Seems like North Korea's government doesn't even have enough money to pay for
Boingboing posted an item
about a North Korea tourism promotion video on the [North] Korean Friendship Association's
website. The NFA works for the understanding of the North Korean culture and
fully cooperates with the Committee For Cultural Relations with Foreign
Countries in Pyongyang. Boingboing has hundreds of thousands of readers, so the
pointer caused an unprecedented spike in traffic to the KFA's website.
An hour later the video was replaced and clicking on the link to the video led
to the following message:
"Due to some inconsiderate people linking directly to our multimedia we were
forced to take the content offline since it generated too much traffic. This
kind of careless linking to high-profile sites is typical of the internet where
people no longer respect that such links could make free content less available.
We will never charge money to pay for the bandwidth, so if people are going to
expect high-quality content they should make their own copy of the large file
and share it from their own server."
The message was replaced some time later by the following:
"Access to the requested object was denied. We are sorry we had to take this
popular movie offline, to conserve bandwidth. Some websites that exist only for
pointing fingers and people's amusement, and not to explore culture, has
recently begun to link directly to this file and other large multimedia files.
This resulted in poor quality of our normal services. We encourage people to
share files on the internet to conserve resources, and we are considering
expanding our selection of free multimedia content (Flash, MP3 and MPG/ASX/ASF)
to make as much as possible available to as many as possible so that they may
learn about our culture. The logical course of action is to use P2P technology
such as found in the Bit-Torrent system. We will announce when the use of such
system is available. In the mean time, we have to restrict access to some areas.
Please check back in one week. Thank you for your attention and letters of
Telecommunications (BT) claimed it owns a patent to hyperlinks, which it filed
back in 1976 and was granted in 1989. BT demanded from several Internet service
providers that they pay licensing fees on hyperlinks. In, what BT called a test
case, Prodigy, the oldest online access service, was sued. An initial ruling by a New York federal judge in March 2002 carefully
analyzed the technological claims in British Telecom's patent. On August 22,
judge Colleen McMahon ruled that ISPs did not infringe the patent filed by BT.
September 10, 2002: Richardson,
case 'not on priority list' - BT CEO, The Register: "The head of BT is waiting to hear back from lawyers in the US before deciding his next move concerning the telco's claim to own hyperlinks."
Telecom's 'hyperlink' patent action, Legal500.com: "There has been a great deal of media interest in British Telecom's US patent infringement case against the ISP, Prodigy. A recent court decision on the construction of the patent's claims probably leaves Prodigy in a more favourable position than BT."
March 15, 2002:
mulls adverse ruling over hyperlink patent, The Register: "BT's legal battle with US ISP Prodigy over the telco's claim that it owns the patent to hyperlinks received a knock yesterday, following an initial ruling by a US Federal Court."
March 14, 2002: Sandburg,
Ruling in Key Internet Case, Law.com: "In a case closely watched by intellectual property lawyers, a New York federal judge Wednesday issued an initial ruling that may undermine British Telecommunications Inc.'s claims that it owns rights to the use of Internet hyperlinking."
14, 2002: Delio, Michelle,
Linking Suit Dealt a Blow, Wired: "British Telecom had set out to prove in a U.S. federal court last month that it developed and holds a patent to the hyperlink technology used to whisk Web users from one site to
February 14, 2002: Delio, Michelle,
Over, BT: He Invented Links, Wired: "Nobody should be more outraged over British Telecom's claim that it owns the patent to hyperlinking than Bob Bemer, who believes he may be the world's oldest, living computer
February 12, 2002: Delio, Michelle,
This Link Patent Case Is Weak, Wired: "It may be a long time before British Telecom knows whether it lucked out or lost big in the legal sweepstakes. But even if it wins its court battle, experts said the British telephone company has already lost the war."
February 12, 2002:
gehören uns, Netzzeitung.de: "Patente auf Internet-Basistechnologien sind umstritten. Doch dieser Fall gilt als besonders absurd: Die British Telecom meint, anno 1976 den Hyperlink erfunden zu haben - und klagt nun bei Providern auf Lizenzgebühren."
February 11, 2002: Delio, Michelle,
Dubious About Link Patent, Wired: "The British telephone company had set out to prove in a U.S. federal court Monday that the company developed and holds a patent to the hyperlink technology used to whisk Web users from one site to
February 7, 2002:
Patent Goes to Court, Wired: "It may sound far-fetched, but a U.S. federal court will hear preliminary arguments next week to determine if this most elemental of Internet activities is the business property of a lone company, protected in the form of a patent."
February 7, 2002: Warner, Bernhard, Auchard, Eric,
in Fight to Establish Web Surfing Patent, techTV: "Imagine if one company held the right to collect a fee each time an Internet user clicked on a website link and jumped to another
23, 2001: Loney, Matt,
set for BT hyperlink case, ZDNet: "BT has been given a date for its lawsuit, in which it claims ownership of the patent for hyperlinks - the basic building blocks of the Web."
14, 2000: Richardson, Tim,
launches US hyperlinks legal action, The Register: "BT - which owns the patent to hypertext links - has begun its legal fight to claim back millions of dollars in licensing revenue from US
auf Hyperlinks zweifelhaft, Heise: "Laut dem New Scientist dürfte das von der British Telecom (BT) 1976 eingereichte Patent auf Hyperlinks nicht mehr lange Bestand haben."
19, 2000: Richardson, Tim:
claims ownership of hyperlinks, The Register: "British Telecommunications (BT) claims it owns the patent to hyperlinks and wants ISPs in the US to cough up hard cash for the privilege of using them."
In 2002 British Telecom (BT) lost its legal challenge
against Prodigy to charge US ISPs a fee for using hyperlinks. A court ruled that
ISPs do not infringe a patent filled by BT more than 25 years ago. BT had
asserted that the U.S.
patent 4,873,662 covers hyperlinks (Also see a compilation
of articles for further information on the case).
Now SBC Communications claims that it owns the right to
links that stay visible on the page during navigation. SBC sent an e-mail to the
site www.museumtour.com demanding a licence fee. If the claim would be valid,
SBC could demand fees from every company that puts links in frames.
January 31, 2003: Orlowski, Andrew,
torpedoes SBC web patent, The Register: "In regards to your article on SBC Communications attempting to enforce their patents on frame presentations, I can assure you there most definitely IS prior art."
January 30, 2003: Koerner, Brendan,
You Patent Common Features of the Internet?, Slate: "Telcom giant SBC is sending cease-and-desist letters to hundreds of Web site operators, accusing them of infringing on an SBC patent covering "frames," those stationary menus that innumerable Web sites employ to help users navigate
January 29, 2003: Gillmor, Dan,
patent claim on Web navigation is way off course, Mercury News: "There was widespread satisfaction in the Internet community last summer when a federal judge tossed out an outrageous claim by British Telecom that it had a patent on hyperlinks, the clickable words and pictures on Web pages that take you to other pages on the Net. BT's ``invention'' was neither new nor original."
January 21, 2003: Bowman, Lisa,
stakes claim on Web frames patent, CNet: "SBC Communications is claiming a wide-ranging patent on Web frames that could affect hundreds of sites that use the technology."
January 21, 2003: Goodwins, Rupert,
company claims millions over site-nave patent, ZDNet Australia: "Every Web site that uses a common form of site navigation could be hit for thousands or millions of dollars in licence fees, claims a US company holding a patent on the
On March 25, 2003, Mark Maughan,
a certified public accountant with the Brown & Maughan firm, googled his
name and found some "alarming, false, misleading and injurious
results" about himself and his firm. Specifically, he alleges that the
search results falsely represent that plaintiffs Maughan and/or Brown &
Maughan have e.g. been disciplined for gross negligence. The plaintiff's
attorney, John A. Girardi, claims that the error was created because of Google's
PageRank algorithm. His argument seems to be based around the idea that Google
provides "snippets" of text from a website when it creates its search
engine results listings. In his view PageRank "reformats information
obtained from accurate sources, resulting in changing of the context in which
information is presented." To better illustrate this case, consider another
example. My website features articles about several lawsuits. In some of them
Playboy was the plaintiff. If someone searches for my name "Stephan
Ott", it is possible that Google would list my website with the text
snippets: "Stephan Ott ... Playboy .... illegally published copyrighted
materials". Would any search engine user believe I'm a playboy that offers
illegal material? Without clicking on the link to my website, I doubt it, but
Mark Maughan doesn't. His lawsuit seeks an injunction to force Google to
discontinue use of the PageRank system as well as requesting unspecified
monetary damages. Yahoo! and AOL-Time Warner were also listed as co-defendants.
Well, someone better tell the plaintiff that the PageRank algorithm only is one
factor that determines on which position a website is listed within the search
results (see Technical
Background: Search Engines).
March 22: Google
Sued Over PageRank, webpronews:
"A man in Southern California is irate over the results of
“Googling” his name. Mark Maughan, certified public accountant of the
Brown & Maughan firm, believes the search results for “Mark Maughan”
contained “alarming, false, misleading and injurious results.”
March 19, 2004: Accountant
"Googles" Himself, Sues for Libel, NBC 4:
"A South Bay accountant who said an Internet search engine returned
"alarming" information about him and his firm sued Google, AOL,
Time Warner and Yahoo! Friday for libel."
Here is what you have to do: Go to
main page and type in "MISERABLE FAILURE". The search engine will
direct you to the biography of the president on the White House website. Try and
The trick is possible because Google searches more than just the contents of web
pages - it also counts how often a site is linked to, and with what words. Thus, members of an online community can affect the results of Google searches -
called "Google bombing" - by linking their sites to a chosen one.
December 7, 2003: "Miserbale
failure" links to Bush, BBC:
"George W Bush has been Google bombed: Web users entering the words
"miserable failure" into the popular search engine are directed to
the biography of the president on the White House website."
December 6, 2003: Google
überrascht bei der Suche nach erbärmlichen Versagern, Heise:
"Die Eingabe der Formulierung "miserable failure", die im
Deutschen die Bedeutung "erbärmlicher Versager" hat, bringt bei
der Suchmaschine Google Erstaunliches zutage. Auf Platz eins findet sich die
Biografie des amtierenden US-Präsidenten, George W. Bush."
Adam Mathes first used a bomb to ensure that whenever anyone typed the phrase
"talentless hack" into Google they got the site of his friend Andy
In its effort to control the flow of
information, the Chinese government blocked access to the Internet search engine
Google in September 2002, because it could bring up links to e.g. pornography or
content associated with the banned spiritual movement Falun Gong. Typing in
Google's address produced an error message, as if the page did not exist. After
some days users were routed to an array of other search engines in China.
Chinese users were also blocked from
using AltaVista's search engine, but not from Yahoo. Yahoo's China-based
affiliate had agreed to voluntarily block access to certain sites to comply with
Google is accessible in China again at
September 14, 2002: Kahn, Joseph,
Seems to Refine Bid to Restrict Web Access, New York Times: "China apparently has refined efforts to block access to popular United States-based Internet search engines, again allowing access to Google but selectively blocking access to specific content; continues to block access to Altavista; users can find references on Google to banned spiritual movement Falun Gong and other censored topics, but efforts to call up references fail and can cause Internet browser to fail."
September 12, 2002: Kahn, Joseph,
Toughens Obstacles to Internet Searches, New York Times: "China is conducting unusually strong campaign to funnel Chinese Internet traffic away from United States-based search engine Google and onto sites government deems friendly and safe."
September 9, 2002: Olsen, Stefanie,
blocks search engine AltaVista, CNet: "The Chinese government has blocked access to search engine AltaVista as part of its campaign to prevent citizens from accessing material deemed unsuitable and threatening to the ruling Communist Party."
September 6, 2002: Knight, Will,
mirror beats Great Firewall of China, NewScientist.com: "China's widely criticised blocking of the web's most popular search engine Google can be defeated by viewing a strange Google mirror site through a mirror, New Scientist has discovered."
September 3, 2002: Lyman, Jay,
Responds to China Ban, Newsfactor: "Google could not provide the number of Chinese users of its search engine, but said in a statement it is working on restoring service to "millions of Chinese users."
August 13, 2002: Hu, Jim,
yields to Chinese Web laws, CNet: "Yahoo on Tuesday defended its decision to sign off on voluntary content limitations in China, a move that critics say opens the door to online censorship by the Web portal."
August 9, 2002:
Risks Abusing Rights in China, Human Rights News: "Yahoo! Inc. risks complicity in rights abuses if it remains a signatory to China's "Public Pledge on Self-discipline for the Chinese Internet Industry," Human Rights Watch said today."
Dynamic Internet Technology, a
research firm striving to defeat online censorship, conducted tests that found
Google omits results from the government-banned sites if search requests are
made through computers connecting to the Internet in China. Google presumably is
cooperating with the Chinese government's censorship efforts to smooth the way
for expansion plans in Asia.
The Chinese government lashed
out at Google two years ago when it temporarily blocked access to the company's
main search engine before relenting under public pressure.
September 25, 2004, Google
Bows to Chinese Censorship, Wired:
Google's recently launched news service in China doesn't display results
from websites blocked by that country's authorities, raising prickly
questions for an online search engine that has famously promised to "do
September 21, 2004, Google
omits controversial news stories in China, NewScientist.com:
The internet's most popular search engine Google has been accused of
supporting Chinese internet controls by omitting contentious news stories
from search results in China."
A proposed bill to ban Internet gambling would have required Internet Service Provider to remove hyperlinks to Websites that offer
gambling. The bill did not pass in the Senate.
October 23, 2002:
Bill fails to pass in Senate, Casino News: "As was widely predicted, H.R.556 – the “Leach Bill”, which would have effectively outlawed Internet gambling within the US – has failed to pass in the US Senate."
October 1, 2002: Batt, Tony,
House vote one hurdle for
Internet gaming ban, Las Vegas Review-Journal: "As the House prepares to vote today on legislation to ban Internet gambling, a South Dakota senator has introduced similar legislation in the Senate."
National Association of Recording Merchandisers (NARM) filed a lawsuit against
Sony Music and Sony Corp. of America in the U.S. District Court for the District
of Columbia. NARM accused Sony, inter alia, to illegally
steer customers to its online stores by including hyperlinks on music compact
discs. In November 2001 NARM withdraw its lawsuit.
"The NARM Board of Directors has voted to withdraw its pending lawsuit against Sony Music over the use of hyperlinks on CDs that
direct retail customers to label controlled sites. In the nearly two years since the litigation initially was filed, the landscape and the facts surrounding digital distribution of music have changed
3, 2000: Rosencrance, Linda,
retailers: Sony promotions amount to antitrust, CNN: "A national music retailing association has filed a lawsuit against Sony Corporation of America, alleging that the company is illegally forcing retailers to direct their customers to Sony's online stores, where they can purchase CDs."
1, 2000: News, Bloomberg,
Music Unit Sued Over Customer Steering, New York Times: "Sony Music Entertainment was sued by retailers who say the company illegally steers customers to its online stores by including hyperlinks on music compact
Sue Sony, Wired: "Sony Music Entertainment, one of the world's biggest music companies, forces record stores to sell CDs that drive consumers to Sony's online stores, a group representing music retailers alleged in a lawsuit on
31, 2000: Macavinta, Courtney,
retailers charge Sony with unfair competition, CNet: "A retail industry group is suing Sony Music Entertainment, alleging that the company is strong-arming retailers to point their customers toward its online
ASCAP demanded a fee from
Travelfinder for linking to other musical sites.
July 1, 1999: Sprenger, Polly,
Licenser Shakes Down Web, Wired: "ASCAP, an organization that collects licensing fees for musical performances, is asking webmasters to pay for the right to link to online music, even if it is stored on another
to a court decision in the Middle District of Tennessee, the publisher of the
online newspaper Putnam Pit has no first amendment right to force the government
of Cookeville to link from the city’s Website to his own.
Prior to the request from Putnam Pit, the city had not refused a link to others
who had wanted one. Putnam Pit had alleged viewpoint discrimination, because the
denial was based on the controversial content of the Putnam Pit website, which
is critical on city politics in Cookeville.
States Court of Appeals for the Sixth District reversed and remanded the
decision with respect to the First Amendment claim concerning the city’s Website.
Putnam Pit was once again denied a link by a October 15, 20001 jury
verdict. Putnam Pit appealed the decision.
A federal district judge issued a permanent injunction
preventing enforcement of a Georgia law (HB 1630) which criminalized online
anonymous speech and the use of trademarked logos as links on the World Wide
Web. The Court agreed with the ACLU, Electronic Frontiers Georgia and others
that the statute is unconstitutionally vague and overbroad.
19, 1996: Mendels, Pamela,
Fights Georgia Internet Fraud Law, The New York Times: "A new Georgia law that seeks to prevent people from misrepresenting themselves on line is coming under fire from civil libertarians and others who argue that it could severely curtail free speech in
1, 1996: Kuester, Jeffrey,
in Town: "On July 1, Georgia becomes the first state to criminalize explicitly the use of certain Internet e-mail addresses, domain names, and Web pages. According to critics, HB1630--dubbed the "Internet Police" law--criminalizes the use of an e-mail address that includes a name other than the name of the mailbox owner, as well as the use of domain names and hyperlinks on a Web page without first obtaining permission from the owner of any included trademark, trade name, logo, legal or official seal, or copyrighted
On March 9,
2002, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) removed a National
Prevention Information Network (NIPN) website link to the Coalition for Positive
Sexuality (CPS) website called positive.org, which offers information about
birth control, abortion and sexual orientation. Some groups demanded the website
link to positive.org to be restored.
13, 2002: Baim, Tracey,
is policing the sex police, Windy City Times: "The Coalition for Positive Sexuality (CPS), a grassroots, all-volunteer sexuality education organization, denounced the CDC's and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's decisions to remove links to CPS's sexuality education website,
9, 2002: McCullagh, Declan,
Sex Site Has Some Eyes Sore, Wired: "The staid folks at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have been caught in a political flap after they linked to a -- gasp! -- site that advocates a "positive attitude towards
There is not much information available about how China's
internet law deals with hyperlinks. Computer World Hongkonk reports a case
against ISP Soho: "The Court ducked the issue as to whether hyperlinks may
constitute copyright infringement by simply holding that no law in China
definitively provides that hyperlinks constitute copyright infringement."
Another articles mentiones the case Liu Jinsheng v Sohu Aitexin Infor-Tech
(Beijing) Co Ltd. The defendant was held liable for three hyperlinks to websites,
that contained an anauthorized translation of Don Quixote.
a reporter inquired about it, the State Department Website had provided a link
to a Republican National Committee Website despite federal laws prohibiting
government resources from being used for partisan purposes.
May 11, 2004: Suchmaschinen
in Deutschland bald nicht mehr jugendfrei, Heise:
"Wolfgang Schulz, Geschäftsführer des Hamburger
Hans-Bredow-Instituts, warf am gestrigen Montag auf einer Tagung der
Bertelsmann-Stiftung zum Thema "Suchmaschinen als Herausforderung für
die Medienpolitik" viele Fragen zur Regulierung von Suchmaschinen auf."
July 13, 2002: Suchmaschinen
sollen gemeinsame Filterliste erstellen, Heise:
"Das Mainzer Aufsichtsgremium jugendschutz.net,
eine gemeinsame Einrichtung der Jugendministerien der Länder, hat an
Betreiber von Suchdiensten eine "Verpflichtungserklärung" zum
Aufbau und Austausch einer schwarzen Liste für "unzulässige und
jugendgefährdende Adressen" und Keywords verschickt."
2005 Update: German Search Engines create a self-censorship-organisation
The German internet search engines Google.de, Lycos Europe, MSN Germany,
AOL Germany, Yahoo.de, T-Online and T-Info have joined forces to create
a self-censorship organisation under the
hood of the German FSM (the "Voluntary Self-Control for Multimedia
to systematically tackle the removal of links to web content banned by
German law. The
project especially aims at automating the filtering out of URLs on the
index of Germany's Federal Department for Media Harmful to Young Persons
Forbidden in Germany and restricting the freedom of speech are e.g.
child pornography, certain other types of pornography (like bestiality),
right wing extremist "hate" sites, incitement to commit crimes, race
discrimination, treasonable conduct as an agent for sabotage purposes or
glorification of violence.
There will be a centralized server containing a blacklist of banned
URLs. Germans will still be able to use the non-German editions of the
search engines, thus having access to the "censored" material, just as
they have now.
25, 2005, Search
engine providers practice self-regulation,
Heise: "In Berlin today the search engine providers Google, Lycos Europe,
MSN Deutschland, AOL Deutschland, Yahoo, T-Online and t-info
announced the creation of a self-regulatory organization under the
umbrella of the "Voluntary Self-Control for Multimedia Service
February 25, 2004: Krempl, Stefan,
Suchmaschinen filtern jugendgefährdende Angebote,
Telepolis: "Deutsche Suchmaschinenbetreiber geloben in einem Verhaltenskodex,
rund 1000 vom Bund indizierte Websites in einem Akt der
Selbstkontrolle nicht mehr anzuzeigen."
February 24, 2005:
Selbstzensur der Suchmaschinen - Schluss mit Porno,
Stern: "Eine Vereinbarung großer Suchmaschinenbetreiber in Deutschland
dürfte einigen Staub aufwirbeln: Künftig soll der Zugang zu
rechtsextremistischen oder pornografischen Webseiten deutlich
February 24, 2005:
Selbstregulierung der Suchmaschinenanbieter,
Heise: "Die Suchmaschinenanbieter Google, Lycos Europe, MSN Deutschland,
AOL Deutschland, Yahoo, T-Online und t-info haben heute in Berlin
die Gründung einer eigenen Selbstregulierungsorganisation unter dem
Dach der Freiwilligen Selbstkontrolle Multimedia-Diensteanbieter
Searches for "John
Kerry" on certain government agency websites (Department of Homeland
Security, Department of Health and Human Services) have provided links to
Republican websites, that criticise Kerry, as the top results in June 2004. Both
Departments pointed the finger at the government's official Web portal,
Firstgov.gov, which maintains their search engines. Firstgov.gov, for its part,
blamed the error on a technical glitch...
July 15, 2004: Kerry-Bashing
durch Regierungs-Suchmaschine, intern.de:
Der US-Regierung wird Suchmaschinen-Optimierung der besonderen Art
vorgeworfen. Die Suche auf den Seiten verschiedener Ministerien nach dem
Begriff "Kerry" soll parteipolitisch motivierte Ergebnisse
July 14, 2004:
Wolfe, Elizabeth, Gov't
Search Engines Link to Kerry Critics, AP:
Searching for "Kerry" on the Department of Homeland Security's Web
site Tuesday afternoon turned up an unexpected top hit: a Republican attack
on the Democratic presidential candidate.
According to the criminal
complaint, which was unsealed in San Jose in March 2004, Michael Bradley
attempted to defraud and extort money from Google by developing a software
program that automates fraudulent "clicks" on "cost-per-click"
advertisements utilized by Google. Bradley said he would sell the software
to spammers if Google did not pay him about $150,000. He was arrested in March
and unsuccessfully pled not guilty to the charges (extortion and wiretap fraud)
against him. A federal grand jury in San Jose returned an indictment at the end
of June 2004, charging him with one count of interfering with commerce by
threats and 10 counts of wire fraud.
June 25, 2004:
Cullen, Drew, Man
charged over Google blackmail attempt, The Register:
A California man who claimed to have software which automatically clicked on
Google cost-per-click ads has been charged with extortion and wiretap fraud.
June 25, 2004: Schuldspruch
für Google Erpresser, intern.de:
"Der Programmierer Michael Bradley der Google im März dieses Jahres
zur Zahlung einer größeren Geldsumme wollte, wurde von einem
Geschworenengericht wegen erpresserischer Handlungen und wegen Betrugs für
June 24, 2004, Man
indicted in Google fraud scheme, ZDNet:
A California man was arraigned on Thursday on federal extortion and wire
fraud charges arising from a software program he claimed could allow
spammers to defraud Web search company Google Inc. of millions of dollars,
federal prosecutors said.
Also see the Criminal
Complaint and the United States Attorney Northern
District of California Press
Release: Computer Programmer Arrested for Extortion and Mail Fraud Scheme
Targeting Google, Inc.
A consortium of advertisers
(led by Lane's Collectibles)
have filed a class action suit in Arkansas
against Yahoo, Google and 9 other search engines in February, accusing the
Search companies of over pricing ads and colluding to keep ad prices high.
The lawsuit also alleges that Internet search engine companies knowingly
charged for fraudulent clicks.
In the pay-per-click model that
Google and Yahoo use, advertisers pay each time a user "clicks through" on
an ad listed alongside search engine results. But the number of clicks with
ill intents is rising. A fraudulent clicker can rack up fees for a business
rival or try to generate ad revenue for himself. Last November Google filed
a suit against Auctions Expert International LLC for clicking on ads Google
supplied to the company's site.
Click fraud has become a growing
problem in the search industry. Google even said it is "the biggest threat
to the Internet economy." Google and Yahoo won't give a public estimate of
the number of bad clicks. Some people estimate that between 5% and 13% of
all clicks are fraudulent and for some key words on certain search engines
as many as 80% of clicks might be fraudulent. Google refunds advertisers for
"unusual clicks" and "invalid click activity".
Lan's filed the lawsuit February
4, 2005 and the defendants on March 30 asked that the case be moved from state
court to federal court.
April 5, 2005:
Google & Co. im Zusammenhang mit Klickbetrug verklagt, Heise: "In den USA sind insgesamt elf namhafte Internet-Firmen -- darunter
Google, Yahoo, AOL, Ask Jeeves, Lycos und Walt Disney Online -- wegen
angeblicher Unregelmäßigkeiten bei der Vermarktung von Online-Anzeigen
The 8th U.S.
Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis, Ark., has declined to overrule a federal
district judge's decision to send the case back to Miller County Circuit Court
in Texarkana, Ark., where it was originally filed According to the court the
class-action lawsuit by Lane's Gifts and Collectibles alleging ``click fraud''
by Google Inc. and other Internet companies should be heard in state court
rather than in a federal courtroom. The suit was filed before President Bush
signed legislation that funnels most class-action lawsuits to federal court.
An Arkansas judge approved a $90
million settlement between Google Inc. and advertisers who claimed the Internet
search engine company improperly billed them for clicks that didn't lead to
genuine customers seeking their products (Google charges advertisers a fee each
time a user clicks on an ad that is displayed on the search firm's website).
Google was accused of not doing enough to protect advertisers from "click fraud"
professor of information
systems at New York
assessed Google's click
fraud control mechanisms.
He came to the following
put much effort in
and processes for
detecting invalid clicks
since the Click Quality
team was established in
2003. These efforts were
not perfect since Google
missed certain amounts
of invalid clicks over
these years and it
adhered to the
for too long in my
opinion. However, click
fraud is a very
difficult problem to
solve, Google put a
significant effort to
solve it, and I find
their efforts to filter
out invalid clicks as
especially after the
doubleclick policy was
reversed in March 2005."
July 31, 2006:
Google settles click
fraud case for $90m,
payout over click
fraud has been
approved by a US
claimed that the
figure was not high
enough to cover
losses, but an
Arkansas judge has
thrown the objection
Early in 2004, NeoMedia
Technologies, Inc filed a patent infringement lawsuits against AirClic Inc. and
Scanbuy(TM), Inc. The lawsuit was dismissed in April 2004 by the United States
District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, for lack
of personal jurisdiction. An Illinois fedreal judge held that general
jurisdiction cannot be established exclusively on the basis of a Website’s
hyperlink to other sites that sell infringing products.
The websites of both
AirClic and Scanbury allow users to submit contact information and later receive
information about products and services. Scanbury's website also contained a
hyperlink to another company (AESI) that sold products that incorporated Scanbuy
software. AESI also sold software to Illinios residents. That was not enough to
establish general jurisdiction in Illinoi. The court found that Scanbuy's
website was more akin to an advertisement, simply trying to promote its business
by attracting new customers. If personal jurisidiction would simply be based on
Scanbuy's hyperlink to a website that is active in a forum, it would establish
as precedent that any website owner who hyperlinks to a website that conducts
business online would be susceptible to personal jurisdiction in every state and
district. “It is therefore inappropriate for the hyperlink factor to tip the
scales in favor of general jurisdiction in Illinois, when it would otherwise be
lacking based solely on Scanbuy’s website,” the judge said.
The court distinguished
this case from LFG, LCC v. Zapata Corp., 78 F. Supp.2d 731 (N.D. Ill 199), a
case in which a hyperlink was found to have created jurisdiction, by pointing
out that, unlike here, the LFG website was a highly interactive portal website
whose business it was to generate traffic to linked websites.
An Illinois appeals court held
that plaintiffs who purchased computers over the defendant's website were bound
to an arbitration clause contained in the "Terms and Conditions of Sale,” even
though they were not required to click on an “I agree” button specific to those
terms of sale. To make
their purchases, each of the plaintiffs completed online forms on five of the
defendant's Web pages. On each of the five Web pages, the defendant's "Terms
and Conditions of Sale" were accessible by clicking on a blue hyperlink.
According to the court "the
blue hyperlinks on the defendant's Web pages, constituting the five-step process
for ordering the computers, should be treated the same as a multipage written
paper contract. The blue hyperlink simply takes a person to another page of the
contract, similar to turning the page of a written paper contract. Although
there is no conspicuousness requirement, the hyperlink's contrasting blue type
makes it conspicuous. Common sense dictates that because the plaintiffs were
purchasing computers online, they were not novices when using computers. A
person using a computer quickly learns that more information is available by
clicking on a blue hyperlink."
JetBlue Airways Corp.
Plaintiffs brought this
action against JetBlueAirways Corporation for alleged violations of the
Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986 and violations of state and common
law. In their view defendants violated their privacy rights by unlawfully
transferring their personal information to Torch for use in a federally-funded
study on military base security. The defendant contended that the policy could
only be accessed and viewed by clicking on a seperate stand-alone link on the
bottom of a JetBlue Web page and was not a term of the contract of carriage. The
court rejected this argument, but did not discuss it in detail, because it found
that plaintiffs werde unable to plead or prove any actual contract damages.
There have been a
lot of lawsuits concerning
linking, framing and search
engine issues in the last years.
In this section you'll find
short introductions into the
different cases and links to
news articles about it.