Internet Archive and Copy Controls

The NY Times reports: Keeper of Expired Web Pages Is Sued Because Archive Was Used in Another Suit:

Last week Healthcare Advocates sued both the Harding Earley firm and the Internet Archive, saying the access to its old Web pages, stored in the Internet Archive's database, was unauthorized and illegal.

The lawsuit, filed in Federal District Court in Philadelphia, seeks unspecified damages for copyright infringement and violations of two federal laws: the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.

'The firm at issue professes to be expert in Internet law and intellectual property law,' said Scott S. Christie, a lawyer at the Newark firm of McCarter & English, which is representing Healthcare Advocates. 'You would think, of anyone, they would know better.'

William Patry: The Way Back Machine and Robots.txt:

On July 8th, a complaint was filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, Healthcare Advocates, Inc. v. Harding, Early, Follmer & Frailey, et al. This is such an extraordinary document that I will break with my usual practice of not commenting on complaints or motions. Those who decry the DMCA as an (attempted) tool of oppression will find more than ample support in this effort. Other laws are implicated too, including some I venture to guess most IP lawyers have never heard of at least in the IP context, for example, a Greta Garbo like claim for 'Intrusion upon Seclusion.' Others, such as the Computer Fraud & Abuse Act and trespass to chattels have become better known recently but are invoked here in a novel way, to say the least. In my opinion (and all this is opinion whether denominated as such or not), the Healthcare Advocates complaint represents a misuse of the legal process.

Jonathan Weinberg, guestblogging at #$%%^*@#$ Lawyers: "This is silly. The copyright claim against Harding Earley is silly. Setting aside anything else, if there ever were a textbook example of fair use, reproducing a once-publicly available web page because its content was relevant to the proper disposition of a lawsuit would be it. The DMCA claim is, if not silly, at least wrong."


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