Category Archives: Ecommerce

INTA 2007: Muddy waters: Evolving Law and Policy on Internet Advertising

I attended the session this morning at INTA 2007 on Internet advertising, specifically the focus was on keywords but popups were discussed as well. The speakers were Peter Becker of Microsoft, Laura Covington of Yahoo, Lauren Fisher of AOL, and Rose Hagan of Google.

The most interesting part for me was a comparison of the different notice and takedown procedures implemented by each company. In particular, Google is unique in that it takes down all uses of a competitor’s trademark, even in cases of fair use such as in comparative advertising. While broader than what the law requires, it was easier for Google to administrate such a policy because, as the other speakers admitted, it is hard to scale a system which requires a balancing of factors like fair use.

I would have appreciated a more thorough analysis of whether using a trademark as a trigger for the display of an advertisement is a trademark use. Some courts say yes, and others say no. The speakers, of course, were advocating the more favorable to them “no”, but it is a complicated issue that deserved better.

Overall, the session was a good one, quite packed in terms of attendees. I was glad to have found a seat near the front.

RIP: Bitpass

I first wrote about Bitpass, a micropayment service, here, back in July of 2005.  I was sad to read that the service will shut down as of January 26th.

Matt Marshall at VentureBeat has a great article discussing the demise here.