Patently-O has an interesting post on eBay’s cert petition in its litigation against MercExchange.

The case raises an interesting issue of just how far traditional principles of equity are modified by statute. Leaving aside the question of the availability of interlocutory relief while the litigation is still pending, the key as regards permanent injunctions looks to be 35 USC 283. (more…)

The Delaware State Supreme Court has held that where a defamation suit is brought against an anonymous blogger, the identification of that blogger cannot be compelled.

In John Doe No. 1 v Patrick Cahill and Julia Cahill, the court also considered the nature of blogs in dismissing the defamation claim. In particular, the court noted that:

Blogs and chat rooms tend to be vehicles for the expression of opinions; by their very nature, they are not a source of facts or data upon which a reasonable person would rely.

The court considered the nature and reliability of Internet communications when evaluating the claim. (more…)

Bit of a round up around the place on the Stevens v Sony ruling by our High Court, which I’ve commented on already: (more…)

You can find his comments here, on Weatherall’s Law, and here, on Michael Geist’s blog.

In Stevens v Sony, the Australian High Court today offered its first view on Australia’s current legal equivalent to the US DMCA. The encounter is an interesting one.


The High Court of Australia has delivered its highly-anticipated judgment in Stevens v Kabushiki Kaisha Sony Computer Entertainment.

The case considered recent changes to the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth) enacted by the Copyright Amendment (Digital Agenda) Act 2000 (Cth), which adapted existing copyright laws to certain challenges presented by digital technology. The particular issue addressed by the High Court was whether Eddy Stevens, who sold PlayStation game consoles with modified chips that allowed users to play copies of PlayStation game software not authorised for use with consoles purchased in Australia, had circumvented a “technological protection measure” as defined by seetion 10(1) , and prohibited by section 116A of the Copyright Act.

The short answer to all of this is that the High Court ruled that Stevens did not violate the Copyright Act as contended by Sony. See Kim’s post for further details.

Some more links to peoples’ comments on Kazaa:

  1. a couple of articles are available on Online Opinion: including this piece by Stephen Peach (ARIA), and this piece by Stephen Abood.
  2. Michael Madison’s views (University of Pittsburgh) – interesting comments comparing US and Australian approaches to legal development.
  3. Phil Tripp’s views are here (Tripp is a music business type person, and runs the website themusic.com.au, a news/commentary portal for music biz)
  4. Brendan Scott’s views here (pdf)
  5. Ed Felten’s comments on Kazaa are here.
  6. Kathy Bowrey’s Comments (and comments on many other digital copyright and ‘piracy’ issues) here.
  7. David Starkoff (recommended – don’t agree with him on everything but it’s an interesting view);
  8. IPKat (just saying it seems a sensible result. Of course, that’s not the issue – the issue is the reasoning, which is problematic for reasons I’ve outlined and Matt Rimmer has also underlined in his comment on this and Geists’ blog, quoted in Starkoff).


I’ve already put up fairly extensive (albeit initial) comments on Kazaa below. I’m not, of course, the only one to comment on the case: here are some more links:

It’s not much – but I’ve not yet found all that much apart from news stories.

Let me know if you find more commentary that I should link to here. Also, if there is anyone out there with some comments they want to post, feel free to put them in the comments box or, if that’s just too annoying, email them to me so I can post them direct to the blog.

So today, senior Australian Federal Court judge Justice Wilcox handed down his decision in the trial of the Kazaa case. In this case, over 30 applicants – in essence, copyright owners – sued the companies and individuals involved in providing Kazaa software. They alleged all kinds of things, but the essence of the case is this question:

By providing P2P file-sharing software (and through all their other activities), did the respondents (Sharman companies, Altnet companies, and assorted individual directors) authorise the undoubted copyright infringement done by the users of the software?

The result?

  • The Sharman companies did authorise infringement. They did not engage in other forms of infringement/illegality alleged by the copyright owners (including direct infringement, conspiracy, misleading conduct under the TPA or unconscionable conduct);
  • The directors/head honchos in Sharman are liable for authorising infringement too;
  • Some of the other parties avoided liability.

The Australian are calling it ‘The Day the Music Died’ (a bit odd, given that the market has, of course, moved on from the Kazaa system). Below are some initial thoughts.


Here’s an interesting one: a judgment from Branson J regarding an order made by the Patent Office revoking an innovation patent.

What’s interesting is that the case looks pretty much like a pure business method patent.


Yesterday, the Australian Federal Court refused to stay proceedings brought by Australian company QSPX against Ericsson. It had been alleged that the proceedings were infected by ‘champerty’.

The Supreme Court of the US has handed down its decision in the Grokster case. Kim has a good summary at Weatherall’s Law. In brief, the Court has reversed the 9th Circuit decision, in which it held that Grokster could not be liable for P2P file-sharing technology with substantial non-infringing uses. The case has been remanded for trial. The record companies that sued Grokster will have another chance, it seems.

« Previous Page