Guardian says dating site rivals violated database rights
Issues writ against content scrapers
The Guardian newspaper has sued two online dating sites in the High Court, claiming that the companies have violated its database rights by using profiles taken from its own dating service.
Guardian News and Media (GNM) operates the Guardian Soulmates dating service and has claimed that Dating Network Limited and Xfactor Online Dating have infringed its database rights and are 'passing off' its services as their own.
The Press Gazette reports that GNM's writ accuses the companies of taking 9,000 dating profiles from the Soulmates service and putting them into their own databases.
GNM said that the actions violate its rights under EU law, which give the builders and owners of databases special protections over and above copyright law.
"The claim is for infringement of the Guardian's database right in its database of Guardian Soulmates profiles and passing off," said a GNM spokeswoman. "GNM takes the privacy of Guardian Soulmates members extremely seriously and is demonstrating its commitment to members by pursuing this matter at the highest level.
"GNM is seeking an expedited judgment to ensure that this matter is resolved quickly and the defendants are prevented from using Soulmates members' profile information any further," she said.
The Press Gazette reports that the writ claims that the use of Soulmates profiles is a misrepresentation that could lead people to believe that GNM has a commercial relationship with the two sites, which it says are both owned by Daniel Yorke.
A claim of 'passing off' is brought when a company misleads consumers in a way that might make them think companies are in a relationship or services are linked in a way which is not the case.
"GNM issued a claim in the High Court of Justice in London on 18 March 2010 against Dating Network Limited, Xfactor Online Dating Limited and Mr Daniel Yorke," confirmed the GNM spokeswoman.
The Database Directive was created by the European Union legislature in a bid to protect the investment that companies make in creating e-commerce services. Because pieces of information or collections of them are not protected by copyright it created the special right for databases.
That right has proved controversial, with sporting bodies in particular coming into conflict with gambling companies and broadcasters over the rights to the information contained in sports listings.
The British Horseracing Board (BHB) lost the ability to use the database right to demand licensing revenue for users of its lists of runners and riders because the European Court of Justice deemed the list just a by-product of the BHB's main activity, which was organising races.
The right protects those databases which are the subject of 'substantial investment'.
Recently England and Scotland's top football leagues lost the ability to protect their fixture lists under the EU database right but won the right to protect it under a separate database copyright that UK law applies to those databases that are the result of an author's creative work.
Copyright © 2010, OUT-LAW.com
OUT-LAW.COM is part of international law firm Pinsent Masons.
"For god's sake, go to a bar and meet a woman, like the rest of us"
You're welcome to the single women who hang around in bars. I'm sure they're all classy birds with active and fulfilling social lives and not bored, desperate or slightly mad. Or virulent.
Now, I don't normally do this sort of thing but couldn't help myself on this occassion...
"...while pursuing their misspelt site..."
Should surely be "...while perusing their misspelt site..."
I love a bit of irony I do....
It's really not, I've used it several times (dive bars only have limited appeal) and have always had success with it. Depressingly my dates through that would tend to be cuter / more suitable than those that I have arranged after meeting in bars.
Sure the 'majority' of those purported 150,000 aren't active, that's the same with most sites but an awful lot are within a week of signing up I'd usually have e-mails from 10 different girls and 80+ 'fans' and I'm below GSM's demographic age, if you're in your mid thirties the response levels are insane (experience of a friend).
And you can recieve mail just fine without subscribing, you just can't reply except for some stock one liners to say you haven't got an active subscription. So you're just wrong there.
Sites like Match are far far worse.
I'd agree that social activities where there's an opportunity to do stuff together are certainly the best way to meet new potential mates, something a lot of geeks (and builders too) need as their profession unless it happens to locate them next to the marketing dept affords few.
However, i'd say London is one of the most anti-social places i've ever had the misfortune to be.
I've experienced numerous houseshares where rather then being a big brother style social those sharing will mostly lock themselves away in their rooms on facebook rather than actually have to talk to one another.
Same goes for most activity type stuff - most London groups involving groups of strangers see them showing up, doing the class and then promptly buggering off immediately at the end for fear they might actually have to interact with others who god forbid might not have gone to the right school!
As for starbucks and the other identikit coffee franchises that have come to monopolise our social meeting spaces, never has their been a more false (or lonely) community been created.
People in London, unless they are totally intoxicated from booze are mostly too afraid to speak or socialise!
No bloody suprise really when the media are constantly telling everyone that everyone else is a potential murderer, rapist, peodo, freak etc.
Surely, classy birds with active and fullfiling social lives are out living their fulfilling social lives rather than spending time chatting up strangers on an on-line dating site?
Equally, it seems to imply that these same "classy birds" are going to be interested in the pathetic saddo who doesnt have an active and fulfilling social life and has to use on-line dating sites.
Having an "active and fulfiling" social life means you will come into contact with good mating choices. Surfing the internet (and posting on el Reg) can mean the opposite.
Beer - for obvious reasons.