Zohar Efroni's blog

A Key Keywording Decision

Keywording (aka keying) is the practice of registering with search engine words, terms, acronyms etc. that are protected by trademarks owned by someone else. The registration triggers the advertisement of the registrant and places it on the results page when users enter the keyword into the search box and run their search. Trademark holders are not happy when competitors bid on words or names in which they have exclusive rights. Commercial competitors that operate under names used as keywords sometimes argue that this practice amounts to unfair competition. Read more about A Key Keywording Decision

The Next Copyright Case to Hit the Supreme Court?

A while ago I commented here on the Second Circuit’s decision in The Cartoon Network/Cable News Network v. CSC Holdings/Cablevision. It seemed to me like a decision that would leave a mark, one with implications reaching far beyond the particular dispute between the particular parties. Meanwhile, Cable News appealed to the Supreme Court. During the first week of November, a rainfall of amici curiea (friends of the court) briefs supporting the petition washed the threshold of the Court. Read more about The Next Copyright Case to Hit the Supreme Court?

German Court Orders to Block wikipedia.de Due to Offending Article

Here’s another bizarre Internet case that makes you wonder…. Typing now into your favorite Internet browser the address www.wikipedia.de (the German Wikipedia) will not lead you to the familiar Wikipedia homepage. Instead, you will find yourself starring at the following notice (original is in German, below is my loose translation): Read more about German Court Orders to Block wikipedia.de Due to Offending Article

Proposal to Extend Copyright Duration for Performances und Sound Recordings in Europe Criticized

As known to many, the Copyright Term Extension Act of 1998 (CTEA) added 20 years to the duration of copyrights. Writing for the majority in Eldred v. Ashcroft, Justice Ginsburg mentioned the European rule of life-plus-seventy at least five times. It appeared to be a central argument in support of the CTEA and the SC was impressed. It is also well-known that E.U. legislatures have a special place in their heart for copyright law. Nearly 10 copyright-related directives emerged in the past decade-and-a-half. And indeed, one of first copyright issues to tackle was copyright duration. Read more about Proposal to Extend Copyright Duration for Performances und Sound Recordings in Europe Criticized

The Cartoon Network v. CSC Holdings & Cablevision Systems

The Second Circuit decided The Cartoon Network v. CSC Holdings & Cablevision already two and a half weeks ago. This means light years in terms of blogging, but due to its importance I've decided to take the liberty and offer a late (and somewhat elaborate) entry discussing this ruling and some of its implications. The Cartoon Network is a very significant decision and I will not be surprised to see it surfacing in many future decisions and law review articles to come. Its central import is in pinching a big hole in the balloon often referred to as the “MAI v. Peak and its progeny.” I believe that the decision will have far-reaching ramifications on the development of temporary reproduction law in the future. Read more about The Cartoon Network v. CSC Holdings & Cablevision Systems

Jacobsen v. Katzer/Kamind – Federal Circuit Upholds a Free Software License

As reported by Lessig and others, the Federal Circuit vacated and remanded yesterday a ruling by the Northern District of California which denied the copyright claims of an open source software developer for violations of the Artistic License. This is a landmark decision which is likely to influence all types of free licensing, including Creative Commons licenses and the question of enforceability of copyright claims upon violation of free licenses in general. Here are four quick points on the decision: Read more about Jacobsen v. Katzer/Kamind – Federal Circuit Upholds a Free Software License

Copy knol

There is a guy by the name of Meir Shraga. I did not know him until today, but now I can even see his picture smiling at me from the knol he has published for the entry “Israel”. Mr. Shraga shamelessly copy-pasted the English Wikipedia entry on Israel. What cough my eye was the fact that he does not seem to give Wikipedia any credit (thereby probably violating the GFDL license terms), and since chutzpa knows no borders, he published his “piece” under a Creative Commons Attribution license. If there is anything that copyright law should curtail, it is this kind of behavior. Or even better, it seems that Mr. Shraga has succeeded very quickly to ruin his authorial reputation for good. Read more about Copy knol

Access-Right: An Inquiry Into the Problem of Digital Copyright Law

I have just completed the draft of my extended study on copyright law, where I examine issues of access, access to information and digital copyright law. At bottom, I do not propose to abolish copyright law, nor do I think that adjusting the current system could successfully survive the transition to digital markets and digital cultures. Four years of research have led me to the conclusion that the present structure of entitlements is inherently inadequate for regulating an environment, in which the smallest tradable unit of transaction (and/or the smallest object of exchange in nonmarket constellations, if you will) is access to "expressions" - or, as I call them, “medial messages.” Read more about Access-Right: An Inquiry Into the Problem of Digital Copyright Law

Lessig on the orphan works bill

Prof. Lessig has an OP-ED in the NYT today about the orphan works bill rolling now in Congress. Among the important points mentioned there, here are my three favorites: (1) to the extent that foreign authors are substantially deprived of copyright protection as a result of the new rule, the amendment will probably violate U.S. international obligations, and it would take the E.U. exactly two seconds to file a WTO complaint. (2) It makes no sense to put so much weight on the issue of “diligent effort” if rightholders are not required to register works, as in the case of patents, for instance. (3) It would be somewhat unfair to apply the rule retroactively to works by authors who relied on full, automatic copyright protection upon creation/fixation. Read more about Lessig on the orphan works bill

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