An online printing services provider is not liable for removal of user content that it deems infringing or otherwise objectionable, a district court ruled. Upon notification of a claim from the owner of a registered mark that a design uploaded to the site by a user was infringing, the provider removed the design. The court rejected the pro se plaintiff's claim that the removal of the design violated the provider's obligations under the takedown provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, on the ground that the mark owner asserted only a trademark claim. The court noted that the provider's terms of service and user agreement reserved to it the right to remove content it considered infringing or otherwise objectionable in its "sole and absolute discretion." The court also rejected the user's Lanham Act claim on the ground that he did not have standing under the Lanham Act, and that, in any event, the Lanham Act does not include "put back" provisions such as those contained in the DMCA.

Williams v. Life's Rad, 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 46763 (N.D. Cal. May 11, 2010) Download PDF