April 2007 Quick Links
By Eric Goldman
* Claria has taken its PersonalWeb tool out of beta. This tool creates a personalized navigation page for consumers by inferring their preferences rather than requiring them to proactively customize the personalization, which only 10% of users did.
* From BusinessWeek: To capture interest in a hot story, media entities buy keywords like “Virginia Tech massacre” immediately following tragedies.
* MailChannels’ technology deliberately introduces latency into its server’s handshakes, effectively creating a slow lane for spammers.
* Latest evidence that consumers don’t always want to have their say: less than 0.2% of visits to YouTube and Flickr are for the purpose of uploading content.
* Todd J. Hollis’ lawsuit against dontdatehimgirl.com has been dismissed for lack of jurisdiction. Unfortunately, the court deliberately sidestepped the 47 USC 230 issue, which would have been a simple way to clear the docket permanently.
* BusinessWeek article on how dictionary-makers are struggling to sort through the proliferation of new well-known words via the web.
* A historian raises some quality concerns about Google’s book scanning efforts. I think the metadata issue is particularly serious, as many people will expect Google’s metadata to be accurate and will cite it accordingly. HT Rebecca.
* New York councilman wants to ban “menu spam.”
* Thyroff v. Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co., No. 41, 2007 N.Y. LEXIS 264 (N.Y. Mar. 22, 2007), holding that electronic records are protected by a state law against “conversion.” This is certainly consistent with some precedent, such as Kremen v. Cohen, 325 F.3d 1035 (9th Cir. 2003) saying that domain names can be converted, but this broad holding seems plainly wrong. With respect to copyrightable electronic records, federal copyright law should preempt state anti-conversion laws. What am I missing?
* Some items that made me laugh this month:
- Dilbert on crowded trademark namespaces
- Comedy Central has the amazing story of My-T-Boy, the cute branded character who lapsed into the public domain
- Marge Simpson googles herself and doesn’t like what she sees from the satellite image of her home. Very funny!