2/09/2002



In a period where funding for Internet start-ups is scarce and the term incubator is banned from the vocabulary of investors, two experienced Danish business men have founded Venture 112 (great name by the way!). The company is focused on helping entrepreneurial companies that are in crucial stages of development and growth. Typically, Venture 112 works with companies in need of active guidance related to key business issues or newer companies aiming to secure early stage capital investments. Does this sound like old news from a pre-dotcom bust era? Maybe so, but seeing is believing. One of the founders - Morten Steen-Jørgensen - whom I as legal council already have worked with on several deals - has an impressive record of building and growing companies. Barely 2-3 months into their existence, Venture 112 has amassed an impressive amount of deal flow and even successfully exited a couple of deals already. Venture 112 will shortly become a brand name among Danish entrepreneurs, I am sure!

2/08/2002



Michigan will have by this fall the world's first cybercourt. Michigan Cyber Court is intended to handle admitted cases online through web-sites, e-mail, electronic documents. There is however a long way to the virtual reality based court as envisioned in the article Cyberspace and Virtual Court Rooms (in Danish).



More new tenants at Fabrikmestervej 10. Jesper Drustrup, the CEO at Araneum A/S, is gradually succeeding in subletting out the remaining empty office space at Fabrikmestervej 10. That is good news. It is no secret that having almost 100% excess office space is not good for company financials and that staring into empty halls is not especially amusing. So all out here at Fabrikmestervej 10 are very happy that we now have Just / Kidde - an advertising agency - in the building from February 1. 2002. Welcome!

One of the headline stories at today's Danish version of Computerworld is that the Danish IT-security Council (IT-sikkerhedsrådet) will shortly run out of government funding and thereby automatically discontinue its work. Bad idea! IT-security should more than ever top the agenda and private businesses and government, and the IT-security Council has managed admirable since its start (I cannot remember at what year the council was set up) to give citizens, business and government competent and independent advice on different issues surrounding IT-security. For instance, the IT-security Council has maintained its position that citizens should have the right to privacy through strong encryption also in times where government has wanted to curtail this right in the name of better law enforcement. I sincerely hope that the new minister of Science, Technology and Innovation - Helge Sander - finds and allocate the means for the IT-security Council to continue its work.


Today is Fastelavn (I think the English translation is Shrovetide) here in Denmark and all children will wear disguises and dress up as for instance animals. Vilhelm is going to take part in his first slå katten af tønden (Danish Shrovetide custom of tilting at a barrel). He will be dressed up as Kaj - the frog from Kaj and Andrea. He didn't want to wear a frog suit though (can't blame him!), so he settled for a Kaj mask made out of paper :-)


2/07/2002

Venture Cup Oresund is entering the second round of the competition where the participants develop an entire business plan based on their idea. The round is open for anyone, whether you have participated in the first phase or not. Please sign up for the competition on Venture Cup Oresund web-site http://www.oresund.venturecup.org/sw238.asp and read more about the competition procedure and guidelines at http://www.oresund.venturecup.org/sw230.asp. Both my colleague at the law firm, Benjamin Lundstroem, and I are on the jury. Great fun - but very time consuming - to read all these business plan. Some of them are very good, some are average and some total crap!


I just came home after a nice evening at Kai Café og Spisested together with organizers and jury members from Big Brother Awards 2001 . I am sorry to say that I was very little active meber of the jury due to heavy workload from trying to finish my contribution the second edition the textbook Internetjura (Internet law) that I'm co-authoring (more about this later). Nevertheless, the award was a success especially considering that all involved are people with an otherwise busy schedule. Tonight, all agreed on continuing the work and to repeat the event next year. I participate in this event because protecting privacy is a worthy cause and should concern us all. Also, my fellow jury members are interesting people to learn from. Present tonight were Per Helge Sørensen, author and co-founder of Digital Rights; Anders Kjærulff Christensen, journalist at Danish Broadcast Corporation; Peter Christensen, Privatliv.net og CNDo.dk; Stephan Engberg, founder of Open Business Innovation ; Jesper Svarre, Privatliv.net og Prosa and Birgitte Kofod Olsen, the Danish Centre for Human Rights.

Funny reminiscence thread at Reboot of the early days at Araneum. In December 1996, Araneum was featured in a Wired Mag. Dream job article. Alexander Aghassipour and I were founders back in 1995 of Araneum - one of the first webagencies in Denmark - that merged 1. January 2000 with Netbureauet into today's Araneum.


New tenants at Fabrikmestervej 10 at Holmen (the old naval station in Copenhagen): Arkena A/S who delivers a wide range of streaming and webcasting solutions. Mastering A/V-content for the internet, hosting, standard- and customized integration with existing websites, LIVE webcasts, Conference broadcasting and much more. Arkena has survived in an industry that has seen many casualties the last 18 months - also here in Denmark. But Arkena is still here and looking good. In fact, I know some of the guys that founded Arkena (previously MM Streaming) from First Tuesday Denmark and because one of them applied for a job at Araneum when I was the CEO back in 1996-1997. Lucky Arkena that Araneum did not hire him :-)

2/06/2002

The Association of Computing Machinery (ACM) presents The Twelfth Conference on Computers, Freedom & Privacy (CFP2002) April 16-19, 2002 in San Francisco. Among the speakers: -John Perry Barlow, Co-Chair EFF; Bruce Sterling, Author, Zeitgeist & Hacker Crackdown and Ed Felten, Professor, Princeton Univ., plaintiff in Felten v. RIAA. I just wish I had the chance to go there!
Not everyone did fully enjoy the Danish eCommerce awards 2002 today. Thomas Madsen-Mygdal did not find anything else than consumerism and "300 white males in SUITS". I say that he is right with regards to this observation but that it is extremely valuable these days that the business community still finds value in the web and that the mood among the suits shifts to optimism again. Thomas, it is easier to be a social entrepreneur - and especially getting funded - in an optimistic however commercial environment.



Today, the Danish e-handelsprisen 2002 (eCommerce awards 2002) ceremony took places. Check out the worthy winners here. Unfortunately, I did not participate in the event though I had my ticket ready. By mistake, I had scheduled it in my calendar for this Friday instead of today, and I just discovered the error two hours after the event had started :-)


Congratulations to the Danish IT Industry Association (ITB) who coordinated the very successful - I hear from people who were there - event and to the Danish eBusiness Association who were among the sponsors.

Just received a complimentary copy of Informationsmisbrug - En analyse af de centrale bestemmelser i børsrettens informationsregime (Abuse of Information - an analysis of the core provisions in the information regime of the Danish securities regulation) - the doctoral dissertation by Jesper Lau Hansen successfully defended at Copenhagen University in June 2001. This is very interesting stuff - groundbreaking research in Danish securities regulation - in particular because of the heavy use in the book of economic analysis and corporate finance. Jesper is a leading authority here in Denmark on company law and securities regulation.

2/05/2002



Busy day coming up. This morning I am attending a board meeting at Cafe Ketchup. This chain of cafes and restaurants are among my last off-line (non IT-related that is) clients at the law firm. I was brought into the board by Torben Olsen - a long time friend - who together with his family owns several brand name cafes and restaurants in Copenhagen. The owners of Cafe Ketchup - among them Peter Asschenfeldt - a Danish publisher and media mogul - have exciting plans of rolling out a lot of cafes in Northern Europe as part of a franchise concept. I really enjoy participating in ventures with growth plans - even though consolidation is the name of the game these post dotcom bust days.



Visit the Winebrokers web-site. Not the most pretty web-site, but Jacob Tornbjerg and Stefan Jensen sell excellent Italian wine at very competitive prices.

Wonderful! Amazon.co.uk has just shipped a whole load of books that I have ordered:


"The Gold Bug Variations" by Richard Powers; "Prisoner's Dilemma" by Richard Powers; "Viruses Revealed" by David Harley, et al; "V" by Thomas Pynchon; "Mason & Dixon" by Thomas Pynchon; "The Cash Nexus: Money and Power in the Modern World" by Niall Ferguson; "Nonzero: the Logic of Human Destiny" by Robert Wright; "The Wealth and Poverty of Nations" by David Landes; "Toward Rational Exuberance: The Evolution of the Modern Stock Market" by B. Mark Smith; "The Future of Ideas: The Fate of the Commons in a Connected World" by Lawrence Lessig; "The Big U" by Neal Stephenson; "Carnage and Culture: Landmark Battles in the Rise of Western Power" by Victor Davis Hanson; "The Open Society and Its Enemies: Volume 1: The Spell of Plato" by Karl R. Popper; "The Open Society and Its Enemies: Volume 2: The High Tide of Prophecy: Hegel, Marx and the Aftermath" by Karl R. Popper; "The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism" by Max Weber; "Plowing the Dark" by Richard Powers; "The Power of Gold" by Peter L. Bernstein; "Secrets and Lies" by Bruce Schneier; "Zeitgeist" by Bruce Sterling; "Intimacy" by Hanif Kureishi; "The Cathedral & the Bazaar" ny Eric Raymond; "The Dream Machine: J.C.R. Licklider and the Revolution That Made Computing Personal" by M. Mitchell Waldrop; "Virtue of Prosperity : Finding Values in an Age of Techno-Affluence" by Dinesh D'Souza; "Emergence" by Steven Johnson; "The Ambient Century" by Mark Prendergast; "Afterburn" by Colin Harrison; "Manhattan Nocturne" by Colin Harrison; "The Ontology of Cyberspace : Philosophy, Law, and the Future of Intellectual Property" by David R. Koepsell; "The Pied Pipers of Wall Street: How Analysts Sell You Down the River" by Benjamin M. Cole; "Power of Spirit : How Organizations Transform" by Harrison Owen; "Open Society : Reforming Global Capitalism" by George Soros; "The Great Disruption" by Francis Fukuyama; "Go to: Software Superheroes, from Fortran to the Internet Age" by Steve Lohr and "Glenn Gould - The Goldberg Variations" DVD.


Don't worry: This is my first Amazon extravaganza in more than 12 months. But don't tell Jeanne. She hates that I buy books that I will never get around to read.

One of my close friends from way back in high school - Charlotte Fischer - is a politician with The Danish Social-Liberal Party. She is quoted in the 1-7. February 2002 edition of the Danish weekly Weekendavisen as saying: "We (the Danish Social-Liberal Party) want to become Denmark's international party". These are courageous words in a political debate where left and right of the old political spectrum is promoting xenophobia, nationalism and anti-globalism. I wish (Char)Lotte had been elected for the Danish Parliament in the November 2001 election. She obtained a majority of personal votes in her constituency. Unfortunately, due to a purely technical error from her own party officials the runner-up got her seat in the parliament and the runner-up did not have the decency to give up voluntarily his seat to Lotte.
This afternoon I will participate in the second board meeting of the newly reinvigorated Danish Entrepreneur Association. My law firm is one of the founding sponsors. Being an entrepreneur in Denmark is in many ways a paradoxical undertaking. On one side the Danish welfare system puts a nice big and safe cushion around the entrepreneur should he fail. On the other side the tax system leaves little financial incentive to break out of the wage earner / employee circle. By the end of the day most Danish entrepreneurs - like entrepreneurs of other nationalities - are often driven by other more soft incentives than prospects of financial gain. Thomas Madsen-Mygdal will tell you more about the social entrepreneur. The primus motor behind the Danish Entrepreneur Association is Nicolai Seest - a First Tuesday Copenhagen alumni.
Vilhelm - my son - is now 2 years and 2 months. He wants to do the same things that his daddy does. For better or worse. Look what he had found the other day.






Visit /* infosec legal comment*/. The web-site is maintained by William Reilly who is a GIAC-certified network security attorney based in California. Bill is a good friend of mine from the days when he lived in Copenhagen. Now he works at a San Francisco based law firm where he practises Internet law. He is frequently in Denmark for business. Sometime during end of February - beginning of March 2002 he will talk on topics related cybercrimes and hacker activities at a Danish eBusiness Association event. To be alerted, sign up for the Danish eBusiness Association electronic newsletter (in Danish).

2/04/2002

Yesterday, I attended the inauguration of LEFIC. LEFIC stands for Center for Law, Economics & Financial Institutions at Copenhagen Business School. My good friend Henrik Lando is on the executive committee. I am networking on the advisory board. Interdisciplinary research is fun because you meet smart people who will challenge your thinking from a totally different angle than that you may be used to. Best wishes to Henrik and his co-founders.
Welcome aboard! This is an experiment. How much information about my doings do I want to give away? Does anybody care? Will anybody read the stuff? Is this just blatant egocentricity?