[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: Warning letter from Co$. [any comments ?]

   From: Avi Harris Baumstein <[email protected]>

   i know there has been much chatter on this subject, but are there
   truly any precedents that could hold on the anonymous distribution of
   copyrighted material?

Cubby v. Compuserve is relevant here, as well as that bookstore case
in the 50's that I never remember the name of.  Mike G., can you help
me out on this one?

These cases are about other kinds of wrongs (libel in one and
obscenity (?) in the other), but copyright violation doesn't seem to
be have any particular features to set it apart from the basic
principle of these.  Namely, if you know, you're responsible; if you
don't, you're not.  This, you all realize no doubt, is a gross
simplification of a long chain of reasoning.

   exactly constitutes a trade secret, and what sort of laws apply?

The short answer is that if you didn't sign a trade secret agreement
or are party to one by some other relationship (such as agency), then
a trade secret that comes your way is no secret any more.

   >    clients'  property   rights.    Courts   are   holding   such
   >    contributory  infringers  liable.   Two  examples  are:  Sega
   >    Enterprises Ltd.  v.  Maphia BBS, 30 U.S.P.Q.  2d 1921  (N.D.
   >    Cal.   1994) and Playboy Enterprises v.  Frena, 839 F.  Supp.
   >    1152 (M.D.  Fla.  1993).

   what of these cases? is this just an example of typical lawyerly
   intimidation tactics? 

I have personal experience with the first case.  It was a local BBS
run by a friend of a friend, and I got involved a year ago right after
the seizure.  (It was, BTW, a _civil_ seizure of a BBS, not criminal.)
I believe the case settled out of court.  There were court documents
approving the seizure however; I don't know if these set precedent or
not.  I suspect not, because the action was entirely _ex parte_ (Latin
for one-sided).  Mike, again?  Other legal folk?

I know nothing about the second one.

   nhow do you remailer-ops plan to react? my first
   instinct (were i running a remailer) would be to ignore it, on grounds
   that i wouldn't examine any mail passing through. 

The people who keep logs, yes, are in more danger than those who don't.