EU: net neutrality just “arm wrestling” between companies

26 03 2009


Viviane Reding, the EU Commissioner for Information Society and Media, says that an open Internet is “crucial” to Europe. But that doesn’t mean a little traffic shaping, service prioritization, and discrimination won’t be allowed.

In a September 2008 speech in Copenhagen, Reding told a network neutrality conference that “a cynical observer may note that in the end this whole Net Neutrality debate is about hard cash. Dollars and euros… This is just arm wrestling between big network providers and successful providers of Internet services.”

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New Anti-Piracy Approach May Strike Out with Lawmakers and ISPs

25 03 2009

Although lawsuits by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) against Internet users suspected of illegal file-sharing have gained widespread publicity in recent years, people seeking to share and download free music online may soon face a new type of obstacle.

The Obama administration recently expressed its intention to continue the Bush-era policy of supporting fines of up to 0,000 per violation of the Copyright Act, despite the argument that these large fines are excessive. Lately, however, the RIAA has begun to turn its enforcement focus away from such litigation and toward private action through Internet service providers (ISPs).

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Google: Internet disconnection a “disproportionate” penalty

19 03 2009


Google has waded into the worldwide debate over disconnecting file-sharers after repeated copyright infringement. Responding to a New Zealand draft of “graduated response” principles, Google lawyers don’t reject the idea of graduated response, but they do take issue with the proposed penalty of disconnection—”a remedy that is disproportionate to the harm of copyright infringement online.”

Google makes clear in its comments that it supports copyright and the ability of rightsholders to stop infringement, but it has serious concerns about the process, especially when no judge is involved in disconnection proceedings. “Mere allegations of copyright infringement should not trump users’ rights,” says the filing. “Copyright law is often complex and context sensitive, and only a court is qualified to adjudicate allegations of
copyright infringement. Indeed, in Google’s experience, there are serious issues regarding the improper use and inaccuracy of copyright notices by rights holders.”

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IPKAT on European Keyword Cases

18 03 2009

IPKat on European keyword cases.

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Israel Patent Office Allows Descriptive Slogan to be Registered as a Trademark

17 03 2009

In a somewhat odd decision, Israel IP Arbitrator, Noach Shmulovich has ruled to allow registration of slogan ‘A Diamond in Your Pocket’ as a trademark on appeal.

Background
In general, the Israel Patent and Trademark Office does not like registering slogans as trademarks as they are generally NOT considered as indicative of origin since the public does not consider them as being indicative of origin. . . .


The case in question

The application relates to a card having diamond dust thereupon. Diamond dust is a by-product of the diamond polishing industry that Israel is a major player in. It’s more or less worthless, but applicant had bright idea of sticking such dust onto a card, and selling it as a gimmick.

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Canadians Respond to New Copyright Legislation

15 03 2009

Kate Lance passed along the following:
In June 2008, the Canadian government introduced Bill C-61
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Key Kiwi ISP looking to block NZ P2P disconnection law

11 03 2009


Under government pressure, copyright holders and ISPs in New Zealand have been meeting for months to hash out a Code of Conduct for disconnecting repeat Internet “pirates.” It’s a process that requires the unanimous agreement of all parties, but ISP TelstraClear has now publicly refused to back the process, saying that disconnecting users based on content owner complaints was simply unfair.

The New Zealand government decided last year that this sort of “graduated response” mechanism sounded like a hunky-dory way to curtail the rampant trading of copyrighted works online. The result was a new section of copyright law, section 92a, which said that “an Internet service provider must adopt and reasonably implement a policy that provides for termination, in appropriate circumstances, of the account with that Internet service provider of a repeat infringer.”

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French anti-P2P law toughest in the world

10 03 2009


The French attempt to pass the world’s toughest “graduated response” law against P2P file-sharers has been en retard for months. But the negotiations are finally over, the “Création et Internet” bill has been drafted, and today it finally came up before the National Assembly for debate. Despite furious opposition, the bill could well pass soon, laying down severe penalties for “not securing one’s Internet connection” and forcing public WiFi operators to allow access only to a “white list” of acceptable sites. And all this for one industry.

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Report: ‘Net filtering won’t stop online extremism

10 03 2009


Like just about everyone else, political extremists with the potential for violence have gone online. Everything from diatribes by known terrorists to recruitment videos make their first appearances on websites, leading many, both in government and out, wondering how best to tackle the dangers that this material (and the people behind it) poses. A new study by the The International Centre For The Study Of Radicalisation And Political Violence (ICSR) has performed an analysis of the issues and released a report that suggests the best way to deal with the material may be to tackle the offline activities of those who produce it.

The ICSR is a joint project formed by an international coalition of academic institutions. The current report, however, is focused on the British experience, suggesting it was primarily the product of people based at King’s College, London. Although some of the material in the report is specific to the UK, a fair bit of it probably applies fairly generally to the experience in other nations.

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ICANN Board Resolution re Trademarks in New TLDs

6 03 2009

Via the Intellectual Property Constituency of ICANN, we learn that the Board has unanimously adopted the following resolution regarding the protection of trademarks in the proposed new top level domains:

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