Monday, December 17, 2012

Does downstream liability exist for trademark infringement? On domain names or content? The Victoria Secret incident raises questions


Electronic Frontier Foundation has a piece explaining in detail a recent controversy about a “social” parody website by “Pink Loves Consent”  (link)  of Victoria Secret (link), story here by Alson Dame-Boyle.  

Victoria’s Secret claimed both copyright and trademark infringement.  We’ve covered the controversy over the way DMCA Safe Harbor works before.  But EFF makes the important point that service providers have less expertise in handling trademark complaints, and the law seems to do less to protect them from downstream liability.  In fact, I’m not sure that there is any protection.  No wonder service providers jump and take down sites on trademark complaints quickly.  The risk, however, might seem to be with the domain name registry itself rather than the domain content (although here VS could claim that the content implied trademark infringement.)

The trademark part of this issue needs much more attention.

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