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Subject: I'm not a lawyer... thankfully. rss

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Boise
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This freaks me out:

Lawyer stuff.

How could a judge actually consider that linking to public data about a law firm and it's lawyers is a copyright infringement? Are we losing our 1st Amendment rights one judge at a time?
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Jorge Montero
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Copyright law is screwed up. All that has been done to update the concept in the last 50 years has just made it worse. As it is now, the best thing that could happen is to throw the whole concept away, and start from scratch.
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Ken
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First - it's worth noting this wasn't copyright infringement, it was trademark infringement. Related, but a different ball of wax.

Second - it is a mess that needs some cleaning up, but as I understand trademark law (and I'm not a lawyer, so feel free to find a real one if you want the real scoop) you are forced to aggressively defend trademarks or you'll risk losing the rights to the trademark protection.

I think it's over the top, but if you're the one whose trademark might be infringed, you don't have a hell of a lot of choice.

Definitely need to revisit lots on IP law, though. Laws that worked in the days of vinyl and print don't work so well in the age of the Internet.
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Jorge Montero
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perfalbion wrote:
First - it's worth noting this wasn't copyright infringement, it was trademark infringement. Related, but a different ball of wax.

Second - it is a mess that needs some cleaning up, but as I understand trademark law (and I'm not a lawyer, so feel free to find a real one if you want the real scoop) you are forced to aggressively defend trademarks or you'll risk losing the rights to the trademark protection.

I think it's over the top, but if you're the one whose trademark might be infringed, you don't have a hell of a lot of choice.

Definitely need to revisit lots on IP law, though. Laws that worked in the days of vinyl and print don't work so well in the age of the Internet.


Read the entire article: The lawyer bit was based on trademarks, but a good chunk of the first page of the article is all copyright. Is copying headlines fair use? is Deep linking legal? How about the case about linking to a police department's page? I'd be quite surprised if the police department's case involved their filing for a trademark,

The main argument in the Blockshopper case itself might have been linked with trademark law, but it seems tenuous at best: If a link involves a breach of trademark, then thousands of companies have let this slide for years, and would lose their trademarks anyway. A ruling like that would be madness. But, as we know, it's rare to even get a ruling on something like this, because the costs of litigation are so astronomical, only a case involving two huge companies would be able to go to completion.
 
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CHAPEL
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Just wait till they try and hit a company that does have money for lawyers, or an Army of lawyers like IBM. Jone Day will go under. Just ask SCO, remember them?
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Ken
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Missed the first page of the article. I'll agree that I think it's a tenuous connection under the best of circumstances.
 
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Daniel Edwards
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I'm always suspicous of articles about silly lawsuits. There almost always found to be wrong or sometimes as bad incomplete after some further digging. Dunno about this one but it smacks of some sort of agreed settlement rather than the judge making a decision on the merits. This one seems laugh out loud implausible on the facts as stated.

Plus a silly unsupported decision is just that a silly unsupported decision. People sometimes think the concept of precedent goes further than it really does.

Its also a good idea to distinguish between copyright and trademark infringement or passing off. The former protects original artistic works, the later confusing silly members of the public that your someone else. This is the one that causes most of the hilarity generally because the companies that sue are generally:

1. the same ones who pay consultants thousands to tell them what a great brand they have and how they need to protect it;

2. the same ones who have deep enough pockets to pay lawyers silly amounts of money to try and achieve 1.
 
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Ken
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myopia wrote:
...some sort of agreed settlement rather than the judge making a decision on the merits.


I think the concern is more that the case was deemed to have sufficient merit to be worth trying in the first place. And that's a criticism that I think has some validity.
 
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perfalbion wrote:
myopia wrote:
...some sort of agreed settlement rather than the judge making a decision on the merits.


I think the concern is more that the case was deemed to have sufficient merit to be worth trying in the first place. And that's a criticism that I think has some validity.


That's exactly what had me shaking my head. Millions upon millions of web pages with HTML links and now this judge rules that names and public data are... protected?

From what?

Chapel's right. Apparently the small start-up didn't have deep enough pockets. Anyone tries this with an established compnay and it'll burn up in the atmosphere. Still, it's evidence that pissants are wasting valuable public resources.
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Isaac Citrom
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I am not in the least bit surprised. Judges in their ivory towers are notoriously technology illiterate. Other technology related lawsuits were similarly nonsensical. Remember Netscape being pissed off that Microsoft was giving away "free software"; like nobody here has ever bought shaving cream with a free razor stuck to it. Or, that GM was not allowed to sell you a car with a radio in it because that would impact Radio Shack.

The judge clearly doesn't understand both the nature of the World Wide Web (HTTP) and its raison d'ĂȘtre. The whole point is to freely link information from disparate sources. A tiny percentage of a company's information is usually ever made public. That's the very distinction between public and private information. If you don't want sites linking to you, you don't make it public.

All of you know this. The judge does not, so the plaintiff's case seems to have merit. By the way, nobody link to this post--I said so!
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Ken
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Hell, I still want to know how "one click shopping" is a "new business process" that ever deserved patent protection. Really? Patent protection? Yet it did.

We do need an overhaul of IP laws pretty desperately.
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Ross G.
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http://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/3137378#3137378

MUAHAHAHAHA!!!
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