An Oct. 13 Business item said that Backfence.com has sites for Falls Church, Reston and Bethesda. The company has sites for Reston, Bethesda and McLean but not Falls Church. (Published 10/15/2005)

LEGAL

3 Indicted in Largest U.S. Piracy Case

Three California men were indicted on charges that they produced counterfeit music and software compact discs in what authorities said was the largest CD manufacturing seizure in the United States

The men are accused of producing more than 325,000 illegal copies of copyrighted CDs and software, including songs by various Latin American artists and Symantec anti-virus software, the U.S. attorney's office in San Francisco said in a statement.

"These individuals are charged with affixing counterfeit labels on CDs to create the appearance of legitimacy, including the FBI Anti-Piracy Warning that stated 'Unauthorized copying is punishable under federal law,' " U.S. Attorney Kevin Ryan said.

TELECOMMUNICATIONS

Nokia Debuts Keyboard Phone

Nokia revealed its first keyboard phone, which has a similar look and feel to Research in Motion's BlackBerry.

The Nokia E61, due out in the first quarter of 2006, follows the introduction of non-"clamshell" devices from Hewlett-Packard and Motorola that also feature a typewriter keypad for thumb typing. The look and feel was first popularized by the BlackBerry.

This one, however, would be the first based on Symbian, the most widely used operating system for advanced wireless phones in most markets other than the United States.

INTERNET

Backfence.com Lands $3 Million Investment

Backfence.com, a Falls Church-based community Web site company, said it has secured $3 million in funding from SAS Investors and Omidyar Network to expand its three-city business to at least seven more in the Washington suburbs and two outside the area.

The company, which has news and information sites for Falls Church, Reston and Bethesda, uses proprietary software to create community Web sites on which almost all of the content is provided by local residents via Web logs, postings, digital photos and so on.

Backfence.com, which is supported by advertising, said it wants to deploy its "hyperlocal" Web sites to 160 communities across the country within three years.

MERGERS & ACQUISITIONS

Qwest Again Objects to Two Mergers

Qwest Communications officials pressed their case for the government to impose restrictions on two telecommunications mergers, reiterating their contention that the pending deals could hurt competition and raise prices. As proposed, the unions of SBC Communications with AT&T and Verizon Communications with Ashburn-based MCI would dwarf competitors, Qwest Senior Vice President R. Steven Davis said.

Verizon and SBC representatives denied Qwest's claims and said the mergers would create companies that will compete globally.

Compiled from staff and news service reports.