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cyberlaw informer #43

Welcome to the Issue #43 of the weekly Mishpat Cyberlaw Informer -

Law on the Internet newsletter from

This newsletter is sent only to subscribers. If you no longer

wish to receive the Cyberlaw Informer, simply follow the unsubscribe

instructions at the bottom of this newsletter.


In this issue:

1. Introduction

2. DeCSS injunctions

3. Microsoft happenings

4. First WIPO domain name ruling

5. Resource of the week

6. Computer & Internet law news and updates



1. Introduction


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

Cyberlaw Informer this week.

Last week I didn’t publish the Cyberlaw Informer. This was due to a

combination of three of my final exams and a lot of pressure in my

*real* jobs. For that reason this week’s issue is longer than usual, as

it brings cyberlaw news from the last two weeks.

This week’s feature article brings a summary of the first domain name

dispute ruling by the WIPO arbitration panel. This was the first

decision issued under the ICANN dispute resolution rules. Hopefully I’ll

write a summary of those rules in the near future.

We also take a brief look at the latest happenings in the Microsoft

antitrust trial and in the DVD encryption hacking. As usual there are

many cyberlaw news items at the end of this issue, right after the

weekly resource section.

I hope you enjoy reading the newsletter. Comments, tips, and articles

are always welcome. Send them to

The Mishpat Cyberlaw Informer Archive (issues 1-41) is located at:

Please visit the online message boards at and help generate some law

related discussion (any related questions, opinions and recommendations

are welcome).

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 or by

sending an email to with

"subscribe" as the subject

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2. DeCSS injunctions


During the past two weeks, motion picture industry has won two

injunctions ordering 24 web site owners to remove a program that enables

the circumvention of the DVD encoding. Currently these orders are

totally non-effective, as hundreds of site owners all over the world

have posted the program code in reaction to these rulings. This is a

summary of the news regarding these cases.

* New York *

U.S. District Court Judge Lewis A. Kaplan of the Southern District of

New York granted a request by eight motion picture studios for a

preliminary injunction against operators of web sites that post DeCSS, a

program that can break the encoding system used by digital video discs

(DVD). The ruling forces three New York defendants to remove the DeCSS

software utility from their sites.

DeCSS was originally created by Norwegian programmers who

reverse-engineered the DVD Content Scrambling System (CSS) to give

computers running the Linux operating system DVD playback capability.

The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) argued that DeCSS

violated the anti-circumvention provisions of the U.S. Digital

Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) of 1998. The preliminary injunctions

were contested by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) which

maintains that the MPAA is trying to suppress discussion of DVD

insecurity, violating free-speech protections in the First Amendment.

* Santa Clara *

Defenders of DeCSS took another big hit. Santa Clara Superior Court

Judge William J. Elfving issued a preliminary injunction ordering 21

defendants to stop posting DeCSS. Earlier, Judge Elfving denied the

plaintiff's request to submit T-shirts bearing the DeCSS code into


The open source community reacted to the ruling with creative disregard.

Hundreds of mirror sites posting the code have sprung up all over the


* Norway *

Norwegian police raided the home of 16-year-old Jon Johansen and charged

him and his father with breaking copyright laws. Johansen is believed to

be the one who first posted on the Internet the source code for DeCSS.

* Lawyers’ embarrassing mistake *

Lawyers representing the DVD  industry got caught in an embarrassing

gaffe when they accidentally publicized the computer code they wanted to

keep secret.

The DVD Copy Control Association included DeCSS in court documents, but

forgot to ask the judge to seal them from public scrutiny. In a hastily

arranged hearing DVD CCA lawyers asked Judge  Elfving to correct their

oversight, and he agreed to keep the document confidential.  It may be a

little late.

Court papers are generally considered public documents, available to

anyone. Although parties in a case can file a request with the court to

make sensitive documents off-limits, the Copy Control Association's

attorneys apparently filed the request only after openly submitting the

source code as a supporting document to the complaint.  As a result, the

document has been legally available at the courthouse for two weeks. The

document was made available on the Internet at the site.

More than 21,000 people downloaded it before Judge Elfvig issued the new


Judge Elfvig’s January 21 ruling is available at:

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3. Microsoft happenings


* Microsoft antitrust case *

=> Government filing

The government filed a  rebuttal to the Microsoft's arguments that

largely restated its previous positions. The government’s brief was

dismissive of Microsoft's defense, accusing it in parts of having

"nothing of substance to say". The legal papers are a prelude to oral

arguments scheduled during February.

The full text of the government’s filing can be found at:

=> Lessig’s opinion

Harvard law professor Lawrence Lessig filed a "friend of the court"

brief in the Microsoft antitrust case. Lessig urged Judge Jackson to

delve into the intricacies of software design in order to determine

whether the company illegally tied its Internet browser to the windows

operating system. Lessig provided the court with tests that it could use

in determining when software constitutes one product or two, and whether

there are benefits to integrating software products. Under Lessig's

suggested test, the government should prevail in court.

The full text of Lessig’s opinion can be found at:

* Sun wins round in Java battle *

In a partial victory for Sun Microsystems, U.S. District Judge Ronald

Whyte reinstated some restrictions on how Microsoft uses Sun's Java

technology in its products. Sun claims that the Microsoft's Java Virtual

Machine is incompatible with Sun's reference implementation of Java, and

also that causes developers to build Java programs that only operate on

Microsoft's Windows, defeating Sun's "write once, run anywhere" goal and

violating Sun's Java licensing agreement. The injunction bars Microsoft

from turning on Microsoft programming language extensions by default in

its products that use Java. Microsoft must also warn developers  that

using its development toolkit could produce applications that are not

compatible with Sun's Java license. Most importantly, the preliminary

injunction bars Microsoft from distributing operating systems, browsers

and development tools that fail to pass Sun's Java compatibility tests.,4586,2427449,00.html


4. First WIPO domain name ruling


Recently the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) issued it

first ruling in a domain name dispute.

The complainant was brought by the World Wrestling Federation

Entertainment, Inc. (WWF) against Michael Bosman, an individual from

California. Bosman registered the domain name  through the registrar Melbourne IT, based

in Australia.

The complaint was submitted electronically to the World Intellectual

Property Organization Arbitration and Mediation Center on December 2,

1999. On December 8, MelbourneIT confirmed that the domain name was

registered with MelbourneIT and that the respondent, Michael Bosman, was

the current registrant of the name. MelbourneIT adopted the Uniform

Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP), approved by the Internet

Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), two month after

Bosman registered the domain name. According to the registration

agreement, MelbourneIT had the discretion to adopt a dispute resolution

policy, therefore Bosman was bound by the provisions of the UDRP.

Although the WIPO Center received emails from the respondent and the

complainant’s representative, indicating that the parties had reached a

settlement in principle, since the panel did not receive a signed

agreement, and according to the UDRP, the Panel issued its ruling on

January 15.

* Factual Background *

The WWF has a U.S. trademark and service mark for the phrase: ”World

Wrestling Federation”. Bosman registered the domain name for a term of two years from  October 7,

1999.  Bosman is not a licensee of WWF, nor is he otherwise authorized

to use complainant’s marks. WWF uses its service mark in connection with

entertainment services, namely the provision of sporting events such as

wrestling exhibitions for television, and its trademark in connection

with metal key chains, phonograph records, video cassettes, computer

programs, watches, stickers, book covers, calendars, trading cards,

pens, magazines, umbrellas, bibs, children’s pajamas, ties, and more.

WWF also has a website at

On October 10, 1999, three days after registering the domain name at

issue, Bosman contacted WWF by e-mail and notified it of the

registration and stated that his primary purpose in registering the

domain name was to sell, rent or otherwise transfer it to WWF for a

valuable consideration in excess of his out-of-pocket expenses.  Bosman

offered to sell the domain name for the sum of US$1,000.  Bosman has not

developed a web site using the domain name at issue or made any other

good faith use of the domain name.

* Panel’s Findings *

According to the UDRP the complainant must prove each of the following:

=> that the domain name registered by the respondent is identical or

confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the

complainant has rights; and,

=> that the respondent has no legitimate interests in respect of the

domain name; and,

=> the domain name has been registered and used in bad faith.

In this case that panel noted that it is clear that the domain name is

identical or confusingly similar to the trademark and service mark

registered and used by WWF.  It is also apparent that Bosman has no

rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name.  Since

Bosman offered to sell it the domain three days after registration, the

panel believed that the name was registered in bad faith. However,

according the UDRP rules mentioned above, the name must not only be

registered in bad faith, but it must also be used in bad faith.

Paragraph 4,b,i of the Policy,  provides that “the following

circumstances . . . shall be evidence of the registration and use of a

domain name in bad faith: . . . circumstances indicating that you have

registered or you have acquired the domain name primarily for the

purpose of selling, renting or otherwise transferring the domain name

registration to the complainant who is the owner of the trademark or

service mark . . . for valuable consideration in excess of the

documented out-of-pocket costs directly related to the domain name.”

Because Bosman offered to sell the domain name to WWF, the panel ruled

he had “used” the domain name in bad faith as defined in the Policy.

* Decision *

The panel decided that the domain name registered by Bosman is identical

or confusingly similar to the trademark and service mark in which the

WWF has rights, and that the respondent has no rights or legitimate

interests in respect of the domain name, and that the respondent’s

domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.

Accordingly, the panel required that the registration of the domain name be transferred to the WWF

* A few points to note *

=> Bosman did not respond to the complaint. The decision was based

solely on WWF’s complaint.

=> In an email sent to Bosman, WWF acknowledged that it could have

proceeded to litigation under the U.S. anti-cybersquatting Consumer

Protection Act. The reason WWF didn’t follow that path is probably a

public relation decision. Several past domain lawsuits, in which fans

were sued over domain names ended as a PR disaster. By engaging in the

WIPO arbitration proceeding, and not litigating against fans, companies

can protect their intellectual property interests while preserving the

relationship with their fans.

=> The final decision was issued less than 45 days after the complaint

was filed. The WIPO procedure is much faster than a regular lawsuit.

Speed has its benefits, but some times it is too fast. Domain name

holders don’t have enough time to get legal counseling.

=> The WIPO procedure is not only faster, it is also cheaper than

regular legal proceedings. When Bosman offered to sell the domain to

WWF, he explained that litigating the case would cost more than the

$1,000 he requested. The arbitration procedure is cheaper, thus

preventing cybersquatters from using litigating time and costs as a

pressuring factor forcing making it more cost effective to “give in” to

their demands.

=> Domain registrants have no choice but to accept the UDRP as part of

the standard contract with the registrar. Bosman was tied to the UDRP

even though it was not in effect when he registered the domain

(MelbourneIT adopted it only on December 1).

=> The domain name in question includes 24 characters (not including the

.com). Registration of domain names with more than 21 characters has

only been available a few months, therefore many companies owning long

trademarks haven’t yet protected them by registering the marks as domain


The full text of the WIPO decision in World Wrestling Federation

Entertainment, Inc. v. Michael Bosman can be found at:

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5. Resource of the week


This week's resource is the United Nations international law section at:

The UN international law site contains a wide variety of primary sources

covering both private and public international law. The site includes

summaries of judgements issued by the International Court of Justice,

documents from the International Criminal Tribunals for Yugoslavia and

Rwanda, conventions and model laws from UNICTRAL – the United Nations

Commission on International Trade Law, and many more important


One of the best parts of the site is Treaty Collection at: which includes a database of more than 34,000

international treaties and covers a range of subject matter such as

Human Rights, Disarmament, Commodities, Refugees, the Environment and

the Law of the Sea. Entry to the Treaty Collection is free until March

1st 2000 (the rest of the international section remains free), so if you

want a free preview, take advantage of the site’s trial period and visit

during the next few weeks.

If you would like to recommend an Internet legal resource, please send

the details to Full credit is given to


You can also recommend resources at the online bulletin board


6. 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.

* eToy wins domain dispute *

The Swiss art group operating under the domain emerged

victorious after settling a bitter dispute with leading online toy

retailer eToys. As part of the settlement, eToys will pay up to $40,000

in legal fees and other expenses the art group incurred during the five

month dispute. The toy retailer also took steps to remove the block on

the eToy domain name, which had been temporarily shut down in a court

order. Both organizations agreed to drop lawsuits filed against one

another. eToys acknowledged that overwhelming support for the artist

group prompted the online toy store to end its attack on eToy.,1151,9130,00.html

* RIAA sues *

The Recording Institute Association of America (RIAA) filed suit against, alleging that's “Instant Listening Service” and

“Beam-it” utilities constitute copyright infringement.'s new

services enable consumers to listen to their music anywhere. When an customer buys a CD online through an partner, the CD's

songs can be transferred immediately into the customer's on-site account

at, making it possible to listen to he songs from any

computer connected to the Internet. created its database by

buying 40,000 CDs and changing the songs into MP3 format. The copies

transferred into customers' accounts actually come from the database on's servers, not from recordings individually owned by consumers.

The U.S. Copyright Act of 1971 prohibits anyone but the copyright owner

from making a copy of a recording. An exception prevents consumers from

being sued by record companies for making copies of recordings for their

own use. RIAA claims that since the copy was made by, not by the

consumer, the copies are illegal.,1283,33634,00.html

* Burma issues tuff Internet rules *

The Burmese authorities have banned the country's Internet users from

issuing material of a political nature. The regulations are no surprise

in a country that has been among the most hostile towards the internet

revolution. The new regulations ban the posting of any material on the

Internet deemed by the Burmese Government to be harmful, directly or

indirectly, to its policies or security. Internet accounts are only to

be used by those who have been officially granted them. Internet users

are also banned from creating web pages without official permission.

Currently anti-government activists smuggle information outside the

country where it is posted on websites maintained by Burmese exiles.


A special report about governments with tight control over Internet

activities was published in Cyberlaw Informer #26.

* Naughton's child porn conviction overturned *

U.S. District Judge Edward Rafeedie granted former Infoseek executive

Patrick Naughton's a defense motion for retrial, after he was convicted

of child pornography possession. Judge Rafeedie ruled that jury

instructions in the case may have been tainted because they did not take

into account a 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals decision that

invalidated two sections of the Child Pornography Prevention Act. The

9th circuit ruling came one day after Naughton's conviction in December

(a full report about the 9th Circuit ruling can be found in  Cyberlaw

Informer #39). Naughton, who is free on bail, could face a retrial on

three charges stemming from his arrest last year for allegedly

soliciting sex from an FBI agent who posed as a 13-year-old girl.,4586,2425682,00.html

* New Zealand pharmacist can export medicines over the net *

An Auckland (New Zealand) pharmacist, Kerry Bell, supplied medicines to

customers over the Internet. The Ministry of Health seized the man's

prescription medicines in November 1999. Bell appealed to the district

court in Auckland on the grounds that the Medicines Act 1981 did not

prohibit pharmacists from supplying prescription medicines direct to

overseas consumers without a prescription. The court ordered the

Ministry of Health to release the medicines back to Bell who can sell

them online to out of country customers.

* NSI antitrust immunity affirmed *

The U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a ruling dismissing

Name.Space's antitrust allegations against Network Solutions Inc. (NSI),

which until recently was the only domain name registrar. The a ruling

affirmed that NSI activities were immune from antitrust liability,

according to its agreement with the U.S. National Science Foundation



Meanwhile, the U.S. Justice Department closed its antitrust

investigation of the company without taking any action. The probe, which

began in 1997, focused in part on the company's management of WhoIs, a

valuable database of domain name registrations and ownership.,1283,34030,00.html

* Double hack in to Japan's government computers *

Hackers penetrated two government web sites, Japan's Management and

Coordination Agency and the Science and Technology Agency, leaving a

message criticizing the Japanese government's position on the 1937

Nanjing Massacre. Thousand of Chinese civilians were massacred by

Imperial Army troops during the 1937-38 occupation of the central

Chinese city. This is believed to be the first hacking of the Japan's

government computer system.

* Injunction stops iCraveTV *

U.S. District Judge Donald C. Zeigler has granted a temporary

restraining order against Toronto-based television webcaster iCraveTV,

barring the company from webcasting broadcast television feeds from its site. The order came in response to copyright infringement

charges filed against iCraveTV on behalf of the National Football League

(NFL), the National Basketball Association (NBA), motion picture studios

and television broadcasters. The judge also ordered iCraveTV to supply

copies of its server logs to the plaintiffs.,4586,2430035,00.html

Adding to's legal problems, a group of Canadian

broadcasters sued the Internet TV start-up. The Canadian broadcasters

say iCraveTV had violated their copyrights by showing their content

online without permission.

* ACLU sues over anti communist propaganda law *

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Louisiana filed a federal

lawsuit challenging a law that makes possession of "communist

propaganda" a felony punishable with up to six years in jail and a

$10,000 fine. The lawsuit cites illegal censorship of free speech and

free press rights and discrimination against the plaintiffs because of

political ideas. The ACLU argues that such materials are readily

available on the Internet to anyone with a computer and a connection.

Such material cannot be labeled with the words "Communist Propaganda" on

the front and back cover in red ink as required by the law.

ACLU's press release:

* Kevin Mitnick released from jail *

Nearly five years after his arrest, Kevin Mitnick, the world's most

famous hacker, was released from jail. Under court order, the hacker is

banned for three years from using any kind of computer equipment without

the prior written permission of his probation officer. In 1989 Mitnick

got his first adult felony conviction for cracking computers at Digital

Equipment Corp. and downloading source code. He served one year in

federal custody, followed by three years of supervised release. In 1992,

Mitnick was charged with a violation of his supervision, by cloning cell

phones. He went underground and online, using the Internet to crack

computers belonging to cell phone and computer makers such as Motorola

and Sun Microsystems. In March 1999 Mitnick pleaded guilty to seven

felonies. He was sentenced to 46 months in prison, on top of an earlier

22 months sentence for the supervision violation and cell phone cloning.

With credit for his lengthy period of pretrial custody, and some time

off for good behavior, Mitnick's served just under five years in prison.

* Hong Kong gives broad band licenses *

Hong Kong opened up its broadband Internet service market, issuing six

licenses for carriers to offer high-speed data services in competition

with incumbent Cable & Wireless. The government also licensed 12

carriers to offer external long-distance services over satellite,

creating a much more aggressive competition in the telecommunications


* Web traffic tracking companies settle dispute *

WebSideStory, a company that analyzes web traffic, announced that it has

settled its copyright infringement dispute with WebTrends. WebSideStory

filed a copyright infringement complaint, claiming that WebTrends' new

WebTrends Live service was a rip off of WebSideStory's HitBox design.

Conditions of the settlement remained confidential, but WebTrends said

it would soon relaunch its Web traffic analysis service, which had been

under a temporary restraining order pending the outcome of the case.

* Musician suing over domain name *

Musician John Tesh is suing, an online firm that

registered the Internet domain name Tesh claims the

competing site could compromise Tesh's authorized site

* False arrests because of software glitch *

Eight erroneous arrests occurred in December because of incorrect

warrant information caused by bad data from an old system entered into

the new one in Rhode Island. As a result of the data transfer, two

criminal ID numbers were assigned to one person, leading police to

assume that a suspect with one criminal identification number and two

names listed on the computer was using an alias. On December 16, a court

ordered the police to check their computer records against hard copies

at the courts before making warrant arrests.

* British ISPs will remove hate sites *

Internet service providers (ISPs) in Britain announced new

self-regulatory content policies aimed at removing racist material from

the Internet.,1283,33906,00.html

* ICANN accredits new domain registrars *

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN)

announced that twelve additional applicant companies have met the

criteria to be accredited as domain name  registrars in the .com, .net,

and .org top level domains. These companies will compete in the market

for domain name registration services, bringing the total number of

registrars to 110. The 12 companies are from the U.S., Germany,

Australia and the Republic of Korea.

A full list of accredited registrars is available at:

* AOL instant messaging hack *

A security breach on AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) put the privacy of its

users at risk. The breach allows subscribers to link new AOL accounts to

AIM names that already exist. The teenage hackers who found the hole in

AOL 5.0 say they have stolen more than a hundred names. Some use the

names they've seized to extract information about the person from

friends and family from users' buddy list. Only AIM users that are not

AOL subscribers are effected by the problem.

* UK company buys out village domains *

Webhound Ltd. spent 75,000 pounds in purchasing the valuable ''

versions of 15,000 village names (5 pound for each name). The company

offered to sell the names back to village groups at a minimum cost of

500 pound each. The move has infuriated community representatives who

now demand a review of Internet name licensing.

* Mediation instead of jail for web poster *

A Canadian man who threatened on his web site to kill U.S. President

Bill Clinton will not face trial. Prosecution and defense lawyers agreed

in court that Timothy Andrew, 23, should instead take part in a

mediation program for first time offenders.,7407,2428210,00.html

* Singapore bans violent computer game *

The computer game Half-Life has been banned in Singapore on the grounds

of "excessive violence". The action game contains violent scenes

including dismemberment of body parts and spurting blood. Half-Life won

CNET Gamecentre's 1998 Action Game of the Year award. More than 2,000

fans have signed an e-petition protesting against its restriction.

* DoubleClick sued over privacy *

A Californian woman filed suit against DoubleClick Inc. accusing the

Internet advertising company of unlawfully obtaining and selling

consumers' private personal information. The lawsuit, Judnick v.

DoubleClick Inc., accuses DoubleClick of using computer technology to

identify Internet users, track and record their Internet use and the

Internet sites they visit, and obtain confidential and personal

information about them without their consent. The information obtained

includes such items as names, addresses, ages, shopping patterns and

histories and financial information. DoubleClick however claims that it

is absolutely committed to protecting the privacy of all Internet users.

* Company sues ex-CEO *

Canadian online software rental company Futurelink Corp. is suing its

former CEO and nine other ex-staff for $80 million, alleging they used

data from a confidential company project to launch another business.

* Credit card thief indicted *

A U.S. grand jury has indicted Peter Iliev Pentchev, of Sofia Bulgaria,

a 22-year-old former Princeton University student, alleging he stole

about 1800 credit card numbers from an electronic-commerce company in

Palo Alto, California.

* Disney losses Go logo *

The Walt Disney Company's Go Network was ordered by the U.S. 9th Circuit

court of appeals to cease using its green traffic light logo. The logo

looks too much like's own green traffic light logo.'s

logo has been in use since 1997, the Go Network's since 1998.'s

case against Disney will come to court later this year.

* Apple wins patent suit *

Apple Computer Inc. said a federal court has dismissed Imatec Ltd.'s

patent suit, which involved Apple's ColorSync software, against Apple.

According to Apple, the suit was dismissed after the judge found that

Imatec does not own the patents on which the suit was based and that

ColorSync does not infringe on these patents anyway.,7407,2426311,00.html

* Australian authorities reject ISP merger *

Telstra's $300 million plan to buy the Internet customers of its nearest

rival, OzEmail, will probably be rejected by the Australian Competition

and Consumer Commission. The commission has already informally told

Telstra that it has serious objections to it taking over the business of

OzEmail, Australia's second biggest company in the Internet service

provider market.

* Shanghai closes Internet cafes *

Shanghai officials have ordered 127 Internet cafes to close and have

seized computers. The Shanghai News said the Internet cafes had failed

to obtain licenses.


* Libraries sued over access to porn sites *

Jodi Hoffman, a Florida mother who once successfully sued the Broward

County School board for exposing children to sexually explicit

materials, has filed suit against another public agency. This time it's

the Broward County (Miami) Public Library, and its 35 branches which

have Internet-accessible computers.  According to the complaint filed by

Mrs. Hoffman the computers of the Broward County libraries are being

used for "immoral and illegal purposes".  Specifically, the suit claims

that "on dozens if not hundreds of ... occasions ... the libraries'

computers were used to "access illegal obscenity ... in view of other

persons, including minor children."

* Sony sued by music retailers *

A retail industry group is suing Sony Music Entertainment, alleging that

the company is forcing retailers to point their customers toward its

online shops. The lawsuit was filed by the National Association of

Recording Merchandisers (NARM). It claims that Sony engages in unfair

competition and price discrimination to force brick-and-mortar retail

chains to stock CDs by Sony Music artists that also contain web links

and that include promotional material for Sony's e-commerce sites.

* Car dealership sues complaint site *

Robert F. Dalton is facing a federal lawsuit accusing him of illegally

using the trademarked name of Fred Ricart's large car dealership in the

Internet addresses and Dalton

agreed last week to remove the Ricart name from his web addresses until

the dispute is resolved in court.  Dalton leased a Ford from Ricart and

got into a dispute over the terms of the warranty. After filing a

consumer complaint with Ohio Attorney General, Dalton created the sites,

which list details of consumer complaints filed against the dealership

with the attorney general's office.

* National Geographic sued for copyright infringement *

The National Geographic Society (NGS) is facing multiple copyright

infringement suits filed by writers and photographers furious over a

CD-ROM that compiles works from more than a century of the

organization's prestigious magazine. Lawyers for authors who have done

work for NGS filed individual and class-action complaints accusing the

society of copyright infringement and unfair trade practices


* Stock options part of salary *

A U.S. Department of Labor advisory opinion suggests that employers base

the time-and-a-half overtime pay of hourly employees not only on their

salaries but also on the profits that they make exercising stock


* Class action against AOL *

A class-action lawsuit has been filed against America Online Inc.

because the latest version of its software restricts access to the

desktop icons of other Internet providers. The suit, alleges that the

software constitutes a deceptive trade practice and violates

consumer-protection and computer-tampering laws.


* used by white supremacist group *

A white supremacist groups on the Internet is capitalizing on the name

of Martin Luther King Jr. to preach hatred to unsuspecting web surfers.

The site using the address is hosted by, one of the oldest and largest white supremacist sites on

the Internet. Legal experts say there is little that can be done to

return the name to the King family. Martin Luther King's name is not

protected because he is deceased. The Anti Cybersqautting act applies

only to living persons.,6061,2427505-2,00.html

* Coca Cola domain dispute *

Soft drink giant Coca Cola has taken a hard-line approach with a fan

site using the domain name The site was established

as a favor to a group of senior citizens as a place for Coca Cola fans

to display their collections of vintage Coca Cola merchandise. On

January 5 Coca Cola sent a cease-and-desist letter asking the site to

discontinue using the Coca Cola trademark and to either assign the

domain name to Coca-Cola or abandon the name immediately. Now, instead

of a Coca Cola fan site, Vintagecocacola has turned into a discussion

forum for domain name issues that includes a link to the Domain Name

Rights Coalition and his written response to the cease-and-desist


* FTC warns scholarship sites *

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has warned 37 operators of

scholarship assistance web sites to modify their promotional language or

face legal action for false advertising. The FTC found a number of sites

promoting college scholarship services that claimed they could guarantee

either a certain number of scholarships or a specified level of

financial aid. FTC officials said that the applicants paid a

registration fee for services that were clearly misrepresented. FTC

Spokesman said scholarship scam artists have swindled more than $22

million out of the pockets of 175,000 unsuspecting students and their

families in the past four years.

That is all for this week,

Yedidya (Didi) M. Melchior



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