Australia: Domain Names, Internet Use, Social Networking and Intellectual Property

Intellectual Property and Technology Update - Around the World March 2010
Last Updated: 8 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

Public Comment: Draft Report on WHOIS Accuracy

The National Opinion Research Center recently completed a study commissioned by ICANN to determine the percentage of domain names registered under the top 5 gTLDs (i.e., .com, .net, .org, .biz, and .info) that contain accurate WHOIS data. The draft report is being posted for review and comment through 15 April 2010. Full story

ICANN Study Finds Three-Quarters of Whois Data Inaccurate

More than three-quarters (77%) of all Whois records for five of the generic Top Level Domains (.COM, .ORG, .NET, .INFO and .BIZ) are filled with at least partially inaccurate information, according to a survey by the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) for ICANN. Article 1 Article 2

Domain Name Registrations Continue to Grow, Now Top 192 Million

There were 192 million domain names registered around the world at the end of 2009, an increase of eleven million registrations over the previous quarter, according to the latest Domain Name Industry Brief published by VeriSign. Article 1 Article 2

VeriSign to Celebrate .COM's 25th Birthday in March

VeriSign have announced .COM will be celebrating its 25th birthday in March. In March 1985 the first .com domain was registered. There are now around 80 million.COM domains registered. Article 1 Article 2 sold for $1 Million, Most Ever For .org Domain

Sedo, a domain marketplace, has brokered the largest sale of a .org domain to date. Brokered on behalf of National A-1 Advertising, the domain was sold to for the sum of $1 million. Full story

Annual Sedo Domain Name Study Finds Keyword Domains Dominate Marketplace

Keyword domain names dominated the top selling domain sales through online marketplace Sedo in 2009 according to the latest Sedo Domain Market Study. The study found that .COM continues to be the dominant Top Level Domain with 44 per cent of all domain sales. Article 1 Article 2

Melbourne IT sees investments crimping growth until 2011 [AAP]

Domain name registrar and IT services provider Melbourne IT posted a 3.8 per cent lift in annual net profit, and said infrastructure investment in 2010 would crimp profit growth until 2011. Article 1 Article 2

Melbourne IT revenues up 8 per cent in 2009

Online services provider, Melbourne IT has recorded an eight per cent rise year-on-year in revenues for its full financial year to 31 December 2009. > Full story

Research Papers

The Future of the Internet IV: new perspectives on the way the internet is affecting human intelligence and how information is shared

Overview: A survey of nearly 900 Internet stakeholders reveals fascinating new perspectives on the way the Internet is affecting human intelligence and the ways that information is being shared and rendered. Full Story

Internet Use

Australian home internet access quadruples in the last decade

ICT has become increasingly more affordable over the past decade with the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) recording marked increases in access to PCs and the Internet in Australian households. Full story

Household Use of Information Technology, Australia, 2008-09

According to the 2008-09 MPHS, 72% of Australian households had home internet access and 78% of households had access to a computer. Between 1998 to 2008-09, household access to the internet at home has more than quadrupled from 16% to 72%, while access to computers has increased from 44% to 78%. Full story

Beware of newspapers bearing surveys

There's been more grim reading on the state of the global newspaper industry. USA Today, America's second-largest paper, is ordering its 1,500 employees to take a week of unpaid leave by the middle of the year. It's the latest cost-cutting drive by the once thriving national daily as it grapples with tumbling advertising revenue and the shift of readers to online news sites. So it will be with some relief that Australian newspaper journalists read the results of a new survey of reader behaviour. Full story

Print, online fuel each other

Newspapers have successfully evolved into influential multi-media brands that are uniquely positioned in the modern media landscape, according to research released by the industry today. Full story

Safer Internet Day targets 5-7 year olds and Microsoft's web browser

On Safer Internet Day, the UK's Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre is promoting a cartoon to help children stay safe online, and making information and advice available via Microsoft's Internet Explorer 8. Full story

European Commission calls on social networking companies to improve child safety policies

50% of European teenagers give out personal information on the web – according to an EU study – which can remain online forever and can be seen by anybody. Today, Safer Internet Day, the European Commission is passing a message to teenagers: "Think before you post!" News Release

'Internet addiction' linked to depression, says study

There is a strong link between heavy internet use and depression, UK psychologists have said. The study, reported in the journal Psychopathology, found 1.2% of people surveyed were "internet addicts", and many of these were depressed. Full story

Excessive internet use linked to depression, research shows

British psychologists have found evidence of a link between excessive internet use and depression. Full story

ACMA to develop a parental lock standard for digital television receivers

The Australian Communications and Media Authority is seeking industry and public comment on the determination of a technical standard that will make parental lock a required feature for digital television receivers. Full story

Social Networking

Privacy 2.0: Give a little, take a little

If there is one thing that could halt the ascent of social networks, it is the vexed question of privacy. This is controversial because it goes right to the heart of the social-networking business model. Full story

The future of social networking: towards a socialised state - the joy of unlimited communication

What will the future of social networking look like? Imagine this: your digital video recorder automatically copies a television show that several of your friends were talking about on a social network before the show went on air. Full story

Intellectual Property

Larrikin Music Publishing snares Land Down Under royalties

It's one of Australia's best-known and most-loved rock songs -- and according to a Federal Court judge, it's a rip-off. For Men at Work songwriters Colin Hay and Ron Strykert, the finding that the distinctive flute riff from the band's classic No 1 hit Down Under had been lifted from the well known children's song Kookaburra sits in the Old Gum Tree was a "dangerous precedent" that paved the way for "greedy, opportunistic" claims against musicians. Full story

'Kookaburra' decision a landmark for copyright law

The Federal Court ruling that a Men At Work song infringed the copyright of the song 'Kookaburra Sits in the Old Gum Tree' could have implications for the music industry. Men At Work say the ruling could restrict creativity. The musicians' union says it could change the notion of what is covered by copyright. Full story

Men at Work frontman slams court ruling

Men at Work's Colin Hay has hit back at a ruling that his song Down Under rips off a popular children's tune, calling it a win for corporate greed. Full story

Woolies' Apple logo dispute drags on

Supermarket chain Woolworths has asked for more time to respond to intellectual property administrator IP Australia over a trademark dispute lodged by Apple last year concerning its logo. Full story

Knowledge Access Blooms In The Desert: Egypt's Fragile Stake In IP

The launch on the new campus of American University in Cairo of a new centre and a new book on access to knowledge in Egypt offered a view of the complexities of the issues and the challenges developing countries face to ensure global intellectual property rights are incorporated into their legal systems in the most locally productive ways possible. Full story

Conference Board of Canada Releases New IP Report, Backs Away From Prior Recommendations

The Conference Board of Canada has released its long-promised report on intellectual property policy in Canada. Readers will recall that last spring the Board withdrew three reports funded by copyright groups after admitting that the reports contained plagiarized passages. Full story

International Patent Filings Dip in 2009 amid Global Economic Downturn

International patent filings under WIPO's Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) fell by 4.5% in 2009 with sharper than average declines experienced by some industrialized countries and growth in a number of East Asian countries. Provisional data indicates that 155,900 (annex 1) international patent applications were filed in 2009 as compared to the nearly 164,000 applications filed in 2008. News Release

US Justice Creates IP Task Force

Attorney General Eric Holder Friday announced the creation of a Justice Department intellectual property task force to better tackle domestic and international piracy and other IP crimes. Full story

Copyright staff get more than they give to authors and artists

The body established to pay authors for the use of their copyright last year spent more on its own staff -- including more than $350,000 for a chief executive -- than it paid authors and artists directly. Full story

Input Sought On US IP Strategy

The new White House intellectual property enforcement coordinator has put out a request for comments seeking input on what should be included in the intellectual property enforcement strategy she is crafting. Full story

Online TV & Music

Internet protocol TV braces for Australian push

In the US it's often referred to as "over-the-top TV", but in Australia, it lurches along with the humble handle of internet protocol TV. Full story

au: iiNet ruling casts cloud over legal online content

The Federal Court's decision not to hold Perth-based internet service provider iiNet liable for peer-to-peer online copyright infringement has created uncertainty for providers of legal internet movie and TV services. Full story

Film industry loses iiNet download case

The Australian film and television industry has lost a case against a major internet service provider whose customers downloaded pirated movies and television programs. Full story

iiNET wins court case against Hollywood heavyweights

iiNET has won a landmark Federal Court battle against a clutch of Hollywood movie studio heavyweights which alleged the Perth-based internet service provider had encouraged copyright violations. Full story

Studios appeal iiNet copyright case

Television and movie studios are appealing against a judgment which found internet service provider iiNet was not responsible for illegal movie downloads by its customers. Full story

AFACT to appeal iiNet decision

Hollywood's landmark legal bid to make internet companies responsible for online copyright infringement is to enter another lengthy round. Full story

Queenslander to pay Nintendo $1.5m for illegal uploading of New Super Mario Bros [AAP]

A Queensland man will have to pay Nintendo $1.5 million in damages after illegally copying and uploading one of its new games to the internet ahead of its release, the gaming giant says. Full story

Water-Cooler Effect: Internet Can Be TV's Friend

Remember when the Internet was supposed to kill off television? That hasn't been the case lately, judging by the record television ratings for big-ticket events. The Vancouver Olympics are shaping up to be the most-watched foreign Winter Games since 1994. This year's Super Bowl was the most-watched program in United States history, beating out the final episode of "M*A*S*H" in 1983. Awards shows like the Grammys are attracting their biggest audiences in years. Full story

10 billionth song downloaded from Apple's iTunes [AFP]

The 10 billionth song has been downloaded from Apple's iTunes, seven years after the launch of the online store which provided a lifeline to the struggling music industry. Article 1 Article 2


ACMA: Mobile internet new risk for kids

The increased use of mobile internet devices, coupled with fast moving social media environments presented a new set of risks to both children and adults, new report from the Australian Communications and Media Authority has found. Full story

ITU sees 5 billion mobile subscriptions globally in 2010 [news release]

After reaching around 4.6 billion mobile cellular subscriptions by the end of 2009, ITU expects the number of mobile cellular subscriptions globally to reach five billion in 2010, driven by advanced services and handsets in developed countries and increased take-up of mobile health services and mobile banking in the developing world. Full story

Skype Fights to Be Heard on Mobile Phones

Josh Silverman, the chief executive of Skype, the voice-over-Internet phone service, could tick off the names of mobile phone operators that block his company's service. But for Mr. Silverman, a 41-year-old Michigan native, it is quicker to name those that allow it, no strings attached. Full story

Telstra doubles the speed of its Next G HSPA+ network

Telstra has doubled the speed of its Next G HSPA+ network to allow theoretical maximum download speeds of 42 megabits per second and says speeds of up to 82Mbps are now only a year away. Full story

Online Crime, Security & Legal

Australia's computers under constant attack

Thirty per cent of computer systems for the nation's essential services such as banks, government and utilities are repeatedly attacked by hackers every month, according to an international report released. Article 1 Article 2

In a doomsday cyber attack scenario, answers are unsettling

What if a crippling attack struck the country's digital infrastructure? Experts including current and former officials tackle the question. The results show that the peril is real and growing. Full story

Simulation shows US government lacks policies needed to respond to cyberattack

A simulation of a widespread cyberattack against the nation's critical infrastructure demonstrated the cascading effects an attack can have on networks and the difficulty the government would have in quickly responding, including dealing with civil liberties and how to work with corporations. Full story

Experts warn of catastrophe from cyberattacks

Computer-based network attacks are slowly bleeding U.S. businesses of revenue and market advantage, while the government faces the prospect of losing in an all-out cyberwar, experts told Senators in a hearing on Tuesday. Full story

Security expert: U.S. would lose cyberwar [IDG]

The U.S. government, if confronted in a cyberwar, would not come out on top, said a former U.S. director of national intelligence. Full story

Microsoft Wins Court Order to Block 'Botnet' Network

Microsoft Corp. has won a court order aimed at taking down a global network of PCs that the company accuses of spreading spam and harmful computer code. A federal judge in Alexandria, Va., granted a request by Microsoft to deactivate 277 Internet addresses, or domain names, that the Redmond Wash., company links to a "botnet," an army of tens of thousands of PCs around the globe infected with malicious code that allows them to be harnessed for nefarious purposes. Full story

Survey: Cyberattacks cost APAC firms

Cyberattacks are costly affair in the Asia-Pacific region, where companies hit by security attacks suffered losses averaging US$763,000 each in 2009, according to a study. Full story

Cybercriminals exploit Haiti tragedy with malicious attacks [MIS Asia]

There was no let up in spamming and phishing activities last month even as the entire world watched with sympathy the tragedy in Haiti. To add to the sorrow behind the devastating earthquake on 12 January, cyber criminals took advantage of the tragedy to launch spamming and phishing attacks. Article 1 Article 2


Justice Michael Kirby wins award for work on OECD Privacy Guidelines

The Honourable Michael Kirby has been selected by EPIC as the 2010 recipient of the International Privacy Champion Award. Justice Kirby was recognised for his leading role in the development of the OECD Privacy Guidelines in 1980. Full story

Europeans' Privacy will be big challenge in next decade, says EU Commissioner

Our privacy faces new challenges: behavioural advertising can use your internet history to better market products; social networking sites used by 41.7 million Europeans allow personal information like photos to be seen by others; and the 6 billion smart chips used today can trace your movements. News Release


au: Sales fall, piracy rises in wake of censored games

The lack of an R18+ classification for electronic games has been linked to an increase in piracy and poor sales of titles that were toned-down to meet Australia's top M15+ rating. Full story

SA backs down on internet comment curb

South Australia's Attorney-General Michael Atkinson admits he misjudged public opinion on the state's attempt to curb political comment on the internet. Full story

Opinion: Net censorship campaign backfires by Chris Kenny, a former federal and South Australian Liberal government adviser

South Australia's history of spectacular clashes between politicians, the judiciary and the media found a new chapter when a mess of eggs ended up on the face of the Attorney-General, forcing a humiliating backflip over internet censorship. Full story

Government & Public Policy

UK broadband tax condemned as 'unfair' by MPs

A government proposal to charge people with fixed phone lines 50p per month to help fund ultra-fast broadband has been condemned as "unfair" by MPs. The focus should be on providing basic broadband for all and allowing markets to deliver higher speeds, it said. Full story

British plans to cut off internet connections of illegal filesharers dumped

The government has backed away from its proposals in the Digital Economy Bill to cut off people who have illegally shared files online. Full story

nz: So long Section 92A - new copyright bill revealed

After much controversy last year, Section 92A of the Copyright Act has finally been repealed and a new version introduced to Parliament by the Minister of Commerce, Simon Power. Full story


Telstra seeks end to cap on fixed-line calls

Telstra says restrictions on the price it can charge customers for fixed-line calls should be scrapped because of competition from mobile phones and voice calls over the internet. Full story

Australia's fibre-optic network backbone begins

The federal government is a week away from seeing the first sod of soil turned in the construction of fibre-optic backbone links for its ambitious $43 billion national broadband network. Full story

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