letters/FACTNews #2 - February 1, 1997
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----------------------------------------------------------------------- Vol I, Issue #2 February 1,1997 ----------------------------------------------------------------------- In this issue: (1) SCOTTISH RIGHTS: THE SHETLAND WWW COPYRIGHT BATTLE (2) HALLMARK CARDS IN TRADEMARK DISPUTE OVER "E-GREETINGS" (3) THE GATEWAY TO INTERNET TRADEMARK LITIGATION (4) BERNSTEIN WINS: ENCRYPTION RESTRICTIONS UNCONSTITUTIONAL (5) US DOD RECOMMENDS "INFORMATION WARFARE" TACTICS (6) NEW YORK STATE SUED OVER INTERNET LAW (7) GET YOUR FBI FILES BY E-MAIL FOR $2! NOT! (8) WEB COPYRIGHT FIGHT DOWN UNDER: THE NIGHT THE MUSIC DIED (9) AUSTRALIA GETS NEW FEDERAL PRIVACY COMMISSIONER (10) US GOVERNMENT NOT IN ACCORD RE CRYPTO POLICY (11) LEGISLATIVE HISTORY OF CDA AVAILABLE ON THE WEB (12) EFF HOSTS DEFENSE FUND FOR PENET.FI (13) FEEDBACK ON COURT DECISION TO REVIEW CDA (14) WHAT'S NEW ON THE FACTNET WEB SITE INTERVIEW WITH PEACEFIRE FOUNDER HASELTON NEW PRIVACY GROUPS ADDED ======================================================================= (1) SCOTTISH RIGHTS: THE SHETLAND WWW COPYRIGHT BATTLE A unique copyright battle is being waged in Scotland between the Shetland News and the Shetland Times over the issue of WWW access. Both newspapers have web sites but the Times has obtained a preliminary interdict (or injunction) that prevents the News from linking to the web site of the Times. The News claims that such blockage could have a chilling effect on the Web. The Times says that it took the action because the News was using the exact wording of headlines in its stories for the link to the Times' story, thereby possibly giving the impression that the story was actually on the News' site. The News denies this. On 24Oct96, Lord Hamilton, sitting in the Outer House of the Court of Session in Edinburgh, granted the Times its preliminary interdict and said:, "The inclusion of the headlines of one newspaper in the internet website of another newspaper was, prima facie, infringement of the copyright belonging to the original newspaper." The court also noted a possibile financial loss, saying, "Such access was gained without the caller requiring at any stage to gain access to the [Times'] front page. Thus access to the [Times'] items could be obtained by by-passing the [Times'] front page and accordingly missing any advertising material which might appear on it." The News has vocally taken the battle to its web site and included an extensive pack of information that viewers can download. The Times has kept the fight out of its site and representatives are reluctant to speak. Robert Wishart, managing director of The Shetland Times Ltd, issued a statement on 6Dec97, saying that the Times regretted having to take the action and insisting that it has no effect on anyone linking to any page. It is, Wishart told letters/FACTNews, "a storm in a teacup and a total waste of time and money." No date has been set for the trial but the rest of the Internet will be watching eagerly. WWW references: Shetland News http://www.shetland-news.co.uk/ Shetland Times http://www.shetland-times.co.uk/ The (London) Times http://www.the-times.co.uk/news/pages/tim/97/01/21/ Ariadne Magazine - Copyright Battles: The Shetlands http://www.ukoln.ac.uk/ariadne/issue6/copyright/ Shetland News Fact-Pack www.factnet.org/shetlnd2.htm Shetland Times Statement www.factnet.org/shetlnd1.htm
======================================================================= (2) HALLMARK CARDS IN TRADEMARK DISPUTE OVER "E-GREETINGS" Hallmark Cards got a surprise when it received notice of a trademark violation from Greet Street because of its use of "E-Greetings," as a term for electronic cards marketed off Hallmark's Web site at http://www.hallmark.com
. A spokeswoman for Hallmark told Media Daily the company stopped using "E-Greetings" in November after receiving notification from Greet Street. But Hallmark has filed a formal complaint with the U.S. Trademark Office to cancel Greet Street's trademark because the company contends the term "E-Greetings"-or anything else prefaced with the letter "e"-can't be trademarked. See: Cowles/SIMBA Media Daily http://www.mediacentral.com http://www.simbanet.com
(Reprinted from SPJ Press Notes 29Jan97 with the permission of the Society of Professional Journalists <www.spj.org>
.) ======================================================================= (3) THE GATEWAY TO INTERNET TRADEMARK LITIGATION The Internet seems to generate David and Goliath battles and another is raging in North Carolina, USA. The newest David is Gateway.com, a thriving one-man ISP in Raleigh, started by Alan Clegg back in 1988. He's managed to snare some good clients, including MCI Advanced Business Services and Sprint Mid-Atlantic. His Goliath is Gateway 2000, a $3.5 billion company that was started in 1985. Goliath wants to own the "gateway" name and has filed a trademark suit to take it, even though the word was computer lingo before the world found the Internet. Clegg was offered a new computer in exchange for the name but he declined. Gateway 2000 has requested an injunction to prevent him from using the name. A one-hour hearing was conducted on 29Jan97, with the judge saying he would hand down a decision later. Gateway 2000 sued Tucows.com last year for using black and white cows on its website saying it infringed on their black-and-white packaging. The suit was settled early in 1997 with no one discussing the outcome. Clegg (firstname.lastname@example.org)
keeps updates at his site (www.gateway.com)
as well as a mailing list to keep Netizens appraised. WWW References: Raleigh News and Observer (28Jan97) at www.nando.net/newsroom/nao/biz/012897/biz03_988.html Wired stories at www.wired.com/news/business/story/1684.html and www.wired.com/news/business/story/1585.html Gateway 2000 is at www.gateway2000.com
======================================================================= (4) BERNSTEIN WINS: ENCRYPTION RESTRICTIONS UNCONSTITUTIONAL A federal district judge in San Francisco has ruled that the U.S. government's attempt to prevent Illinois math professor David J. Bernstein from exporting an encryption program he created is an unconstitutional restriction of his right to freedom of expression. Bernstein had wanted to share his program with researchers around the world. The Clinton Administration has insisted that tough restriction on exportation of encryption software is necessary to foil criminals and terrorists. The decision of Judge Marilyn Hall Patel was based on the fact that the law fails to provide for prompt judicial review of export restrictions and thus acts as "unconstitutional prior restraint in violation of the First Amendment." (Washington Post 19 Dec 96 A1) [From Edupage 19Dec96, with permission. Edupage archive at <http://www.educom.edu/web/pubs/edupage.html>
.]) ======================================================================= (5) US DOD RECOMMENDS "INFORMATION WARFARE" TACTICS The U.S. Department of Defense has recommended establishing a new "information-warfare" czar in the Defense Department and an "information-warfare" center within U.S. intelligence agencies. A report released by a task force appointed by the Defense Science Board calls for spending $580 million in R&D over the coming years, mainly in the private sector, to develop new software and hardware to provide security, such as a system for automatically tracing cracker attacks back to their source. The task force also recommends changing the laws so that the Pentagon can legally pursue and repel those who attempt to hack into DoD computer systems, injecting their computers with "a polymorphic virus that wipes out the system, takes it down for weeks." A Defense Department spokesman notes that the Advanced Research Projects Agency is working on an "electronic immune system" that could detect invaders and mobilize against them. (Wall Street Journal 6 Jan 97 B2) [From EDUPAGE 7Jan97 with permission. Edupage archive at <http://www.educom.edu/web/pubs/edupage.html>
.] ======================================================================= (6) NEW YORK STATE SUED OVER INTERNET LAW The American Civil Liberties Union said it filed a complaint in federal court in Manhattan against New York State, charging that its new law, which prohibits indecent material over the Internet, restricts free speech on the basis of content by reducing adult communications to levels acceptable for six-year-olds. See: Cowles/SIMBA Media Daily http://www.mediacentral.com
(Reprinted from SPJ Press Notes 29Jan97 with the permission of the Society of Professional Journalists <www.spj.org>
.) ======================================================================= (7) GET YOUR FBI FILES BY E-MAIL FOR $2! NOT! Liz Tompkins was perhaps the first to put out the alert that a web site (http://members.tripod.com/~fonline/Online.htm)
was adveristing itself as "FBI Online" and could provide anyone their FBI file via e-mail for a mere two dollars. The item was included in her excellent "NBNews Journal" of 27Jan97 with the remark, "If it looks and smells fishy..." She was right. Originating out of San Diego, the site offered screen after screen of official FBI information about such diversse topics as the fatal TWA Flight 800, the Atlanta Centennial Olympic Park bombing, FBI Congressional Affairs, FBI Crime Reports and FBI Crime Statistics. However all were merely links to the official FBI site (http://www.fbi.gov)
. At the end, the offer was made, with a link back to tripod.com. For a mere two dollars, they would offer up your FBI file. All the visitor had to do was give them their name, address and a credit card number... A few days later, the site disappeared as mysteriously as it appeared. One wonders how many credit card numbers they acquired. (For a free subscription to Lis Tompkins NBNews, send an Email to email@example.com
with "subscribe" in the subject line.) ======================================================================= (8) WEB COPYRIGHT FIGHT DOWN UNDER: THE NIGHT THE MUSIC DIED Web sites at two Australian universities have been stripped of song lyrics and music as part of the newest Internet copyright crackdown. Attorneys for the Australasian Mechanical Copyright Owners Society (AMCOS) and the Australian Music Publishers Association Limited (AMPAL) forced Monash University and the University of Western Sydney to remove the material from sites at those schools. The sites contained lyrics and music of popular songs and MIDI (musical isntrument digital interface) files that allowed computers to play the songs by reproducing the musical sounds of various instruments. WWW Refernces: Australian Online at http://www.australian.aust.com/computer/ AMCOS home page is at http://wwwapmcos.com.au/ AMPAL shares the site at http://www.amcos.com.au/amcos/ampal.html
======================================================================= (9) AUSTRALIA GETS NEW FEDERAL PRIVACY COMMISSIONER Moira Scollay will become the new Federal Privacy Commissioner for the Australian Commonwealth on February 6, 1997. The commissioner's functions include investigating complaints about interference with privacy of personal information in some specific areas of activity. The Privacy Commission is part of the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (HREOC) and is based in Sydney. One of Scollay's priorities will be to extend the government's Privacy Act to cover the rest of the private sector. Scollay has extensive experience as a senior Commonwealth public servant, for the last 9 years in various change management roles at the Australian Taxation Office. Most recently she had responsibility, as a Second Commissioner of Taxation, for implementation of a Taxpayers' Service Charter including setting up a complaints mechanism. WWW Referencs: HREOC at www.hreoc.gov.au Privacy Commission at www.hreoc.gov.au/hreoc/privacy Privacy Act discusson papers at www.agps.gov.au/customer/agd/clrc/privacy.htm
======================================================================= (10) US GOVERNMENT NOT IN ACCORD RE CRYPTO POLICY TechWire reports (30Jan97) that the US Director of Counterintelligence Programs at the National Security Council expressed reservations about the Clinton cryptography policy. Speaking at the annual RSA Data Security Conference in San Francisco, Edward J. Appel said the policy "doesn't have the ring of credibility" after the Clipper Chip disaster and that the policy should lean more toward protecting privacy. Story at http://www.techweb.com/wire/news/0129crypto.html
======================================================================= (11) LEGISLATIVE HISTORY OF CDA AVAILABLE ON THE WEB A massive analysis and legislative history of the controversial Communications Decency Act has been released and is available on the Web. Subtitled "Regulating Barbarians on the Information Superhighway," the history was written by Robert Cannon for the Federal Communications Law Journal (Nov.96). Cannon is an attorney with the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau of the Federal Communications Commission. He is also the Webmaster of the Federal Communications Bar Association's World Wide Web site <http://www.fcba.org/>
. Robert Cannon's website can be found at <http://www.cais.net/cannon/>
. The document has nearly 200 footnotes and is about 153k in size. It can be found at <http://www.law.indiana.edu/fclj/v49/no1/cannon.html>
. ======================================================================= (12) EFF HOSTS DEFENSE FUND FOR PENET.FI In the last issue of letters/FACTNews, Johan Helsingius, operator of the (former) pseudonymous remailer anon.penet.fi, said a defense fund was being planned. We're happy to announce that it has been set up with the Electronic Frontier Foundation. DO NOT MAKE CHECKS OUT TO PENET.FI BUT TO EFF ONLY. Mark on the check it is for the "Penet Fund". Please realize small amounts ($5-10) will be chewed up by currency conversion so try to make it generous or combine your gift with others. Send US contributions to: Electronic Frontier Foundation Attn: Penet Fund 1550 Bryant St., Suite 725 San Francisco CA 94103 For non-US contributions. contact www.penet.fi
for information. EFF is at www.eff.org
. ======================================================================= (13) FEEDBACK re Court decision to review CDA ignores on-line media In letters/FACTNews #1, we remarked that Joe Shea's suit against the CDA had been passed over by the Supreme Court in favor of the ACLU's suit and noted that She's suit involved issues about the new Internet media that might get missed. Stanton McCandlish of EFF responded: Any arguments raised by Shea's legal team not raised by the ACLU & ALA [American Library Assn.] legal teams (now merged) can (and I'm sure will) be raised by the ACLU & ALA legal teams in the Supreme Court case. In general though, any ruling about free speech will extend to the free press. Shea responded: I think the benefit that hearing Shea v Reno would bring is that it would specifically extend the rights enjoyed by the print press in America to the Internet-based free press; the ACLU and ALA case may do that by extension, but it will not recognize the place of the press as an institution, as the First Amendment does. A newspaper, you know, can shout "Fire!" in a crowded theater -- via its headline -- where a person cannot. In some states, a reporter for a publication cannot be forced to reveal his sources, where an ordinary person who is the source of a non-published "report" may be forced to do so. None of the ACLU or ALA case will specifically protect these free press rights, and they must then be adjudicated in the future. You may circulate this response as you wish. Joe Shea (firstname.lastname@example.org)
is the Editor-in-Chief of The American Reporter at http://www.newshare.com:9999
======================================================================= (14) WHAT'S NEW ON THE FACTNET WEB SITE <http://www.factnet.org>
----------------------------------------------------- INTERVIEW WITH PEACEFIRE FOUNDER HASELTON Peacefire.org founder Bennett Haselton found himself in the national spotlight when he revealed how CYBERsitter works. (See letters/FACTNews #1) CYBERsitter, made by Solid Oak Software, is one of the new filtering softwares being offered to parents who want to regulate what their children can access via the home computer. Haselton agreed to an e-mail inteviw with letters/FACTNews and chatted about the current activities of Peacefire and how they are helping to fight the New York CDA law. The interview is at <www.factnet.org/haselton.htm >
----------------------------------- NEW PRIVACY LINKS ADDED The following have been added to FACTNet's growing list of international links of groups (government = *) concerned with privacy and free speech at www.factnet.org/orgs.html
. Austria TU Graz: Datenschutz-Dokumentation (Graz University of Technology) gopher://hyperg.tu-graz.ac.at/11Datenschutz
Germany Landesbeauftragter f|r Datenschutz, Rheinland-Pfalz http://radbruch.jura.uni-mainz.de/~baab/rudolf/datenschutz.html
New Zealand *Office of the Privacy Commissioner http://www.knowledge-basket.co.nz/privacy/welcome.htm
Switzerland *Swiss Federal Datenschutzbeauftragter (U. of Zurich) http://is.eunet.ch/edsb/
United States Georgia - Electronic Frontiers Georgia http://www.efga.org/
EFGA is not affiliated with EFF. EFGA is currently battling a Georgia Internet police bill with a suit against the state Attorney General. Briefs and other material are at the site. If you know of a group or agency that should be listed, send it to email@example.com.
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