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Legal news and analysis for IT professionals, including antitrust lawsuits, and patent and trademark disputes
  • Microsoft settlement process progresses through court

    Posted November 29, 2001 - 3:27 pm

    While the proposed settlement between Microsoft Corp. and private plaintiffs who claimed they were overcharged for software grabbed headlines this week, the company's other settlement, reached with the U.S. Department of Justice and nine states, is quietly wending its way through the court system.
  • Courts side with copyright holders in DMCA battles

    Posted November 29, 2001 - 3:22 pm

    Despite vocal opposition from free-speech advocates, a controversial law that makes it illegal to provide information on how to bypass copyright protection controls was lent added weight by a U.S. federal appeals court decision this week, marking a decisive victory for copyright holders.
  • President Bush signs Internet tax ban extension

    Posted November 29, 2001 - 2:49 pm

    The ban on Internet taxes was officially reinstated Wednesday when U.S. President George W. Bush signed into law a bill from Congress proposing a two-year moratorium extension.
  • Senate to hold hearing about Microsoft settlement

    Posted November 28, 2001 - 2:59 pm

    A U.S. Senate committee plans to question Microsoft Corp., the Department of Justice, and state attorneys general about the recent proposed settlement to the government's antitrust case in a hearing tentatively set for Dec. 12.
  • UPDATE - Supreme Court hears arguments on Net porn law

    Posted November 28, 2001 - 10:59 am

    The U.S. Supreme Court listened to oral arguments today on whether to reinstate a hotly debated Internet pornography law, after three years of wrangling over whether the law violates First Amendment rights.
  • EC will conclude Microsoft antitrust inquiry next year

    Posted November 28, 2001 - 10:32 am

    The European Commission expects to conclude its antitrust investigation into Microsoft Corp. next year, a spokeswoman said, but she declined to comment on whether the company's rejection of an oral hearing might speed the process up.
  • UPDATE: Microsoft deal on private cases comes under scrutiny

    Posted November 27, 2001 - 12:10 pm

    The proposed settlement to over one hundred private suits lodged against Microsoft Corp. came under scrutiny Tuesday when a Baltimore federal judge held a public hearing in the case, and committed to making a preliminary decision on the agreement in mid-December.
  • EU Ministers debate ISP data retention rules

    Posted November 27, 2001 - 11:54 am

    Telecommunication ministers of the 15 countries that comprise the European Union are heading for a confrontation with the European Parliament over a new data-protection law under construction.
  • Judge sets appeal hearings in Sklyarov case

    Posted November 27, 2001 - 10:29 am

    The case of Russian programmer Dmitry Sklyarov, charged with violating copyright law by writing software that strips copy and use restrictions out of Adobe Systems Inc. e-books, crept forward as dates were set next year for a pair of hearings.
  • 30 countries sign cybercrime treaty

    Posted November 26, 2001 - 10:14 am

    Thirty countries signed a controversial international treaty to combat online crime Friday. Representatives of 26 Council of Europe (CoE) member states, plus the U.S., Canada, Japan, and South Africa, put their signatures on the document at an international meeting in Budapest.
  • Ministers gather to sign cybercrime treaty

    Posted November 23, 2001 - 10:38 am

    Representatives of Council of Europe (CoE) member states gathered in Budapest Friday to sign a controversial international treaty to combat online crime.
  • Head Microsoft legal counsel to retire

    Posted November 22, 2001 - 8:56 am

    As Microsoft Corp. nears a conclusion to its long-fought antitrust battle with the U.S. government, the company announced that its top legal advisor, Bill Neukom, who played a lead role in the case, will retire from his duties at the end of the fiscal year in mid-2002.
  • Hearing set in Microsoft's European antitrust case

    Posted November 21, 2001 - 12:53 pm

    In the wake of recent settlement deals in Microsoft's antitrust cases in the U.S., European Commissioner for Competition Issues Mario Monti confirmed today that the software company is due to defend itself against European antitrust charges at a hearing slated for December 20 and 21.
  • White House urges Senate to agree on economic stimulus

    Posted November 20, 2001 - 1:15 pm

    President George W. Bush yesterday reiterated his call to have an economic stimulus bill from the U.S. Congress on his desk and ready to be signed into law by the end of November.
  • U.K. bill seeks compulsory data retention by ISPs

    Posted November 19, 2001 - 11:08 am

    Shortly after the terrorist attacks in the U.S. on Sept. 11, the U.K. government sent a request to all U.K.-based ISPs and telecommunication companies asking them to retain all communications-traffic data for a month. On Monday the House of Commons and the House of Lords will debate a new law that seeks to make this retention of data compulsory.
  • DOJ files report on impact of Microsoft settlement

    Posted November 16, 2001 - 2:11 pm

    The U.S. Department of Justice filed a lengthy report outlining the impact of the proposed settlement it reached with software maker Microsoft Corp. to end its three-year antitrust battle.
  • German study rejects software patents for Europe

    Posted November 16, 2001 - 12:35 pm

    A study commissioned by the German Ministry of Economics and Technology has recommended that software patents, which are legal in the U.S., should not be allowed in Europe.
  • Senate approves Internet tax ban continuation

    Posted November 16, 2001 - 12:24 pm

    The U.S. Senate approved a two-year extension of a ban on new Internet taxes. The legislation, already approved by the U.S. House of Representatives, now goes to President George W. Bush for his consideration.
  • HP/COMPAQ - FTC requests more information on merger

    Posted November 16, 2001 - 11:00 am

    The U.S. Federal Trade Commission requested additional information into the workings of the proposed merger between Hewlett-Packard Co. and Compaq Computer Corp., according to documents HP filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
  • FCC creates Homeland Security Policy Council

    Posted November 15, 2001 - 4:26 pm

    The U.S. Federal Communications Commission has announced the creation of a council to craft contingency plans addressing a possible attack against the nation's telecommunications infrastructure and to plan for maintaining essential communications during emergencies.
  • Economic stimulus package blocked in the Senate

    Posted November 15, 2001 - 4:06 pm

    A bill including modifications to tax laws governing depreciation of IT equipment, which some say could jump-start new technology purchasing and give the IT industry a much needed boost, hit a roadblock in the U.S. Senate
  • UPDATE: Europe waffles on spam; holds the cookies

    Posted November 13, 2001 - 2:14 pm

    A Europe-wide measure on direct marketing via e-mail appeared less likely than ever to win approval Tuesday, as the European Parliament failed to agree whether marketers should be allowed to send unsolicited messages to potential customers.
  • EU expected to reject longer data retention

    Posted November 13, 2001 - 10:14 am

    European Union lawmakers are expected to ignore a request by the administration of U.S. President George W. Bush to revise a data protection law they are drafting in a way that would allow law enforcement officers greater access to information about telephone and Internet messages.
  • Hate crime footnote added to Euro cybercrime treaty

    Posted November 9, 2001 - 6:25 pm

    The 43-member Council of Europe wants to ban racist and hateful content from the Internet with a footnote it plans to add to its cybercrime convention, which criminalizes activities such as online child pornography, fraud and hacking, and sets rules on how the Internet should be policed.
  • MS/DOJ - Judgement deadline set; public gets say

    Posted November 9, 2001 - 11:42 am

    One week after a settlement was reached in the landmark antitrust case between the U.S. government and Microsoft Corp., the judge in the suit formally laid out how the case would proceed now that it has splintered into two tracks -- one for the U.S. states that want to continue the litigation and another that ties up years of disputes between the government, half of the states involved in the case and the software maker.

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