April 2008 Quick Links

By Eric Goldman

Anti-Gaming

* Even though Ticketmaster won its lawsuit, Minnesota overreacted to the Hannah Montana ticket crush by banning software to circumvent an online ticket allocation process. See Sec. 609.806. Check out the hyperbole in this press release! What’s next? Are legislators going to make SEO a crime?

* Google modified its relevancy algorithm 450 times in 2007. And yet courts still cite to Brookfield for how search engines operate!

* The UK cracks down on shill marketing online. ClickZ: “Under the new [UK] Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading regulations, it will be illegal to “Falsely claim or create the impression that the trader is not acting for purposes relating to his/her trade, business, craft or profession,” or to “falsely represent oneself as a consumer.”” See also AdAge.

IP

* Speaking of SEO….the latest pathetic attempt to grab a generic term and trademark it? “SEO.” Sarah Bird is on the job.

* Do student notes of a professor’s lecture constitute copyright infringement? We may find out.

* Atlantic v. Howell. More on the “making available” theory of copyright infringement.

* Sarah Bird on registering copyrights in websites and blogs.

* A for-profit T-shirt listing the names of deceased Iraq soldiers sparks a publicity rights lawsuit.

General

* Bowen v. YouTube, Inc., 2008 WL 1757578 (W.D. Wash. April 15, 2008). The court upheld the forum selection clause in YouTube’s user agreement.

* eBay is ending its promotion of third party live auctions. Maybe because of this loss?

* Rebecca blogs on SuccessFactors, Inc. v. Softscape, Inc., 2008 WL 906420 (N.D. Cal.), an odd case involving the Computer Fraud & Abuse Act and an “attack PowerPoint” allegedly sent by a competitor to its prospective customers.

* Kate Kaye writes about the new Internet industry lobby group, the “State Privacy and Security Coalition,” designed to fight laws like the Utah Trademark Protection Act.

* Kevin Werbach, The Centripetal Network: How the Internet Holds Itself Together, and the Forces Tearing it Apart, UC Davis Law Review, Forthcoming. An interesting paper applying “network formation” theory to show how the Internet came together as a unified network and how those unifying forces are under constant stress.

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