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cyberlaw informer #57

Welcome to the 57th issue of the Mishpat Cyberlaw Informer - 
Law on the net newsletter from http://mishpat.net

This newsletter is sent only to subscribers. If you no longer 
wish to receive the Cyberlaw Informer, follow the unsubscribe 
instructions at the bottom of this newsletter.

--------------------------------------------------------
 
In this issue:

1. Introduction
2. Entertainment Industry Wins Key Rulings
3. Research Tip: Searching PDF
4. Cyberlaw resource review
5. Computer & Internet law news and updates


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

################
1. Introduction
################

I would like to welcome the many new subscribers who joined the Cyberlaw
Informer since the previous issue, bringing the total number of
subscribers to more than 2,500.

It's been almost a month since the previous issue, I've been on a great
vacation, and I'm now back with my batteries fully recharged.

Due to the long time since the previous issue, many important cyberlaw
news items, this issue will be a little different. Instead of the usual
article section, I'll bring news updates about the entertainment
industries' recent victories in copyright suits, and a research tip that
will help you get to the information available online in PDF files.

As usual you will find the cyberlaw news and the resource review
sections at the end of this newsletter, this time with more than 50 news
items including many privacy and intellectual property updates. 


In the previous issues I published a four part series on cybercrime and
law enforcement. I want to thank Alex Rudd for publishing the series on
the POLICE-L web site. POLICE-L is a site for law enforcement officials,
it requires registration and getting an access password. If you are a
law enforcement officer, you can register at: http://www.police-l.org 


The second annual BNA Public Policy Forum: E-Commerce and Internet
Regulation will be hosted at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Tyson's Corner,
Virginia, on November 15-16. The conference will focus on issues such as
privacy, electronic contracting, antitrust in b2b e-commerce, Internet
intellectual property, and more. 
A complete agenda and a list of keynote speakers and panelists can be
found at the conference website at http://internetconference.pf.com


I hope you enjoy reading the newsletter. Comments, tips, and articles
are always welcome. Send them to mailto:editor@mishpat.net

The Mishpat Cyberlaw Informer Archive (issues 1-54) is located at:
http://mishpat.net/cyberlaw/archive

Feel free to use any of the material, or forward the newsletter to a
friend. Just don't forget to mention that they can subscribe to the
Cyberlaw Informer by visiting http://CyberlawInformer.com


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####################################
2. Entertainment Industry Wins Key Rulings
####################################

Judge rules against MP3.com
------------------------------------

U.S. District Judge Jed S. Rakoff ruled that MP3.com willfully violated
copyright laws. Judge Rakoff said he would fine the company $25,000 for
each CD it copied from Universal, a punishment that could yield a total
fine of as much as $250 million. The fine is to be set at a hearing in
November, after the judge determines the total number of violations.

MP3.com, seeking new revenue, launched the My.MP3.com service, that
allowed users to listen to famous artists. The company bought thousands
of CDs, made copies of them and stored them on servers. Users would log
in and demonstrate that they owned a copy of the album, and have access
to the music whenever they liked.

In April Judge Rakoff agreed with the five major music labels that
MP3.com was liable for infringing copyrights by the My.MP3.com service,
leaving open until last week the question of whether those violations
were willful.

In recent months, MP3.com cut deals with EMI Group, BMG Entertainment,
Time Warner Music Group and Sony Music. Terms of those settlements were
not disclosed, but they reportedly involved payments of about $20
million per company. Universal, the last of the five major labels
involved in the suit, declined to settle, and Judge Rakoff's ruling.

http://www.globetechnology.com/archive/gam/News/20000907/UMMP3N.html

In an order dated July 31, 2000, Judge Rakoff denied Universal's motion
to have the statutory damages in this case computed on a "per song"
rather than "per-CD" basis, lowering the total amount of infringed
works. That ruling is available at:
http://www.nylj.com/decisions/00/09/090700b8.htm



Judge rules against posting or linking to DeCSS
---------------------------------------------------------

New York District Judge Lewis Kaplan ruled that hacker publication
2600.com could not publish a software program dubbed DeCSS, which allows
DVD movies to be decoded and played on personal computers. Judge Kaplan
ruled that posting the code, or even just linking to direct downloads of
the program, violates copyright law.

Judge Kaplan rejected as baseless 2600's defense that computer code is
protected by the First Amendment as free speech. Judge Kaplan said that
code can be used as a political or artistic statement, but using it to
violate copyright law is illegal. 

The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) sued 2600 publisher
Eric Corley and several other site operators that posted the software or
its source code, contending that they were violating copyright law by
helping propagate an illegal program. 
The bar against hyperlinks is seen by many free speech advocates as
blocking of Web expression. Corley attorney said he would appeal to the
Supreme Court.
http://www.salon.com/tech/log/2000/08/18/decss_trial/index.html


As to the effect of the ruling, 2600 sites states correctly:

"Looking for a copy of DeCSS? 
The easiest way is to go to Disney's search engine and search for DeCSS.
They will then LINK you to thousands of sites, something we're no longer
allowed to do. It's possible we may not even be allowed to tell you
this!"
http://www.2600.com/



Courts sets date for Napster oral arguments
----------------------------------------------------

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals announced that a three-judge panel
will hear the Napster case between Oct. 2 and Oct. 6 in San Francisco.
The 9th Circuit temporarily halted a federal judge's July order shutting
down Napster. 

Various groups (such as The Consumer Electronics Association, which
represents 600 members including America Online, Apple Computer, Intel
and Microsoft) filed friend-of-the-court briefs urging the court to
allow Napster to continue its music-swapping service. 


* U.S. government opposes Napster *
The U.S. federal government, along with 20 entertainment industry groups
(including the MPAA), filed legal arguments against Napster, saying the
music-sharing service is not protected under copyright law, supporting a
ruling by U.S. District Judge Marilyn Patel.
The government amicus brief said that the Audio Home Recording Act
(AHRA) did not apply to the file-trading application. AHRA allows
consumers to make copies of music for personal use via manufactured
products such as portable music players. The government brief claims
AHRA applies only to non-commercial consumer use of digital audio
recording devices.


Napster supporting briefs:
http://www.napster.com/pressroom/legal.html

Department of Justice amicus brief:
http://www.politechbot.com/docs/napster-amicus.html

The Motion Picture Association of America brief
http://www.mpaa.org/press/Final_Napster_Amicus_Brief.htm




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###########################
3. Research Tip: Searching PDF
###########################

The regular Internet search engines (such as AltaVista, Google and
HotBot) index HTML and text files, and ignore files in other formats
such as the Portable Document Format (PDF) format. 

Adobe's PDF is the de facto standard for electronic document
distribution. PDF preserves all of the fonts, formatting, colors, and
graphics of any source document, regardless of the application and
platform used to create it. Anyone can view, print and navigate PDF
files exactly as intended by the author using the free Adobe Acrobat
Reader.

PDF's cross-platform and easy formatting make it ideal for distributing
and sharing papers and reports, and has become extremely popular as way
of distributing academic papers.

However, since the major search engines do not index the PDF files, the
content on these files is not accessible through regular searches, and
one could only reach it using a link from a regular indexed HTML file,
or by knowing the exact URL.

Now Adobe new PDF Search Engine makes these files accessible to online
researchers.

The PDF search engine includes summaries from more than a million PDF
documents
available online. Clicking the links on the search results page doesn't
automatically load
documents (which are many times very large). Instead, the researcher
will be shown the summary, and have the option to download the full PDF
document or view it online.

A short testing of the PDF search engine brought up 5,988 documents for
the search phrase "intellectual property", 71,638 for "international
law", and 30,013 results for "human rights".

A glance at the top results showed highly relevant results.

 The PDF Search Engine is located at:
http://searchpdf.adobe.com/


You can download the free Adobe Acrobat Reader at:
http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html




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########################
4. Cyberlaw resource review
########################

This week's resource is GigaLaw.com's Discussion List at
http://www.gigalaw.com/discuss

Gigalaw, which describes itself as a "Legal Information for Internet
Professionals" site, offers many services such as technology law
articles, news alerts, and more.

This week's recommendation is for the lively new technology law
discussion group, which is an email-based discussion forum for issues
relating to the Internet and the law. In the few weeks since the
discussion group started, there have been many interesting discussions
on topics such as Napster, Carnivore, deep linking, online copyrights,
domain names and more.

To subscribe visit http://www.gigalaw.com/discuss or send a blank email
to subscribe-gigalaw-discuss@lists.gigalaw.com


I want to thank L. D. Misek-Falkoff for recommending this resource.


If you would like to recommend an Internet legal resource, please send
the details to mailto:editor@mishpat.net Full credit is given to
contributors.
You can also recommend resources at the online bulletin board
http://mishpat.net/cgi-bin/bbs/UltraBoard.pl



#############################
5. Cyberlaw news and updates
#############################

Mishpat Cyberlaw Informer brings you the latest news about online and
computer law, with links to the full reports available on the web.


Top news
========

* Deep linking approved in Holland *
PCM, publisher of most of the Dutch national dailies, failed to prevent
Kranten.com, an online news service, from providing direct links to
articles on newspapers' websites. PCM claimed this bypassed the main
home page of its titles, which were the most lucrative for advertising
revenue. However, a Rotterdam court found that PCM could just as easily
place advertisements next to individual news items, and that external
links only brought it extra traffic.
http://search.ft.com/search/multi/globalarchive.jsp?docId=000823000356


* Suspect arrested in Emulex stock hoax *
U.S. law enforcement authorities arrested Mark Simeon Jakob, a
23-year-old Southern California student, suspected of stock manipulation
of technology company Emulex, which saw its stock plunge more than 50
percent as investors reacted to a fake news announcement. Emulex stock
lost about $2.5 billion in value before the hoax was discovered. The
fake announcement indicated Emulex would restate its earnings - revising
its profits lower - and said the company's chief executive would resign.
The information turned out to be false.
Jakob was a former worker at Internet Wire, the news service that
distributed the fake press release. He allegedly posted the false news
on the business earnings, technology hardware and disclosure wires.
Authorities allege that Jakob made nearly $250,000 from short sales he
made in conjunction with the press release posting. Jakob was released
on bail.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A58154-2000Aug31.html

A Florida investor filed a lawsuit, seeking class action status against
Internet Wire and Bloomberg over the false press release that led to a
nosedive in the Emulex shares. The suit accuses the two news
organizations of recklessly disseminating materially false and
misleading information.
http://www.mercurycenter.com/svtech/news/breaking/merc/docs/019113.htm


* Canadian anonymous poster will not stay anonymous *
Ontario (Canada) Superior Court of Justice Judge John C. Wilkins ordered
ISP iPRIMUS to reveal the identity of a former subscriber to Irwin Toy,
Canada's largest toy maker, which filed a defamation suit against the
anonymous sender of an email circulated to dozens of people last month.
Judge Wilkins' ruling established a test according to which plaintiffs
must provide enough evidence to convince a court they have a legitimate
claim before unmasking anonymous authors.
http://www.nationalpost.com/home/story.html?f=/stories/20000909/394854.html


* Yahoo poster privacy lawsuit withdrawn *
An Ohio man, who was fired after being identified as the author who
posted criticism of his superiors at AnswerThink on a Yahoo message
board, withdrew his lawsuit against Yahoo. The suit claimed Yahoo should
have done more to protect his identity, or at least notify him that
AnswerThink was seeking the information. 
Prior to the suit, Yahoo's policy had been that it would disclose
information about its users in response to civil subpoenas. After the
suit was filed, Yahoo changed its rules. Now, it will notify users when
their identities are sought by a third party, and give them 15 days to
take legal action. 
http://www.digitalmass.com/news/daily/08/28/sector_report.html


* California Microsoft class action goes ahead *
San Francisco Superior Court Judge Stuart R. Pollak allowed a
class-action suit to proceed against Microsoft on allegations that the
software giant's monopoly harmed California consumers. The decision
makes this the first such class-action case against Microsoft to go to
trial. Courts in Hawaii, Iowa, Kentucky, Nevada, Oregon, Rhode Island
and Texas dismissed similar class-action lawsuits.
http://news.cnet.com/news/0-1003-200-2647370.html


* Microsoft to pay $1 million in damages *
U.S. District Judge Janet C. Hall found that Microsoft engaged in
"reckless and deceptive" business practices against Bristol Technology,
a Connecticut software maker. Judge Hall ordered the software giant to
pay punitive damages of $1 million to Bristol after a federal jury found
Microsoft had violated Connecticut's unfair-trade practices act. 
http://www.newsbytes.com/pubNews/00/154571.html



Intellectual Property
===============

* Microsoft prices drop in Germany after unbundling ruling *
Microsoft Germany slashed Windows prices by 20-30% after (as reported
here a couple of month ago) a German appeal court ruled that Microsoft
did not have the right to stop dealers selling on software that the
company intended should only ship with a new PC. The ruling created a
secondary market for Microsoft software in Germany, and the company is
now attempting to adjust to this. 
http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/1/12985.html


* EMI sues over rights to cellphone rings *
Music publishing company EMI is suing Global Music One, which owns
YourMobile.com, a site that allows cellular users to customize cellular
phone rings with melodies of popular songs. The suit alleges that more
than 300 EMI tunes appeared on the site without permission. Global Music
denied the allegations and said no EMI songs were currently offered on
the site. Global already signed licenses with some of the largest music
labels.
http://www.thestandard.com/article/display/0,1151,17781,00.html


* Jury imposes $26.8 million on MySimon for trademark infringement *
An Indianapolis jury awarded the Simon Property Group damages of $26.8
million in a trademark infringement case against MySimon, the online
comparison-shopping site. According to MySimon, the judge presiding over
the case has not yet entered judgment on the jury's verdict, nor has he
ruled on Simon Property's request that MySimon relinquish its name. 
http://news.cnet.com/news/0-1005-200-2664173.html


* Singapore copyright case moves ahead *
The Singapore High Court ruled that a pending copyright infringement
case between Catcha.com and Pacific Internet Ltd. would go on trial by
year end. Last December regional Internet Service Provider PI filed a
writ of summons at the High Court claiming that Catcha.com used content
created by the ISP without consent. 
http://singapore.cnet.com/news/2000/08/22/20000822ak.html


* Micron and Hyundai sue Rambus over patents *
Memory-chip maker Micron Technology sued memory-designer Rambus,
resisting the company's efforts to collect royalties on popular PC
memory technologies. Micron accuses Rambus of enforcing patents that are
invalid. Toshiba and Hitachi previously agreed to pay royalties for
SDRAM and DDR chips to Rambus, which also has a lawsuit pending against
Siemens.
http://www.mercurycenter.com/svtech/news/breaking/reuters/docs/354796l.htm

Hyundai Electronics filed a U.S. Federal lawsuit against Rambus, seeking
to disprove Rambus' assertions that Hyundai Electronics is infringing on
its patents and must pay royalties for the use of its technology. 
http://www.mercurycenter.com/svtech/news/breaking/merc/docs/008133.htm


* Intel sues Broadcom over patents *
Intel sued Broadcom claiming Broadcom planned to build its business in
cable and high-speed networking products by violating Intel patents. The
lawsuit stems from an earlier Intel case that accused Broadcom of
misappropriating trade secrets. Intel won a restraining order
prohibiting Broadcom from "disclosing, using or acquiring" Intel's trade
secrets.
http://news.cnet.com/news/0-1003-200-2651431.html


* Apple identifies online leakage *
Apple amended its lawsuit to name a company worker as the "Doe 1"
accused in court documents of posting confidential details on
unannounced Apple products online using the pseudonym "worker bee".
http://news.cnet.com/news/0-1003-200-2637759.html


* RealNetworks and Streambox settle copyright suit *
RealNetworks and Streambox settled a copyright suit in which Real, the
streaming media giant, accused Streambox of producing software products
that could record and redistribute video and audio in Real's formats,
and change such files into MP3 or Windows Media formats. Under the
settlement Streambox agreed to develop its future products with Real's
development tools and its copyright protections.

http://www.techserver.com/noframes/story/0,2294,500248873-500370682-502217610-0,00.html


* Geoworks counter-sues Phone.com *
Geoworks, a mobile service provider counter-sued Phone.com, alleging
Phone.com's Internet-enabled phone microbrowsers contain a Geoworks'
technology. In April Phone.com filed a suit challenging the validity of
Geoworks' patent.
http://www.wired.com/news/business/0,1367,38715,00.html


* Yahoo and RIAA agree on music webcasts *
The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and Yahoo announced
an agreement setting terms for music broadcast across Yahoo's websites.
The pact between the RIAA and Yahoo sets terms and conditions for music
performances made under the statutory license provided under the Digital
Millennium Copyright Act. The pact does not include downloadable music.
http://news.cnet.com/news/0-1005-200-2712979.html



Domain names
===========

* NSI class action - take three *
William Bode filed his third class action alleging that Network
Solutions Inc. (NSI) over charged domain registrants some $800 million.
In one of Bode's previous suits a judge ruled that $30 of the then $100
registration fee was an unconstitutional tax.
In his new suit Bode says NSI is only authorized to charge its costs for
the service. While NSI charges $70 to register a domain for two years,
the complaint alleges it actually costs the company about $1 to do the
work. Network Solutions is asking that Bode's case be dismissed, as its
1995 agreement with the National Science Foundation eliminated a clause
that prohibited charging citizens more than the costs of registration. 
http://www.law.com/cgi-bin/nwlink.cgi?ACG=ZZZHIQC0VCC


* China issues domain registration rules *
The Chinese State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) issued
regulations on the registration of domain names that went into force on
Sept. 1 2000. Under the new rules, each site is allowed to register no
more than three names, no unit or individual can use already-registered
names on their own site. 
http://www.chinaonline.com/topstories/000907/1/C00082812.asp


* Foreign language domains *
ICANN does not oppose Network Solutions' (NSI) plan to internationalize
the Internet's addressing system by implementing non-English language
character sets in domain names. NSI announced that it would open a "test
bed" period for other Internet registrars to begin registering names
using Japanese, Korean and Chinese characters. 
http://www.newsbytes.com/pubNews/00/154333.html


* companysuck.com might have a chance  *
In another set back for "cybergripers", people setting up protest sites
featuring company names with the suffix "sucks", an arbitrator awarded
five British companies the rights to domain names that suggest their
businesses suck. In this case the names were used in bad faith, as the
registrant tried to sell the names to the companies in question at a
profit. 
However, the arbitrator William Cornish, a Cambridge University law
professor, added that "Those who have genuine grievances against others
or wish to express criticisms of them ... must be at liberty ... to
express their views ... If today they use a Web site or an e-mail
address for the purpose, they are entitled to select a domain name which
leads others easily to them, if the name is still available."
http://www.globetechnology.com/archive/gam/News/20000819/RGRIP.html


* EasyJet airline losses domain arbitration * 
EasyJet, a British budget airline, lost its case for the rights to
easy-jet.com to a Briton selling refills for printer cartridges. A WIPO
arbitrator said EasyJet had failed to prove that the holder of the site
was using it in bad faith or had no legitimate interest in it.
http://arbiter.wipo.int/domains/decisions/html/d2000-0465.html


* Yahoo wins 40 domain names *
A WIPO arbitrator ordered that cybersquatters give up 40 domains
containing the names of Yahoo or GeoCities (owned by Yahoo). A Uruguay
resident must give up names such as yahooemail.net and yahoofree.com.
U.S. based companies were ordered to hand over 36 domains such as
ayhoo.com, chatyahoo.com and geosities.com.
http://www.mercurycenter.com/svtech/news/breaking/merc/docs/048382.htm


* California passes anti-cybersquatting law *
California Gov. Gray Davis signed legislation making certain "bad faith"
domain name registrations illegal. The California legislation differs in
one significant way from both the U.S. federal cybersquatting law and
ICANN's Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP). The California law
applies to individual names, not only to trademarks.
http://www.newsbytes.com/pubNews/00/154103.html



Cyber crime
=========

* Online extortionist arrested *
Michael Pitelis, 39, was arrested on charges that he attempted to extort
more than $1 million from Parametric Technology, a company that makes
computer-aided design software, by threatening to post keys that would
enable anyone to use the software without first paying for it. Pitelis
allegedly sent emails to executives Parametric requesting the money and
insinuating that someone inside the company was involved. FBI agents
traced the emails to a public library computer, which they found Pitelis
using.
http://www.thestandard.com/article/display/0,1151,17937,00.html


* Three arrested in London for online "bank robbery" *
British Police arrested three men in their London homes for attempted
robberies of Internet banks, including well-known Egg Plc., one of the
UK's largest online banks with about 1.1 million customers. Egg said it
developed software that directly led to the arrests. Egg also said its
security systems were never breached and that no money was stolen. But
police insisted Egg had lost money and said it amounted a small sum, in
the thousands of pounds. 
http://www.mercurycenter.com/svtech/news/breaking/internet/docs/334811l.htm


* Porn credit scam *
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the New York attorney
general sued Playgirl.com and other adult content sites owned by
Crescent Publishing Group, for allegedly billing consumers for services
that were offered as free. Consumers were charged for browsing
pornographic pages or taking online tours that were advertised as free.
Consumers had to provide credit card information as proof that they were
at least 18 years old. Plaintiffs asked the court to halt illegal
billing practices and freeze the assets of the owners of Crescent.
http://www.wired.com/news/business/0,1367,38396,00.html


* Western Union hacked *
Western Union Holdings' Internet-based, money-transfer site was hacked,
and hackers gained access to customers' credit and debit-card
information. The breach was due to human error, as employees doing
maintenance work left parts of the site unprotected. 
http://www.computerworld.com/cwi/story/0,1199,NAV47_STO49970,00.html



Securities
========

* Titan sues anonymous short sellers *
Titan Corp. filed a lawsuit attempting to prevent short-sellers from
using anonymous Internet messages to drive down its stock price. Titan
claims a scheme employing anonymous messages on Internet bulletin boards
drove the price of its stock down to $21 a share on Aug. 22 from a price
of $44.75 on May 1. The company said its own investigation identified
about three dozen cover names used to spread the false information over
the Internet. 
http://www.newsbytes.com/pubNews/00/154466.html


* British sites ordered to remove stock tips *
The British Financial Services Authority (FSA) told Sharepages.com and
Digitallook.com that they are not permitted to reprint the share tip
information because they are not registered financial advisers - even
though newspapers do not have to abide by the same rule themselves.
Digital Look said it would now only publish the name of the stocks
tipped and provide a link to the relevant newspaper website.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/story/0,3604,357052,00.html


* SEC stops fraudulent pyramid scheme *
The U.S. Security and Exchange Commission filed suit to stop a
fraudulent pyramid scheme that bilked some 2,000 investors of $5.6
million. A U.S. District in Dallas froze the assets of the defendants.
http://news.cnet.com/news/0-1005-200-2645890.html


* Virtual gallery stock scam *
Russell Rapoport, 26, and brothers Edward Landenbaum, 28, and Igor
Landenbaum, 38, were charged in Manhattan federal court with conspiring
to commit securities fraud, mail and wire fraud. The three were involved
in a scheme to fraudulently sell $5.5 million worth of securities in an
allegedly fake online virtual art gallery and jewelry mall.
http://news.cnet.com/news/0-1007-200-2539201.html


* 33 accused of pump-and-dump online stock scams *
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission accused 33 companies and
individuals of fraudulently using the Internet to make more than $10
million in illegal profits by driving up the prices of more than 70
small stocks. 
http://www.nytimes.com/2000/09/07/technology/07NET.html



Privacy 
======

* Russia security service gets total Internet access *
Under a new law going into effect this month, Russia's intelligence
agency, the Federal Security Service (FSB) will be allowed to snoop on
all Internet traffic and eavesdrop on cellular telephone and pager
communications without the user's consent or knowledge. The amended
directives require all Russian ISPs to equip their networks with an FSB
monitor and connect them with a high-speed fiber-optic link to FSB
headquarters. 
http://www.mercurycenter.com/svtech/news/breaking/merc/docs/043446.htm


* Japanese wiretapping law takes effect *
The new Japanese Communications Interception Law grants the police the
right to eavesdrop on telephone calls and fax messages and access email
accounts in the course of their investigations into serious crimes
involving drugs, weapons, organized group illegal entry into Japan and
organized murders.
The law requests that a representative from the telecommunications
operator or Internet service provider be present all the time during the
wiretap. The monitor cannot hear or read the communications being
intercepted and cannot stop the wiretap if the law is broken, but is
required to submit a report to the court.
http://www.thestandard.com/article/display/0,1151,17697,00.html


* FCC ordered to revise cell phone wiretap rules *
A U.S. federal appeals court ordered the Federal Communications
Commission (FCC) to revise rules that let U.S. law enforcement trace
wireless telephone calls because they failed to take privacy or cost
into consideration. 
The court upheld provisions that require telephone carriers to give law
enforcement the location of the antenna that transmits a cellular
telephone call and the actual contents of digital messages. But the
court warned that law enforcement officials must obtain a wiretap
warrant from a judge to obtain the contents of any call. 
Full text of the ruling:
http://pacer.cadc.uscourts.gov/common/opinions/200008/99-1442a.txt


* Judge rejects FTC - Toysmart agreement *
Judge Carol Kenner of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Boston rejected the
Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) agreement with Toysmart.com which
included restrictions on the sale of a list of personal information on
190,000 customers. The company gathered the data while promising to keep
it in confidence. Judge Kenner, however, did not preclude a sale of the
data, but said that until a buyer is determined, and until that buyer
specifies how it will use and protect the information, the terms of the
agreement are premature.
http://news.cnet.com/news/0-1007-200-2549755.html


* Monitoring company sued over privacy concerns *
Jim Darby filed suit against Pharmatrak, that monitors what information
consumers look at on large drug makers' sites, thus invading users'
privacy.
http://www.digitalmass.com/news/daily/08/18/net_privacy.html


* Carnivore - all in the name? *
U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno said that the FBI will change
Carnivore's name as part of an effort to polish the image of the FBI's
controversial email monitoring system. Meanwhile, the independent review
of Carnivore is moving ahead slowly.
http://www.zdnet.com/zdnn/stories/news/0,4586,2626167,00.html



Online Speech
===========

* ACLU to defend pedophile site *
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is defending the North
American Man/Boy Love Association (NAMBLA) site. The site, which
advocates lowering the legal age of sexual consent, does it include any
pornographic materials. ACLU claims the materials are protected under
the First Amendment. NAMBLA took down the site in response to a lawsuit
filed by the family of Massachusetts murder victim, alleging the NAMBLA
site incited the boy's murderers to attack. 
http://www.wired.com/news/politics/0,1283,38540,00.html



Spam
=====

* No spam legislation in Britain *
The British government canceled plans to ban spam and opted for a system
of industry self regulation. 
http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/1/13065.html


* Microsoft, Juno and BellSouth settled Harris lawsuit *
Microsoft settled a lawsuit filed against it by Harris Interactive Inc.,
alleging Microsoft's Hotmail email service blocked email surveys sent
out by Harris. Microsoft agreed to stop blocking the surveys.
http://www.mercurycenter.com/svtech/news/breaking/merc/docs/069823.htm

Juno Online Services and BellSouth also stopped blocking email from
Harris, handing the online pollster another victory in its battle with
the influential spam monitoring service Mail Abuse Prevention System
(MAPS).
Although the Harris lawsuit listed dozens of ISPs, its real target was
the "black hole" list published by MAPS. The list is read by hundreds of
different companies, many of which automatically block e-mail from
anyone on the list.
http://www.zdnet.com/zdnn/stories/news/0,4586,2626039,00.html



eCommerce 
=========

* Auto B2B site gets FTC approval *
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission approved without condition Covisint,
an online marketplace for automakers and suppliers, however, the FTC
plans to closely monitor it. Covisint is still under review by Germany's
antitrust regulatory agency. Regulators initially feared that the major
auto manufacturers would use the exchange to dictate which pricing
models and purchasing practices suppliers must use. 
http://www.computerworld.com/cwi/story/0,1199,NAV47_STO49972,00.html


* California passes online sales tax law *
The California legislature passed a bill requiring any Internet retailer
that maintains a physical presence in California to charge California
residents sales tax on all applicable Internet purchases. Although
California law already requires companies located within the state to
tax all purchases made within state borders, some companies like Borders
and Barnes & Noble attempted to skirt those rules by basing their
Internet subsidiaries outside the state
http://www.thestandard.com/article/display/0,1151,18144,00.html


* New Zealand online advertising subject to offline rules *
The New Zealand Commerce Commission said that online advertising is
subject to the same rules as offline advertising, making companies
responsible for weeding out any outdated material on their online
shop-fronts. Michael Hill Jeweler Ltd., was fined NZ$1,000 by the
Whanagrei District Court for misleading advertising. The company
advertised Cartier watches on its site 20 days out-of-date.
http://www.newsbytes.com/pubNews/00/154838.html


* Kozmo.com claims victory in race delivery zones suit *
A federal judge dismissed a racial-discrimination lawsuit alleging that
Kozmo.com, the largest rapid-delivery service for items ordered on the
Internet, refused to make deliveries to predominantly black
neighborhoods. 
http://www.nytimes.com/library/tech/00/09/biztech/articles/02kozmodotcom.html

Days after the federal court dismissed the suit the plaintiffs are now
preparing to file a similar suit at the state court level. 
http://news.cnet.com/news/0-1007-200-2704242.html



Jurisdiction
=========

* Server does not create jurisdiction *
U.S. District Judge Nicholas Politan ruled that a California-based
company's maintenance of a site on a server in New Jersey was not by
itself sufficient to subject the company to suit in New Jersey.
http://www.law.com/cgi-bin/nwlink.cgi?ACG=ZZZCVGQMGCC



Regulation
========

* Indonesia reopens to Internet investments * 
Indonesia took the Internet off its list of industries closed to foreign
investments and opened telecommunications to foreign investments
provided they are with a local partner. 
http://www.wired.com/news/politics/0,1283,38325,00.html



Misc.
=====

* Time for statute of limitations starts when first posted *
New York Southern District Judge Michael B. Mukasey ruled that web sites
are entitled to the benefit the single publication rule, designed to
insure that the New York's one-year statute of limitations starts to run
from the date an article is first published.
http://www.law.com/cgi-bin/nwlink.cgi?ACG=ZZZP3MQJCCC


* New York wine suit moves ahead *
U.S. District Judge Richard Berman ruled that a lawsuit challenging New
York's Direct Shipment and Advertising Ban, a law decades old, can go
ahead since technological advancements facilitate commerce between
states, and the Internet is increasingly responsible for direct sale and
shipment of goods to consumers.
http://www.ij.org/PDF_folder/ny_winecase/wine_decision1.pdf


* Email squatting *
Nameplanet.com a service providing free personal email addresses made up
of first and last names, using domain names made out of popular family
names, is threatening legal action against a person who registered email
addresses for several famous Dutch people and tried to sell them on a
Dutch auction site.
http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/1/13049.html


* eBay halts voting auction *
eBay halted at least four auctions by people trying to sell their votes
in the upcoming U.S. presidential election.  One of the messages stated
"Why should the American Citizen be left out? Congressmen and Senators
regularly sell THEIR votes to the highest bidder!"... 
http://news.cnet.com/news/0-1007-200-2549827.html



That is all for this time,
Yedidya (Didi) M. Melchior 
Editor 


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