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cyberlaw informer #42


Welcome to the 42nd issue of the weekly 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. New U.S. crypto export rules

3. Microsoft happenings

4. Computer & Internet law news and updates





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################

1. Introduction

################



I would like to welcome the many new subscribers who joined the

Cyberlaw Informer this week. 

 

Recently, Al Montero launched the ZeroCost service at

http://www.zerocost.com

The new service brings reprints of selected articles that appeared in

top free Internet publications (Ezines). I want to thank Al for

including the Cyberlaw Informer in his top free Ezines selection. You

can subscribe to selected free newsletters and to the ZeroCost Digest

by visiting http://www.zerocost.com

 



This week's issue will be a little different from the usual format.

Due to themany cyberlaw news items, I decided to drop the "Resource of

the week" section, it will be back next week. 

This issue brings updates from both of Microsoft's antitrust front --

the Caldera settlement and news from the more famous U.S. government

case. We also take a look at new U.S. encryption export rules and more

than 30 other technology law news items.





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 1-41) is located at:

http://mishpat.net/cyberlaw/archive



Please visit the online message boards at

http://mishpat.net/cgi-bin/bbs/UltraBoard.pl and help generate some

law related discussion (any related questions, opinions and

recommendations are welcome). I have started a thread regarding the

etoys v. etoy case (discussed in previous issue), please come and post

your opinions.



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://mishpat.net/cyberlaw or by

sending an email to mailto:cyberlaw-request@mishpat.net with

"subscribe" as the subject





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################################

2. New U.S. crypto export rules

################################





The Clinton administration has published new rules governing export of

strong encryption products. The new rules allow the export of retail

encryption products with strong encryption by lifting restrictions on

encryption key length. They also remove the requirement to get an

export license, but they do require a "one-time review" by the U.S.

Department of Commerce. The new proposed rules, which will be open for

public comment for 120 days, still ban sales to Cuba, Iran, Iraq,

Libya and Sudan. 



The new rules are a defeat for the National Security Agency and the

FBI, which led a long fight to restrict encryption exports in an

attempt to keep the secrecy-enhancing tools out of the reach of spies,

terrorists and criminals. Opponents argued that those restrictions are

silly and unfair to U.S. software companies because strong crypto is

available from outside the U.S., and privacy advocates said it is

unfair to deprive anyone of strong safeguards for confidential

information. 



However, Leading Internet civil liberties groups, including the

American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Electronic Frontier Foundation

(EFF) and Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) blasted the new

encryption export regulations, charging that they still violate

constitutional protections guaranteeing the free exchange of

information. The groups also claim that new encryption export

regulations fall short of the Clinton Administration's promise to

deregulate the privacy enhancing technology. The groups promised to

continue to press their court cases, seeking to eliminate U.S.

government regulations that make Internet encryption software and

technology more cumbersome to publish or send than the same items when

published in other media.



While the Administration has taken a step in the right direction with

its latest revisions, the groups believe that fundamental

constitutional defects of the encryption export regime have not been

remedied. Specifically, the groups complain that the regulations

require that the government be notified of any electronic "export" of

publicly available encryption source code; The export regulations

require licenses for transmitting source code that is not "publicly

available"; and that while the new regulations appear to permit free

posting of encryption source code to Internet discussion lists, such

posting may be illegal if the poster has 'reason to know' that it will

be read by a person in one of the seven regulated countries (mentioned

above).





A copy of the U.S. Encryption Export Control Regulations:

http://www.epic.org/crypto/export_controls/regs_1_00.html



                 



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########################

3. Microsoft happenings

########################



This is a special report about the latest happenings regarding

Microsoft's legal antitrust lawsuits: the Caldera settlement and news

from the more famous government antitrust lawsuit. 





* Caldera - Microsoft settlement *



Microsoft Corp. and Caldera Inc. announced that they've reached a

settlement in Caldera's 1996 lawsuit, just one week before a federal

court trial was slated to begin. 



Caldera had accused Microsoft of using misleading product

announcements to stop sales of its DR-DOS operating system and of

programming Windows products to be incompatible with DR-DOS. Caldera

also alleged that by bundling Windows 95 and MS-DOS (both Microsoft

products), Microsoft forced consumers to choose its DOS. 



Both firms said terms of the agreement are confidential. Microsoft

said it will record a one-time charge against earnings in the quarter

ending March 31, 2000, which will reduce earnings per share by about

three cents. With 5.16 billion Microsoft shares outstanding, a 3 cent

per share impact would value the settlement at $154.8 million. Some

observers said the settlement could easily be much more, depending on

how Microsoft accounts for it. Caldera sought $1.6 billion in the

suit.



The surprise settlement, which appears to be lower than Caldera's

earlier demands, defused a number of potential antitrust time bombs

for the software giant. A ruling against it could have given fuel to

recently filed class-action suits. Unlike the case filed by the

Justice Department, Microsoft would have had to appear in front of a

jury. The rumor was Caldera amassed a lot of information that was very

negative for Microsoft that the settlement would probably keep

confidential.

Caldera's evidence included an email suggesting Microsoft sought to

prevent competing operating systems, such as DR-DOS and IBM's  PC-DOS,

from working with Windows 3.x.







* Justice department denies breakup decision *



The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) denied a report in 

USA Today that said government lawyers have agreed to request that

Microsoft be broken up as a remedy for its anticompetitive behavior.

According to the USA Today report, government lawyers agree to request

that Microsoft be split into two separate companies -- one for the

Windows operating system and one for other software. Microsoft's Web

properties would go into a third company or get folded into one of the

other two companies. 



Justice Department spokeswoman, Gina Talamona, described the story as

"inaccurate", but Talamona did not say government lawyers had not

reached a consensus or planned to break up Microsoft. She also

declined to specify the exact inaccuracies. Talamona did not provide

details about ongoing negotiations with the company.







* Microsoft claims it did nothing wrong *

In a brief filed in the government antitrust trial, Microsoft said

that the government has failed to show that the company broke the law,

illegally tied its browser to the Windows operating system or

monopolized the operating system market. The brief is the company's

rebuttal to the government's filing last month that Microsoft violated

key provisions of U.S. antitrust laws, and is part of the "conclusions

of law" after judge Jackson issued his "findings of facts" in November

(a summary of that ruling can be found at:

http://mishpat.net/cyberlaw/archive/informer34b.shtml ). 



Microsoft's brief relies on more than 20 years of precedents to

show that, in legal terms, it did not violate antitrust laws.

Microsoft argued that even if Jackson's findings are accepted as fact,

the government failed to satisfy the burden of proof necessary under

antitrust law. 



Justice department officials commented on Microsoft's brief by stating

that Microsoft's argument would give a monopoly virtually unlimited

power to use its position to crush competition, harm consumers and

stifle innovation, and it ignores the court's findings of fact and

distorts key legal precedents." 



Microsoft brief can be read at:

http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/trial/p-col/col.asp







#############################

4. Cyberlaw news and updates

#############################



Each week Mishpat Cyberlaw Informer brings you the latest news about

online and computer law, with links to the full reports available

on the web.





* WWF wins first WIPO domain dispute resolution *

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), a United Nations

agency, has settled its first case of cybersquatting (registering an

Internet domain name with the intention of profiting from the resale

of the name). WIPO said the panelist it appointed to decide the case

is requiring that Michael Bosman, a California resident, transfer the

domain worldwrestlingfederation.com to U.S. based World Wrestling

Federation Entertainment Inc. (WWF). Bosman registered the name in

October and three days later, he tried to sell the name back to the

WWF at a profit. A full report on the decision and the new domain name

dispute procedure is planned for next week's issue.





* Recording email and chat is different than recording telephones *

A judge in Washington, a state in which it is illegal to record your

own telephone conversations without the consent of the person at the

other end, has ruled that the state's law does not apply to email and

online chats. Washington police received information that Donald

Townsend was seeking sex with minors that he met online. Setting up a

sting operation on the Internet, Detective Jerry Keller pretended to

be a 13-year-old girl named Amber with a Hotmail email account.

Detective Keller, in the role of Amber, sent messages to Townsend,

kicking off an e-mail exchange between the two parties. In addition,

"Amber" and Townsend had a series of electronic conversations on ICQ,

a chat network that allows users to communicate in real time. 

Keller saved the ICQ communications on his computer and later printed

them and the email messages out for use as potential evidence in the

case, after Townsend tried to meet "Amber" in a bar. Townsend's

lawyers filed a motion to suppress the use of the police print-outs,

arguing the prohibition on the interception or recording of private

communications by phone, radio, telegraph or other device between two

or more people without the consent of all of the parties. In her

ruling, Judge Kathleen M. O'Connor rejected those arguments. She

reckoned that the Washington privacy law does not apply to computer

communications because the words of the statute do not specifically

mention computers as a covered device. Furthermore, Judge O'Connor

concluded that the defendant implicitly consented to Keller's

recording of his messages since he chose to communicate with the

knowledge that the computer itself is a transmission and recording

device. 

http://www.currents.net/newstoday/00/01/17/news5.html

I want to thank Boaz Guttman for pointing out this resource.





* First Australian site banned *

The Australian Broadcasting Authority (ABA) has issued its first

remove order for sexually explicit material housed on a domestic

Internet site under the new Online Services Act. Since the beginning

of the year, ABA has been empowered under the new law to order content

removed from domestic servers according to Australia's Office of Film

and Literature Classification (OFLC). Online rights advocates condemn

the new law, saying it sets a precedent undermining free speech. 

ABA's move followed a specific complaint, which ABA deemed worthy of

referral to the OFLC, and issued an "interim take-down" notice to the

content host, pending the OFLC's determination. The content host

complied with the order by removing the material. The material was

part of a larger adult oriented site, which itself continues to

operate. 

http://www.wired.com/news/politics/0,1283,33750,00.html





* Visa U.K. hacked *

Visa International has confirmed British press reports that its global

network was hit by hackers last summer, but that its security systems

locked down the online sessions before any systems break-ins occurred.

Visa stated that last July it detected that an outside party had

gained access to a non-critical area of its U.K. computer systems, and

did not gain access to any of Visa's transaction processing systems or

important information. In early December, Visa said it received a

demand from an outside party for a cash payment, of up to 10 million

pounds, in return for information collected from its systems. Visa

then notified the British authorities, who began investigating the

case.             

http://www.zdnet.co.uk/news/2000/2/ns-12685.html





* Singapore issues new ISP privacy guidelines * 

Singapore Internet service providers (ISPs) have been handed new

guidelines regarding security exercises that invade users' privacy.

The new guidelines come after one ISP, SingNet, outraged Internet

users by scanning their computers for viruses without obtaining their

permission. The scans were done because of concerns about virus

attacks and the theft of user passwords by hackers using Trojan horse

programs on users' computers. Under the new guidelines, ISPs must

obtain consent from subscribers before scanning their computers, must

ensure the scans are non-intrusive, and must inform subscribers on how

their privacy will be protected during such activities. No data about

the sites or data that the user is currently accessing or has accessed

in the past should be recorded or email intercepted. 

http://www.newsbytes.com/pubNews/00/141993.html





* U.S. Drivers' data - private *

The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled that motor vehicle agencies

can be restricted from selling the personal information on drivers

licenses. The justices said that a federal law restricting departments

of motor vehicles from distributing their data to corporations and

direct marketers without permission is constitutional, and overturned

an earlier appeals court decision. States were earning millions of

dollars a year by selling drivers' personal information until Congress

enacted the Driver's Privacy Protection Act in 1994. South Carolina's

attorney general sued the federal government to overturn the measure.

He argued it violated the principles of federalism and should be

decided by state governments. While there were substantial privacy

interests at stake, the supreme court did not address either the

policy behind the law or the privacy issue in general. Chief Justice

Rehnquist's opinion was framed entirely in terms of federalism:

whether Congress had the constitutional authority to pass the law. 

The ruling in Reno v. Condon can be found at:

http://supct.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/98-1464.ZO.html





* EU charges five member states of not implementing data protection *

The European Commission is taking France, Ireland, Germany, Luxembourg

and the Netherlands to the European Court of Justice for not

implementing data protection rules. They are accused of not

implementing an EU directive on protection of personal data.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/000111-000013.html





* More domain hacking *

A hacker hijacked several Internet addresses confusing computer users

and inconveniencing the organizations involved. The hacker tapped into

the universal registry operated by Network Solutions Inc. (NSI) and

changed at least nine Net addresses redirecting users to the Web site

of a New Jersey company called HighSpeedNet.net. The operator of

HighSpeedNet, a 19-year-old software technician, explained he was not

the culprit, but a victim. NSI offers three levels of security to

domain holders. It appears that sites effected chose the lowest

level of security, that only requires email notification to change

domain data. Sites effected include the Internet standards body -

World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), Emory University and Dreamcast. 

http://www.wired.com/news/politics/0,1283,33571,00.html





* SEC settles with Informix *

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said it has settled

an enforcement action against Informix Corp., a database developer.

Informix had been charged with inflating revenues by $295 million and

earnings by $244 million from 1994 to 1997. 

http://www.computerworld.com/home/print.nsf/CWFlash/000111DC22





* Taiwan aims 1000 viruses at China *

The Taiwanese authorities are ready to wage a cyber war with mainland

China and have developed 1,000 computer viruses to deploy in the event

of an information attack. The Taiwanese military fears that China may

try to disable the island's computer network. Last year Chinese

hackers targeted a number of Taiwanese government sites. The head of

the defence ministry's information and communications bureau, said his

officers had categorized around 1,000 different computer viruses that

would be released in retaliation to any Chinese electronic onslaught. 

http://www.theregister.co.uk/000111-000008.html





* Teen hackers gain access to nuclear laboratories *

Five teenage hackers stole thousands of internet accounts and used

them to scan the networks of two U.S. laboratories involved in the

nuclear weapons program. The five hackers, aged 15-17, had a list of

200,000 user accounts from Pacific Bell and were able to successfully

steal the passwords for about 95,000 accounts.  They used these

accounts to anonymously scan the networks of the Sandia and Oak Ridge

laboratories. Scientists at Sandia design non-nuclear

components for nuclear weapons. 

http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/world/americas/newsid_599000/599753.stm





* Hackers hit Virgin Net *

Thousands of Virgin email users are getting new passwords after the

company found that a hacker had been attempting penetrate its mailing

system. More than 170,000 of Virgin Net's 800,000 UK customers had

their service temporarily withdrawn, because of possible security

breach. Users were given step-by-step instructions as to how they

could change their passwords. 

http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/sci/tech/newsid_597000/597229.stm





* Library of Congress - hacked *

Computer hackers reportedly penetrated and vandalized the Library of

Congress' "Thomas" web site, denying visitors the ability to search

for congressional information. 

http://www.newsbytes.com/pubNews/00/142323.html





* Supreme court sides with NSI and NSF *

The U.S. Supreme Court gave a legal victory to Network Solutions Inc.

(NSI) and the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF), upholding a

lower court decision that had dismissed charges that domain

registration fees were excessive and violated antitrust laws. The

lawsuit alleged that NSI and the NSF had imposed and collected an

unconstitutional tax. The company charged $100 for an initial two year

registration, with $30 of the fee going into a government Internet

infrastructure fund. Later, the government stopped collecting the $30

fee and Network Solutions dropped the price of an initial registration

to $70. Congress in a 1998 law explicitly ratified the fees and

authorized their collection. The appeals court said Congress may

ratify unauthorized taxes assessed after the fact if the tax could

have been properly authorized in the first place.

http://www.thestandard.com/article/display/0,1151,8927,00.html





* FBI uses computer evidence against suspected nuclear spy *

FBI agents say they used computer forensics to discover evidence that

Wen Ho Lee transferred classified information from a secure Los Alamos

National Laboratory computer to an unsecured workstation. To support a

Justice Department indictment that charges the former Energy

Department physicist with 59 felony counts of mishandling classified

information, the FBI said it also found evidence showing that Lee

downloaded the data to 15 computer tapes. Nine of the tapes, allegedly

holding the blueprints for nuclear design capability, are missing.

Lee, who sits in prison after having been denied bail, has pleaded not

guilty to all charges.

http://www.gcn.com/vol19_no1/news/1128-1.html





* Bush parody site and election regulation *

The leading U.S. Republican presidential contender, George W. Bush,

claims a web site, containing material that highlights potential

contradictions between Bush's past and his current "tough on drugs"

stance, violates Federal Election Commission (FEC) and copyright laws.

The Bush campaign has filed complaints and cease-and-desist letters to

shut down the site at gwbush.com. The central claim being reviewed by

the FEC is that gwbush.com's content constitutes advertising that's

termed an "independent expenditure" which is a public communication

expressly advocating the election or defeat of a federal candidate.

But the press has an exemption under the law, and Exley is claiming

his web site is just like a newspaper, and deserves the same freedom

of speech protection. 

http://www.wired.com/news/politics/0,1283,33554,00.html





* Internet intoxication as a criminal defense *

A Florida lawyer plans to argue that a teenager accused of making an

online threat against Columbine High School was suffering from

'Internet intoxication'. Michael Ian Campbell, an 18 year old, was

'role-playing' when he sent a message threatening to 'finish' what

began in the massacre last April (killing 12 students and teachers),

according to his lawyer Ellis Rubin. Rubin said that "To intoxicate is

to elevate yourself into a state of euphoria ...You've logged on and

gone into this imaginary world ... the more they go into the Internet,

the more bizarre their role-playing becomes."

http://www.cnn.com/2000/US/01/11/columbine.threat.reut/index.html





* Hate site leads to criminal prosecution *

U.S. Federal authorities have charged a man with civil rights

violations for running a web site that threatened a housing activist.

Ryan Wilson and the ALPHA HQ group he runs, targeted Bonnie Jouhari,

who worked at the Reading-Berks Human Relations Council at the time

the alleged threats were made. Part of her job was to help people file

discrimination complaints under the housing act. The site carried a

picture of Jouhari, who is white, and labeled her a 'race traitor'

accompanied by death threats.

http://www.latimes.com/business/cutting/techwr/20000118/tCB00V0574.html





* Memory patent dispute *

High speed memory maker Rambus Inc. filed a lawsuit accusing Hitachi

Ltd. of infringing on patented technology in semiconductor products.

The circumstances of the suit indicate that Hitachi isn't likely to be

the only company hit by some sort of legal action or request for

royalties. Rambus could eventually sue any company that made SDRAM

memory, including Samsung, IBM and Intel.

http://news.cnet.com/news/0-1003-200-1526099.html





* Obscene postings on breast feeding forum *

A web site geared toward women is suing a New Jersey couple, charging

that they posted obscene and threatening messages on a message board

devoted to the benefits of breast feeding. The suit alleges that

Judith and James Howarth have posted thousands of messages on the

iVillage.com message board since July. U.S. District Judge Nicholas

Politan issued a preliminary order barring the Howarths from accessing

iVillage.com or its message boards. The early postings were slightly

argumentative and challenged women to defend their decision to

breast feed. Within a week, the suit charges, the messages became

offensive and, by early September, abusive and obscene. iVillage

claims its workers have spent more than 500 hours deleting messages,

monitoring bulletin boards and responding to complaints from other

users. 

http://www.lawnewsnetwork.com/stories/A13485-2000Jan14.html





* Domain name registrar sells sold domain names *

BulkRegister, a domain name registrar recently accredited by the

Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has

recently sold several domain names to customers then released them for

sale again a day or two later. The names were later re-sold by other

registrars. 

http://www.wired.com/news/technology/0,1282,33753,00.html





* Ford won't appeal

Ford Motor Co. won't appeal a ruling that allows Robert Lane, an

Internet journalist, to publish the automaker's top-secret business

strategies and product plans on his site www.blueovalnews.com. Details

about the previous round were published in Cyberlaw Informer #27

(archives at http://mishpat.net/cyberlaw/archive ).

http://www.freep.com/business/blue14_20000114.htm





* CoolSavings.com Settles patent lawsuit *

CoolSavings.com, a direct-marketing company offering consumers

electronic coupons and rebates from advertisers, settled the third

patent infringement lawsuit it has filed since 1998. As part of the

settlement, emaildirect.com acknowledged the validity of CoolSavings'

patent. The settlement also prevents emaildirect from targeting

consumers based on prior buying patterns. 

http://www.thestandard.com/article/display/0,1151,8853,00.html





* Mainfraim merger called off *

Compuware Corp. and Viasoft Inc. have terminated their proposed merger

plan. The move is a result of continuing uncertainty and litigation

costs arising from a U.S. Department of Justice civil suit seeking to

block the merger. The DOJ's antitrust division claims the proposed

$167 million merger would result in higher prices for testing and

debugging tools used in mainframe software development and failure

management. 

http://www.computerworld.com/home/print.nsf/CWFlash/000119E16A





* Intel sues to stop Via's chips in the U.S. *

Intel asked a U.S. government agency to prevent the Taiwan based Via's

high performance PC chip sets from being sold in the U.S. In a

complaint filed with the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC),

Intel accused Via of selling chip sets that infringe on Intel's

technology patents and asked the agency to bar Via from importing the

chip sets to the U.S. 

http://www.computerworld.com/home/print.nsf/CWFlash/000119E13A





* Bargain - Bargin domain dispute *

Bargainbid.com has obtained a temporary injunction against a

competitor and a Tennessee man who allegedly diverted consumers to the

competitor's site. U.S. Bargainbid.com alleged that Ubid, web host

Digital Nation, and Perry Belcher violated the Anticybersquatting

Consumer Protection Act by registering the domain name barginbid.com,

with the intent to divert consumers by using the common misspelling of

"bargain". 

http://www.lawnewsnetwork.com/practice/techlaw/news/A13520-2000Jan17.html





* Lucasfilm wants the rights to Tatooine.com *

Lucasfilm, the production company responsible for the "Star Wars"

series, is trying to claim an Internet domain name held by Steve

Mount, a web designer and programmer. Mount received a letter from

Lucasfilm lawyers asking that he relinquish the domain Tatooine.com.

Tatooine was the fictional desert planet where "Star Wars" character

Luke Skywalker was raised. Mount registered the domain Tatooine.com in

1997, and he uses the page to post photographs and advertisements for

his programming services. 

http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/cn/20000114/tc/20000114034.html





* ToysRUs sued over delayed delivery *

A ToysRUs customer has sued the toy seller's Internet division,

claiming it accepted Christmas orders, while knowing it would not be

able to ship toys in time for the holiday. The suit came after ToysRUs

acknowledged having problems with its site during the holidays,

including delivery delays. The plaintiff is seeking class action

status. The plaintiff claimed she ordered gifts from Toysrus.com by 7

December, requesting 3-to-6 day delivery and was told that she would

receive the order by December 22nd. 

http://www.wired.com/news/business/0,1367,33613,00.html





* Teenager sues TV station over web address *

Three years ago, Aaron Doades, a 13 year old a rap fan from New

Jersey, used his allowance money to create a site about his favorite

stars, and included photos links and lyrics. In 1998 Doades registered

the domain name Rapcity.com. Two months later Doades saw an ad for Rap

City, an afternoon music show on a cable channel on Black

Entertainment Television Inc. (BET). Doades emailed BET, asking if he

could use Rap City. BET officials refused. Doades changed the site

name to "Tha Hood" but kept the address. In May 1999 BET's attorneys

sent him a cease-and-desist letter, warning that he was violating a

trademark the multibillion dollar entertainment company had held since

the early 1990s. In August, the domain name registry NSI shut

Rapcity.com down, following its procedures in cases of disputed URLs.

Soon after, Doades and his father Ronald sued BET and are seeking $10

million in damages.

http://www.businessweek.com/smallbiz/0001/la000106.htm





* Weight loss Meta tag ruling *

A U.S. federal judge is "helping" Internet users searching for weight

loss products reach the "correct" web site. The dispute involves "meta

tags", which are HTML commands specifying keywords that help search

engines rank web pages for specific search terms. N.V.E.

Pharmaceutical Inc., the manufacturer of Stacker 2, a nonprescription

weight loss product, claimed that when potential buyers searched the

web for information on Stacker 2, they ended up at sites for Xenical,

a fat blocking prescription drug made by Hoffmann-La Roche Inc. Judge

William H. Walls issued an order barring sites from advertising or

promoting products by incorporating into any web site, any word

similar to the Stacker mark. Judge Walls also ordered the hosting

services to disclose names and addresses of owners of anonymous

third-party sites using Stacker meta tags. The judge dismissed

Hoffmann-La Roche as a defendant, since the sites were operated by

third parties. 

http://www.ljx.com/cgi-bin/f_cat?prod/ljextra/data/texts/2000_0101_54.html





* Linux mark registration in Uruguay *

The Uruguayan Trademark Office has received an application to register

the name "LINUX" as a trademark for computer related services. The

applicants are members of the firm LinuxTECH, which is the reseller

of the SuSE Linux distribution for Uruguay. Linux is an open source

operating system, and SuSE is a German company distributing their

version of the operating system. A complaint about the application,

which stands contrary to Linux's openness, can be found at:

http://www.linuxstart.com/~rodolfo/openletter.html





* Online cigarette sales to minors *

In concerted efforts 13 U.S. attorneys general took action to stop

Internet sites from selling Bidis, flavored cigarettes from India, to

minors. A sting operation was conducted by children using undercover

names and credit cards provided by the attorney general's office. They

made five separate purchases from five vendors and were usually not

asked their ages. Bidis cigarettes are flavored to taste like

strawberry, chocolate, grape, and other flavors in order to make them

attractive to minors.

http://www.lawnewsnetwork.com/practice/techlaw/news/A12885-2000Jan6.html





* Irish man goes to jail over Internet libel *

A man who spread Internet messages alleging one of his former teachers

was a pedophile has been sent to two and a half years in jail.  It

was the first case of its kind to come before Dublin Circuit Criminal

Court.

http://www.ireland.com/newspaper/ireland/1999/1221/courts7.htm





* Firm wins apology from spammer *

Individual Investor Group Inc., has won a public apology as part of a

settlement in a lawsuit against Anthony Howard who sent unsolicited

email (spam) under the firm's trademark. The spam message contained

ambiguous names and inaccurate return addresses to discourage someone

from trying to track down the real sender. The email touted stocks and

other investment advice that did not come from Individual Investor

Group. A U.S. District Court in Las Vegas granted an injunction

ordering Howard to immediately cease the practice and publicly

apologize to Individual Investor Group. Howard agreed to the

injunction and delivered the apology.

http://www.newsbytes.com/pubNews/00/141841.html





* Xerox's 3Com suit continues * 

Xerox won a ruling that lets the copier maker pursue 3Com in court on

claims it infringed on a handwriting- recognition software patent used

in Palm electronic organizers. In 1997 Xerox sued U.S. Robotics, now

owned by 3Com, saying it invented the recognition technology in 1993.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark office confirmed Xerox's patent on

December 16th, prompting both companies to ask a federal judge to lift

a June order suspending the suit.

http://www.computerworld.com/home/print.nsf/CWFlash/000112DC46





* CDUniverse credit card hacking - follow up *

As reported last week, an East European hacker has gained access to

credit card details of an online music store clients. Before it was

taken offline, the hacker's site had provided more than 25,000 stolen

card numbers. Also included with the numbers were expiration dates and

cardholder names and addresses. The hacker said he had defeated a

popular credit card processing application called ICVerify, from

CyberCash and obtained a database containing more than 300,000

customer records from CDuniverse. 

CyberCash Inc. is disputing the hacker's claims that the company's

credit card verification system was penetrated, resulting in the theft

of thousands of credit card numbers from an online music store.

CyberCash vice president of marketing said the company's ICVerify

product may once have been installed at CDUniverse, but it is no

longer in use there, and is not to blame for the breach. He noted that

ICVerify is a PC-based product that's typically used by

brick-and-mortar merchants and has no web interface.  

APBNews.com reported that two of the card holders said the card

numbers that were posted on the site were replaced and canceled months

ago, and the rest were due to expire between February and April 2000,

indicating the stolen database may have been old. 

http://www.internetnews.com/ec-news/article/0,1087,4_281801,00.html







That is all for this week,



Yedidya (Didi) M. Melchior 

Editor 



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