by Mike Masnick
Fri, Jul 9th 2010 3:08pm
Who you gonna call? Perhaps a better lawyer. Apparently, a self-professed "ghostbuster" who calls his business "Ghost Scene Investigations" is suing MySpace because some other "ghostbuster" is also using the same name and set up a MySpace page about it. The actual lawsuit claims both copyright and trademark infringement:
Of course, as noted in the article, the copyright claim against MySpace makes no sense for a variety of reasons, starting with the fact that you can't copyright the name of a company. Second, MySpace is clearly protected by the safe harbors of the DMCA. The guy even tries an "inducement" claim against MySpace, which only serves to highlight how ridiculous the concept of making secondary copyright infringement against the law is: people will keep trying to stretch it. As for the trademark claims, as Eric Goldman notes in the article linked above, you can't trademark a descriptive phrase, and while there isn't a DMCA-style safe harbor for trademarks, courts will often effectively create a safe harbor for third parties unless there's clear evidence that they were really complicit.
If you liked this post, you may also be interested in...
- Techdirt Podcast Episode 75: What Happened At The Oracle Google Trial?
- Oracle's Lead Lawyer Against Google Vents That The Ruling 'Killed' The GPL
- Independent Musician Sues Justin Bieber & Skrillex For Copyright Infringement... Over A Sample They Didn't Use
- FTC To Monitor MySpace And/Or Empty Space For 20 Years
- Guy Loses Probation Because Court Decides That Facebook & MySpace Are 'Electronic Bulletin Boards'