Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Craigslist Fake Profiler Gets Sued

Tags: craigslist, fake profiles, lawsuit

It was just last week that I discussed the infiltration of fake profiles on dating websites. Well, it looks like a new court case may be tackling that very same issue, though this time the problem isn't with an affiliate marketer using fake profiles for profit, but rather a Craigslist griefer looking to humiliate people with fake causal sex postings.

Jason Fortuny, the person resonsible for posting the fake profile, has the same attitude toward his online actions as many of the so-called internet marketers I've talked about previously. Perhaps the best example is this disturbing quote from Fortuny:

"If I made the mistake of telling secrets to someone I didn't know online and it got out...I'd be kicking myself pretty hard. I would most definitely be shouting expletives at my computer screen. But that's the risk we all take online, as well as in life. Whether it's someone's e-mail, picture, or personal ad, there's no guarantee of identity, and no guarantee that you won't be betrayed. And there never will be."

That right there frightens the hell out of me. He agrees that being tricked into exposing your information and being humiliated online would be terrible - basically admitting that he did exactly what he'd hate have happen to himself. His reasoning seems to be that since the internet is already a risky place for your information, he may as well contribute to the problem by scamming people and humiliating them. This makes absolutely no sense. Just because there's a bunch of people beating up on a kid in the corner doesn't mean you should join in.

Many of the online dangers out there are perpetuated by individuals with the exact same attitude - that others are doing it, so why can't I? It has taken the courts a while to catch up to the digital age - and while they still have some work to do - they are definitely making some progress. Sure, some things like the RIAA attacks are where the law has taken a few steps back, but hopefully there will soon be some accountability for these people who decide stepping on others is an acceptable means to an end.

Fortuny you decided to harm others for your own amusement. For that, I hope this court case finds in favor of the victim and if at all possible perhaps set a precedent for future scammers to be wary of.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Lawsuits Abound for Websites Using Wish Lists

Tags: lawsuit, patents

Yet another rediculous Web-related lawsuit has been filed - this time against companies that use wish lists for products. The lawsuit comes from Channel Intelligence, a company with a patent that looks like it covers the creation of lists in databases.

This reminds me of the absurdity of Amazon's One-Click patent which basically had Amazon controlling the rights to one click purchases on websites. Seems like something somebody made up as a spoof or something right? Well, I wish it was just a joke, and while Amazon's One-Click patent was partially restricted, much of it still exists.

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Monday, July 14, 2008

eBay Defeats Tiffany Jewelry in Trademark Lawsuit

Tags: eBay, lawsuit

Last week I reported that eBay had been fined by French courts for certain illegal sales made on its auction website. Well, apparently the US courts aren't quite as ignorant as the net's freedom was defended against stupidity as the trademark accusations brought up in a similar lawsuit were completely rejected by US courts.

While it's definitely a relief that at least some court out there isn't going to hold a service provider responsible for the actions of its users, it also shows just how differently responsibility and blame is treated. With something as global as the internet, how are new services and technologies going to survive and grow if each region decides to handle the Web so differently? It's not like this is the first case where a Web company has had to deal with such varying internet policies in different regions - Google censoring searches in China is a big one that jumps to mind.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Google Ordered to Give Viacom All Video and User Data for YouTube

Tags: google, lawsuit, viacom, youtube

Another day, another court case furthers a dangerous precedent when it comes to who's responsible for misconduct on the Web. Last time it was eBay that was dealt the blow when they were held accountable for it's users selling items illegally. This time Google takes a hit as a US judge ordered the Web giant to turn over significant amounts of YouTube user data to Viacom to help determine whether or not Google's YouTube is profitting more off copyrighted materials than user uploaded clips.

The data Google is to hand over includes records of every video watched by YouTube users along with logs that include various user data (such as IP address and viewing histories). Google must also hand over copies of all videos it has ever taken down. Viacom did ask for more, such as YouTube's source code and copies of all private videos, but the judge threw those requests out.

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Tuesday, July 1, 2008

France Tells eBay to Pay $61 Million for Its Users' Criminal Activities

Tags: eBay, lawsuit

It's a story that's getting more and more frequent these days as Web sofware companies are increasingly being held responsible for the actions of those who use said software. The latest case is a whopper as a French court ordered eBay to pay $61 million due to fake fashion merchandise being sold on eBay's auction website.

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