<-- The Filter --> November 1998, 2

November 24, 1998
No. 1.6  .  The Filter  .  11.24.98

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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> Microsoft Slapped: A federal judge granted Sun Microsystems an injunction against Microsoft, ruling that the company had violated its 1996 Java licensing agreement by altering the programming language in its Windows 98 operating system. Microsoft has 90 days to revise Windows 98 to comply with the licensing requirements, or cease shipping it.

      http://www.nytimes.com/library/tech/98/11/biztech/articles/18sun .html

> Unconventional Convention: The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the new oversight body charged with governing the domain name system, held an open meeting Saturday, November 14 in Cambridge. The goal?—to get more input from the public about how it might be more representative of the broad interests of Internet users.


> Victorious Secret: A former Playboy playmate-cum-Internet-entrepreneur fought off an injunction in the US District Court of Appeals that would have forbidden her to use the words "Playboy" and "Playmate" in the meta tags—which help search engines identify the content of web pages—of her website. Playboy Enterprises sued for $5 million, claiming the words mislead web users into thinking her site is affiliated with the Playboy company. Playboy is now adding more charges to its trademark infringement case in hopes it will go to trial next year.


> Firebrand Cools It: Ira Magaziner, the Clinton Administration top Internet advisor, announced he would step down from his post by the end of the year. Magaziner championed stricter online privacy standards, online copyright protection, a moratorium on Net taxes, and the privatization of the domain name system.

      http://www.w ired.com/news/news/politics/story/16128.html

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> Ripped from the Headlines: The Internet & Society Moot Court Team argued the constitutionality of a hypothetical regulation prohibiting the distribution of term papers over the Internet. The opinion of the Court:


> Berkman's New Blood: The Berkman Center welcomes its Assistant Director, John Wilbanks. John comes to us from fonix, inc., where he was a research analyst responsible for research and application development of next-generation computing devices. His background includes a stint on Capitol Hill as legislative assistant to US congressman Fortney Stark. He has also worked in the nonprofit arena, as a PAC/Grassroots administrator for the American Physical Therapy Association.

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Couldn't make the ICANN's open meeting on the 14th? No worries. The complete notes from the real-time scribe, including public comments, are on our site.

      http://cyber.law.harvard. edu/icann/archive/

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      * The Progress and Freedom Foundation

The Progress & Freedom Foundation was founded in 1993 to study the digital revolution and its implications for public policy. The PFF held a conference last week entitled "Speech in the Digital Age: The First Amendment and Advertising."

      * The National Telecommunications and Information Administration

The agency (part of the Department of Commerce) headed by Ira Magaziner, who recently announced his resignation.

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"We believe Sun's legal strategy is shortsighted and is trying to deny customers and developers the choice of the best Java implementation in the marketplace."
—Microsoft spokesman Jim Cullinan, after a federal judge granted Sun Microsystems an injunction forcing Microsoft to change the Java in Windows 98 to comply with its 1996 licensing agreement.


"In five years most PCs will be given away. It's going to be the perfect way to serve ads in a targeted fashion."
—Iconoclast market research publisher Michael Tchong


"To: Bill Gates
From: Charles Nesson
Subject: Berkman Challenge

you are the lord of proprietary code
you say you want competition
here WE come with OPEN CODE

WE're not out to wipe you out
we'd rather dance

Come, talk with US
about what our world can be

Tell us the bounds of your natural domain

"Does Bill Gates want IT all?" I ask
"Yes" a great many say
"No" I say
I think he'd be content with half

peace and respect


—Berkman Center Director Professor Charles Nesson (a.k.a. "eon") offering a poetic invitation to Microsoft CEO Bill Gates to join a debate over open code v. proprietary software systems.

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Comments? Questions? Opinions? Submissions?
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"Legal/Technical Architectures of Cyberspace": a mini-conference co-sponsored by the Berkman Center for Internet & Society, the MIT Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, and the MIT Program on Science, Technology, and Society.

The conference addresses the social and policy challenges of the Internet—felt through issues such as content control, privacy, liability, and digital identity. Students from MIT and Harvard Law School have been collaborating to design possible new frameworks for viewing these concerns and to address policy challenges from a combined legal/technical perspective. The conference is the culmination of this collaboration, where invited experts in law and technology will comment upon and debate proposals for the future of the Internet.

"Legal/Technical Architectures of Cyberspace" is free and open to the public, and takes place on Sunday, 6 December 1998 from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m at Ames Courtroom, in Austin Hall on the Harvard Law School campus.

More information is available at:


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Last updated

January 16, 2008