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The Law of Google 2010 (updated)

These are my notes for class for 1 March 2010. The class is "The law of Google". Have a look at these websites (and if you have a Google account, log in to that account first):

1. The breadth of Google.

Scholarly Papers
Custom Search, example: Leading Australian Law Firms
Syndicated Search and example and example
Google Base

More information: Wikipedia
How Google Works
Google Sitemap

2. AdWords and AdSense: Google Advertising

A. Do these searches on Google, Australian Googleand UK Google and compare results:
  • Noosa
  • Hilton
  • Q1
  • cheap accomodation queensland
  • flowers paddington
  • the tallest building in brisbane is
  • DSL-G604T
  • Sony
  • Harvey World Travel
  • Harvey World Travel Insurance
Have a look at the two Google search interfaces on this page ( and do the same searches on both and compare the results.

B. AdSense

Look at the Google Ads on these websites:
More information on Adsense

C. Google Trends and Google Analytics
Also, Google Insights for Search

D. AdWords
  • create Ad
  • select Keywords, budget and display location
  • people then click on your Ad.
Terms: pay-per-click (PPC); cost-per-click (CPC); cost-per-impression (CPM); click through rate (CTR)

KeyWord Tool and Tool

More information: Google Learning Centre

E. Other types of Google advertising
Local Maps
You Tube

F. Problems & Issues

(a) Pay Per Click Websites

Look at these websites:
(What is legitimate? See RealSpanking and Jackassand UStream)

(b) Click Fraud
What percentage of click are fraudulent? See this story and here too.
Clickfraud is old news: Crack-down

(c) Trade Mark Issues
Google Procedure
ACCC Lawsuit: See here and here and here andhere(Google filed its defence on 17 November 2008.)
RescueCom Lawsuit
French Lawsuit
Geico Lawsuit and settlement

More information
Google Business Solutions

3. Legal issues and lawsuits

Book Search Lawsuit and here
Caching & Copyright: see here and here and here

Have a look at other Google posts on this blog: Click Here

First Class 2010

Welcome to LWN117 Cyber Law and Policy in Semester 1, 2010 at QUT.

This unit is offered in internal mode, commencing Monday 22 February 2010 at 6pm.

The Venue is: GP:B506

Google, Privacy and Buzz

Google moved quickly to contain a firestorm of criticism over Buzz, its new social network, taking the unusual step of announcing changes to the product over the weekend to address privacy problems.

Late Saturday, Todd Jackson, product manager for Gmail and Google Buzz, wrote in a blog post that Google had decided to alter one of the most vehemently criticized features in Buzz: the ready-made circle of friends that Buzz gives new users based on their most frequent e-mail and chat contacts. Now, instead of automatically connecting people, Buzz merely suggests to new users a group of people that they may want to follow or want to be followed by. ....

Critics Say Google Invades Privacy With New Service

SAN FRANCISCO — When Google introduced Buzz — its answer to Facebook and Twitter — it hoped to get the service off to a fast start. New users of Buzz, which was added to Gmail on Tuesday, found themselves with a ready-made network of friends automatically selected by the company based on the people that each user communicated with most frequently through Google’s e-mail and chat services.

Google's decision to use e-mail and chat as the basis of a social network was unfair and deceptive, some critics claimed.


With Buzz, Google Plunges Into Social Networking(February 10, 2010)

Times Topics: Google Inc.

Readers' Comments

But what Google viewed as an obvious shortcut stirred up a beehive of angry critics. Many users bristled at what they considered an invasion of privacy, and they faulted the company for failing to ask permission before sharing a person’s Buzz contacts with a broad audience. For the last three days, Google has faced a firestorm of criticism on blogs and Web sites, and it has already been forced to alter some features of the service.

Copyright in Directories

This recent judgment also includes interesting comments regarding computer generated works.

Telstra Corporation Limited v Phone Directories Company Pty Ltd [2010] FCA 44 (8 February 2010)

"Even if the authors of the Works could be identified with sufficient clarity and certainty (and they cannot), the people suggested to be the authors of the Works did not exercise “independent intellectual effort” and / or “sufficient effort of a literary nature”. A majority of the creation process of the WPD and the YPD was heavily automated. Human intervention was regulated and controlled according to either the various computer systems in place including the Rules (see Part V Sections B and C above). Further, the contribution of the people suggested to be authors of the Works was anterior to the work taking its material form. Very few people had any part to play in the final presentation of the Works or the particular form of expression of the information. Those people, again, could not have been said to have exercised “independent intellectual effort” and / or “sufficient effort of a literary nature”: see [20(3)] above."

iiNet copyright case

The iiNet copyright case was decided this week. It concerns the copyright liability of an Internet service provider (ISP) for the conduct of its customers.

Challenges for Google

From The New York Times:

In Europe, Challenges for Google

On issues like privacy, copyright protection and the dominance of its search engine, Google is increasingly clashing with lawmakers and regulators.

Internet Freedom

Hilary Clinton's speech yesterday on Internet freedom attracked an interesting reaction from China.

News coverage of Chinese reaction:

Updated Internet Law Website

I have updated the class Internet Law website.
It is now located at
There is a list of useful Internet law links here.

Also, as an experiment, have a look at:

Photos and Piracy

"Internet accessibility of images amassed by governmental organizations, commercial entities and individuals is the basis of novel privacy violation claims. However, Internet distribution of images of both individuals and private places collected from public places remains lawful."

Pictures From Public Places Not Private

French parliament delays vote on Internet law

"A law backed by French President Nicolas Sarkozy to tackle Internet piracy suffered a new setback on Tuesday after legislators postponed a vote on the bill until September."

Source: Reuters

A warning from California

"The FLIR decision is a reminder to employers to be cautious when determining to bring a lawsuit against former employees for trade secret misappropriation. California courts may not tolerate the filing of misappropriation claims where it appears the employer is merely fearful or suspicious of wrongdoing. In such cases, the employer plaintiff risks not only a dismissal of its claims but the possibility of being sanctioned for bringing the action. "

FLIR Systems v. Parrish

Apple and Protection of Trade Secrets

From the NY Times
"The local police bureau declined to answer questions about the case. But reports of the apparent suicide have set off a firestorm of criticism of Foxconn’s treatment of Mr. Sun, labor conditions at its factories and the pressures Apple places on suppliers to abide by the culture of secrecy that surrounds its development of new products.

The case also underscores the challenges that global companies face in trying to safeguard their designs and intellectual property in the hotly contested smartphone market, particularly here in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen, an electronics manufacturing center known for piracy and counterfeiting."

eBay & French Court Decision

In June 2008, the Paris Commercial Court had ordered eBay to pay damages of 38.6 million Euros to the luxury group LVMH, ruling that the auction sales platform, as a broker, was liable under ordinary law as result of the sale of infringing products on its platform. On 13 May 2009, the Paris Civil Court ruled the opposite in favor of eBay. In this case, L'Oréal claimed eBay should not benefit from the hosting provider protective status under French law, as its activities went beyond a mere technical hosting service. eBay argued, however, it merely hosted items put up for sale by users of its auction sales platform, and therefore had no general monitoring obligation.
In its judgment of 13 May 2009, the Court ruled that eBay's activity consisting in storing the listings prepared by vendors and making them available online was a hosting activity, benefiting from the hosting provider protective status. Yet, the Court suggested that the parties had recourse to judicial mediation, in order to cooperate and agree on measures to be implemented to put an end to the sale of counterfeit products on the auction sales platform. With regard to eBay's advertising activities, the Court considered that the platform could not benefit from the hosting provider protective status, since its role was no longer passive, and such activities were not essential to the hosting activity. The Court nevertheless held eBay not liable, since L'Oréal did not clearly establish the alleged infringement.
Paris Civil Court, 13 May 2009
Source: T LAW ALERT - No. 2009/03 - GIDE LOYRETTE NOUEL A.A.R.P.I.

Google Wave - the next big thing from Google

Google is planning on launching Google Wave.
Here is a video about Google Wave. (
It is long and probably takes about 20 mins to get a decent feel.) Google Wave is the next big thing from Google -- to merge IM, email, Facebook etc. It is said to be Google's counter attack to Microsoft's (launched this week, in case you missed Microsoft's $100M launch campaign) but it is really not a search tool but a communication tool.

A commentary is here:

Here is a back story about it:

Lars Rasmussen is speaking later this month in Brisbane, and next month in Sydney & Melbourne. He invented Google Maps, and now Google Wave. He lives in Sydney.

2009 Innovation Lecture - Dr Lars Rasmussen, Google

30 June 2009 Brisbane – Customs House

Business Method Patents

"WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court agreed on Monday to decide what sorts of business methods might be patented, an issue with the potential to reshape significant parts of the economy. “This is the most important patent case in 50 years, in particular because there is so much damage and so much good the court could do,” said John F. Duffy, a law professor at George Washington University who submitted a brief in the appeals court in support of neither side."

Google News

One topic for tonight's class will be Google News, and the impact of the IceTV copyright decision on Google. For IceTV, see below.

Have a look at the following:

Stanford IP Litigation Clearinghouse

This is an interesting website:

On December 8, 2008, the Law, Science & Technology Program at Stanford Law School, together with several commercial and philanthropic partners, launched the Stanford Intellectual Property Litigation Clearinghouse (IPLC). A free online database, the site is being released to the public in phases, with the patent portion currently offering real-time comprehensive data regarding patent infringement litigation in the United States. Non-patent matters, including copyright, trademark, trade secret and antitrust currently offer only intermittent data while "pending additional fundraising."

Internet Law Bookstore

I created an Internet Law Bookstore using Amazon technology. It took only 5 minutes to set up. Have a look at This shows how easy it is to set up an e-commerce website these days.

Recent US Copyright Case

"CBS's Internet unit won the right to use National Football League players' names and statistics for free in fantasy sports leagues it sponsors after a judge ruled the information is in the public domain. The ruling is the latest setback for professional sports leagues and players unions looking to control the fantasy market. "

Similar result to IceTV in Australia?

IceTV Judgment - copyright and electronic program guides

See Story in SMH.

Judgment on Austlii

Penguin Jurisdiction Case

Penguin IP Suit V. Web Site Can't Fly In NY: Judge
A federal judge has tossed a copyright case brought by Penguin Group USA Inc. against a Web site that posted Upton Sinclair's "Oil!" and several other Penguin works online, citing a lack of personal jurisdiction in New York.

Recent Internet Reports

Internet Typology: The Mobile Difference: Wireless Connectivity Has Drawn Many Users More Deeply into Digital Life
Pew Internet & American Life Project, March 25, 2009
Freedom on the Net: A Global Assessment of Internet and Digital Media
Freedom House, April 1, 2009
This publication includes country reports on Brazil, China, Cuba, Egypt, Estonia, Georgia, India, Iran, Kenya, Malaysia, Russia, South Africa, Tunisia, Turkey and the United Kingdom.
Internet Crime Report 2008
Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), March 2009
There is an FBI news release, March 30, 2009, at

Sinking the Copyright Pirates: Global Protection of Intellectual Property
Hearing before the U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs, April 6, 2009
For transcripts, please go to and scroll down.
The Office of U.S. Trade Representative Releases Summary of Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) Negotiations
News release, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), April 6, 2009
The summary is at

Research Tool

When you are doing website research, you may wish to use this free tool to record and store the pages that you find interesting or useful.
See (an Australian invention)

Domain Names

Carly Long, an expert in domain name litigation, will teach the first half of the class this Tuesday evening.

You may wish to have a look at the following:


Panel Views

See also, UDRP Commentaries

Letter to ICANN

Proposed Changes to the Patent Act

If you are interested in patents, then you may be interested in these proposed changes to the law in Australia. We will be looking at patents later in the semester.

Google and Trademarks

In a long-awaited opinion, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Google must face a trademark infringement lawsuit for selling keywords that trigger ads.

The three-judge panel reversed a lower court's dismissal of Rescuecom v. Google, 06-4881, in which computer-repair company Rescuecom had claimed that users could be confused by links to competitors' ads that appear alongside Google search results for the company's trademarked name.


Rescuecom Corp. v. Google Inc., 2009 WL 875447 (2d Cir. April 3, 2009)

The Standard

Eric Goldman's Blog


The class on Tuesday will focus on jurisdiction issues.

If you want to do some extra background reading, a recent case concerning The Secret documentary and book has both Interent and jurisdictional issues. It is more important for copyright law, but is an interesting diversion for Cyberlaw.

Background: The Australian

Australian Trial Judge Decision
Full Court of Federal Court Decision

US Lawsuit
Note regarding US decision on jurisdiction
Motion Judgment

Dan Hollings Case.

Google/Louis Vuitton legal battle resumes

See The Guardian

Google today entered the latest stage in a four-year legal battle against luxury brand Louis Vuitton which accuses the US internet giant of selling trademark search terms relating to its products to rivals.

Google's lawyers are at the European Court of Justice today as part of a hearing relating to an appeal the search company lodged after LVMH won a case in France against Google in 2005.

Amazon and Copyright


This week, an e-book Web site said invoked the 1998 law to prevent books from some non-Amazon sources from working on its Kindle reader.

Amazon sent a legal notice to complaining that information relating to a computer utility written in the Python programming language "constitutes a violation" of the DMCA, according to a copy of the warning letter that the site posted. is an e-book news and community site.

Google and NZ Copyright

Stepping into local New Zealand political debate for the first time, Google makes a submission on the draft ISP code of practice – and it doesn’t hold back, citing a rash of bogus copyright claims it has received in the US. In its opening salvo, the company says, "section 92A undermines the incredible social and economic benefits of the open and universally accessible internet, by providing for a remedy of account termination or disconnection that is disproportionate to the harm of copyright infringement online.”


Cybersquatting Cases Hit Record In 2008
WIPO has announced that companies and celebrities ranging from Arsenal football club to actress Scarlett Johansson filed a record number of "cybersquatting" cases in 2008 to stop others from profiting from their famous names, brands, and events. The most common business sector in which complaints arose was pharmaceuticals, due to Web sites offering sales of medicines with protected names.

10 March: Social Media Club Brisbane

Instead of the usual LWN117 class on Tuesday 10 March, you are encouraged to attend the March event of the Social Media Club Brisbane:
SMCB March is a panel discussion about legal issues related to the social media world. Joining us on the panel for the evening is:
  • Peter Black, Lecturer, QUT Law School
  • Professor Brian Fitzgerald, Professor of Intellectual Property and Innovation, QUT Law School
  • John Swinson, Partner, Mallesons
After you've picked the lawyers' brains hang around for a few drinks downstairs at Lock n Load's Jazz Night. Feel free to arrive from 5.30pm, with the panel session starting at 6.00pm.

SMBC March is proudly supported by QUT Faculty of Law and Lock n Load Bistro.
Lock n Load is at 142 Boundary St, West End QLD 4101. View Google Maps here.

Patents and Google

Google Patent Chief: Patent reform needed more than ever
Posted: 03 Mar 2009 11:29 AM PST

Editorial by Michelle Lee, Head of Patents and Patent Strategy at Google, See

The Law of Google

These are my notes for class for Tuesday, 3 March 2009. The class is "The law of Google".

1. The breadth of Google.

Scholarly Papers
Custom Search, example: Leading Australian Law Firms
Syndicated Search and example
Google Base

Search tricks and tips
Internal search
Site Search
Site Map

Other Google Stuff
Google Accounts
Web History
Photos: Picasa and Picasa Web
Chrome Browser

More information: Wikipedia
How Google Works
Google Sitemap

2. AdWords and AdSense: Google Advertising

A. Do these searches on Google, Australian Google and UK Google and compare results:
  • Noosa
  • Hilton
  • Q1
  • cheap accomodation queensland
  • flowers paddington
  • the tallest building in brisbane is
  • DSL-G604T
  • Sony
  • Harvey World Travel
  • Harvey World Travel Insurance
B. AdSense

Look at the Google Ads on these websites:
More information on Adsense

C. Google Trends and Google Analytics

D. AdWords
  • create Ad
  • select Keywords, budget and display location
  • people then click on your Ad.
Terms: pay-per-click (PPC); cost-per-click (CPC); cost-per-impression (CPM); click through rate (CTR)

KeyWord Tool and Tool

More information: Google Learning Centre

E. Other types of Google advertising

F. Problems & Issues

(a) Pay Per Click Websites

Look at these websites:
(What is legitimate? See RealSpanking and Jackass and UStream)

(b) Click Fraud
What percentage of click are fraudulent? See this story and here too.
Clickfraud is old news: Crack-down

(c) Trade Mark Issues
Google Procedure
ACCC Lawsuit: See here and here and here and here (Google filed its defence on 17 November 2008.)
RescueCom Lawsuit
French Lawsuit
Geico Lawsuit and settlement

More information
Google Business Solutions

3. Legal issues and lawsuits

Book Search Lawsuit and here
Caching & Copyright: see here and here and here

Also, see older posts in this blog, such as this post from 2006.

LNP candidate hits Labor's Dean Wells in the Googles

THE state election campaign is yet to officially begin, but a new battlefront has emerged in cyberspace in the fight to win over undecided voters.

Anyone googling Labor MP Dean Wells' name will first see a link to his Liberal National Party opponent's website on their screens.

The LNP's Murrumba candidate Peter Flannery is paying the online search engine for a sponsored link to appear at the top of the results page.

See Courier Mail

The Secret Litigation

There is currently a copyright litigation regarding the DVD and best selling book, The Secret.

The Director, Drew Heriot, is suing Rhonda Byrne in Federal Court in Chicago. Byrne's Eastern European company, TS Productions, is suing Drew in Federal Court in Melbourne, Australia.

Although these cases do not directly concern the Internet, they raise interesting questions regarding jurisdiction and appropriate forum.

I am representing Drew Heriot.


Internet Business Issues

David Jacobson, from Brisbane, has a very useful Blog for Internet businesses in Brisbane, titled "External Insights".

New blog

Now that LWN117 is over for 2006, if you are interested in following developments that relate to the legal regulation of the internet, visit my new blog Freedom to Differ:

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]

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.

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.

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
Coverage at

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

Recent Articles About Google

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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

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.,,1761482,00.html

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.

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

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.

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.

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, 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.

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
Coverage at

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.

Reading For Class About Google

Read about Google AdWords and AdSense at and at

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.

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:

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.

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.

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.

Sue Lavering

FPL Secretary, International and Community Engagement
Faculty of Law
Queensland University of Technology
Ph 3864 5433
Fax 3864 1161

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.

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?

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.


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?

Academic Live

Just a few months after Microsoft launched the beta version of their new search engine,, they have launched Windows Live Academic at

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?


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.

What impact will this have? Will it be effective?

iTunes 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.

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?

Business 2.0 Magazine: MySpace purge draws sharp reactions

From Business 2.0 Magazine:
  • SAN FRANCISCO (Business 2.0) - When Friendster started deleting profiles it deemed risque or otherwise objectionable, users bolted for the exits, helping to boost rival social networks like MySpace. Could MySpace be making the same mistake? Author Nicholas Carr characterized a recent move to close 200,000 accounts as a "purge." Ross Levinsohn, head of MySpace parent News Corp.'s (Research) Internet division, said the move was motivated by concerns for teen safety. That's certainly credible given the spate or recent incidents in which adults have been arrested for soliciting sex from minors met on the site. But mainstream marketers' concerns about questionable content may just go just as far in explaining its recent reform campaign. And with 250,000 new accounts opened daily, the closures hardly seem large enough to slow MySpace's momentum.

Will this impact on MySpace? Should MySpace be censoring accounts?

Australian Code on Spam

Last week the ACMA registered a code of practice for internet service providers and email service providers on countering spam. Read the press release and the Code.

Do you think this Code will help reduce spam? Why? Why not?

Back to blogging

Sorry for the lack of posts over the last week. But I'm back and I promise to keep blogging until I take another week off from blogging over Easter.

How should damages be assessed for privacy and cybersecurity breaches

Listen to this podcast where I discuss how damages should be assessed in privacy and cybersecurity lawsuits. The Lawyers Weekly Show host J...