law bookstore
Bookstore
cyber law updates
Cyberlaw News
Mishpat Legal Information Discuss law
Discuss Law
updated legal news
Legal News


The Mishpat-Update #27


Welcome to the twenty seventh issue of the weekly Mishpat Update, 
Law on the net newsletter from http://mishpat.net

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

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

In this issue:

1. Introduction
2. Restriction of Internet Access - Follow up
3. Ford's secret documents - second round
4. Proposed find of facts in DOJ v. Microsoft
5. Cyberlaw news and updates

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

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

I would like to welcome the 30 new subscribers who joined the list this
week. 


This week's two feature articles cover recent news from two important
cyberlaw cases. The first one brings an update on the Ford Motors
secret documents case, first reported here two weeks ago. The second
article brings a summary of the proposed findings of fact in the
ongoing Microsoft antitrust lawsuit, a case that we have been following
since the first issue of Mishpat Update.

As usual, the last section of this issue is packed with legal news from
cyberspace. I hope you enjoy reading this newsletter, don't forget to
send your comments to mailto:editor@mishpat.net

As mentioned last week, I am looking for contributors to the Mishpat
Update content. If any of you want to publish a short article (400-1000
words) related to cyberlaw, computer law, or internet for lawyers,
please send it to mailto:editor@mishpat.net The same applies to any
tips or comments you want to share with the rest of the Mishpat
community.

The Mishpat Update archive (issues 1-25) is available at:
http://mishpat.net/mailing-lists/update

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 by sending
a blank email to mailto:join-update@mishpat.net



--------- sponsor message ----------

LegalSeeker

In a single search, you can combine the knowledge base of 
40 Legal search engines with the popular Web search 
engines - pinpointing the exact info you need with LegalSeeker.
 
Designed for Internet users who desire to run highly 
comprehensive searches that combine the results of multiple 
search engines, LegalSeeker delivers a clean list of results 
that can be saved, viewed offline, easily organized, and 
updated automatically.

http://mishpat.net/ads/legalseeker


--------- sponsor message ----------



##############################################
2. Restriction of Internet Access - Follow up
##############################################

Last week I wrote about a report by the French civil rights group
'Reporters Sans Frontieres' (RSF), that describes actions taken by
several governments to restrict access to the Internet.

I got several responses to that article. Some of you pointed out that
the methods mentioned (government owned ISPs, registering users and
blocking access to political criticizing sites) are not the only ones
used.

Mishpat Update reader Eran Bareket pointed out the new Australian
Broadcasting Services Amendment (Online Services) Act. The new law,
available at http://www.ozemail.com/~mbaker/amended.html gives the
Australian Broadcasting Authority (ABA) the power to order ISPs
(Internet Service Providers), to take offensive or illegal material off
their sites, and to block access to certain domestic or overseas based
content. 
The ABA will order ISPs to take down content on their servers rated X
(Sexually Explicit) or RC (Refused Classification) within 24 hours of
being notified. ISPs that fail to follow directions from the ABA could
face large fines. This is basicilly and Introduction of a mandatory
filtering scheme. It is still to be seen how courts will interperet the
new law in connection with the constitutionally protected freedom of
speech.

If you want to report any other restrictions authorities, in any other
country, impose on Internet access (whether you agree with them or not)
send them to mailto:editor@mishpat.net


The full RSF report mentioned is available at:
http://www.rsf.fr/uk/alaune/ennemisweb.html




##########################################
3. Ford's secret documents - second round
##########################################

As reported here two weeks ago, Ford Motor Co. won a temporary
restraining order forbidding Robert Lane to publish the contents of
confidential company documents
on his Web site BlueOvalNews.com. 

Last week, US District Judge Nancy Edmunds dissolved the temporary
restraining order that had prevented the BlueOvalNews.com, from posting
internal Ford documents, including details about future engines and
performance problems with the Cobra sports car. 


Edmunds denied Ford's request for an injunction barring Lane from
disclosing confidential documents, arguing that to do so would be an
illegal prior restraint of free speech. However, Edmunds did grant Ford
an injunction that stops Lane from infringing on its copyrights. 

Lane a 32 year old nursing student, built his site in 1998 as a Ford
enthusiast who owns six Ford vehicles. The site began with the blessing
of company officials as a forum for articles about the Ford  Mustang
sports car. But late last year, he began posting confidential company
documents he received from Ford employees. 

Ford filed the trademark infringement suit accusing BlueOvalNews.com of
using the Ford logo along with proprietary internal documents in an
inappropriate manner. It also accused Robert Lane of soliciting its
employees for confidential information. Lane maintains that the 120
documents were sent anonymously by admirers of the site who wanted the
truth about certain Ford products to be revealed.


After the ruling, Lane's Web site declared a victory for the
Constitution, but at the same time Ford said in a statement it was
pleased with the decision. Although the judge upheld Lane's rights to
publish the documents, she appeared to disdain his methods. Judge
Edmunds wrote: "With the Internet, significant leverage is gained by
the gadfly, who has no editor looking over his shoulder and no
professional ethics to restrain him".

Edmunds also ruled that Lane must identify all the Ford documents in
his possession, how he obtained them and from whom. The judge said Ford
presented "substantial evidence" that Lane had violated the Michigan
Uniform Trade Secrets Act. 

Ford's spokesman said that Ford will continue litigation. The war now
is about whether Lane be liable to Ford for any damages resulting from
the disclosure of this information. The judge noted that although
Lane's improper conduct in obtaining confidential information doesn't
justify prior restraint, he may very well be liable. 


A report by Computer World is available at:
http://www.computerworld.com/home/news.nsf/CWFlash/9909083fordweb2


                    
--------- sponsor message ----------

Acses

The Ultimate Comparison Shopping Engine 
Select any book, CD or movie. Then let Acses
check prices, shipping costs and delivery times
of the requested item from all major Internet
stores!

Your guide to the best deals on the web
Acses is not an online store, that is Acses
does not sell any products itself. It only
guides you to the best online stores where
you can order if you like.

http://mishpat.net/ads/acses

--------- sponsor message ----------




##############################################
4. Proposed find of facts in DOJ v. Microsoft
##############################################

Last Friday was the deadline for each side in the landmark Microsoft
Corp. antitrust trial, to submit revisions of the proposed findings of
fact filed last month. In those initial filings, each side presented
the facts it thought best supported its case. 

As reported in many issues of Mishpat Update, the U.S. Department of
Justice (DOJ) and 19 state attorneys general filed suit against
Microsoft in May 1998, accusing it of violating antitrust law by
illegally tying its Internet Explorer browser to its Windows operating
system and foreclosing Netscape Communications Corp. from distributing
its browser. Microsoft allegedly also used its monopoly power to
threaten other companies including IBM and America Online (AOL).


In its revised filing, Microsoft dwells on its argument that it has no
monopoly power. Microsoft also denied the DOJ's argument that
significant barriers to entry exist, pointing to alternative operating
systems such as Linux and the BeOS, which both run on Intel chips.
Microsoft said the government hasn't shown that it prevented, or
foreclosed, Netscape from shipping its rival browser. And it said that
the DOJ has relied on inadmissible evidence, including hearsay such as
executive quotes in newspaper articles. 


Not surprisingly, the DOJ took a contradictory position in its revised
filing. Federal prosecutors reiterated claims that Microsoft does have
a monopoly. The DOJ said the fact that a substantial increase in the
price of Windows will not cause consumers to look elsewhere proves that
the company can dictate prices. In its filing, the DOJ also claimed
that Microsoft's witnesses consisted mainly of company employees, whose
testimony often contradicted their documents, with few outside
observers. In addition, DOJ said Microsoft dropped its only reliable
technical witness, Michael Dertouzos of MIT, because he would not agree
with their claims. 


The collection of fact finding documents contains the facts that each
side thinks best support its case. They also act as a summary for U.S.
District Court Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson, who will issue a ruling
in the case. 

The judge is expected to issue a ruling on what he considers the facts
of the case in October, after the oral arguments planned for September
21st. After that, each side will file what's called 'proposed
conclusions of law', or how they think the law should apply to those
facts. The judge will issue a ruling sometime after that. However, even
that isn't expected to wrap up the case, which probably will be tied up
in appeals for years. 


Further details can be found at:
http://www.computerworld.com/home/news.nsf/CWFlash/9909105msdoj
http://www.zdnet.com/filters/printerfriendly/0,6061,2332354-2,00.html



--------- sponsor message ----------

Please visit our sponsors that help keep this service free.

PulseTV.com
PulseTV.com is more than just a video outlet. Our staff reviews
thousands of movies choosing the best in quality, value and most of all
subject matter.
  
Order with confidence as every purchase is backed by our Pulse
guarantee, -- if you are not completely satisfied with your purchase,
for any reason, you can return it for a refund or exchange. 

http://mishpat.net/ads/pulsetv

--------- sponsor message ----------



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


* MTV sues web radio site founders *
MTV Networks is suing the founders of Internet radio site 'Imagine
Radio' for allegedly forming a competing business in violation of their
employment contracts. MTV had purchased 'Imagine Radio' from the
defendants in February for 14.5 million dollar as part of the
entertainment giant's plan to create an online music site, which will
let users program their own audio and video channels. 
The lawsuit accuses Rotem Perelmuter and P. Michael Briseno of planning
a competing Internet radio venture, called 'Third Millenium Radio',
using MTV's proprietary information. They also allegedly planned to
recruit other contacted MTV employees. Perelmuter and Briseno did so
despite signing "no compete' agreements until Feb. 4, 2000 and Feb. 3,
2001, respectively. 
http://www.usatoday.com/life/cyber/tech/ctg065.htm


* Israeli domain name ruling *
In the first domain name ruling in Israel, Cellcom, the largest Israeli
cellular phone company, won a temporary restraining order preventing
Aquanet, a small ISP, from using the domain cellcom.net.il. A full
summary of the case is planned for next week's Mishpat Update. The
decision (in Hebrew) is accessible at the Haim Ravia's
Israeli Computer Law section at:
http://www.law.co.il/computer-law/main.htm


* eBay bans alcohol and tobacco sales *
Six months after closing down firearm sales on its site, online auction
leader eBay announced it will soon forbid sales of alcohol and tobacco
products as well. As it becomes less of an Internet start up and more
of an established business, eBay has been implementing systems and
policies to keep it from running afoul of the law, and community
standards. The new policy will take effect within a month.
eBay spokesman Kevin Pursglove said the company made its decision
because of the complications involved in interstate sales of tobacco
and alcohol. According to Pursglove, what might be a legal sale in one
state could be illegal in another, and eBay users could commit a felony
without realizing it.
http://www.zdnet.com/zdnn/stories/news/0,4586,2333387,00.html


* China will fight Internet piracy *
The China Daily reported that China will strengthen its fight against
Internet copyright piracy which has risen to worrying proportions in
the past few months.  The number of copyright violations on the World
Wide Web has grown rapidly, as the number of Internet users in China
has doubled in the last six months from 2.1 million at the end of 1998
to four million at the end of June. Few cases have been brought to
court due to an absence of legislation on the issue. 

http://www.nandotimes.com/technology/story/0,1643,92550-146768-1032462-0,00.html


* USABanc.com settlement *
As reported in Mishpat Update #24, U.S. Bancorp, the 13th largest bank
in the U.S. that operates usbank.com, sued USABanc.com Inc. over
concerns that customers will confuse the two Web sites. A federal judge
in Minneapolis ordered USABanc.com to suspend use of its site and halt
advertising until the dispute is cleared up.
USABanc.com changed its name from USABancShares in May to focus on
online banking services. Fortunately for USABancShares, the bank had a
back up Internet address: USABancShares.com that was not challenged in
the original lawsuit. After getting the restraining order, U.S. Bancorp
hauled USABancShares back into court and argued that the bank's new
Internet address should be banned as well. This time the judge refused
to grant the order. The two sides settled last Friday. Under the terms
of the settlement, USABancShares.com can keep using its name as its
Internet address but not the previously targeted name USABanc.com.
http://www.lawnewsnetwork.com/stories/A5599-1999Sep13.html


* Judge dismisses Xerox suit against HP *
A federal judge dismissed a patent infringement lawsuit filed by Xerox
Corp. against Hewlett Packard Co. (HP). Xerox originally filed the
lawsuit in May 1998, accusing HP of using patented Xerox technology in
some of its Ink-jet printers. HP lawyers later filed a motion for
summary judgment with U.S. District Judge Michael Telesca, who acted on
the motion and dismissed the suit. Xerox said it will appeal the
ruling. The companies still have four lawsuits pending against each
other involving printing and imaging patents. 
http://news.cnet.com/news/0-1003-200-119448.html


* Swedish teenager accused of Internet music piracy *
Tommy Olsson, 17, a Swedish teenager is awaiting a verdict on charges
of Internet music piracy. The complaint against Olsson was brought by
the Swedish branch of the International Federation of the Phonographic
Industry, which represents 53 record companies. Olsson, 17, allegedly
made copyright protected recordings available for free via a page he
created on the World Wide Web. Olsson's attorney claimed that Olsson
did not create the files, copy them or send them to others, he just
spread information about where to find them by linking from his page to
music files on other sites.

http://www.nandotimes.com/technology/story/0,1643,91180-144345-1010275-0,00.html


* IBM settles pension suit *
International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) agreed to pay a group of
300 former employees more than 15.5 million dollar to settle a pension
dispute. The former employees, who worked at an IBM plant in
Louisville, opted to take an early retirement offer from the company
that expired Dec. 31, 1990. Several weeks later, IBM adopted a new
pension plan that was considered more attractive. The retirees filed
suit in 1992, arguing that IBM failed to inform them of the pending
pension changes, which might have kept them from taking the retirement
offer. 
http://news.cnet.com/news/0-1003-200-118075.html


* Microsoft files brief in Java dispute *
Lawyers for Microsoft Corp. have filed a last minute court brief in a
lawsuit filed by Sun Microsystems Inc. over Microsoft's use of Sun's
Java programming language.  The brief came as a U.S. District Judge
Ronald Whyte is reconsidering an injunction preventing Microsoft from
using a version of Java in its software that wasn't compatible with
Sun's version. Whyte is also expected to issue a final ruling in the
case soon (a summary of the previous procedures appeared in Mishpat
Update #25). 
http://www.computerworld.com/home/news.nsf/CWFlash/9909153msoftjava


* Hackers hit ICQ and Drudge *
A hacker using a Trojan Horse disguised as a JPEG file (a popular
graphic format) has gained access to a small number of ICQ passwords.
According to Regina Lewis, a spokeswoman for the ICQ messaging service,
which is owned by AOL, only about 200 ICQ passwords have been
compromised out of a subscriber base of more than 40 million people, .
Access to the passwords was gained when ICQ subscribers received an
e-mail with an attachment of an executable file. When the attachment
was launched, the ICQ password was automatically exposed. The hacker
used e-mail addresses picked up from commonly available ICQ
directories. 
http://www.computerworld.com/home/news.nsf/CWFlash/9909105icq

Hackers who claimed responsibility for earlier attacks against ABC and
C-SPAN vandalized the Web site run by Internet gossip columnist Matt
Drudge. The group, calling itself "United Loan Gunmen," replaced the
Drudge Report's main page with a message saying they "take control of
Mike (sic) Drudge's data stockyard to once again show the world that
this is the realm of the hacker." 

http://www.nandotimes.com/technology/story/0,1643,92924-147335-1037579-0,00.html

If you know of any cyberlaw updates, please send them to
mailto:editor@mishpat.net

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

Yedidya M. Melchior 
Editor 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 
If you have enjoyed reading it and have found useful information
in this newsletter  you are requested to help spread the word
about it. You can do this by  forwarding a copy to your friends
and telling them about it. 
  

To subscribe or unsubscribe visit 
http://mishpat.net/mailing-lists/

Information on how to sponsor Mishpat-Update 
mailto:advertising@mishpat.net

Send suggestions and comments to 
mailto:editor@mishpat.net

If you wish to contribute an article 
mailto:articles@mishpat.net

Online archives
http://mishpat.net/mailing-lists/update

Rate this newsletter at Ezineseek
http://www.ezineseek.com/cgi-bin/search/rateit.cgi?ID=915765861

Copyright 1999 Mishpat-Net Internet Legal Information

The Cyberlaw Informer

Your E-mail Address



Back to Mishpat-Update archive



law bar



| Home | About | Comments | Advertise With Us | Bookstore | Legal News | Add a Resource |

| Discuss Law | Recommend this site | Advanced Search | What's New |

| Israeli Lawyers | Directory | Privacy Policy | Disclaimer |



Copyright © Mishpat-Net 1998-2004