Country/Region
U.S.

Court name
U.S. District Court of the Central District of California

Published


More decisions in this case


Description

Litigation involving ownership of wiki material contributed by a broad community and licensed under CC BY-SA. At no point in either case was the validity of the CC license contested.

Case summary

The original lawsuit: (Internet Brands v. Holliday et. al.)

Wikitravel is a community-based wiki run by a for-profit entity, Internet Brands. In 2012, some members of the Wikitravel community joined forces with those engaged in Wikivoyage (a project started by former Wikitravel editors) to approach the Wikimedia Foundation about hosting a new travel wiki. After undergoing its standard process for community debate and input, Wikimedia ultimately decided to move forward with the project.

In the meantime, Internet Brands brought suit against two Wikitravel editors who were also members of the Wikimedia community, alleging trademark infringement, unfair competition, and civil conspiracy to take away Wikitravel's web traffic.

Result:

After Internet Brands agreed to dismiss their unfair competition claim, the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California dismissed the remainder of the claims for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.

The associated lawsuit: (Wikimedia Foundation v. Internet Brands)

In response to Internet Brands' lawsuit against members of its community, Wikimedia filed its own complaint against Internet Brands in California state court, alleging that the purpose of the lawsuit filed by Internet Brands was solely to intimidate Wikitravel editors from leaving Wikitravel. Among other things, Wikimedia asked for declaratory judgment that Internet Brands does not have ownership in the Wikitravel content or the right to restrict the use of the Wikitravel content in any way other than as required by the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons BY-SA license, under which all of the Wikitravel content is licensed.

Result:

Still pending. In December 2012, the Court overruled the demurrer (i.e. motion to dismiss) filed by Internet Brands.