Archive for February, 2007

Illegal business behind computer virus

At the beginning of 2007, “Giant Panda” was the most damaging virus spreading on the net. After the virus spreaders were captured by the police, a series of illegal business were disclosed. Once the virus was created, it was posted on the net for sale. The purchasers may then hack into the victims’ compute to steal their personal information. The following step would be selling the stolen information online.

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National ID system online now

Ministry of Public Security announced that a Chinese citizen ID information system has been established. For the purpose of safeguarding network security, ID information of 1.3 billion population, 0.9 billion telephone and Internet users is put in this database.

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IDNs: from confusion to Confucianism

ICANN GNSO IDN working group is busy with making policies for IDN-gtlds. Some issues are really interesting:

1. Why confusing similarity is an issue?

If a new IDN-gtlds is confusingly similar with a preexisting gtld-string, it should understandably be precluded. However, existing gtlds registries want more than a defense to preclude any third party’s such IDN-strings in the assessment process but a priority right regarding such IDN-strings.

The idea of a priority right is deeply rooted in a suspicious concept of registries’ intellectual property (arguably non-existing under the law), rather than consideration of consumer confusion. If a similar string is confusing to the public, it is confusing irrespective whether it is in the hands of a new registry or a preexisting one.

2. What is confusion?

The three-category division (graphic, phonetic and semantic confusion) is actually flawy. Phonetic confusion is a redundancy in DNS. Graphic (visual) confusion is a key issue that should be addressed first at protocol level and then at policy level. However, if semantic confusion is going to be tackled, a door to hell is opened. Is “Reise” in German semantic to “.travel” gtlds? Where legal protection of a well-known mark cannot be automatically extended to any “translation” in any language (Paris Convention, TRIPS agreement, Article 16), why a gtld-string can extend to any semantic string? What are semantic? Is ICANN better than a court and more knowledgable than linguists and legal experts? This issue is so complicated that it is more Confectionist than confusing.

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Pfizer is not "a Big Brother"

Although Pfizer won several cases in the Chinese courts against pirate products of Viagra, it lost recently over Viagra’s Chinese transliteration “Wei Ge” (meaning “a big brother”).

Beijing First Intermediary People’s Court upheld a lower court ruling and ordered Beijing Health New Concept Pharmacy Company and Lianhuan Pharmaceutical Company to stop making their little blue pills and ordered Lianhuan to pay Pfizer 300,000 yuan ($38,000) in damages.

In contrast, Pfizer has filed an appeal after losing a lawsuit over the Chinese name “Wei Ge” for its impotence treatment Viagra.

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Allegedly pirating drug Tamiflu is tried in Shanghai

Lead defendant Wang Xun is accused of illegally purchasing the Tamiflu formula for 150,000 yuan (about US$20,000‚¬15,000) and then joining with others to manufacture and sell a pirated version of the drug. Wang and the others are now being tried at Shanghai’s No. 2 Intermediate Court.

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