Archive for April 2002

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[eccr] QuickLinks 231 - 14 April 2002 - message 1-50

Wed Apr 17 06:05:15 GMT 2002

1. Deutschland - Kirch stellt Insolvenzantrag f=FCr Kerngesch=E4ft (Heise)
Jetzt ist es soweit: Die gr=F6=DFte Pleite der deutschen
Nachkriegsgeschichte nimmt ihren Lauf. Das M=FCnchener Amtsgericht hat
best=E4tigt, dass Vertreter der KirchMedia wie erwartet Antrag auf
Er=F6ffnung eines Insolvenzverfahrens gestellt haben. Betroffen sind
davon bundesweit rund 10.000 Mitarbeiter.

2. Germany - Pressure mounts on broadcasters (Reuters)
Pressure mounted for Germany's public broadcasters ARD and ZDF to
buy the television rights for the country's football league if Kirch
failed to make its payments. see also Stoiber turns up heat on
chancellor over Kirch (FT) and The beginning of the end (Economist).

3. UK - Brass Eye's paedophiles show cleared by TV watchdog (Ananova)
Channel 4's Brass Eye Special about paedophiles has been cleared of
duping celebrities to take part in the show. The Broadcasting
Standards Commission found that in the context of a satirical
programme with a serious purpose, neither the appearance nor the
involvement of the public figures was likely to have caused
widespread offence. see Bulletin 52, March 2002 (BSC).

4. UK - Carlton and Granada sue Football League (FT)
Carlton Communications and Granada have issued a writ against the
Football League, seeking a declaration in the High Court that they
are not liable for any media rights payments owed by ITV Digital,
their near-insolvent pay-TV platform.

5. Deutschland - Verwendung sachfremder Keywords bei html-Metatags
untersagt (Heise)
Die Verwendung von html-Metatags, die keinen sachlichen Bezug zu den
auf der Webseite angebotenen Inhalten aufweisen, verst=F6=DFt gegen =A7=A7 1,
3 des Gesetzes gegen den unlauteren Wettbewerb (UWG). Das entschied
das Landgericht D=FCsseldorf . [Ed: A dispute between two companies
selling gowns for members of the Bar and the judiciary, obviously a
fiercely competitive branch of industry ...]

6. EU - Commission examines EUR 450 million cash advance to Bull
The European Commission decided today to launch the state aid
investigation procedure into the =80450 million cash advance granted by
the French Government to the computer company Bull. The Commission's
decision is prompted by its doubts about whether France has complied
with the conditions laid down in the Community guidelines on state
aid for rescuing and restructuring firms in difficulty.

7. EU - Does EC competition policy help or hinder the European
audiovisual industry? (RAPID)
Mario Monti European Commissioner for Competition Policy, British
Screen Advisory Council, The Cavendish Conference Centre, London, 26
November 2001. see also Media in Europe: Media and EU competition law
Speech by Herbert Ungerer, Conference on Media in Poland, Polish
Confederation of Private Employers, Warsaw, Poland, 13.02.2002.

8. EU - European Commission raps Check Point's knuckles (The Register)
The European Commission has closed an investigation into Check Point
Software after the Israeli firm promised not to engage in
exclusionary supply practices with its distributors. see Stonesoft's
complaint to the European Commission and Commission closes probe into
Check Point after receiving formal undertaking (RAPID)

9. USA - Court Order Curbs Site's Ranking In Search Results
A federal judge has told a California business to mention one of its
competitors less often on its own Web site - an order intended to
lower the site's profile in some Web searches. The unusual demand was
part of a pre-trial injunction issued late last month in a lawsuit
involving competing tax experts who would normally be battling the
Internal Revenue Service on behalf of their tax-owing clients.

10. USA - Murdoch company 'leaked rival's TV codes' (FT)
A News Corporation whistleblower has claimed that NDS, a software
subsidiary of Rupert Murdoch's pay-television empire, directed an
employee to leak secret codes belonging to its closest rival to
internet pirates.

11. USA - No. 2 U.S. Phone Carrier Sees Threat In Microsoft
Microsoft is positioned to seize control of Internet-based telephone
and messaging services in the same way that it monopolizes personal
computer operating systems, an official of SBC Communications
testified at a Microsoft antitrust hearing. He forecast a new
battleground for services that will enable consumers to retrieve
voice mail, e-mail and faxes from Internet-enabled telephones, cell
phones or handheld organizers. see also IBM, Microsoft plot Net
takeover (ZDNet), Economist Supports Some, Not All, Microsoft
Penalties (Newsbytes) and Windows Features Not Vital, Expert Says.

12. Deutschland - Polizei legt Kinderporno-Provider lahm (Heise)
Die hessische Polizei hat einen Internet-Server entdeckt, =FCber den
vermutlich gro=DFe Mengen kinderpornografischen Materials getauscht
worden sind.

13. UK - Paedophile Tracked Through Computer Images (Ananova)
An internet paedophile who circulated images of his crimes online
has received six life sentences after he was caught in the first
surveillance operation of its kind in the UK. see also Reuters.

14. Nigeria - E-Mail Suckers Exist (Wired)
Among 10,000 Americans who reported being suckered by online hoaxes
last year, 16 fell victim to an elaborate plot that pinged millions
of e-mail inboxes: Nigerian letter fraud.

15. USA - Court Rules in Favor of Microsoft (AP)
A Connecticut consumer didn't have the right to sue Microsoft in
state court alleging anticompetitive conduct, because the harm to him
was too remote and indirect, the state Supreme Court ruled.

16. USA - E-Mail Messages Open Window on Wall Street (Newsbytes)
There is an escalating state investigation into allegations that
Wall Street stock analysts promote companies they don't believe in
while their banks earn fees selling the firms' stock and offering
advice. Investors and securities watchdogs have long complained about
inappropriate ties between analysts and investment bankers. But
they've rarely had access to the e-mail and other gritty, behind-the-
scenes details about dealmaking cited in this case.

17. EU - European Parliament says no to Web-site blocking (IDG)
The European Parliament has voted against blocking access to Web
sites as a way of regulating content on the Internet, instead pushing
self-regulation and filter and rating systems. The vote - 460 in
favor, 0 against and 3 abstentions - adopted a report on the
protection of minors and human dignity that addresses many media,
including the Internet. The Parliament's report is not a legislative
document, but is in response to a previous evaluation report by the
European Commission. see EP Report A5-0037/2002 Committee on Culture,
Youth, Education, the Media and Sport Rapporteur: Christopher J.P.
Beazley. see also EuroISPA news release.

18. Council of Europe - Draft Declaration on freedom of
communication on the Internet (CoE)
The Group of Specialists on on-line services and democracy has
decided to invite the public to comment on a draft Declaration on
freedom of communication on the Internet (EN / FR). Please send your
comments to the Media Division by 1 May 2002.

19. EU - Parlament gegen Webzensur und Site-Sperrung (Heise)
Das Europ=E4ische Parlament hat sich mit =FCberw=E4ltigender Mehrheit
gegen die Sperrung einzelner Websites im Kampf gegen vermeintlichen
oder tats=E4chlichen Schmutz im Netz ausgesprochen. siehe auch Chat:
Website-Sperrungen - Verantwortung oder Zensur?.

20. USA - Critics Carp About CARP Webcast Royalty Plan (Newsbytes)
The Copyright Arbitration Royalty Panel, a body appointed by the
U.S. Copyright Office, has proposed a royalty payment plan for
Webcasters that has aroused staunch opposition, judging by a sampling
of the criticism collected by the public commentary deadline. The
proposed regulations would require webcasting services to collect and
share listeners' information, including the country location, time
zone, log-in time, channel, and the unique identifier assigned to the
listener. see Notice and Recordkeeping for Use of Sound Recordings
Under Statutory License  (U.S. Copyright Office), Joint Comments on
Internet Broadcasts and Anonymity (EFF / EPIC) and EPIC's Digital
Rights Management and Privacy Page.

21. USA - Vivendi Universal Strikes Back In Gamers Showdown
Entertainment giant Vivendi Universal has taken its beef with a
group of hardcore online gamers to the next level by launching a
copyright-infringement lawsuit against the developers of open-source
software for hosting multiplayer games. see also Cnet

22. UK - Monitoring of e-mails in offices to be banned (FT)
British employees are set to gain important protection against
snooping by bosses under a new code determining rights to privacy at
work. Blanket monitoring of e-mails and internet usage in the office
will be banned, and hidden cameras can be used without staff consent
only in criminal investigations where the police have been informed,
according to the Employment practices data protection code.

23. Nominet UK to change WHOIS details (The Register)
Nominet UK plans to make more information available about
individuals and organisations that have registered domain names. At
the moment anyone who makes a WHOIS enquiry for .uk domains receives
the registrant's name, the date it was registered and when the entry
was last updated. But from this summer the registry for .uk Internet
domain names also intends to provide the address of the domain

24. Seeking Profits, Internet Companies Alter Privacy Policy (New
York Times)
Yahoo, the vast Internet portal, just changed its privacy policy to
make it clear that it has the right to send mail and make sales calls
to tens of millions of its registered users. And it has given itself
permission to send users e-mail marketing messages on behalf of its
own growing family of services, even if those users had previously
asked not to receive any marketing from Yahoo. Users have 60 days to
go to a page on Yahoo's Web site where they can record a choice not
to receive telephone, postal or e-mail messages in various
categories. Just How Trusty Is Truste? (Wired) and Nothing to Yahoo
Over New E-Rules.

25. USA - IM monitoring grows in popularity (AP)
Interest in IM monitoring is soaring as companies not only look to
record important communications but also control information leaks
and discourage cyberslacking.

26. USA - Mugshots online: Take a peek at the perps (Court TV)
In Gwinnett County, Ga., the mugshot of every person arrested is
posted on the Internet along with the charges - for everyone to see.

27. USA - National Academies Study Tempers Call For National ID
Efforts to establish a national identification system could backfire
unless policymakers address an exhaustive array of privacy, security
and logistical concerns, the nation's top research and development
institutions warned.  The recommendations were offered in a report
endorsed by the National Research Council's Computer Science and
Telecommunications Board.

28. Cybersquatting: The OECD's Experience (OECD)
This report summarises the problem recently met by the OECD wit
regard to the cybersquatting of the domain name, an
identifies the general policy issues arising from this experience and
the with registrar practices and the 'WHOIS' system

29. Did ICANN Take Sides in Dispute? (BNA Internet Law News)
An interesting dispute is brewing over the case, in which
a Virginia court ordered the transfer of the domain using the in rem
provisions of the ACPA. With the registrar located in China, the
Virginia court acknowledged it could not create a binding order in
China. Although CNN took no steps to enforce the judgement in China,
ICANN apparently stepped in at their request, forwarding a request to
the Chinese registrar asking that it "fulfill its responsibilities."

30. Gouvernance de l'internet : quelle l=E9gitimit=E9 pour l'ICANN ?
Par Pascal Fortin. Texte d'une communication dans le cadre d'une
journ=E9e d'=E9tude sur =AB L'internationalisation de la communication =BB
organis=E9e par la Maison des Sciences de l'Homme de l'Universit=E9 Paris-
Nord. Titre original de la communication : =AB L'ICANN au prisme de la
gouvernance =BB

31. USA - House Panel Approves 'Dot-Kids' Bill (Newsbytes)
Congress took another step toward creating a kid-friendly Internet
domain, when the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee unanimously
approved the Dot Kids Implementation and Efficiency Act of 2002 (H.R.
3883). If passed, the bill would mandate the establishment of a child-
oriented addressing space within America's sovereign "dot-us"
Internet domain. see also CDT's letter to the Telecommunications

32. Ausl=E4ndische E-Government-Strategien und ihre institutionellen
Rahmenbedingungen (Hans-Bredow-Institut)
Studie von Martin Eifert und Jan Ole P=FCschel im Rahmen der
rechtswissenschaftlichen Begleitforschung zum Media@Komm-Projekt,
durchgef=FChrt im Auftrag des BMWI, Zwischenbericht (Februar 2002)
(Arbeitspapiere des Hans-Bredow-Instituts Nr. 9)  (PDF-Datei)

33. EU - Open Consultation on government e-services (European
You are kindly invited to contribute to the open consultation on the
IDA (Interchange of Data between Administrations) initiative on the
provision of pan-European Government e-services. see Consultation
document for a future policy paper on pan-European Government e-
services. Deadline 17 June 2002. An IDA conference: 'Pan-European
government e-services for citizens & enterprises: The role of IDA',
is scheduled to take place in Brussels, on 19th - 20th September 2002.

34. France - CNIL : le vote =E9lectronique doit respecter "les
principes de base du scrutin" (NetEconomie)
La CNIL (Commission nationale de l'informatique et des libert=E9s)
refuse un projet d'exp=E9rimentation du vote =E9lectronique sur la
commune lorraine de Vandoeuvre-l=E8s-Nancy (Meurthe-et-Moselle). voir
communiqu=E9 de presse.

35. France - Faire campagne sur Internet : les limites juridiques
(Le Monde)
Encore marginale lors des =E9lections municipales et cantonales de
mars 2001, l'utilisation d'Internet =E0 des fins de propagande
=E9lectorale s'affirme pour la campagne de l'=E9lection pr=E9sidentielle.
Si ce mode de communication peut r=E9nover la fa=E7on de faire campagne,
la justice continue =E0 veiller =E0 l'application des r=E8gles =E9lectorales.

36. UK - E-voting put to the test (BBC)
An ambitious electronic voting scheme will be tested in St Albans
during the forthcoming local elections in the UK.

37. UK - Police release paedophile picture (BBC)
Police have released the photograph of a convicted paedophile in an
attempt to trace him.

38. UK - Policing the net (Guardian)
Peter Robbins takes over as chief executive of the Internet Watch
Foundation at a time when the self-regulatory group is facing
increasing charges of censorship.

39. EU - European Commissioner Erkki Liikanen on official visit to
China (RAPID)
EU support for China's economic and social reform and efforts to
implement its World Trade Organisation (WTO) commitments is being
reaffirmed by Enterprise and Information Society Commissioner Erkki
Liikanen, in a five-day visit to China this week.

40. EU - Feedback on Commission's European Contract Law initative
now published (RAPID)
In July 2001, the European Commission published its Communication on
European contract law. The Commission has now published a synthesis
of all contributions - so far more than 160 comments from governments
and all sections of society, including businesses, legal
practitioners, academics and consumer organisations.

41. United States and European Commission agree increased Regulatory
Cooperation (RAPID)
The United States authorities and the European Commission announced
that they have developed guidelines designed to promote more
effective US-EU regulatory cooperation. In particular, the EU and US
will share better mutual access to the process of developing

42. France T=E9l=E9com baisse les tarifs de l'acc=E8s rapide =E0 Internet
(Le Monde)
France T=E9l=E9com a annonc=E9 une baisse des tarifs de l'acc=E8s rapide =E0
Internet ADSL. Cette baisse concerne aussi bien les prix de d=E9tail au
consommateur que les prix de gros destin=E9s aux fournisseurs d'acc=E8s =E0
Internet ou aux op=E9rateurs concurrents de France T=E9l=E9com. Certains
concurrents d=E9noncent des mesures cibl=E9es pr=E9judiciables =E0 la
concurrence.Tous attendent maintenant la position de lde l'Autorit=E9
de r=E9gulation des t=E9l=E9communications (ART), mardi 16 avril.

43. Australia - Keeping Spam In The Can (DCITA news release)
The National Office for the Information Economy (NOIE) is
conductingan examination into how to counter the problem of
unsolicited bulkemail, commonly known as 'spam.' see also Spam
saturates the net (Australian IT).

44. USA - California Fax Spam Bill Clears State Senate Committee
A California State Senate committee approved a bill that would ban
the delivery of unsolicited faxes. The bill repeals a California law
that requires fax users to opt out of receiving junk faxes.

45. Google Provides Scientology Warnings To Free Speech Site
Less than a month after de-listing an anti-Scientology Web site from
its search engine on copyright infringement grounds, Google has begun
providing copies of the infringement notices that it receives to a
recently formed free-speech advocacy site. see also Google Begins
Making DMCA Takedowns Public (Linux Journal) and Service providers as
speech police? (AP).

46. USA - Verizon Wireless Sues FCC Over Auction Deposits (Newsbytes)
Verizon Wireless is suing the Federal Communications Commission in
an attempt to nullify an $8.7 billion bid for disputed spectrum
licenses. In a filing with the Court of Federal Claims, Verizon
Wireless said it was seeking to recover the remaining $260 million of
approximately $1.7 billion it paid in deposits for the rights to
airwave licenses that the commission revoked from NextWave Telecom.

47. USA - Will Wi-Fi overwhelm satellite radio? (CNET
Satellite radio stations and Wi-Fi wireless networks broadcast their
signals on radio waves separated by only a small buffer. So far, that
buffer has kept the millions of Wi-Fi networks from interfering with
radio broadcasts. But the radio companies don't think the relative
calm will last, so they are asking the U.S. Federal Communications
Commission to step in.

48. EU - Commercial practices aimed at children (Consumers Committee)
For the commercial communications industry children are an
increasing important target market. European rules and regulatory
regimes have not kept pace with this development.

49. EU - Daphne programme against violence towards women and
children (RAPID)
Non governmental and other types of organisations have responded
massively to the launch, two years ago, of the Daphne programme
against all forms of violence aimed at women and children in Europe.
The European Commission has issued a mid-term review on the way the
Daphne programme against violence in Europe, which runs from the
beginning of the year 2000 to the end of 2003, has been implemented.

50. USA - FTC Asks Gaming Group For More Data On Media Violence
A video-game industry trade group confirmed that the Federal Trade
Commission (FTC) is asking for more data on how well video game
companies are complying with media violence guidelines.

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Vrije Universiteit Brussel - Free University Brussels
Studies on Media, Information & Telecommunication (SMIT)
Pleinlaan 2 - b-1050 Brussels
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