There’s some buzz about our win this week against Autodesk and its attempt to keep entrepreneur Timothy Vernor from selling second-hand copies of its software on eBay. A federal judge refused to dismiss Vernor’s lawsuit against Autodesk and in doing so made it pretty clear that Vernor had a right to sell legally obtained, copyrighted material on eBay or anywhere else. The Technology Liberation Front called it an “Autodesk smackdown” and praised Judge Richard Jones’ decision as a victory for “common sense.” At the heart of Autodesk’s copyright argument was the claim that the license agreement included with copies of its AutoCad software prohibited resale. But the judge ruled that Vernor, who has picked up second-hand copies of AutoCad at garage sales, isn’t bound by that agreement. That’s a good thing for anyone who sells or buys stuff on eBay. And it’s great news for Vernor who is seeking legal relief from Autodesk, which has repeatedly registered copyright complaints with eBay about Vernor’s auctions. More
When Seneca Technologies President Will White won his public records lawsuit against the state of West Virginia, he did what any Web entrepreneur would do with his newly-acquired bevy of local tax maps — he posted the information on his website. That didn’t sit well with Kanawha County Tax Assessor Phyllis Gatson, who is asking a court to force Seneca to take the maps off the Web. Why should you care?