Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Nobody Is That Dumb ... Oh, Wait X

A perfect, perfect, perfect candidate for my centennial :-) (i.e. number X ...) "Nobody Is That Dumb ... Oh, Wait" piece. Who is the assclown this time? It is "ISC squares" :-) who sue Google AND Yahoo! because of "hosted" content.

A quote: "The most interesting aspect of this case is that ISC2 also sued Google and Yahoo for trademark infringement for hosting content that contained Degraphenreed's impermissible CISSP usage. Specifically, the complaint alleges that Google hosted six blogs that contained the CISSP mark (at least 2 of which contained the term in the blog title), and that Google refused to take down these blogs after the plaintiff's notice."

OMG! Yes, we all saw CISSPs who only know computers in the form of AOL email and who can't spell "I-D-S", but this is in a class of its own. Stupidity definitely reaches a new low with this piece of news ...

Hey, CISSPs, are you embarrassed of what your organization is doing? Or maybe this is taught as "IP protection" in those bootcamps :-)


Anton Chuvakin said...

Well, suing Google and Yahoo! for "hosting" bad content is not a solution and I hope it will be demonstrated to them in no uncertain terms (by losing the suit and also being embarrassed and ridiculed by the media)

I am shocked that I have to explain it, but it would be reasonable to sue THE PERSON who misused their IP or posted offensive comments and not the search engine/portal.

In addition to the stupidity mentioned in the post, it is also dangerous since it sets the precedent of suing the web resources for such things. As of now, ISC is in good company of sects (which I am unwilling to name, but you can figure out which one it is) and totalitarian countries who try to get to people by 'erasing' them from the web.

Anton Chuvakin said...

First, going after the offender is exactly right - they are fully justified here on any level (trademark, ethic, etc) and nobody would question that. Anybody who creates IP for a living will support that!

Also, it sure seems like the argument "However, both companies [G and Y!] are very likely inclined to require a court order" makes sense. If they have to have it to remove the content, then maybe the content is not as offensive as claimed. They do remove clearly illegal and infringing content, as I've heard. Thus, I will not use the argument about them 'needing the court order' - I think they'd welcome the opposite decision even more!

As a result, I'd say have to disagree with your conclusion and claim the opposite to this "I'd be far more concerned about the broad implications of undermining trademark laws than what you perceive as a precedent in removing infringing materials from portals": I'd be more concerned about the content removal without justification than about THIS SPECIFIC means of trademark protection. The reason is the same (well, analogous to!) as why we don't like the police state even though there will probably be less crime ...

Perry Lynch said...

Good morning Anton,

I am very surprised by your reaction to this entire matter. You represent a company with an amazing product - one that is used to compile and correlate tremendous amounts of log data for the purpose of having a legitimate, verifiable audit trail for nearly every instance and transaction within a company's history. Why would Google or Yahoo's requirement for documentation of this matter in a court of law be so offensive to you?

As Ben has already mentioned, the true defendant in this case is neither Google nor Yahoo. In fact, the primary defendant is a former CISSP who has on more than one occasion sought to bring shame to (ISC)2 and the professionals they represent.

Having worked for a bandwidth and content provider, I can tell you that Ben is correct: The requirement for a legal decision is purely a CYA maneuver for both G and Y, as the offending content is NOT otherwise explicit, illegal, or obviously offensive. By requiring a court order, they can merely apologize and point to the court in question when the primary defendant complains. Is this good case law? Probably not. But over the past 12 - 15 years, this has become a standard practice in that vertical.

As a CISSP, I'm not embarrassed at all by (ISC)2's actions. I've dealt with the defendant personally, as have a number of other serious professionals, and as such I'm obligated to point out one simple thing: Unless you have the full story to comment about, you may often end up looking the fool.

Additionally, some of your potential customers do read this blog. And many of them are CISSPs. Congratulations on offending them.

Anton Chuvakin said...

First, interesting blogs cannot avoid offending some people some of the time :-) Second, I am not offending CISSPs, I am making fun of specific ISC actions, which I consider silly (and, yes, maybe I was too harsh is saying that they should be embarassed). If those are the same in your world, I suggest you stop reading this (and pretty much most other...) blogs :-)

As far requiring the court order, this totally makes sense: however, to the best of my knowledge, suing the actual "bad apple" would have sufficed.

Finally do I have the full story? No - and thus there is a risk of my looking like a fool when (if?) it comes out. I fully accept this.

Dr Anton Chuvakin