Facebook has decided to sue Power.com, a Brazilian start-up that combines a number of social networks into one portal; for copyright and trademark infringement under US and California law, unlawful competition and violations on several laws, including the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and the CAN-SPAM Act.
Filed in the US District Court in San Jose, California; it claims that it has suffered “irreparable and incalculable harm”, according to the complaint. Power.com has removed access to Facebook, pending the outcome of the lawsuit.
Facebook, however, says it requested that the site use the new Facebook Connect platform, meaning that you login to the site via Facebook and not Power.com requesting your login credentials; and both parties been in discussions for a month, according to the New York Times, but failed to negotiate any resolution.
Power.com has said, however, it is working to get Facebook Connect on its site, via its new “Social InterConnect”, that will allow users to freely share their account information on other sites without the host site storing the username and passwords.
“We are working with feedback from Facebook to implement Facebook connect inside of Power. We are also offering Facebook feedback on how to enhance and improve Facebook Connect functionality and will be launching a newer version of Power using Facebook connect in late January,” it said on a notice a the front page.
According to the complaint, Facebook claims that Power.com “is offering a product that solicits, stores and uses Facebook login information to access information stored on Facebook computers without authorization and to display Facebook copyrighted material without permission.”
Power.com is also said to have sent e-mail advertisements to friends of Facebook users, bearing a return address that was from the domain “facebookmail.com”, and said that these had come from “The Facebook Team”. An example of one of the e-mails has is below:
Telling The New York Times, founder Steve Vachani said that did not cooperate at first from the complaint from Facebook because “we didn’t want to interrupt the service. When they pushed it forward to a lawsuit, we took it down.” Facebook have also said that they have blocked all access from its site via Power.com.