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Beware Of Unintended Consequences, E-Commerce Lawyers Are Warned

Publication Date: 
June 18, 2008
Patent, Trademark & Copyright Journal (BNA)
Joyce E. Cutler

BNA's Patent, Trademark & Copyright Journal covered the E-Commerce Best Practices Conference that was held at Stanford Law School on June 13, 2008. The event was hosted by the Stanford Program in Law, Science & Technology (LST), its Center for E-Commerce, and the San Francisco Bay Area Chapter of the Association of Corporate Counsels (ACC). Following is an excerpt from the article:

"Prospectively taking down content is a two-edged sword, showing that a site that is policing for infringing content may also be creating an expectation of perfection, panelists at a Stanford Law conference said June 13."

Content aggregators such as YouTube work to ensure their compliance with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and will take down infringing content. But Andrew Bridges of Winston Strawn, San Francisco, warned of unintended consequences if sites take down suspected content.

"Frankly, as a litigator it makes me nervous because I hate for a client to start going down a path that could be interpreted as a concession that something is wrong or something should be taken down. Because I'm really very, very agnostic about whether you can tell something is copyright infringement or not," Bridges said.