Friday, May 17, 2024

SOPA Surprise: Same Law Firm Reps Pro and Anti Lobbying Efforts


SOPA–it’s the hot button issue right now. Anti-SOPA. Pro-SOPA. Millions are being spent in both directions. If you’re pro-SOPA, the hacktivist group Anonymous will come after you–yesterday they took down several websites. But here’s something you may not know. The same law firm is representing both the pro and con sides. Conflict of interest? You decide.

But John Quinn, the very esteemed principal of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart and Sullivan Law Firm in Los Angeles, is representing the Academy of Motion Pictures Association–which is pro-SOPA–against companies like Go Daddy, the domain name registrar. (Full disclosure: even this website is registered with GoDaddy.)

This made us wonder: why isn’t AMPAS, or Quinn Emanuel, suing companies like Google or other portals? They’re anti-SOPA, having spent hundreds of millions to kill the bill — called Stop Online Piracy Act. That seems to be because Quinn also represents Google. Indeed, on their website they list the numerous cases they’ve won for Google just in 2011. it’s not like Quinn Emanuel is going to sue Google. But what is going on here?

Quinn emailed me back the other day: “I really don’t see your point. Ampas has trademarks in word and academy award a copyright in the 3 d image of the oscar statuette. I am not aware of any issue ampas has with Google.”

You can see why Google wants to stop SOPA. According to one techie observer: “Google stands to signficantly lose (to the tune of billions of dollars in ad revenue) from the passage of SOPA and has done everything in their power to ensure it doesn’t pass.”

But the argument has been made that Google, Yahoo, and other portals that allow faux-sites–like, say, (a made up name) are the ones who make money from those clicks.

Is AMPAS aware of this? Calls to their pr rep were also unreturned.

Here are some of Quinn Emanuel’s successes for Google, taken from their website:

Google, Inc.

Our client, Google, was sued for copyright infringement when an artist sued New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman (among others) in connection with the allegedly unauthorized use of the artists’s painting on a limited number of copies of Friedman…

Perfect 10 v. Google Inc.

For our client Google, we successfully obtained summary judgment of safe harbor under the DMCA on copyright infringement claims against Google’s Web Search, Image Search and Blogger services. The decision precludes Perfect 10 from seeking any mo…

Bid For Position, LLC v. AOL, LLC and Google Inc.

We won affirmance of summary judgment of non-infringement for Google in a patent infringement litigation in which plaintiff sought in excess of $150 million in past damages and a royalty on future revenue in the billions. The litigation concerned th…

Rosetta Stone Ltd. v. Google Inc.

We won a complete summary judgment for Google Inc., by which all remaining claims that language software provider Rosetta Stone had asserted based on Google’s advertising programs and trademark policies were dismissed with prejudice. In a leng…

Bright Response LLC v. Google Inc. and Yahoo Inc.

Defending Google against a $128 million patent infringement claim brought by Bright Response LLC against Google’s AdWords advertising system in the Eastern District of Texas, we won a complete non-infringement and invalidity verdict after a six-day …

Performance Pricing Inc. v. Google Inc., et al.

On behalf of Google and AOL, we brought and won a summary judgment motion of noninfringement on all asserted claims before Federal Circuit Judge Randall Rader sitting by designation. The patent-in-suit was asserted against the Defendants in Septembe…

PA Advisors LLC v. Google Inc., et al.

We represented Google in a patent infringement case against PA Advisors LLC, a patent-holding company, in the Eastern District of Texas. Plaintiff accused Google’s Search, AdWords and AdSense products of infringing Patent No. 6,199,067, involv…

Function Media, LLC v. Google, Inc. and Yahoo, Inc.

Brought in six months before trial to defend Google’s AdSense for Content and AdSense for Mobile Online advertising products against a claim of patent infringement brought by Function Media, we won unanimous jury verdict on both non-infringement and…

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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