Zohar Efroni's blog

The ECJ’s Ruling on Google Adwords

The closely watched battle over the use of trademarks as keywords for purpose of triggering advertisements on Google’s search result pages (AdWords) reached high peak today with the release of the European Court of Justice’s ruling on the French cases. In what appears to be a resounding win for Google, the ECJ managed to avoid some of the critical questions in a decision that, in fact, projects little new light on the multibillion dollars question: Is AdWording that involves marks as keywords legal in Europe? Read more about The ECJ’s Ruling on Google Adwords

Sweeping Telecom Data Retention Law Held Unconstitutional in Germany

The German Constitutional Court (GCC) this morning struck down a law that imposed on private telecom operators and service providers such as ISPs and telephone companies comprehensive duties to keep record of all communication data, including Internet activity, e-mails, SMS, MMS etc., for six months and without pre-screening or cause. It appears to be a glorious victory to privacy interests, yet some privacy advocates are disappointed since the GCC did not take the opportunity to declare such regulation as unconstitutional on its face. Either way, the Court imposed quite substantial restrictions on the legal formulation of the telecom data retention law, its application, and the way law enforcement agencies may use the data. Read more about Sweeping Telecom Data Retention Law Held Unconstitutional in Germany

Paper on Information as Intellectual Property Subject Matter

I’ve just posted my paper on information as IP subject matter. The paper addresses some basic questions about the idea of property-like rights in “information” at the abstract level. Beyond theory, the conception of information developed there has various applications to a host of more specific questions of IP law, e.g., copyright policy and judicial interpretation of statutory subject matter provisions. Comments are welcome. Read more about Paper on Information as Intellectual Property Subject Matter

Patent law goes to Hollywood

I have seen several posts (here, here, and also here) that discuss a recent patent infringement lawsuit filed late November to the DC District Court. Bloggers find this infringement action quite unusual, and I agree on that. The case of Global Findability v. Summit Entertainment (original complaint available here) concerns a movie called “Knowing” starring Nicolas Cage as a genius MIT professor who decodes series of numbers delivered from divine sources. Decoding these numbers provides information about future catastrophic events, including their exact geophysical location and even the number of victims. Read more about Patent law goes to Hollywood

The Google Books Amended Settlement Agreement and International Works

The long-awaited Amended Settlement Agreement (ASA) was filed yesterday. The relevant documents (including the new version of the settlement and a summery of the main changes) are available here. As someone who was looking into the international law aspects of the settlement recently, one of the first places for me to look was the new definition to a “Book”, which now reads as follows: Read more about The Google Books Amended Settlement Agreement and International Works

German Music Sampling Decision Translated

It was brought to my attention that the German high court decision on copyright and music sampling I had previously blogged on here received a fresh English translation that is now available online. (Thanks Tom Braegelmann!) It provides a highly detailed and careful exposition of the legal situation in Germany concerning music sampling and copyright law. As explained in the translators’ note: Read more about German Music Sampling Decision Translated

Paris in the Ninth Circuit

I simply could not resist sharing this one, for those who don’t check IPKat regularly. Apparently, transformativeness is not only a big deal in copyright fair use law, but also in tort claims for misappropriation of celebrities’ name and likeness (aka the right of publicity).

In the copyright context, at least, the underlying work – i.e., the work that is being sufficiently transformed (or not) by the defendant - must be original in the first place in order to give rise to a legal action. Would Paris Hilton’s pitch “That’s hot” qualify? Obviously not. But when Paris says “That’s hot” – then, folks, we have some heavyweight first amendment issues coming our way… Read more about Paris in the Ninth Circuit

A New Book: Moral Panics and the Copyright Wars

Copyright treatise’ author and, for the past few years, Google’s copyright counsel William Patry has recently published a new book with Oxford University Press bearing the title “Moral Panics and the Copyright Wars”.

I was among those who deeply regretted (though fully understood) Mr. Patry’s decision to discontinue his popular blog on copyright about a year ago. Therefore, I was particularly delighted to learn that Patry has decided to start a new blog devoted to his new book. Read more about A New Book: Moral Panics and the Copyright Wars

A New Study on Privacy Online in Israel

Calls to better safeguard users' privacy online and improve protection of personal data on the Internet are commonplace. The concerns about privacy issues are sometimes coupled with demanding higher legal standards of protection pertaining to access and use of personal data obtained over the Internet by third parties, may they be the government and its agencies or private entities that collect and use personal data for commercial purposes. Professors Michael Birnhack (Tel Aviv University) and Niva Elkin-Koren (University of Haifa) have just posted a new and highly interesting study that addresses questions of compliance with privacy regulation in Israel. Read more about A New Study on Privacy Online in Israel

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Zohar Efroni's blog