Editor: Sabrina I. Pacifici
Burgess Allison’s Technology Update
Legal Publishers’ List – tracks mergers in the legal publishing field, and periodically posts related news items.
LLRX Newstand Archives
Information Management: Electronic Dissemination of Government Documents, March 30, 2001. This 86 report, in PDF, investigates whether future distribution of government documents will be in electronic format only.
One Hour to Midnight: Tasini Oral Arguments at the Supreme Court, March 30, 2001. Barbara Quint’s update on this important case includes links to background information, how to obtain transcripts of the oral arguments, and excerpts from the oral arguments presented by Laurence Tribe representing the publishers, and Lawrence Gold, representing the authors.
FindLaw Constitutional Law Center: New York Times Company v. Jonathan Tasini et al, March 28, 2001. Links to decisions, docket sheet, briefs (in PDF).
New York Times (reg. req’d)
Web Sites Found Lax in Protecting Child Privacy, March 28, 2001. A Report by the Annenburg Public Policy Center (U. Penn) found that the majority of the 162 web sites reviewed do not comply with federal regulations to protect children’s privacy online.
Privacy Policies on Children’s Websites. Do they play by the Rules? March 28, 2001. The 22 page report is in PDF.
Hoover’s Online Now Available Via Virtually Any Wireless Device, March 28, 2001. “Wi reless device users can now search for and retrieve information on approximately 17,000 public and private enterprises worldwide via Hoover’s Wireless.”
Got a New Job? Better Check that Non-Compete Clause, March 27, 2001. “Recent court cases, driven in part by high-tech concerns, seem to be eating away at the concept of employee mobility, thereby giving employers the right to dictate what company an ex-employee may or may not join. ”
Library Card Catalog R.I.P, March 27, 2001. This is actually a really frightening story, from the perspective of a veteran research and librarian. Sonoma State University is employing a random access system by which books are stored boxes and retrieved using a computerized crane.
IE 6 Builds on Privacy, Advocates Question Default Setting, March 26, 2001. The new features of IE 6 will be the first full implementation of the WWW Consortium’s Privacy for Platform Preferences Project, dubbed P3P. IE 6 will contain a privacy tab allowing users to control how their browsers handle first-party cookies (from the site you are viewing) and third-party cookies (from advertisers). However, the pre-configured default setting accepts cookies without warning from sites that have a “compact privacy statement.”
Designing Web Sites to Maximize Press Relations, March 26, 2001. This 114 page PDF report (priced at $250) includes a useful, free executive summary. It reviews practical guidelines concerning successful Web site design to achieve a positive public relations and marketing impact.
Riding the Digital Wave, March 26, 2001. Laura Campbell, Associate Librarian for Strategic Initiatives, leads the Library of Congress into a technological future.
Napster Ruling Has Ripple Effect, March 25, 2001. “Distributors of music, video, research reports, and other content are taking a cue from Napster’s legal troubles and turning to new types of digital rights management technology as protection against lawsuits.”
New York Times (reg. req’d)
When Linking Isn’t Better Business, March 23, 2001. The Better Business Bureau recently requested that BizMove remove its unauthorized deep links to BBB pages. There is no absolute right to link, nor is there an absolute prohibition against so doing. However, the BBB has instituted a policy prohibiting links to its site by for-profit sites not affiliated with the BBB.
New Palms PDAs Shown with More to Come, March 21, 2001. New features include color screens, mobile connectivity and dual plug-and-play expansion.
Look for Free Legal Advice Online, March 21, 2001. This site offers free legal advice on both US and UK law < http://www.worldlawdirect.com/
American Library Association Filed Complaint Challenging the Constitutionality of CIPA, March 20, 2001. This is a 39 page document in PDF.
Patents Are Your Friends, March 21, 2001. “ Can open-source programmers use intellectual property laws to protect themselves from corporate software snatchers?”
Delphion Updates Web Site, Enables Access to Derwent World Patents Index, March 19, 2001. “ Users may now search the Derwent World Patents Index via the Delphion site. Derwent on Delphion is available to both subscribers and nonsubscribers.”
Hoovers, Financial Times Agree to Share Content, March 19, 2001. Hoovers and FT will integrate key components of their free services into one another’s sites, including 3,000 business related stories per day from FT, and profiles on over 65,000 companies from Hoovers.
New York Times (reg. req’d)
Colleges Try Distance Learning Off Campus, March 21, 2001. “Some of the most successful distance learning programs have found that online education appeals to adult learners who need to take classes after work, or those who cannot travel to a campus and appreciate the flexibility of being able to take classes at home.”
For Medical Journals, A New Online World, March 20, 2001. The renowned British Medical Journal is migrating to Web access at no fee, joining a growing number of other medical journals that are offering wider global access to their information.
Big Media v. Freelancers: The Justices at the Digital Divide, March 19, 2001. After a seven-year fight that produced contradictory lower court decisions, on March 28 a case involving the intellectual property rights of freelancer writers will be argued before the United States Supreme Court.
Internet Filters Used to Shield Minors Censor Speech, Critics Say, March 19, 2001. Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle are joining librarians, libraries and web site publishers to overturn the Children’s Internet Protection Act.
Virginia Court’s Decision in Online ‘John Doe’ Case Hailed by Free-Speech Advocates, March 16, 2001. AOL’s Naspter competitor, Aimster, has devised a novel solution to Napster’s blocking: the Pig Encoder (www.aimster.com/pigencoder.phtml).
Putting Palm and Phone in One Hand, or Pocket, March 15, 2001. The $500 Kyocera Smartphone supports 99 speed dial codes, speech recognition, a full-blown Palm running the latest OS, a 2 by 2 inch touch screen, a synchronization cradle, and full integration between the phone and Palm apps.
The Price of Privacy, March 17, 2001. Internet privacy is a major hot button issue that has garnered the attention of lawmakers, government agencies and lawyers. Unlike the EU, where Internet users have a “fundamental right to privacy,” our government has been hard pressed to pass any significant legislation on the federal level. Collecting personal data on consumers is big business, and this article offers perspective on why consumers are wary and businesses are determined to continue to plunder the wealth of online info.
High Tech Titans Put the Squeeze on Privacy Regs, March 13, 2001. The muscle that comprises the Online Privacy Alliance (Microsoft, AOL Time Warner, AT&T, BellSouth, Sun Microsystems) are pursuing a strategy to kill privacy legislation at the state and federal level. They assert that such measures would cost consumers billions of dollars.
ALA to File Internet Suit Without Schools, March 12, 2001. The American Library Association, and the ACLU, will file challenges to the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) on March 20. The ALA cannot sue on behalf of school libraries as it lacks the standing.
A related story from TheStandard.com: http://www.thestandard.net/article/display/0,1151,22766,00.html
New York Times (reg. req’d)
Compressed Data: After Napster, Falling Back on Pig Latin, March 12, 2001. AOL’s Naspter competitor, Aimster, has devised a novel solution to Napster’s blocking: the Pig Encoder (www.aimster.com/pigencoder.phtml).
New Web Browser Thinks in the Box, March 11, 2001. CubicEye is a new- fangled web browser that displays five web sites at a time, displayed on each side of a virtual cube. Navigation is accomplished by rotating the cube to zoom in on a specific site for optimum viewing, although all sites open simultaneously.
New York Times (reg. req’d)
E-Commerce: Pushing Ahead with Online Education, March 11, 2001. Several companies have not given up on the idea of selling e-learning classes, with revenue flowing from taking a commission on each sale.
The Dreams of Webzines Fizzle Out, March 9, 2001. The downturn in the dot-com economy has forced three high profile webzines, Salon.com, Inside.com and Slate.com, to go back to the future, and once again produce print versions of their publications.
Work.com to Close Amid Ad Slowdown, March 10, 2001. This business news and information site that replaced dowjones.com, and is backed by Dow Jones and @Home, will close on March 31, 2001.
Online Insecurity, March 6, 2001 A study sponsored by the Privacy Leadership Initiative shows that online users do not trust corporations or the government to protect their online privacy. The study will be released later this month.
The Reinvention of Privacy, March, 2001. “New surveillance and information-gathering technologies are everywhere these days, and they’re setting off all sorts of alarm bells for those who worry about the erosion of privacy.”
Yale, Elsevier Science Announce Preservation Plan, March 5, 2001. “The “Yale University Library and Elsevier Science an initiative to create a digital archive using more than 1100 journals published electronically by Elsevier Science as a test-bed. The arrangement calls for the planning of a “library-based archive of the digital publications of Elsevier Science,” including a possible blueprint for the “business arrangements” necessary for maintaining such an archive over time.”
Napster’s Voluntary Filtering Plan is First Gambit in Arduous Legal Tangle, March 3, 2001. “Crafting new rules for the file sharer will have Judge Patel grappling with mind-numbing issues like file names versus song names and the way record companies catalog their music.”
New York Times (reg. req’d)
Locating Devices Gain in Popularity But Raise Privacy Concerns, March 4, 2001. New wireless devices designed to track property, such as cars and trucks, as well as people, are increasingly available, and small enough to be inserted into watch bands. These devices also provide the capability to deliver e-business information to users by identifying their location while traveling. The specter of Big Brother increases with the fact that by year’s end, authorities will be able to determine the position of cell phone users within 300 feet.
Professor Finds Her Legacy In Internet Law, March 2, 2001. A leading privacy law professor uses her personal wealth to spur discussion and promote the public interest in high profile Internet legal battles being wages in state and federal legislatures, courts and government agencies nationwide.
Privacy’s Guarded Prognosis, March 1, 2001. Extensive information from patient’s medical records, maintained in electronic format by insurance companies, doctors, hospitals, and others, finds its way into the hands of pharmaceutical companies, individuals who engage in identity theft, and even casual hackers. New federal rules governing patient privacy are set to go into effect April 14 but resistance to these measures is high.
Owning the Future: IP’s Bleak House, March 2001. This opinion piece juxtaposes the plot of Dicken’s novel with the current state of affairs regarding the flood of requests to the Patent Office for patents on business methods associated with the Internet. Several recent high profile cases of e-commerce patent cases are reviewed, and the ramifications of the ensuing messy and protracted litigation discussed.
Electronic Paper Turns the Page, March 2001. Not only does this article provide valuable information on the development of e-paper for use with e-books, it also includes an interesting set of graphics on E-Ink and Lucent Technologies prototype of electronic paper.
Legal E-Mail Tips, March/April 2001. Teach your employees to use e-mail safely and appropriately.
Congress Questions ICANN/VeriSign Deal, March 30, 2001. A bipartisan group comprising members of the Committee on Energy and Commerce and the Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet want the Dept. of Commerce to explain its role in the renegotiation of the 1999 contract.
Senators Gregg, Kohl Introduce Net Tax Bill, March 30, 2001. The New Economy Tax Fairness Act (NET) would restrict the ability of states to collect sales tax on online purchases.
Lobbying Effort Fails to Block Antispam Bill, March 29, 2001. “A recently formed consortium of banking, insurance and securities firms that mounted an opposition campaign will now have to redouble its efforts in the full chamber, having lost in what is normally its most sympathetic venue.”
Congress Again Cool to Napster, March 29, 2001. “The chairman of the House Judiciary committee, which oversees copyright law, said Wednesday that any legislation that could help the increasingly embattled firm will wait until after the U.S. Supreme Court rules.”
U.S. Legislation Targets Wireless Spam, March 28, 2001. The Wireless Telephone Spam Protection Act, an amendment to the Communications Act of 1934, would make it illegal to use wireless calls to transmit spam.
House Commerce Committee OKs Anti-Spam Bill, March 28, 2001. The bill (H.R. 718), to crack down on unsolicited junk email, passed in a unanimous voice vote.
Cooking Up a Revised Spam Bill, March 27, 2001. The House Commerce committee markup will start the “Unsolicited Commercial Electronic Mail Act” down the same uncertain path it trod last year, when House legislators approved it 427-1 but the Senate never voted.
Senator Questions ICANN’s Legal, March 27, 2001. Sen. Conrad Burns (R-Montana) strongly opposes further legal empowerment for ICANN in relation to supervising the domain name system.
Can Congress Can Spam, March 27, 2001. The C.A.N. (controlling the assault of nonsolicited pornography and marketing) Act of 2001would institute standards concerning the distribution of spam, including the requirement of an opt-out capability so users can choose to refuse receipt. For more information on Spam related legislation, see http://www.spamlaws.com/us.html.
Representative Boucher Responds to Questions on Net Legislation, March 27, 2001. Rep. Rick Boucher (VA) answers a range of questions on digital rights, copyright law, Web taxes and fair use. This is well worth a read.
Napster Invites Fans to Attend Senate Hearings, March 26, 2001. “In a desperate attempt to drum up support from lawmakers, Napster wants its devotees to converge on Washington, DC, next week to attend the Senate hearing on digital copyrights, participate in a teach-in, and go to a special concert for members.”
State Legislative Sites Lack Oomph, March 26, 2001. According to a report of all 50 state legislative Web sites conducted by the independent organization, OMB Watch, all these sites consistently lack the proper navigation, content and accessibility required by citizens.
Republican Palm Push, March 26, 2001. The chairman of the Senate Republican Conference is urging his fellow Republicans to use PDAs to manage information ranging from their daily schedules to party position papers.
House Commerce Cmte. to Consider Anti-Spam Bill, March 23, 2001. The Unsolicited Commercial Electronic Mail Act (HR 718) would make it illegal for spammers to continue sending junk e-mail to anyone who has made it clear that they want the practice to cease.
Campaign Finance Amendment Proposes Net Disclosures , March 23, 2001. The amendment would reveal campaign contributions and other important campaign-finance related information to users of the FEC’s Washington, DC, headquarters, and anyone on the Web who chose to view it.
Lawmakers Try to Seal Officials’ E-Mail, Net Records, March 23, 2001. Indiana House Bill 1083 would bar public access to the email and Web records of public officials. Needless to say, the press is irate.
After Spam, Baloney to Swallow, March 22, 2001. Internet-related businesses are gearing up to combat state and federal attempts to regulate the online environment. The DMA or Direct Marketers Association are out to protect the rights of online marketers.
USDA Computer Security Draws Scrutiny by Congress, March 21, 2001. The GAO is reviewing whether hackers can alter market-sensitive crop data published by USDA.
House Subcommittee Pushes Anti-Spam Bill Forward, March 21, 2001. The “Unsolicited Commercial Electronic Mail Act,” which makes it illegal for spammers to continue sending junk e-mail to someone after they’ve been explicitly asked to stop.
State Web Sites Offers Little Practical Info – OMB Watch, March 19, 2001. A new report from OMB Watch asserts “that state legislature Web sites do not offer any information on their legislature’s committee or floor schedules, legislative calendars or session reports, and only about half provide plain-English definitions of legislative terminology.”
New York Times (reg. req’d)
Congress Struggles with Flood of E-Mail, March 19, 2001. The House is receiving 8,000 messages per month, while the Senate receives over 55,000 messages.
Goodlatte and Boucher Want to Fry Spam, March 17, 2001. The two representatives have introduced the Anti-Spamming Act of 2001, that would institute fines and jail time against those who send unsolicited emails.
Sen. Graham Stresses Need for Net Sales Tax, March 14, 2001. Virginia Gov. Gilmore aggressively promotes high tech for both the private and public sectors, to stimulate the economy and improve delivery of government services.
A related story concerning Virginia technology issues: http://www.washingtontechnology.com/news/1_1/daily_news/16253-1.html
Virginia’s Localities Urged to Go Online, March 14, 2001. “Graham urged fellow senators to support a recently introduced bill, sponsored by North Dakota Democrat Bob Dorgan that would allow states to simplify their tax systems to allow taxes from online sales to be collected easily.
Bill Encourages Telework, March 14, 2001. Rep. Frank Wolf of Virginia introduced legislation allowing a $500 tax credit for government and private sector employees who telecommute at least 75 days per year.
Schools: Distance Learning Needs Copyright Relief, March 13, 2001. “Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch and Patrick Leahy, the top Democrat on the panel, have introduced a bill that would exempt educators from fees to use copyrighted materials in so-called ”distance learning” programs, which reach students in remote rural areas or part-time students studying from home.”
Napster Seeks Help from Congress, March 10, 2001. Sen. Orrin Hatch is attempting to broker some sort of deal between Napster and the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), but the RIAA seems to have all the right cards in its hand, and Napster has played for all the time there may be.
Stumping for Fair Use, March 9, 2001. Rep. Dick Boucher (D-VA) is a strong proponent of changes to the current copyright law to reinforce the fair use doctrine as it applies to the Web.
Dorgan Introduces Bill to Extend Internet Tax Moratorium, March 9, 2001. “Byron Dorgan, D-ND, has reintroduced legislation to extend the Internet tax moratorium until the end of 2005, while allowing states that simplify their sales and use tax codes to collect from out-of-state vendors.”
Europeans At Work on Copyright Laws to Protect Artists Work, March 9, 2001. While the Napster controversy was brewing here in the US, European pop stars were lobbying the European Union to pass stronger legislation to protect their intellectual property from digital piracy. Last month the EU passed legislation making it illegal to pirate CDs and download protected music from the Internet.
Congress Fears European Privacy Standards, March 8, 2001. The adoption of the Data Protection Directive by 11 of the 15 members of the EU will have far reaching ramifications on the e-commerce enterprises of U.S. companies.
Bush Should Use Clinton Health Privacy Rules – Swire, March 8, 2001. Bill Clinton’s chief privacy officer, Peter Swire, is calling on the Bush Administration to go ahead and implement the medical privacy rules developed under the Clinton Administration. Tommy Thompson, the head of HHS, is soliciting new comments on the regulations and will be making a decision on their viability by the middle of April.
Technology – AOL Immune from Porn Lawsuit, Florida High Court Rules, March 8, 2001. The Supreme Court of Florida ruled that the Communications Decency Act gives AOL immunity from a lawsuit concerning the sale of a lewd videotape over the Internet. The majority of the court said the the federal law preempts Florida law, but a strongly written dissent said the ruling goes against the spirit of the Communications Decency Act entirely.
Virginia Governor Buys Into e-Gov, March 7, 2001. The State of Virginia has introduced eVA, a new state Web based purchasing system. The state hopes that the automation will make state government purchasing more efficient. The site is at http://eva.state.va.us/.
Congress Pitches Broadband Access for All, March 6, 2001. Members of Congress, including Sen. Clinton (D-NY), have been quick to promote broadband access as a way to introduce Internet access to remote rural areas. Several members have introduced legislation on the topic and the Senate Republican High-Tech Task Force has said that broadband access to rural areas would be one of its top priorities.
Report, Internet Voting Only OK at Polling Places, March 6, 2001. A report by the National Science Foundation has found that voting over the Internet raises questions concerning “security, reliability and social effects.” The report urges voting officials to be wary of Internet as the answer to the technical problems which surfaced during the last election.
Sen. Clinton Introduces, Sponsors Slew of Tech-Related Bills, March 2, 2001. The keen bipartisan interest in tech legislation this Congress has been resoundingly embraced by Sen. Clinton of NY.
Web Beacons Add to Web Privacy Controversy, March 2, 2001. The Privacy Caucus, comprised of thirty House and Senate members, focused on the issue of tracking user visits to Web sites and the collection of data on these users. FTC Commissioner Varney emphasized the concept of notice and choice, and supports the use of privacy guidelines posted on web sites to provide users with the ability to ‘opt-out.’
Privacy Laws: Not Gonna Happen, March 2, 2001. Factors including the belief that privacy legislation will hurt the economy, as well as a lack of consensus on the Hill may very well derail plans for some form of legislation this Congress.
Lawmakers Grills Officials About Agency Cyber-Security, March 2, 2001. Rep. Greenwood (R-PA) wrote letters to 15 agency heads admonishing them concerning their duty to protect the “electronic infrastructure” under their jurisdiction.