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Notice & take-down

New anti-racism documents on the European agenda

25 April, 2007
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(Dieser Artikel ist auch in deutscher Sprache verfügbar)

After six years of debates in trying to reach an agreement, the European Council will adopt a Framework decision that makes incitement to racism and xenophobia a crime in all the EU members states. At the same time, five MEPs promoted a declaration that asks for an increased involvement of the ISPs in the fight against hate webpages.

The text of the new Framework decision on Racism and Xenophobia has been agreed by the Justice and Interior Ministers from EU, that have reached a compromise, thus making the incitement to racism a crime that should be punished by criminal penalties of 1-3 years of imprisonment. However the member countries may "choose to punish only conduct which is either carried

Google accused in Italy over shock video

6 December, 2006
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(Dieser Artikel ist auch in deutscher Sprache verfügbar)

A recent shock video published at the end of November on YouTube, the free video hosting service now owned by Google, has triggered extensive reactions in Italy. The video was showing a group of four Italian teenagers attacking a 17-year-old disabled boy in a classroom in Turin. The attackers also made a video of their actions that was posted on YouTube.

Although Google had deleted the movie as soon as they were informed about it, the Italian Police has opened a criminal proceeding against Google - the Italian subsidiary. The action included a police raid on the Milan offices of Google.

Google Italy has confirmed that the videos published by the users go online automatically and there is no editorial preventive filter from their part.

Swedish torrent website Pirate Bay returns back home

21 June, 2006
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At the end of May, the Swedish Police raided the location where the PirateBay.org website was located and shut down the site seizing several servers. However, after less than 1 month, the site, which is considered the world's biggest BitTorrent tracker being visited by 10 million to 15 million daily users, resumes its activity from Sweden.

The Motion Picture Association of America quickly reacted after the Police raid considering that: "The actions today taken in Sweden serve as a reminder to pirates all over the world that there are no safe harbours for Internet copyright thieves."

After just a couple of days from the raid, PirateBay.org was back online, hosted somewhere in Netherlands. The operators of the website fought back considering that their actions were not illegal as The Pirate Bay only

NL Supreme court ends 10 year old Scientology case

19 January, 2006
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Freedom of speech won in a battle that lasted for a decade between Karin Spaink, a Dutch writer and XS4ALL, her Internet service provider, on one side, and the Church of Scientology, on the other side, which was claiming copyright infringement.

It all began in 1995 when the Church of Scientology attempted to seize the servers of the Internet service provider, XS4ALL, for having hosted a web site where some of the Scientology religious documents were published, claiming the infringement of the copyright.

Hearing of the dispute, Spaink posted the same documents to her own site hosted by Xs4all. Later on she stated: "I got into this because I thought it was important to define how copyright issues are settled online and how ISPs should or should not be held accountable," .

RSF report: 15 enemies of the internet

21 November, 2005
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On 17 November 2005 Reporters without Borders (RSF) released a new report during the WSIS on the 15 enemies of the Internet, and 15 countries to watch. RSF writes: "The 15 'enemies' are the countries that crack down hardest on the Internet, censoring independent news sites and opposition publications, monitoring the Web to stifle dissident voices, and harassing, intimidating and sometimes imprisoning Internet users and bloggers who deviate from the regime’s official line." Amongst those enemies Tunisia is prominently mentioned, next to predictable countries such as China, Iran and Saudi Arabia.

The report says about Tunisia: "President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, whose family has a monopoly on Internet access inside the country, has installed a very effective system of censoring the Internet. All opposition

Human rights in the information society on CoE agenda

21 September, 2005
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On 12 and 13 September the Council of Europe convened a Pan-European Forum on "Human Rights in the Information Society: Responsible Behaviour by Key Actors" with representatives from state, industry and civil society.

The Forum was a follow-up to the recent Declaration of the Committee of Ministers on Human Rights and the Rule of Law in the Information Society, plus general Council of Europe priorities regarding the protection of children and internet content. The Forum aimed at identifying and discussing "responsible" and "irresponsible" behaviour by key actors and how states, industry and civil society can work together (inter alia through partnerships, policy making, greater awareness and education) to ensure the promotion and protection of human rights in the Information Society. On behalf of EDRI, Meryem Marzouki (IRIS, France) and Rikke Frank

Angry pro software patent company takes down FFII website

10 August, 2005
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The long running legal fight between the German software company Nutzwerk (Leipzig) and the Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure (FFII, best known for its extensive lobby against software patents) has culminated in the takedown of the FFII.org website on 1 August 2005. Technically, the website itself wasn't removed, but in a far more radical move, the German company Teamware removed the DNS-registration of the website, making it invisible to the rest of the world. Nutzwerk justified the takedown claim to Teamware by referring to an intermediate Hamburg court injunction that ordered FFII to remove some specific phrases and an insultory headline about Nutzwerk. The line was: 'Nutzwerk: Zuck und Nepp mit Softwarepatenten' (which roughly translates as 'gamble and fake with software patents').

OSCE conference on media freedom on the Internet

29 June, 2005
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The third OSCE Amsterdam Internet Conference was held on 17-18 June 2005. The conference focused on the situation of information and communication technologies (ICT) in the Southern Caucasus and Central Asian regions, with experts from this region delivering presentations on the situation in their countries. The debate showed that governmental over-regulation and content censorship are common in Central Asian countries and pose a serious danger to new media in the emerging Internet scene. "In countries where almost all information is tightly controlled, the Internet is already used, but it needs to be developed and more accessible to advocate free speech, access to information and a stronger foundation for democracy", Mark Skogen of Access and Training Program (IATP) in Kazakhstan stressed in his presentation.

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