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Ford Wins Internet Suit

Ford Motor Co. won a temporary restraining order against the producer of an Internet site that the automaker says illegally reveals company secrets.

A federal court in Detroit told Robert Lane to stop publishing confidential documents provided by Ford employees. Ford plans to seek a permanent ban on Lane's site, www.blueovalnews.com, at a hearing next week.

Lane vowed to keep publishing. He said he is trying to arm consumers with up-to-date information -- including confidential environmental tests, reports on assembly glitches and photos of future products -- so they can make informed decisions about Ford purchases.

Lane was ordered to tell the court within 10 days which Ford documents he has and who gave them to him. He also must stop displaying the automaker's trademark blue oval insignia on his site.

Lane, a Mustang collector in Dearborn, originally designed a site in February 1998 dedicated to his favorite car.

Soon after, Lane said, he began receiving complaints from Mustang owners, then e-mail and anonymous documents from Mustang engineers.

Lane said Ford contacted him when he began posting the material on his site, telling him to erase the documents; he refused.

"It isn't as if we were just trying to shut down a Web site that discusses Ford," said Ford spokesman Jim Cain, adding that Lane also tried to sell the documents on the Internet. "Ford documents are copyrighted materials and the copying and dissemination of these documents is a copyright infringement.''

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