Traverse Internet Law Disclaimer
The facts are unproven allegations of the Plaintiff and all commentary is based upon the allegations, the truthfulness and accuracy of which are likely in dispute.
GATEHOUSE MEDIA MASSACHUSSETTS I, INC. v. THE NEW YORK TIMES CO.
DISTRICT OF MASSACHUSSETTS (BOSTON)
This is a very interesting case since the ability to take “snippets” and short representative passages from copyright protected materials is generally considered to be permissible under the “Fair Use Doctrine”. However, in the online world, the fair use nature of short passages and parts of creative works takes on a different analysis. If a blogger quotes a passage and it is submitted through an RSS feed, can you run that RSS feed content without copyright infringement risk? This is the type of issue that will shape the future of the web, and it is likely that some common business practices everyone thinks are legal today will be a thing of the past and illegal in years to come.
Plaintiff is the publisher and owner of weekly newspaper in Massachusetts and a daily newspaper covering the city of Waltham, Massachusetts. The New York Times Company is doing business as “Boston.com” in the same geographic area. Plaintiff claims that the New York Times is reproducing, displaying, and distributing on the www.boston.com website unauthorized verbatim copies of newspaper article headlines and the first sentences thereof.
The lawsuit alleges copyright infringement, unfair competition or false designation of origin, false advertising, trademark dilution, unfair business practices, trademark infringement, unfair competition, and breach of contract. Plaintiff requests entry of preliminary and permanent injunction, compensatory damages, disgorgement of Defendant’s profits, triple damages, punitive damages, attorneys’ fees and costs. Traverse Internet Law Cross-Reference Number 1262.
TECHNOMARINE SA v. JOMASHOP.COM AND JOHN DOE 1
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK (FOLEY SQUARE)
Anytime you borrow images from another website you are taking a risk, even if you have some sort of good faith argument that you have the right to resell the product and the image of the product is an essential aspect to accurately describe and present the product. It is one thing to use an image you have taken of a product that includes the product name when that is essential to the product description. It is another matter to “borrow” images from third parties, including a manufacturer.
Technomarine is a watch company headquartered in Switzerland and the Defendant allegedly copied watch photographs from its online marketing catalog and is using those photographs on its own website to sell “grey market” Technomarine branded watches.
The lawsuit includes claims for copyright infringement and federal unfair competition under trademark laws. Extensive preliminary and permanent injunctive relief is requested as well as an award of statutory damages, recovery of all gains and profits derived by the Defendants, triple damages, punitive damages, compensatory damages, and reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs. Traverse Internet Law Cross-Reference Number 1263.