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Denise Howell is a seasoned appellate and intellectual property litigator based in Los Angeles. Denise writes one of the first and most popular law-related blogs, Bag and Baggage, coined the term "blawg" and helped pioneer podcasting for lawyers. Microcontent obsessed since 2001, she is frequently quoted in the media on legal issues involving intellectual property and technology law. "Sound Policy" is Denise's show at IT Conversations, and it's also what she hopes results from the briefs she submits to court. Email Denise at dhowell@gmail.com.

Dennis Kennedy is a computer lawyer and legal technology expert based in St. Louis, Missouri. An award-winning author, a frequent speaker and a widely-read blogger, he has more than 300 publications on legal, technology and Internet topics, many of which are collected in his e-books. Dennis has been described as someone who knows almost every rock song in existence and, more importantly, how they apply to technology and law. Email Dennis at his gmail address.

Tom Mighell is Senior Counsel and Litigation Technology Support Coordinator at Cowles & Thompson in Dallas. He has published the Internet Legal Research Weekly newsletter since 2000 and blogged about the Internet and legal technology at Inter Alia since August of 2002. With Tom's singing, Ernie on guitar and Dennis' encylopedic knowledge of rock music, we may have the beginnings of a good band, if this whole blog thing doesn't work out. Email Tom at tmighell@swbell.net.

Marty Schwimmer left a partnership in the largest trademark practice in the world and founded Schwimmer Mitchell, a full-service IP micro-boutique in Westchester County, New York, where he represents owners of famous and not yet famous trademarks. He founded The Trademark Blog, the first IP law blog and the one with the most pictures. He is the first to come in and the last to leave in his firm. Email Marty at marty@schwimmerlegal.com.

Ernest Svenson practices law with a mid-sized law firm in New Orleans, specializing in business-related lawsuits. Most of his practice takes place in federal court, especially the Eastern District. He is best known for his weblog Ernie the Attorney, which he started as an experiment. Like many experiments it got out of control. Nevertheless, he continues to practice law and, occasionally, to seek enlightenment. Email Ernest at esvenson@gmail.com.
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Between Lawyers provides just-in-time group commentary on the issues raised when technology, culture and the law intersect. We take you behind the firewalls and conference room doors to show you how experienced lawyers deal with these issues and help you prepare for the new challenges we all face. For more, see our introductory post.
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October 25, 2005

Will the Creative Commons Licenses Be a Weapon Against Splogs?

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Posted by Dennis M. Kennedy

Spam blogs (splogs) are a growing problem. A good number of them grab the content of other blogs and copy it on the splog. It's annoying and irritating.

Unfortunately, today's ad programs make splogs a very attractive away to make money off advertising on blogs. I recently met an SEO expert who explained to me how splogs are perfect vehicles for ads. It's annoying and irritating that sploggers probably are making more money off splogs than bloggers are making from their blogs.

A number of people have brainstormed ways to combat the problem.

Perhaps the most interesting commentary is from Jeremy Wright, who raises a number of interesting and insightful questions.

I recommend reading and thinking about Jeremy's post and taking a look at some of the other commentary on the issues raised by splogs.

Then, I want us all to think about what it means to apply a Creative Commons license to our blogs and whether it is fair to expect that the Creative Commons organization take on a leadership role in fighting splogs by assisting CC license users in enforcing the terms of the CC licenses? In other words, as I've often asked, what is the practical value of the CC licenses or, as some have suggested, are the CC licenses primarily a marketing effort for the CC licenses?

I don't know the answers to these questions, but I would like to see the CC group more out front on the issue of splogs.

Comments (1) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Creative Commons


COMMENTS

1. Joe Gratz on October 26, 2005 2:28 PM writes...

I agree that splogs are a scourge, and that copyright can and should be used to shut them down.

But expecting the Creative Commons organization to assist license users in enforcing the terms of their licenses is like expecting Williston to help enforce form contracts copied out of Williston on Contracts. The Creative Commons organization is a provider of form licenses, not a public-interest law firm. I don't think it's fair to expect them to organize infringement actions.

The practical value of CC licenses is not that they provide greater copyright protection or greater ease of copyright enforcement. The value is in the ability of non-lawyers to express their usage preferences in a legally binding way, and, through standardization, to create a pool of works that can be used together for certain purposes without permission.

Splogs present a difficult issue, and it seems likely that, because they can be generated automatically, they can be put back up elsewhere as soon as they're taken down. Perhaps the way to attack splogs is, once an infringement is found, is to sue the infringer, attach all of his AdWords revenue, and get a default judgment, since the sploggers seem exceedingly likely to be outside United States jurisdiction. (On the other hand, Hague Convention service of process, which might be needed, is probably too much trouble to go through for a measly couple thousand bucks.)

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