LEGAL THOUGHTS

This blog contains our personal opinions on topics that interest us.

Can publishing a link infringe a copyright?

In the EU, the issue is settled -- linking to copyrighted content can infringe a copyright. According to the Court of Justice of the European Union, under Directive 2001/29/EC of the European Parliament (see the EU Copyright harmonization directive), the key issue is whether the link constitutes a "communication to the public" (See Svensson and Others v. Retriever Sverige AB, Case C-466/12, Feb 13, 2014; GS Media BV v. Sanoma Media Netherlands BV and Others, Case C-160/15, Sept 8, 2016). To make this determination, you must examine whether the content being linked to was published with the copyright holder's consent (Compare Svensson and Others, Case C-466/12, (finding copyright holder auth

Happy Thanksgiving!

In this season of thanks, there are many things to be appreciative of: family, friends, and clients. Thanks for the opportunity to work with you. May you enjoy success not only at Thanksgiving, but throughout the next year. Happy Thanksgiving. #holiday

Elephants as "persons"

Earlier this year, I wrote a couple of blog posts about a case arguing that chimpanzees should be treated as legal persons (see blog post). That case ended badly for the chimpanzees and the attorney who brought that case (see blog post). However, failure does not shackle attorney Steven Wise. He is back with another lawsuit. This time, he is arguing in Connecticut state court -- the Superior Court in Torrington -- that elephants should be treated as persons (see memo in support of writ of habeus corpus). #personhood

A beer by any other name. Budweiser.

I was in Prague and I saw this table umbrella, which made me think of the long running trademark dispute between the international company Anheuser-Busch InBev and the Czech company Budejovicky Budvar (see Time article, Name Warden article). [Updated on November 24] I was in Austria and I saw these beer cans. #trademark

End of the Year Performance Evaluations

As the end of the year approaches, so too do annual performance reviews. I remember my first one, I didn't know what to expect. But, I do remember going into a partner's office, sitting across from the partner, and thinking "What are they going to tell me?" In honor of that occasion, I'd like to highlight that certain businesses are or have eliminated them, including General Electric, Microsoft, Accenture and Adobe (see Quartz Media link). Eliminating reviews makes sense because (1) they take time and resources which could be spent on building the business, (2) productive comments are often few and far between, and (3) comments are not timely.

Google search results now driven -- even more -- by location

In the past, Google search results were "driven" by the top level country domain name (ccTLD), such as google.it for Italy or google.ch for Switzerland. Under the guise of providing more location specific search results, Google made an important change on October 27, 2017 to how searches are performed. See Google Blog post. Under the new policy, search results are driven by your location. Changing the ccTLD no longer changes the location specific search results. For example, if you are in Italy and you typed a search into Google.com (ostensibly for US search results), you will only get search results from Google.it. Fortunately, Google still provides an option for you to manually select t

Dec 31 Deadline - DMCA agent re-registration with US Copyright Office

Under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), an online service provider, such as a website that allows users to post content or store content on its systems, or a discussion forum, or a chatroom, can qualify for a safe harbor from copyright infringement claims. See 17 U.S.C. § 512 (c). To qualify for the safe harbor, the service provider must (1) designate an agent by providing contact information to receive copyright infringement claims on its website, and (2) provide substantially the same contact information to the Copyright Office. See 17 U.S.C. § 512 (c)(2). On December 1, 2016, the US Copyright Office changed its system for designating a DMCA agent. The new system is available at

Daylight Saving Time ends in the US

On Sunday, November 6th, the U.S. will end daylight saving time (DST). Thus, the number of hours between New York, NY and Europe will revert to its standard number of six (6) hours. If you recall, in 2007, the U.S. altered its observance of DST. It moved the start forward from the first Sunday in April to the second Sunday of March; and it pushed the end back from the last Sunday in October to the first Sunday of November. #DST

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