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Does Eolas Patent Infringement Case Against Microsoft, Apple and Others Have Web Implications?

Eolas, a technology company that was awarded $565 million in a patent infringement settlement against Microsoft in 2007 is embarking on another campaign against others under the same grounds of patent violation. The latest lawsuit alleges that Apple and 22 companies are in violation of U.S. Patent Nos. 5,838,906 and 7,599,985, which involve embedded Web applications within a browser. The list of infringers also include Google/Youtube, Yahoo, Adobe, Amazon, Blockbuster, Citigroup, eBay, Frito-Lay, Go Daddy, J.C. Penney, JPMorgan Chase, Office Depot, Perot Systems, Staples, Sun Microsystems, Texas Instruments even adult-oriented Playboy. more»

Dozens Arrested in US, Egypt for Phishing Targeting American Banks

Dozens of people have been arrested in the US and in Egypt, accused of links to an alleged international identity theft ring targeting American banks. FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller said about 100 arrests were expected across the US states of California, Nevada and North Carolina as well as in Egypt. more»

French National Assembly Passes Internet Piracy Bill

The French National Assembly has passed a draft law that would allow illegal downloaders to be thrown off the net. The law was narrowly passed by 285 votes to 225. The French hard-line policy on piracy has drawn worldwide attention as nations around the globe grapple with the issue of piracy. more»

ISPs Angry at New UK File-Sharing Policy

Internet service providers (ISPs) have reacted with anger to new proposals on how to tackle internet piracy. The government is proposing a tougher stance which would include cutting off repeat offenders from the net. UK ISP Talk Talk said the recommendations were likely to "breach fundamental rights" and would not work. more»

Pew Looks at the State of Online Music Ten Years After Napster

Pew Internet reporting on the 10th anniversary of the Napster's launch: "As researchers look back on the first decade of the 21st Century, many will no doubt point to the formative impact of file-sharing and peer-to-peer exchange of music on the internet. Distributed networks of socially-driven music sharing helped lay the foundation for mainstream engagement with participatory media applications. Napster and other peer-to-peer services "schooled" users in the social practice of downloading, uploading, and sharing digital content, which, in turn, has contributed to increased demand for broadband, greater processing power, and mobile media devices." more»

Downloading is Not Enough… Probably

Peer to peer download services are still popular with music-loving kids, it seems. The second annual survey of young people's music consumption by pressure group UK Music found that three-fifths of the 1,808 18-24 year olds who took part said they used p2p services, and four-fifths of those did so at least once a week. This is almost the same as last year's result, and would seem to indicate that the efforts by the music industry to offer a range of licensed alternatives to Limewire and other p2p services have failed to have any real impact. more»

Comment on the Kleiman/Komaitis Proposal on Multiple IP Clearinghouses for the New gTLD Process

I recently learned about a meeting that took place between ICANN staff and Noncommercial Users Constituency (NCUC) members Kathy Kleiman and Konstantinos Komaitis regarding the Implementation Recommendations Team (IRT) recommendations for the protection of intellectual property rights in new generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs). My comment relates to the White Paper published by Ms. Kleiman and Mr. Komaitis with respect to the notion of having multiple Regional Trademark clearinghouses (TMCs). For the reasons stated in this comment, the KK Proposal fails a number of the benchmarking checklists used by the IRT in evaluating proposals. more»

How Copyright Violators Are Removed from Search Engine Listings Based on DMCA

It may not be widely-known but the big 3 search engines -- Google, Yahoo! and Bing -- have established procedures for removing natural search results on the basis of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). That's good news for brand owners: if consumers can't find infringing websites via the search engines, they're less likely to come across them at all... more»

ICANN Explains the Handling of YouTubeIslam.com Domain Dispute and Why It Had No Authority

In response to a large number of emails and calls related to the disputed domain name, YouTubeIslam.com, ICANN's Senior Vice President, Kurt Pritz, has published a post explaining how the case was handled and why ICANN has no authority in such matters. "Because we coordinate the domain name system, ICANN is sometimes wrongly seen as the ultimate authority over anything that happens with the domain name system. The reality is quite different... While ICANN does ultimately set the rules by which domain names are registered, it does not possess the power to overturn decisions that are made within the rules." more»

NJ Man Arrested for Domain Name Theft and Sale on eBay

A man from the northern New Jersey area was charged and arrested for stealing a domain name belonging to the owners of P2P.com. According to reports, he allegedly transferred the ownership of the domain name to himself and succeeded in reselling it on eBay to a professional basketball player Mark Madsen of the Los Angeles Clippers. more»

WIPO: Disregard TLD in Trademark Dispute

There is a Dutch website which regularly publishes comments on rulings of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Arbitration, Dutch court cases, and similar things. They have a newsletter which reports over the latest cases. It is really meant for people who are into the legal aspects of domain names. In the July "nieuwsbrief" newsletter, there was a remark (in Dutch) about a case that the top level ".nl" suffix to the name should not be considered relevant. more»

USA: Court Leaves FCC With Discretion to Regulate Special Access Circuits

On Friday, the decision to deregulate "special access" circuits was upheld. The case had been brought by the Ad Hoc Committee, a long standing body of large business users, one of the main categories of buyers of high capacity leased lines to interconnect business premises. more»

ICANN Seeking Answers at Public Meetings for Dealing With Trademarks and New TLDs

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is hosting two meetings this week -- one in New York City and the other in London -- to discuss the trademark and cybersecurity issues surrounding its plan to introduce hundreds of new top-level domains into the Internet. Similar meetings will be held in Hong Kong next week and Abu-Dhabi in early August. At these public meetings, ICANN is discussing the protections that it will give corporations so they don't have to spend huge sums of money purchasing their company and brand names in all of the new top-level domains... more»

Privacy Commissioner Finds Facebook Violating Canadian Privacy Law

The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada has released its long-awaited finding in the complaint against Facebook on a variety of privacy grounds. The complaint was launched by CIPPIC in May 2008 (note that I am an advisor to CIPPIC but had no involvement in this complaint). The case marks an important step in assessing how Canadian privacy law addresses social media with the Commissioner identifying some significant concerns. Moreover, as the case potentially heads to court, it will be closely watched to see whether the findings can be enforced against a global social media power like Facebook. more»

Digital Download Laws Force Users to Become Pirates, Says European Commissioner

European laws governing the digitization of content such as books, movies and music need a major re-working in order to keep Europe relevant in the digital age, said the European Commissioner for the information society and telecoms Viviane Reding on Thursday. Laying out her manifesto for a renewed five-year term in the job, Reding said in a speech that she shares the frustrations of Internet companies including Google, which would like to offer interesting business models in the field of online book publishing,"but cannot do so because of the fragmented regulatory system in Europe." more»