Sunday, May 28, 2006

Reading For Class

In Monday's class, we will be studying Google and Ebay. How does these sites make money? What are the legal risks?

Read about Google and Ebay in the next series of posts. (There are earlier posts also referring to Google and Ebay.)

Make sure that you are familar with the Google and Ebay websites. Ebay also owns PayPal. (Some people thing that Paypal sucks.) Ebay has lots of information about Ebay on its site.

Ebay sells some weird stuff. Have a look here, and see the weird stuff category.

Also, if you have time, do a search on Google using the terms "google lawsuits" and "ebay lawsuits".

Recent Articles About Ebay

[Source for these and next 3 posts are the excellent BNA News]

EBAY AND YAHOO FORM ADVERTISING ALLIANCE
Yahoo and eBay have reached a multi-year advertising and
commercial partnership aimed at boosting their position
against Web search leader Google. According to the deal,
Yahoo will be the exclusive third-party provider of all
graphic ads throughout eBay's auction site. Yahoo has also
chosen eBay's online payment system PayPal to allow its own
customers to pay for Yahoo Web services.
http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/technology/tech-media-yahoo-ebay.html

MORPHEUS MAKERS FILE LAWSUIT AGAINST EBAY
StreamCast Networks, the creators of the Morpheus
file-sharing software, is alleging in a lawsuit that auction
house eBay is profiting from peer-to-peer technology that
rightfully belongs to it. StreamCast claims in a lawsuit
filed Monday in the U.S. Central District Court in Los
Angeles that Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis, the duo who
developed the technology behind companies Kazaa and Skype,
of breaking an agreement to give StreamCast the first right
to purchase their FastTrack peer-to-peer protocol.
http://news.com.com/2100-1030_3-6075933.html

SUPREME COURT ORDERS NEW HEARING FOR EBAY
The US Supreme Court has handed a victory to patent-reform
advocates, ruling that MercExchange was not automatically
entitled to a court order in a patent dispute with eBay. In
a closely watched case, the court unanimously ruled that
judges have flexibility in deciding whether to issue court
orders barring continued use of a technology after juries
find a patent violation. Decision at
http://laws.findlaw.com/us/000/05-130.html
Coverage at
http://tinyurl.com/s2q86

EBAY USER SENTENCED TO FIVE MONTHS IN JAIL FOR THREATS
A Romanian native unhappy with eBay Inc.'s business
practices was sentenced to five months in prison for making
e-mailed threats against two of the company's top officers.
Florin Horicianu also received five months of electronic
monitoring and was ordered to stay away from eBay employees
and events
http://tinyurl.com/ng8s7

UK INTRODUCES LAW TO BLOCK SOCCER TICKET SALES ON EBAY
FIFA IS set for a legal battle with eBay after the auction
site failed to halt the sale of unofficial World Cup tickets
on their website. The UK Government yesterday introduced a
change in the law governing the sale of tickets for the
World Cup not authorised by football's world governing body
Fifa. Under the 1994 Criminal Justice and Public Order Act
it was already an offence to sell tickets for any of
England's group matches at this summer's finals in Germany.
But yesterday's amendment widened the definition of a
designated match covered by the legislation making it
illegal to sell tickets for any World Cup games.
http://tinyurl.com/ggmcq

'WARCRAFT' MAKER SUED FOR BLOCKING SALES OF UNOFFICIAL GUIDE
Makers of the wildly popular "World of Warcraft" online game
now face a lawsuit from an eBay seller who claims he was
improperly barred from selling copies of his own unofficial
gaming guide. During several months beginning last August,
24-year-old Brian Kopp sold several hundred copies of his
guide, which contains tips on playing the game and
accumulating points, at roughly $15 apiece. Weeks after his
first auction went live, Blizzard, Vivendi, and the ESA
began sending repeated takedown notices under the DMCA,
asking eBay to yank the auctions because of copyright and
trademark infringement concerns.
http://news.com.com/2100-1043_3-6053716.html

TOWN AUCTIONED ON EBAY UP FOR SALE AGAIN
The first town ever auctioned on eBay soon will be back up
for sale on the online auction site. Nearly two years after
he bought the tiny town of Bridgeville, Orange County
financial adviser Bruce Krall says he plans to re-auction
the Humboldt County hamlet on eBay next month.
<http://tinyurl.com/ftcq6>


POLICE OFFICER SELLS STOLEN VEHICLE ON EBAY
A police officer in Florida has been charged with selling a
car that he knew had been stolen over eBay to a man in North
Carolina. The Florida Highway Patrol was brought into this
by the Kissimmee Police Department because, when North
Carolina authorities called, officers realized the man they
were investigating was one of their own.
http://www.wftv.com/news/2544472/detail.html



Recent Articles About Google

CLICK FRAUD CONCERNS HOUND GOOGLE DESPITE SETTLEMENT
An AP article reports on problems plaguing Google over its click-fraud settlement. Some companies say that Google is trying to short-change them and thousands of other
advertisers by offering refunds totalling $60 million to settle a lawsuit. The refunds, which will be provided in the form of advertising credits, are meant to compensate Google's customers for undetected click fraud, which contributed to the $13.3 billion in ad revenue that has poured into the company since 2001.
http://www.siliconvalley.com/mld/siliconvalley/news/editorial/14530012.htm

GOOGLE TO SHUT DOWN ORKUT COMMUNITIES AT BRAZIL'S REQUEST
Google has agreed to shut down some communities on its
popular Orkut social networking site because the Brazilian
government says they advocate violence and human rights
violations. In recent years, news reports have linked
drug-dealing operations and organized fights between soccer
fans to Orkut communities. One community allegedly advocated
killing the president and planting a bomb in Congress and
explained those thing might be done.
http://www.siliconvalley.com/mld/siliconvalley/news/editorial/14658299.htm

GOOGLE RETAINS LEAD IN U.S. SEARCH MARKET
Google's share of the US Web search market continues to edge
beyond Yahoo and Microsoft, according to the latest monthly
numbers released by analysis firm ComScore Networks. The
search giant's market share among home, work, and university
Internet users climbed from 42.7 percent to 43.1 percent
from March to April of this year, up from 36.5 percent in
April 2005.
http://news.com.com/2100-1038_3-6074893.html

BEHIND THE GOOGLE BOOK SEARCH INITIATIVE
The NY Times Magazine ran a lengthy feature on the Google
Book Search program and the growing interest in scanning
millions of books, a move facilitated by technology and the
Internet.
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/05/14/magazine/14publishing.html

EX-GOOGLE ADVERTISER SUES TO BLOCK CLICK-FRAUD SETTLEMENT
A former Google Inc. advertiser sued Wednesday to block a
proposed $90 million class-action settlement, arguing the
amount grossly understates how much the online search engine
leader has benefited from a ruse known as ``click fraud.''
The complaint, filed by Joseph Kinney in Arkansas state
court, targets two small businesses -- Lane's Gifts &
Collectibles and Caufield Investigations -- leading a
class-action lawsuit filed on behalf of thousands of
merchants and entrepreneurs who have bought ads through
Google's search engine since 2001.
http://www.siliconvalley.com/mld/siliconvalley/news/editorial/14548096.htm

NY LAWMAKERS SUES GOOGLE OVER CHILD PORNOGRAPHY
A Long Island politician sued Google on Thursday claiming
the search engine leader is profiting from illegal child
pornography. Jeffrey Toback, a member of the Nassau County
Legislature, said Google has paid links to Web sites
containing pornography involving minors.
http://www.businessweek.com/ap/financialnews/D8HDB6DO2.htm

GOOGLE EXPRESSES CONCERN OVER BROWSER-SEARCH BUNDLING
With a $10 billion advertising market at stake, Google, the
fast-rising Internet star, is raising objections to the way
that it says Microsoft, the incumbent powerhouse of
computing, is wielding control over Internet searching in
its new Web browser. Google says it expressed concerns about
competition in the Web search business in recent talks with
the Justice Department and the European Commission, both of
which have brought previous antitrust actions against
Microsoft.
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/05/01/technology/01google.html


FRENCH PRESIDENT UNVEILS PLAN TO CREATE GOOGLE RIVAL
The French president, Jacques Chirac, yesterday unveiled
what he hopes will be his great legacy to France's struggle
against the global dominance of the US: a series of
technological projects including a European search engine to
rival Google. Named Quaero - Latin for "I search" - the
search engine aims to be the first to efficiently sort
through audio, images and video.
http://technology.guardian.co.uk/news/story/0,,1761482,00.html

GOOGLE WILL NOT FIGHT CHINESE CENSORSHIP
Google's chief executive, Eric E. Schmidt, says Google is
not lobbying to change China's censorship laws and, for now,
has no plans to do so. Schmidt was visiting China last week
to promote the company's new Chinese search engine and to
meet with officials of various Chinese ministries.
http://news.com.com/2100-1030_3-6060698.html

SF PICKS GOOGLE AND EARTHLINK BID FOR WIFI INITIATIVE
Google's bid to blanket San Francisco with a free wireless
Internet service cleared a major hurdle Wednesday when a
city panel identified the search leader and EarthLink as the
best candidates for the ambitious project. The
recommendation, completing a six-week review, allows the
city to begin negotiations with Google and EarthLink, which
decided to team together earlier this year after initially
bidding against each other. The companies will pay to build
the entire network, which is expected to cost at least $15
million.
http://tinyurl.com/j5cpf

COURT DISMISSES SEARCH KEYWORD TRADEMARK CLAIMS
A US federal court ruled last week that the purchase by
Canadian pharmacies of search engine keywords using the name
of rival Merck's "Zocor" cholesterol reduction drug does not
constitute trademark infringement. The US District Court for
the Southern District of New York refused to dismiss the
claims of trademark dilution and false advertising, but
dismissed the trademark infringement claim related to the
keyword purchases.
http://news.com.com/2100-1030_3-6056754.html

GOOGLE EARTH MAY CATCH A BREAK IN PATENT QUAKE
Google may get a break from a federal judge in a lawsuit
claiming the company's 3D Earth-mapping program violates
patent rights. The legal fight began in May 2004 when a
Virginia-based company called Skyline Software Systems filed
a patent-infringement suit against Keyhole. Google became
part of the suit after it acquired Keyhole in October 2004.
http://news.com.com/2100-1032_3-6056716.html

CT. SENDS GOOGLE KEYWORD INFRINGEMENT CASE TO TRIAL
A court has ruled that a lawsuit over a company purchasing a
rival's trademark as a search keyword should go to trial, in
what could be the first case to scrutinize the trademark
infringement liability of keyword purchasers. Edina Realty
sued rival real estate company TheMLSonline.com, accusing it
of false advertising, trademark infringement and trademark
dilution. According to the suit, MLS used "Edina Realty" in
search terms purchased on Google and Yahoo, in the text of
the MLS ads that appeared on the two search sites, and in
hidden links and text on the MLS Web site.
http://news.com.com/2100-1024_3-6055768.html

9TH CIRCUIT OVERTURNS YAHOO! FRANCE DECISION
The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals yesterday ruled against
Yahoo in the company's attempt to persuade the court to
intervene in a landmark ruling in France over the sale of
Nazi memorabilia on its websites. The 99 page decision
focuses on the jurisdiction of the court and whether the
first amendment issues were ripe for consideration. Decision
at
http://caselaw.findlaw.com/data2/circs/9th/0117424P.pdf
Coverage at
http://msnbc.msn.com/id/10827880/
http://news.com.com/2100-1030_3-6026749.html

FEDERAL COURT HEARS ARGUMENTS IN GOOGLE NEWS CASE
BNA's E-commerce Law Daily reports on Wednesday's hearing
involving the suit by Agence France Press against Google
over the Google News service. At issue is whether news
headlines are copyrightable subject matter.
http://ipcenter.bna.com/pic2/ip.nsf/id/BNAP-6KYKF9?OpenDocument

Reading For Class About Google

Read about Google AdWords and AdSense at http://www.google.com/intl/en/ads/ and at http://www.google.com/intl/en/services/

Read About Google.

Read about Google's products and services

Different Ways to Search on Google

What is different about this search box?

Have a look at the Google and other advertising links on this page.

One bad aspects of Google:
Domain monetarisation, and see this paper.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Lecture on geo-identification

Dr Svantesson gave his public lecture on geo-identification at QUT yesterday (as promoted in this blog).

His lecture on geo-identification, which is the practice of identiyfing internet users' geographical locations, considered how this technology can be used to ensure compliance with national regulations. The PowerPoint slides he used are available here. He also has a website that contains numerous links and resources on geo-identification: http://www.svantesson.org/svantesson4geoid.htm.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

xxx domain name controversy

Michael Geist writes that the recent ICANN decision to reject the creation of a new dot-xxx domain name extension (reported in this blog) may have long-term implications for Internet governance since it sparked enormous controversy and provided ample evidence of US government intervention into ICANN matters.

Read more here.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Challenge to Amazon's 1-Click Patent

New Zealander Peter Calveley has successfully lobbied the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to re-examine Amazon's 1-Click Patent, the online process that enables shoppers to enter their credit card details and address just once so that on subsequent visits to the website, it takes just a single mouse click to make a purchase. Read more here.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Geo-Identification: A Death Sentence for the ‘borderless’ internet?

QUT Seminar
Speaker: Dr Dan Svantesson
Title: Geo-Identification - A Death Sentence for the ‘borderless’ internet?
Date: Wednesday 24 May 2006
Time: 5.30pm Refreshments
6.00pm Lecture commences
Venue Lecture Room B122, B Block, Level 1
QUT Gardens Point Campus
The Topic

Recent technological advances let operators of Internet facilities, such as websites, identify the geographical location of those they interact with, enabling them to make their content available in certain locations only. Such geo-identification can solve many of the legal problems associated with the “borderless” Internet. However, this practice also changes the Internet from a relatively borderless medium to something similar to our physical world, divided by borders of different kinds.

The lecture has two aims: (1) giving legal practitioners a better understanding of how geo-identification can help to limit their clients’ legal risk exposure; and (2) giving academics, law-makers and other interested parties an understanding of how the technologies discussed affect Internet regulation.

The Speaker

Dr Dan Svantesson is an Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Law, Bond University. He has law degrees from both Sweden and Australia. In 2004 he was awarded a PhD at UNSW for his thesis titled ‘Private international law and the Internet’. He is a Research Associate at the Cyberspace Law and Policy Centre, a Board Member of the Australian Privacy Foundation and the National Convenor for the International Law Interest Group of the Australasian Law Teachers Association. Further, he is the National Rapporteur for Australia within the Data Protection Research and Policy Group of the British Institute of International and Comparative Law and a Contributing Editor of the World Legal Information Institute. Dan specialises in international aspects of the IT society, an area within which he has published a range of articles and given presentations in Australia, Asia and Europe.

Registration
Sue Lavering

FPL Secretary, International and Community Engagement
Faculty of Law
Queensland University of Technology
Ph 3864 5433
Fax 3864 1161
Email s.lavering@qut.edu.au

LAPD has started a blog

The Los Angeles Police Department has started a blog. Read about it here. Visit the blog here.

Do you think this is a good use for a blog?

eBay patent case

The U.S. Supreme Court has handed a victory to patent-reform advocates, ruling that a small company whose patent was infringed by eBay Inc. was not automatically entitled to a court order blocking the offending service. Read about the case here. Read the judgment.

Monday, May 15, 2006

MS v Google ... again

US antitrust authorities have rejected concerns that a search feature in the new version of Microsoft web browser would give the company an unfair advantage over Google. Read more here.

A defining moment?

The Economist suggests that this is a defining moment for Google. Read more here. Do you agree?

Attorney-General announces copyright reforms

The Commonwealth Attorney-General has announced major copyright reforms. These reforms are, in aprt, an attempt to keep up with rapid technological developments. Read the press release here.

These reforms will be discussed in class tonight.

Choking the internet

Wired asks this question: Could High-Def Choke the Internet?

Read the article and let us know what you think?

Friday, May 12, 2006

Hacker fails to avoid extradition

From Australian IT: A British computer expert accused by Washington of the world's "biggest military hack of all time" should be extradited to the US to stand trial, a court ruled on Thursday. Read more here.

Audit of ISPs by ACMA

A recent audit of the twenty-four largest Australian internet service providers by ACMA has found a high degree of compliance with consumer protection obligations under the industry’s content codes of practice. However, ACMA has also urged consumers to report on lack of internet safety measures. Read the press release here.

Minister for Communications, Information technology and the Arts, Senator Helen Coonan, said that the findings of the audit carried out by the communications regulator demonstrated the effectiveness of codes of practice under its co-regulatory content regulation scheme. However, a spokeswoman for the Minister said that the federal Government had not ruled out ISP-level content filtering and that the Senator's comments shouldn't be taken as indication of how well current regulation policy was working. Read the Minister's press release here.

For more details, read this report in Australian IT.

Yahoo seeks media freedom in China

Yahoo has announced that it is seeking US government help to urge China to allow more media freedom. Read more here.

.xxx domain name rejected

Following yesterday's post, ICANN has voted to reject a proposal to create a red-light district on the internet.

Read more here.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

xxx

Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) will consider a proposal to introduce a new dot-xxx ending for adult-entertainment web sites. Read more here.

Do you think this would be an effective measure to regulate online content?

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Academic Live

Just a few months after Microsoft launched the beta version of their new search engine, http://www.live.com/, they have launched Windows Live Academic at http://academic.live.com/.

Affordable internet gambling?

CNN reports that that people who use the Internet to place their bets tend to be affluent and educated. Online gambling advocates hope that this finding will encourage the US government to legalise online gambling. For more information, click here.

Have you ever gambled on the internet? Do you believe that people should be able to gamble on the internet? What legal regulation should there be for online gambling?

Monday, May 08, 2006

U.S. CYBERGAMBLING BAN?

A U.S. House of Representatives subcommittee has approved a bill that would ban Internet gambling, estimated to be a $12 billion industry. The legislation would update and expand an existing federal law to cover all forms of interstate gambling within the US, and would bar a gambling business from accepting payment in the form of credit cards, checks, wire, and Internet transfers.
http://news.com.com/2100-1028_3-6068432.html

What impact will this have? Will it be effective?

iTunes patent

WIRELESS ITUNES DISTRIBUTION - Apple receives patent

A patent application filed by Apple Computer in December 2004 appears to cover a method of buying a song, ring tone, for music video from an online store over a wireless network. The application was published yesterday on the Web site of
the US Patent and Trademark Office. It describes an invention that allows cell phone or wireless handheld users to interact with an online music store, such as iTunes, and mark a song or video file that can be downloaded to a computer at a later time.
http://news.com.com/2100-1027_3-6068654.html

Blogging in China

Australian IT reports that blogs are popular in China.
What impact do you think blogs will have on Chinese society? Can blogs help bring democracy to China?