US ticketing firm Ticketmaster has filed a lawsuit against Microsoft alleging that the software giant is engaging in ?electronic piracy?.
The lawsuit, filed in a US district court in Los Angeles, claims that Microsoft?s Seattle Sidewalk Web site illegally uses the Ticketmaster name and trademark, mainly by providing unauthorised links to the ticket company?s own Web site.
The case could set a precedent in the US, challenging the nature of the internet by throwing into debate the idea that Web sites should be able to link freely to each other.
Microsoft set up its Seattle Sidewalk site earlier this month as the first of a series of local entertainment guides available on the internet.
The company allegedly went ahead by providing links to Ticketmaster?s site in spite of the breakdown of attempts to come to a mutual agreement on their inclusion.
Microsoft claimed it does not benefit directly by receiving any of the service fees that Ticketmaster collects on internet ticket transactions. ?It?s hard for me to see how sending customers Ticketmaster?s way can be bad for it,? said Frank Schott, general manager of Microsoft Sidewalk. ?This is the very foundation on which the Web came to be.?
But Ticketmaster claimed Microsoft should have signed a formal agreement in order to make the link. The company asserted that by ?accessing its live event information and services without approval and by prominently offering it as a service to its users, Microsoft is feathering its own nest at Ticketmaster?s expense?.
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