Can a social networking site like MySpace.com prevent its users from posting links to other competing social networking websites? According to U.S. District Court Judge A. Howard Matz, it can. In his ruling Judge Matz threw out the antitrust claim against vidiLife.com on MySpace and prevents MySpace users from mentioning “vidiLife.com.”
This may be the first antitrust case to address whether a social networking site can prevent its users from posting certain links. Representing MySpace, attorney Richard Stone stated “MySpace doesn’t prevent anyone from going to their competitors’ sites, but, we have no responsibility to build a moving walkway to a competitor’s store.” Stone continued “And by including those links, MySpace would be risking exposure if sites such as vidiLife had any inappropriate content. ”
LiveUniverse, owner of vidiLife.com was founded by Brad Greenspan. Mr. Greenspan was the founder eUniverse the company that created MySpace.com which was sold to Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp for $580 Million. According to Business Week, in that transaction Greenspan pocketed more than $47 Million.
Another VERY important aspect of this lawsuit is the lawsuit timeline.
The suit was filed on November 2, 2006. On November 22 MySpace filed a motion to dismiss LiveUniverse’s complaint. The court held a hearing on December 18 in which it granted that motion, but gave LiveUniverse an opportunity to clarify one premise of the complaint.
On January 16, 2007 LiveUniverse filed a First Amended Complaint (FAC). On February 5, MySpace filed the motion to dismiss the FAC.
The court held a hearing on March 5 and presented its decision on June 4, 2007.
In only seven months, this lawsuit went from initial complaint to resolution. Lawsuits do not have to drag on for years while depleting the assets of both parties. As was done here, good lawyers look for, create and act on opportunities to move toward resolution.
There are numerous ways to resolve a lawsuit. If you are considering filing suit, make sure you have sufficient legal grounds and case law/precedent to support your claim.
If you have been sued, hire an attorney who has the experience to search for any and every way possible to resolve the lawsuit expeditiously.
Before hiring any attorney, we recommend asking him or her these Eleven Questions.
And if you are not sure what to do next, contact Sylvester, Oppenheim & Linde. There is never a charge for an initial consultation during which we will help you chart the best course of action. Knowledge is power and time is crucial to your result.