Rare Ruling on Damages for Sending Bogus Copyright Takedown Notice

From Law Professor Eric Goldman of Technology & Marketing Law Blog:  “In the lawsuit over the allegedly bogus takedown of a YouTube video of a baby dancing to Prince’s “Let’s Go Crazy” (previous blog coverage), Judge Fogel has defined some standards for computing damages in a 17 USC 512(f) case, which creates a cause of action for sending certain types of bogus copyright takedown notices.”   The case is Lenz v. Universal Music Corp., 5:07-cv-03783-JF (N.D. Cal. Feb. 25. 2010)

MySpace Quietly Won Goofy 230 Ruling in September

Technology & Marketing Law Blog by Eric Goldman:  “This case has received some modest attention throughout its history. . ., but the district court’s dismissal of the case appears to have been completely overlooked.   Riggs created a MySpace profile that she used to authenticate celebrities’ MySpace pages to distinguish them from the many fake celebrity profiles on MySpace.  Her most substantive gripe is that MySpace deleted Riggs’ profile twice, and she claims MySpace was negligent to do so.  There are several reasons why MySpace should not be liable for deleting her profile, including most obviously the many self-serving provisions in MySpace’s user agreement (which the court mentions as an alternative basis of its dismissal).  However, 47 USC 230(c)(1) does not appear to help MySpace because it only immunizes MySpace from liability based on third party content.  Nevertheless, the district court rules against Riggs on 230(c)(1) grounds, saying:

Given that both claims for negligence are based on the deletion of Plaintiff’s profiles, a decision by MySpace to effectively “remove content” created by Plaintiff from its website, MySpace’s actions are immune from liability under Section 230(c)(1) of the CDA.”

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Firm Sues Competitor for Hijacking Name in Online Searches

Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal Sentinel:  “Wisconsin’s largest personal injury law firm pioneered lawyer advertising in the state back in the early 1980s, but it appears it may have been asleep at the keyboard when its biggest competitor turned to Google, Yahoo and Bing.  Someone looking for a personal injury lawyer in the Milwaukee area might easily type the names Habush and Rottier into an Internet search engine. . . . But the first result most major search engines return is for a Habush competitor – Cannon & Dunphy.”

Google AdWords Litigation Keeps Rolling In

Technology & Marketing Law Blog by Eric Goldman:  “In my world, we have an honor code among geeks–thou shalt not harm other geeks.  As you can imagine, then, I was a little sad to see geek-on-geek litigation like this one, where auto parts geeks are suing computer geeks.  Can’t we geeks all get along?  Parts Geek is an online retailer of auto parts. US Auto Parts Network is a competitor who has bought keyword ads triggered by Parts Geek’s trademarks. (However, when I searched this morning for Parts Geek, I didn’t see any US Auto Parts’ ads). In response, Parts Geek is suing its competitor as well as Google for the keyword advertising.