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The Mishpat-Update #12

Welcome to the twelfth issue of the weekly Mishpat-Update, Law on
the net from

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In this issue:

1. What's New
2. Cyberlaw News


1. What's New

I would like to welcome the 6 new subscribers who joined the list this

This issue is very short and contains only the cyberlaw news section.
It is sent earlier because of the Jewish holiday Shavuot, I'll be back
next weekend with a standard edition.

This week I updated the Mishpat Update archive and added issues 9-11.
The archive (updates 1-11) can be found at:

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2. Cyberlaw Updates

Each week Mishpat-Update brings you the latest news about
online and computer law, with links to the full reports available
on the web.

* Canada won't regulate the Internet *
The Canadian Radio television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC)
said it won't regulate the Internet because it doesn't pose a threat to
traditional broadcasting. Furthermore, federal broadcasting rules can't
cover Internet services because material transmitted on the Web is
alphanumeric text and can be tailored to each individual user, unlike
the transmission of programs for reception by the public provided by
radio and television stations. The CRTC won't try to censor anything on
the Web, even though some of its content is "offensive and illegal"
because it believes that there are sufficient tools to battle
pornographic or violent material including software to filter out such
material and the Criminal Code.,25,36636,00.html

* UK house committee criticized E-commerce bill *
The House of Commons Trade and Industry Committee Wednesday criticized
the forthcoming Electronic Commerce Bill. The report's authors say that
the proposed licensing criteria for Trusted Service Providers
(suppliers of digital certificates) were fatally flawed and were "not
fit to be written into law.",1087,6_121951,00.html

* US Y2K Bill stalled again *
Legislation to prevent an outbreak of lawsuits resulting from year 2000
computer problems has been stalled in the US Senate for the second
time. Two different Senate measures join a similar House bill passed
last week that would limit litigation arising from the Year 2000
technology glitch, which is expected by some observers to reach 
trillion. Each version has been pushed by a wide range of business
groups. But the White House and many Democrats oppose many of the
measures, arguing they would give too much protection to big business
at the expense of consumers.,4,36721,00.html

* George W Bush and *
George W. Bush's (US Republican presidential front runner) campaign,
attempted to register over 200 domain names including, and the like, in an attempt to preempt those who would
use those domains to launch sites critical of Bush positions. If you
call up any of these pages you will land on the official Bush
presidential site,6061,2259350-2,00.html
Wasting no time, within just hours after the above report appeared on
ZDnet the domain name speculation market pounced, acquiring the (many)
domain names that bush neglected, including and various
other alternatives.
Each week, thousands of people seeking information on probable
Republican presidential candidate George W. Bush, Jr. type "gwbush"
into their web browsers and end up at Bush has
tried hard for weeks to shut down the rogue site, which parodies Bush's
official and discusses his past cocaine
use, as well as parodying U.S. politics in general. Bush's legal
efforts began April 14 with a cease and desist letter claiming that violated copyright laws.  Bush's most recent effort is a
complaint filed with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) that may
have widespread implications for free speech on the internet. The full
text of the Bush lawyer's letter to the FEC., his cease and desist
letter, and other materials can be found at 

* Microsoft's third antitrust trial *
A federal judge has denied Microsoft's request to delay an antitrust
trial with small Connecticut software firm Bristol Technology, Bristol
said today. The judge also ruled that Bristol may share information
with lawyers for other antitrust cases pending against Microsoft, one
brought by the Justice Department and 19 states, and another by Utah
based Caldera (both reviewed in past issues of the Mishpat Update). The
suit alleges that Microsoft has stifled competition by controlling
access to its Windows NT source code a charge that Microsoft hotly

* NSF Internet grant approved *
The D.C. Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals has OK'd the National Science
Foundation's (NSF) disbursement of  million in Internet research
grants. Under a 1995 agreement with NSF, Network Solutions Inc. (NSI)
began charging  for the two year registry of a domain name. Thirty
percent of the fee was deposited into an "Intellectual Infrastructure
Fund" for future research on Internet projects, and the remainder went
to NSI as payment for its services. The 30 percent set aside was
discontinued on April 1, 1998. The court found that although the
registration fee set aside was originally an illegal tax, it had been
ratified by Congress as part of its 1998 supplemental appropriations

* German Police Develops an online crime detector *
The German police is developing an Internet search engine that will
zero in on illegal activity on the web (especially publication of
illegal content), including pedophile networks and neo-Nazi propaganda
(some of which is illegal in germany), and lead detectives to those who
publish or even view such sites.

If you know of any cyberlaw updates, please send them to

That's all for this time,
see you next week

Yedidya M. Melchior 

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