Articles by date

22 February 2007

Report: Survey shows growing number of Japanese fear Internet crimes (Sydney Morning Herald)

An increasing number of Japanese fear they may become the victims of crime on the Internet, according to a government survey reported by Japanese newspapers.

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Europe’s Plan to Track Phone and Net Use (New York Times)

A proposed law would require companies to keep detailed data about people's Internet and phone use.

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uk: Government backs digital lockdown (BBC)

Calls to ban Digital Rights Management to limit what people can do with digital media have been rejected.

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us: Neutrality On the Net Gets High '08 Profile (Washington Post)

Bloggers and other Internet activists made their marks in the past two presidential elections chiefly by building networks of political enthusiasts and raising money for candidates. Now, they are pushing aggressively into policymaking -- and not just over high-profile issues such as Iraq.

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us: More states move to ban Internet hunting (Chron)

A Texas businessman who wanted to allow computer users to hunt from the comfort of their homes has instead spawned dozens of state laws banning the practice.

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21 February 2007

Entrepreneurs are taking advantage of a five-day grace period to sample millions of domain names (International Herald Tribune)

This Associated Press story compares buying clothing to domain names - with the practice of domain tasting akin to buying clothes on a credit card in that one has a period in which one can return both. The article notes "entrepreneurs have turned the return policy into a loophole for generating big bucks". Further, "Experts believe spammers and scam artists are also starting to use the grace period as a source of free, disposable Web addresses." The article also notes there were an "average tasting of 1.2 million names each day in December, compared with 7,200 two years earlier" using data from Name Intelligence while "Legitimate registrations made up 2 percent of the registrations at the end of 2006, down from about half in 2004." Another point the article makes is of "A newer variant, sometimes called 'kiting,'" that "involves the same company reregistering the same name every fourth or fifth day to hang onto it in perpetuity, without ever paying for it."

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Internet is beyond political control: Cerf (The Hindu)

This article in The Hindu quotes Vint Cerf saying "It is a huge, new democratic opportunity and beyond any one agency's political control." Further, "Nations had tried to control portions of the Internet for their own national goals -- but the Net is too ubiquitous for any single agency to throttle, Dr. Cerf said. "No one owns the Internet -- but there must be some agencies to make it work."

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20 February 2007

Hard disk test 'surprises' Google (BBC)

The impact of heavy use and high temperatures on hard disk drive failure may be overstated, says a report by three Google engineers.

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Registerfly on the fly, ICANN on the run (The Register)

The Register questions the role of ICANN in this article about Registerfly - a US-based registrar that has 900,000 customers and 2 million domain names. The Register asks "just what is ICANN responsible for, anyway?" Apparently there is a power struggle between two Registerfly partners with customers left "scrambling to recover domains that were not automatically renewed as agreed, or were paid for and for no apparent reason allowed to lapse well before the agreed upon expiration date." The Register asks"what of ICANN's decision to simply refer customers back to Registerfly, when the reason they are contacting ICANN in the first place is for a problem concerning domain registration that Registerfly either cannot or will not resolve on its own? If ICANN itself is either unable or unwilling to handle a problem of this magnitude, what is the point of having ICANN around?" The Register concludes "With ICANN watching from the sidelines, customers can only hope that local or federal authorities will step in. Stay tuned.

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19 February 2007

Norwegian newspaper publisher finds the secret to profiting online (International Herald Tribune)

After catching up on the latest news flashes on the death of Anna Nicole Smith, visitors to www.vg.no, the online version of the biggest-selling tabloid newspaper in Norway, can get their minds back to business by scrolling down the page — to the oil company earnings reports. ... At a time when other newspaper companies lament a loss of readers and advertisers, Schibsted is thriving. No profit warnings here: Earnings rose 28 percent in the fourth quarter. Online operations will generate about 20 percent of the company's revenue this year, according to analysts at Kaupthing, a bank based in Reykjavik, even as many other big newspaper publishers struggle to reach the 10 percent mark. Perhaps more important, at least for investors, online businesses will provide nearly 60 percent of the company's operating earnings by next year, the Kaupthing analysts predict. Schibsted has become so emblematic of online success that Bharat Anand, a professor at Harvard Business School, is writing one of the institution's well-known case studies on the company.

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Google sues Polish poets over gmail.pl (Middle East Times)

Google has launched legal action against a group of Polish poets, demanding that they give up their Internet domain name gmail.pl, a member of the cultural collective said Friday. Google claims the group of poets, known as "Grupa Mlodych Artystow i Literatow," or Group of Young Artists and Writers, has no rights to gmail.pl. The group claims they have no intention to give up the name.

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16 February 2007

Internet Governance Forum: Is It More Than Talk? by Monika Ermert (Intellectual Property Watch)

This article in Intellectual Property Watch examines the IGF and reports on its current status noting several of the coalitions formed at the first IGF presented short progress reports at the meeting this week in Geneva. The article notes "the new UN Secretary General has yet to make his first comments on Internet governance issues." The article outlines some of the groups involved and the issues they will be highlighting such as the A2K@IGF Coalition. Towards the end ICANN gets a mention, quoting Riaz Tayob who noted that "the issues of root servers, domain name servers and Internet Protocol are among the most important issues in Internet governance," and that "if they are absent from the agenda, the core issues are absent." It was noted that ICANN and the ITU should be invited to give an update at every session.

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It’s Tax Time for Domain Name Owners - Domain names are uncharted territory for the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (Domain Wire)

This article examines a new area of tax and addresses the tax implications of domain names and how domain name owners, especially those with large portfolios, and should they be included on tax returns in the USA. No doubt there will be corollaries with other jurisdictions. Issues addressed include how purchases are accounted for, registrations and sales are also examined. The article quotes a guide by a CPA called "The Domain Tax Guide, 2007 Edition". Issues the guide covers are there is only one reference to domain names by the IRS; domains can be classified as capital assets or business assets and the implications; how to organise a domain name business; how does a domainer do their tax return; the difference between domain registration and purchase fees and how to account for them; what is the useful life of a domain and how is this important; and what deductions can be made.

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Israeli Court Holds that a DNS Definition may be Retained as Security for Payment of Debts (Internet Business Law Services)

"The Israeli Magistrates Court of Tiberias held on December 17, 2006 that DNS definition is an asset which may be retained by a creditor as means to persuade a debtor to pay its debt. The Court stated that even if seemingly intangible, the DNS requires physical maintenance work and therefore can be said to be "physically held" and thus capable of being retained as security for ensuring payment." However the article also notes that "these decisions do not hold any precedential value for the Israeli courts in future cases."

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ICANN U-turn over outdated domains (Multilingual Search)

The proposal to delete some outdated ccTLDs by ICANN is addressed by an article in the Russian language Cnews and reported in English by Multilingual Search. The article claims the proposal has been derailed. Following discussions in Sao Paulo, Cnews claims "the public proceedings have been dogged by protests and threats of legal action from domain owners, less than happy at the prospect of loosing their domain, marketing and branding expenses. ICANN finally agreed to leave the extensions alone."

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“organic-spintronics.eu” becomes .eu domain name number 2,500,000 (news release) (Eurid)

.eu passed the 2.5 million mark with the registration of the domain name "organic-spintronics.eu" by the Italian company Organic Spintronics Srl via the Italian registrar Tuonome.it.

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Domain pulse 2007: Captivating internet issues - report (pdf) (Domain Pulse)

Domain Names between Speculation and Benefits. This was the motto of the specialist "Domain pulse" conference held in Baden on 8 and 9 February, which attracted more than 240 participants from Switzerland and abroad.

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Domain Pulse 2007 presentations (Domain Pulse)

Presentations from the recent Domain Pulse are now online including a presentation from yours truly, with most presentations in German.

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Google Loses Belgian Newspaper Suit (Internet in Asia)

Associate Professor Peng Hwa ANG of the Singapore Internet Research Centre (Nanyang Technological University) writes he thinks the decision has much much less than meets the eye for several reasons. These being "The copyright management group essentially wants a share of the revenue"; and "best practice around the world for this issue of copyright infringement is that the infringing party should be given a reasonable period to act and only when it refuses to act should further action be taken". He also questions having your links removed from Google given Google's market clout.

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us: Wiki can link to controversial documents, says US judge (Out-Law)

Drugs giant Eli Lilly has failed in its bid to restrict a wiki from linking to documents that could be damaging to its business. The ruling of a New York court said that the court could not rule against the internet "in its various manifestations".

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uk: Emails can infringe copyright, ruling (The Register)

Business letters can be protected by copyright and forwarding them to others can be an infringement, the High Court has ruled. The decision could have implications for email communication because the same principles will apply.

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Click Fraud: A Growing Nuisance for Web Advertisers, Part 1 (E-Commerce Times)

Click fraud -- the practice of falsely inflating online ad clickthroughs -- has hit an all-time high, according to a recent report. How big a problem is it? Will click fraud vanish once publishers and advertisers place a high enough demand on authenticity? Or will the fraudsters grow in sophistication as the practice becomes more lucrative?

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Click Fraud: A Growing Nuisance for Web Advertisers, Part 2 (E-Commerce Times)

Last year, the average click fraud rate of pay-per-click advertisements appearing on search engine content networks rose to 19.2 percent for the last quarter of 2006, the highest yet, according to Tom Cuthbert, CEO of Click Forensics. Click fraud occurs when online advertisers pay search engine companies and advertisement Web publishers a fee for each click made by either real or phony would-be customers.

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eu: Proposed legislation called a threat to Internet users' privacy (International Herald Tribune)

European governments are preparing legislation to require companies to keep detailed data about people's Internet and phone use that goes beyond what the countries will be required to do under a European Union directive.

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The future of television: What's on next - The union of television and the internet is spawning a wide variety of offspring (The Economist)

Bosses in the television industry have been keeping a nervous eye on two Scandinavians with a reputation for causing trouble. In recent years Niklas Zennström, a Swede, and Janus Friis, a Dane, have frightened the music industry by inventing KaZaA, a "peer-to-peer" (P2P) file-sharing program that was widely used to download music without paying for it. Then they horrified the mighty telecoms industry by inventing Skype, another P2P program, which lets internet users make free telephone calls between computers, and very cheap calls to ordinary phones. (The duo sold Skype to eBay, an internet-auction giant, for $2.6 billion in 2005.) Their next move was to found yet another start-up -- this time, one that threatened to devastate the television industry.

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