posted Jul 28, 2000

Treat EBay Listings as Property? Lawyers See a Threat Content Integrity7/28/2000; 12:57:01 PM 'oncerned that a recent federal court ruling dangerously extends the ancient law of trespass to cyberspace, 28 leading Internet legal scholars are arguing in an appellate court that the decision "threatens the very foundations of the Internet." The red-alert language of the professors is aimed in part at drawing attention to a legal dispute in California between auction giant eBay and a smaller rival, Bidder's Edge, that raises important questions about property rights in the digital age.'I feel justified in following this story now 'For one thing, the professors argue, the trespass theory as embraced by Judge Whyte would allow Web sites to fence off non-copyrighted information that should be available to consumers. For example, they assert, the resulting enclosure movement could chill the ability of shopping comparison sites to ferret out information about a company's products and prices, retarding the growth of e-commerce.'There are other things there as well. This case is importent to anybody who runs a web server or has content on the web.


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