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Yahoo Click Fraud Suit Settled…Finally!

If you have a good memory, you’ll recall Yahoo’s sweet click fraud settlement deal, which would hold the company to just $5m in legal fees and a review of click fraud activity back to 2004. If you don’t have a good memory, that’s why we’re here!

Anyway, the courts have made the settlement final – at a breathtaking pace of 9 months – and the settlement will stand, “as called on the field.”

EFF Sues Viacom to Prevent Abuse of DMCA

You already know that Viacom is suing YouTube for a gazillion dollars for copyright infringement, but now the cable company is facing a backlash over its careless use of the DMCA.

Nate Anderson reports the Electronic Frontier Foundation – a nonprofit group that looks to protect digital rights and free speech – is suing Viacom for its misuse of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).

Among thousands of DMCA takedown notices sent out, is one of a Stephen Colbert parody video that the EFF claims doesn’t violate any copyright laws.

The video does contain clips from “The Colbert Report,” but the EFF argues that these qualify as fair use, since parody has a well-recognized copyright exemption. “Our clients’ video is an act of free speech and a fair use of ‘Colbert Report’ clips,” said EFF staff attorney Corynne McSherry in a statement…

Google Wins KinderStart Case Again, Spanks Lawyer’s Butt

Google probably couldn’t have asked for a better ruling in the ongoing KinderStart law suit.

Not only did the judge throw out KinderStart’s most recent attempt to accuse Google of defamation – by reducing its PageRanl to zero – but the judge decided to give Google every opportunity to get some payback.

Judge Jeremy Fogel of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California dismissed a lawsuit against Google by parenting information site KinderStart…[he] also imposed yet-to-be-determined sanctions on KinderStart legal counsel Gregory Yu for making unsupported allegations against Google.

According to the judge’s ruling, “KinderStart had failed to explain how Google caused injury to it by a provably false statement … as distinguished from an unfavorable opinion about KinderStart.com’s importance.”

KinderStart’s legal counsel is probably looking for a change of diapers about now (sorry couldn’t resist the parenting pun)…

YouTube Banned by Turkey, Subpoenaed by Cuban

In case you missed it, the Turkish government banned YouTube from the entire country. One judicial decision and they flip a switch—bam. No more Lazy Sunday in Turkey. (I’m not being flip; apparently the ban really is that simple.) (Okay, I’m being flip about Lazy Sunday.)

The questionable video that prompted the decision, which criticized Turkey’s founder, has been removed from the site. Philipp Lenssen reports that YouTube is working to get back into Turkey. This is only natural since Turkey was one of their most profitable markets ;) .

As if that weren’t enough, Mark Cuban has subpoenaed YouTube/Google to get the identities of users who posted pirated versions of copyrighted works from his Magnolia Pictures.

He tells Reuters:

France Comes Down on Bloggers

France passed a law today banning nonprofessional journalists from recording or reporting on violent acts. The law is sure to come down hard on bloggers and other citizen journalists—and the webmasters that publish their stories.

InfoWorld
reports:

During parliamentary debate of the law, government representatives said the offense of filming or distributing films of acts of violence targets the practice of “happy slapping,” in which a violent attack is filmed by an accomplice, typically with a camera phone, for the amusement of the attacker’s friends.

The penalty for recording or publishing acts of violence is up to five years in prison and 75,000 euros. Depending on the violent act, the penalty for recording or publishing could be heavier than for the act itself.

AdWords Trademark Appeal Deepens

The first round in the legal battles over using trademarked terms in AdWords ads went to Google. The decision in Rescuecom v. Google was, bottom line, that Google could accept bids on trademarked terms.

Naturally, Rescuecom, the plaintiff, is appealing the decision. The case is waiting its turn in the US 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals. Now the Electronic Freedom Foundation has filed an amicus brief. In the brief, they claim that the use of trademarks in ads is in the public interest, citing the First Amendment.

EFF Staff Attorney Jason Schultz is quoted in the press release:

On the Internet, trademarks aren’t just identifiers. They are essential navigation tools and vehicles of expression. Quashing this speech goes against both the law and the public interest.

Judge Confirms Search Engines Can Reject Ads

You’d think this would be obvious, but it took a recent law suit and a judge’s ruling to confirm Google, Yahoo and Microsoft don’t have an obligation to run every submitted ad.

Someone bought some gripe ads on Google, Yahoo and MSN, only to have them rejected. He then sued all three companies arguing that the search engines should be required to post his ads. The judge in the case appears to have made quick work of it, dismissing almost all of the claims and pointing out in no uncertain terms that many were specious and frivolous.

If I had a “dumb moves” category, this news would be filed there.