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Parker v. Yahoo, Microsoft 


Parker claims that by making cached copies of his websites available to their users, both Yahoo and Microsoft republish his works in their entirety without his permission. Accordingly, Parker has brought several claims against both defendants, including direct copyright infringement, contributory copyright infringement and vicarious copyright infringement. Sound familiar?  In Field v. Google, Inc., the United States District Court for the District of Nevada considered a case that is strikingly similar to the present one: Field, an author of copyrighted works published online at his website, sued Google in copyright for creating and storing cached versions of his works as they appeared on his website. Field was also aware that he could have opted out of being included in Google's searches by including "no-archive" HTML "meta-tags" on his web page. Nonetheless, he brought a claim of direct copyright infringement against Google for violating his exclusive right to reproduce and distribute copies of his works. Among other defenses, Google asserted that the plaintiff had impliedly licensed Google to reproduce his work because he had consciously chosen not to include the no-archive meta-tag on the pages of his website. The court concluded that Google had sufficiently established the defense of implied license.

The district court in Parker followed this reasoning. From Parker's silence and lack of earlier objection, the defendants could properly infer that Parker knew of and encouraged the search engines' activity, and, as did the defendants in Field, they could reasonably interpret Parker's conduct to be a grant of a license for that use. 

But in the end the Court did not dismiss the direct copyright infringement claim, because the defandants allegedly have continued to display Parker's works after the commencement of the lawsuit. This might constitute direct infringement, because the licence might have been revoked.

Parker v. Yahoo!, Inc., 2008 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 74512 (E.D. Pa. Sep. 26, 2008)





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