File-hosting companies are the latest class of online service providers to successfully dodge copyright infringement claims.  Like online marketplace and search engine providers, cyberlockers have also triumphed in lawsuits filed against them because they were protected by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) safe harbor. A recent example involved a lawsuit filed against a popular online file-hosting service provider, Scribd, for copying and inserting copyrighted work into an internal filtering system.  Ironically, this filtering system was in place to help the cyberlocker detect copyright infringement on their site.  The suit, filed by an author, maintained that the act of filtering her copyrighted... Read More
According to a CNN article, in less than 24 hours following the September 2009 release of Dan Brown’s blockbuster novel The Lost Symbol, pirated versions were discovered on file sharing sites, such as RapidShare and BitTorrent. Within days, the book had been illegally downloaded more than 100,000 times. As of late October 2009, 166 illicit copies of The Lost Symbol were available on 11 sites. Dan Brown’s novel is hardly the only fiction bestseller targeted by pirates. Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight books were reportedly the most downloaded fiction books on BitTorrent in 2009, being downloaded somewhere between 100,000 and 250,000 times. While... Read More
MarkMonitor recently investigated to what extent popular product searches led to websites offering counterfeit and pirated goods via paid search ads. The research examined 20 of the top 1,000 product-related searches in 2008 and focused on paid search ads across the three major search engines – Google, Yahoo! and Bing. In total, 583 unique websites (to which the ads pointed) were analyzed. So, what did we find? Roughly 17% of the paid search ads for popular consumer products – such as designer handbags and shoes, music, movies, and hi-tech gadgets – led to sites likely offering counterfeit or pirated goods. This... Read More

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Alison Simpson
With more than 13 years’ experience in the domain industry, Alison has managed all aspects of Corporate Domain Managem... More