Australia: Domain Names, Internet Use, Social Networking, Online Media, Spam and Other Crime

Intellectual Property Update - Around the World February 2010
Last Updated: 2 March 2010
Article by Craig Ng

This e-alert provides an update on the latest issues of interest to IP&T professionals both in Australia and Internationally. We hope that you will find this information useful.

Domain Names in Conjunction with the Australian Domain Name Administrator

Domain names ccTLD & gTLD NEWS

Australian Anti-Govt Censorship Website Learns .AU Registration Rules

The registrants of the domain name have finally read the rules on .AU domain registration following their initial controversial registration of the domain name. Full story

au: Bolton's cork pops at Bottle

Embattled domain name registrar Bottle Domains today apologised for a mistake that saw it send emails to customers yesterday alerting them that they had transferred their domain name to another registrar associated with owner Nicholas Bolton. Full story

Other Domain names

ICANN boss sees risk of multiple internets [AFP]

Clandestine efforts by some countries to create alternative versions of the Internet for political ends could put the Web at risk, the man responsible for organizing the network told AFP Wednesday. Rod Beckstrom, the CEO of ICANN -- the firm which oversees how the Internet is organized -- said unnamed nations had tried to create parallel networks, but he expressed confidence they would eventually stick with the global-used original. Article 1 Article 2

Non-Latin web domain names get clearance [AP]

Egypt, Russia, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are the first countries to win preliminary approval for internet addresses written entirely in their native scripts. Full story

ICANN approves Internet addresses in Arabic script [AFP]

The global agency overseeing Internet domain names said Egypt, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and the AUnited Arab Emirates can begin creating online addresses in their native languages. Article 1 Article 2

NRO Announces Less Than 10% Of IPv4 Addresses Remain, Pressure Mounts To Move To IPv6

The NRO announced this week that less than ten per cent of IPv4 addresses remain unallocated, marking a critical moment in IPv4 address exhaustion, ultimately impacting the future network operations of all businesses and organisations around the globe. Full story

Less than 10% of IPv4 Addresses Remain Unallocated, says Number Resource Organization [news release]

The Number Resource Organization (NRO), the official representative of the five Regional Internet Registries (RIRs) that oversee the allocation of all Internet number resources, announced today that less than 10 percent of available IPv4 addresses remain unallocated. This small pool of existing IP addresses marks a critical moment in IPv4 address exhaustion, ultimately impacting the future network operations of all businesses and organizations around the globe. Full story

FBI Warns of Domain Name Scammers Following Haiti Earthquake

Domain name scammers who register domain names to take advantage of disasters and misfortune around the world have been quick to take advantage of the misery in Haiti with the FBI issuing a Haitian earthquake relief fraud alert. Full story

Research Papers

OECD: Indicators of broadband coverage

Comparing data on broadband coverage across OECD countries still faces some challenges because of the use of different metrics across countries. This report aims at providing information on the advantages and pitfalls of existing indicators used to measure broadband coverage, considering coverage related to different types of technologies (e.g. xDSL, cable modem, FTTH/B, 3G, satellite, WiMAX). Every technology capable of providing high speed Internet access involves specific issues when measuring availability. Full story

International Mobile Roaming Charging in the OECD Area

While the wireless industry has witnessed spectacular developments in recent years, with increasing competition in domestic markets, there is a widespread perception among many stakeholders, including some within the industry itself, that international mobile roaming service (IMRS) prices are unreasonable and inefficiently high. This report represents the first part of a two-phase OECD project on IMRS. It provides analysis on market developments and pricing in IMRS and sets out the nature of the perceived problem together with analysis on why IMRS pricing takes the form it does. Full story

Internet Use

Australia goes wild for wireless internet

Use of wireless broadband services mushroomed during the past year to reach more than two million subscribers, driven by the popularity of wireless modems and mobile devices such as the iPhone. Full story

Broadband billions left hanging as wireless bites back

Australians are flocking to 3G mobiles and wireless broadband devices, bringing into question some of the assumptions behind the Rudd Government's $43 billion national broadband network. Full story

Mobile broadband and internet services take off [news release]

During 2008-09 Australians continued to demonstrate their thirst for flexible communications. Take-up continued across a range of platforms and technologies, with the use of 3G mobile and wireless broadband services growing by 162 per cent. At the same time, general internet use continues to grow and diversify strongly, with Australians downloading ever-increasing amounts of data and more of us going online for business and personal transactions. Full story

Guardian editor hits back at paywalls

The Guardian editor-in-chief, Alan Rusbridger, has delivered a riposte to Rupert Murdoch's campaign to introduce paywalls to newspaper websites, claiming that it could lead the industry to a "sleepwalk into oblivion". Full story

New York Times wants paying, but will it make money?

The shock waves rippled worldwide. Finally the New York Times had decided to rebuild a pay wall around its online news. Here, at last, was a supposedly game-changing decision defining all newspapers' future. To charge, or not to charge? To side with Rupert Murdoch and the great Grey Lady of American journalism, or keep following the free road as pioneered by the Telegraph, Guardian and (for the moment) most non-specialist papers around the world? Let the trumpets of momentous choice sound out. Full story

A Conversation With Google's Chairman and CEO

Google CEO Eric Schmidt has long defended his company's decision to do business in China despite the restrictions that Beijing imposes on Internet freedom. Nevertheless, last week the company abruptly threatened to pull out after suffering hacker attacks believed to have originated in China. Schmidt explained why to NEWSWEEK's Fareed Zakaria in an exclusive interview. Excerpts

If Your Kids Are Awake, They're Probably Online

The average young American now spends practically every waking minute - except for the time in school — using a smart phone, computer, television or other electronic device, according to a new study from the Kaiser Family Foundation. Full story

Click her for the full report

Americans use of Internet, broadband and wireless flat lines

The Pew Research Center's Internet and American Life Project has identified some flat lines in Americans technology use in a report released on Tuesday that examined Internet, broadband, and cell phone use nationally. Full story

China's online population swells to 384 million [AFP]

The number of Internet users in China, already the largest in the world, rose to 384 million by the end of 2009, a government-linked industry body said Friday. Article 1 Article 2

Social Networking

Down to business: new users tap into social media

Telstra was first to take the plunge, allowing its 40,000-plus workers to tweet (almost) at will. Myer, too, has jumped in online, thanking its 1932 Facebook fans for their patience during recent store renovations in Melbourne. Now Cricket Australia is dipping into online social media, launching a branded Facebook page and Twitter site for national vice-captain Michael Clarke. Full story

New Technologies

Getting your head around cloud: utility computing in the 21st century

Simon Probert parts the mists around cloud computing, but is it an evolution or a revolution? The 'Cloud' is everywhere it seems, in the media, on the web and bandied about by IT companies left right and centre. All the cloud-vendors seem to agree that cloud is "the future of computing". But what actually is cloud computing? Is cloud simply another cunning industry buzzword for selling more servers, or is cloud computing really a 'paradigm shift' in the way we access computing resources? Full story

Apple Tablet Portends Rewrite for Publishers

Book publishers were locked in 11th-hour negotiations with Apple Inc. that could rewrite the industry's revenue model after the technology giant unveils its highly anticipated tablet device Wednesday. Full story

Intellectual Property

Fujitsu claims iPad name after Apple launch

Fujitsu has taken some of the shine off Apple's iPad euphoria after pointing out that it has already applied to trademark the name to use for a handheld computing device. Full story

Protect intellectual property with trademarks, copyrights, patents

What is the value of the Nike "swoosh?" The design of a Macintosh computer? The content of a Beatles song? These things have a value far beyond the "physical property" of the running shoes, computers, or CDs themselves because of the "intellectual property" of the swoosh, the design, or the wonderful music and lyrics of John Lennon and Paul McCartney. Full story

Global legal stoush over Lion's Barefoot 'carbon-neutral' beer

Scott Bouvier has a six-pack of Duff Beer on his desk to remind him of "how broad intellectual property protection can be". Last week, the Mallesons lawyer found himself at the centre of another beer battle -- one that could provide a road map for global brands and the way they are treated in Australia. Full story

IP Issues May Go To 'Higher Political Level' In Copenhagen Amid Difficulties

While intellectual property rights has been 'the elephant in the room' in the climate change negotiations so far, officials predict that it could become the subject of heated negotiations - even at a higher political level - during the ongoing high-level meeting in Copenhagen. On the third day of the meeting, IP issues had already appeared in a proposed negotiation text. Full story

Is Intellectual Property Trivial? by Jonathan M. Barnett

Policy, scholarly, and popular discussions of the socially desirable level of protection provided by intellectual property rights typically take for granted that changes in the level of intellectual property protection matter a great deal. It is commonly assumed to make a substantial difference in regulating access to intellectual goods whether patent claims are broadly or narrowly interpreted, the copyright term is longer or shorter, or the fair use exemption is applied more or less generously. This assumption follows what appears to be an uncontroversial proposition commonly set forth in intellectual property jurisprudence and scholarship: patents, copyrights, and other entitlements determine which technologies and creative works fall into the private domain (to which access is constrained) and which remain in the public domain (to which access is unfettered). In this Article, I show that this proposition should be controversial. Full story

Technology and Uncertainty: The Shaping Effect on Copyright Law by Ben Depoorter

Judging from the headlines, it appears that copyright law is in an existential crisis. Broadband networks and digital applications have widely expanded unlicensed access to copyrighted content. Consumer-to-consumer dissemination over file-sharing networks increasingly bypasses traditional segments of the copyright market. Despite the deployment of a wide array of scare tactics, professional distributors have failed thus far to reverse file sharing and copyright circumvention. Full story

The Use and Abuse of IP at the Birth of the Administrative State by Adam Mossoff

Since its inception in the Progressive Era, the modern administrative state has functioned in tandem with the three intellectual property doctrines enforced by the federal government - patent, copyright, and trademark law. Although administrative law and these intellectual property doctrines have shared a common provenance—defined, promulgated, and enforced through federal institutions, statutes, and case law—administrative lawyers did not discuss intellectual property, and intellectual property lawyers similarly did not discuss administrative law. Throughout the twentieth century, administrative law and intellectual property law seemed as if they were hermetically sealed off from each other in both theory and practice. Full story

Institutions and Indirectness in Intellectual Property by Henry E. Smith

Institutions are important to intellectual property. Information is a major subject of exchange, and the special challenges of contracting over information have long been at the heart of economic theories of contracting. Exchanges involving information are difficult because a buyer will be reluctant to make a purchase without knowing what he is buying, but once the seller reveals the information, the buyer will no longer need to pay for it. Contractors can also face challenges from asymmetric information, and some of the limits on people's ability to contract stem from the problems of incomplete information. Full story

US Senate Approves IP Enforcement Czar

The Senate late Thursday confirmed Victoria Espinel to be the nation's first-ever intellectual property enforcement coordinator, a position that will be housed in the White House. Full story

European Commission welcomes ratification of the WIPO Copyright Treaties.

Today, the European Union and its Member States ratified the WIPO Copyright Treaty and the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty, the so-called "Internet" Treaties. These Treaties were concluded to make the world's copyright laws 'fit for the internet'. Full story

EU Ratifies 'Internet Treaties'

U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk Monday praised the European Union for ratifying two treaties aimed at updating international copyright protections for the Internet age. The World Intellectual Property Organization's Copyright Treaty and the Performance and Phonograms Treaty, known as the "Internet treaties," clarified "exclusive rights and require signatories to provide effective legal remedies against the circumvention of certain technological measures that protect copyrighted works in online environments," according to the USTR. They went into force in 2002. Full story

UN Report: Indigenous Rights Ignored In Global IP Policy

The cultures of indigenous peoples have frequently been ignored when global standards on intellectual property were being set, a new United Nations report has stated. Full story

Dyson sues rival Vax over vacuum cleaner design

Dyson has launched legal action against rival manufacturer Vax, claiming the design of its Mach Zen vacuum cleaner is an infringement of the registered design of its first "bagless" Dyson cylinder vacuum, launched 15 years ago. Full story

Online TV & Music

iiNet ruling due next week in Australian copyright case

The Federal Court has moved swiftly to hand down its ruling on a landmark internet copyright battle between Perth ISP iiNet and a group of Hollywood giants. Full story

MusicDNA - new digital file that is son of MP3 unveiled

A new way of experiencing music - billed as the most significant development in digital music since the invention of the MP3 - was unveiled at the biggest ­conference in the music industry calendar today. Full story

Australian record labels cry poor as piracy chokes growth

The Australian music industry has shrunk by 30 per cent since 2001 and record labels claim $200 million has been lost to piracy in the last five years. Article 1 Article 2

Hollywood and the internet: The film business tries to learn from others' mistakes

Hollywood came late to the internet. Protected for years from digital piracy by huge file sizes, it was not forced to develop an online retail model, as the music business was. Nor, having watched newspapers struggle on the internet, did it much want to try. This week it finally stepped forward, touting two systems for selling films and television shows online. The initiatives are well thought-out, reflecting the lessons learned from watching others' mistakes. But they may also be too late. Full story


Australian telco giants cash in on the great SMS swindle

Australians are being charged up to 10 times more to send text messages than mobile phone users in other countries, with the nation's telecommunication giants pocketing hundreds of millions of dollars for providing the virtually cost-free service. Article 1 Article 2

In just 25 years, the mobile phone has transformed the way we communicate

In the early hours of New Year's Day 1985, Michael Harrison phoned his father Sir Ernest to wish him a happy new year. There may appear nothing remarkable in such a private show of filial affection, but Sir Ernest was chairman of Racal Electronics and his son was making the first-ever mobile phone call in the UK, using the network built by its newest investment, a company based round the corner from a curry house in Newbury, Berkshire. Full story

Texting was never actually designed for consumer market

For a technology that has become so all-pervasive that texting has been included in the Oxford English Dictionary, SMS (short message service) was not designed as a mass market consumer communications service at all. Full story

2010: the year of the mobile with trend to smaller connected devices

Desktop computers are so last decade. 2010 is shaping up to be the year when internet users move decisively away from bulky machines to the mobile web. Full story


IIA: Funding needed for ISPs to crack-down on unruly spammers

The Federal Government may be asked to fund an upcoming code requiring Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to crack-down on spamming computers. Full story

The World's Top 10 Spammers: A monitoring group says these are the world's worst e-mail abusers.

Gangs of hackers make money not only by stealing from electronic accounts but also by spamming. The Spamhaus Project, an 11-year-old British and Swiss-based nonprofit that works with global law-enforcement agencies, regularly updates the list of the most persistent spammers. Full story

Real estate agents back in the spam spotlight

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) is again targeting the real estate industry on the issue of spam with a formal warning issued to Danielou Pty Ltd, trading as Elders Real Estate Wollongong. Full story

Real estate agency breaches the Spam Act [news release]

The Australian Communications and Media Authority has issued a formal warning to Danielou Pty Ltd, trading as Elders Real Estate Wollongong, following an investigation that found the real estate agency breached the Spam Act 2003 by sending commercial electronic messages without an unsubscribe facility. Full story

Online Crime, Security & Legal

Old software leaved the door open for net nasties

Organisations still using Microsoft's long-superseded Internet Explorer 6 browser should be upgrading in the wake of high-profile breaches of Google's systems and those of more than 30 other US firms. Full story

Call to banish virus-hit computers in Australia from internet

Computers infected with viruses could be "expelled" from the internet under a new industry code to control Australia's plague of contaminated PCs. Full story

Australians at risk from computer zombies

Australia is one of the top 10 targets for cyber crime, according to McAfee, one of the largest manufacturers of antivirus software. Full story

Australian Defence repelled 2400 cyber attacks in 2009

Defence department computers sustained about 2400 cyber attacks last year, Defence Minister John Faulkner revealed today. Article 1 Article 2

Australia responds to threats of internet war

Hackers are launching 200 attacks a month on the Defence Department's computer networks, the Defence Minister, John Faulkner, revealed as he unveiled a new centre to co-ordinate the nation's response to online threats. Full story

Hacking - easy as abc123

You may be leaving the door to your online accounts wide open. An analysis of tens of millions of leaked passwords reveals the most common are basic number strings such as "123456" and obvious keywords including "password" and "abc123". Article 1 Article 2

If Your Password Is 123456, Just Make It HackMe

Back at the dawn of the Web, the most popular account password was "12345." Today, it's one digit longer but hardly safer: "123456." Full story

Companies Fearing Hackers Who Leave No Trace

The crown jewels of Google, Cisco Systems or any other technology company are the millions of lines of programming instructions, known as source code, that make its products run. Full story

Australian Govt issues IE security warning

The Federal Government has ramped up warnings about Microsoft's web browser, urging people to find an alternative to Internet Explorer or risk having their computers infiltrated and passwords stolen. Full story

In Digital Combat, U.S. Finds No Easy Deterrent to Cyberattacks

On a Monday morning earlier this month, top Pentagon leaders gathered to simulate how they would respond to a sophisticated cyberattack aimed at paralyzing the nation's power grids, its communications systems or its financial networks. Full story

The Evil (Cyber) Empire: Inside the world of Russian hackers.

Did Russian hackers manage to steal tens of millions of dollars from Citigroup? While The Wall Street Journal reports that the FBI is investigating the alleged loss, the financial organization denies losing money in such a security breach. It may take awhile to uncover the truth, but reports of the attack have cast yet another spotlight into the shadowy world of cybercrime. This report, adapted from a cover package by NEWSWEEK's Russia-language partner,Russky Newsweek, takes a closer look at those behind this global threat. Full story


Web censorship in China? Not a problem, says Bill Gates

After pouring billions of dollars into the global fight against malaria and rebranding Microsoft in a more cuddly, human way, Bill Gates had just about shaken off accusations that he represented all that was unappealing about aggressive ­American capitalism. Full story

Davos 2010: Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee says China will take a long time to cut internet censorship

China will gradually move to cut censorship of the Internet, but it will take a long time, the man credited with inventing the World Wide Web said. Full story

Google's run-in with China shows that internet is now a real battleground

One useful spin-off from the developing story of Google's difficulties with the Chinese communist regime is that it may finally spur the west to discard the rose-tinted spectacles through which it has chosen to view China in the past decade – and not before time. Full story

Even a censored Internet has opened up a world for Chinese users

One of China's most popular bloggers, Han Han, posted a satirical essay this week in which he imagined headlines about China's censored Internet in a post-Google era. Full story

Clinton blasts China, others for internet blocks [AP]

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is criticizing China and other nations for restricting Internet access and erecting other electronic barriers to the free flow of information. Article 1 Article 2

Why is China so terrified of dissent?

The last year has seen an escalation in the harassment of dissidents by the Chinese authorities, leading some to claim that there is less freedom than before the Tiananmen Square massacre of 1989. Full story

Google's commercial retreat from China shows the freedom of the web has limits, after all Google's row with China is significant not as a sign that Beijing wants to exert control over the internet, but as proof that it can. Full story

Google: A new approach to China

First, this attack was not just on Google. As part of our investigation we have discovered that at least twenty other large companies from a wide range of businesses--including the Internet, finance, technology, media and chemical sectors--have been similarly targeted. We are currently in the process of notifying those companies, and we are also working with the relevant U.S. authorities. Full story

Government & Public Policy

ACMA releases discussion paper on review of the 2.5 GHz spectrum band [news release]

The Australian Communications and Media Authority today released a discussion paper as part of its review of the pricing, planning and licensing arrangements for spectrum in the 2.5 GHz band. The 2.5 GHz band is currently used primarily by free to air TV broadcasters for electronic news gathering (ENG). Full story

Child porn and artistic merit link scrutinised by NSW govt

The New South Wales Government has released recommendations to scrap the defence of 'artistic merit' in relation to child pornography. Full story

'Artistic merit' fades as child porn defence

Child protection group Bravehearts has welcomed recommendations by a NSW government panel to scrap the defence of "artistic merit" in the use of child pornography images. Full story


Telstra separation bill delayed again

The Federal Government's proposed legislation for the separation of Telstra has been delayed again thanks to big ticket items to be discussed in the Senate hearings starting on February 2. Full story

Telcos eye 4G networks in government spectrum sale

Telstra, Optus and Vodafone Hutchison have begun formulating responses to the federal government's proposed auction of broadcast spectrum, which is expected to lead to the creation of a high-speed 4G mobile broadband network. Full story

Huawei backs Australia's NBN model

A leading global player in providing high-speed internet systems has backed the Rudd government's plan for an open-access national broadband network. Full story

International Phone Traffic Growth Slows, while Skype Accelerates

New data from TeleGeography show that the growth of international telephone traffic has slowed, while Skype's growth has accelerated. Over the past 25 years, international call volume from telephones has grown at a compounded annual rate of 15 percent. In the past two years, however, international telephone traffic annual growth has slowed to only 8 percent, growing from 376 billion minutes in 2008 to an estimated 406 billion minutes in 2009. Full story

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