Rumour & Humour: Sending the wrong message

Irony is rampant in the world of information technology. Take Finnish Internet security company F-Secure, which disclosed recently that thousands of its British customers had received e-mails from the firm infected by a virus.

The embarrassing incident, which reportedly happened on Feb. 26

at the firm’s London offices, was attributed to human error (of course). According to an F-Secure spokesman, an employee inadvertently approved the sending of an infected e-mail generated by the Netsky.B Internet worm, which had obtained a copy of the firm’s British mailing list by contaminating an outside computer receiving e-mail from F-Secure. E-mail recipients can also post messages on the mailing list, but the e-mails have to be approved by F-Secure before being shipped out, which the employee did by mistake. The phrase “duh, what does this button do?” springs to mind.

Luckily for F-Secure, the virus had already been around the block a few times when the customers received it, and most of the recipients on the list had already updated their anti-virus software and thereby immunized themselves against the bug. The phrase “that was a close call” springs to mind…

Apple Corps. vs. Apple Inc.

And now a bit of legal gossip: According to news reports, Apple Computer and the Beatles’ record company Apple Corps have gone to court over who gets to use the fruity name now that the high-tech firm has entered the Internet music business.

The two companies reached a deal in 1991 after a fight over the trademark, signing an agreement that set out who could use the name and logo, and when. But the British record company says the U.S. computer company broke the deal by using the Apple name to market its iTunes on-line music service. The computer company’s lawyer said that the 1991 agreement allows Apple Computer to use the name for data transmission services, even if the data included material such as music, which was within the record label’s “field of use.”

According to the Beatles, “All You Need is Love” — except when it comes to copyright lawsuits, that is, when you need a crack team of lawyers. “I am the iPod, you are the xServe…coo coo ca chu…”

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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