<-- The Filter --> March 2004

March 15, 2004
[1] In the News: The Long Arm of the Law
[2] Case in Point: All Nations Represent
[3] Berkman News: Come Together
[4] Conference Watch
[5] Bookmarks: Clarifications
[6] Quotables: Whatchamacallit
[7] Talk Back
[8] Subscription Info
[9] About us
[10] Not a Copyright

                    IN THE NEWS


* CANned by SPAM
The first major industry lawsuits under the CAN-SPAM act have been filed.  AOL, Microsoft, Earthlink, and Yahoo! are suing hundreds of individuals for sending unsolicited email to their customers.

Text of complaints:

News links:
<http://tinyurl.com/2x4mm> [boston.com]

* Domain Name Registrars Go Litigious

Approval of VeriSign's Wait Listing Service (domain name pre-registration) spurred eight registrars to sue ICANN.  But if the court decides that ICANN is committing anti-trust violations, will Internet governance by an independent body be a thing of the past?


* Cybernews From Around the Globe

AOL Tests Wireless: <http://news.com.com/2100-1039-5172183.html?tag=nefd_hed>

Tighter Piracy Restrictions: <http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/3545839.stm>
Anti-Spam Action: <http://uk.news.yahoo.com/040309/323/eo2jy.html>

Cybercrime Act Drafted: <http://allafrica.com/stories/200403110222.html>

Trying to Get Around the Firewall: <http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/3548035.stm>
No Cybercafes Near Schools:

Email Blocked by Comcast Error: <http://news.com.com/2100-1038_3-5168643.html>

* Theories of Blogging - the Post-Dean Analysis

Political scientists and bloggers are scrambling to make sense of the purpose and power of blogs in American politics since the abrupt rise and fall of the Dean campaign.  Some have argued that blogs function as "echo chambers" - a forum for likeminded people to talk to each other without engaging in the community at large.  Other studies which analyze blogs by comparing them to traditional media have found that blogs can serve as a powerful tool for educating, spreading information, and raising campaign dollars.

On the Echo Chamber Theory:
<http://tinyurl.com/2zcg2> [latimes.com]

On comparisons of blogs with other media:

On blog fund raising:

More on politics and blogging:

* November Looms Large for EVoting

In November's American presidential election, nearly half of voters will use touch screens as opposed to paper or mechanical ballots.  Security and technical issues, however, are raising concerns as primaries test the electronic systems.


                     [2] CASE IN POINT


The Case in Point is Caldera (SCO) v. IBM, also called the case against open-source.

See Groklaw's collection of case materials at <http://www.groklaw.net/>.

Lest you think this case has nothing to do with you, note that SCO has now begun suing Linux users directly.  Last week, SCO announced that it had filed complaints against auto parts retailer AutoZone and automaker DaimlerChrysler.  CEO McBride is mimicking the Recording Industry Association of America's lawsuits against music file swappers, claiming, "It wasn't until the RIAA launched a series of lawsuits against end-users that the end users became fully educated."

Shankland, CNet News, "SCO suits target two big Linux users" at

This month's discussion question is pitched to our non-US readers. Does your country recognize any "fair use" rights of end-users to make copies of software for the purpose of running applications?

Will Linux users in your jurisdiction be influenced by SCO's litigation strategy in other nations?

How easy will it be for SCO to bring such an action in your country?

If you want to join in, and we hope that you will, please go to
<http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/suelinux/> where we are trying a new blog-style discussion application.

Case in Point is an ongoing series of discussions targeting particular legal issues raised as an actual case proceeds. For current summaries of the case and an archive of documents, see Groklaw, Legal Docs, SCO v. IBM, at <http://www.groklaw.net/staticpages/index.php?page=legal-docs>
and TwikiWeThey, SCO v. IBM, at <http://sco.iwethey.org/>.

                   [3] BERKMAN NEWS              


* Tell Me What You Want

A Filter Flash went out in early March offering all Filter readers a chance to speak your minds about what you like about and how you would improve the publication.  Many thanks to those who have submitted their comments.  If you missed out, here's your chance to complete the five-minute survey:


* Filtering Project Expands with OpenNet Initiative Launch

The OpenNet Initiative, a project documenting filtering and surveillance practices worldwide in order "to excavate, expose and analyze," has recently launched. The Berkman Center, led by Professor Jonathan Zittrain, is working in partnership with the Citizen Lab at the Munk Centre for International Studies, University of Toronto, and the Advanced Network Research Group at the Centre for Security in International Society at Cambridge University.


* Weblog Community to Convene at Berkman in April

A second BloggerCon will take place April 17th at Harvard Law School.  This free conference, geared toward users, centers around the technology of weblogs as it relates to many topics, with an emphasis on politics, and will include tutorials for new weblog users.  Much more information is available at:


To register:

                  [4] CONFERENCE WATCH



* March 24-25, 2004, University of Maryland, Shady Grove--Internet Commons Congress

* March 26-28, 2004, New Haven, CT--Digital Cops in a Virtual Environment (Yale Information Society Project)<http://islandia.law.yale.edu/isp/digital_cops.htm>


* April 16, 2004, Cambridge, MA--Slowing the Stream: Digital Media Meeting

* April 17, 2004, Cambridge, MA--BloggerCon II


* May 2-4, 2004, Washington, DC--Future of Music Coalition Policy Summit

* May 10-14, 2004, Barcelona--INET/IGC 2004 Strengthening the Net: Building an Open and Trusted Internet

* May 13-15, 2004, Cambridge, MA--Internet Law Program (Registration Open!)

* May 26-27, 2004, Zaporozhye, Ukraine--The Second Cybercrime Conference 2004


* June 9-11, 2004, San Francisco, CA--IAPP TRUSTe Symposium: Privacy Futures


* July 14-31, 2004, Oxford, UK--Oxford Internet Institute Summer Programme (Applications Now Being Accepted)<http://www.oii.ox.ac.uk/teaching/?rq=sdp2004>

                   [5]  BOOKMARKS

* The Grey Album Rocks the Music Industry

* Which Rule of Civil Procedure Are You? (via Bag & Baggage)<http://tinyurl.com/2v4ol> [quizilla.com]

* Confusing DMCA "Database" Decision Not About Databases, by Ernest Miller

* How I Lost the Big One, by Professor Lawrence Lessig

* EFF Joins Suit Against Broadcast Flag (via Copyfight.org)<http://www.eff.org/IP/Video/HDTV/20040309_eff_pr.php>

                   [6]  QUOTABLES

"The author of this blawg secretly cringes each time he uses the words 'weblog,' 'blog,' or 'blawg,' but he thinks these words have entered the language. He thinks anyone who is upset about his use of these words should just get over it." -- Evan Schaeffer, this and much more at

"Blogging, in my view, is a word that is a closer analogue to 'cold, dead fish' than to 'sushi.'" -- Berkman Fellow James Moore

                   [7]  TALK BACK

We continue to adjust the Filter's format and content in response to your feedback. Further comments and suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Please send them to filter-editor@cyber.harvard.edu

                   [8]  SUBSCRIPTION INFO                          

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                   [9]  ABOUT US

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                  [10]  NOT A COPYRIGHT


A publication of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School <http://cyber.harvard.edu> You may--and please do--forward or copy this newsletter to friends and colleagues.

This work is hereby released into the Public Domain. To view a copy of the public domain dedication, visit <http://creativecommons.org/licenses/publicdomain/> or send a letter to Creative Commons, 559 Nathan Abbott Way, Stanford, California 94305, USA.

Last updated

January 16, 2008