Readers expound on copyrights, telephony and security threats

Some of the most interesting bits of information I see come via e-mail from readers who
challenge or elucidate on products and issues mentioned in this column. Here are some that
recently fell out of my e-mailbag:


Section 105, however, does allow the holder of a copyright to assign ownership to the
government. Prue Adler, assistant executive director of federal relations and information
policy at the Association of Research Libraries, told me this occasionally happens when
the government enters into a partnership with a copyright holder to develop something new.


It might involve university research with a controlled release date for general use, or
a cooperative R&D agreement for a new computer application or database.


The government also can hold licenses from copyright holders, wrote Jack M. Glandon, a
patent attorney at the Army Aviation and Missile Command.


Art and other valuables obtained by the government, such as museum objects and their
digital images, can be copyrighted, too. For example, some of the Smithsonian
Institution’s Web pages have copyrights.


As for federal seals and logos, Arnie Lutzker, an attorney who works with the
Association of Research Libraries, said most agencies have not trademarked their seals but
probably could. There are laws in place, he said, to prevent third parties from using
government or military logos to imply a false origin or endorsement.


Unfortunately, there is no effort for standardizing Callto uniform resource locators,
as there is for Mailto. But Ambur forwarded pointers he’s received from others,
including a Microsoft NetMeeting request that can embed a call link. Visit http://support.microsoft.com/support/kb/articles/q157/2/77.asp
and register to view.


Finland has a Web page-to-telephone pilot project called Virtual Helsinki. Details are
at http://www.hel.fi/infocities/eng/multimedia/webpuh.htm.


The site reveals that Hypertext Markup Language viruses are the latest threat,
affecting servers running Microsoft Windows NT and the Microsoft Internet Information
Server or the Windows Scripting Host.


Improper installation of intelligent peripherals presents a different kind of threat.
Printers and other devices that can store files in memory and execute Internet commands
such as Telnet and File Transfer Protocol are vulnerable. The solution is to install the
devices properly and password-protect all accounts.


Shawn P. McCarthy is a computer journalist, webmaster and Internet programmer for
Cahners Business Information Inc. E-mail him at smccarthy@cahners.com.

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