BlawgWorld 2006 Published at TechnoLawyer

A posting by LawPundit is included in BlawgWorld 2006, an eBook published November 30, 2005 by TechnoLawyer. TechnoLawyer currently has ca. 11500 members, each of whom obtains a copy of BlawgWorld 2006.

Compare that number to the circulation of a normal law journal.

BlawgWorld 2006 includes blog postings from a total of so-called 51 “influential” legal weblogs (blawgs). The fact of this publication emphasizes the influence and attention which law blogs are achieving. See my upcoming posting following this one if you doubt that the previous statement is true.

If you are not yet a member of TechnoLawyer (membership is free), take a look at their website.

Membership entitles you to free newsletters as well as a free copy of BlawgWorld 2006. See what the pioneer blawgers are up to. I am looking forward to reading the postings published in Blawgworld 2006 myself.

BlawgWorld also has its own URL, which launched November 30, 2005 at http://www.blawgworld.com. You can read a sample from BlawgWorld 2006 there by clicking the appropriate link and you can also read a second sample by clicking the book illustration.

Right now, BlawgWorld 2006 may appear like a small pioneer step, but ponder what status it may achieve in coming years, as blogging starts to compete with printed legal publications.
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Germany under "Angie" Merkel – What to Expect

Germany suffered tremendously under past German Chancellor Schröder’s inept administration. Schröder’s anti-capitalist and anti-Anglo-Saxon foreign policy led not only to a greatly diminished significance of Germany on the international scene but also severely damaged the German economy. Schröder’s relationship to the European Commission was also icy.

Schroeder made many enemies, and few allies. German-American relations are at an all time low and German unemployment is at an all time high. Schröder’s flawed policies are contributorily responsible for these – closely related – developments. We can think of nothing that is better in Germany due to the Red/Green Schroeder era – quite the contrary, everything is worse. “Goodbye Schröder” is great news.

His replacement is new German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the first female Chancellor in German history, who takes office supported by an emergency “grand coalition” of Germany’s two largest political parties, the conservative CDU/CSU and the socialist SPD.

Whereas Schroeder was a man who possessed many of the talents necessary to be elected Chancellor and almost none of the talents required to actually be Chancellor effectively, Merkel is nearly the exact opposite. Schröder was what the Germans call a “Blender” (all show but no go, i.e. someone who “blinds” to the realities), whereas Merkel is definitely more understatement. However, she probably possesses the leadership qualities necessary to exercise her office with great competence, which Schröder did not. That at least is our assessment of her qualifications. But she is not and can not be a German Maggie Thatcher (read Clay Risen at Slate for a superb background article). Her impact will be strong, but different.

Wolfgang Munchau of the Free Republic, November 21, 2005, has perspicaciously analyzed recent developments under the title “Schröder’s legacy will haunt Merkel“.

We are not as pessimistic as Munchau, who writes that Merkel may not make a big difference. Rather, we see signs of dynamic change in the offing for Germany.

As reported by Dan Bilefsky and Judy Dempsey in the November 24, 2005, International Herald Tribune, Merkel made two initial visits in her first 24 hours as Chancellor, to Paris and to Brussels. Her visit to Paris was made to emphasize the necessity of pragmatic German-French relations in Europe. On her visit to Brussels, her first stop was NATO headquarters, where Merkel assured NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer that German foreign policy would again be based on a firm transatlantic relationship, a transatlantic relationship nearly destroyed by Schröder.

Merkel then visited the European Parliament to be greeted by hundreds shouting “Angie”. Thereafter she went to the offices of Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt of Belgium and afterwards talked with José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, surely attempting to mend fences. As Munchau writes:

“Domestic [German] politicians such as Mr Schröder have often portrayed the European Commission as an institution infested with Anglo-Saxon libertarian zealots who are out to destroy German industry.”

Under Merkel, it is quite clear that German relations to the powerful European Commission will be normalized. The IHT quotes Merkel as reaffirming her position that Europe must focus on economic reform:

“so that in a globalized world we can keep up and be competitive.”

Merkel also called on the EU to revive the EU Constitution.

As for French-German relations, Chirac is quoted as saying that “Europe is a bit like a car with a broken part”.

The IHT writes on the Franco-German relationship:

“Merkel’s advisers said the relationship between Berlin and Paris was no longer serving the interests of European integration and instead was becoming a relic of historical reminiscences and symbols.”

In this regard, Karl-Heinz Kamp of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation is quoted as saying that:

“Merkel is not into symbols for the sake of symbols that characterized the Franco-German relationship. She wants it to be based on the issues.”

A Chancellor who bases her policy on the issues is going to be successful. That is what successful leadership is all about – because leaders set the direction of movement. If the direction is correct, success will inevitably follow.

Clay Risen at Slate quotes Götz Aly at the online Opinion Journal of the Wall Street Journal:

“If Angela Merkel succeeds … the Federal Republic should see changes more radical than any since 1949.”

Germany must change significantly to meet the demands of the modern age and that change can only be initiated at the top.

As Aly writes:

“A state that spends 48% of its budget on social-welfare entitlements and 14% on interest payments on a growing mountain of debt, and can only invest 11% in modernizing infrastructure, has long since lost its ability to act. It is bankrupt. Any company that behaved this way would rightly be liable for fraudulent avoidance of bankruptcy under German law. An economy that requires at least half the hourly wage to be paid over to the government in the form of taxes and entitlements, and on top of that significant consumer and corporate taxes, is no longer competitive.”

Now we can put the previous quoted sentence into perspective as Aly writes further:

If Angela Merkel succeeds in winning office at the September elections and, against great resistance in her own party, in remaining true to herself, the Federal Republic should see changes more radical than any since 1949. As a physicist, she knows that the relationship between cause and effect cannot be simply wished away. Her most formative experiences came during communist East Germany’s collapse. She has seen what happens when a country uses up its material basis, when it sinks into social and national stagnation while a regime of lies plays on, like the band on the Titanic. Most influential German politicians spent their youth, student years and early careers in the fat boom years of the old republic on the Rhine. Ms. Merkel likes to tell them, even those in her own [very conservative] party, “You have no idea how socialist you are.””

In the end, the most socialistic position is still “survival for everyone”. To achieve that end, Germany will have to change and we think it will change significantly, even though Merkel must function in a coalition government with the normally opposition socialists. The fact that the socialists have entered into this coalition at all clearly evidences their “will for survival”. If that same will for survival is applied to the Germany which they lead, then their policies must also change.

That is why we think that significant reforms will now be made under the Merkel administration, coalition government notwithstanding.
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Businesses Doing Business in the EU Should Get .EU Domains

We posted previously on the fact that launch dates for .eu domains have been announced and that EURid will be the domain registry (see the EURid site here). As a technical matter for IANA (Internet Assigned Numbers Authority of ICANN), the .eu domain is listed there as the equivalent of a country-code TLD (ccTLD).

As written by the EU Commission:

“Why have a .eu Top Level Domain?
The .eu TLD will be a new Top level Domain, introduced for use by individuals, organisations and companies in the European Union. It will not replace the existing national ccTLDs in the EU, but will complement them and give users the additional option of having a pan-European Internet identity for their web sites and e-mail addresses.

“The EU is one of the biggest users of the Internet in the world and the introduction of a .eu TLD will create even more opportunities to exploit this exciting technology.”

Struan Robertson, Editor of OUT-LAW.COM, has an insightful article on “Why you should register a .eu domain name” even if your organization already has the domain it wants as a generic TLD (.com, .net, .org) or as a country-coded top level domain in Europe. The country codes for the current 25 EU Member States are:

.at – Austria
.be – Belgium
.cy – Cyprus
.cz – Czech Republic
.de – Germany (.de is for Deutschland)
.dk – Denmark
.ee – Estonia (.ee because .es was already assigned to Spain)
.es – Spain ( .es because of Spanish España = Spain)
.fi – Finland
.fr – France
.gr – Greece
.hu – Hungary
.ie – Ireland
.it – Italy
.lt – Lithuania
.lu – Luxembourg
.lv – Latvia
.mt – Malta
.nl – The Netherlands
.pl – Poland
.pt – Portugal
.se – Sweden
.si – Slovenia (this is .SI and not .SL, because .sl was assigned to Sierra Leone)
.sk – Slovak Republic
.uk – United Kingdom (.gb is also reserved by IANA but not used)

Commission Regulation (EC) No 874/2004 provides:

“Candidate countries that are not due to join the European Union in May 2004 and member countries of the European Economic Area that are not Member States may request that their official name and the name under which they are commonly known in their own language and in any of the official languages as from May 2004 shall not be registered directly under the .eu TLD. To that end, those countries may send the Commission, within two months following entry into force of this Regulation, a list of those names which are not to be registered.”

The EEA countries and their country codes are:

.is – Iceland
.no – Norway
.li – Liechtenstein

The EU Candidate Countries are:

Acceding Countries
.bg – Bulgaria
.ro – Romania
Candidate Countries
.tr – Turkey
.hr – Croatia (Hrvatska)
Potential Candidate Countries
.al – Albania
.ba – Bosnia and Herzegovina
.mk – The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
.cs – Serbia and Montenegro
?? – Kosovo under UN Security Council Resolution 1244

Applicable to all registrations by all countries is the following provision regarding the country codes:

“Alpha-2 codes representing countries shall not be used to register domain names directly under the .eu TLD.”

There is no question that the introduction of the .eu top level domain will diminish the importance of the European country codes in the long term, although the short-term impact may be less pronounced, because many of the country coded websites are tied to language differences. However, multilingual sites now resident at the country-coded pages will most certainly ultimately migrate to the .eu domain, leaving the country-code pages in only the language of origin of the website. A good example here would be the many travel sites. Someone looking for city information in English concerning a European city will almost certainly gravitate toward .eu domains rather than to the country-code websites. One country that is bound to suffer under this system in the long term is Switzerland, which is neither an EU Member State nor a member of EEA, nor is it an EU candidate. (Switzerland [Confoederatio Helvetica, whence the “ch”] has .ch as its ccTLD).

Robertson states clearly that the main reason to register .eu domains now is to save money and avoid trouble down the road.

Organizations which do not get .eu domains now may find that someone else will take the respective .eu domain names. Later, this may involve legal squabbles and arbitration, events which are guaranteed to be extremely expensive.

It would thus seem to be much simpler and cheaper to just register the appropriate .eu domains.

As written by the EU Commission:

“How much will it cost?
The basic fee for the registration of a domain name during the first year will be of €10. However, applications have to be filed through registrars that will add their own costs to that fee. Different registrars may offer different services. Prices thus vary.”

This assumes of course that one is entitled to register an .eu domain in the first place, which is explained here. Essentially, if your organization does not have a business in the European Union, then you are not entitled to register an .eu domain unless you are an EU resident.

Some useful Links are:
The EU Regulations for the .eu top level domain
and also Public Policy Rules (PPR) for .eu
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Google Book Search replaces Google Print

Google has changed the name of Google Print to Google Book Search and in this connection TVC Alert (hat tip) has a link to Charles W. Bailey Jr. and his Digital Works, which include his blog Digital Koans at which he has a useful posting entitled “The Google Print Controversy: A Bibliography”.

We see that Google Book Search has us listed here.

That listing is a good example of what Google Book Search is all about, providing essential information about a book which I have co-authored, the German Dictionary of Business, Commerce and Finance / Worterbuch fur Wirtschaft, Handel und Finanzen and opening that book’s content to a wider audience without in any way harming the copyright holders.
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Launch Dates for .EU Domains Announced – First Phase Starts December 7, 2005

If your company or organization does business in Europe, this may be important.

The launch dates for the newly established European .eu top level domain pursuant to European Commission Regulation (EC) No 874/2004 have been announced by EURid, the European Registry of Internet Domain Names. FAQs are available in English (en), German (de), Spanish (es), French (fr) and Italian (it).

Who is eligible for an .eu domain?

Eligible for an .eu domain according to Article 4(2)(b) EC Regulation 733/2002 is any:
“(i) undertaking having its registered office, central administration
or principal place of business within the
[European] Community, or
(ii) organisation established within the [European] Community
without prejudice to the application of national law, or
(iii) natural person resident within the [European] Community….”

This announcement is especially important for established persons, companies or organizations who already have “prior rights” to certain names and want to take advantage of early .eu domain registration in the Phase I and II Sunrise periods, as explained below.

Prior rights entitle early .eu domain registration.

THE PRIOR “SUNRISE-ENTITLED” RIGHTS ARE:

1. trade marks registered in the EU (e.g. Coca-Cola, Sony, Windows, ThinkPad, iPod, Pentium, Ferrari, etc.) Here is an IBM “Legal Information for the ThinkPad” to show some trademark coverage, just in connection with the ThinkPad:
“IBM, the IBM logo, EasyServ, HelpCenter, OS/2, ServicePac, ThinkLight, ThinkPad, ThinkPad Proven, the ThinkPad Proven logo, TrackPoint, Ultrabay, UM Services, Update Connector, WorkPad and the WorkPad Proven logo are trademarks of IBM Corporation in the US and other countries. Bluetooth is a trademark owned by Bluetooth SIG, Inc. and licensed to IBM. Intel and Pentium are registered trademarks and SpeedStep is a trademark of Intel Corporation. Linux is a trademark of Linus Torvalds. Lotus and SmartSuite are registered trademarks of Lotus Development Corporation. Microsoft, Windows, Windows NT and the Microsoft logo are trademarks of Microsoft Corporation. Other company, product and service names may be trademarks or service marks of others.”

2. geographical indications or designations of origin in the EU (e.g. Champagne, Roquefort cheese)

3. unregistered trademarks used in the EU (e.g. LawPundit, EUPundit)

4. trade names in the EU (e.g. “John Doe’s Printing Company” [non-existent at Google 23/11/2005], “your company name”)

5. business identifiers in the EU (e.g. Ronald McDonald (McDonald’s), Mickey Mouse or Donald Duck (Walt Disney Company); WIPO writes on business identifiers:
“Business identifiers” are signs which identify businesses as such, and not the products or services offered by the business, the latter feature constituting a pure trademark function. Signs that may constitute business identifiers are, for example, trade names, business symbols, emblems or logos. Some confusion as regards the functions of marks and business identifiers stems from the fact that, sometimes, the name of a company, i.e., its business identifier, is identical with one of the company’s trademarks.”

6. company names in the EU (General Motors, General Electric, Microsoft Corporation, Intel, IBM, Google, Yahoo, etc.)

7. distinctive titles of protected literary or artistic works in the EU (e.g. the Harry Potter books by J.K. Rowling, Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand, Star Wars, Indiana Jones)

It is absolutely NOT POSSIBLE to get pre-validation advice about a domain name from the registration validation company (PWC, see below) so do not waste your or anyone else’s time trying to get such advice from them. Rather, for Phases I and II below, one must FIRST submit a domain registration claiming the “prior right” to a name together with the documentation required and then let the validation process take its course. See in this regard the EURid pages linked below as well as the Public Policy Rules in EC Regulation 874/2004.

The .EU domain registrations will proceed in three phases:

SUNRISE PERIOD – PHASE I – starts December 7, 2005
SUNRISE PERIOD – PHASE II – starts February 7, 2006
LAND RUSH PERIOD – starts April 7, 2006 – .EU domain registration is open to everyone

Registrations in Phases I and II are for persons or organizations which claim a prior right to a name (e.g. trademarks (trade marks), company names, etc.). Registration during Phases I and II will require documentation of any claim made and that documentation validation will be carried out by PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PWC).

When can one register an .eu domain? (see detailed instruction here on Launch):

Phase of Registration is Dependent on the Type of Prior Right Which Can be Documented

Phase 1 & 2 – Registered National and Community Trade Marks
Phase 1& 2 – Geographical Indications or Designations of Origin
Phase 2 – Unregistered Trade Marks
Phase 2 – Trade Names
Phase 2 – Business identifiers
Phase 2 – Company Names
Phase 2 – Distinctive Titles of Protected Literary and Artistic Works
Land Rush – Everybody else can register a domain

In the event of conflict between two or more registrants who have legitimate “prior right” claims to a name (Omega Watches and Omega Engineering, Inc. e. g. could in our view both claim the omega.eu domain), the domains will be registered on a first-come, first-served basis.

Please note that EURid is the REGISTRY for .eu domain names but they do NOT do the registering of domains. This is done only by ACCREDITED REGISTRARS, a list of which is HERE.

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Crossposted to EU Pundit.
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US Stays in Charge of the Internet Root System

Who says there is no good news?

As reported by the BBC in US retains hold of the internet:

In an eleventh-hour agreement ahead of a UN internet summit in Tunis, Tunisia, negotiators agreed to leave the US in charge of the net’s addressing system….

Disagreements over control of the internet had threatened to overshadow the [WSIS – World Summit on the Information Society] , with countries such as China and Iran pushing for an international body under UN auspices to oversee the net.

The US had stood firm against this, arguing that it would stifle technological advance and increase censorship of the internet by undemocratic regimes.”

Right on all counts. In spite of criticism of the USA from many quarters on many issues, the fact is that no other country in the world today could be as well trusted as the USA for technical internet governance. Just imagine some of the other countries in the world being in charge – that would be the end of the World Wide Web.
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Whats Running – The Better Task Manager

We do not want to give away all of our technological secrets, but another small, free and simple software program that we have installed is called Whats Running, and it is the better Task Manager, not only giving a more comprehensive view of what is running on a user’s computer, but also permitting the user to shut down memory-hogging running processes which are not required. Caveat emptor: you have to know what you are doing to use this program.
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