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Designer Skin LLC v. S & L Vitamins, Inc., et al.
Unauthorized internet reseller of plaintiff’s products is not guilty of trademark infringement, and does not cause actionable initial interest confusion, by using plaintiff’s trademarks in meta tags of website at which plaintiff’s and its competitors’ products are sold, and in...

Harassment - Internet Library of Law and Court Decisions - Updated March 29, 2008

179 Misc.2d 903 (Criminal Crt., City of NY, February 9, 1999)

Court holds that posting a threatening message to an Internet newsgroup, which is read by the person threatened, constitutes Aggravated Criminal Harassment in the Second Degree in violation of New York Penal Law Section 240.30.  The Court accordingly denied defendant’s motion to dismiss this charge, which accused defendant of posting a death threat against complainant on an Internet newsgroup.

186 Misc.2d 441 (2d Dept., 2000)

Second Department holds that the creation of a website that invites users to contact complainant for sex, which causes third parties to contact complainant via a telephone number provided on the site, constitutes aggravated harassment in the second degree in violation of New York Penal law section 240.30.  As a result, the Second Department affirms defendant’s conviction of aggravated harassment as a result of his involvement in the creation of such a website.

The Second Department did overturn defendant’s conviction for criminal contempt in the second degree, arising out of his purported violation of an order of protection, prohibiting contact with the complainant.  The Court held that such conviction could not stand, because the website at issue was created prior to the issuance of the order of protection, and its continued maintenance was not clearly prohibited thereby.

Quick Hits

People of the State of New York v. Melisa Fernino
851 N.Y.S.2d 339 (N.Y. City Crim. Crt., February 13, 2008)

Court denies defendant’s motion to dismiss a misdemeanor complaint charging her with three counts of Criminal Contempt in the Second Degree in violation of NY Penal Law Section 215.50(3).  The Court held that defendant’s utilization of Myspace to transmit a Myspace ‘friend request’ to complainants violated an order of protection that prohibited the defendant from having any contact with the complainant. 

In reaching this result, the Court rejected defendant’s argument that she could not be found guilty of violating the order of protection because she did not contact the complainant – rather, Myspace did.  Said the Court:

The defendant should not be exculpated because she, instead of contacting her victim directly, used the MySpace Mail Center Friend Request Manager …  In this case, the defendant used MySpace as a conduit for communication prohibited by the temporary order of protection issued by the Family Court.  The Myspace Friend Requests fall within the court’s mandate that ‘respondent shall have No contact with [complainant].’ …  that request was … a contact and no contact was allowed by the order of protection.  It is no different than if the defendant arranged for any agent to make known to a claimant ‘your former friend wants to communicate with you.  Are you interested?’

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Kathleen Smith v. Alan Smith
24 A.D.3d 822, 804 N.Y.S.2d 854 (3rd Dept., 2005)

Court holds that “aggravated harassment in the second degree [in violation of New York Penal Law section 240.30] may be committed by sending harassing or threatening messages by email.”

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