...Continued from page 1

The Picasso Organization, objecting to having a mere mini-van-sedan called after its namesake, sued. After a certain - large - sum was agreed upon, the Picasso will roll out soon if it is not on the streets already.

There is doubt. I can't remember the Renault version's name, and they both look similar - so the 'Picasso' may or may not be on the streets of Paris.

It is certainly depicted in TV commercials - which show the factory's sneaky and probably unionized paint robots pin-striping the cars in wild abandon - until they spot a human supervisor coming. They immediately do a one-color respray and pin-stripe-sign the car 'Picasso,' with a replica of Picasso's signature. It is the only 'Picasso' thing about the car.

Meanwhile, a for-profit outfit named Leonardo Finance got some kind of court order in Nanterre, and eight cops to carry it out by forcibly entering the legal location of the French-American Association Leonardo, to seize all paper with the word 'Leonardo' on it.

Apparently Leonardo Finance is sore because Web search engines turn up the Association Leonardo as well as Leonardo Finance when 'Leonardo' is sought. A company named Transasia says it recently trademarkedphoto: flooded expressway every possible combination of the name 'Leonardo' in France.

Transasia is claiming one million dollars - not francs! - in damages, based on search engine results.

An exit ramp from the right bank expressway, which is under water.

My own Web search revealed that the non-profit Association Leonardo was founded 30 years ago as an 'International Journal' by Frank Malina, who is now dead. However, the association he founded is very much alive.

Today this association assists a world-wide network of artists, scientists and scholars. This network produces the scholarly journal 'Leonardo' - since 1968! - which is now published by the MIT Press in the USA.

The visible copyright line on the Association Leonardo Web site reads, 'ISAST/LEONARDO © 1997-98.'

The visible copyright line on the 'Leonardo Finance SA' Web site says that it was copyrighted in1998. In addition, Leonardo Finance also has an online thing called the 'Association Leonardo' which it also copyrighted in 1998 - perhaps illegally.

According to information on the Leonardo Finance Web site, Leonardo Finance itself was created in November 1995 - which makes it about 27 years younger than the original Association Leonardo. Leonardo Finance seems to be the brain-child of a bunch of venture-capitalists, to use the polite form of the expression.

The original Association Leonardo has set up a legal defense fund and you can get more information about it by writing to Roger Malina, who is Chairman of Leonardo/ISAST in San Francisco.

Shortie:

Slow Justice Department:- Last week radio France-Info carried the news that two French Internet service suppliers have been found not guilty of distributing 'kiddie porn' in the form of 'newsgroup' services provided by the two operators.

This case was originally featured in the Metropole article "We Are All Guilty" - French Internet Providers Go To Jail, with a follow-up in the same issue of 13. May 1996.

The director of Worldnet - still Sébastien Socchard - and the director of FranceNet, can now sleep peacefully. A week or two ago, a Munich court also dismissed similar charges against CompuServe in Bavaria, so I shouldn't single out France for turtle-speed justice.

'Internet Actu,' my prime source of French Web site tips, has taken advantage of the public holidays by taking a holiday last Thursday.

I was tipped to the 'Leonardo' story by Norbert Specker's post to Online-Europe, which bounced into my Inbox on Sunday. This newsletter comes from Steve Carlson in Budapest, who works even on holidays such as New Years Day - which Online-Europe's software has dated 'Sat, Jan 1, 19100.' The newsletter's 'subject' line - 'The Lights Still Work.'

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