Google, which operates the world’s most popular search engine, recently defeated an antitrust claim brought by an online supplier of stock images in the case Dreamstime.com, LLC v. Google, LLC, decided on December 6, 2022, by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The Dreamstime Opinion helps illustrate some difficulties in defining the relevant market to allege anticompetitive injury to support an antitrust claim.
Continue Reading Google Escapes Antitrust Challenge from Stock Photo Site After Changes to Its Search Engine Algorithm

In Shenzhen Chengront Technology Co., Ltd v. Besign Direct et al, 1-22-cv-10281 (SDNY Dec. 9, 2022) (Jennifer L. Rochon), Judge Rochon of the Southern District of New York denied a Plaintiff’s request for a temporary restraining order (“TRO”) and cited the Plaintiff’s ten-month delay in filing suit as the primary reasoning for denying the TRO.
Continue Reading District Court Finds Ten-Month Delay in Filing Wants Denial of TRO

The Onion recently filed a headline-grabbing amicus brief intended to defend the rights of Ohio amateur satirist Anthony Novak. Novak created the “City of Parma Police Department” Facebook account, admittedly to exercise his “fundamental American right” of “[m]ocking our government officials.” His posts to the account included mock advertisements for a “Pedophile Reform event” and a program intended to starve the homeless to encourage them to leave the area. Soon after, the police department obtained a search warrant, seized his phone and laptop, and arrested Novak for disrupting police functions.

Continue Reading Area Man Defends the Rights of Satirists: The Onion’s Headline-Grabbing Amicus Brief Defends the Right to Deadpan Parody

Over two and a half years ago, this column analyzed a Ninth Circuit case titled HiQ Labs, Inc. v. LinkedIn Corporation, in which the Court agreed with a lower court that had issued a preliminary injunction against LinkedIn from taking certain technical measures to prevent HiQ, a data analytics company, from “scraping” information from publicly available profiles on LinkedIn’s site. The Ninth Circuit concluded then that HiQ was not violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (“CFAA”) because its activities were directed at publicly available information and therefore, it was not accessing LinkedIn’s computer systems either without authorization or in excess of such authorization as required to establish liability under the CFAA.
Continue Reading The Continuing Battle Over LinkedIn Profiles and the Applicability of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act

Finding Google’s copying a fair use, the Supreme Court ended Oracle’s decade-long attempt to recover copyright damages.  The battle began between these tech giants when Google designed its Android software platform for mobile devices, such as smartphones.  The platform allows “computer programmers to develop new programs and applications” for Android-based devices.  In designing the mobile platform, Google independently developed most of the code but copied what the parties referred to as “declaring code” for 37 application programming interfaces, or APIs.  The declaring code in APIs “enables a set of shortcuts for programmers.”  A programmer can select a particular task from the API’s task library without having to learn anything more than a simple command, thus allowing the programmer to use a library of prewritten code to carry out complex tasks without having to write the code from scratch.

At the time Google was developing the Android platform, many software developers were using Sun Microsystems’ Java programming language and its popular Java SE platform.  Oracle, shortly after acquiring Sun Microsystems in 2010, accused Google of taking critical portions of the APIs in the Java code for unauthorized use in its Android platform.  While Google independently developed the underlying code for the tasks, Google copied the declaring code for certain tasks “useful to programmers working on applications for mobile devices.”  “Without that copying, programmers would need to learn an entirely new system to call up the same tasks.”  With the “structure, sequence, and organization” of the APIs so similar, Oracle alleged Google infringed its copyrights.
Continue Reading Fair Use Shields Google in Its Copyright Battle with Oracle