Update 33: September 25, 2005
1. Constitutional complaint against
German Heise Publishing House
will file a
constitutional complaint against a
by the Higher Regional Court in Munich (first-instance District Court decision
be found here). The court
had ruled that creating a link to another Web site which offers illegal software
for download, can lead to prosecution for complicity. The online news service
Heise may publish an article explaining anti-circumvention technology, but it
may not include a link in that article to a Web site where users may download
the software. The court did not agree with Heise's argumentation that their
article and the hyperlink were protected by laws for the freedom of the press.
There have been a lot of
lawsuits dealing with hyperlinks to illegal content worldwide, especially to
Mp3-music files, but it will be the first time that a national Constitutional Court will rule on
a "right to link".
September 15, 2005,
Verfassungsbeschwerde gegen Link-Verbot, Heise:
"Der Heise Zeitschriften Verlag hat wie angekündigt Verfassungsbeschwerde
gegen zwei Urteile von Münchener Gerichten eingelegt."
September 1, 2005,
Heise to file constitutional complaint against hyperlink ban, Heise:
"Heise Zeitschriften Verlag [Heise Publishing House] will file a constitutional
complaint against a decision by the Higher Regional Court (OLG) in Munich."
September 1, 2005,
legt Verfassungsbeschwerde gegen Link-Verbot ein, Heise:
"Der Heise Zeitschriften Verlag wird gegen ein Urteil des Oberlandesgerichts
(OLG) München Verfassungsbeschwerde einlegen."
September 1, 2005,
gegen Heise: Verlag zieht vor das Bundesverfassungsgericht, derStandar.at
"Gericht verbietet Link zu Software-Hersteller der ein Programm zur Umgehung von
2. The Realworld shut down!
The MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) has
forced German download Web portal "The Realworld" to shut down after intense
legal pressure. The site did not host any copyrighted files, but provided ed2k
links that can be used to find content on the eD2K network. “TRW is under legal
attack and forced offline for the time being,” says the site, that specialized
in TV episodes. The operator is now appealing for donations for “legal defence”.
3. Google and Geico resolve trademark lawsuit
Google Inc. has resolved a trademark infringement case
filed by Geico over Google's AdWords practices (for more information on the
here!). The terms of settlement remain confidential.
September 9, 2005:
Google and GEICO settle AdWords dispute, The Register:
"Google and car insurance firm GEICO have settled a trade mark dispute over
the search engine's sale of sponsored search terms "Geico" and "Geico Direct"."
4. GMail - The next legal
A Hamburg court temporarily ordered Google to change the
name of its Gmail product in Germany, after Google was sued by Giersch Ventures.
Now the product is called "Google Mail" in Germany, pending the outcome of that
trial (also see Update
30). Now Google is facing yet another GMail lawsuit, this
time in Great Britain: After 15 months of negotiations with Google, Independent
International Investment Research, who has been using the "G-Mail" name for its
Pronet subsidiary's Web-based e-mail product since May 2002, has been unable to
reach a settlement with Google on use of the trademark and may sue the search
September 12, 2005:
New legal threat to Google over GMail, Times Online
"Google, the internet search engine, is facing
a renewed threat of legal action from a company that claims to own the
intellectual property rights to its GMail e-mail service."
5. Lane's Gift and
Collectibles Click Fraud Lawsuit belongs in state court
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.
Baidu sued over free MP3-download links
As of September 2005, Baidu.com
is the fifth most visited site on the Internet and dominates the search engine
market in China. Baidu accounts for 37% of the Chinese search market, followed
by Google with 23% and Yahoo! Inc on 21%. Perhaps the most popular feature about
Baidu that Google does not support is the MP3 search. This is very similar with
the image search of Google, however, it searches for MP3/WMA/SWF files instead
of image files. The MP3 search is mainly used for Chinese Pop Music. Many
results lead to illegal copies of songs. This is the reason why Sony BMG Music
Entertainment, Warner Music Group Corp, EMI Group Plc and Universal Music Group
are suing Baidu.com Inc in the Beijing Intermediate Court for allowing free
downloads of their music.
As internet usage soared in Asia
in recent years, the music industry's revenue has fallen dramatically, largely
due to MP3 downloads from unauthorised sources.
September 16, 2005:
Five Music Companies Sue Baidu, Search Engine Watch
"Baidu sued over music downloads from the Hong, from the Hong Kong Standard,
reports that several large music companies are suing Chinese search engine
Baidu for allegedly making hundreds of songs easily accessible via their MP3
7. Authors Guild sues: Google Print a massive
The Authors Guild, which represents 8,000 authors
in the United States, has filed a class-action copyright infringement
lawsuit [PDF] against Google in the Southern District of New York because of
its Google Print program that makes books and other offline information
searchable online. Google has contracted with several public and university
libraries to create digital archives of the libraries' collections of books. The
suit alleges that by reproducing a copy of these works that are not in the
public domain, Google is engaging in massive copyright infringement.
“This is a plain and brazen violation of copyright
law,” said Authors Guild President Nick Taylor. “It’s not up to Google or anyone
other than the authors, the rightful owners of these copyrights, to decide
whether and how their works will be copied.”
first reaction, Google regrets "that this group chose to sue us over a
program that will make millions of books more discoverable to the world --
especially since any copyright holder can
exclude their books from the program." Google also did point out, that its
programm "doesn’t show even a single page to users who find copyrighted books
through this program (unless the copyright holder gives us permission to show
more). At most we show only a brief snippet of text where their search term
appears, along with basic bibliographic information and several links to online
booksellers and libraries."
September 21, 2005: Orlowski, Andrew,
Authors sue Google, The Register:
"The Authors Guild, along with a former US poet laureate, is suing Google
for copyright infringement."
September 21, 2005:
Google wegen "massiver Copyright-Verletzungen" verklagt, Heise:
"Die Autorenvereinigung Authors Guild und einige einzelne Autoren
haben gegen Google eine Sammelklage eingereicht."
September 20, 2005: Mills, Elinor,
Authors Guild sues Google over library project, CNet:
"The Authors Guild on Tuesday filed a lawsuit against search engine Google,
alleging that its scanning and digitizing of library books constitutes a
"massive" copyright infringement."
New in Decisions
Hamburg, Beschluss vom 19.1.2005, Az. 3 U 171/04, CR 2005, 459-460 = MMR
Governement Employees Ins. Co. v. Google Inc., United States
District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia - Alexandria Division,
August 8, 2005
Regensburg, Urteil vom 15.2.2005, Az 2 S 340/04
New in Legal Resources
Schreibauer, Marcus / Mulch,
Joachim, Neuere Rechtsprechung zum Internetrecht, WRP 2005, 442 ff.
Schuster, Fabian / Kemper,
Birgit / Schütze, Marc / Schulze zur Wiesche, Jens / Chargè / Dierking, Laur,
Entwicklung des Internet- und Multimediarechts im Jahre 2004, MMR-Beilage 5/05
Lejeune, Mathias, Anmerkung zu
LG München I, Urteil vom 7.3.2005, CR 2005, 463-464
Ernst, Stefan, Anmerkung zu LG
Hamburg, Urteil vom 21.9.2004 - 312 O 324/0402 - Internet-Suchmaschine, ZUM
Index of Links to News Articles
Doesn't Infringe Copyrights, Says Google, Electronic Commerce & Law Report 2005,
Suit Alleges "Click Fraud" at
Google, Asks Search Engine to Track, Pay Customers, Electronic Commerce & Law
Report 2005, 680
Gercke, Marco, Anmerkung zu
AG Bielefeld, Urteil vom 18.2.2005, Az. 42 C 767/04, MMR 2005, 557-558
Feig, Erik / Westermeier,
Keyword Advertising: Why All the Fuss?, CRi 2005, 48-56
Besprechung der Diss. "Urheber- und wettbewerbsrechtliche Probleme von
Linking und Framing" von Stephan Ott, UFITA 2005, 593-596
Joslove, Bradley / Krylov,
Andrèi, Dangerous Liaisons - Liability in the European Union for hypertext
linking and search engine services, CRi 2005, 33-39