After going after thousands accused of sharing video games in the UK, lawyers Davenport Lyons are now branching out into other areas. This week sees them start going after those it accuses of sharing the movie ‘Army Fuckers’, hardcore gay porn featuring ‘farm boys’ and Gestapo officers. Accusing the wrong people this time could prove very costly indeed.
European Commission consults on network and information security: “The European Commission has launched a consultation on how it can strengthen the European Union’s response to computer attacks. The Commission is canvassing views ahead of a debate early next year about an EU-wide co-ordination of computer security.”
(Via OUT-LAW News.)
Spiegel Online: Taking the Crowd to Court: Wikipedia Shutdown Backfires: “Wikipedia Shutdown Backfires”
17 November, 2008
German parliamentarian Lutz Heilmann asked a court to shut down the German version of the popular Wikipedia Web site, drawing a fast and furious reaction from users. Heilmann — no stranger to controversy — has beaten a hasty retreat.
After being closed for two and a half days, Wikipedia’s German home page again became accessible to users on Monday. A court ordered the German URL for the user-generated encyclopedia blocked on Friday after a left-wing politician filed a legal complaint in Lübeck against the popular site.
Written by Frederic Lardinois / November 17, 2008
After it had been unavailable in Germany for more than two days, the Wikipedia’s German portal is finally back online. The local German version of the Wikipedia had become unavailable after a member of the German parliament, Lutz Heilmann, pressed charges against the German Wikipedia because of defamatory statements in his biography on the site. Heilmann argued that the article was “false and slanderous.” A German judge then ordered the closure of the German portal for the Wikipedia, wikipedia.de.
The Wikipedia entry about Heilmann, who is no stranger to controversy, accused the politician of sending threatening text messages to his ex-partner and stated that Heilmann was about to lose his diplomatic immunity. There have indeed been rumors that Heilmann is under investigation by the German parliament because of these reports, though other statements in the article about the questionable status of his college degree and his involvement in an online pornography venture are rather questionable.
heilmann_mugshot.jpgAfter assessing the damage he had done, Heilmann, according to a post on his own site, has now decided not to press any further charges against the non-profit organization behind the German Wikipedia project, though he might still press charges against the authors of the controversial statements in his Wikipedia entry. In this statement, Heilmann argues that he never intended for the whole site to be shut down because of this, but that he wasn’t able to stop the German bureaucracy from taking its course during the weekend because of a legal error in his request to have the ban overturned.
Of course, the whole affair spectacularly backfired on Heilmann and turned out to be a boon for the German Wikipedia, which collected donations worth over 32,000 Euros during the weekend. The controversial article about Heilman was read over half a million times since last Friday.
Harvard Law Prof Takes on RIAA in Music Copyright Fight: “Harvard Law School professor Charles Nesson has launched a constitutional assault against a federal copyright law at the heart of the industry’s aggressive strategy, which has wrung payments from thousands of song-swappers since 2003. Neeson has come to the defense of a Boston University graduate student targeted in one of the music industry’s lawsuits. By taking on the case, Nesson hopes to challenge the basis for the suit, and all others like it.
(Via Wired News.)
Internet shoppers to get duty relief for Christmas: “Internet shoppers who wait until December to look for a Christmas bargain may save more money than they thought when HM Revenue and Customs eliminates customs duty on personal purchases costing less that £105.”
(Via OUT-LAW News.)
By Jennifer Dudley-Nicholson, November 13, 2008 10:44am
AUSTRALIA’S mandatory internet filter is being primed to block 10,000 websites as part of a blacklist of unspecified “unwanted content”, Communications Minister Stephen Conroy revealed in Federal Parliament.
The 10,000 blocked websites would include 1300 websites already blacklisted by the Australian Communications and Media Authority.
Senator Conroy revealed details of the Rudd Government’s proposed web filter as he called for expressions of interest from internet service providers for a live trial of the technology.
As part of the trial, ISPs will test different methods of filtering the web with subscribers who volunteer. The trial is expected to last six weeks and will start before Christmas.
“The pilot will specifically test filtering against the ACMA blacklist of prohibited content, which is mostly child pornography, as well as filtering of other unwanted content,” Senator Conroy told Parliament.
Unlicensed P2P Value: $69 Billion in 2007: “If you could total the quantity of unlicensed tracks within the vastness of the P2P community, then apply a reasonable fee to those tracks, you would end up with a very large monetary number. $10 billion? $50 billion? Just how much untapped money, relevant to the music industry, is circulating in the P2P community? MultiMedia Intelligence, who recently stated P2P growth will top 400% in 5 years, has pegged a monetary number to unlicensed music. The number: $69 billion.”
The American Civil Liberties Union has revealed that the FBI no longer feels the need for judicial or operator oversight when deploying base station-faking technology to detect mobile phones.…
(Via The Register – Comms.)