By Andrew Jacobs
ISPs Found Liable for Websites’ Trademark and Copyright Infringement
Computerworld and Ars Technica report that on August 28, a federal jury handed down a $32.4 million judgment against two ISPs that hosted websites selling counterfeit Louis Vuitton products. Louis Vuitton successfully argued on a theory of contributory infringement, overcoming the ISPs’ claims of immunity under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s “safe harbor” provisions. Evidence that the ISPs had received and failed to respond to notices of the illegal activity from Louis Vuitton was key to the case.
EU to Investigate Oracle/Sun Deal
On September 3, the European Union’s antitrust regulators announced plans for a formal investigation of Oracle’s planned buyout of Sun Microsystems, The Washington Post reports. The investigation will center on the competitive consequences of “the world’s biggest proprietary database company . . . tak[ing] over the world’s leading open-source database company.” The European Commission will come to a ruling on the deal by January 19; the U.S. Department of Justice has already approved it.
Authors Voice Privacy Concerns in Objection to Google Settlement
A group of authors and publishers filed an objection to the proposed settlement between The Authors’ Guild and Google Book Search (GBS), the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) reported on September 8. A fairness hearing regarding the settlement is set for next month. In the objection, prepared by EFF, the ACLU, and the Samuelson Clinic at UC Berkeley School of Law, the authors assert that GBS’s collection of personally identifiable information regarding users’ habits will having a chilling effect on readership. Limited information retention and strict disclosure standards are among the authors’ specific demands.