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*The Project Gutenberg Weekly Newsletter For Wednesday, July 7, 2004 PT1*

*****eBooks Readable By Both Humans and Computers Since July 4, 1971*****

NOW STARTING OUR 34TH YEAR!!!

**There you see it, from July, 1971 to July, 2004. . .and still counting**

Newsletter editors needed! Please email hart@pobox.com or gbnewby@pglaf.org


Anyone who would care to get advance editions: please email hart@pobox.com

eBook Milestones

13,155 eBooks As Of Today!!!

6,845 to go to 20,000

We've Added Over 2,000 New eBooks This Year

We Are Nearly 1/3 of the Way from 10,000 to 20,000!!!

***

It took ~32 years, from 1971 to 2003 to do our 1st 10,000

It took ~10 years from 1993 to 2003 to grow from 100 eBooks to 10,100

It took ~3 years from 2001 to 2004 for our last 10,000

***

[The Newsletter is now being sent in two sections, so you can directly
go to the portions you find most interesting: 1. Founder's Comments,
News, Notes & Queries, and 2. Weekly eBook Update Listing.]

Today, and until we actually GET new Newsletter editors who want to
do another portion, there will be only 2 parts. . .this is Part 1,
and the eBook listings in Part 2 [New Project Gutenberg Documents].

[Since we are between Newsletter editors, these 2 parts may undergo a


few changes while we are finding a new Newsletter editor. Email us:
hart@pobox.com and gbnewby@pglaf.org if you would like to volunteer.]

This is Michael Hart's "Founder's Comments" section of the Newsletter

Over Our 32 26/52 Year History, We Have Now Averaged About 400 eBooks/Yr
And This Year We Are Averaging that Same New eBook Level. . .PER MONTH!
We Are Averaging About 375 eBooks Per Month This Year

86 per week

***

Here is another selection from Bill Hammack's Commentaries,


this time on The U.S. Declaration of Independence, which is
Project Gutenberg eBook #1, 33 years old as of this Sunday:

Every Fourth of July I read the Declaration of Independence. I do


this partly because I enjoy its eloquent phrases, partly because
its lofty sentiments fill me with historical pride, but mostly I reread
it to be a better citizen. It is, after all, the founding document.

Over the years I've detected, with my engineers eye, an unmistakable


trace of science and math in the Declaration. It reads like a geometric
proof with its "laws of nature" and its truths held to be "self-evident"
like axioms. It first lays down axioms like "All men are created equal"
and then derives, if you will, an indictment against King George the Third.

I've learned that there is more than an echo of scientific reasoning


in the Declaration, phrases like "laws of nature" had deep meaning
for the Founders. Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and Benjamin Franklin,
all members of the committee that wrote the Declaration, used science
as a source for metaphors. They believed it to be the supreme expression
of human reason. For no Founder was science more important than Jefferson,
the Declaration's main author.

In a letter he revealed, "Nature intended me for the tranquil pursuits


of science, by rendering them my supreme delight." He filled his writings
with discussions of plows, air pumps, compasses, canal locks, balloons
and steam power. He stocked his library at Monticello with books on every
aspect of science and technology. None more important to him than Euclid's
geometry and Isaac Newton's great works on physics.

At Monticello Jefferson had a picture gallery of intellectual giants.


He assigned a high place to three portraits, one of which was Isaac Newton.
He esteemed Newton as one of the greatest minds the world had produced.
Jefferson had both the Latin original and English translations of Newton's
Principia in his library; he is surely our only president who's actually
read it. So, when Jefferson opened the Declaration of Independence
by asking the American people to assume the powers of the Earth
"to which the Laws of Nature .... entitle[d] them." he meant more than
natural law - the supreme moral law known to humankind through reason.

To Jefferson and the other Founders, the words "Laws of Nature" had a
deeper resonance: They evoked a picture of Newton's laws of motion,
of the universe as one great harmonious order obeying mathematical laws.
A world in which it was natural that humans have inalienable rights.

How does all this help me today to be a better citizen? Well, in


hindsight, the Founders too glibly made a leap from the laws of gravity
to the laws of human interaction. In reading the Declaration one can
easily forget that the dignity and "the rights of man" are neither a
self-evident axiom, nor an inalienable right, but instead a
hard-earned acquisition that we must continually work to keep.

Copyright 2004 William S. Hammack Enterprises


[Republished here with his personal permission]

[We are continuing our efforts to collect founding documents from


every country [when legal to republish] and from every period.
If you have access to any of these, please contact us. Thanks!]

***

In addition to previous mentions noted from the general media,


eBooks have now made it to the comic strips:

FRANK & ERNEST talked about downloading "Civil Disobedience" a


few days ago on June 18. I emailed the author to see if there
was a direct connection.

For those who said eBooks would never become a general item:

Now that eBooks have made it into the comic strips, there will
be no way to argue that they are not part of general society.

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In this issue of the Project Gutenberg Weekly newsletter:


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- Have We Given Away A Trillion Yet?
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49 New Public Domain eBooks Under US Copyright
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In the first 6.00 months of this year, we produced 2249 new eBooks.
It took us from July 1971 to July 2000 to produce our first 2,249 eBooks!

That's 26 WEEKS as Compared to ~29 Years!

49 New eBooks This Week


101 New eBooks Last Week
347 New eBooks This Month [June]

375 Average Per Month in 2004


355 Average Per Month in 2003
203 Average Per Month in 2002
103 Average Per Month in 2001

2248 New eBooks in 2004


4164 New eBooks in 2003
2441 New eBooks in 2002
1240 New eBooks in 2001
====
10093 New eBooks Since Start Of 2001
That's Only 42.00 Months!

13,155 Total Project Gutenberg eBooks


8,411 eBooks This Week Last Year
====
4,746 New eBooks In Last 12 Months

363 eBooks From Project Gutenberg of Australia


[Sorry, we rereleased data on one twice,
so I listed 364 last week, my apologies.]

We're still keeping up with Moore's Law!

Moore's Law 12 month percentage = 96%

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[100% of Moore's Law = doubling every 18 months]

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On 13 Mar 2001, PGDP completed its first eBook for posting to the Project
Gutenberg collection (eBook #3320). Since then, the Online Distributed
Proofreading Team has produced more than 4600 eBooks.

Projects completed since the beginning of the year:


Jan 2004 - 267
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Jul 2004 - 34 (as of Jul 7)

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FLASHBACK!!!

2248 New eBooks So Far in 2004

It took us ~29 years for the first 2248 !

That's the 6.00 MONTHS of 2004 as Compared to ~29 YEARS!!!

Here Is A Sample Of What Books Were Being Done Around #2248

Aug 2000 The Pioneers, by James Fenimore Cooper [Cooper#3] [tpnrsxxx.xxx] 2275
Aug 2000 How to Live on 24 Hours a Day, by Arnold Bennett [24hrsxxx.xxx] 2274
Aug 2000 Tom Swift And His Motor-Boat, by Victor Appleton [02tomxxx.xxx] 2273
Aug 2000 The Discovery of Guiana, by Walter Raleigh WR#3] [guianxxx.xxx] 2272
Aug 2000 He Fell In Love With His Wife, by Edward P. Roe [inlhwxxx.xxx] 2271

Jul 2000 The Complete Shakespeare's First Folio [35 Plays] [00ws1xxx.xxx] 2270
Jul 2000 Cymbeline, by Wm. Shakespeare [First Folio]=[FF] [0ws39xxx.xxx] 2269
. . .
Jul 2000 The Merchant of Venice, by Wm. Shakespeare [FF] [0ws18xxx.xxx] 2243
. . .
Jul 2000 The Tempest, by William Shakespeare [FF] [0ws41xxx.xxx] 2235

***

Today Is Day #187 of 2004


This Completes Week #26 and Month #6.00
184 Days/26 Weeks To Go [We get 52 Wednesdays this year]
6845 Books To Go To #20,000
[Our production year begins/ends
1st Wednesday of the month/year]

87 Weekly Average in 2004


79 Weekly Average in 2003
47 Weekly Average in 2002
24 Weekly Average in 2001

41 Only 41 Numbers Left On Our Reserved Numbers list


[Used to be well over 100]

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Have We Given Away A Trillion Books/Dollars Yet???

Statistical Review

In the 26 weeks of this year, we have produced 2248 new eBooks.


It took us from 1971 to 1999 to produce our FIRST 2248 eBooks!!!

That's 26 WEEKS as Compared to ~29 YEARS!!!

With 13,155 eBooks online as of July 06, 2004 it now takes an average
of 100,000,000 readers gaining a nominal value of $0.76 from each book,
for Project Gutenberg to have currently given away $1,000,000,000,000
[One Trillion Dollars] in books.

100,000,000 readers is only about 1.5% of the world's population!

This "cost" is down from about $1.19 when we had 8411 eBooks A Year Ago

Can you imagine ~13,155 books each costing ~$.45 less a year later???
Or. . .would this say it better?
Can you imagine ~13,155 books each costing 1/3 less a year later???

At 13,155 eBooks in 33 Years and 00.00 Months We Averaged


399 Per Year [We do nearly that much a month these days!]
33.2 Per Month
1.09 Per Day

At 2248 eBooks Done In The 187 Days Of 2004 We Averaged


12 Per Day
87 Per Week
375 Per Month

The production statistics are calculated based on full weeks'


production; each production-week starts/ends Wednesday noon,
starts with the first Wednesday of January. January 7th was
the first Wednesday of 2004, and thus ended PG's production
year of 2003 and began the production year of 2004 at noon.

This year there will be 52 Wednesdays, thus no extra week.


***Headline News***

[PG Editor's Comments In Brackets]

>From NewsScan:

WHEN A FEATURE BECOMES A BUG


A report by Secunia, a computer security company, says that an Internet
Explorer feature is being used by network vandals to convert Web sites into
virus transmitters. (It's not a bug but a feature intended to make browsing
more convenient.) Two other flaws in Microsoft products allowed hackers to
direct Internet Explorer browsers to automatically run the virus when
visiting an infected site. Microsoft says that updated code will be
automatically installed on computers set to receive it. The update is also
available at http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com. (AP/USA Today 3 Jul 2004)
http://tinyurl.com/yrgpq

A KICK OF ADRENALINE FOR PUBLIC RADIO


The nonprofit Public Radio Exchange (PRX) in Cambridge, Mass., is a
radio distribution service that, for a minimum $50 annual fee, lets a
producer post audio material for audition and licensing. Other members can
then listen free and possibly choose to acquire a feature or news piece for
broadcast. Executive Director Jake Shapiro says the goal is to give public
radio "a kick of adrenaline." PRX currently has more than 2,700 members,
most of whom have chosen its free "Vox Pop" membership. "Of course, we'd
prefer more paying members," says Shapiro. "We aim to become
self-sustainable in three to five years." (Washington Post 5 Jul 2004)
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A29919-2004Jul5.html

ISPs WIN MUSIC DOWNLOAD CASE


Canada's Supreme Court has ruled 9-0 that Internet service providers do
not have to pay royalties to composers and artists for music downloaded by
Web customers, since companies providing wide access to the Web are merely
"intermediaries" who aren't bound by Canadian copyright legislation. At
issue was an effort by the Society of Composers, Authors and Music
Publishers of Canada (SOCAN) to force Internet service providers to pay a
tariff. SOCAN also wanted to extend Canadian copyright law beyond the
country's borders and apply it to offshore Web sites that serve Canadians.
Opposing the effort was the Canadian Association of Internet Service
Providers. (The Australian 1 Jul 2004) Rec'd from John Lamp, Deakin U.
http://tinyurl.com/28ouv [More below]

RFID COULD COST 4 MILLION JOBS BY 2007


The Yankee Group, a prominent market research firm, is predicting that
RFID tags will cost four million U.S. jobs by 2007, throughout numerous
industries. (RFID stands for Radio Frequency Identification, a technology
embedded for inventory and tracking purposes into products, materials, and
shipments.) However, Yankee Group analyst Adam Zabel thinks that most
workers who lose their jobs due to increased efficiencies made possible by
RFID technology will be able to obtain 'more value-added' positions.

[Isn't that what they ALWAYS say. . .then "find out" that only 40% of
their employees decided to take advantage of their offer, since their
new jobs wouldn't be nearly as good; "Would you like fries with that?"
The average "new job" these days pays nearly $10,000 less that the
previous job from which the worker "transferred."]
(Vnunet 2 Jul 2004) http://www.vnunet.com/news/1156369

[And in a related "Would You Like Fries With That?" story]

CHAMBER OF COMMERCE TOUTS BENEFITS OF OFFSHORING


U.S. Chamber of Commerce president and chief executive Thomas Donohue
is urging American companies to send work overseas as a way to boost
national competitiveness, and he's scornful of labor leaders and politicians
who want to limit or ban offshoring of government contracts. "Without fail,
businesses go where they want and where they can earn money -- investment is
fungible. We're not going to create more jobs by building barriers." While
admitting that "one job sent overseas, if it happens to be my job, is one
too many," Donoghue insists that the overall benefits of offshoring jobs
outweigh the cost. One management consultant who heard Donoghue's talk
yesterday at the Commonwealth Club of California said: "In theory, it's
promoting change so that the quality of jobs that remain in the United
States remains higher than elsewhere. But the pace of change is fast, and
trying to stay a step ahead is difficult. It almost comes down to luck,
being in the right career at the right time." (AP/San Jose Mercury News 30
Jun 2004)
http://www.siliconvalley.com/mld/siliconvalley/9051372.htm

REBELLION AGAINST DIRECTORY OF CELL PHONE NUMBERS


A proposal from the the Cellular Telecommunications & Internet
Association (CTIA) to create a national directory of cell phone numbers has
created quite a stir across the country. Northwestern University sociologist
Bernard Beck comments: "As life becomes more technologically complex, people
reflexively pull back. We don't want to give up any personal information
because it seems every day someone figures out a new way to victimize us."
U.S. Cellular promises to withhold customers' numbers from any directory and
Verizon Wireless says it will not participate in a wireless directory, but
various other carriers have decided to use the directory service, which
could start next year. A spokesperson for CTIA says the industry doesn't
plan to list numbers without permission and that the numbers will be
available only by dialing 411. Andrew Cole of A.T. Kearney comments: "It's
more than likely that your friends already have your cell-phone number, so
all a directory does is make it available to strangers. Most people don't
want that. Our research shows that people want to simplify their lives.
They're subject to a barrage of external contacts they haven't initiated. In
the old days it was cool to be connected, but these days the sign of someone
who's reached society's higher echelons is that he's disconnected."
(Chicago Tribune/San Jose Mercury News 1 Jul 2004)
http://www.siliconvalley.com/mld/siliconvalley/9059631.htm

[Of course, THAT won't stop the phone spammers who all EVERY number."

TINY KEYBOARDS
[Not Your Average Joe. . .Not Joe. . .Nacho. . . .]
Phone makers have been rushing to add standard keyboards onto tiny
cell phones and other devices: Motorola's new A630 cell phone flips open
into a miniature laptop mode, so that keys can be pressed with thumbs;
Nokia's 6810 flips open to produce a keyboard that spreads out like two
wings on either side of the screen; Samsung has designed a fist-size box
that uses a laser to project a keyboard on any flat surface. Yet some
industry analysts have been questioning the demand for traditional Qwerty
keypads (named for the six letters at the top left of a typewriter
keyboard): a survey by Strategy Analytics found that only 13% of cell phone
users said they wanted one, and Seamus McAteer of the Zelos Group thinks
that the Qwerty keypad is "a generational thing" -- in that today's teens
have grown up sending text messages using phone keys and have no interest in
using traditional keyboards on small devices. (USA Today 1 Jul 2004)
http://www.usatoday.com/tech/news/2004-07-01-cell-key_x.htm

FRENCH AUTHORITY FORBIDS "DIDTHEYREADIT?" SERVICE


CNIL, the French data protection authority, has declared Rampell Software'
s new mail-service 'Did they read it?' to be illegal. (Subscribers
to "DidTheyReadIt?" get a report about the exact time their e-mail was
opened, for how long, on what kind of operating system and if the mail was
forwarded to other people.) The CNIL finds the service unacceptable under
French privacy Legislation; as a result, any French subscriber to this
service risks a prison sentence of 5 years plus a substantial fine.
(EDRIgram 1 Jul 2004)
www.edri.org Rec'd from Jim Sterne via Mark Gibbs

COURT RULES E-MAIL EAVESDROPPING OKAY

[It's a technicality. . .if you really look, you'll find that your phone
calls are often digitally stored for short amounts of time, too, so they
could tap anyone and anything based on this decision. More below.]

In a surprise decision, a federal appeals court has ruled that it was


acceptable for a company that offered e-mail service to peruse messages sent
by its subscribers. The case stems from 1998 when it was discovered that
Interloc, a now-defunct literary clearinghouse, surreptitiously copied
messages sent to its subscribers by rival Amazon in order to "develop a list
of books, learn about competitors and attain a commercial advantage." An
Interloc executive was later indicted on an illegal wiretapping charge, but
yesterday's ruling upheld a federal judge's dismissal of that charge on the
grounds that the e-mails were copied while in "electronic storage" (during
the process of being routed through a network of servers to recipients). The
Wiretap Act prohibits unauthorized eavesdropping on messages that are not
stored -- such as a real-time telephone conversation -- but does not afford
the same protection to stored messages. In a dissenting opinion, Appeals
Court Judge Kermit Lipez wrote that the ruling unravels "decades of practice
and precedent regarding the scope of the Wiretap Act" and essentially
renders the act "irrelevant to the protection of wire and electronic
privacy." In a concurring statement, the Electronic Frontier Foundation
said that yesterday's ruling "dealt a grave blow to the privacy of Internet
communications." (AP 30 Jun 2004)
http://apnews.excite.com/article/20040701/D83HMB0O0.html

LIAR LIAR PANTS ON FIRE (AS JUDGED BY SOFTWARE)


Voice-based lie-detector tests using voice stress analysis have become
increasingly popular with law enforcement agencies, telemarketing companies,
matchmakers, and claims adjusters, even though critics charge that the
technology is unreliable and invasive of privacy. Defending the industry
against such charges, David Watson of V Worldwide Inc. says that each of a
person's various motivations for lying has its own physiological
manifestations (each being a "self-defense mechanism of the body coming from
a completely different place"). But David T. Lykken, an emeritus professor
of psychology at the University of Minnesota, says: "It is implausible to
imagine that the only times that your body shows increased arousal when you
answer a question is when you're being deceptive." Future uses for the
technology will include algorithms for use by airport screeners, political
analysts, and lovers. (Mad Love, an offering already available, is "a
cellular service which allows you to find out if the person you're speaking
with is attracted to you"). New York Times 1 Jul 2004
http://www.nytimes.com/2004/07/01/technology/circuits/01voic.html

COMCAST SEES CONVERGENCE IN YOUR FUTURE


Stephen Burke, president of Comcast Cable, predicts: "The television
industry is going to change more in the next five years than it has in the
last 20." Comcast says it's now ready to roll out next-generation services
that require abundant bandwidth and two-way communications. These include:
video e-mail services; video-on-demand (VOD) programming that goes far
beyond movies; an Internet portal-like screen that subscribers can call up
on their PC, TV or phone to access voicemail, e-mail and faxes; and
extensive offerings of high-definition local TV station broadcasts.
"We have a vision for the company to not be a commodity provider,"
says Comcast CEO Brian Roberts.
http://www.usatoday.com/tech/news/2004-06-30-comcast_x.htm

[Personally, I like the idea of one price for TV and PC cable, phone,
and all those services. . .BUT. . .there is ONE *HUGE* problem. . . .
If your service goes down, you lose it all. . .you can't call repair,
because your phone is gone, too. My solution: I already have phones
from two different carries. . .and you don't know how many times I've
used one to call up and complain to the other, after having to tromp
around the block in the snow at midnight to call emergency repair.]

BELT-TIGHTENING AT MICROSOFT
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is calling on his employees to do a billion
dollars worth of cost-cutting, so that the company can address shareholder
concerns about its stagnant stock price. In his annual message, the
questions Ballmer posed to Microsoft employees were: "Will we be first with
important innovations? Will process excellence lead to greater ability to
make an individual difference? Will our focus on costs hurt employees
personally and will it hinder new investments? Will we grow and will our
stock price rise? Will the PC remain a vital tool, and will we remain a
great company?" In response to employees who had wondered why Microsoft
hasn't used its large quantity of cash for employee benefits, Ballmer's
response was that "the cash is shareholders' money, so we need to either
invest in new opportunities or return it to them."
(New York Times 7 July, 2004)
(http://www.nytimes.com/2004/07/07/technology/07soft.html

BELT-TIGHTENING AT MICROSOFT
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is calling on his employees to do a billion
dollars worth of cost-cutting, so that the company can address shareholder
concerns about its stagnant stock price. In his annual message, the
questions Ballmer posed to Microsoft employees were: "Will we be first with
important innovations? Will process excellence lead to greater ability to
make an individual difference? Will our focus on costs hurt employees
personally and will it hinder new investments? Will we grow and will our
stock price rise? Will the PC remain a vital tool, and will we remain a
great company?" In response to employees who had wondered why Microsoft
hasn't used its large quantity of cash for employee benefits, Ballmer's
response was that "the cash is shareholders' money, so we need to either
invest in new opportunities or return it to them." (New York Times 7 Jul
2004) (http://www.nytimes.com/2004/07/07/technology/07soft.html
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***

>From Edupage

US-CERT ADVISES SWITCHING BROWSERS


In light of a recent announcement about an "extremely critical"
security vulnerability in Internet Explorer (IE), the U.S. Computer
Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) has issued a warning advising
computer users to stop using Microsoft's browser. US-CERT is a
nonprofit formed in September 2003 by the Department of Homeland
Security and the public and private sectors to improve computer
security preparedness and response. According to the US-CERT notice,
there are "significant vulnerabilities in technologies relating to the
IE domain/zone security model, the DHTML object model, MIME-type
determination, and ActiveX." The IE bug allows hackers to install
spyware on users' computers without any action on the part of the
user. The notice goes on to say that, particularly for browsing
untrusted sites, use of another browser is an effective way to avoid
the security risks mentioned.
Internet News, 29 June 2004
http://www.internetnews.com/security/article.php/3374931

APPEALS COURT SAYS ISPS CAN READ E-MAIL


A federal appeals court has upheld a lower-court ruling to dismiss
charges against Bradford Councilman, who was charged under the Wiretap
Act for reading others' e-mail. Councilman operated an online
bookselling company called Interloc and offered some customers
"@interloc.com" e-mail addresses, making the company an ISP. Councilman
is alleged to have made copies of e-mail that came from Amazon, in an
attempt to gain competitive advantage. The appeals court ruled that the
e-mails were saved, if only momentarily in a computer's memory, and
were technically not intercepted. Because the Wiretap Act applies to
intercepted transmissions, the court ruled that it does not apply in
this case. The court admitted the law may be "out of step" with current
technologies but said that, as written, the Wiretap Act does not
prohibit Councilman's actions. Andrew Good, one of Councilman's
attorneys, said many ISPs, including employers and educational
institutions, look at incoming e-mail, such as when they perform virus
scans. Finding Councilman guilty, said Good, would make all such
actions by ISPs illegal. Privacy advocates disagreed, however, and said
the decision sets a dangerous precedent for reading electronic conversations,
including voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone calls. CNET, 30 June 2004
http://news.com.com/2100-1028_3-5253782.html
CANADIAN COURT REJECTS PLAN TO CHARGE ISPS ROYALTIES
The Supreme Court of Canada has ruled that ISPs cannot be required to
pay royalties to record companies for the music that users download.
Representatives of the music industry had lobbied the courts to compel
such royalties, but the Supreme Court said, "It is clear that
Parliament did not want copyright disputes between creators and users
to be visited on the heads of the Internet intermediaries." The Court
did acknowledge that although use of the Internet should be encouraged,
it should not happen "at the expense" of those who create original
works. Nevertheless, the Court said ISPs should not bear the burden of
copyright enforcement. The decision is the second in the past three
months that favored ISPs over copyright owners. In March, a Canadian
court ruled against record companies that had sought to force ISPs to
divulge the identities of file traders suspected of copyright infringement.
Reuters, 30 June 2004
http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?storyID=5557579

MICROSOFT SETTLES LAWSUITS IN MINNESOTA AND VERMONT


In its ongoing antitrust battles, Microsoft has settled cases with the
states of Minnesota--whose case was the only one to go to trial--and
Vermont. Microsoft has been accused of anticompetitive practices that
drove other companies out of business and allowed Microsoft to
overcharge consumers. In both states, as in other Microsoft
settlements, the company will offer consumers vouchers that can be
redeemed for hardware or software from any company. In Vermont, the
total for the vouchers is $9.7 million; 50 percent of unused vouchers
will be given to the state's public schools. In Minnesota, where the
trial had begun seven weeks ago, Microsoft agreed to provide vouchers
for $174.5 million, again with one-half of unused vouchers going to
Minnesota public schools. In Minnesota, however, Microsoft also agreed
to cash payments. Under the settlement, the company will give $2.5
million in cash to the University of Minnesota's Institute of
Technology, as well as $2.5 million in vouchers. Microsoft will also
pay another $2.5 million in cash to the Minnesota Legal Aid Society.
Internet News, 2 July 2004
http://www.internetnews.com/bus-news/article.php/3376521

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***

More Headline News Mostly Avoided By The Major U.S. Media

DUTCH PARLIAMENT FORCES MINISTER BRINKHORST TO WITHDRAS SUPPORT FOR


SOFTWARE PATENTS DIRECTIVE

Today, July the 1st, the Dutch Parliament has decided to direct Minister
Brinkhorst and Secretary of State van Gennip (Economic Affairs) to
withdraw the Dutch vote in support of the Council of Ministers' text for
the Directive on Software Patents. This is the first time in the history
of the EU that such a course of action has been undertaken.

The idea of allowing patents on software has been strongly criticized


among SMEs, scientists and consumer organisations. They inhibit
investments in Research and Development and contribute to higher prices.
Commentators also fear the rise of a "lawyers paradise" in Europe such as
is found in the USA, where programmers are constantly threatened by
lawsuits.

This act represents an incisive criticism of the European Council of


Ministers' attempts to introduce broad patentability of software.
Minister Brinkhorst, acting on behalf of the Netherlands, endorsed the
Council's current proposal, which not only reiterated the terms of the
Council's strongly criticized first proposal, but went even further,
directly rebuffing the clear stance assumed by the EU Parliament, which
voted to add numerous amendments which made clear how the category of
logical algorithms would be treated.

The European Parliament's version asserted that patents would only be


allowed for industrial inventions (e.g. washing machines) and would not
be made possible for pure software. All these adaptations were removed
in the Council of Ministers' controversial version.

Earlier, Brinkhorst described the Council proposal to the Dutch


Parliament as a compromise with the EP. In recent legislative debates,
Van Gennip was forced to admit that this was incorrect information, and
attributed it to "an error in the word processor."

The Dutch Parliament apparently didn't buy this explanation and today
she rendered an historic and groundbreaking decision, calling upon
Minister Brinkhorst and van Gennip to withdraw the Netherland's
supporting vote in the European Council and convert it to an abstention.
This measure is possible because at the present moment there is only a
"political agreement" and the "formal vote" can only take place after
the contested text has been translated into the 20 European Languages.
An emergency brake move in the procedure such as this has never been
exercised before.

With this decision, the Dutch Parliament demonstrates the active


interest her public holds in the debate over software patents, and her
recognition and appreciation for the adaptations introduced by the
European Parliament.

Dieter Van Uytvanck, spokesman of FFII Netherlands, stresses the


importance of this decision:

This political signal reaches much further than just The


Netherlands. We hope that other European countries that also have
their doubts about the proposal of the Council will also withdraw
their support, so that the current proposal no longer has a
majority. The historic precedent is there now.

Let this be a lesson for the lawmakers in Brussels: the European


citizen watches you closely. It is much better to take this into
account from the beginning as it is to get into trouble later.
Contact

Wiebe van der Worp


wiebe@vrijschrift.org
tel. 06 28 195 808

Ir. Arend Lammertink:


alam@home.nl
tel. 06 5425 6426

Dieter Van Uytvanck:


dieter@vrijschrift.nl
tel. +32 499 16 70 10

***

STRANGE QUOTE OF THE WEEK

"It's [the Irag War] is good for business, bad for the people."

Vice President of a Halliburton subcontractor.

***

SIMPLE SOLUTION OF THE WEEK

One of our larger local cities got tired of waiting for


new state or national medical malpractic legislation.
In an effort to stop their doctors from closing up shop
Carbondale, home of Southern Illinois University, passed
a law stating that all local medical malpractice cases
must be filed locally, at the county courthouse, and the
punitive damages must be limited to three times damages.

Of course, I have a feeling that if I accidentally cut


off the hand of presiding judge, s/he would sue me for
more than the $40,000{?} alotted for actual damages,
and the $120,000{?} in punitive damages.

One more point of view, how "accidental" is it if the


doctor in question has made this decision before?

In light of that, they also passed a law requiring the


doctors to make available to their patients a list of
all state sanctions that have been imposed upon them.

In addition, _I_ would propose a law regulating costs


of the malpractice insurance: if a patient goes in
for a procedure in which the predicted failure rate
is 1%, then they pay an additional 1% over the normal
costs associated with that procedure. Then at least
the cost of the failed procedures is already covered,
and it encourages the doctors to use the real figures,
as they have to pay the difference if the figures were
too low. If you wanted to cover the additional 3% for
punitive damages, that could be added to make 4%.

The fact is that they would probably also add another


1% for administrative costs, for a total of 5%.

Thus a $1,000 procedure would cost $1,050, and the


$10,000 procedures would cost $10,500, and the whole
issue of malpractice insurance would be avoided.

***

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