1. Never use headlines
without permission in Japan...
Japan's best-selling newspaper, the
Yomiuri Shimbun, was awarded
compensation from the small Internet firm
Digital Alliance Corp. that used its news
headlines without permission. The
Intellectual Property High Court, a special
branch court of the Tokyo High Court,
ordered the company to pay about 237,700 yen
(2,000 dollars) to the Yomiuri.
According to the court the use of news
headlines as text for links to the articles
Yomiuri filed the case with the Tokyo
District Court in December 2002. It lost the
case in March 2004 as the lower court ruled
that Internet users can read headlines for
free online and therefore should be able to
use the service freely.
October 10, 2005,
Headline links can be dangerous in Japan, CNet:
"U.S. courts, by design or default, have generally taken a laissez-faire
approach to the digital republication of printed works as long as it adheres
to longstanding brick-and-mortar copyright law."
2. Google rebrands its free
GMail web service in the UK
Google voluntarily dropped the
Gmail brand in the UK following a trademark dispute with Independent
International Investment Research (IIIR) ,who
has been using the "G-Mail" name for its Pronet subsidiary's Web-based e-mail
product since May 2002.
Although Google replaced "Gmail"
with "googlemail" in Great Britain, a lawsuit is still looming:
Shane Smith, chairman and chief executive
of Independent II Research, asserts that the dispute about the ownership of the
rights to Gmail is by no means over, because Google's decision to change the
name of its email services to Google mail relates solely to the UK. IIIR
announced it would still pursue Google for damages and that it
expected the US search engine to drop Gmail worldwide.
Earlier this year, Google lost
the right to use Gmail in Germany, following a dispute with Daniel Giersch, who had registered 'Gmail - und die Post geht richtig ab' with the
German Patent Office in 2000.
October 19, 2005: Leyden,
Google loses its G-spot, The Register:
"A trademark dispute has forced Google to re-brand its Gmail web mail
service in the UK. Existing users get to retain their Gmail address (at
least for now) but from Wednesday onwards new UK users will be given a
Googlemail email address instead."
3. Google Print - copyright
infringement by scanning books?
Five publishing houses -
McGraw-Hill, Pearson Education and Penguin Group (USA), Simon & Schuster and
John Wiley & Sons - filed a suit in New York against Google Print.
Under the program, Google plans to scan and index
millions of copyrighted books taken from the collections of the three
universities Harvard, Stanford and Michigan. The suit seeks a declaration
that Google infringes on the publishers' copyrights when the Web search leader
scans entire books without permission of copyright owners. Google claims, that
the scanning of the full text of the books is necessary to create a searchable
catalogue of the books located within the libraries' collections.
Only snippets of copyrighted works will be available
through the search engine. There are no plans to make full copies of
copyrighted works available without their owners' permission.
In September, the Authors Guild joined with three US writers - Herbert Mitgang,
Betty Miles and Daniel Hoffman - to file a similar lawsuit. The Authors Guild
filing was a class-action lawsuit that seeks damages, the publishers' suit seeks
a declaration that Google is committing copyright infringement by scanning books
see Update 33)
October 20, 2005: Sherriff,
Publishers join forces to sue Google, The Register:
"The Association of American Publishers (AAP) is suing Google over its plans
to make scans of millions of books available online."
October 19, 2005: Italie,
Publishers Sue Google Over Scanning Plans, ABC News:
"Just weeks after a leading authors' organization sued Google for copyright
infringement, the Association of American Publishers has also filed suit
against the search engine giant's plans to scan and index books for the
4. Do we really need warning
banners on all search engines?
The European Parliament Sept. 7
called for action to protect children from inappropriate content on the
Internet. In adopting a report from Marielle De Sarnez
on the protection of minors and human dignity, the Parliament inter alia made
the (non-binding) recommendation to oblige search engines to post warning
banners drawing attention to possible dangers and to the availability of
Member States are to submit a report to the
Commission on measures taken in application of this Recommendation two years
after its adoption. By 31 December 2008, on the basis of the reports submitted
by the Member States, the Commission will submit to the European Parliament a
report on the implementation and effectiveness of the measures laid down in this
recommendation, identifying any additional measures which may be necessary,
including binding legislation at European level.
5. Office Depot v. Staples -
A new AdWords lawsuit
Office Depot has filed suit against rival office supply giant
Staples in a U.S. District Court in West Palm Beach, FL, for improperly
purchasing online search engine ads that redirected potential customers to the
Staples Web site. The suit charges Staples with trademark infringement, unfair
competition, false advertising, and deceptive trade
practices. This case is slightly different than the Adwords lawsuits we have
Office Depot is suing Staples for taking out
Google text ads on the name of a brand they're shutting down in the US,
Almost all previous lawsuits around adwords
involved the complaining company suing Google rather than the advertiser in
question. In this case, the suit is against Staples.
October 21, 2005: Sataline,
Office Depot Sues Staples Over Ads Placed on Google, Wallstreet Journal: "Office Depot Inc. accused rival office-supply giant Staples Inc. of
improperly purchasing online search-engine ads that redirected potential
customers to the Staples Web site."
6. Court Documents in the
Perfect 10 v. Google / Amazon.com case
Perfect 10's motion alleges that
Google - under the guise of providing a “search function,” - is directly
copying, distributing, and displaying thousands of Perfect 10 copyrighted images
despite receiving extensive notice of infringement, and is linking those images
to infringing third party websites that themselves display thousands of
additional Perfect 10 images. Links & Law mentioned the
Update 25. Here are links to the court documents:
7. Court Documents in the
Authors Guild v. Google lawsuit
Authors Guild filed a lawsuit
against Google Inc, alleging that Google's unauthorized scanning and copying of
their works through its Google Print Library Program is willfull copyright