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You Didn’t Read This In The Newspaper
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Newspaper publishers have retreated to a local focus that gives them the best chance of retaining subscribers and favorable advertising rates. It’s meant something different for readers when it comes to news topics beyond the city limits.

Court Says Keywords Not ‘Use In Commerce’

A fifth federal court has declared that keyword advertisements and use in website metatags are not considered "use in commerce," providing a bigger shield for those that would use competitor keywords in their campaign.

Google and Trademark Laws

Greg Lastowka is an Associate Professor of Law at the Rutgers School of Law, Camden, and he finished a (draft) paper titled Google’s Law [PDF], which he says is a discussion of trademark law matters and the suits against Google for its AdWords practices (with some general Google history thrown in). Greg wraps it up for us: 

Major Law Firm Funds Social Network
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When dealing with a powerful law firm and a social network for lawyers, you should watch your words very, very carefully.  Or so I imagine, and I’m not going to attempt any other approach.  So here’s the news in its least editorialized form: Orrick has invested in Legal OnRamp.

It’s Official: Blogs Are Media

Forget waiting for some federal shield law to be passed: the Federal Election Commission (FEC) has determined in two separate rulings yesterday, that blogs are, in fact, media, as reported by TechCrunch.

American Airlines Jets Google To Court
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The whole keyword-advertising-violates-our-trademark debate has been brought to court more than once and more than once has been unsuccessful. American Airlines, though, is perhaps the largest company to make the claim, filing a trademark violation suit against Google.

Viacom, Google A Father-Son Fight?

Once new Google employee Philippe Dauman Jr wraps up his summer vacation and takes up his new post, Googlers may want to keep any negative opinions of Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman Sr to themselves.

‘Instant Lawsuit’ Not As Good As The Real Thing

A lawsuit filed in the name of the Federal CAN-SPAM Act backfired on the plaintiff to the tune of $111,000. This is thought to be the first verdict to award legal fees to a defendant falsely accused of spamming.

The Ban on Employees Accessing Facebook

Earlier this month, in FIR #254, Shel and I discussed quite an interesting story of what one company did regarding employee access to and use of Facebook.

Yahoo Denies RSF China Claim

The saga of jailed Chinese journalist Shi Tao took a sharp twist when Reporters Without Borders accused a Yahoo executive of lying to Congress about Yahoo’s knowledge of Beijing’s investigation.

Chinese Company Wants Google to Change Name

It’s not too much to ask, is it? If Google would just change the name of their company, a small Chinese business will drop their law suit. Seems fair, don’t you think? ;-)

Domainers Get A Legal Lesson

If you’re going to play the domain game, there are some things you need to know. Legal things. Important legal things.

The Wisdom of Wikis
Julian distinguishes between Wisdom of Crowds and what you could call the Wisdom of Wikis:

Attorney General Shows Interest In Copyright Law

I have to wonder if Alberto Gonzales has been watching “Wag the Dog”; the attorney general lacks the power to start a military conflict, but he has put forth a proposal that attacks various forms of copyright infringement.  Some onlookers see this as little more than an attempt to divert attention from Gonzales’s own problems.

Social Technographics & a Power Law of Participation
Charlene Li at Forrester just came out with a report on Social Technographics that surveyed user engagement.  The framework is very similar to my Power Law of Participation, but it is an entirely different thing to have some data behind it.

Canadian Sues The Messenger
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Wayne Crookes, a former campaign manager of the Green Party of Canada, is suing Google, Wikipedia and openpolitics.ca for libel. He is suing the sites for posting made by anonymous users on Google’s Blogspot, for an entry under his name on Wikipedia, and on openpolitics.ca, a political forum run by Michael Pilling a Green Party activist.

Utah Law Bans Competitor Keyword Bids

The Utah State Legislature has passed a Trademark Protection Act that creates a new type of mark called an electronic registration mark; it probably will not survive a Constitutional test according to the state’s own general counsel.

Courts Becoming Busy With Blog Lawsuits
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March was a busy month for lawsuits involving bloggers and webmasters. The court system taking them to task for defamatory statements, with one case becoming the first to go to trial and result in a liability verdict.

A legal system once tentative about taking on digital cases is braving the waters with more frequency. Most of the cases we’ve reported on have involved the statements of anonymous commentators, liability for which webmasters and bloggers have been repeatedly exonerated (or are expected to be). But these are different.

Google Asked To Reveal Blogger Identity
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Another anonymous blogger is in the defamation hot seat after anonymous commentators labeled a local school board member a "bigot," an "anit-Semite," and even "ugly." The target of those words didn’t take kindly to them and is demanding that Google reveal both the identity of the blogger and the commentators.

Microsoft: Google Can’t ‘Opt Out’ Of Copyright Law

You could say some of the sound bites from Microsoft’s latest rant over Google’s approach to copyright law bear a resemblance to a political campaign – not just because they carry the same tintinnabulation of highroad mantras, but have the same stabbing indignation of a call to war. Google’s doin’ wrong, says the Beast of Redmond, and we’ve got to do something about it.

Infosec and Corporate Blogging

Zeltzer and Villafranco have probably the most coherent list of Do’s and Don’ts when it comes to corporate blogging out there, its an absolute must read.

The Law.com has a great listing of Do’s and Don’ts when it comes to Corporate Blogging out there. Here are two don’ts that I have seen in a lot of corporate blogs that defy the imagination for being out there.

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