It wasn’t long ago that we reported on Power.com‘s expansion into the North American market. The social networking aggregator that allows users the ability to navigate and participate in multiple social networks at once, now finds itself in hot water with social networking giant Facebook.
Court documents filed December 30th reveal that Facebook is suing Power.com for a host of reasons including copyright infringement, violations of terms of service, and the scraping of what they consider “proprietary data,” which I assume is user information. It appears the mere inclusion of Facebook into the Power.com site is not at issue, but rather the fact that Power.com did not use Facebook’s public API. As of now Power.com has removed every mention of Facebook from its site.
I think this will be a very interesting case to watch as this speaks to the heart of a major trend on the Internet. More and more services are popping up that are built solely on the aggregation of others’ content. What was once considered spamming by many is now considered a central tenant of the Web 2.0 world that we live in. This case may further demonstrate the awkward fit that outdated intellectual property rights law has on the internet, or it might redefine our own perceptions of open content standards. Either way, this will be interesting to watch!