Friday, December 23, 2005

"Microsoft lashes out at European Commission"

According to an article signed by Jeremy Kirk (IDG news service) in today's edition of, "Microsoft's top lawyer has sharply criticised the European Commission, accusing the organisation of moving the goal-post when the company tries to comply with the March 2004 anti-trust decision.
The unusually strong, five-paragraph response came from Brad Smith, Microsoft's general counsel, about two hours after a Commission spokesman accused the company of failing to comply with its directive on workgroup server interoperability. The Commission gave Microsoft five weeks to comply or face daily fines of €2 million (US$2.4 million)."

This article is available in full text.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

"Competition: Commission warns Microsoft of daily penalty for failure to comply with 2004 decision"

As stated by it's Press Room, "The European Commission has issued a Statement of Objections against Microsoft for its failure to comply with certain of its obligations under the March 2004 Commission decision (the 'March 2004 Decision', see IP/04/382). That decision found Microsoft to have infringed the EC Treaty rules on abuse of a dominant position (Article 82) by leveraging its near monopoly in the market for PC operating systems onto the markets for work group server operating systems and for media players. One of the remedies imposed by the decision was for Microsoft to disclose complete and accurate interface documentation which would allow non-Microsoft work group servers to achieve full interoperability with Windows PCs and servers. The Statement of Objections indicates that the Commission’s preliminary view, supported by two reports from the Monitoring Trustee (see IP/05/1215), is that Microsoft has not yet provided complete and accurate specifications for this interoperability information. After giving Microsoft an opportunity to reply to the Statement of Objections, the Commission may impose a daily penalty."
This Press Release is available in full text.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Suggested Competences and Skills required for study in the Information Society

Purpose: this list indicates the skills and knowledge which we believe are required by postgraduate students (LLM and PhD) who are undertaking study in the field of Law and ICT. Legal ICT is a particularly broad and complex area requiring skills which are based upon traditional legal knowledge but extended to cover methodological and technical fields.

Knowledge based elements:

  • Information Technology Law
  • The Characteristics of the Information Society
  • ICT and the Changing Legal Professions in The Information Society
  • Understanding of Professional ICT practice and business structure
  • Understanding of ICT Soft Law (e.g. Codes Of Practices)
  • Understanding the role of electronic administration in Government
  • Investigative Social Science Methods
  • The physical and virtual structure of the internet
  • Systems and networks security basics

Skill based elements:

  • Producing Written Reports
  • Accessing legal texts
  • Interpretation and application of legal texts in context
  • Presenting information visually and orally
  • Presenting information via multimedia
  • Using ICT in research
The list was composed by Manuel Masseno (Beja), Pilar Lasala (Zaragoza), Philip Leith (Belfast) and Fernando Galindo (Zaragoza)

All Comments and proposals are very wellcome!

Sunday, December 18, 2005

New Blogs in LEFIS

Two new "blog oriented" projects have began by LEFIS members:
  1. an old LEFIS idea: the LEFIS Observatory; and
  2. a new one, supported by the technological development: Observatory of the Legal Blogosphere, built in Portugal by the Law Area of ESTIG/Beja Polytechnic.

Both iniciatives are open to any proposal made by LEFIS interested people!

LEFIS General Conference: Firenze, 10-11 February 2006

The draft of the Programme of the LEFIS General Conference in Firenze, 10-11 February 2006, has been published here.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

"Intellectual property: evaluation of EU rules on databases"

According to it's Press Room, "The European Commission has published an evaluation of the protection EU law gives to databases. EU law protects databases by copyright if they are sufficiently creative. Other databases, especially those that are compilations of information or commonplace data, such as telephone directories, music charts or football match listings, may benefit from a new form of protection introduced by the 1996 Database Directive. This protection is known as the 'sui generis' database right, i.e. a specific property right for databases that is unrelated to other forms of protection such as copyright. The evaluation focuses on whether the introduction of this right led to an increase in the European database industry's rate of growth and in database production. It also looks at whether the scope of the right targets those areas where Europe needs to encourage innovation. Stakeholders are invited to comment on the evaluation by 12 March 2006."

This Press Release is available in full text.

Friday, December 02, 2005

"'.eu': Europe’s new internet address opens for business on 7 December"

According to it's Press Room, "The Commission announced today that the '.eu' top-level domain, which enables businesses, public bodies and citizens to choose a pan-European Internet name for their web sites and e-mail addresses, opens for business on 7 December 2005. A '.eu' suffix enables users to project a Europe-wide presence, ambition or affiliation. It complements, but does not replace, national country codes such as France’s '.fr', Poland’s '.pl' or the UK’s '.uk'. A sunrise period of 4 months will allow holders of prior rights – including businesses – to apply for the registration of domain names provided they are settled in the European Union. From 7 April 2006, the Registry will open its doors for applications from the general public. With the launch of .eu, the Commission lives up to the promise made at the Lisbon European Council in 2000 to give Europe’s Information Society an identity on the web under reliable EU rules."

This Press Release is available in full text.