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Expert-exchange Law Suit


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3 replies to this topic

#1 1dmf

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Posted 21 December 2011 - 07:49 AM

I was looking for some information on our sonic wall, when I saw a removal notice in Google, as curiosity usually wins, I had a quick look at the actual complaint document.

One thing I noticed in the complaint which made me want to ask you guys is can you copyright title tags and keywords?

How can any SEO'er optimise a website for a particular product without using similar/same title tag content that all the other websites targeting the same products / keyphrases are using?

surely no-one can copyright basic sentences like 'cheap car spares' for example?

Obviously I have no idea what this so called copyright infringement involved or if Expert Exchange are simply trying it on.

Here is the court application : http://www.chillinge...ion=image_87223 - it's adobe page 5 / document page 3 , section c

what's your thoughts?

#2 Mikl

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Posted 21 December 2011 - 09:23 AM

The answer might vary from country to country. But in general, it's highly unlikely you'd be able to enforce copyright in something like a title tag. Courts usually don't allow copyright in titles of books, poems, films, etc. A web page is no different.

Of course, that won't stop hopeful people from trying to claim such copyright. But if it ever got to court, it would almost certainly fail.

However, having just looked at the court document, it looks like Expert Exchange is not claiming copyright in the title of their site. They appear to be claiming copyright infringement of large chunks of content, not just the title.

That seems like a perfectly valid claim. Whether they'll succeed in using the DMCA against a plaintiff in Viet Nam is another matter.

At least, that's my opinion - which I have absolutely no qualifications to support.

Mike

#3 1dmf

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Posted 21 December 2011 - 10:36 AM

i appreciate that their entire claim is for copyright infrignment and possible rightfully so, but if you look at the section I pointed out they are clearly including title tags and keyphrases as part of the law suit?

#4 Michael Martinez

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Posted 21 December 2011 - 03:03 PM

I don't think you should construe the complaint as being based on the individual actions listed, but rather on the collective impact of all the actions taken together.

Under current U.S. law you CANNOT acquire a copyright over titles and small phrases. However, page titles and meta tags are constituent parts of Web documents and as such I am sure it is standard legal practice to include them in all proceedings for the sake of completeness.




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