Courtney Love Twitter trial, husband's e-mail prying and the impostor Nike shoe: 3 cyber trials to watch
Three court cases have popped up in the past few months that may give people pause about the way they use the Internet. Here's the run down:
Courtney Love's Twitter trial
Courtney Love is not known for reserved Twitter behavior. The musician has used it to send odd tirades to her teenage daughter, she's posted naked photographs of herself, and she accused a fashion designer of being a "drug-pushing prostitute with a history of assault and battery who lost custody of her own child," the Hollywood Reporter says.
While most of her antics lead to good celebrity gossip fodder, the last action could cause serious legal trouble for Love. The fashion designer, Dawn Simorangkir, is taking Love to court and it could end up costing Love millions of dollars in damages. The trial starts Jan. 18 and may set precedents for how liable users should be for sending information out into the Twittersphere.
On trial here: How influential is a tweet? Do followers see tweets as opinion or as fact?
A husband's e-mail snooping
A Michigan couple is at odds over e-mail privacy. Clara Walker has filed charges against her ex-husband after he read her e-mails. He could face up to five years in prison for hacking charges. Leon Walker contends he was looking to see whether his wife was cheating on him and whether she was putting their daughter in danger while conducting the affair. The e-mail confirmed his suspicions about her infidelity. Clara Walker, however, spoke to "Nightline" and said her privacy was violated and that she had already filed for divorce before her husband peeked into her e-mails.
On trial here: What is communal property in a marriage? Like a postal package, can husbands open their wives' e-mail without repercussions or is e-mail a separate thing?
Nike sues over counterfeit shoes
When Nike discovered a shipment of counterfeit trainers at the U.K. border, rather than go after the manufacturers, it chose to sue the purchasers. Most of the cases settled out of court or were otherwise ignored, but one buyer fought back, filing a case against Nike asserting that he did not know he was purchasing impostor shoes and should not be held accountable. The court case was settled in October in favor of Nike. According to U.K. trademark law, the intent of the buyer does not matter: "Whether or not the defendant believed the goods were authentic is irrelevant to the question of trade mark infringement," the filing declared.
On trial here: How much is it the responsibility of customers to vet their online purchases?
| January 5, 2011; 2:57 PM ET
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