Wednesday, June 11, 2014

islands in the stream: Netflix v. Verizon

Netflix responds to Verizon’s C&D. For those not keeping track, it started when Netflix started sending error message to certain Verizon customers experiencing playback difficulties, telling them that the Verizon network was slow. Verizon responded angrily, threatening suit and demanding details on which customers received these messages—but the letter was released publicly, which is itself an interesting strategic choice worthy of study. Netflix, unsurprisingly, continues to fight in the court of public opinion, releasing its own response to the C&D while also saying that the messages were part of a “test” scheduled to end soon.  Review question: after Lexmark, could there be Lanham Act liability for Netflix—sort of a noncompetitor, sort of a customer—for saying nasty things about Verizon?

Netflix error message indicating Verizon network is congested

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