Archive for the ‘Internet Law’ Category
Experts warn that new top level domains bring with them security risks.
“ICANN is moving a little too fast with these new gTLDs without really giving people time to get ready,” [DigiCert associate general counsel Jeremy] Rowley said in an interview.
Rowley is a member of the CA Security Council (CASC) alongside executives from Symantec, Comodo, Entrust, GMO GlobalSign, Trend Micro and Go Daddy.
Just days after the Supreme Court’s decision allowing a purchaser of books abroad to re-sell them in bulk in the U.S., thereby exercising the purchaser’s “right of first sale” of a copyrighted work, which expressly provides such a sale is not a violation of the copyright law, on March 30, 2013, a New York federal judge has ruled that digital products may not be re-sold on the web under the same doctrine. Specifically, the Court ruled that ReDigi, a web based platform allowing Internet users to upload and re-sell songs they had bought from online retailers like Apple’s iTunes, had infringed the copyright of a record label, Capitol Records. The decision is expected to impact the secondary market for sale of all digital products, not only music, but also e-books. Amazon, among others, has filed for a patent for such a marketplace. However, the decision will impact anyone in the market for digital products, whether buyer or seller.
Web addresses ending in extensions such as .accountant or .pizza will soon join the online world where .com has long been the sought-after destination. Yet the majority of small and midsize businesses (SMBs) still have no idea the new real estate is about to hit the market.
Beginning March 26, 2013 and for a limited time, owners of national trademark registrations around the world will register their trademarks with the new ICANN Trademark Clearinghouse, enabling them to receive notification if a third party applies to register their mark under the new generic top level domain regime.
- British Prime Minister David Cameron is moving to distance the United Kingdom from its relations with the European Union by putting the decision to leave the EU to referendum vote. The immediate pressure on the financial markets has receded for the time being and the countries of the European bloc have returned to focusing on their narrower national interests. This focus on internal politics, however, is jeopardizing the goals for “more Europe” as domestic politics trump broader European concerns. Even leaders in countries such as Greece, while wanting to remain in the euro zone, express discontent with the terms of such membership. However, the tenor of Mr. Cameron’s pledge is alarming countries, even causing the United States to inject itself into the matter.
- The French government is proposing a novel “privacy tax” to curb companies’ abuse of consumer privacy. The proposal recommends that companies which misuse or fail to protect consumer’s data pay a punitive new tax. The tax would be structured to award the lowest tax rate to companies with a high data protection standards and would be levied on French and foreign firms alike. In addition, in an attempt to capture opportunities to tax U.S. companies that are reaping profits in the European markets, France also suggested a tax on the collection of personal data, which has been dubbed the “raw material” of the 21st century. This would directly impact internet firms such as Amazon, Google and Starbucks, which have been paying relatively low amount taxes to their European hosts.
- Some of the nation’s largest corporations are taking advantage of U.S. tax provisions by channeling profits overseas and keeping them in foreign subsidiaries to avoid U.S. taxes. Companies say that the U.S. corporate tax is so high, that it is not sensible to hold more cash domestically than is necessary. Under the U.S. tax code, a domestic company is taxed on its profits, whether earned within or without the national border. However, companies do not have to account for foreign earnings if they declare that such earnings are permanently invested overseas. Although companies, including Google, Microsoft, EMC and Oracle are following such a model, they are also holding over seventy-five percent of the cash from their foreign units, an estimated $1.7 trillion dollars, in U.S. banks as U.S. dollars or in the U.S. government and corporate securities. The funds are shielded from U.S. tax authorities, but are also kept out of the hands of shareholders. Companies are lobbying for changes to the current corporate tax system so that they can use the foreign cash reserves to pay dividends, buy back shares or otherwise utilize it in the U.S.
- The Bank of Japan’s move towards an ultra-loose monetary policy is drawing criticism from around the world. The move would devalue the yen, strengthening Japanese exports and bolstering domestic growth. However, it also threatens to trigger retaliatory “currency wars” by other countries who are similarly looking to boost their economic recovery through stronger exports.
Click here to read alert.
Facebook has settled a class action suit arising out of the display of sponsored advertisements using profile photos of Facebook users when the users’ friends accessed Facebook. The plaintiffs claimed that these sponsored ads, which resulted from their “liking” a brand on Facebook, violated their right of publicity.
The Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) issued a notice on May 8th that revealed a recent claim by the FBI and other agencies that cyber criminals are targeting travelers abroad through pop-up windows while they attempt to connect to the Internet in their hotel rooms.
Specifically, as travelers attempt to setup a hotel room Internet connection through their laptop, they are presented with a pop-up window that asks to update a widely-used software product. If the user clicks “accept and install,” malicious software downloads on the travelers’ laptops. The pop-up window appears to offer a routine update to a legitimate software product for which updates are frequently available.
In a nutshell, the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) provides the government with the power to share classified information about security threats with certain U.S. companies so that these companies can use that information to better protect their computer networks that store sensitive, proprietary, and confidential information, including intellectual property and trade secrets. CISPA allows companies to share information relating to cyber security with government authorities and protects those companies against privacy lawsuits.