Adsense HTML

Showing posts with label third party conduct. Show all posts
Showing posts with label third party conduct. Show all posts

Telstra ordered to help identify critic of doctor

Posting anonymous reviews to defame someone is risky.

Telstra has been ordered to provide documents to a doctor so that the doctor can assist identify someone who supposedly defamed him.

See this recent Federal Court decision:  Colagrande v Telstra Corporation Limited [2020] FCA 1595

Telstra did not appear at this court hearing.

This is similar to this case against Google:  http://www.cyberspac.com/2020/03/google-sued-again-for-identity-of-users.html and also these cases:

Kukulka v Google LLC [2020] FCA 1229

Kabbabe v Google LLC [2020] FCA 126 

Titan Enterprises (Qld) Pty Ltd v Cross [2016] FCA 1241 (patent attorney ordered to hand over file)

Titan Enterprises (Qld) Pty Ltd v Cross [2016] FCA 890 (written by Justice Edelman, now on the High Court)


Dallas Buyers Club decision - who won?

The Australian Federal Court decided today that ISP iiNet was required to identify some of its customers who have downloaded the movie "Dallas Buyers Club".  The court imposed restrictions and costs on the copyright holder.  No email addresses were ordered to be disclosed.  Dallas Buyers Club LLC v iiNet Limited [2015] FCA 317.

See Court Decision and SMH Article.

User Generated Content

An interesting story from England.  A hotel fined a guest for a bad review on TripAdvisor.

See Couple Fined by Hotel for Bad Review

See also this article, that mentions some lawsuits regarding user generated content

Defamation and the liability of search engine providers

The following Supreme Court of NSW decision was delivered last week by McCallum J: Bleyer v Google Inc [2014] NSWSC 897 http://www.caselaw.nsw.gov.au/action/PJUDG?jgmtid=172529.

Her Honour expressly declined to follow Beach J in Trkulja v Google, and preferred the English line of cases. This was not a final decision on the merits (consideration was in the context of a permanent stay application, given low prospects of success), however the reasoning in this case is likely to be given significant weight in any future consideration of these issues. Her Honour does leave open the question, however, of whether liability may arise once notification of a complaint is received by the search engine provider.

An extract:

[83]  The evidence before me establishes that there is no human input in the application of the Google search engine apart from the creation of the algorithm. I would respectfully disagree with the conclusion reached by Beach J in Trkulja that the performance of the function of the algorithm in that circumstance is capable of establishing liability as a publisher at common law. I would adopt the English line of authority to the effect that, at least prior to notification of a complaint (and on the strength of the evidence before me), Google Inc cannot be liable as a publisher of the results produced by its search engine.

Lawsuit over bad Yelp review

See this story regarding a lawsuit by a builder against his customer who posted a bad review on Yelp.

The article includes the following:

For a while, online reviewers have been free to say whatever they like about businesses without much in the way of fact-checking by the review websites that host their comments.
And because review sites like TripAdvisor, Yelp and Angie’s List often refuse to remove negative reviews without a court injunction, many businesses resort to responding to reviewers personally through the sites.
But others, like Deitz, have decided to cut out the middle man and lawyer up — no doubt because sites like Yelp are exerting increasing influence over consumers' buying decisions, from which plumber to hire to fix a leaky toilet to which spa to patronise to get a massage.
Thanks to their efforts, anonymity as an online reviewer may be a thing of the past.
In a major win for business owners in the US, a Virginia appeals court ruled earlier this month that Yelp must reveal the identities of seven users who wrote negative reviews of a local carpet cleaning business.
In that case, the customers weren't actually patrons of the shop, business owner claimed, which made their reviews false statements rather than opinions protected by the First Amendment. Yelp wasn't happy about the ruling, but they forked over the names anyway.

Google not responsible for contents of advertisements

The High Court of Australia decided today that Google is not responsible for the content of advertisements placed via its AdWords program.

A key reason was the following at [69]:

That the display of sponsored links (together with organic search results) can be described as Google's response to a user's request for information does not render Google the maker, author, creator or originator of the information in a sponsored link. The technology which lies behind the display of a sponsored link merely assembles information provided by others for the purpose of displaying advertisements directed to users of the Google search engine in their capacity as consumers of products and services. In this sense, Google is not relevantly different from other intermediaries, such as newspaper publishers (whether in print or online) or broadcasters (whether radio, television or online), who publish, display or broadcast the advertisements of others.

See:
Court Decision, Google Inc v Australian Competition and Consumer Commission [2013] HCA 1
SMH
Technology Spectator
KWM Bulletin

Lawsuit Against Google For AutoComplete

An Australian doctor is suing Google for regarding its auto-complete function, that suggests the word "bankrupt" when his name is entered in the search box.
See Full Story

Google Sued in New Zealand, and wins

Google NZ was sued for defamation.  The lawsuit was dismissed on summary judgment, because it was decided that the Google NZ entity was not carrying on business in New Zealand and had no control over the search engine.  The court left open the question of whether Google is responsible for defamatory material that it produces from its search engine.
See NZ Court Decision (A v. Google New Zealand Ltd) and comment.

Smirnoff Responsible for Comments of Users on Facebook

The Board considered that the Facebook site of an advertiser is a marketing communication tool over which the advertiser has a reasonable degree of control and could be considered to draw the attention of a segment of the public to a product in a manner calculated to promote or oppose directly or indirectly that product. The Board determined that the provisions of the Code apply to an advertiser’s Facebook page. As a Facebook page can be used to engage with customers, the Board further considered that the Code applies to the content generated by the advertisers as well as material or comments posted by users or friends.”


See Diageo Australia 

German Court case fails to settle YouTube copyright controversy

A German court has ruled that YouTube must erase seven contested videos over copyright issues. However, the decision has failed to settle the protracted copyright row raging on the Internet. Hamburg's State Court ruled on Friday that YouTube will have to take seven videos offline, including "Rivers of Babylon" by Boney M.

The verdict strengthens the position of Germany's royalty collections body GEMA which has been battling Google-owned YouTube over copyright issues for years.

The last agreement expired in 2009 and the conflicting parties have since been at loggerheads over the proper method to collect copyright fees.  However, Friday's verdict is not the landmark ruling which some had hoped would once and for all settle the contentious issue of copyright protection in the Internet.

Limited culpability
The Hamburg court decided that Internet platforms like YouTube are not directly liable for the breach of copyrights committed by users uploading protected material. However, the platform is now obliged to "deactivate immediately any illegal videos" once alerted by those holding the copyright.

Notably, the ruling does not oblige YouTube to check all content that has already been uploaded to its site – a key GEMA demand.

The judges said YouTube was not the main culprit because it does not upload or steal any content. Rather it facilitated the copyright breaches by offering and operating the online platform.

In order to prevent further copyright breaches, the judges called on YouTube to employ specific software capable of detecting songs in videos.

iiNet High Court of Australia Decison - iiNet Wins

The High Court of Australia today handed down judgment in favour of iiNet in the copyright appeal, dealing with whether an ISP should be liable for copyright infringements of the ISP's customers.  Unanimous dismissal. French, Crennan and Kiefel in one judgment and separate judgment of Gummow and Hayne also dismissing appeal.

"Today the High Court dismissed an appeal by a number of film and television companies from a decision of the Full Court of the Federal Court of Australia. The High Court held that the respondent, an internet service provider, had not authorised the infringement by its customers of the appellants' copyright in commercially released films and television programs."

Summary:
http://www.hcourt.gov.au/assets/publications/judgment-summaries/2012/hcasum16_2012_04_20_iiNet.pdf

Judgment:
http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/cth/HCA/2012/16.html

My commentary in The Age

Class 7: Liability of intermediatories and ISPs

This class deals with liability of intermediaries. For example, is an ISP liable for the conduct of its users? Is a web hosting company liable for the content of others that it hosts? Is TripAdvisor liable for reviews of hotels posted by users? Is Google liable for the content that appears on this blog?

Should such intermediaries be liable for the actions of others?

This is a very topical class, with a number of relevant decisions from the past two weeks.  Thus, there is a lot of reading for this class.

The main reading for the class is the iiNet case:
The iiNet case is currently on appeal to the High Court of Australia.  Oral argument has been heard, and we are waiting for judgment.  It is reported that judgment will be handed down on Friday, 20 April.  Transcripts and written submissions can be found on the High Court website.

Please also read the very recent case: Australian Competition and Consumer Commission v. Google Inc. [2012] FCAFC 49 decided last week; and compare UK position summarised here.

Also, read the following:

Google Liable for Misleading Advertisements

The Full Court of the Federal Court of Australia today decided that Google was liable for misleading advertisements placed by advertisers.  See Australian Competition and Consumer Commission v. Google Inc. [2012] FCAFC 49.

The 3-0 judgment against Google included the following text:

"An ordinary and reasonable user would conclude from these circumstances that it was Google who was displaying the sponsored link in collocation with the sponsor's URL in response to the user's search.  Even if all these circumstances would not be apparent to ordinary and reasonable users, so that Google could not be "seen" by them to be more than a mere conduit, these circumstances show that Google is, in fact, much more than a mere conduit.  ...  Critical to this conclusion is the fact that the sponsored link is displayed on the screen in response to a user's query which is made by the entry of selected key words.  Thus, the user asks a question of Google and obtains Google's response.  Several features of the overall process indicate that Google engages in misleading conduct. ...

Google supplies its advertising customers with the ability to select keywords which are expected to be used by persons making enquiries through Google's search engine.  The ability of advertisers to select "broad match" keywords enables them to trigger sponsored links through Google's search engine based on known associations which are determined by Google's proprietary algorithm.  Although the keywords are selected by the advertiser, perhaps with input from Google, what is critical to the process is the triggering of the link by Google using its algorithms.  That is a further reason to conclude that it is Google's conduct as a principal, not merely as a conduit, which is involved in each of the four instances that form the subject matter of this appeal."

Wrong Takedown Demand

What happens if a person issues a copyright take down demand to a file sharing website such as Vimeo or YouTube, and it is wrong.  Potential liability for unjustified threats.
See Bell v. Steele
See also:  SMH Article and Note.

Interview with Kim Dotcom Lawyer

Here is an interview from NZ TV with Mr Kim Dotcom's U.S. lawyer.  Can the operator of a file storage system be criminally liable for copyright infringement of its users?  Or is there more to this case than this?

Twitter Being Sued For Defamation

Twitter is being sued for defamation by a Melbourne man, Joshua Meggitt, who was wrongly identified as the author of a “hate blog”.
See story here and SMH.

Advertising Financial Products on the Internet

ASIC has today released RG 234, Advertising financial products and advice services: Good practice guidance, to assist promoters in complying with their legal obligations when advertising financial products and services. See the media release - 14 February 2012, for further information and related material.

It applies to advertising on the Internet, via Twitter and the like.  See section RG 234.115
and following.
What is interesting is that the Guidelines also apply to publishers (such as newspapers), Internet sites, and aggregators and comparison websites.  See Section E and RG234.164 and following.

"While the primary responsibility for advertising material rests with the organisation placing the advertisement, the publisher may also have some responsibility for the content of an advertisement."

Rogue Websites

On May 12, 2011, U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT), and Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Chuck Grassley (R-IA) sponsored S. 968, the Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act (PROTECT IP Act), a bill to deter, prevent and root out websites that profit from trafficking in stolen content.


Week 7: Liability of ISPs and Infrastructure Providers

This class deals with liability of intermediaries. For example, is an ISP liable for the conduct of its users? Is a web hosting company liable for the content of others that it hosts? Is TripAdvisor liable for reviews of hotels posted by users? Is Google liable for the content that appears on this blog?

Should such intermediaries be liable for the actions of others?

The main reading for the class is the iiNet case:

Hacktivist raided

Swiss Hacktivist was raided at the request of U.S. authorities for data theft and then publishing what was hacked. https://amp.9news.com.au/...