October 2010 Quick Links

By Eric Goldman


* Greg Sandoval discusses copyright trolls with Cindy Cohn. You may recall I had an “interview” with Cindy as a guest lecture in my Internet Law course. And a belated congratulations to Cindy for her recognition by the CA State Bar IP Section. BTW, have you considered supporting the EFF financially? I do, because I sleep better at night knowing Cindy and her colleagues are on the beat looking out for our interests.

* Triton Media settles with movie studios for providing too much support to pirate movie websites.

* Did you know that California has a law (Educ. Code 66450-66452) prohibiting the commercialization of class notes from academic courses? It raises interesting First Amendment, copyright preemption and 47 USC 230 issues.


* The initial interest confusion doctrine appears to be infecting EU trademark law.

* Reuters reports on buying counterfeit goods from China over the Internet.

* News.com: Trademark issues on Etsy.

* DSPT v. Nahum (9th Cir. Oct 27 2010). “Even if a domain name was put up innocently and used properly for years, a person is liable under 15 U.S.C. § 1125(d) if he subsequently uses the domain name with a bad faith intent to profit from the protected mark by holding the domain name for ransom. The evidence sufficiently supported the jury’s verdict that Nahum did so, causing $152,000 in damages to DSPT.”

* Hearts on Fire v. Blue Nile settled in January. Prior blog post.

* WaPo on universities cracking down on high school teams copying the university’s logos.

* An interview with Google’s chief trademark counsel Terri Chen.

Content Regulation

* Lichter v. Martin, 2010 WL 3913601 (Cal. App. Ct. Oct. 7, 2010). Blog post protected by anti-SLAPP laws.

* Eoin O’Dell discusses secondary online defamation liability in Ireland. The post illustrates why we should be grateful for 47 USC 230.

* Kash Hill reports on a professor who got busted for possessing child porn, some of which allegedly was collected for an academic research project.

* The Register published an important and thought-provoking article on restitution in child porn cases.

* Doe v. Shurtleff (10th Cir.). Utah law requiring sex offenders to turn over their usernames to the government survives First Amendment challenge.

Consumer Protection

* NYT: “Under the deal with the French Competition Authority, Google agreed to adopt conditions, including a three-month notification period, when it rejected some ads from appearing next to its search results in France. The specific conditions apply only in France, and concern only ads for tools aimed at helping drivers avoid speeding tickets.” Search Engine Land has more.

* Target avoids class certification in lawsuit over its website’s allegedly inaccurate but obscurely presented references to “Made in the US.” Rebecca’s coverage.

* PA Bar Opinion: “It is the opinion of the Pennsylvania Bar Association Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee that the offering or providing [in Pennsylvania] of legal document preparation services as described herein (beyond the supply of preprinted forms selected by the consumer not the legal document preparation service), either online or at a site in Pennsylvania is the unauthorized practice of law and thus prohibited, unless such services are provided by a person who is duly licensed to practice law in Pennsylvania retained directly for the subject of the legal services.”

* Rebecca on the Ewert v. eBay class certification.

* The Supreme Court denied cert in Tricome v. eBay, Inc., 2010 WL 3525737 (U.S. Nov. 1, 2010)


* Streaming video version of Alex Macgillivray’s lecture at SCU from a month ago.

* Mike Godwin has left his role as Wikimedia’s GC.

* Virtual world enthusiast Greg Lastowka has posted his new book Virtual Justice under a CC license.

* Pelican Trading Inc. v. Proskauer Rose LLP, 2010 WL 3905750 (D. Nev. Sept. 28, 2010). A law firm’s blog post about a Nevada law did not help confer jurisdiction in Nevada.

* School district settles spy webcam case. Surprise! Lawyer gets 70% of the money.