Google’s servers housed by a third-party ISP qualify as a regular and established place of business to establish proper venue in the Eastern District of Texas

17 08 2018
Lex Blog
AUGUST 15, 2018
In our continued post-TC Heartland coverage, Judge Gilstrap in the Eastern District of Texas recently held that venue was proper because Google exercises exclusive control over physical servers implicated by the litigation, as well as the physical space within which the server is located and maintained. The court emphasized that the place where the server is located occupies a physical space, which is more than merely a virtual space or electronic communications from one person…

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Sign-in-Wrap Did Not Create Personal Jurisdiction

9 08 2018

Chicago IP Litigation

R. David Donoghue

May 25, 2018TopstepTrader, LLC v. OneUp Trader, LLC, No. 17 C 4412, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Apr. 18, 2018) (Leinenweber, J.).

Judge Leinenweber granted in part defendant OneUp Trader’s Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss and defendant Alsabah’s Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(2) & (6) motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction and failure to state a claim in this copyright dispute involving electronic trading systems.

Personal Jurisdiction

Alsabah had to enter an agreement to use TopstepTrader’s software in which he allegedly consented to jurisdiction in Illinois. The Court held that the contract was on a spectrum between a clickwrap and a browsewrap agreement, in a type of agreement referred to as sign-in-wrap. Alsabah did not take an affirmative action to explicitly agree to the site terms, but there was affirmative action in that Asabah had to sign up for an account. During the sign up process, Alsabah would have been informed that by creating an account, he accepted the terms of service, along with a hyperlink to those terms. In fact, Alsabah clicked a “sign up” button next to a hyperlink for the terms. Without doing so, he could not have activated an account and gotten access to TopstepTrader’s website. But the “sign up” button did not clearly state that by clicking on it Alsabah was accepting the terms. So, while it was a close call, the terms and their forum selection clause were not enforceable against Alsabah.

Regarding specific jurisdiction, TopstepTrader’s location in Illinois and harm in Illinois was not sufficient to create personal jurisdiction. But Alsabah specifically sought out TopstepTrader’s website, created an account and then received multiple communications which identified TopstepTrader as an Illinois-based company. While walking into a brick and mortar store in Illinois would have been better evidence of specific jurisdiction, signing up with an Illinois business under the particular circumstances that Alsabah did was sufficient to create specific jurisdiction.

Failure to State a Claim

While OneUp Trader is correct that short, common phrases may not be copyright-protectable, OneUp Trader failed to address Topstep Trader’s argument that it is the combination of elements such as text, graphic size screen layouts, colors, charts, unique terms, etc. that is protectable. And even if the alleged copying identified in the complaint was only a small portion of the total content, that could be sufficient. Topstep Trader did not need to detail each copied element. It was enough to provide examples of the copying at the complaint stage. And a review of the exhibits showed sufficient alleged copying.

The Court dismissed Topstep Trader’s breach of contract claim, but gave Topstep Trader leave to replead with sufficient facts to show that a contract was formed that would support Topstep Trader’s breach claim.

Finally, Alsabah argued that the claims against him should be dismissed because the complaint only specifically mentioned him in limited instances. Topstep Trader, however, defined a term that combined OneUp Trader and Alsabah and referred to it collectively throughout the complaint.

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The content in this post was found at https://www.chicagoiplitigation.com/2018/05/sign-in-wrap-did-not-create-personal-jurisdiction/ Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post. and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com

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Copyright’s Long Arm: Foreign Website Found to Infringe U.S. Copyright Law by Providing U.S. Viewers Access to Site Content

24 07 2018

Social Aware
on July 23, 2018

If a web server located outside the United States hosts video content that can be viewed by Internet users located in the United States, does a public performance result under U.S. copyright law?

This has been a topic of hot debate for a surprisingly long time, with little or no direct guidance from the courts—until now. A recent decision from the D.C. Circuit, Spanski Enterprises v. Telewizja Polska, addresses this issue head-on, with the court finding that the uploading of video content in which a party held exclusive U.S. public performance rights and the subsequent directing of the content to U.S. viewers upon their request to be an infringing “performance” under the U.S. Copyright Act.

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The content in this post was found at https://www.sociallyawareblog.com/2018/07/23/copyrights-long-arm-foreign-website-found-to-infringe-u-s-copyright-law-by-providing-u-s-viewers-access-to-site-content/ Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post. and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com.

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DSM Watch: Regulation on Portability of Online Content comes into force 1 April 2018

4 04 2018

Hogan/Lovells

APRIL 1ST, 2018 BY DR. NILS RAUER, ALASTAIR SHAW AND PENNY THORNTON

This year’s Easter holiday brings with it a further milestone in the Commission’s endeavor to bring about a truly Digital Single Market: The Portability Regulation (EU) 2017/1128 comes into force on 1 April 2018. The Regulation facilitates cross-border portability of online content. It allows for subscribed content services to “travel” with the subscriber throughout the entire European Union. Be it movies, sport events, music, e-books, online games, they all need to remain accessible when temporarily abroad in another Member State. Service providers need to make sure this travel option is provided to their customers. Importantly, the Regulation applies to both new and existing subscriber contracts.

 

….

The Regulation

According to Article 3 of the Regulation, providers of paid-for online content services are obliged to allow access and use of the content during a temporary presence in another Member State. The same content, the same types and the same number of devices (PC, smartphone, tablet etc.), the same number of authorised users and the same range of functions must be granted. Only the quality standards abroad are not guaranteed to be equal to those in the country of subscription. Providers who operate on the basis of a contract but free of charge can choose whether they want to make their online content available to their subscribers while travelling (Article 6). This also includes public broadcasters to which a mandatory broadcasting fee has to be paid.

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The content in this post was found at https://www.hlmediacomms.com/2018/04/01/6952/

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The Coming Border Wars: U.S. Court Decision Refusing to Enforce Canadian Court Order Highlights the Growing Balkanization of the Internet

22 03 2018

Social Aware blog: law and business of social media

on March 20, 2018

Does a search engine operator have to delist websites hosting, without authorization, your trade secret materials or other intellectual property? The answer may depend on where you sue—just ask Google. The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California recently handed the company a victory over plaintiff Equustek Solutions Inc. in what has turned into an international battle where physical borders can have very real consequences on the Internet.

The dispute began when a rival company, Datalink, allegedly misappropriated Equustek’s trade secrets in developing competing products. Equustek also alleged that Datalink misled customers who thought they were buying Equustek products. In 2012, Equustek obtained numerous court orders in Canada against Datalink. Datalink refused to comply, and Canadian court issued an arrest warrant for the primary defendant, who has yet to be apprehended.

In September 2012, Equustek asked Google to delist search results for Datalink; Google declined this request. Equustek then sought a court order against Google in Canada and prevailed, resulting in Google removing 300 Datalink websites from search results generated by the Canadian version of its site, located at www.google.ca. Google, however, did not take similar steps with respect to U.S. and other non-Canadian versions of its site, so the Datalink websites continued to appear in search results conducted by users outside of Canada.

Equustek returned to the Canadian court, this time to seek an order compelling Google to remove the Datalink-related search results globally so that Datalink results would not appear for any Google users, regardless of their location. Equustek once again prevailed, and Google appealed to the Court of Appeal for British Columbia. That court, and later the Supreme Court of Canada, affirmed the trial court’s order.

Google then brought the battle to the United States; in July 2017, it commenced an action in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California seeking a declaratory judgment that the Canadian court order cannot be enforced in the United States and an injunction against the enforcement of such order. (Equustek did not submit an opposition brief.)

In support of its preliminary injunction motion, Google’s primary arguments were that the Canadian order (1) ignores the Communication Decency Act’s immunity for interactive service providers (2) directly conflicts with the First Amendment and (3) violates principles of international comity.

 

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The content in this post was found at https://www.sociallyawareblog.com/2018/03/20/the-coming-border-wars-u-s-court-decision-refusing-to-enforce-canadian-court-order-highlights-the-growing-balkanization-of-the-internet/

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United States v. Microsoft Corp. (USSC)

15 03 2018

SCOTUSblog

United States v. Microsoft Corp.
US Supreme Court, heard February 27, 2018

Issue: Whether a United States provider of email services must comply with a probable-cause-based warrant issued under 18 U.S.C. § 2703 by making disclosure in the United States of electronic communications within that provider’s control, even if the provider has decided to store that material abroad.

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The content in this post was found at http://www.scotusblog.com/case-files/cases/united-states-v-microsoft-corp/ Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post. and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com.

Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post.



An Uphill Battle Protecting Fashion Designs In Nigeria and Abroad

7 03 2018

Growing frustration in the fashion community regarding weak or non-existent intellectual property laws has finally caught the attention of some nations. Nigeria is one nation that currently is trying to alleviate this frustration by reforming its intellectual property laws. This reform is driven, in part, because, Lagos, Nigeria has quickly risen as a fashion hub, and has been compared with such fashion centers as London, Paris, Milan, and New York. Nigerian designers have recently experienced great global success and visibility. For example, Amaka Osakwe has been pushing the limits of Nigerian fashion and has gained the attention of fashionistas in the United States and abroad. In 2014, she was invited to the White House by Michelle Obama, an admirer of her work, and her “Maki Oh” designs have been worn by Lupita Nyongo and other A-list celebrities. Last year, Ms. Osakwe was named a LVMH Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy Finalist, placing her among the most notable young fashion designers in the world today. Other talented Nigerian designers include Duro Olowu, Deola Sagoe, Lisa Folawiyo, and Lanre DeSilva-Ajayi. As these designers continue to gain worldwide recognition, they must protect their designs from infringement both within Nigeria and globally.

The first hurdle — protecting their fashion designs in Nigeria — is not a simple task. Copyright protection is typically sought to protect the two-dimensional aspects of clothing design, while design law may protect the three-dimensional design and shape of the piece. However, under both Nigeria’s copyright and design laws, designers have encountered significant difficulty protecting their works.

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The European Union Anti-Geoblocking Regulation Isn’t the End of the Anti-Geoblocking Battle (Guest Blog Post)

7 03 2018

by guest blogger Marketa Trimble

The EU Anti-Geoblocking Regulation has finally been published. After the Council of the European Union adopted the EU Anti-Geoblocking Regulation on February 27, 2018 (the European Parliament had adopted it earlier in the month), the Regulation was published in the Official Journal of the European Union on March 2, 2018, as “Regulation (EU) 2018/302 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 28 February 2018 on addressing unjustified geo-blocking and other forms of discrimination based on consumers’ nationality, place of residence or place of establishment within the internal market” (and amending some existing EU legislation) (the “Regulation”). The adoption of the Regulation is not the end of the EU geoblocking battle, which endures, with the focal point shifting to another piece of EU legislation that is discussed below.

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The content in this post was found at https://blog.ericgoldman.org/archives/2018/03/the-european-union-anti-geoblocking-regulation-isnt-the-end-of-the-anti-geoblocking-battle-guest-blog-post.htm

Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post. and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com.

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EU Publishers Acknowledge Snippet Tax Concerns, But Say: ‘It’s OK, You Can Trust Us’

22 02 2018

Techdirt has been following the ridiculous proposal to extend EU copyright even further to include tiny snippets from articles for years now. The idea has already been tried twice in the European Union, and failed dismally on both occasions. In Spain, a study showed the move there caused serious economic damage, especially to smaller companies; German publishers tacitly admitted the law was pointless when they granted Google a free license to use snippets from their titles. More recently, the European Commission’s own research confirmed that far from harming publishers, news aggregators have a positive impact on the industry’s advertising revenue. Despite the clear indications that a snippet tax is a terrible idea, some want to go even further, and make it apply to hyperlinks too. Writing in the French newspaper Le Monde back in December, large news agencies including Germany’s DPA and France’s AFP complained that sites:

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The content in this post was found at https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20180220/09184639271/eu-publishers-acknowledge-snippet-tax-concerns-say-ok-you-can-trust-us.shtml Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post. and was not authored by the moderators of privacynnewmedia.com. Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post.

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Copyright Owner Can Serve DMCA Counter-Notifier by Email–Epic Games v. Mendes

3 02 2018

DMCA counter-notifications are rare, and litigation over them is even more rare. So my curiosity is piqued that this is the second 512(g) case I’m blogging in a week (the other: DMCA Counternotification Doesn’t Create Personal Jurisdiction in Copyright Owner’s Home Court–Real v. Matteo). Must be something in the water.

Epic Games makes videogames, including Fortnite. Rak, a Russian, made a Fortnite cheat and posted a YouTube video advertising the cheat. “Epic Games alleges that Mr. Rak’s cheat and video violates Epic Games’s copyrights and trademarks and intentionally induces other players to modify the game and thereby induces those players to violate Epic Games’ copyrights and trademarks as well.” Epic got some press for the quoted legal position when it sued a minor and mom publicly scolded them. In this case, Epic sent a DMCA takedown notice for Rak’s video to YouTube, which complied. Rak submitted a counter-notice to YouTube.

The counter-notification statute requires the counter-notifier to include their “name, address, and telephone number, and a statement…that [they] will accept service of process from the person who provided notification under subsection (c)(1)(C) or an agent of such person.” Rak’s notice said he lived in Russia, listed his Gmail address, and said he would accept service. Epic located Rak’s email address used for his Fortnite account in its database and sent emails to both the Gmail and second email accounts including a cover letter, a copy of the summons and complaint, and a service waiver request (all in English). Rak did not reply.

 

Case citation: Epic Games, Inc. v. Mendes, 2018 WL 582411 (N.D. Cal. Jan. 29, 2018). The complaint.

 

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The content in this post was found at https://blog.ericgoldman.org/archives/2018/02/copyright-owner-can-serve-dmca-counter-notifier-by-email-epic-games-v-mendes.htm and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com. Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post.