A simmering dispute between two online auction services brings back copyright issues raised in a 1991 U.S. Supreme Court case dealing with computer databases.

On one side is San Bruno, Calif.’s AuctionWatch, at www.AuctionWatch.com, which uses a technique known as deep linking to check out all online auctions simultaneously. With deep linking, AuctionWatch can search Internet auctions for specific items. The technique is also used by other search engines that bypass home pages in search of specific information.

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