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cyberlaw informer #67


Welcome to the 67th issue of the Mishpat Cyberlaw Informer - Law on the Internet newsletter from http://mishpat.net

 

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In this issue:

1. Introduction

2. Unconventional Wisdom On Internet Legal Research

3. The Cyberlaw Reader

4. Computer & Internet Law News and Updates

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1. Introduction

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I would like to welcome the many new subscribers who joined the Cyberlaw Informer since the previous issue.

This issue's feature article is guest article by Dale H. Tincher, provided by the TechnoLawyer community at http://www.technolawyer.com. The article discusses the Internet's role in legal research.

If you would like your Internet and law articles published in the Cyberlaw Informer please send them to me.

As usual you will find the recommended cyberlaw reader, and a very detailed cyberlaw news summary and at the end of this newsletter.

Work.com, that was featured in the Cyberlaw Informer as a recommended resource just a couple of months ago, announced that it will cease operations March 31. Work.com, owned by two large corporations - Dow Jones & Co. and Excite@Home Corp. - cited challenges of securing further funding as reasons for closing down.

While the Cyberlaw Informer is also looking to "secure further funding" (and we will discuss some ideas in the next issue) it is here to stay, which comes to show that corporate backing is not the key to success :-)

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 1-63) is located at: http://mishpat.net/cyberlaw/archive

 

You can recommend resources and discuss various cyberlaw topics at the message boards http://mishpat.net/cgi-bin/bbs/UltraBoard.pl Please note that there is no need to register in order to post messages, but signing up will allow you to use features such as auto-notification of replies to your posts.

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

Please note this issues feature article is provided by the TechnoLawyer community, so if you wish to re-publish it please contact Amy Phillips aphillips@peerviews.com

 

 

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2. TechnoLawyer.com: Unconventional Wisdom On Internet Legal Research

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By: Dale H. Tincher

From The TechnoLawyer http://www.TechnoLawyer.com



INTRODUCTION
We all know that the Internet is here to stay, but we don't yet know what role it will play in legal research. More importantly, many legal professionals don't know what role, if any, it currently plays. In this article, I will attempt to answer both of these questions, beginning with the latter and ending with the former. Of course, analyzing the Internet is a dangerous business given its rapid rate of change. This explains why my analysis consists of unconventional wisdom. After all, would conventional wisdom have predicted that "Yahoo" would become the most well-known brand name on the Internet?



THE INTERNET'S CURRENT ROLE IN LEGAL RESEARCH

Before getting underway, I may as well dispense with the conventional wisdom about the current state of Internet legal research:


-- The Internet cannot yet replace traditional tools such as Lexis-Nexis and Westlaw in terms of its depth, reliability, and convenience. Instead, the Internet currently serves as a supplement to traditional sources of legal research.


-- The legal profession will not flock to the Internet for legal research tool until broadband access becomes widely available and no more expensive than plain old telephone service (POTS).


This conventional wisdom (often preached at legal research seminars) may have merit, but its amorphous nature strikes me as hollow. Legal professionals don't really care about auspicious pronouncements concerning Internet legal research; instead, they just want to know what role, if any, it can play in their practice. My unconventional wisdom suggests that legal professionals can use the Internet as a legal research tool in three ways: (1) to obtain factual information; (2) to learn from peers; and (3) to obtain recent public documents. I discuss each of these areas below.



FACTUAL INFORMATION

The Internet abounds with news and factual information, the sheer variety of which dwarfs that which exists on proprietary services such as Dialog and Nexis. And accounts of resourceful attorneys who make use of these resources to demolish an adversary's argument Perry Mason style have become rife. For example, a Singapore lawyer by the name of Wong Siew Hong used medical information gleaned from Internet newsgroups and various Web sites to reduce his client's conviction from murder to manslaughter. Mr. Wong proved that his client engaged in violence as a result of a rare illness called Darrier's Disease.


A plethora of Web sites dispense valuable factual information free of charge. I could not possibly list all of them or even my favorites here, but I can give you some sense of the breadth of material with a few hypotheticals.


-- A man dies. His estate owns several bonds. Thanks to poor or nonexistent planning, his estate proceeds through probate. As estate's probate attorney you must obtain historical pricing for the bonds. You have two choices -- write a letter to the Federal Reserve Bank and grow a few gray hairs waiting for a response or use the Federal Reserve Bank's Web site to price the bonds on any date in a matter of seconds.

-- A man loses a few fingers in a lawnmower. As it turns out, a surprisingly large number of people have lost fingers using the same make and model lawnmower. You file a class action product liability lawsuit. The manufacturer files for bankruptcy protection the day after you win a judgment for $80 million. The manufacturer's most intriguing assets are its insurance policies. You decide to sue the manufacturer's insurer using a third-party beneficiary theory -- a risky but worthwhile gambit. You deem it wise to bone up on the insurance industry. You have two options -- you can buy and read print publications or you can read PropertyAndCasualty.Com <http://www.propertyandcasualty.com> on the Web free of charge. Before you know it, you can talk actuarial tables with the best of them. Eventually, you settle with the insurance company for $12 million of which your firm receives $4 million -- not bad considering your weak legal position.


-- A corporation wants to acquire a public company. The CEO asks you, the general counsel, to conduct some due diligence on the QT before alerting its outside counsel and investment bankers. You use your Web browser to surf over to the SEC's Edgar database <http://www.sec.gov/edgarhp.htm>to obtain all of the target's company's SEC filings for the past few years. Just as you're about to enter a search, you remember that your department recently purchased a LIVEDGAR <http://www.livedgar.com/> subscription so you click your way over to that site instead. (Both sites offer the same information, but you get what you pay for -- LIVEDGAR has a few bells and whistles that the free government site lacks.) You also visit the target company's Web site (duh) and print its recent press releases. You then run a number of searches in Northern Light, a search engine that still looks and works like a search engine -- as opposed to all those "portals." By the time you're finished, you've ama considerabamount of data, much of which you could not have found on Nexis.


Sadly, factual research on the Web suffers from a major flaw -- finding all the great information out there has become increasingly difficult. As we noted in the last hypothetical, many of the original search engines now call themselves "portals." As such, they have morphed from technology companies into media companies. According to Ziff-Davis' AnchorDesk, many of these companies no longer make significant investments in search technology. Even worse, some of these portals now sell search result placement to the highest bidder. Before you know it, every search query will produce only one hit -- Microsoft! But seriously, most Internet users will eventually be able to tell which portals have sold out and which ones have remained true to their original mission.


PEER LEARNING

Many legal professionals use search engines as a last resort, preferring instead to learn about useful factual information on the Internet from their peers on Internet discussion mailing list. Hundreds, if not thousands, of legal-oriented discussion lists exist on every imaginable subject. As a member of a typical mailing list, you will receive e-mail messages from your peers on a daily basis, many of which will contain valuable information. For example, if you join a list on corporate tax, you'll probably be among the first to know about the latest tax legislation and where to find it on the Internet. Clever lawyers have discovered that mailing lists can help them avoid wasting time when performing research. In addition, mailing lists represent the most painless and cost-effective way to network with other legal professionals. Naturally, you can't join hundreds of mailing lists. You should pick and choose carefully. The following Web sites contain listings of many legal-oriented mailing lists:


-- ABA Discussion Groups <http://www.abanet.org/>

-- Law Lists Info <http://www.lib.uchicago.edu/~llou/lawlists/info.html>

-- LegalMinds <http://www.legalminds.com/>

-- Washburn's Legal Community Lists <http://www.washlaw.edu/>


While some mailing lists can serve as helpful and even essential research tools, many of them will not because they suffer from poor management or apathetic subscribers or both. If you cannot find a suitable mailing list on a given subject and you've always fancied yourself as a Master of Ceremonies, you could always start your own mailing list. Finally, to read a primer on mailing lists, see <http://www.llrx.com/features/mailing.htm> and <http://www.csalt.on.ca/review/dunnmlglst.html>.


If you would rather not join any mailing lists, you can still take advantage of the many publicly available and searchable mailing list archives on the Web. In fact, you can use these archives as a secondary source when conducting research. I've heard stories about jurors who have been disqualified after mailing list archive searches revealed conflicting affiliations, interests, and statements. In addition to searching mailing list archives on the Web, you can also search Newsgroup archives. The following Web sites will help get you started:


-- eGroups (Mailing Lists) <http://www.egroups.com>

-- Topica (Mailing Lists) <http://www.topica.com>

-- Deja (Newsgroups) <http://www.dejan.com>

-- Dogpile (Newsgroups) <http://www.dogpile.com>


RECENT PUBLIC DOCUMENTS

The Starr Report. Although people could eventually find this very famous public document in newspapers and bookstores, only those with Internet access were able to read it on its day of release. These days, just about every public document released by institutions at the highest levels of government -- state and federal appellate courts, executive agencies, and Congress -- becomes available on the Internet before it becomes available in traditional sources. Those of us who use the Internet knew about the verdict in the Microsoft antitrust trial before the evening news informed the rest of America. Similarly, those of us with Internet access read the trial court's opinion in the Louise Woodward (au pair) case at the very same time journalists were doing so.


By using the Internet rather than Lexis or Westlaw to find recent public documents, a typical law firm can save clients thousands of dollars each year. However, if your firm still operates under the time-billing model, these savings can quickly evaporate if the Internet searches its lawyers conduct take longer than the equivalent Lexis or Westlaw searches. The best way to reduce the amount of time it takes to find public documents on the Internet is to build an intranet and have one of the firm's librarians constantly update and add to an internal index of links to Web sites that contain important public documents.


Sabrina Pacifici, Director of Research at Sidley & Austin in Washington DC and Publisher of the legal research Webzine LLRX, designed and implemented such an intranet on a very modest budget. According to Ms. Pacifici, her intranet "instantly became an integral part of the attorney desktop for research [by providing among other things] direct access to a wide variety of commercial Web subscription services and hundreds of annotated, practice-specific Web links." She noted further that "intranets allow research professionals to proactively assist lawyers before, rather than after, they've wasted time attempting to locate information on the Web."


The next best solution after a customized intranet consists of locating and bookmarking the best of the many legal link directories on the Web. These directories contain links to all the most important legal resources on the Web. Many of them also feature robust public document collections of their own, most commonly Supreme Court opinions. Some of these sites are commercial and some are not, but virtually all of them are free. Of course, nothing in life is truly free. The commercial sites generate revenue from advertising or from selling other products and services, such as technology consulting. The noncommercial sites typically exist to satisfy the urges of would-be publishers who somehow ended up practicing law instead. Below, I have listed my favorite legal link sites:


-- American Law Sources On-Line <http://www.lawsource.com/also>

-- FindLaw <http://www.findlaw.com>

-- Hieros Gamos <http://www.hg.org>

-- Katsuey's Legal Links <http://www.katsuey.com>

-- LLRX <http://www.llrx.com>

-- Rominger Legal <http://www.romingerlegal.com>

-- The Virtual Chase <http://www.virtualchase.com>


As with everything I've touted in this article, I must temper my enthusiasm with a caveat -- the public documents available on the Internet do not always possess the same degree of reliability as their traditional counterparts. Many of the courts and agencies that release these documents do not have the resources to match the quality control of services such as Lexis and Westlaw. In addition, collections of public documents on the Internet are often limited to the "Information Age" -- 1993 or so to the present (one notable exception being Supreme Court opinions). By contrast, the collections of case law and statutes on Lexis and Westlaw stretch back for more than 100 years in some instances. Suffice it to say that only a masochist, willing to lay their license to practice law on the line, would rely exclusively on Internet research.


That said, the Internet can save time and money. And a number of start-up companies, such as and VersuLaw, have begun building reliabledatabases of public documents (mostly case and statutory law) on the Internet. These services, unlike the existing legal links sites, charge a fee. But legal professionals have grown accustomed to paying for information so these companies may very well survive and prosper.


CONCLUSION
Some revolutions begin and end within a matter of days. Others move more gradually, changing the world so subtly that no one seems to notice. The legal profession is currently in the midst of the latter type of revolution. This legal research revolution began with Lexis-Nexis in the 1970s, reached adolescence in the early 1990s with legal research CD-ROMs, and is now approaching early adulthood thanks to the Internet. The Internet will eventually replace reporters and treatises -- but only when the following mix of conditions exists:


-- Computer screens as legible, portable, and easy-to-use as paper.

-- Ubiquitous, inexpensive, and reliable broadband Internet access.

-- Sophisticated computer algorithms capable of interpreting natural language queries with a high degree of accuracy.

-- The changing of the managerial guard in law firms from those who grew up in the television age to those who grew up in the information age.


We live in exciting times. Although we won't be around when legal research on the Internet reaches maturity, I take solace in the fact that pioneers are the ones who typically stand out in the history books. In closing, just remember that no matter how easy it becomes to conduct legal research on the Internet, it still takes a human being to interpret the results (at least for the time being).

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dale Tincher is owner of Consultwebs.com, a Web design, Web consulting, and technology consulting company. Dale specializes in providing effective Web and technology solutions for the legal community. You can contact him via telephone (919-272-8052) or e-mail (dtincher@consultwebs.com).


ABOUT THE TECHNOLAWYER COMMUNITY

This article originated in The TechnoLawyer Community, a free online community in which legal professionals share information about business and technology issues, products, and services, often developing valuable business relationships in the process. To join The TechnoLawyer Community, visit the following Web site: <http://www.technolawyer.com>.

 

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3. The Cyberlaw Reader

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Each issue of the Cyberlaw Reader links to new articles related to cyberlaw and online legal research. Your recommendations are welcome, send suggestions to mailto:editor@mishpat.net

 

* Stomp the identity thieves *

By Kevin Mitnick

In this article, Kevin Mitnick, the world's most famous hacker, discusses identity theft and what could be done to solve the problem.

http://www.securityfocus.com/templates/article.html?id=166

 

* Model Criminal Code Chapter 4 - Damage and Computer Offences *

A Report prepared by the Australian Model Criminal Code Officers Committee discusses in length (almost 400 pages) numerous issues regarding cybercrime.

http://law.gov.au/publications/Model_Criminal_Code/DamageReport.pdf

I want to thank Cyberlaw Informer reader Matthew Goode for sending me the report.

 

* The Key Vanishes: Scientist Outlines Unbreakable Code *

By Gina Kolata, New York Times

This articles describes a process developed by a Harvard computer science professor at Harvard to create coded messages that cannot be deciphered even by unlimited computing power.

http://www.nytimes.com/2001/02/20/science/20CODE.html

 

 

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4. Cyberlaw news and updates

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

 

Top news

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* British Patent Office opposes business model patents *

The British Patent Office published a report concluding that patents should not be granted for business models or computer software that does not give rise to a 'technical effect'. The report strongly adopted the view that ways of doing business should remain unpatentable.

http://www.patent.gov.uk/about/consultations/conclusions.htm

 

* Florida court grants AOL immunity *

In a 4-3 decision, the Florida state Supreme Court ruled that the US Communications Decency Act gives AOL immunity from a lawsuit filed by a Florida woman, whose 11-year-old son appeared in a lewd videotape sold by one AOL user to another. The mother alleged AOL violated Florida criminal law by not knowing that one of its subscribers was a seller of child pornography and for not stopping him once complaints had been made. Writing for the majority, Chief Justice Charles Wells said the CDA preempts Florida law and makes Internet providers immune from such lawsuits. Full ruling:

http://www.flcourts.org/sct/sctdocs/ops/sc94355.pdf

 

* ISP not immune from trademark liability *

US District Court Judge Richard Berman ruled that the Communications Decency Act of 1996 does not immunize an Internet service provider from liability for trademark infringement associated with one of its customers. Service provider Mindspring cannot escape liability for direct and contributory trademark infringement in a case involving the Gucci mark if it continued to supply services to a customer the company knew or should have known is involved in trademark infringement. Gucci claims Mindspring was put on notice by two e-mails Gucci sent in 1999. Full ruling:

http://www.loundy.com/CASES/Gucci_v_Hall.html

 

* Australian cyberstalking jurisdiction ruling reversed *

The Supreme Court of Victoria, Australia ruled that the Australian courts have jurisdiction over a cyberstalking case.

Brian Andrew Sutcliffe of Melbourne, Australia, sent Canadian actress Sara Ballingall fan emails that later turned into threatening messages. The court of first instance dismissed the stalking claims, saying that although Sutcliffe lives in Australia it didn't have jurisdiction over the case because the effects of what he may have done were felt in Canada. The Supreme Court of Victoria reversed the decision, ruling that the stalking law would be rendered unworkable if it could not extend to conduct that was clearly stalking but that happened to cause harm overseas.

http://www.nationalpost.com/tech/eworld/story.html?f=/stories/20010306/492475.html

 

* Napster Injunction *

U.S. District Judge Marilyn Hall Patel issued a preliminary injunction against Napster requiring the service to remove any song protected by copyright within three business days of being notified by the copyright owner. The judge's order said Napster must remove a song once it has been identified by name, performing artist and the name of the file that is being used to trade it. Patel acknowledged that users may have several names for a single song and said that record companies and Napster share an obligation to "ascertain the actual ident(title and artist name) of the work and to take appropriate action. Full text of Napster preliminary injunction

http://news.cnet.com/news/0-1005-201-5040043-0.html

 

* Libraries not forced to install web filters *

A California state appeals court ruled that parents cannot force public libraries to limit Internet access to prevent children from viewing pornography. The legal challenge was filed on behalf of the parents of a 12-year-old boy who was able to download pornography at Livermore's main library.

Full ruling: http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/opinions/documents/A086349.PDF

 

* "You Have Mail" not trademarked *

The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled AOL does not have exclusive rights to the expression "You Have Mail" and to "IM" which is shorthand for instant message. However, the court ordered the lower court to reconsider AOL's trademark claim to the term "Buddy List" which refers to a list of people to whom users send instant messages. Full ruling:

http://pacer.ca4.uscourts.gov/opinion.pdf/992138.P.pdf

 

 

Intellectual Property

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* Intergraph wins Intel patent dispute *

A U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that Intel does not have rights to use some of Intergraph's clipper technology. Intergraph now plans to pursue royalty payments for Intel's use of the technology in Pentium products. Full ruling:

http://laws.lp.findlaw.com/fed/001048.html

 

* Sony and Connectix settle *

Ending one of the most important reverse engineering lawsuits, Sony Computer Entertainment and Connectix agreed to jointly develop emulation software for popular PlayStation games. Emulation products allow PlayStation software to run on other systems such as PCs.

http://news.cnet.com/news/0-1006-200-5151883.html

Read the Cyberlaw Informer article regarding the reverse engineering ruling at http://mishpat.net/cyberlaw/archive/informer45.shtml

 

* EMusic, Grammy sue Napster *

EMusic, which pays license fees to artists to sell their music on the Internet sued Napster claiming copyright infringement and unfair competition.

http://www.siliconvalley.com/docs/news/reuters_wire/933459l.htm

Producers of last month's Grammy Awards also filed suit against Napster for allowing its users to trade music files from the show.

http://www.siliconvalley.com/docs/hottopics/napster/062816.htm

 

* And EMusic sued by Zappa *

The widow of the late musician Frank Zappa sued EMusic, alleging EMusic distributed Zappa songs without licensing.

http://news.cnet.com/news/0-1005-200-5112971.html

 

* MP3.com faces more trouble *

MP3.com, , which has already paid an estimated $133 million to end its disputes with five major record labels regarding its MyMP3 service, lost another court battle when a US federal judge ruled it had made unauthorized copies of TeeVee Toons Inc.'s, an independent record label, songs.

MP3.com was also sued by one of its insurers seeking a ruling it had no duty to indemnify the online service for losses caused by copyright infringement claims.

http://www.wired.com/news/politics/0,1283,42241,00.html

 

* AOL lost German copyright appeal *

A German appeals court upheld a ruling against AOL that found AOL responsible when users swap bootleg music files on its service.

http://www.siliconvalley.com/docs/news/tech/008240.htm

 

* eBay and Bidder's Edge settle *

eBay and Bidder's Edge ended their legal dispute. Bidder's Edge paid eBay an undisclosed amount of money and will drop its appeal of an injunction that barred it from using an automated search system to comb eBay's listings. The settlement comes a week after Bidder's Edge shut down its site

http://news.cnet.com/news/0-1007-200-4997697.html

 

* Amazon trademark case dismissed on jurisdiction grounds *

A US federal judge dismissed a lawsuit filed by Seattle based Amazon.com against Von Eric Lerner Kalaydjian and his Los Angeles-based Amazon Cosmetics, saying that the state of Washington has no jurisdiction over Kalaydjian or Amazon Cosmetics.

http://news.cnet.com/news/0-1007-200-4954342.html

 

* New program to break DVD encryption *

Two MIT students published a seven-line program, which unscrambles the protection around a DVD, the shortest program to break DVD defenses to date.

http://www.wired.com/news/culture/0,1284,42259,00.html

 

* Chinese writer sues leading websites *

A Chinese writer sued more than a dozen sites, including Yahoo and Sohu.com, for allegedly republishing one of his articles without permission, attribution or compensation.

http://www.chinaonline.com/topstories/010227/1/C01022304.asp

 

* BBB v. linking *

The Better Business Bureau demanded that Bizmove.com remove a link to BBB's site, claiming the link might mislead consumers into assuming that BBB supports Bizmove. Experts agree that BBB's claim is unsupported.

http://www.siliconvalley.com/docs/news/tech/041049.htm

 

* Korean Napster look-alike *

The Korean recording industry recently accused Soribada, the Korean version of Napster, of copyright infringement.

http://www.nikkeibp.asiabiztech.com/wcs/leaf?CID=onair/asabt/news/124829

 

* New Zealand Napster users tracked *

Sony New Zealand is tracking Internet users who are downloading music from swapping services such as Napster.

http://www.stuff.co.nz/inl/index/0,1008,704324a10,FF.html

 

* Pirated software seized *

The Singapore Police Force has seized about 60,000 pirated software CDs worth about $720,000.

http://singapore.cnet.com/news/2001/02/28/20010228al.html

 

* Microsoft settles with New Zealand pirates *

Microsoft settled its complaints against five New Zealand computer dealers it found selling pirated software.

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/storydisplay.cfm?storyID=175671&thesection=technol

 

* NCR sues Palm and Handspring over patent *

NCR sued Palm Inc. and Handspring Inc., alleging their popular hand-held computers infringe on two NCR patents for a portable personal terminal. Handspring says the claim is without merit.

http://www.siliconvalley.com/docs/news/tech/029992.htm

 

 

Domain names

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* More domain rulings *

Canadian pop singer Celine Dion, Spanish soccer club Real Madrid, actress Julie Brown, General Electric and British airline EasyJet have all won their UDRP domain name claims. The two most troubling ruling are the Celine Dion and Julie Brown cases, which raise concerns about the fairness of WIPO arbitrations.

http://www.newsbytes.com/news/01/162487.html

http://news.excite.com/news/r/010223/12/net-tech-names-dc

 

* eBay threatens Australian business *

A small Australian business that owns the trading name EBay Pty Ltd. for more than 20 years has been threatened by the online auction house eBay to change its name or risk legal action.

http://www.smh.com.au/news/0102/28/text/bizcom3.html

 

* Nutella v. Gnutella *

The German unit of the Italian Ferrero corp., maker of popular nougat treat Nutella, forced the owners of the domains Gnutella.de and Newtella.de to stop using the names, from concerns that the mane of thNapster alternative, will damage the company image.

http://www.thestandard.net/article/display/0,1151,22499,00.html

 

* New.net offers new TLDs *

Idealab's New.net started selling domain names based on 20 new extensions, none of which directly conflict with current approved ICANN TLDs.

http://www.thestandard.com/article/display/0,1151,22643,00.html

 

* ICANN and Verisign agree on master list *

VeriSign Inc., which owns Network Solutions, the company that coordinates the world's master list of domain names, agreed to surrender control over .org during 2002 and .net in 2006 in exchange for keeping long-term rights to manage .com names.

http://public.wsj.com/sn/y/SB983413593429062903.html

 

* South Africa filed UDRP claim *

South Africa's government filed a UDRP claim for the domain southafrica.com, seeking to counter a pre-emptive suit filed in Manhattan by Virtual Countries Inc., a Seattle company that registered southafrica.com, as well as 30 other country names, and uses southafrica.com as a travel and business information site. Virtual Countries claims South Africa has been assigned the .za country TLD and a government has no right to a commercial .com domain.

http://www.nytimes.com/2001/03/03/technology/03DOMA.html

 

* Yahoo South African domain dispute *

Internet Strategies, a Core Holdings subsidiary that holds representation rights for Yahoo In South Africa, did not renew the registration for yahoo.co.za (.za is the South African country top level domain). The domain was registered by a non-profit organization known as Young Adults Helping Others Out (Yahoo). Interestingly, South African domain name authority Uniforum is also a subsidiary Core Holdings.

http://196.36.119.109/sections/internet/2001/0102271147.asp?A=%&O=F

I want to thank Cyberlaw Informer reader Ryk Meiring for sending me this story

 

* Warner backs of Potter domain claim *

Claire Field, 15, owner of harrypotterguide.co.uk, will maintain her domain after Warner Bros. agreed not to seek transfer of the domain name.

http://news.cnet.com/news/0-1005-200-5163735.html

 

* Registrant holds on to YourMove.com *

A WIPO arbitrator ruled that Scottish businessman Irving Remocker is entitled to use the domain yourmove.com. Insurance giant CGU has an insurance product called "Your move", but the arbitrator ruled that Remocker had a legitimate intention of using the domain for a chess site.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/6/17407.html

 

* Fry threatens alleged cybersquatter *

Fry's Electronics threatened to sue a man who posted the company's newspaper advertisements on his site, Frysad.com.

http://news.cnet.com/news/0-1007-200-4933120.html

 

* MicroStrategy accuses Motorola of cybersquatting *

MicroStrategy filed a trademark-infringement lawsuit against Motorola, claiming Motorola registered the domain IntelligenceEverywhere.com infringing MicroStrategy's trademarked slogan "Intelligence Everywhere". A US Court denied MicroStrategy's bid for a preliminary injunction.

http://www.newsbytes.com/news/01/162434.html

 

* New Registrars accredited *

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) accredited 18 additional companies, from the US, Canada, Korea, Australia, Germany, India, Philippines and Mexico, as domain name registrars, bringing the total number of registrars to 179.

http://www.icann.org/announcements/icann-pr06mar01.htm

 

 

Cyber Crime

===============

* Fakegifts.com are fake *

The operators of a Fakegifts.com pleaded guilty to trafficking in counterfeit goods.

http://www.newsbytes.com/news/01/162979.html

 

* Hacker will set up jail computers *

Hacker Dennis Moran, 18, known as Coolio, was sentenced to nine months behind bars and was ordered to help program the jail's computers. He was also ordered to pay each victim $5,000.

http://news.cnet.com/news/0-1003-200-5080727.html

 

* Actor Hacker sent to jail *

Chad Horton, 21, was sentenced to 180 days in jail, three years supervised probation, and was ordered to pay $92,111 in restitution. Horton hacked into Beverly Hills based Breakdown Services to steal lists of acting jobs.

http://www.newsbytes.com/news/01/162983.html

 

* Swiss Forum Computer Hacker Arrested *

A member of a group of hackers who broke into the computer system of the World Economic Forum was arrested in Berne, Switzerland.

http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/nm/20010223/tc/swiss_hacker_dc_1.html

 

* Swedish hacker removes Indiana student data *

An Indiana University computer was cracked and used as a storage site for a Swedish man's music and video files. A file containing the personal data of more than 3,000 students was removed to make more room for the cracker's collection.

http://www.wired.com/news/culture/0,1284,42063,00.html

 

* Confidential satellite data stolen *

A US government contractor acknowledged that hackers broke into a restricted federal computer system and stole the company's proprietary code for controlling satellite systems.

http://news.cnet.com/news/0-1003-200-5006606.html

 

* Teen NASA hacker *

A 15-year-old teenager has been charged with breaking into at least three NASA computer systems and altering their Websites.

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/national/AP-NASA-Hacker.html

 

* Men accused of auction fraud *

Three men were indicted for trying to sell a fake abstract painting for $135,805 on an eBay auction and for taking part in a bidding ring that cost hundreds of art buyers a total of $450,000.

http://www.nytimes.com/2001/03/09/technology/09AUCT.html

 

* Australian jailed for contraceptive sales *

Australian Justice BrianTamberlin ordered the arrest of Richard David Hughes for being in contempt of court, Tamberlin, a campaigner for zero population growth, sold contraceptives without prescriptions, an action which is illegal in Australia.

http://it.mycareer.com.au/breaking/20010309/A28076-2001Mar9.html

 

* Bibliofind hacked *

Amazon.com owned book service Bibliofind.com was subject to a hacker attack that compromised some 98,000 customer records and forced the company offline.

http://news.cnet.com/news/0-1007-200-5031805.html

 

 

Securities

========

* SEC settles with Tokyo Joe

The US Securities and Exchange Commission settled fraud charges against "Tokyo Joe", the pseudofor Yun Soo Oh Park who made more than $1 million selling stock picks on his site. Park didn't disclose that he purchased shares of stocks he recommended, and that he planned to sell them into the flurry of buying and price rise that followed his advice. Park and his company agreed to pay $750,000.

http://www.newsbytes.com/news/01/162910.html

 

* Convicted on count of fake press release *

A US federal jury convicted Fred Moldofsky, 44, on one count of securities fraud for posting a fake profit warning on the Internet that was designed to resemble a press release from Lucent Technologies and that sent Lucent's shares down by 3.6%.

http://www.thestandard.com/article/display/0,1151,22723,00.html

 

* SEC cracks down on scam *

Twelve people and 11 companies were accused of defrauding investors of $2.5 million in a crackdown on Internet investment scams by the SEC.

http://www.thestandard.net/article/display/0,1151,22563,00.html

 

* SEC settles stock pump case *

The SEC settled fraud allegations against Lloyd Wollmershauser accused of using the Internet to pump up the stock of Thermotek International Inc., a biotech company, and making windfall profits.

http://www.siliconvalley.com/docs/news/reuters_wire/933002l.htm

 

 

Privacy & Spam

===============

* AOL files brief in support with anonymous posters *

AOL Time Warner filed a brief in support of unmasking anonymous Internet posters. This is the first time that AOL has legally acted in favor of anonymous posters.

http://www.zdnet.com/zdnn/stories/news/0,4586,2692564,00.html

 

* Radiate settles spyware class action *

Radiate settled a class action lawsuit that accused it of creating spyware.

http://www.internetnews.com/bus-news/article/0,,3_701721,00.html

 

* WebMD and Quintiles end medical data dispute *

WebMD, citing patient privacy concerns, reduced the amount of data it sent to Quintiles Transnational, which repackages the data for sale to drug companies. Quintiles agreed to make patient information more anonymous.

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/business/AP-WebMD-Quintiles.html

 

* John Does stay anonymous *

A Los Angeles judge dismissed a lawsuit last that sought to collect damages from John Does who criticized the company anonymously on Internet message boards.

http://www.wired.com/news/politics/0,1283,42039,00.html

 

* E*Trade files sues anonymous poster *

E*Trade filed suit after postings on a Yahoo message board by someone posing as the company's CEO.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/6/17271.html

 

 

Online Speech

================

* Chinese teacher jailed for online anti-communist posting *

Chinese authorities jailed Jiang Shihua, an electronics teacher, for posting a note on an online bulleting board saying: "I just want to say: Down with the Communist Party".

http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/6/17557.html

 

* DOJ files to revive COPA *

The US Justice Department asked the Supreme Court to overturn a federal appeals court ruling that a law restricting minors' access to inappropriate material online was unconstitutional.

http://www.newsbytes.com/news/01/162531.html

 

 

E-commerce

===============

* Monster.com sues WOWemployers *

Monster.com a leading online recruiting service sued WOWemployers, a competing job site founded by Monster.com's former president, accusing WOW of raiding Monster's employees to obtain trade secrets and confidential information. WOW denies the allegations.

http://www.thestandard.net/article/display/0,1151,22698,00.html

 

* Compaq files recruitment suit *

Compaq filed a lawsuit against RLX Technologies, a start-up run by former Compaq executives, alleging that RLX violated Compaq's trade secrets by recruiting key Compaq executives.

http://news.cnet.com/news/0-1003-200-4933139.html

 

* Online pharmacy raided *

US authorities shut down an online pharmacy suspected of illegally selling large quantities of controlled drugs over the Internet.

http://www.siliconvalley.com/docs/news/tech/033215.htm

 

* Suit against Compaq dismissed *

A US federal judge dismissed a lawsuit accusing Compaq Computer of knowingly selling PCs with defective parts.

http://news.cnet.com/news/0-1006-200-5031172.html

 

 

Misc.

=====

* Rwanda tribunal want sites removed *

The United Nations tribunal for Rwanda appealed for US legal help to curb defamatory sites maintained for two men on trial for genocide.

http://news.cnet.com/news/0-1005-200-4977679.html

 

* Y2K lawsuit *

In a counter-lawsuit, Department 56 sued Arthur Andersen Worldwide for $6 billion, accusing it of botching a consulting project to help the firm install a new computer system and avoid possible Y2K problems.

http://www.siliconvalley.com/docs/news/tech/040390.htm

 

* Dude has zoning problems *

Tampa, Florida, officials briefly shut down Dude Dorm, an webcast featuring sometimes-nude men, for allegedly violating city regulations

http://www.siliconvalley.com/docs/news/reuters_wire/906089l.htm

 

* Customers sue @Home *

Subscribers to broadband service @Home sued the company alleging it misled people to sign up for the service.

http://it.mycareer.com.au/breaking/20010316/A29899-2001Mar16.html

 

* German armed forces ban Microsoft software *

The German foreign office and armed forces are stopping to use Microsoft software for security concerns, suspecting that the US National Security Agency (NSA) has 'back door' access to Microsoft source code.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/4/17679.html

 

* Jackson slams Microsoft again *

US District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson, the judge who ordered the breakup of Microsoft, recused himself from a separate discrimination lawsuit against the software giant, saying the antitrust proceedings against Microsoft left him with an impression of "a company with an institutional disdain for both the truth and the rules of lthat lesser entities must respect."

http://news.cnet.com/news/0-1003-200-5124564.html

 

* Stolen goods auction *

A group of ex-cops launched PropertyRoom.com, an online auction site that sells seized and unclaimed property. The site splits proceeds with law enforcement agencies that supply the goods.

http://www.cnn.com/2001/TECH/internet/02/28/police.auction/index.html

 

 

That is all for this time,

Yedidya (Didi) M. Melchior

Editor



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