AOL is offering users of its AIM instant messaging software the ability to see where people on their buddy lists are located. "The first phase of this push is with an unusual software plug-in developed by Skyhook Wireless. . . . When an AIM user installs Skyhook, the application gathers the identifying codes for all access points that are detected by the Wi-Fi card in the computer, then compares those with the database to identify the person's location. When connected via a non-Wi-Fi computer, a user can manually input a location."
After filing this $1 billion copyright infringement claim, a lawyer for Viacom says that YouTube must know that it is committing copyright infringement "because it already agrees to pull disputed videos when served with takedown notices, and it appears to have no problem filtering out videos whose content belongs to companies with whom it has already signed licensing deals." Moreover, the attorney argues that Google, who owns the online video distribution site, is not an "innocent service provider" under Section 512 of the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Under that provision "service providers may only benefit from the liability "safe harbor" if they meet a number of conditions, including not being aware of infringing activity and not making direct financial gain from it."
In unrelated news, "the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency executed a search warrant against YouTube and Hotmail as part of an investigation against a drug trafficker who was threatening the life of his brother . . . ."
KinderStart’s lawsuit challenging the fairness of Google’s PageRank algorithm has been dismissed and sanctioned have been awarded against one of KinderStart’s attorneys. Eric Goldman analyzes the decision in this post on his Technology and Marketing Law Blog.
E-Commerce Law Briefs is a weekly feature appearing each Friday afternoon on E-Commerce Law. Each week, E-Commerce Law Briefs will provide a brief summary and commentary on recent legal news affecting e-commerce businesses.