Friday, December 31, 2010

New Year 2011, Greetings

It is easy to be overwhelmed by the negatives. We cannot deny economic realities, uncertainties, wrongdoings and sufferings. Yet, there is always the silver lining of hope, achievement and the triumph of human spirit. And it all starts with a positive energy and wishes for the future from each of us. Because Sun glows for a day, Candle for an hour, Matchstick for a minute. But a wish can glow days forever. So here is Tabrez Ahmad on behalf of all the authors Wishes the Blog Readers a Very happy and prosperous New Year.  Due to the kind of faith and confidence shown by various readers to us within a short time almost all the blogs and specially Technolexindia, IPlex, and Conferencelex have got lot of name and fame not only in India but also in different parts of the world. There are around one thousand and five hundred e-mail subscribers of our various blogs. Hope the same kind of cooperation, comment and suggestion will be provided to us and that will further help to upgrade the standard of blog postings.

 

My wishes for your glowing life in NEW YEAR, 2011.

 

Oh my Dear, Forget ur Fear,
Let all ur Dreams be Clear,
Never put Tear, Please Hear,
I want to tell some thing in ur Ear
I pray! This New Year may bring to you.
The joy that never sees the eclipse, 
The hope which never meets the despair, 
The mind that fastens human bonds, 
The heart which bleeds for the love of man, 
The soul that buries all its ills, 
The world which aspires for the lasting peace, 
The passion that even the angels envy, 
The humility which placates the Divine Wrath,  


This is beginning of a new year!
Like birds, let us, leave behind what we don't need to carry…
GRUDGES, SADNESS, PAIN, FEAR and REGRETS
Life is beautiful, Enjoy it.


Thanks all of you once again for all cooperation and encouragement shown to us in the last one year. 

Bye. Take care.


--
Dr.Tabrez Ahmad,
Associate Professor of Law, KIIT Law School, 
Campus-16,KIIT University, PATIA, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India, 751024.
Website: www.site.technolexindia.com
Blog: http://tabrezahmad.technolexindia.com http://iplexindia.blogspot.com
Profile: http://www.google.com/profiles/tabrezahmad7.
Blogs: http://www.blogger.com/profile/15337756250055596327
Blog: http://drtabrez.wordpress.com  http://tabrezahmad.typepad.com/blog/
Research Papers: http://ssrn.com/author=1189281
Mobile: +91 9438303042


Saturday, December 04, 2010

Pak Cyber Army hacked CBI Website

Central Bureau of InvestigationImage via Wikipedia
In a major embarrassment, the website of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) was hacked on Friday night by programmers identifying themselves as "Pakistani Cyber Army".

The home page of the CBI website had a message from the 'Pakistani Cyber Army' warning the Indian Cyber Army not to attack their websites.

The CBI website, supposed to be one of the most secure websites, is connected to the command centre of world police organisation - Interpol - 24x7.

The message from the hackers also spoke about the filtering controls provided by the National Informatics Centre (NIC), a body which mans computer servers across the country. It also claims to have hacked another 270 websites.
Intelligence agencies have been often warning the government that proper cyber security was not being ensured in government offices and that no security audit was being carried out.

The website has still not been restored. In a late night statement, the investigating agency said, "CBI is aware that its official website has been hacked and defaced. An inquiry has been launched and necessary remedial measures are underway to restore it."

Speaking on the issue, Supreme Court advocate and cyber law expert Pavan Duggal said the hacking of CBI website is an act of cyber war. "I think this is not a mere hacking incident. It is a step towards a cyber war," he said.


Read more at: http://www.ndtv.com
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Thursday, November 25, 2010

Cybertort Law and Liability of Internet Service Providers

first (only) desk at XO/concentricImage by wjr via Flickr

Cyberspace provides a favourable legal environment for tort feasors because Internet Service Providers (ISPs) have not always a duty to mitigate harms caused by ongoing torts and infringing acts. Courts have stretched legislators's express language in some laws from the narrow purpose of immunizing ISPs as publishers to the expanded purpose of shielding them from all tort liability. Examine whether the ISPs have duty of care to remove or block ongoing tortious activities on their srvices when they have been given actual notice in India and also analyse the liability rules best suited in the matters of cybertorts.

In the Cubby Inc. v. CompuServe Inc.  776 F. 1991 USA. It is the first case of Cybertort in which the CompuServe was held not liable for a third party’s publication of defamatory statements on its services. Court considered whether an ISP was a publisher or distributor for purposes of defamation law.
In this action, Cubby charged CompuServe and Don Fitzpatrick with libel, business disparagement and unfair competition. These claims arose out of a series of allegedly defamatory statements made in a publication titled Rumorville, a daily newsletter published by Don Fitzpatrick Associates of San Fransico ("DFA") and available to subscribers of CompuServe.
Cubby published a competing publication titled Skuttlebut. CompuServe offered CompuServe Information Services ("CIS") to subscribers for membership and online time usage fees. In return for these fees, the user is given access to "an on-line general information service or 'electronic library'" which includes thousands of information sources, and special interest forums, which consist of electronic bulletin boards, interactive online conferences and topical databases.
CompuServe moved for summary judgment. In granting the motion, the District Court held that the appropriate standard to be applied in judging CompuServe's conduct is that of a distributor, such as a public library, newsstand or bookstore, rather than a publisher. In so holding, the court stated: " CompuServe's CIS product is in essence an electronic, for profit library that carries a vast number of publications and collects usage and membership fees from its subscribers in return for access to the publications. ... CompuServe has no more editorial control over [Rumorville] than does a public library, book store or newsstand, and it would be no more feasible for CompuServe to examine every publication it carries for potentially defamatory statements than it would be for any other distributor to do so. ...
In 1996 , Congress, through the CDA  ( Communication Decency Act 1996), expressly overruled  Prodigy by immunizing all online intermediaries from publishers liability.  Congress enacted the CDA to prevent the newborn industry of ISPs from drowning in a sea of litigation. Sec. 230 of The CDA was dreams come true for ISPs: Congress made it clear that no interactive computer service would be classified as a publisher or speaker so long as third parties had provided the content. Every other jurisdiction addressing Section 230 has given effect to Congress' broad protections and Internet speech has flourished as a result.
Section 230 protects the ordinary people who use the Internet and email to pass on items of interest written by others, free from the fear of potentially ruinous lawsuits filed by those who don't like what was said about them. The vitality of the Internet would quickly dissipate if the posting of content written by others created liability. The impulse to self-censor would be unavoidable."
Internet Service Providers Liability is also not well defined in India. Sec. 79 of IT Act 2000 Says that ISPs are not liable in ceratin cases if the ISP has the information of misuse of its network. In Bazee.com case the defendant got benefit due non clarity in Law
Now the question is whether downsizing of Sec 230 of CDA is required because Downsizing will open the door to a greatly needed radical reconsideration of the duty of care in cyberspace.
Interactive computer services should not be absolved of all responsibility when they have actual knowledge of defamatory postings or e-mails.
Similarly, when a website operator has knowledge that a posting overrules the privacy or tarnishes the reputation of a computer user, it should have a duty to retract the deprecating publication or prevent further tortuous or criminal activity.
Limited liability will induce ISPs to expand system –wide products to protect all users from viruses, spyware, spam, and security holes.
Online intermediaries are in the best position to calibrate Internet Security to the radius of the risk and in proportion to the peril because they are generally the first to detect the problem.
The overall rate of tort injuries to consumers will be diminished if ISPs have an inducement to implement security solutions to detect and thwart cybercriminals
For example, the computer industry already developed systems of deception, such as decoys, “fly traps” , and “honeypots”  in order to trap unwary computer intruders.
The imposition of greater duty of care will rekindle research into how to plug security holes , trap cybercriminal, block spam, disable pornographic pop-ups, and stifle the growth of website creepy crawlers.
There are questions of liability in Cyber-invasions of public information resources, such as the sending of spam email. Another set of cases are those in which plaintiffs assert indirect liability claims against operating system sellers, internet service providers, or software developers for the harms caused by some cyberspace actors (e.g., virus writers, copyright violators). Theories suggest that the basis for strict indirect liability is weak. There are theories  suggesting  that immunity rules should play a role in this area, though in a much smaller set of instances than in existing law. Of course, information technology is constantly evolving, so a description of previous cases may not tell us much about the problems that will arise in the future. Still, the previous cases have set out several issues that courts are still grappling with in their efforts to apply tort law to a new realm.
In Intel Corp. v. Hamidi, the plaintiff Intel Corporation maintained an electronic mail system accessible by the internet. A former employee of Intel sent thousands of emails (up to 35,000 at a time) criticizing the company’s employment practices to Intel employees. Intel filed suit, claiming that the emails distributed without the company’s consent constituted trespass to chattels. Reversing an injunction issued by the lower court, the California Supreme Court held that in order to prevail on a trespass-to-chattels
theory the plaintiff had to prove some actual injury resulting from the defendant’s conduct. Intel had not presented evidence of an actual injury to the functioning of their electronic mail system. Consider a virus disseminated by electronic mail that injures thousands of computer users by destroying files or damaging hard drives. In every such instance there is usually some step that an operating system seller or internet service provider could have taken to prevent the spread of the virus. Some commentators have argued that operating system sellers should be held strictly liable for viruses, since the expected liability would cause the price of the relatively insecure operating system to rise in comparison to the relatively secure system. However, strict liability is not the rule, and there have been no reported cases of third-party (or indirect) liability for viruses.
There are three general issues raised by cyberspace torts. The first is whether and specifically where property rules or liability rules should apply in this area of torts. Property rules are exemplified by trespass doctrine. A property rule, such as trespass, permits the party protected by the rule to enjoin the injuring party and to collect damages for any violations that occur. Property rule protection forces the potential injurer or invader to bargain with the protected party in order to gain access to the protected party’s property. In order to gain access under the property rule, the invader will have to meet the demand price of the protected party, which will be set high enough to cover the protected party for all the injuries that party perceives to be associated with giving access to the invader. If, for example, the invader is incapable of doing any harm to the protected party’s property, but the protected party still wants to be compensated for the mere thought that someone else will have access to his property,  that perceived harm will be part of the demand price the protected party communicates to the potential invader.
Liability rules, in contrast, do not permit the protected party to enjoin the injuring party. For example, a negligence lawsuit brought against a careless driver is an instance in which a victim asserts liability rule protection. There is no background assumption that the careless driver should have obtained permission from the victim to impose the risk of an injury. The liability rule seeks simply to reallocate to the injurer some objective estimate of the victim’s loss after it has occurred.
The second general issue raised by cyberspace torts is, assuming liability rules apply, what type of liability rule should apply and specifically where? Tort law provides two general types of liability rule: strict liability and negligence. The key difference between the two is that under negligence, courts inquire into the care that the injurer took in his conduct, while under strict liability there is no inquiry into the injurer’s level of care. Strict liability sounds like “absolute liability”, in the sense of imposing liability
simply for acting. But there are few if any examples of absolute liability in the law.
Most cases of strict liability involve some point at which the injurer made a choice to impose harms on the victim; for example, by choosing to locate his smoke-belching factory next door to the victim’s house. And it is this choice that the law aims to control through strict liability.

The third general issue raised by cyberspace torts is whether there should be any liability at all. The issue is actually more complicated. Perhaps the better way to state the issue is the degree to which some liability rule weaker or more lenient than negligence should apply. “Weak negligence” rules would couple the negligence rule’s general inquiry into fault with a set of broad defenses that would often permit the injurer to avoid liability altogether. Should there be absolute immunity or “weak negligence” in the field of cyberspace, and specifically where should immunity or weak negligence rules apply?
There are other cases in which the trespass-to-chattels theory has been accepted, leading to an injunction. For example in eBay v. Bidder’s Edge the court held that the plaintiff, eBay, could enjoin Bidder’s Edge from sending electronic spiders to its web site because those spiders were thought to be capable of impairing the functioning of eBay’s website

The second question raised by Hamidi is whether property rule protection is appropriate in the circumstances. This depends on several factors. First  transaction costs: the case for property rule protection becomes stronger as transaction costs fall. Second, the direction of property rule protection has to be determined. Property rule protection can protect either the victim or the invader. This requires a comparison of the externalized costs and benefits of the injurer’s activity.

As it becomes easier for a cyberspace user to gain permission before sending an email or accessing a website (that is, as transaction costs fall), the case for protecting someone with a property rule becomes stronger. A property rule protecting the potential victim would be equivalent to the familiar trespass law. A property rule protecting the invader (e.g., the email sender) would be equivalent to one of the weak negligence rules described earlier.

This analysis applies as well to eBay. In general, if a programmer sends spiders through the internet to gather information and relay them to another source, say another website, that activity merely enhances the dissemination of information. Enhanced information dissemination allows markets to work more efficiently in allocating resources. For this reason, the externalized benefits of the programmer’s conduct probably exceed the externalized costs. In addition, because of the large numbers problems encountered in the nuisance and Rylands settings, the transaction costs under a property rule could be quite high.
These arguments suggest that a property rule protecting the victim of spidering would be socially undesirable. For reasons similar to those given in the spammer context, nuisance theory has a better fit to the problem. If spidering occurs on a scale that disrupts the functioning of the victim’s website, as the court believed had occurred in eBay, then the injurer’s activity should be deemed an unreasonable interference under nuisance theory.

An alternative theory of the harm in eBay is that the information dissemination itself may have been harmful to eBay because it might have steered potential users away from the eBay site.This is a doubtful theory on which to award tort damages. Tort law early on took the position that competition itself does not give rise to a claim for damages. If a business sets up close to a rival and charges lower prices, that rival has no claim for damages under tort law. Given this long-standing common law rule, it would seem quite strange for a court to award damages to eBay on the theory that Bidder’s Edge would take business away from it by disseminating information more widely about alternatives available to potential customers.
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Friday, August 27, 2010

Facebook in court to protect suffix ‘book’

The world’s biggest social networking website, Facebook, is acting as if it “owns the internet” according to the founder of a Chicago educational startup, Teachbook, which is the latest target in a campaign by the Silicon Valley empire to prevent outsiders from cashing in on its success.
With just two employees and a few dozen registered users, Teachbook is intended as a “productivity suite” allowing educational professionals to share lesson plans, homework assignments and coursework. It barely registers in the online universe — but it has attracted a federal court lawsuit from the empire founded by Mark Zuckerberg, which argues that the suffix “book” should be its exclusive domain.

A complaint filed by Facebook in California accuses Teachbook of “riding on the coat-tails of the fame and enormous goodwill of the Facebook trademark” and demands that it change its name.

“They seem to think they own the internet and the word ‘book’,” said Teachbook’s founder, Greg Shrader. “We think they’re wrong on the merits of the case.
“How can this tiny little company in Northfield, Illinois be a threat to a multibillion-dollar social networking site?” The altercation, which Shrader views as the heavy-handed behaviour of a multinational, is the latest aggressive effort by Facebook to protect its reputation. The company, valued at an estimated $33bn, has already forced other sites, including a travel startup called Placebook, to change their names.
Facebook recently mounted a rebuttal against a soon-to-be-released Hollywood film, The Social Network, that depicts it as a product of a series of betrayals among university friends. Facebook has described the movie, which stars Jesse Eisenberg as a party-loving Zuckerberg, as “fiction”.
Experts say Facebook’s efforts to protect the word “book” would face an uphill battle if they ever came to trial — but smaller rivals are unlikely to battle that far. Tania Clark, trademark partner at the intellectual property law firm Withers & Rogers, said: “I believe it will have difficulty enforcing this trademark here, yet 90 per cent of cases like this never make it to the courts as the smaller company caves in.”

In a statement, Facebook said it would not tolerate outsiders cashing in on its brand. A spokesman said Facebook had no dispute with alternative uses of the word “book” and had never objected to many other websites, such as the used car site Kelly Blue Book.
“However, there is already a well-known online network of people with ‘book’ in its name,” said Facebook’s spokesman. “Of course the Teachbook folks are free to create an online network for teachers or whomever they like, and we wish them well in that endeavour. What they are not free to do is trade on our name or dilute our brand while doing so.”
Source: The Hindu 27th August, 2010.
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Saturday, August 21, 2010

Scheme for Young Lawyers Launched in India

A representation of the Lion Capital of Ashoka...Image via Wikipedia












The Union Law Minister, M. Veerappa Moily, on Friday launched a scheme to improve the skills of young advocates belonging to economically and socially weaker sections, working at the grass- roots level of magistrate and munsif courts.
Named after the former Prime Minister, Rajiv Gandhi, the scheme would offer advocates an opportunity to undergo a month-long training programme in top law institutes and another month of training under senior lawyers attached to High Courts.
The curriculum in the law institutes would cover issues ranging from the nuances of the alternative dispute resolution system, plea bargaining, intellectual property laws, cyber laws, to legislation such as the Domestic Violence Act, the Protection of Child Rights Act, the Dowry Prohibition Act and the Gram Nyayalaya Act.
They would also be taught the art of cross-examination, presenting and arguing cases, besides gaining knowledge of usingmodern tools of information technology and communication.
To begin with, the training would be conducted at the National Law University, Delhi. It would be later extended to other law universities, law faculties and top law colleges in different parts of the country.
Each institute would be required to train batches of 50 advocates, from different States. The training would be imparted when the courts are on vacation. In other words, in a year, each institute would have four sessions and train 200 advocates.
The students would be selected by committees headed by a sitting Judge of the High Court in each State. The panels would have as members Additional/Assistant Solicitor-General of India attached to the respective High Courts, the Chairman of the State Bar Council, and the Advocate-General of the State. The Chairman would be nominated by the High Court Chief Justice.
A committee, headed by the Union Law Minister would administer the scheme. The Law Secretary would be the Secretary of the panel.
The Law Secretary would also nominate an officer, not below the rank of Joint Secretary, to monitor the scheme. The officer would submit a report at the end of every training session. Candidates selected for the scheme should be below the age of 30, have a monthly income of less than Rs. 6,000 and should be ready to lend his services for legal aid programme under the District Legal Aid Authority. Preference would be given to women, the physically handicapped and those belonging to the Scheduled Castes, the Schedule Tribes, or Other Backward Classes.
To begin with the Law Ministry would bear the entire cost of the project; additional options of self-financing by the candidates and introduction of a public-private partnership models were also being explored, Mr. Moily said.
Discussions are on with the Social Justice and Empowerment Minister, Mukul Wasnik on the possibility of a joint sponsorship of at least a part of the programme. Vice-Chancellor of National Law University, Delhi, Ranbir Singh, said the first batch of advocates could receive training in October.
Source: Sunderarajan, The Hindu, 21/08/2010

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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Delhi Police Special Cell Did An Excellent Job In Arresting Cyber Criminal by Cyberforensics

Ravi Shankar with Anoushka Shankar at the Worl...Image via Wikipedia

Recently the Anoushka Shankar's (daughter of the legendary music maestro Pandit Ravi Shankar) email hacked into by an offender who took control of some very private photographs stored in the inbox of the email.
Pandit Ravi Shankar has made a complaint to Union Home Ministry that his daughter is blackmailed and threatened via email by some unknown person. Later the complaint was referred to the Delhi Police and the investigation of the case was taken up by Inspector Pawan Kumar under the supervision of ACP Sanjeev Yadav elite Special Cell of Delhi Police. The unknown accused person was allegedly blackmailed and threatened Anoushka via emails that he would make some of her photographs public found in her email inbox, if his demand of $ 100,000 is not paid by her. 
 It  caused great tension to the father daughter duo who are internationally recognized musicians.
The special cell cops traced the internet protocol address (IP address) from which the Emails were sent. An IP address or “Internet Protocol” address is the unique number assigned to every device such as a computer on an internet network so that data can be routed to and from that device and no other. It is much similar to a postal mailing address that identifies the physical location of your post office and allows the mail carrier to know where to deliver the mail, a device’s IP address is what allows the internet to know where to send the data destined for the particular computer. It’s not an easy task to trace the physical location of the computer to which an internet IP address has been assigned.
The IP address can be tracked from the header of the Email IDs. There are various IP address locator available like http://www.whois-search.com from where one can get information about the ISP address to which the particular IP address belongs. Some additional information may be available that indicates the general area that an IP address might reside, i.e. the location of the country or city, if ever, but nothing more specific than that. Here the help of the ISP is required to pinpoint the location and identity of the user. The ISP that allots the IP address to particular computer knows where the user lives. But the ISP’s would not provide the information to the general public due to the strict privacy policy which they adhere to. Here the role of law enforcement machinery comes into picture. The Police and the courts can, with appropriate cause, direct the ISP that the requisite information with respect to the IP addresses be provided. The Section 91 of Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 and Section 69 of the Information Technology Act, 2000 makes provision to this effect.
The extortive emails sent by the offender were found to be sent mostly from Gmail Account. However, the Gmail blocks the IP address of the sender and it is not visible to the recipient of the email.  However, one email was found to be from other email service provider and it was found that it had been sent from India; rest of the emails were found to be from Dubai, elsewhere in the UAE, and the USA. The police tracked down one of the IP address to a residential address located at MUMBAI and nabbed the accused person, whose name came to be known as Junaid Jameel Ahmed Khan who confessed to his crime.  The cops seized the hard disk of the computer from which the alleged emails were sent, prepared the mirror image of the same and the hard disk was sent to the Forensic Science Laboratory, Hyderabad for further analysis. The cops also seized the passport of the offender through which it was found that the offender was at Dubai on the same date when the extortive emails from Dubai were received by Anoushka, which clearly corroborates the offence committed by the offender.
 The police have seized and preserved the crucial digital evidences and other documentary evidences which would prove the guilt of the accused person. Cyber technology is an extremely complicated field and the internet is being increasingly used as a place to commit crimes using personal computers, as well as network-based computers. It clearly shows that the Special Cell Cops know their job; they not only understand the criminal mindset but also Computers and networks, how they work, and how to track down information on them and know the basics of gathering evidence and bringing offenders to justice.
The Special Cell cops registered the case under Section 386 Indian Penal Code which deals with offence of extortion. The maximum punishment for such a crime, if proven guilty, is 10 years’ imprisonment. The offence is cognizable and non bailable. The accused hacked into the email of the Anoushka, however the police at the preliminary investigation stage did not invoked Section 66 IT Act, because the modus operandi of the offender was not known as how he took control of the private photographs of Anoushka, which during investigation and seizure of the computer become apparent that the same has been copied into his computer by hacking the email id of Anoushka. Now Section 66 IT Act has been added as the same is attracted to the offence. The material evidence seized by the cops proves the involvement of the offender as the IP address has been traced to his residence. Further, the examination and analysis of the seized hard disk of the computer of offender at the forensic laboratory would prove that the emails have been hacked into and photographed copied by the offender from the inbox of the email. If it is further revealed by the analysis of the hard disk that the photographs (read obscene or nude) found in the possession of the offender, have been transmitted by him electronically, say some of his friends, the same would amount to publication in electronic form which would be squarely covered and punishable under Section 67 of the IT Act, 2000 as well.
The success of Delhi Police definitely provide some deterrence to the cyber criminals that they are not scot free. At the same time the internet users should learn some lessons and be more cautious of the security and fire walls of their e-mails and websites. 

Source: Neeraj Aarora http://ongkinhviet.com visited 28th July.
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Monday, July 12, 2010

2010 The Indian Law Institute (ILI) Admission to Online Courses in Cyber Laws and Intellectual Property Rights and Information Technology

Name of Institute / University

The Indian Law Institute

Courses Offered

Applications are invited for admission to the following online certificate courses:-

1. Cyber Laws (This course will cover the fundamentals of Cyber Law and Cyber World, Regulatory Framework, Cyber Crimes and E- Commerce)

2. Intellectual Property Rights and Information Technology in the Internet Age (This course covers the basic laws of Patents, Copyright, Trademarks and Management in IPRs)

Duration: 3 (Three) Months Commencing from 16th August, 2010
 

Eligibility

Anyone who is pursuing / has pursued diploma or degree after 10+2 and has access to Computer and Internet can apply.

How To Apply

Fee : Rs. 4,000/- (Four Thousand only) ;
100 US$ (for foreign students)

Application Form can be downloaded from the ILI's website. For further details see the website of the Institute http://www.ilidelhi.org
 

Contact Details

Address: Bhagwndas Road, New Delhi – 110 001 
Tel: 011 – 23073295, 23389849
Website: www.ilidelhi.org
Email: e_ipr@ilidelhi.org
 

Last date for receipt of form

10 August 2010


--
Dr.Tabrez Ahmad,
Associate Professor of Law, KIIT Law School
KIIT University, PATIA, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India, 751024.
Website: www.site.technolexindia.com
Blog: http://tabrezahmad.technolexindia.com http://iplexindia.blogspot.com
Profile: http://www.google.com/profiles/tabrezahmad7.
Blogs: http://www.blogger.com/profile/15337756250055596327
Blog: http://drtabrez.wordpress.com
    http://tabrezahmad.typepad.com/blog/
Research Papers: http://ssrn.com/author=1189281

Friday, July 09, 2010

Federal Court of Appeal Rules ISPs Not Broadcasters

The Federal Court of Appeal in Canada held that Internet service providers can not be considered broadcasters within the context of the Broadcasting Act of Canada.  The case on the point is the outcome of last year's CRTC New Media decision. In the said decision many cultural groups called by the Commission to establish an ISP levy to fund Canadian content.  The ISPs argued that such a levy was illegal since they fell under the Telecommunications Act, not the Broadcasting Act.  The cultural groups argued that ISPs should be considered broadcasters in the case of the transmission of video programs.  The CRTC punted the issue to the Federal Court of Appeal.

The Federal Court of Appeal sided with the ISPs, ruling that providing access to broadcasting is not the same as broadcasting.  So long as ISPs maintain a content-neutral approach, they fall outside of the Broadcasting Act and should not be expected to play a role in promoting the policies found in the legislation.  The case is a huge win for the ISPs and - subject to an appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada or a legislative change - puts an end to the ISP levy proposal.  The case is also noteworthy from a net neutrality perspective, since the court emphasized that ISPs fall outside the Broadcasting Act so long as they remain content-neutral. 

--
Dr.Tabrez Ahmad,
Associate Professor of Law, KIIT Law School
KIIT University, PATIA, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India, 751024.
Website: www.site.technolexindia.com
Blog: http://tabrezahmad.technolexindia.com http://iplexindia.blogspot.com
Profile: http://www.google.com/profiles/tabrezahmad7.
Blogs: http://www.blogger.com/profile/15337756250055596327
Blog: http://drtabrez.wordpress.com
    http://tabrezahmad.typepad.com/blog/
Research Papers: http://ssrn.com/author=1189281

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Legal Implications of the convergence of IT, Telecom and Broadcasting

broadcasting sattelite in stuttgartImage via Wikipedia
Due to convergence of Telecommunication, broadcasting and information technology there is a big challenge to manage the rights and obligations on the internet.Technology convergence is a natural process which will continue by its own pace. Which is making the boundaries blurred among the different aresa which were earlier quite different from itself. Still we are governing the fast moving media by the Telegraph Act 1885. As the Communication and Convergence Bill 2001 is still pending in the parliament. If the proposed Bill becomes a reality it will repeal the five Acts The Telegraph Act 1885, Cable Television Act 1996, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India Act 1995, Wireless Telegraphy Act etc. This reflects the seriousness required before passing the Bill in evaluating all the stake holders and probable affected parties.So the select committee which is right now working on the proposed Communication and Convergence Bill should make serious research and also involve the experts in the filed before taking any final decision on the Bill.If the Bill is passed without serious research it may provoke a havoc in the cyberworld. Hope the committe takes a serious note of it .
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Tuesday, July 06, 2010

ICC and INTA Oppose De Minimis Provision in ACTA

The International Trademark Association (INTA) and International Chamber of Commerce have issued a notice on ACTA urging countries to drop the de minimis provision that is designed to allay fears of iPod searching border guards.  The two associations argue that the exception "sends the wrong message to consumers."


For Further details click here

--
Dr.Tabrez Ahmad,
Associate Professor of Law, KIIT Law School
KIIT University, PATIA, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India, 751024.
Website: www.site.technolexindia.com
Blog: http://tabrezahmad.technolexindia.com http://iplexindia.blogspot.com
Profile: http://www.google.com/profiles/tabrezahmad7.
Blogs: http://www.blogger.com/profile/15337756250055596327
Blog: http://drtabrez.wordpress.com
   http://tabrezahmad.typepad.com/blog/
Research Papers: http://ssrn.com/author=1189281

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Meet in to Discuss Copyright in the Internet Economy by Public and Private Sector Leaders in USA

On Thursday, 1st July, 2010, U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke gathered with leaders from the public and private sectors to discuss the relationship between copyright policy, creativity and innovation in the Internet economy as part of a symposium co-hosted by the Commerce Department's United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center.

The day-long symposium included discussion of online copyright policy in the United States, specifically the impact of current copyright laws, existing and emerging techniques used to illegally distribute and obtain protected works, the extent and economic impact of infringement, and the role of emerging business models for legitimate distribution of content. During the symposium, it was announced that the Department of Commerce will issue a Notice of Inquiry (NOI) this month seeking public comment on the effectiveness of copyright law, and ultimately will issue a report which will contribute to the Administration's domestic policy and international engagement in the area of online copyright protection.

"The United States simply must get back to cultivating industries and lines of scientific discovery that provide long-term benefits to society and spur sustainable innovation," said Secretary Locke. "We have to find the sweet spot on Internet policy—one that ensures the Internet remains an engine of creativity and innovation, and a place that discourages piracy of copyrighted works."

In addition to Secretary Locke, featured speakers included U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator Victoria Espinel, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO David Kappos, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information Lawrence E. Strickling and other senior Obama Administration officials. The conference also included five panel discussions with participants representing the views of different stakeholders.

The Department of Commerce has assembled an Internet Policy Task Force whose mission is to identify leading public policy and operational challenges in the Internet environment. Recognizing the vital importance of both intellectual property rights and the Internet to U.S. creativity and innovation, the Department has made it a top priority to ensure that both remain a vehicle for these important purposes.

This effort is to that end. The Task Force is conducting similar reviews of cybersecurity, the global free flow of information goods and services, and information privacy.

Additional information on the symposium is available on the Internet Policy Task Force Web siteand the USPTO's Web site.

 Source: http://www.ipwatchdog.com 3rd July 2010


--
Dr.Tabrez Ahmad,
Associate Professor of Law, KIIT Law School
KIIT University, PATIA, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India, 751024.
Website: www.site.technolexindia.com
Blog: http://tabrezahmad.technolexindia.com http://iplexindia.blogspot.com
Profile: http://www.google.com/profiles/tabrezahmad7.
Blogs: http://www.blogger.com/profile/15337756250055596327
Blog: http://drtabrez.wordpress.com
   http://tabrezahmad.typepad.com/blog/
Research Papers: http://ssrn.com/author=1189281

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

ConferenceLex (Call for Papers): CII & APTDC, National Conference on Building Next Practices of IP Management

ConferenceLex (Call for Papers): CII & APTDC, National Conference on Building Next Practices of IP Management

Dr.Tabrez writes about the ever-expanding world of Intellectual Property Law,Cyberlaw,Corporate Law including burning issues of other areas of National and International Importance.

The Bilski Case is Finally Decided

 

          The court held that the Bilski's application was not statutory subject matter:

Petitioners' remaining claims are broad examples of how hedging can be used in commodities and energy markets. Flook established that limiting an abstract idea to one field of use or adding token post solution components did not make the concept patentable. That is exactly what the remaining claims in petitioners' application do. These claims attempt to patent the use of the abstract idea of hedging risk in the energy market and then instruct the use of well-known random analysis techniques to help establish some of the inputs into the equation. Indeed, these claims add even less to the underlying abstract principle than the invention in Flook did, for the Flook invention was at least directed to the narrower domain of signaling dangers in operating a catalytic converter.
* * * 
Today, the Court once again declines to impose limitations on the Patent Act that are inconsistent with the Act's text. The patent application here can be rejected under our precedents on the unpatentability of abstract ideas. The Court, therefore, need not define further what constitutes a patentable "process," beyond pointing to the definition of that term provided in §100(b) and looking to the guideposts in Benson, Flook, and Diehr.

And nothing in today's opinion should be read as endorsing interpretations of §101 that the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has used in the past. See, e.g., State Street, 149 F. 3d, at 1373; AT&T Corp., 172 F. 3d, at 1357. It may be that the Court of Appeals thought it needed to make the machine-or-transformation test exclusive precisely because its case law had not adequately identified less extreme means of restricting business method patents, including (but not limited to) application of our opinions in Benson, Flook, and Diehr. In disapproving an exclusive machine-or-transformation test, we by no means foreclose the Federal Circuit's development of other limiting criteria that further the purposes of the Patent Act and are not inconsistent with its text.

The judgment of the Court of Appeals is affirmed.

Source: The 271 Patent Blog  By Peter Zura


For a copy of the opinion, click here (link)

--
Dr.Tabrez Ahmad,
Associate Professor of Law, KIIT Law School
KIIT University, PATIA, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India, 751024.
Website: www.site.technolexindia.com
Blog: http://tabrezahmad.technolexindia.com http://iplexindia.blogspot.com
Profile: http://www.google.com/profiles/tabrezahmad7.
Blogs: http://www.blogger.com/profile/15337756250055596327
Blog: http://drtabrez.wordpress.com
   http://tabrezahmad.typepad.com/blog/
Research Papers: http://ssrn.com/author=1189281

Monday, June 28, 2010

Launch of WIPO-Gold- an IP Research Portal

World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), Geneva  has launched a IP Resource Portal named 'WIPO-Gold' focusing on providing online IP information tool, which can be helpful to access broad collection of  IP data  relating to technology, brands, designs, statistics, WIPO standards, IP classification systems and IP laws and treaties. The Portal is very useful since it provides treaties administered by WIPO, its regulations and also the contracting members list, which comes very handy in various situations. Along with it it also provides for Statistical publication of Patents, trademarks, designs, plant varities, microorganisms, etc. 

A specific section has been dedicated to WIPO UDRP Panel Decisions, which houses full text search of WIPO Decisions on Domain Names. 


In the website, Director General Francis Gurry said "The launch of WIPO GOLD is a significant step towards fulfilling one of the Organization's strategic goals – that of serving as a world reference source for IP information and analysis". The WIPO GOLD portal is a rich, dynamic and evolving information tool that will continue to be expanded and improved over time," he added. 

To visit WIPO Gold, please visit : http://www.wipo.int/wipogold/en/

--
Dr.Tabrez Ahmad,
Associate Professor of Law, KIIT Law School
KIIT University, PATIA, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India, 751024.
Website: www.site.technolexindia.com
Blog: http://tabrezahmad.technolexindia.com http://iplexindia.blogspot.com
Profile: http://www.google.com/profiles/tabrezahmad7.
Blogs: http://www.blogger.com/profile/15337756250055596327
Blog: http://drtabrez.wordpress.com
   http://tabrezahmad.typepad.com/blog/
Research Papers: http://ssrn.com/author=1189281

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

5th LAWASIA International Moot Competition 2010, New Delhi India

As you are aware but might have not taken notice or remembered, Wednesday 30th June, 2010 is the deadline for expression of interest of participation in the 5th LAWASIA International Moot Competition with the actual deadline for the registration of teams on Tuesday, 13 July 2010. The expression of interest is to enable the LAWASIA Standing Committee to plan and prepare for the actual competition in November. Your expression of interest is therefore important from that perspective.

 

Please note that there are limited places for the competition and therefore the general principles adopted by the Standing Committee in deciding who gets to participate are based on the widest possible national representation of teams in line with our ethos of embracing humanity with all its diversity. The first team from a country to express interest/register will be given a place. If there are more than one team from a country such subsequent teams will be placed on a "reserve list" in chronological order of expression of interest/registration unless in the view of the Standing Committee the number of Law Schools in that country warrants the admission of a second or third team. The team at the top of the reserve list being the team to have first expressed interest/registered and so forth. In the event there is a tie the team that registered will take precedence over the team that merely expressed an interest. Similarly if there is more than one team from a country preference will be given to teams not from the same Law School. Schools that have participated in previous years will be considered favourably. There is no appeal and the Standing Committee's decision is final.

 

 



--
Dr.Tabrez Ahmad,
Associate Professor of Law, KIIT Law School
KIIT University, PATIA, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India, 751024.
Website: www.site.technolexindia.com
Blog: http://tabrezahmad.technolexindia.com http://iplexindia.blogspot.com
Profile: http://www.google.com/profiles/tabrezahmad7.
Blogs: http://www.blogger.com/profile/15337756250055596327
Blog: http://drtabrez.wordpress.com
   http://tabrezahmad.typepad.com/blog/
Research Papers: http://ssrn.com/author=1189281