtelcom also contended breach of its legitimate expectations, and failure of the Commission to act within a reasonable period.
2004/C284/48 C284 p.24 (Application)
(Case T-365/04) 2004/C 284/47) Official Journal of the European Union,
_____________________________________________
WANADOO INTERACTIVE SA v COMMISSION

CFI
Action brought by Wanadoo Interactive S.A. against the Commission 2/10/2003
COMPETITION POLICY - INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY - TELECOMMUNICATIONS

FINE : ANNULMENT : PREDATORY PRICING : PACK EXTENSE : WANADOO ADSL : INTERNET : ART.82 EC TREATY

Action for the annulment of the Commission Decision imposing a fine on Wanadoo Interactive for infringing Art.82 EC Treaty.
Wanadoo Interactive brought an action before the Court claiming that it should:(1) annul the Commission's decision of 16 July 2003, imposing a fine of 10.35 million euros upon it;(2) in the alternative, withdraw the fine or reduce its amount.Wanadoo Interactive, which was a French limited liability company 99 % owned by Wanadoo SA, which was in turn owned as to 70.6 % by France Telecom, challenged the Commission's decision accusing it of infringing Art.82 EC Treaty by charging predatory prices for its Pack eXtense and Wanadoo ADSL services which did not allow it to cover its variable costs from March to August 2001 or its full costs from August 2001 until 15 October 2002, as part of plan aimed at pre-empting the market for high-output internet access services. On that basis, the Commission imposed a fine of 10.35 million euros.In support of its action, Wanadoo Interactive claimed that essential procedural requirements and in particular, its defence rights had been infringed. It also argued that the Commission had infringed Art.82 EC Treaty.
2003/C289/70 (Application) p.34
Judgment: case pending.
Application: Full Text (copyright European Communities)
Document No. ER0234003 - http://www.lawtel.com/~8cca8aa0edc04289afa422a0ec080ce7~/content/display.asp?ID=ER0234003&HL=Y&BK=Y

____________________
Case T-59/03 - (1) TQ3
TRAVEL SOLUTIONS GMBH (2) TQ3 TRAVEL SOLUTIONS EMEA GMBH v COMMISSION
CFI
Action by TQ3 Travel Solutions GmbH and TQ3 Travel Solutions EMEA GmbH against the Commission 19/2/2003

COMPETITION POLICY - TRANSPORT - INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY - TELECOMMUNICATIONS
OPODO LIMITED: AIRLINES: ONLINE TRAVEL PORTAL: MERGER : COMPLAINT : ART.81 EC TREATY : ART.82 EC TREATY

Action for the annulment of the Commission Decision of 9 December 2002 rejecting the applicants' complaint against the notified joint venture setting up Opodo Limited.
The applicants were active in the travel agency business, especially for business passenger air transport services and connected services. On 3 November 2000, a joint venture agreement setting up Opodo Limited, an online travel portal created by nine of the largest European airlines, was notified to the Commission. Following the Notice published by the Commission setting out the undertakings proposed by the notifying parties and the intention of the Commission to clear the joint venture (see 2001/C323/03), one of the applicants filed a formal complaint against the creation of Opodo, alleging infringements of Art.81 and Art.82 EC Treaty. In the contested Decision, the Commission rejected the complaint of the applicant. The applicants therefore brought an action before the Court, claiming that it should annul the Commission Decision of 9 December 2002 rejecting their complaint in Case COMP/A.38321/D2-TQ3 Travel Solutions GmbH/Opodo Limited.The applicants submitted various arguments in support of their application including manifest error of assessment, an infringement of the Commission's obligation to investigate complaints with due diligence, with respect to the risk of coordination under Art.81(1) EC Treaty and with respect to discrimination under Art.82(2) EC Treaty.
2003/C101/85 (Application)
Judgment: case pending.
Application: Full Text (copyright European Communities)
Document No. ER0205903 http://www.lawtel.com/~8cca8aa0edc04289afa422a0ec080ce7~/content/display.asp?ID=ER0205903&HL=Y&BK=Y
_______________________
http://www.qlinks.net/quicklinks/competit.htm : http://europa.eu.int/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=IP/05/88

Mergers: Commission clears BT’s acquisition of Infonet

The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the acquisition by British Telecommunications of Infonet Services Corporation, a US operator providing global telecommunications services to large multinational corporations. As the incremental share of the target company in these services is limited, the Commission considers that the operation will not significantly impede effective competition in the European Economic Area (EEA) or any substantial part of it.
With its acquisition of all issued and outstanding shares in Infonet Services Corporation (“Infonet”), British Telecommunications (“BT”) acquires control of the whole of Infonet.
The Commission investigated the competitive effects of the proposed transaction on the possible markets for global telecommunications services (“GTS”) that are provided to multinational corporations (“MNCs”). It found that the transaction would not change significantly the market conditions either on a global or on a European scale as Infonet brings only a minimal incremental market share to BT. The combined BT/Infonet will continue to face a number of competitors that are present in these markets. In addition, customers have indicated that they will still have the possibility to switch competitively to alternative GTS suppliers.
BT, a company organised under the laws of England and Wales, is a provider of telecommunications services on a worldwide basis. Its principal activities include local, national and international telecommunications services, internet products and services and IT solutions. Among other things, BT provides global telecommunications services to MNCs with global operations.
Infonet is a Delaware (US) company and its shares are listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Infonet’s main shareholders are Swisscom, TeliaSonera, KDDI, KPN, Telefonica and Telstra, which together hold approximately 97% of the voting rights. The rest of the shares is held by other, smaller shareholders. Infonet provides GTS to a range of MNCs on a global basis and (unlike BT) has a comparatively strong presence in the Americas and in the Asia Pacific region. Infonet provides its services through its worldwide network, including broadband, wired and wireless services, IP Video VPN, and integrated security services.
http://www.lawtel.com/~8cca8aa0edc04289afa422a0ec080ce7~/content/display.asp?ID=AC0105312&HL=Y&BK=Y
___________________________
R (On the application of (1)
T-MOBILE (UK) LTD (2) VODAFONE LTD (3) ORANGE PERSONAL COMMUNICATION SERVICES LTD) v (1) THE COMPETITION COMMISSION (2) DIRECTOR-GENERAL OF TELECOMMUNICATIONS (2003)
[2003] EWHC 1566

QBD (Moses J) 27/6/2003
TELECOMMUNICATIONS - INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
OFTEL : TELECOMMUNICATIONS ACT 1984 : INTERCONNECTION DIRECTIVE : MOBILE PHONES : COMPETITION COMMISSION : CALL TERMINATION CHARGES : FAIR CHARGES : CAPS : LICENCE MODIFICATIONS : INTERCONNECTION : NETWORK OPERATORS : REVENUES : MOBILE MARKET : MARKET POWER : PRICE CONTROLS : PUBLIC INTEREST : CONSUMERS : ADVERSE EFFECTS : COUNCIL DIRECTIVE 97/33/EC : AMENDING DIRECTIVE 98/61 : FAIRNESS : REASONABLENESS : RATIONALITY

Challenge against recommendations of the Competition Commission that charges for call termination made by mobile network operators exceeded its assessment of a fair charge and should be capped and challenge to the imposition by the Director General of Telecommunications of such caps by way of licence modifications and proposals to continue such regulation after the new European regime fell to be implemented on 25 July 2003 were dismissed.
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(*) Requires Lawtel registration: www.lawtel.com and/or Athens Password
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Wednesday, February 16, 2005

UNESCO’s Information for All Programme - 20 February

The deadline for submission of proposals to be funded under UNESCO’s Information for All Programme, an international information society initiative launched in 2001, will expire on 20 February 2005. The call for proposals was launched end of last year.

Proposals with budgets ranging from approximately US$25,000 (national projects) to US$45,000 (international projects) should cover one of three areas: information literacy, preservation of information, and ethical, legal and societal implications of the information society.

Projects shall have specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time bound objectives and be operationally, technically and financially feasible. They must include an evaluation component. Projects submitted should also contribute to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals and correspond to the areas of the Action Plan adopted by the World Summit on the Information Society.

Project applicants must complete on-line project proposals forms at http://www.unesco.org/webworld/ifapprojects, where detailed submission guidelines are available. Applications must be submitted no later than 20 February 2005.

The Information for All Programme (IFAP) provides a framework for international co-operation and international and regional partnerships. It supports the development of common strategies, methods and tools for building inclusive, open and pluralistic knowledge societies and for narrowing the gap between the information rich and the information poor. IFAP contribute to the fulfillment of UNESCO's mandate to contribute to "education for all", to the "free exchange of ideas and knowledge" and to "increase the means of communication between peoples".

The Special Fund of the Information for All Programme (IFAP Special Fund) is supported by voluntary contributions from UNESCO Member States or any other donors. The total level of funding available for 2005 is US$750,000

Friday, February 11, 2005

Online Music

Romanian Copyright Office sets fixed fee for online music
============================================================
The Arbitration Commission of the Romanian Copyright Office (ORDA) has published two remarkable decisions on the price for online music andring-tones. Romanian internet users will have to pay a fixed annual feefor any music they wish to offer on their website (via streaming or for downloading) of approximately 80 euro (3 million Romanian Lei). If the website owner charges a fee for music to be downloaded, they will have topay 10% of the fee to the collecting society, with a minimum of 8 eurocent per downloaded track, independent of the origin of the music. The decisions followed after unsuccessful negotiations between theRomanian Musical Performing and Mechanical Rights Society, the Romanian Association of ISPs and the association of ring-tone providers. Thedecisions were published in the Official Monitor no. 58 of 18 January2005. Even though the name of the first decision is 'methodology for usingmusical works on the Internet' the methodology refers only to web-pages. The copyright owner only has the right to opt-out. He can provide the collecting society with a list of musical works that cannot be used on theInternet.The Commission also decided on the methodology for using musical works asring-tones, along the same lines. Providers of ring-tones will have to pay10% of the fee they charged, with a minimum of 8 eurocent. Again the authors can only opt-out, by providing the collecting society with a list of works that should not be turned into ring-tones.The ISP association has announced they will appeal the decision, because they still find the 10% charge much too high.

ORDA (Romanian Copyright Office) http://www.orda.ro
UCMR - ADA (Romanian music collecting society) http://www.ucmr-ada.ro
ANISP (ISP association) http://www.anisp.ro
Musical works methodology decision (in Romanian, 18.01.2005) http://www.legi-internet.ro/utilizare_muzica_pe_internet.htm
Ring tones methodology decision (in Romanian, 18.01.2005) http://www.legi-internet.ro/utilizare_ringtonuri

Thursday, January 13, 2005

CIS is HIRING

2005-2006 FELLOWSHIP POSITION WITH
CENTER FOR INTERNET AND SOCIETY

The Center for Internet and Society (CIS), located at Stanford Law
School, is offering a one-year Fellowship (2004-2005) to work in
conjunction with its Cyberlaw Clinic on public interest litigation
involving technology and the Internet.

The Center for Internet and Society is a leading center for the study
of the relationship between the public interest, law and technology.
CIS was founded by Professor of Law Lawrence Lessig and is headed by
Executive Director attorney Jennifer S. Granick, who also teaches the
Cyberlaw Clinic.
The CIS Clinic is an in- house clinic of eight students assisting in
the direct representation of clients in matters involving security,
privacy, free speech scientific innovation and technology, as well as
policy analysis and public information campaigns. Illustrative
litigation includes representing a company that distributes
peer-to-peer file sharing software in a lawsuit filed by the
recording industry; protecting the rights of Internet publishers to
speak anonymously on- line; and protecting speech interests against
claims of intellectual property infringement.

The Fellow will be directly and primarily responsible for one or more
of the intellectual property 'impact' cases that CIS is litigating.
She will also assist on other CIS litigation and work with students
in the Cyberlaw Clinic on cases and projects on an as-needed basis.
In addition, the Fellowship may provide the opportunity for the
pursuit of individual research and scholarship.

The position is for 12 months, with the possibility of renewal for a
second twelve months. The start date is flexible, anytime from July
2005 to September 2005. At least two years of post-law school civil
litigation experience is required. Salary is $40,000 per year, with
benefits. Interested applicants should submit a cover letter, resume,
writing sample and a list of references by February 28, 2005 to
Executive Director Jennifer S. Granick at: Crown Quadrangle, 559
Nathan Abbott Way, Stanford, CA 94305-8610 or through the CIS website.

For further information, please contact Ms. Granick's legal
assistant, Joanne Newman, at: 650-723-4336.

---------------------------------

SUMMER INTERNSHIP POSITION WITH STANFORD'S
CENTER FOR INTERNET AND SOCIETY

The Center for Internet and Society (CIS) at Stanford Law School is
hiring a Summer Intern to work public interest issues involving
technology and the Internet.

The Center for Internet and Society is a leading center for the study
of the relationship between the public interest, law and technology.
CIS was founded by Professor of Law Lawrence Lessig and is headed by
Executive Director attorney Jennifer S. Granick, who also teaches the
Cyberlaw Clinic. The Summer Intern works with Attorney Granick and
Professor Lessig on CIS and Cyberlaw Clinic litigation, including
cases challenging the extension of copyright to works that had passed
into the public domain, protecting the rights of Internet publishers
to speak anonymously on-line, protecting speech interests against
claims of intellectual property infringement, and providing legal
information in response to cease and desist letters sent to Internet
publishers.

The Summer Intern also assists in preparing materials and research
for Cyberlaw Clinic course and caseload, keeping the CIS website and
calendar up-to-date and various administrative tasks on an as-needed
basis. The position is for approximately 12 weeks. Second and third
year law students are preferred, as is experience with computers,
including email, instant messaging, Movable Type, and Excel. Hourly
rate in accordance with the Law School work-study rates, to be
announced. Interested applicants should submit a cover letter,
resume, writing sample and a list of references by February 28, 2004
to Executive Director Jennifer S. Granick at: Crown Quadrangle, 559
Nathan Abbott Way, Stanford, CA 94305-8610. For further information,
please contact Ms. Granick's legal assistant, Joanne Newman, at:
650-723-4336.