Wednesday, August 31, 2005

SEC may fine Morgan Stanley $10 million over e-mail

The Securities and Exchange Commission is threatening to fine Morgan Stanley more than $10 million for failing to keep e-mails in a number of cases the agency brought against the brokerage firm.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Web copyright dispute settled

A company accused of online copyright infringement has paid an out-of-court cash settlement to the copyright owner, financial advisor directory

Friday, August 26, 2005

Knowledge: The "Missing" Link in Linking Liability

When does a hyperlink violate copyright law? Traditionally, the answer to that question has been a murky one. But a few recent court decisions suggest that judges in several countries may be gradually moving toward a consensus: a hyperlink violates copyright law when the linker knows that the linked-to site contains copyright-infringing content. Most recently, a German appeals court found that a hyperlink on an online news site violated German copyright law because it sent users to the homepage of a software vendor whose product -- as the news service was aware -- could be used to circumvent copyright-protection mechanisms on DVDs. (BMG Records GmbH v. Heise Zeitschriften Verlag (July 28, 2005).) Upholding a lower court’s decision, the Intermediate Court of Appeals of Munich ruled that the hyperlink made Heise Online liable as "an aide and abettor" of “unlawful acts.” But the court refused to find Heise liable for merely reporting about the software in question, as the German music industry had wanted. But that's not all. If the recent European Commission proposal (see item above) to criminalize contributory copyright infringement is adopted, hyperlinkers like Heise Online might one day be prosecuted for a criminal offense.

Europe Adds Fuel to the Grokster Fire

Less than two weeks after file-sharers and peer-to-peer software developers got singed by the Supreme Court's decision in MGM Studios, Inc. v. Grokster, Ltd., the European Commission added fuel to the fire with its proposed directive and framework decision on copyright infringement. The EC proposal would criminalize not only direct copyright infringement, but also "attempting, aiding or abetting and inciting" such infringement. So while the EU has not gone as far as the U.S. in extending the terms of some copyrights (in 1998, the U.S. extended corporate copyrights to 95 years, to the benefit of big content owners), EU copyright enforcement rules may become even stricter than those in the land of the free and the home of the RIAA.
In Grokster, which involved peer-to-peer file sharing software that had been used to share copyrighted music and video files, the Supreme Court held that "one who disributes a device with the object of promoting its use to infringe copyright, as shown by clear expression or other affirmative steps taken to foster infringement, is liable for the resulting acts of infringement by third parties." But the EC’s proposal goes even further than Grokster. For while Grokster involved potential civil liability for contributory infringement, the proposed EU directive would make such indirect copyright infringement a criminal offense.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Document management essential element of compliance

Legislation such as the ECT Act demands that businesses correctly manage electronic documents and records. According to Intervate - a software development house that assists organisations in attaining compliance with legislation and corporate best practices - local companies need to implement comprehensive electronic document and record management (EDRM) solutions to attain this compliance.

Cyber-robbers hit bank

Northern Ireland's Northern Bank has been hit by a cunning criminal cash scam, according to a Sunday Life report.

Counter-intelligence: Tackling security issues head on

Late last year, keynote speakers at the Etre Technology Conference in Cannes in Italy said that despite the huge number of IT security products and services cramming the market, businesses are more exposed than ever to emerging threats.

Report reveals cybercrime hierarchy

A new Virtual Criminology Report by McAfee shows there is a ‘hierarchy' of cyber criminals, and that ID theft is the most damaging Internet crime.

Interconnection integral to competition

“Interconnection rights are key for fair competition – otherwise it isn't really a Convergence Bill,” the Internet Service Providers Association (ISPA) said in its submission on the Convergence Bill.

Companies dinged on Web privacy

It may not come as a surprise to many online shoppers, but a new study released this week shows that many major American companies misuse information they collect from consumers over the Web.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Wiretap Act Covers Emails In Temporary Storage, Appeals Court Says

The law governing both private and governmental acquisition of Internet communications has been a perennial source of confusion for lawyers and service providers alike. Courts for years have struggled with questions such as whether a communication was "in transmission," and therefore subject to the rules of the Wiretap Act, or whether it was "in storage," and therefore subject to the less stringent Stored Communications Act (SCA). Indeed, the question has almost literally made heads spin, causing judges to change their minds in the same case after having already issued a decision. On August 11, the First Circuit, sitting en banc, added another decision to the mix. In United States v. Councilman, the court reversed an earlier panel decision and held that email messages stored temporarily as part of the transmission process are covered by the federal Wiretap Act, and that an email provider could be prosecuted under that Act for allegedly intercepting and copying his customers' emails before they were delivered. Though this was the result sought by government prosecutors and by some privacy advocates, the court's failure to clarify the boundaries between the Wiretap Act and the SCA could have unintended effects down the road both for Internet providers and for individual privacy rights.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Spyware Heats Up the Debate Over Cookies

INTERNET users are taking back control of their computers, and online marketers and publishers are not pleased with the results. But they don't quite know what to do about their conundrum - if it is a conundrum, since they can't even agree on that.

Publishers loosen rules on e-textbooks

A group of major textbook publishers has agreed to loosen restrictions in an electronic-textbook experiment beginning this month at Princeton University and other schools, following some criticism of expiration dates.

Recording industry: CD-burning a bigger problem than file-sharing

Copying music to CDs is becoming a bigger threat to record stores' and music labels' bottom line than online file-sharing, according to the head of the recording industry's trade group.

The FCC's invite to Big Brother

It's cheaper and easier than ever to make phone calls over the Internet, thanks to innovative gadgets like a Wi-Fi handset from ZyXel. Buried in the convoluted 91-page legalese of a recent Federal Communications Commission release on voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is a proposal with worrisome privacy implications.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Lloyd's taking on open source IP risk

Lloyd's of London is close to offering independent insurance protection worldwide against potential IP litigation involving Linux and open source software. The financial services giant has agreed to take on the risk associated with open source, and is finalizing arrangements to work through Open Source Risk Management (OSRM) who will become Lloyd's sole US representative.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Software expert's download woes

A MAN who claims he backed up data from his work-issued laptop on his home computer in case it crashed will likely be forced to leave his job because a court has found he may have intended to share trade secrets about a $500 million Telstra deal with competitors.

Hacker steals data on 61,000 students from US university

SAN FRANCISCO (AFP) - A hacker has broken into computers at Sonoma State University in California and stolen personal information on about 61,000 students, according to the college.

Web pic law canvassed

POSTING unauthorised photos of children on the internet could be outlawed under options raised in a discussion paper.

Assembling a smart defence against Internet threats

The size and vigour of the attack on corporate communication infrastructure, in particular email, is such that the level of security needs to be beefed up. Like an alert digital watchdog, any implemented solution should have the functionality to anticipate and control threats.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

'Massive' identity theft ring uncovered

The FBI is reportedly investigating a criminal operation that involves the theft of confidential data from thousands of machines infected with spyware.

Sender ID's fading message

At the start of last year, Bill Gates told the world's elite at an annual conference in Davos, Switzerland, that the problem of spam would be solved in two years.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Antiphishing group casts line at new threats

Faced with a rise in so-called pharming and crimeware attacks, the Anti-Phishing Working Group will expand its charter to include these emerging threats.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Hacked: Who Else Is Using Your Computer?

This article brings to light how people tend to be complacent with their computers and not understand the little things they have overlooked that have left themselves open to others on the Internet. Chat programs today are used by millions, and yet they offer an avenue of capability to someone wanting to do harm.

EU plan could put open sourcers in court

The European Commission has proposed a law that could allowcriminal charges to be pressed against a business usingsoftware believed to infringe upon another company'sintellectual property. The proposed directive, which wasadopted by the European Commission last month, would allowcriminal sanctions against "all intentional infringements ofan IP right on a commercial scale."