Wed, Apr. 30, 2003

AOLs of the World Unite to Fight Spam and Music Labels Shovel out More

Within the past few days, the major US internet providers, among them AOL and monopolist Microsoft, joined to fight spam, the unwanted commercial email or UCE.
Now comes RIAA, representing music marketers, from a fresh court loss against peer-to-peer network providers, and decides to generate huge numbers of notices to users of P2P networks, asking them to stop piracy of commercial music of RIAA members.
Ironically, RIAA appears to use data gathered from the networks and the infrastructure of the networks to disseminate its own version of UCE; or should that read "ab-use"?
Read Sabine Roettger's article about the California case and look up today's papers about RIAA's action and the reaction of defenders of privacy. Expect more on the legal issues involving RIAA soon, everywhere.

Protecting Inventive Employees

The Wall Street Journal on page one reports today on the invention of a German doctor employed by the Mayo Clinic. Can you recall the differences in treatment of employee inventions under American and German law? The clinic is giving him a piece of the action when marketing the patent that cures sinusitis or such. German law would require the clinic as a matter of law to do so. What were the inventor's expectations when he signed up with the clinic? What did the clinic antipate? Does this facet of German employment law have extraterritorial effects, like some others do?

For a discussion of German extraterritoriality in employment law, see Manfred Stolz's article Grundzüge des Internationalen Arbeitsrechtes und des Internationalen Sozialrechtes im Verhältnis BRD - USA in 3 German American Law Journal 41 (1993).

Hamburg District Court Orders EA to Stop Sales of Soccer Game

CK - Washington.   JUVE-Nachrichtenbank reports today of a seemingly crazy order by the Hamburg District Court. Renowned video game maker EA used German star soccer goalie Kahn's likeness, apparently with the permission of a soccer licensing organization.

Kahn sued and won the argument that the use of his likeness in EA's video game is unauthorized. Who would have thought?!

First year German law students learn that you will get in trouble, especially if you depict famous horsemen. But should EA have known that?

Will gamers sneak imports into the country under the radar of the Hamburg court? What if the game remains legal in Ireland and gamers import it under E.U. transborder rules?

Astrid Jatzkowski provides interesting tidbits at the above JUVE URL.

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