CyberSitter Sues The Chinese Government (In Los Angeles) Over Green Dam Filters

from the good-luck-with-that dept

Last summer, of course, there was a lot of attention paid to China's announced plans that every PC sold in China needed to include the new "Green Dam Youth Escort" software, which was a client-side filtering program. After international outrage over the plan actually had some sort of impact, the government backed down. A smaller story, that came out during all of this, was that the Green Dam software appeared to copy significant portions of the commercial filter product, CyberSitter. Now, CyberSitter has sued the Chinese government and a bunch of companies for $2.2 billion. The lawsuit has been filed in Los Angeles, and I would wonder what jurisdiction a Los Angeles district court has over the Chinese government concerning software that was only to be used in China.

While the lawsuit does include the expected copyright claim, it also goes much further to claim trade secret violations and "conspiracy." And while the Chinese government is obviously the headline grabber, it also includes Sony, Lenovo, Toshiba, Acer, ASUSTek, BenQ and Haier, claiming that these computer makers were in on the conspiracy. While many of those have US operations, it seems like a longshot that (a) the court has jurisdiction over their actions in China or (b) the charge of "conspiracy" has any chance of sticking.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Jan 6th, 2010 @ 3:02pm

    What are they saying conspired?

    "While the lawsuit does include the expected copyright claim, it also goes much further to claim trade secret violations and "conspiracy.""

    Conspiracy? My testacles are tingling in anticipation....

    But what are they alledging? My guess is that those manufacturers forged an agreement to preload their products for Chinese distribution to include some form of "OEM" style of the Chinese Green Dam. That's the only thing that makes sense to me. But how does that involve them in the infringement of Cybersitter's IP?

     

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  2.  
    identicon
    John R. Carlisle, Jan 6th, 2010 @ 3:38pm

    John R. Carlisle

    Why on earth would anyone sue the Chinese Government for anything? I can't think of a bigger waste of time or money. Are they doing it for publicity? Seriously think about this for a minute. I asked half of the people here at the John R. Carlisle Institute what the actual chances or effectiveness of suing the Chinese government are and not one single person could come up with a good reason why. Another frivolous lawsuit helping to give the United States the litigious reputation we enjoy. John R. Carlisle

     

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  3.  
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    The Anti-Mike (profile), Jan 6th, 2010 @ 3:51pm

    I wish them luck on proving a conspiracy to start with, that is a pretty doubtful concept.

    it's also legal tiddly winks for another reason: Many of those companies operate in China under a different corporate structure than in the US, and different again in their home (depending on where they live). Almost everything that happens in China is done on a joint venture basis with a local company, which means they are suing entities that aren't directly involved in the Chinese market.

    Finally, I doubt they will find anything that can suggest that the operation was based in the US, or that any of the infringing took place in the US.

    They are doing it here mostly because in China, they would pretty much get laughed out of court (if they even made it that far).

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 6th, 2010 @ 4:23pm

    I wish them luck on proving a conspiracy to start with, that is a pretty doubtful concept.

    Why are you agreeing with Mike?

     

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  5.  
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    The Groove Tiger (profile), Jan 6th, 2010 @ 4:46pm

    Re:

    Wait for it...

     

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  6.  
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    The Anti-Mike (profile), Jan 6th, 2010 @ 6:58pm

    Re:

    Mike pretty much hit it, except for missing out the point of how companies are formed in China.

     

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  7.  
    identicon
    Luci, Jan 6th, 2010 @ 9:15pm

    Re: Re:

    Which none of us even care about, since it wasn't really the point of his article.

     

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  8.  
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    btr1701 (profile), Jan 6th, 2010 @ 9:39pm

    Legal Impossibility

    > or (b) the charge of "conspiracy" has any chance of sticking

    You'd be right, mainly because "conspiracy" is a criminal violation and a private company can't prosecute criminal violations in a civil suit.

    The proper claim here is probably "collusion", not "conspiracy".

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 6th, 2010 @ 10:35pm

    Lockerbie

    "...it seems like a longshot that (a) the court has jurisdiction over their actions in China or (b) the charge of "conspiracy" has any chance of sticking."

    Yeah, that'd be like the families of the Pan Am Flight 103 bombing victims trying to sue the government of Lybia for something than happened over Lockerbie, Scotland, for example.

     

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  10.  
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    The Anti-Mike (profile), Jan 7th, 2010 @ 9:18am

    Re: Re: Re:

    ..but is very relevant when it comes to if the companies named can easily be sued in the US.

    But hey, let's not let facts get in the way of a good story, right?

     

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  11.  
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    The Groove Tiger (profile), Jan 7th, 2010 @ 12:03pm

    Re:

    There you go :)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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