By: J.D. Hildebrand
Abstract: Napster news. IBM's Small Business Suite for Linux. UCITA update. Yahoo case raises international issues.
By J.D. Hildebrand
Greetings! Today is the 308th day of 2000; 58 days remain in the year.
On November 3, 1760, the Prussian army under Frederick
the Great met Austrian troops at the Battle
of Torgau. Frederick's army of 44,000 carried the day, though more than
13,000 Prussians died in the attack.
On November 3, 1868, John
W. Menard of Louisiana became the first
African-American to be elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. His
election was challenged by the loser in the election, and he never served a day
of Oz" was televised for the first time 44 years ago, on November 3,
1956, on CBS.
A year later, in 1957, the Soviet Union launched Sputnik 2, the world's
second manmade satellite, with a
dog named Laika on board.
CHECKING IN WITH THE CRUMBLING MUSIC INDUSTRY. German music publisher Bertelsmann
AG has taken a stake in pirate-enabling Web site Napster, and the rest of
the music industry just doesn't know what to do. Should they get in on the
ground floor and acquire their own slice of the Napster pie? Or should they
proceed with their lawsuits and attempt to shut the site down?
Napster users, meanwhile, are up in arms over the service's avowed
plan to begin charging a monthly fee for access to certain music.
It's great theater. And it's significant, too. The very same copyright laws
that protect musical artists and publishers protects you and me. The Napster
decision has everything to do with the rights we, our customers, and our clients
retain to source code.
Here are the latest headlines:
IBM ROLLS OUT SMALL BUSINESS SUITE FOR LINUX. IBM has put together a
bundle of servers for its small business customers who use Linux.
The IBM Small Business Suite for Linux bundles IBM's DB2 database, WebSphere
application server, and Lotus Domino e-mail server -- plus miscellaneous Web
design and productivity tools. Purchased separately, the products would cost
more than $3,600. But IBM is making the suite available at just $499.
The catch, such as it is, is that the license is limited to 100 users -- a
limitation that makes the suite appropriate for about 48 percent of corporations
that install servers, according to International Data Corp. research.
is eWeek's article about the suite, here
is an IBM FAQ describing the suite, and here
is a descriptive page at IBM's e-commerce site.
UCITA MAY MORPH ON ITS WAY TO ENACTMENT. The Uniform
Computer Information Transactions Act, which has been widely criticized (1,
by right-thinking programmers everywhere (OK, I guess you know which side of the
issue I'm on), may not be rubber-stamped into law by state after state, as
According to an article by Graham Lea in The Register,
the U.S. Federal Trade Commission is considering revisions that would remove
some of the law's more onerous restrictions. According to the article:
The FTC introduced into the discussion the Magnuson-Moss Act,
which should apply to consumer software sales. This gives consumers some
important rights - for example warranties must be available for review prior to
purchase, and not inside the shrink-wrapped box. Warranty is a key issue,
because if software is deemed to be tangible goods...then the Act says
that implied warranties cannot be disclaimed, meaning that if a software vendor
makes a claim in an advertisement or interview that there is some functionality
in a package, it should be there and it should work.
Check out the full
text of the article...the UCITA situation may not be as bad as we thought.
YAHOO CASE RAISES INTERNATIONAL ISSUES. Here's a question for you.
Let's say your personal Web site includes your recipe for making home-brewed
beer. And let's say that in another country it is illegal to publish such
recipes because such publication might induce people to make and consume
alcohol. What happens when a citizen of that country accesses your Web page over
the Internet? Can you be sued for violating the laws of the other country? Can
your ISP be held liable for making the illegal content available to users in the
The answers to these questions may be obvious to you, but they are not
obvious to the courts. A test case is now underway in Paris, where ISP Yahoo is
being prosecuted because the Yahoo auction site lists anti-Semitic paraphernalia
-- old Nazi flags and such -- for sale. Trafficking in anti-Semitic goods is
illegal in France, and three civil rights groups have brought suit.
The most likely result of the suit, apparently, is that ISPs will establish
country-by-country filters that prevent objectionable or illegal content from
being displayed depending upon the user's locale.
Here is Upside's
brief update on the case's current status.
Server Response from: ETNASC04