<-- The Filter --> January 1999, 2

January 21, 1999

No. 1.9  .  The Filter  .  01.21.99

Your regular dose of public interest Internet news and commentary from
the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School


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> Shooting the Messenger?: Witnesses took the stand two weeks ago in Portland, Oregon during a trial involving an anti-abortion website. The plaintiffs say the site encourages vigilante violence against abortion providers, while the defendants say the site is protected by the First Amendment. Expect the case to clarify the reach of free speech protections on the Web.

      http://www.oregonli ve.com:80/news/99/01/st011314.html

*** EXTRA: Our panel of experts weighs in on this case and its implications for future online policy and law, below in DISPATCHES.

> The Truth is in Here: Newly released documents from Sun Microsystems' lawsuit against Microsoft suggest that Hewlett-Packard may have colluded with Microsoft to co-opt Sun's Java technology, in violation of Sun's licensing agreement.

      http://www. zdnet.com/zdnn/stories/news/0,4586,2187669,00.html

> Public Domain Games: Berkman Professor Lawrence Lessig, Berkman Center Director Charles Nesson, and Executive Director Jonathan Zittrain recently filed suit on behalf of an online publisher of classic literature, asserting that the recent passage of a copyright extension bill violates the Constitution. The Sony Bono Copyright Extension Act, signed into law last year, dramatically extends the standard delay before artistic works revert to the public domain and can be freely reprinted and distributed.



> Flaming the FCC: The Federal Communication Commission's latest proposal to regulate the rollout of high-speed, broadband data lines for consumer users is drawing complaints from the Baby Bells and at least one US senator. The policy's intent is to prevent unfair advantage in the consumer broadband market for major players such as AT&T, but critics warn that overregulating could deny consumers broadband access indefinitely.

      http://www.n ews.com/News/Item/0,4,30953,00.html?st.ne.lh..ni

      http://www.n ews.com/News/Item/0,4,30844,00.html?st.ne.ni.rel

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The Berkman Center's role in shaping Internet law and policy in the public interest continues to grow. As noted above, a number of the Berkman Center's directors and faculty are involved in a suit challenging Congress's passage of a retroactive extension of the term of copyright. Read the complaint here:


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This week we asked a panel of top Internet thinkers to answer the following question:

* To what extent do you think the Portland, Oregon anti-abortion website case illustrates the murkiness of existing law as applied to a new medium, and how do you expect the trial's outcome to affect the future of web publishing and the restrictions upon it?

For a sampling of the answers, follow the link below:

      http://cyber.harvard.edu/filter/012199/index_experts2.htm l

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* Linux Information


Keep up with the latest developments in the open source movement with three sites dedicated to informing, engaging and uniting the community involved with Linux, the open operating system Microsoft reportedly fears.

* Do-It-Yourself for "A Civil Action"

      http://www2.shore.net/~dkenne dy/woburn.html

Boston Phoenix reporter Dan Kennedy covered the corporate pollution case addressed in the book and new film entitled "A Civil Action." He provides a wealth of references here for those who want the story sans Hollywood hyperbole. (The book ain't bad, either.)

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"Inferring that Microsoft has a monopoly because it has won several races in a row is like concluding that the Boston Celtics had a monopoly in professional basketball when they won the NBA championship eight straight seasons (1959-66). They have not won two seasons in a row since then."
—excerpted from the January 11 written testimony of Richard Schmalensee, Dean of the Sloan School of Management at MIT, during the Microsoft antitrust trial.


"The era of the PC as king is over. We are entering an era of 'pervasive computing' in which we will see a dramatic increase in the use of the application-specific handheld and [other specialized] devices to conduct e-business and simplify our lives.."
—Paul Horn, IBM researcher, at the Millennium Speaker Series in New York.


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A publication of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School

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Last updated

January 15, 2008