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Law Firm Claims Copyright on View of HTML Source 601

Posted by Zonk
from the thinking-this-is-a-publicity-stunt dept.
An anonymous reader writes "A law firm with all sorts of interesting views on copyright has decided to go the extra mile. As reported on Tech Dirt, they've decided that viewing the HTML source of their site is a violation of copyright. From the site's EULA: 'We also own all of the code, including the HTML code, and all content. As you may know, you can view the HTML code with a standard browser. We do not permit you to view such code since we consider it to be our intellectual property protected by the copyright laws. You are therefore not authorized to do so.'"
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Law Firm Claims Copyright on View of HTML Source

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  • oblig. (Score:5, Funny)

    by niteice (793961) <icefragment@gmail.com> on Thursday October 18, 2007 @06:28PM (#21032701) Journal
    Nothing for you to see here. Please move along.

    :o
    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 18, 2007 @07:04PM (#21033269)

      <html>
      <head>
      <base href="http://www.cybertriallawyer.com/" />

      <title>Internet Lawyer, Trademark Infringement Lawyer, Domain Name Dispute Specialist!</title>
      <meta name="DESCRIPTION" content="Dozier Internet Law and Dozier Intenet Law, PC are top rated Internet Lawyer Specialists representing business interests on the web as advocate and legal counsel.>

      <meta name="KEYWORDS" content="dozier internet law, dozier internet law pc, dozier lawyer, dozier internet, internet lawyer, internet lawyers, interent attorney, internet attorneys, john dozier, john w dozier, john w dozier jr">
      <META name="y_key" content="1dfad02220b8c67b" /> <!-- For Yahoo authentication -->
      <meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=iso-8859-1">
      <meta name="generator" content="Adobe GoLive">

      <script type="text/javascript" language="JavaScript" src="/imageswap_js"></script>
      <csactions>

      <csaction name="BF50B80B1" class="Open Popup Lite" type="onevent" val0="PopUp1" val1="680" val2="524" val3="true" val4="false" val5="false" val6="false" val7="false" val8="false" val9="false" val10="true" val11="" val12="" val13="#" val14="qtvr.html" val15="false" urlparams="14,15"></csaction>
      </csactions>
      <csscriptdict>
      <script type="text/javascript"><!--
      function CSClickReturn () {
      var bAgent = window.navigator.userAgent;
      var bAppName = window.navigator.appName;
      if ((bAppName.indexOf("Explorer") >= 0) && (bAgent.indexOf("Mozilla/3") >= 0) && (bAgent.indexOf("Mac") >= 0))
      return true; /* dont follow link */
      else return false; /* dont follow link */
      }
      CSStopExecution=false;
      function CSAction(array) {return CSAction2(CSAct, array);}
      function CSAction2(fct, array) {
      var result;
      for (var i=0;i<array.length;i++) {
      if(CSStopExecution) return false;
      var aa = fct[array[i]];
      if (aa == null) return false;
      var ta = new Array;
      for(var j=1;j<aa.length;j++) {
      if((aa[j]!=null)&&(typeof(aa[j])=="object")&&(aa[j].length==2)){
      if(aa[j][0]=="VAR"){ta[j]=CSStateArray[aa[j][1]];}
      else{if(aa[j][0]=="ACT"){ta[j]=CSAction(new Array(new String(aa[j][1])));}
      else ta[j]=aa[j];}
      } else ta[j]=aa[j];
      }
      result=aa[0](ta);
      }
      return result;
      }
      CSAct = new Object;
      // OpenPopUpLite 2.0.1 action by Nate Baldwin, www.mindpalette.com, copyright 2004
      if (typeof MPStoreOpenWin2 == "undefined") MPStoreOpenWin2 = new Array();
      function MPOpenPopupLite(action) {
      var posX = 0;
      var posY = 0;
      if (action[4] == true) {
      posX = Math.round((screen.availWidth/2)-(action[2]/2));
      posY = Math.round((screen.availHeight/2)-(action[3]/2));
      } else {
      posX = action[12];
      posY = action[13];
      }
      if (action[16] == true) {

      • by kennygraham (894697) on Thursday October 18, 2007 @07:12PM (#21033353)
        No wonder they want to keep it hidden. No doctype! I'd be ashamed too.
        • Re:Now sue me. Pls ! (Score:5, Interesting)

          by D4rkn1ght (800767) on Thursday October 18, 2007 @11:07PM (#21035791) Homepage

          No wonder they want to keep it hidden. No doctype! I'd be ashamed too.

          http://www.cybertriallawyer.com/user-agreement [cybertriallawyer.com]
          HTML error (1/5): The DOCTYPE declaration is missing.
          HTML error (3/63): Illegal character "/" in tag.
          HTML error (9/49): Illegal character "/" in tag.
          HTML error (14/13): The tag is unknown in this HTML standard.
          HTML error (15/286): The tag is unknown in this HTML standard.
          HTML error (15/297): The tag is unknown in this HTML standard.
          HTML error (15/297): Can't find start tag for end tag . Maybe the tag was implicitly closed before.
          HTML error (16/14): The tag is unknown in this HTML standard.
          HTML error (16/14): Can't find start tag for end tag . Maybe the tag was implicitly closed before.
          HTML error (17/16): The tag is unknown in this HTML standard.
          HTML error (88/17): The tag is unknown in this HTML standard.
          HTML error (88/17): Can't find start tag for end tag . Maybe the tag was implicitly closed before.
          HTML error (89/16): The tag is unknown in this HTML standard.
          HTML error (94/17): The tag is unknown in this HTML standard.
          HTML error (94/17): Can't find start tag for end tag . Maybe the tag was implicitly closed before.
          HTML warning (100/354): The attribute "LEFTMARGIN" is deprecated in the tag and should no longer be used. It is suggested CSS be used instead.
          HTML warning (100/354): The attribute "TOPMARGIN" is deprecated in the tag and should no longer be used. It is suggested CSS be used instead.
          HTML warning (100/354): The attribute "MARGINWIDTH" is deprecated in the tag and should no longer be used. It is suggested CSS be used instead.
          HTML warning (100/354): The attribute "MARGINHEIGHT" is deprecated in the tag and should no longer be used. It is suggested CSS be used instead.
          HTML error (168/19): Illegal character "/" in tag.
          HTML error (175/19): Illegal character "/" in tag.
          HTML error (222/17): The attribute "CASS" in tag

          is not allowed.
          HTML error (224/17): The attribute "CASS" in tag

          is not allowed.
          HTML error (226/17): The attribute "CASS" in tag

          is not allowed.
          HTML error (228/17): The attribute "CASS" in tag

          is not allowed.
          HTML error (230/17): The attribute "CASS" in tag

          is not allowed.
          HTML error (232/17): The attribute "CASS" in tag

          is not allowed.
          HTML error (234/17): The attribute "CASS" in tag

          is not allowed.
          HTML error (236/17): The attribute "CASS" in tag

          is not allowed.
          HTML error (238/17): The attribute "CASS" in tag

          is not allowed.
          HTML error (240/17): The attribute "CASS" in tag

          is not allowed.
          HTML error (242/17): The attribute "CASS" in tag

          is not allowed.
          HTML warning (267/75): The attribute "HEIGHT" is deprecated in the tag and should no longer be used. It is suggested CSS be used instead.
          http://www.cybertriallawyer.com/Dozier_css [cybertriallawyer.com]
          CSS Error (23/17): Invalid property value "bold".
          CSS Error (336/7): Invalid property value "margin:".
          CSS Error (336/7): Unknown identifier ":".
          CSS Error (368/10): Invalid class selector.

      • Re:Now sue me. Pls ! (Score:5, Interesting)

        by slacknhash (1094977) on Thursday October 18, 2007 @07:41PM (#21033665) Homepage
        They claim they own all that code. Does that extend to <meta name="KEYWORDS" content="keywords go in here"> and <meta name="generator" content="Adobe GoLive">? Have to ask...
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by tacocat (527354)

          So they have a copyright on the word META? Or the use of META in HTML? Or what?

          This stuff is getting out of hand. Imagine what would happen if lawyers were limited to a maximum total income of $100,000 per annum. The only ones left would be lawyers who actually enjoyed what they did enough to not be an asshole. They might actually be better at practicing law too.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Demiansmark (927787)
        Great, now we're all going to be sued
      • by WebCowboy (196209) on Thursday October 18, 2007 @07:55PM (#21033847)
        Take a look at this line in the code: // OpenPopUpLite 2.0.1 action by Nate Baldwin, www.mindpalette.com, copyright 2004

        They "own all the code" MY ASS. Perhaps they retained the services of Mindpalette to design their website or their own developers used some of their code, but this statement indicated to me that they DO NOT own at least a good chunk of the JavaScript in this file. Have they done their "due diligence" concerning their IP? Are the (retarded) terms-of-service on this web page compatible with the terms of service agreed to by Mr. Baldwin? I am the author of some GPLed scripts myself, and if I discovered they were used on this site I would take issue and even consider legal action!

        Geez...get any 10 lawyers together, one will be a real decent person, the other nine will be total asshats.

        • by ShieldW0lf (601553) on Thursday October 18, 2007 @11:25PM (#21035975) Journal
          Take a look at this line in the code: // OpenPopUpLite 2.0.1 action by Nate Baldwin, www.mindpalette.com, copyright 2004

          They "own all the code" MY ASS. Perhaps they retained the services of Mindpalette to design their website or their own developers used some of their code, but this statement indicated to me that they DO NOT own at least a good chunk of the JavaScript in this file. Have they done their "due diligence" concerning their IP? Are the (retarded) terms-of-service on this web page compatible with the terms of service agreed to by Mr. Baldwin? I am the author of some GPLed scripts myself, and if I discovered they were used on this site I would take issue and even consider legal action!


          It's very funny. The acts of paying for an internet connection and a computer, setting up a server and a domain name, and put these html pages unsecured upon that server is an act of publication. That interpretation is why Kazaa lady got nailed. The thing being published is not a browsing experience, it is a text file. I can use any tool I wish to view and interpret that text file, be it one I downloaded or one I wrote myself.

          Unless they have secured the pages against free access and collected an agreement to terms of use prior to transmitting this text file, they can not retroactively enforce them. This means they cannot enforce that I use any particular viewing medium for the text.

          However, what they have done is materially represented in the same site that they own the technology and the copyrights as a corporation, and also that the copyrights are some individuals property.

          If it isn't fraudulent on the basis that they use the obvious message to intimidate people via legal threats without basis in fact into not seeing the contradictory ownership message in the comments, it's most certainly too sloppy to be borne on the front page of a site run by Internet Lawyers.

          I knew lawyers were scum, but I figured it would be necessary for them to be at least somewhat smarter to get in the door. Apparently not.
      • by Rhodin (907586) on Thursday October 18, 2007 @08:16PM (#21034133) Homepage
        Er, I don't think I could hire a law firm that doesn't check its spelling. In the header info, they've spelled 'internet' incorrectly. Twice. ;)

        <meta name="DESCRIPTION" content="Dozier Internet Law and Dozier Intenet Law, PC

        internet lawyer, internet lawyers, interent attorney
        I mean, outside of the fact that I wouldn't hire them for philosophical reasons. As an artist, I've relied many times on emulation as a means of learning technique. If people want to poke through my HTML (as messy as it can be) as a means of learning what to do and not do in web design, I say give'r. :)
        - ev
        _____________________
        http://evanbutler.com/ [evanbutler.com]
    • by clsours (1089711) on Thursday October 18, 2007 @07:47PM (#21033755)
      This EULA and website is by and for fanboys.
      intimately familiar with the "hacking" industry
      What hacking industry?
      We make no representations, express or implied, concerning the functionality, security, or technical integrity of the button, and while the button is hosted by you and merely links to our site, we still provide the button solely on an "as is" basis.
      The phrase "the button" is defined two paragraphs later, and poorly at that.
      We do not permit you to view such code since we consider it to be our intellectual property protected by the copyright laws.
      Very very disingenuous. Copyright law protects against....COPYING! (not viewing; ever heard of this new technology called THE PRINTED WORD?). Also it is nearly universally refered to as copyright law, not "the copyright laws"
      Dozier Internet Law, P.C. obviously has the capability to immediately react to such misappropriation,
      The word obviously has no legal value, and is out of place in an EULA. The whole point of an EULA is to make an agreement explicit in every detail.
      Of course, we do not sell any of the information collected on our website.
      Again "Of course" has no place in an EULA
      Businesses of the Internet, hear my cry: Do not use 15 year olds as your legal counsel!
      • The only Intellectual Property law that would permit Dozier Internet law to keep their source secret is "Trade Secret" protection, and they explicitly remove themselves from this protection with this phrase: "We don't presently conduct e-commerce activities in the sense of accepting registrations or providing private access to a protected area of our website." Trade Secret protection explicitly requires access to such secrets to be limited, authorized, and secure. Dozier, you struck out.
  • by jasonwea (598696) * on Thursday October 18, 2007 @06:28PM (#21032703) Homepage
    Frankly, I'm surprised they permit browsers to render their precious markup.
  • by WebHostingGuy (825421) on Thursday October 18, 2007 @06:28PM (#21032705) Homepage Journal
    then don't publish it online.
    • Would it be that hard to rename "copyright" to "viewright" before starting up crap like this?
    • by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Thursday October 18, 2007 @08:07PM (#21034023) Homepage

      I'm just stating the obvious, but...

      These guys seem to have a shockingly stupid understanding of the Internet and copyright, even if you ignore the fact that they're claiming to be expert lawyers on Internet-related issues. I had assumed that the submitter must have misinterpreted things, but directly from their user agreement:

      Dozier Internet Law, P.C. has a lot of intellectual property on our site. For instance, we are the creators of all of the text on this website, and own the "look and feel" of this website. We also own all of the code, including the HTML code, and all content. As you may know, you can view the HTML code with a standard browser. We do not permit you to view such code since we consider it to be our intellectual property protected by the copyright laws. You are therefore not authorized to do so.

      (emphasis mine, and yeah, note the irony of me posting the text where they say all text on their site is copyright protected)

      IANAL, but my understanding is that copyright is very much what is sounds like. "Copy right"-- the right to copy. The HTML code is necessarily copied to your computer in order to render the page. Therefore, the copying is done. Unless you can manage to argue that viewing the HTML code constitutes an additional "copy", then there isn't any possible chance that it could be a violation of copyright. It'd be like selling someone a book and then saying, "But you can't read this in bed, because we consider that a violation of copyright!" I'm sorry, but copyright doesn't allow you to determine how I use a legally-obtained copy.

      What might allow them to determine how things are viewed or used is some sort of "User Agreement", which I guess is what they're trying to do. However, they're trying to make it binding simply by stating that, "By using our website, you agree to the following". However, calling it a "User Agreement" doesn't mean that anyone agreed to it. This agreement isn't even on the front page, and so it's entirely possible to browse through the site without ever seeing the agreement.

  • by Spazntwich (208070) on Thursday October 18, 2007 @06:28PM (#21032707)
    I just went and stoled me some of that there intellectual property.

    Smells good.
  • Invalid HTML (Score:5, Insightful)

    by alanw (1822) * <alan@wylie.me.uk> on Thursday October 18, 2007 @06:29PM (#21032717) Homepage
    W3C says [w3.org] that the page isn't valid HTML - does that invalidate their claim?
    • Better still: (Score:4, Interesting)

      by TheAxeMaster (762000) on Thursday October 18, 2007 @06:39PM (#21032887)
      W3C also says this:

      Line 3, Column 62: character data is not allowed here. ...ref="http://www.cybertriallawyer.com/user-agreement/" /
      You can't put user agreements in code! Maybe they were trying to get us to implicitly agree to them by hiding them in the code we're not allowed to view! Crafty bastards...
       
      Really though, they are idiots. HTML isn't some magical closed source EXE, as much as they would like it to be.
      • Re:Better still: (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Edy52285 (727242) <eddie DOT moya AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday October 18, 2007 @07:49PM (#21033775)
        This is an impossible claim they make. Think about what a website really is, is it what the browsers render? Well different browsers can render the same code in different ways, so no, its not the rendering. Is it the code? Yes, the HTML of a site IS the site. From the website owners perspective there is no way of knowing what software or device the user is accessing the code with, for all they know, its being pulled up as just text, which would be the HTML. Since in order for the owners of the site to show you the site, they must send you the raw HTML so that the browser can do its thing (like render structure and styles and ask the server for any images the code points to). Since thats all they are doing, it makes no sense that they would try to force users to not look at it. What im trying to say is that, in order for you to see the licensing thing, you need to see the site, in order for you to see the site, they ahve to send you the raw code first, which is then at the whim of whatever software your using to render it. Was there not recently something about EULA's not being valid if the user has to purchase the item before seeing it? The same would apply here. You cant agree to the EULA before seeing it, and you cant see it before,.. well seeing it. At what point would this stop, would you then start suing indivuduals who use the wrong browser, because they are not correctly rendering MY website? Or what about Userscripts and Greasemonkey, oh seems like those people would get sueing for altering the code without permission. This makes no sense.. you cant make proprietary something built off of an inherantly open platform It boils down to making a sign that says "The content of this sign is copyrighted, by reading this you are violating copyright laws"
    • Re:Invalid HTML (Score:4, Insightful)

      by TDyl (862130) on Thursday October 18, 2007 @06:40PM (#21032907)
      Only 58 errors? I'd've thought there'd've been loads more.
  • by phrostie (121428) on Thursday October 18, 2007 @06:29PM (#21032721)
    i think they just need to get laid REALLY bad.

  • Content? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by the eric conspiracy (20178) on Thursday October 18, 2007 @06:30PM (#21032727)
    So the content is part of the HTML source for the site. How are you supposed to read the notice without reading at least part of the HTML source?

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Typoboy (61087) *
      Sorry to bring logic into this, but I am really curious if they understand that their "HTML Source" has to be transferred to the user machine in order to display their page?

      • Re:Content? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by alan_dershowitz (586542) on Thursday October 18, 2007 @06:57PM (#21033133)
        They totally understand this, and say as much. This is why they threaten the force of law if you look, because they know they can't actually physically stop you from looking. I believe they even know that their legal argument is false. Knowing that they can litigate you into financial oblivion right or wrong acts as a deterrent here, and I think this is their strategy. I can even tell you why they care. Because they are lawyers, and in their world everything they touch is valuable and the thought of someone using it without permission is highly offensive to them.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by sumdumass (711423)
          What if this is just a poorly disguised study to see how many people will do something they are specifically told not to do. Even with a threat of legal action.

          The results of this could be used in a lot of things from product advertising, public image control, and even motivating voters to come out for a cause. It this is a test to develop a theory or justify it, or just see what would happen to compare current tactics to the results.

          Or maybe it is just a ploy to get free advertising. I mean it gets their n
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by StikyPad (445176)
            Maybe because they could never find out the results? There's no way for a server to distinguish whether a client is viewing the source or the rendered page.
  • Useless (Score:2, Insightful)

    by nsebban (513339)
    It's not like they have any means to know you actually viewed their source.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by nuzak (959558)
      Sure they do, paste it in. I think just for their legal reasons, posting wget or lynx -source output would be interpreted the same as well.

      I was going to prove it by posting their HTML source here, but posting any significant chunk of it, just to show what I think of their precious copyright, triggered the lameness filter. How apropos.
  • The name of the law firm in question is Dozier Internet Law [cybertriallawyer.com]. The link is to their web page. Enjoy!
    • by Anonymous Coward
      ...They also state that you shouldn't link to their site without permission.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by bigstrat2003 (1058574)
      Thanks for the link. I just went and infringed on some intellectual property rights... who knew it could be so damn fun?
    • The name of the law firm in question is Dozier Internet Law. The link is to their web page. Enjoy!

      "we also are intimately familiar with the "hacking" industry"

      "We maintain records of IP addresses and other information contained in log files"

      "We also do not allow any links to our site without our express permission"

      Well, you're screwed now. They're hackers, they have your IP, and you linked to their site.

      "you should not make any copies of any part of this website in any way"

      Of course, I'm in trouble too because the every act of viewing their page required me to download a copy of it. I suppose they could put their website on a CD, then mail it to everybody who calls in and asks to visit their website.

      Morons.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        please tell me that 'we also are intimately familiar' is meant to construe 'we have carnal knowledge'.
      • by InvalidError (771317) on Thursday October 18, 2007 @07:28PM (#21033505)

        Our firm has handled 252 legal matters in the past two years
        Three more cases to go and they'll gain a temporary geek credebility booster.
      • by KWTm (808824) on Thursday October 18, 2007 @07:39PM (#21033643) Journal
        Wouldn't it be hilarious if someone pwned their site and replaced little things? Maybe something that they probably wouldn't notice but prospective customers would read carefully and realize how full of it this firm is? Something like

        "we also are intimately familiar with the "hacking" industry. In fact, our website gets updated by the hacking industry from time to time."

        "We maintain records of IP addresses and other information contained in log files. Soon we will figure out how to actually look at those log files to see what information is contained there."

        "We also do not allow any links to our site without our express permission. In fact, you are not allowed to look at our web site without our permission. Hey, are you looking at this site right now? Stop that! Fine, our lawyers will be contacting you shortly."
    • Whoa, you have just violated their terms of use!

      We also do not allow any links to our site without our express permission...

      From their website user agreement. [cybertriallawyer.com] There are other gems in there, too - read and enjoy!

      Oh no, now I've violated their terms of use! Nooooooooo!

    • Except that appears to be forbidden too.

      "If you are conducting a "click attack" and are not a legitimate, bona fide prospective client, your access to any page of our website is unauthorized."

      Click attack indeed. Uh oh... I found another one.

      In addition, you should not make any copies of any part of this website in any way since we do not want anyone copying us.

      It belongs to http://www.cybertriallawyer.com/ [cybertriallawyer.com] Is that enough to qualify as fair use? Maybe you should go on over and find out.
    • Oh man, be sure to check out that video right on the front page. This site is pure gold! I want to archive the whole thing just to show people so they can join in the hilarity!

      I actually laughed out loud when the guy said "pioneer of internet law". Like, after these absolutely insane claims and statements, who's going to accept that he's apparently a pioneer of internet law? What is this, some new form of Alternate Reality Game [wikipedia.org] made to promote an upcoming video game or other entertainment product?? Th
    • by Stormx2 (1003260) on Thursday October 18, 2007 @07:11PM (#21033341)
      Check out the admin panel. The error message is a zope.org message. Zope is licensed under their own OSS license [zope.org]. Now who's breaking copyright licenses? :)
  • by john_is_war (310751) <jvines@[ ]il.com ['gma' in gap]> on Thursday October 18, 2007 @06:33PM (#21032773)
    The website is displayed via HTML... so technically I'm not allowed to view the web page itself...

    Thinking about it further, the sites EULA is printed using HTML, so I technically shouldn't be allowed to see it, as per the EULA, and therefore am not obligated by it.
  • Oops... Too Late (Score:4, Interesting)

    by excelblue (739986) on Thursday October 18, 2007 @06:33PM (#21032775) Homepage
    If you happen to not be using a web browser and browse the website with telnet, making your own HTTP requests, an interesting case comes up:

    You viewed the HTML before you are given notice that you are not authorized to view it. What happens in this case? Are you guilty of infringement?

    Also, what exactly is the legal definition of 'viewing HTML'? Does it mean reading it with your own eyes, or does it include using a web browser to read it?
  • If I use something like Firebug to inspect the DOM of the website am I in violation of the copyright?
  • I own this! (Score:2, Funny)

    by nexxuz (895394)
    Every word that I type I own! If you are reading this then you are in violation! Please send all your money to my off-shore bank account now!
  • by TheGratefulNet (143330) on Thursday October 18, 2007 @06:34PM (#21032803)
    % cd cybermorans
    % while 1
    while? wget -rm -np http://www.cybertriallawyer.com/ [cybertriallawyer.com]
    while? sleep 10
    while? rm -rf *
    while? end

    that'll keep 'em entertained. oh, and me, too.
  • by CaptainPatent (1087643) on Thursday October 18, 2007 @06:35PM (#21032819) Journal
    They have placed HTML (an interpreted language) in public space to be viewed by people visiting their site.
    If this were source code of some sort where users were supposed to be separated from the code then they may have ground to stand on, but the point is the exact text of their web page must be read and interpreted and is granted freely as such.
    Hopefully this will bring the judge to the final ruling of: "duh!"
    • by nuzak (959558)
      Look, sometimes you just don't need to justify the reasoning (how you need to transfer the HTML to read it), or explain the technical details (the intricacies of caching, transfer, futility of preventing view source, etc), and just run with your basic instinct: These are just bullying sociopaths who need to be clubbed right out of the gene pool.
  • I were to use something like Greasemonkey to ROT13 (or even ROT1) the sourcecode as it came down? They only say I can't look at their source (by using the 'view source' function of a browser)...
  • by kaan (88626) on Thursday October 18, 2007 @06:37PM (#21032843)
    All our source are belong to us.
  • How do you plan to stop me, or even discover it if I do it? I'm so scared. Please don't sic any of your shysters on me. You have me terrified that I might even be so much as accused of viewing your HTML source. Maybe you can make me pay you some money to not sue me, even though I couldn't care less about your chickenshit HTML.
  • Can some one find the British legal responce that essentially equates to telling the other party to "Fuck off" in so many words?

    Why on earth there is no American equivalent is beyond me.
  • Check it out:
    http://www.cybertriallawyer.com/user-agreement [cybertriallawyer.com]

    Generated by:

    <meta name="generator" content="Adobe GoLive">
    So can they even lay claim to something generated by a tool?
  • Bah! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Greyfox (87712) on Thursday October 18, 2007 @06:39PM (#21032893) Homepage Journal
    That's what they get for not hiring an administrator for their web server who knows what they're doing. If they don't want people looking at their HTML source, they should just change the permissions to disallow it: "chmod -r 000 $WEBSITE_ROOT_DIR" This will also save them a ton of bandwidth! Anyone have a link to their site so we can critique their page layout and other IP?
  • by exp(pi*sqrt(163)) (613870) on Thursday October 18, 2007 @06:42PM (#21032933) Journal
    ...the line: // OpenPopUpLite 2.0.1 action by Nate Baldwin, www.mindpalette.com, copyright 2004
  • I don`t believe in using so-called "browsers", I download the html source of every site I visit, and then render it in my head.

    I guess I won`t be visiting this law firm`s website any time soon.
  • by RichMan (8097) on Thursday October 18, 2007 @06:44PM (#21032961)
    This just cries out for someone to implement a page fetch of this using RFC 1149.
    Then to archive the transmit and receive buffers in a book.

    http://www.faqs.org/rfcs/rfc1149.html [faqs.org]
    --
    Frame Format

          The IP datagram is printed, on a small scroll of paper, in
          hexadecimal, with each octet separated by whitestuff and blackstuff.
          The scroll of paper is wrapped around one leg of the avian carrier.
          A band of duct tape is used to secure the datagram's edges. The
          bandwidth is limited to the leg length. The MTU is variable, and
          paradoxically, generally increases with increased carrier age. A
          typical MTU is 256 milligrams. Some datagram padding may be needed.

          Upon receipt, the duct tape is removed and the paper copy of the
          datagram is optically scanned into a electronically transmittable
          form.
    --
  • advertising (Score:5, Insightful)

    by belmolis (702863) <billposer@nOSpam.alum.mit.edu> on Thursday October 18, 2007 @06:45PM (#21032973) Homepage

    It seems to me that these people are doing a terrific job of negative advertising. their activities tell me two things: (a) they don't know much about copyright law; (b) they're a bunch of jerks. If I were considering employing them, both of these features would warn me off them. I'm tempted to think that they have a mole in their office who is out to undermine them.

  • by sigmabody (1099541) on Thursday October 18, 2007 @06:47PM (#21033005)
    So, the interesting legal question for the source code viewing clause would be: if you put something in a public area (eg: the internet), can you then claim someone viewing it is in violation of your implicit license agreement to view it? That is, if I post a sign outside my house, can I prohibit looking at the sign without wearing 3D glasses, for example? Someone with knowledge of how the normal law works want to educate me?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by julesh (229690)
      That is, if I post a sign outside my house, can I prohibit looking at the sign without wearing 3D glasses, for example? Someone with knowledge of how the normal law works want to educate me?

      Erm. No. Don't be silly.

      Which is, of course, what somebody should have told these idiots.
  • by Perseid (660451) on Thursday October 18, 2007 @06:47PM (#21033009)
    "By viewing this HTML source you agree to send $100 to me. If you do no consent, too bad, you're already viewing the source now. And don't think I can't tell - *I* know JavaScript."
  • by Experiment 626 (698257) on Thursday October 18, 2007 @06:52PM (#21033077)

    Ha ha ha, not only can I view their precious HTML code, I'm posting it to Slashdot for all the world to see!

    <html>
    <head>
    <meta http-equiv="refresh" content="2;url=http://goatse.cx/">
    <title>Attorneys at Law</title>
    </head>
    <body bgcolor="#FF66FF">
    <!-- If you can read this, we're going to sue you! --/>
    <h1>The Law Offices of Moron, Idiot, and Dumbass</h1>
    <img src="OMG_Ponies.gif"/>
    <blink>Need an incompetent ambulance chaser with no understanding of the law to
    represent you? You've come to the right place!</blink>
    </body>
    </html>
  • by HeadlessNotAHorseman (823040) on Thursday October 18, 2007 @06:58PM (#21033167) Homepage
    Notice that they have a link to a google analytics script near the bottom...since google analtyics is not their intellectual property, does that mean we are still allowed to view that one line?!
    <html>
    <head>
    <base href="http://www.cybertriallawyer.com/user-agreement/" />

    <title>User Agreement/Privacy Policy</title>
    <meta name="DESCRIPTION" content="Dozier Internet Lawyers: Top rated internet lawyer, internet attorney, internet lawyers, online lawyer, online lawyers, internet attorneys, internet law firm, web lawyer.">

    <meta name="KEYWORDS" content="keywords go in here">
    <META name="y_key" content="1dfad02220b8c67b" /> <!-- For Yahoo authentication -->
    <meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=iso-8859-1">
    <meta name="generator" content="Adobe GoLive">

    <script type="text/javascript" language="JavaScript" src="/imageswap_js"></script>
    <csactions>
    <csaction name="BF50B80B1" class="Open Popup Lite" type="onevent" val0="PopUp1" val1="680" val2="524" val3="true" val4="false" val5="false" val6="false" val7="false" val8="false" val9="false" val10="true" val11="" val12="" val13="#" val14="qtvr.html" val15="false" urlparams="14,15"></csaction>
    </csactions>
    <csscriptdict>
    <script type="text/javascript"><!--
    function CSClickReturn () {
    var bAgent = window.navigator.userAgent;
    var bAppName = window.navigator.appName;
    if ((bAppName.indexOf("Explorer") >= 0) && (bAgent.indexOf("Mozilla/3") >= 0) && (bAgent.indexOf("Mac") >= 0))
    return true; /* dont follow link */
    else return false; /* dont follow link */
    }
    CSStopExecution=false;
    function CSAction(array) {return CSAction2(CSAct, array);}
    function CSAction2(fct, array) {
    var result;
    for (var i=0;i<array.length;i++) {
    if(CSStopExecution) return false;
    var aa = fct[array[i]];
    if (aa == null) return false;
    var ta = new Array;
    for(var j=1;j<aa.length;j++) {
    if((aa[j]!=null)&&(typeof(aa[j])=="object")&&(aa[j].length==2)){
    if(aa[j][0]=="VAR"){ta[j]=CSStateArray[aa[j][1]];}
    else{if(aa[j][0]=="ACT"){ta[j]=CSAction(new Array(new String(aa[j][1])));}
    else ta[j]=aa[j];}
    } else ta[j]=aa[j];
    }
    result=aa[0](ta);
    }
    return result;
    }
    CSAct = new Object; // OpenPopUpLite 2.0.1 action
  • by noidentity (188756) on Thursday October 18, 2007 @07:02PM (#21033239)
    Here is some of their super secret codes revealed:

    <html>

    <p>

    And the most valuable, apparently:

    <font>

    (posted anonymous for obvious reasons)
  • by suv4x4 (956391) on Thursday October 18, 2007 @07:24PM (#21033467)
    They use the law as if you can program the world, just if you say so:

    We do not permit our website to be "spidered", or a program run through the website, for purposes of obtaining email addresses to be used in commercial email campaigns. We do permit search engines to access our website for purposes of indexing search results. We do not authorize you to access the Dozier Internet Law, P.C. website by conducting "click attacks", which is the practice of clicking on one of our online ads for the purpose of running up our advertising costs.

    Hehe, well, guess what guys: the email harvesting and indexing bots won't read your threats.

    Their robots.txt says:

    User-agent: *
    Disallow: /Backup
    Disallow: /Form
    Disallow: /acl_users
    Disallow: /MailHost
    Disallow: /test
    Disallow: /test1


    Thanks for letting us know where *not* to go. I'm sure the Chinese spam bots will also *not* go there and *not* see what you have there.

    Curiously they should've just put this: Disallow: /
  • by AeroIllini (726211) <<aeroillini> <at> <gmail.com>> on Thursday October 18, 2007 @07:35PM (#21033573)
    These people clearly have a very dim understanding of what copyright is and how it works. I'm not sure I'd want them representing me in a court case involving nuances of copyright if they don't even understand the fundamentals.

    Copyright is about publishing, not viewing. Infringement is defined as someone other than the copyright holder publishing the copyrighted work without the permission of the copyright holder. That's all. Restrictions on viewing can only come from not publishing. Once it's published, game over. The purchaser of the published copy has every right to view the contents. Incidentally, this is why the RIAA goes after only uploaders, not downloaders.

    By placing their copyrighted work on a public webserver, they have effectively published it to the web, and by not placing it behind a registration or payment wall, they have also effectively offered it for sale to the public in published form for $0. They are essentially handing out free pamphlets on a street corner, which they then forbid you from reading. There are no protection schemes (i.e., DRM) in use, so the DMCA circumvention provision doesn't even apply (it wouldn't apply anyway to mere viewing, only to infringement, which means publishing).

    However, were I to copy their source code wholesale and use it for my site (including the design and/or layout), then they have a legal leg to stand on, and can sue me for infringement. Until that happens, any court in the country would give them a hearty "fuck you" if they tried to sue someone on the grounds that the source code was read in a browser.

    Also, I found this gem on their site:

    "Thank goodness for John and his team. These big law firms just don't understand how to handle technology litigation. With their trial record, technology expertise, and legal and business perspective, they have been a godsend...."

    -- Internet Content Company CEO.
    Apparently the little companies don't understand how to handle technology litigation, either. To call them shady would be an insult to used car dealers everywhere.
  • Indefenseble... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by arthurh3535 (447288) on Thursday October 18, 2007 @08:13PM (#21034091)
    I can't believe the idiocy. How can anyone in the world tell the difference between just viewing the web page and viewing the 'source' of it? It's derivative in that it requires the browser to read the whole thing, even the parts that are trying to hide. What morons...
  • by BillX (307153) on Thursday October 18, 2007 @09:09PM (#21034737) Homepage
    Ah yes, I've had contact from these yokels before. A while back a message board I administer got hit with a spam run, one of the spam posts advertised this company. One of the moderators cheerily replaced the payload link to Dozier's site with the text "Edited to remove references to legal company. Don't be so damn cheap, go and buy advertising." ...prompting of course a demand letter from the company claiming defamation, copyright infringement (the spam consisted partly of advertising copy direct from their site) as a start.

    Mr. Dozier served his legal process by creating an account on our forum and sending a poorly-spelled diatribe using the "report to moderator" feature. In the end I nuked the spam (it was spam, after all), but not before solving the "legal problem" once and for all by banning his account and IP block from the server.

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