Earlier this year the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a troubling ruling in Multi Time Machine v. Amazon.com. If allowed to stand this ruling will raise the risk for ecommerce and other online (and even potentially offline) businesses that their normal and reasonable operation might be found to infringe trademarks, even though such a finding would seem to be far beyond what the Lanham Act, which governs trademarks, actually allows. In light of this unexpectedly and untenably heightened legal risk I filed an amicus brief at the Ninth Circuit on behalf of Rebecca Tushnet and other intellectual property professors in support of Amazon’s petition that this earlier ruling be reconsidered.
Other items of interest from this past week:
- The Indian Consulate General is dealing with bogus sites masquerading as it and spreading incorrect visa information. Internet Fraud in Diplomacy, Jovan Kurbalija, Dec. 3, 2011.
- “Judges Shouldn’t Be Forcing People To Hand Over Their Facebook Passwords, Says Expert,” Kashmir Hill, Forbes.com, Dec. 5, 2011.
- “How Controversial Antipiracy Laws Could Be Enacted Even Without Congress (Analysis),” Eriq Gardner, The Hollywood Reporter, Dec. 5, 2011.
- “European regulators start investigating Carrier IQ,” Mikael Ricknäs, Computer World, Dec. 5, 2011.
- Changes to Google’s algorithm have EU antitrust regulators concerned. “How Google’s ‘Panda’ update put some websites on endangered species list,” Charles Arthur, The Guardian, Dec. 5, 2011.
- “EU in antitrust probe of Apple, e-book publishers,” Gabriele Steinhauser, AP, Dec. 6, 2011. Update 12/25/11: The DOJ has also started investigating e-book pricing. Paul Eng, The Consumerist, Dec. 8, 2011.
- “Will Spain Ditch its Anti-downloading Law?” Monica Horton, IPTegrity.com, Dec. 6, 2011.
- The House Homeland Security subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence held hearings on social media and terrorism. Mentioned at the hearing was how social media privacy settings are affecting intelligence gathering. “Lawmakers worry about terrorists on Twitter,” Brendan Sasso, The Hill, Dec. 6, 2011. Read the submitted testimony. See also “Somali Terrorists Join Twitter #Propaganda,” Spencer Ackerman, Wired, Dec. 7, 2011. But for a different perspective on the Internet and terrorism: Google’s Next Victim? British Intelligence Services, Tim Cushing, Techdirt, Dec. 7, 2011.
- “Facebook Declines Congressional Privacy Caucus Invitation,” Chris Marlowe, Digital Media Wire, Dec. 9, 2011.
- “Indonesia threatens to cut BlackBerry data service,” Derek Abma, Postmedia News, Dec. 10, 2011. (h/t @Dissent)
- “Drones: A deeply unsettling future,” Trevor Timm, Al Jazeera, Dec. 7, 2011.
- New paper: “The PII Problem: Privacy and a New Concept of Personally Identifiable Information,” Daniel Solove and Paul Schwartz. New York University Law Review, Vol. 86, p. 1814, 2011.