Posts Tagged ‘Google’

Gervais et al. “Is Profiting from the Online Use of Another’s Property Unjust? The Use of Brand Names as Paid Search Keywords”

May 3, 2013

Daniel J. Gervais (Vanderbilt University – Law School), Martin L. Holmes (Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein L.L.P.), Paul W. Kruse (Bone McAllester Norton PLLC), Glenn Perdue (Kraft Analytics, LLC) and Caprice L. Roberts (Savannah Law School) have published “Is Profiting from the Online Use of Another’s Property Unjust? The Use of Brand Names as Paid Search Keywords”,  IDEA: The IP Law Review, Vol. 53, p. 131, 2013. The abstract reads:

This article begins with a basic question: Is Google’s profiting from the use of another’s brand in its AdWords program unjust? Answering that question will profoundly affect the online economy. Indeed, many services, including most of those offered by Google, are funded by advertising revenue, a large portion of which comes from the sale of third-party brand names. Academic articles and court opinions thus far have applied trademark law when evaluating liability. The consensus view, including the Fourth Circuit’s recent Rosetta Stone opinion, finds no infringement by Google — third-party purchasers of AdWords may be liable for dilution or infringement claims — even though Google profits from every sale while brand owners often suffer a prejudice from the sale and use of their brand name. If one agrees that this misuse is a wrong that must be remedied, are there other avenues to explore beyond the strictures of trademark law? The law usually takes a dim view of one who uses a third party’s property without authorization and yet in the case of AdWords, it has not — at least not up to now.

This inconsistency arises from a failure to reach beyond the limits of trademark law in search of a remedy. After evaluating several legal and equitable bases for a remedy and surveying the preemption question as it interfaces with trademark law, the authors advance unjust enrichment as the best legal basis of liability and remedy for the unauthorized, profitable and therefore wrongful use of another’s property. Such a remedy would impose reasonable limits on the use of brand names in AdWords.

 A copy of the paper is available for download via SSRN here.

Googlito Ergo Sum (or “You Want Fries With That?”)

October 17, 2012

I stumbled upon a flashy new Canadian blog today called “Advocates Daily“.

There’s a whole lot of stuff going on the site, with bells and whistles galore. It resembles an online newspaper format, of some sort. Actually, it is vaguely reminiscent of those RSS aggregators and  paper.li dailies that clog up my Twitter stream.

Rather than dismiss it outright, with a few minutes to kill, I noodled around the site and here is what it’s all About: (more…)

Paul A. Bernal on “The Right to Online Identity” (@PaulbernalUK)

September 21, 2012

Paul A. Bernal (University of East Anglia (UEA) – Norwich Law School: Twitter: @PaulbernalUK and website :http://www.paulbernal.co.uk/) has posted a working paper entitled, “The Right to Online Identity”. Here’s the abstract:

If people have a right to internet access then should they have a right to an online identity? This paper will suggest that such a right should exist – and will look at the form that it might take, how it might be brought into practice, and what the implications of such a right might be in terms of the form and functions of the internet in the future. In particular, it will be suggested that the right to identity has three components: the right to create an online identity, the right to assert that online identity, and the right to protect that online identity.

Online identity needs to be looked on as something more complex than a matter of authentication of a link from an online actor to a real person – online identities are complex, multifaceted and constantly developing, and with both similarities and significant differences from ‘real-world’ identities. In order to understand how online identity should be treated from a legal perspective that complexity and those similarities and differences need to be better understood and taken properly into account.

A copy of the paper is available for download via SSRN here.

Jon Garon on “Tidying Up the Internet: Take Down of Unauthorized Content under Copyright, Trademark and Defamation Law”

April 2, 2012

Jon Garon (NKU Chase College of Law) has posted “Tidying Up the Internet: Take Down of Unauthorized Content under Copyright, Trademark and Defamation Law”. Here is the abstract:

As business clients make available an ever-increasing array of online content and services, the specter of liability for inappropriate online content looms large. Still, U.S. federal law protects businesses that adopt appropriate take-down regimes for copyright infringement, defamatory content, and even improper use of competitor’s trademarks. As business clients make available an ever-increasing array of online content and services, the specter of liability for inappropriate online content looms large. Still, federal law protects businesses that adopt appropriate take-down regimes for copyright infringement, defamatory content, and even improper use of competitor’s trademarks. While the percentage of complaints suggests that the notice-and-take-down system is a minor aspect of the Internet media ecology, the existence of the system remains a source of tremendous anger for many. Moreover significant litigation in the past year has renewed the focus on these legal tools to tidy the Internet to cleanse it of unwanted or unauthorized content. This article will focus on the recent activity in the courts and congress regarding the various attempts to deal with unauthorized, unwanted and controversial content available on the Internet.

Download the article from SSRN here.

(h/t Inforrm’s Blog)

UPDATED: Some Ole Fashioned Reference Checking

December 5, 2011
© Peter Steiner, The New Yorker

“You are what Google says you are.” Adrian Fachetti

“I read it on the internet, so it must be true.” Anonymous

In “How to Fix (0r Kill) Web Data About You“, Riva Richmond of the New York Times writes,

As more of our social lives, shopping sprees and dating misadventures take place online, we leave behind, purposely or not, a growing supply of personal information.

Marketers, employers, suitors and even thieves and stalkers are piecing together mosaics of who we are. Even when it is accurate, it may not present a pretty picture.

The harder part is masking the information. It’s often possible to remove information yourself, though it will probably be a time consuming ordeal.

The “right to be forgotten” movement is less about personal privacy and more about reputation management (although Google and Facebook have each trampled on users’ personal privacy until legislated or sued into compliance). For some, the “right to be forgotten”  is the virtual hangover felt by those who crave attention without  merit;  fame without talent;  success without hard work;  respect without achievement.

Richmond is right when she says “removing information about yourself is a time consuming ordeal”, but it is possible. There are always risk takers who hope that no one will bother to check their references. Most people, particularly lawyers, are too busy with the distractions of daily life and often take what other say on the Web at face value. This complacency is counter-intuitive, particularly given that among the various common personality traits referenced in the Hildebrandt Baker Robbins study,  lawyers tended to be “self-critical and temperamental” and “resistant to authority and skeptical of others.” I suppose all it takes is a social media strategy: start with a friendly, smiling avatar, then create a website or blog, join Twitter and slowly amass followers, retweet others with positive feedback and no one will be the wiser.

The foregoing foreshadows a comment left on a post by Omar Ha-Redeye at slaw.ca entitled,  “Avvo’s Top Legal Blogs ”  , which caught my attention: (more…)


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