But that begs the question, who is likely to do either make the threat or file the lawsuit? While the answer could easily be just about anyone as lawsuits online are as varied as thy are in the bricks and mortar world, there are definiely some groups that have been far more litigious than your average netizen.
However, actual data in this area is very difficult, if not impossible, to come by. Not only does one have to factor in the courts of over 50 states and nearly 200 countries, but many of the most important legal threats never actually make it to court.
So, unfortunately, a lot of guesswork is involved but it doesn’t take much research to see some trends forming. With that in mind, if you’re worried about being sued for your blogging activities, here are some groups that you probably want to avoid or at least be wary of messing with. read more
The Facebook battle against parody site Lamebook.com has heated up, with the world’s largest social network blocking all outgoing links to the site, while also removing the Lamebook fan page and preventing users from “liking” posts from the site.
Indyposted points out from Facebook reps that the Lamebook block was reportedly a mistake:
“In the process of dealing with a routine trademark violation issue regarding some links posted to Facebook, we blocked all mentions of the phrase “Lamebook” on Facebook,” adding, “We are committed to promoting free expression on Facebook.”
Envato’s Flash marketplace used to be known as FlashDen, but has now changed its name to ActiveDen. Why? Well, Adobe doesn’t want the good folks at Envato to use their trademark, being “Flash” obviously, in this fashion. Collis Ta’eed emailed the members and published a blog post on the matter, talking not so much of what he thought of Adobe’s demand but rather of the future, because obviously they complied and changed the name.
The new name amends the use of the word Flash, and it also opens up the marketplace for the future. In the last year we have added a budding Flex library and we now look forward to listing other interactive products like Adobe Air and maybe even Microsoft Silverlight!
Beware of using trademarks in your own brands and domains is the lesson here.
The beauty of social media is that everyone has a venue that is capable of catching fire and getting the words you write in front of the masses. But with this new-found power comes great responsibility – and perhaps the need for a lawyer. read more
Needless to say, we think these claims have no merit, otherwise we would not have written the posts in the first place, or would have retracted.
I did an email interview with Sethi, after he got in touch with me and wanted me to correct or retract the news story (which I didn’t do, obviously). I figured an interview would be the best way to get Sethi’s side of the story. read more
Sam Sethi, the former TechCrunch writer, BlogNation owner, and Twitblogs founder, has filed a lawsuit against TechCrunch. For what, you might wonder? Nothing less than “a series of libelous postings” according to the lawsuit letter exchange reposted on Arrington’s CrunchNotes blog. There are some juicy details about Sethi there too, including claims that he’s being sued and is or was barred from being a director or manager for a company. I’ll not recount that though, since Arrington obviously is a party in this mess.
I’ll say this though, I love the openness of which Arrington treats these things. I know I’d think twice before publishing something from a law firm with this in the heading:
Letter Before Action
Private & Confidential (Not For Publication)
For someone who’s not an US citizen, the lawsuit scare is somewhat far into the back of my head. That might be a luxury you can’t afford, so you might want to consider some kind of insurance for potential lawsuits. Silicon Alley Insider points to Media Bloggers Association, which offer law services for bloggers, including liability insurance programs that are way more economic than the expensive ones geared at the old media guard.
While this might be a good idea, I must second SAI on another point as well: health insurance. You might want to look up that alley first, because after all, your health is more important than your money, and you’ll probably not piss people off like Michael Arrington does.
Earthcomber is suing TechCrunch, along with Loopt, for pretty dubious reasons. I’ll let Michael Arrington speak for himself, from his post:
I called Earthcomber President Jim Brady this morning to verify the lawsuit. At first he wouldn’t answer – all he did was try to explain how he’s been wronged by Loopt. When pressed he did confirm that the lawsuit was filed, but quickly added that he didn’t really mean to press it with us. He wants to go to court with Loopt, but is willing to quickly work something out with us to make this go away, he told me, hinting that he’d like to partner with us. He also said he’s been desperately trying to get me on the phone but hasn’t been able to, so he decided to sue us instead.
You know, this sounds like a really bad idea to me, and I certainly don’t think that taking legal actions against someone is a good way to connect. At least not if you’re looking for a partnership. And obviously that won’t happen with Earthcomber and TechCrunch either: read more