Risk
10/6/2009
04:32 PM
Connect Directly
Google+
LinkedIn
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

CBS Interactive Sued For Distributing China's Green Dam Filter

Internet filter maker Solid Oak Software has filed a lawsuit against CBS Interactive's ZDNet China for distributing China's Green Dam filtering software, which allegedly includes the company's code.

Solid Oak Software, the Santa Barbara, Calif.-based maker of Internet filter CYBERsitter, on Monday filed a $1.2 million copyright infringement lawsuit against CBS Interactive.

The lawsuit alleges that CBS Interactive's ZDNet China made the controversial Green Dam filtering software available for download on its Web site and that Green Dam included code copied from Solid Oak's CYBERsitter program.

The Chinese government earlier this year said that all PCs sold in China would have to come with Green Dam installed by July 1.

The government claimed that the software was necessary to protect young people from unhealthy Internet content -- mainly pornographic and violent material -- but human rights groups reported that the software blocked political and religious content too.

Following protests by Chinese academics and computer user, as well as rights groups, computer trade groups, and government officials from various countries, the Chinese government softened its stance.

In an August 13 news conference, Minister of Industrial and Information Technology Li Yizhong acknowledged that the government's mandate "not thoughtful enough," according to China Daily, and said the software would be optional.

Having recognized the problem with mandates that affect consumers directly, the Chinese government is now directing its orders at businesses.

Last month, the Chinese government began requiring Internet service providers and data centers to install "Blue Dam" on their servers, a combination of hardware and software filtering said to be 20 times more effective than Green Dam.

Solid Oak's lawsuit alleges that the developers of Green Dam copied almost 3,000 lines of code from CYBERsitting and incorporated it into Green Dam.

"A central component of the PRC's Green Dam initative was to convince and incentivize online providers to participate by offering the Green Dam software for free download on Internet sites," the lawsuit claims. "Defendant CBS willingly participated in the PRC's plan, offering Green Dam for free download on its Web site, ZDNet China."

The lawsuit claims that Green Dam was downloaded more than 31,000 times and that CBS has benefited by offering the software.

Solid Oak Software is seeking $1,238,450, the number of downloads times the $39.95 price charged for a legal copy of CYBERsitter.

CBS Interactive is not the only company involved in the distribution of Green Dam. Sony, for example, began distributing PCs with Green Dam in late June.

Gregory A. Fayer, an attorney with Gipson Hoffman & Pancione who is representing Solid Oak, said that the company is still weighing its options with regard to additional lawsuits.

He said that the main goal of the lawsuit was to protect Solid Oak's rights, but acknowledged that the case has broader implications for the ability of smaller companies to protect their intellectual property from infringement overseas.


InformationWeek has published an in-depth report on e-discovery. Download the report here (registration required).

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Dark Reading, September 16, 2014
Malicious software is morphing to be more targeted, stealthy, and destructive. Are you prepared to stop it?
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2014-0993
Published: 2014-09-15
Buffer overflow in the Vcl.Graphics.TPicture.Bitmap implementation in the Visual Component Library (VCL) in Embarcadero Delphi XE6 20.0.15596.9843 and C++ Builder XE6 20.0.15596.9843 allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code via a crafted BMP file.

CVE-2014-2375
Published: 2014-09-15
Ecava IntegraXor SCADA Server Stable 4.1.4360 and earlier and Beta 4.1.4392 and earlier allows remote attackers to read or write to arbitrary files, and obtain sensitive information or cause a denial of service (disk consumption), via the CSV export feature.

CVE-2014-2376
Published: 2014-09-15
SQL injection vulnerability in Ecava IntegraXor SCADA Server Stable 4.1.4360 and earlier and Beta 4.1.4392 and earlier allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary SQL commands via unspecified vectors.

CVE-2014-2377
Published: 2014-09-15
Ecava IntegraXor SCADA Server Stable 4.1.4360 and earlier and Beta 4.1.4392 and earlier allows remote attackers to discover full pathnames via an application tag.

CVE-2014-3077
Published: 2014-09-15
IBM SONAS and System Storage Storwize V7000 Unified (aka V7000U) 1.3.x and 1.4.x before 1.4.3.4 store the chkauth password in the audit log, which allows local users to obtain sensitive information by reading this log file.

Best of the Web
Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
CISO Insider: An Interview with James Christiansen, Vice President, Information Risk Management, Office of the CISO, Accuvant