by Mike Masnick
Wed, Feb 4th 2009 7:37pm
While a US court last year (correctly) found that eBay is not liable for counterfeit goods sold by users, a recent court case won by Louis Vuitton surprisingly found that a web hosting company could be found liable, if a site hosted by the company sells counterfeit goods. The court finds the site guilty of both contributory copyright infringement and contributory trademark infringement, claiming that the host knows about the infringement due to notices from Louis Vuitton, without explaining how the hosting firm could possibly know if the complaints were legit or not (or whether the goods being sold were counterfeit or not). In a bit of a scary connecting of the dots, the court suggests that because the web host was notified, and because it could then disable the accounts, it's now liable as well. That creates a huge chilling effect for web hosts -- as it encourages them to basically shut off any website based on any accusation of selling counterfeit goods. If web hosts don't do that, they may face significant liability. There's nothing wrong with companies going after the actual sellers of counterfeit goods -- but going after the web host (and winning!) sets a dangerous precedent.
If you liked this post, you may also be interested in...
- Insanity Rules: NSA Apologists Actually Think Apple Protecting You & Your Data Could Be 'Material Support' For ISIS
- Canadian Court Orders Blogger Who Reposted Another Writer's Defamatory Statements To Pay $10,000 To Defamed Party
- German Court Says YouTube Isn't Liable For Infringement, But Wants A Notice-And-Staydown Process
- Louis Vuitton Loses Bogus Trademark Lawsuit: Using Fake Handbag In Hangover II Isn't Infringement
- Who Needs SOPA When Courts Will Pretend SOPA Already Exists?