Q3 2009 Quick Links, Part 3

By Eric Goldman


* AP v. All Headline News settles. My initial blog post. The settlement order.

* The Turnitin case has settled. My blog post on the district court ruling.

* Corbis Corp. v. Starr, No. 3:07CV3741 (N.D. Ohio Sept. 2, 2009).. Company that retained web developer could be liable for copyright infringing photos included in the developed website. David Johnson’s coverage.

* Creative Commons commissioned a study of what people think qualifies as “commercial” or “non-commercial” activity. While this is relevant to how CC drafts its various license flavors, these words also have significant import to many facets of the law, including copyright (such as the fair use test) and trademark (such as the definition of “use in commerce”). The executive summary:

Both creators and users generally consider uses that earn users money or involve online advertising to be commercial, while uses by organizations, by individuals, or for charitable purposes are less commercial but not decidedly noncommercial. Similarly, uses by for-profit companies are typically considered more commercial. Perceptions of the many use cases studied suggest that with the exception of uses that earn users money or involve advertising – at least until specific case scenarios are presented that disrupt those generalized views of commerciality – there is more uncertainty than clarity around whether specific uses of online content are commercial or noncommercial.


* Advocates for the blind sue Arizona State University for distributing electronic textbooks via the Kindle.

* Rebecca on the relationship between the Kindle 1984 debacle and the Google Book Search settlement. See also this Slate article.

Search Engines

* Train2Game v. Google, [2009] EWHC 1765 (QB): UK opinion that Google isn’t liable for its search results snippets.

* CEO Bartz said Yahoo was never a search company. What??? Danny Sullivan calls her out for her “revisionist history.”

* Greg Linden: Google AdWords Now Personalized.

* ThirdVoice redux: Google launches SideWiki. Let the legal games begin! (See, e.g., this BusinessWeek article). I’d be more worked up if Google had a more successful track record with non-search offerings, especially user-generated content projects. Lively, anyone?


* Some craziness in Maine, when the legislature tried to restrict marketing to kids. PUBLIC Law, Chapter 230 LD 1183, item 1, 124th Maine State Legislature. The Maine AG said she won’t enforce it, and subsequently the law was given a timeout so the Maine legislature can rethink the error of its ways.

* eBay is changing to a per-click model for paying affiliates, where the per-click amount is reset daily based on actual value delivered by the affiliate.

* Ethical Quandary: Faxed attorney newsletter doesn’t violate TCPA.