Issue #8 04-13-00 @ 2:51 AM(cst)
Plus -- The Quote of the Day
Jurisline.com v. Lexis
|I do not know how I missed this story before now. Just in case you did too, here is some background on the story. Jurisline.com is a New York based company formed by attorneys in 1998. They provide ''a dynamic and comprehensive database of premium legal resources to an online audience consisting of attorneys and other members of the legal and business community.''|
One of the co-owners of Jurisline.com, Lee Eichen, purchased a series of CD-ROMs from Lexis, which contained a database of judicial decisions that now are part of Jurisline.com's database. The purchase agreement necessary to obtain the CD-ROM included provisions under which Eichen warranted that he was a lawyer and would use the contents of the CD-ROM for his own use only. In addition, the form contract specifically prevented him form creating a competing database with the material.
On December 7, 1999, Juisline.com filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York against Reed Elsevier, Inc., Lexis' parent company. The lawsuit sought a declaratory judgment that Lexis does not hold any protectible copyright in the official text of the judicial opinions and statutes contained on the CD-ROMs. Further, the lawsuit claimed that federal copyright law preempts certain provisions of Lexis's license agreements purporting to restrict Jurisline.com's ability to publish these public domain materials. In other words, Jurisline.com claims that Lexis sought to ''copyright by contract,'' contrary to federal copyright laws.
On January 27, 2000, Jurisline amended its complaint to include claims for damages and injunctive relief as a result of Reed Elsevier's anticompetitive behavior and violations of the antitrust laws.
In response to Jurisline's suit, Matthew Bender, owner of the CD-ROM product since July 1999 and a wholly owned subsidiary of Reed Elsevier, filed suit on January 28, 2000, in New York State Court. The counter-claim seeks to recover any profits Jurisline.com has made through its use of the materials, punitive damages of $25 million and injunctive relief to stop Jurisline.com's use of its CD-ROMs. Jurisline.com was allowed to remove the state claims to federal court in front of Southern District Judge Jed S. Rakoff.
Last Thursday, April 6, 2000, Judge Rakoff ordered the contract and fraud claims against Jurisline.com be returned to state court. Observers say that the ruling ''appears to strip the Web site of its main defense: that the case law material -- admittedly taken from Lexis' CD-ROMs - made available on the Web is defensible because court opinions are in the 'public domain' and are not protected under federal copyright law.''
In another twist, a routine motion to add Matthew Bender as a party to the federal action may cause the state lawsuit to be brought back into federal court as a compulsory counterclaim.
This action may have dramatic implications about the viability of alternatives to traditional, fee-based legal research services. After reading this story, I visited Jurisline.com's site and I was very impressed. In fact, I signed up to include a search box on it-lawyer.com so visitors may search Jurisline.com's database right from our site. In addition to case law, Jurisline.com offers other services as well, such as full text searching on EDGAR filings, trademark searching, continuing legal education information, corporate forms, legal links and legal news. So, with the help of Jurisline.com (if they survive this action), soon you will be able to do specialized research right from it-lawyer.com.
Streaming Ads Are Coming to the Web
|Bannerlab.com, Inc., an online advertising design and development studio, has entered into agreements with AdForce, Inc. and Akamai Technologies, Inc. a provider of streaming media applications, to bring streaming advertisements to a web site near you. |
The combination of Bannerlab, AdForce, and Akamai's ad delivery infrastructure is ''designed to ensure that these streaming media ads are delivered quickly, reliably and efficiently to millions of online users.''
''Streaming media ads, like those we're serving for Bannerlab.com, will change the way people feel about Internet advertising,'' said Chuck Berger, CEO of AdForce. ''These ads will be more creative, compelling, and ultimately more effective because they will integrate new audio and video effects into traditional online advertising.''
The first example of the Streaming collaboration is the '' Talking with Kids About Tough Issues'' campaign, commissioned by The Ad Council. The ad runs 15 seconds and features President Clinton reminding parents to talk with their kids about violence.
I found an example of the ad at Bannerlab.com. The Quicktime plug-in is required to run the ad. I run a .5 meg cable modem (that is all I can get) and I tried to run the ad several times. My system crashed each time, I never did hear the entire ad, I hope the technology improves quickly.
You can see the ad, hear the audio (maybe) and read the press release at:
Tax Moratorium Will Be Extended
|The Internet tax report was officially delivered to Congress yesterday (Wednesday) and was welcomed by the Congressional leadership. ``We intend to take this report seriously,'' said Speaker of the House Hastert, at a ceremony in his office. |
Hastert said Congress would vote soon on extending the moratorium on new Internet taxes for another five years. The current moratorium expires October 2001. The bill will also ban Internet access charges permanently and will repeal the excise tax on telephone bills.
``The bottom line is we are going to keep the Internet tax free,'' said House Majority Leader Dick Armey in a written statement.
The moratorium enjoys support by powerful members of both houses of congress. ``We don't want to discourage [Internet entrepreneurs],'' said Senate Majority Leader Lott.
Although a majority of Governors, including many republicans, oppose extending the moratorium, the measure is expected to pass.
Quote of the Day
|The world cares very little about what a man or woman knows; it is what the man or woman is able to do that counts.|
==>Booker T. Washington
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