September 2008 Quick Links, Part 3

By Eric Goldman

eBay

* Universal Grading Service v. eBay, Inc. More fallout from the National Numismatic v. eBay case–another lawsuit alleging antitrust and defamation because eBay designated some coin rating services as preferred and impliedly devalued others.

* Windsor Auctions v. eBay has been refiled in a new jurisdiction.

* Mehmet v. Paypal, Inc., 2008 WL 3495541 (N.D. Cal. Aug. 12, 2008). Upholding the consequential damages waiver in PayPal’s user agreement.

* A company’s failure in the marketplace can drive up the value of its collectibles on eBay.

Google

* Stelor Productions, Inc. v. Google, Inc., 2008 WL 4218107 (S.D. Fla. Sept. 15, 2008). In the lawsuit alleging that Google causes reverse confusion of Googles.com [warning: annoying music ahead], the plaintiff doesn’t get to depose Sergey or Larry yet. Rose Hagan, Google’s long-time chief trademark counsel, is the lucky substitute.

* Lots of rhetoric in the Google/Yahoo ad syndication deal. Google’s advocacy website. Google Chief Economist Hal Varian explains why the deal won’t raise ad prices in the auction. Randall Stross weighs in.

* Google has changed course and now allows religious groups to advertise on the keyword “abortion.”

* Kubit v. Google Groups, 2:2008cv00738 (M.D. Fla. complaint filed Sept. 29, 2008):

I then would like to sue Google Groups for not removing the posts when I repeatedly asked them to for 2 years. I believe I am entitled to at least a small amount of compensation for the emotional distress and lost business income that has resulted from them allowing these posts to remain on their Google Groups, even though I offered them VERY solid proof that I do not have HIV. If they had stopped the posts when they first occurred, they would not have proliferated to hundreds of websites. I became suicidal for a period of time after the posts started. I incurred a lot of emotional pain and fear because of the posts and had to seek psychiatric and psychological help to get my life back together. I still suffer from fears of dating, living a public business life and trusting others.

Yes, this is a pro se complaint. Yes, it is preempted by 47 USC 230.

Marketing/Advertising

* NebuAd is dead (1, 2). Even so, the lure of intermediaries aggregating deep data about consumers for commercial purposes will never die.

* Is Gator/Claria dead?

* The EU passed a non-binding resolution against sexual stereotypes in advertising.

* Celebrity branded merchandise run amok.

Miscellaneous

* Valleywag: “The 5 most laughable terms of service on the Net.” For more laughs, see Mark Lemley’s Terms of Use paper.

* Murakowski v. University of Delaware, 2008 WL 4104087 (D. Del. Sept. 4, 2008). This reminded me a lot of the Jake Baker case from the mid-1990s.

* The Virginia Supreme Court reversed itself on the Jaynes anti-spam prosecution, and Jaynes walks. Does Virginia routinely pass unconstitutional laws?

* Becker v. Toca, 2008 WL 4443050 (E.D. La. Sept. 26, 2008). Ex-wife’s alleged delivery of “Infostealer” program to grab passwords from ex-husband could violate the ECPA, SCA and CFAA.

* Interesting article on ESPN’s exclusive distribution and bundling agreements with Internet access providers.

* Funniest law firm names.

* Silly? Horrifying? A sign of the apocalypse?

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