The Buzz: August 5, 2002

State and federal law enforcement agencies last week took aim at cyber-scams.

States, Feds Target Scams

State and federal law enforcement agencies last week took aim at cyber-scams by filing 19 civil and criminal actions against groups and individuals that used the Internet to allegedly bilk tens of thousands of people out of millions of dollars.

The targets included activities from auction fraud to work-at-home cons, where one company told people they could earn up to $2,000 a week stuffing envelopes in exchange for $40. People paid the $40 but never received the promised materials, according to the Federal Trade Commission. That scam raked in more than $2 million, the FTC said. Another company promised discount Web hosting services, then loaded victims credit cards with unauthorized charges for excess bandwidth use.

Airline to Cancel Paper Tickets

United Airlines is getting out of the paper ticket business.

The airline said last week that it will no longer issue paper tickets for domestic flights by next July and for international flights by 2004. United will tack on a $20 charge for customer-requested paper tickets, which cost more to process than electronic tickets.

The move comes a month after American Airlines said it will issue only e-tickets for domestic flights starting next March.

Adobe Settles With Macromedia

Adobe and Macromedia, major players in the content delivery network and Web design software arenas, last week settled long- simmering patent complaints against each other.

Terms of the agreement were not disclosed. The settlement comes after court hearings in the spring and before a countersuit filed by Macromedia was to go to trial.

In May, a jury sided with Adobe that a user interface in Macromedias Flash animation tool infringed on an Adobe patent and awarded Adobe more than $2.8 million in damages.

Later that month, Macromedia won a counterclaim that accused Adobe of infringing on patents in its Photoshop and GoLive software. Macromedia was awarded more than $4.9 million in that case.