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Domain Defense News 33

Posted by sengan
from the save-our-net! dept.
Andrew Tannenbaum was the first to inform us that Archie Comics has dropped its threat of legal action against veronica.org In related news, Captain Ajax writes "Ajax.org, making good on its vow, is sponsoring an initiative that coordinates grass-roots efforts to stop domain-names from being wrongly usurped by well-monied corporations and other unethical individuals. " I hope Captain Ajax's initiative will put an end to this nonsense.
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Domain Defense News

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  • Trademarks are an evil invention of Microsoft(r). Death to Microsoft(r) Windows(tm)! Long live Open Source(sm)! Go Linux(tm)!
  • Subject says it all.

    Online petitions are the online equivalent of the cruise missile... very accurate and powerful. Quick and longer range, too.
  • Read the article closely - the writing seems to
    imply that Archie Comics went after the site because they were expected it to be a porn site
    based on the presence of a nude baby in a bathtub
    (Which is certainly a valid concern). If veronica.org was that, and continued to exist without Archie Comics intervention, then the
    name "Veronica" would have been diluted, and Archie would have lost it's hold on that trademark. This, IMO, is definitely a valid
    concern for trademark laywers. And in the
    resolution of this issue, the venorica.org holder
    stated that the site is not porn, and the Archie
    people are happy now. Ideally, the situation could have been handled better -- a causal inspection of the site would have yielded the intent as a showoff page for a baby girl, and not
    a porn site; Archie could have sent an email asking the holder about the content, and as a
    small jesture, to provide a pointer to
    vernonica.com to prevent mix ups, and then all
    would have been well, and Archie would not have
    embrassed itself.

    Constrast this with the pokey.org fiasco a while
    back, where the lawyers were going after the
    use of the name for a clean site. That was
    ended after the Gumby founder stepped in and
    said it was ok (Hmm, another party doing the
    legal work for the actual creator -- sound familiar, anyone??).

    Of course, I wish that the vision that the average
    Joe User would never have to know an IP or URL
    really existed -- then these trademark hassles
    over domain names would be futile. Unfortunately,
    the web got popular too soon for this to work out.
  • veronica.org is registered to the parents. If they say that they are holding the site for thier daughter in trust till she is old enough to take posession of it, then that's thier right to do so. It is after all thier site and they can do whatever they want with it within the bounds of legality.

    Register a site to my cat? I wish I could do so, but I think the name "Linux" is already taken.
  • Do they teach anything in law schools about dealing with PR aspects of legal actions(not to mention actually knowing what the other party is doing, rather than going off half-cocked)? I believe the concept of 'winning in court, but thereby losing in the marketplace' preceded computer communications, but it applies even more now, when perception of a vendor as a legal bully can be quite enough to lose an entire market(just ask a little company called System Enhancement Associates).
  • A minor is not considered to be legally competent, and cannot be bound by the terms of a contract, nor can a minor be sued. However, the parents of said minor can be sued.

    For example, if my son threw a rock through a neighbor's window, he cannot be sued for damages, but I could be.

    Veronica cannot be sued, but her father most certainly could be sued about the web site. Archie Commics could wait for the publicity to die down, and persue David Sams once again.
  • highersource.com?
    Wasn't that the domain for Heaven's Gate?
  • Surely not the Andy Tannenbaum?
  • Hmmm. I sent private email to Sengan about the domain name squabble. I did not expect to have my name broadcast so prominently, when I post followup comments to slashdot, I just call myself trb. I am not the Minix guy, and neither of our names is spelled Tannebaum. I'm Andrew Tannenbaum, [shamash.org] I've been hacking UNIX for over 20 years, I was more active on the net/usenet before it got so crowded. The Minix guy is Andrew S. Tanenbaum. [cs.vu.nl] We both worked at Bell Labs at the same time around 1980, and the mailroom found it somewhat confusing. If want to be ambiguous in a different way, call me trb. [uiuc.edu]
  • So what if the domain HAD been used (or intended for use) as an adult site? Where does Archie Comics get the idea that they own the name Veronica?

    If there were actual trademark infringement, I could understand, but unless the site had some relation to the Veronica character in Archie Comics, they have no right to demand that others refrain from using the name, even if it were a pornographic web site. (Though in that case, they'd probably have enough money to win the suit.)

    Even within the domain of comics, they would have to prove that the use of Veronica infringed on their trademark. Both Archie and Richie Rich have a character named Reggie. Should they be suing each other for giving characters well-known if not all that common names that pre-existed both their comic strips?

    Alan R. Light

  • I mentioned this one time before, but everytime one of these domain squabbles appears, I think first of clue.com [clue.com]...
  • Minors can indeed walk away from the contract any time they feel like it. However, you can refuse to enter into a contract with a minor because they are a minor. There might be some exceptions to this rule, such as possibly the neccessity for children to enter into contracts for certain essentials.
  • I tend to agree. There's a lot of knee-jerk "fight the man" snap-judgement overreaction going on here.

    The internet used to be this sleepy little academic/geek thang that you actually had to explain to people. Now that it's intersected with the Real World (tm), it's big business, and yes, there will be lawyers involved.

    It was a stretch to go after "veronica.org" but I can see why they did it. I think Hasbro is being obtuse for insisting on "clue.com", though. (A lot of movie sites don't even try to get the film title anymore -- you see domains like "titanicmovie.com" -- but those are ephemeral, anyway.)

    It's a bigger problem than just this, because nobody's yet figured out how to properly handle the fact that -- for example -- there are at least 1000 separate "First National Bank" businesses in the US. They had no problem coexisting when they were only in their indivudal communities ... but they can't all have firstnational.com ....

    I bet there might even be another "clue computing" out there.

    I know I was dismayed to find that my relatively uncommon company name "Birch Grove SOftware" already had an internet presence in 1994, when I first considered registering with InterNIC. I"m in Illinois, that one is in Texas ....
  • Hopefully this will send a message to the big corp's that want to hold us down.. :)
  • I though here name was Veronica...Not David. And, why is it that the domain is registered to a company?

    Here's the Internic listing...

    Registrant:David Sams Industries (VERONICA3-DOM)
    505 South Beverly Drive, suite 1017 Beverly Hills, CA 90212 US
    Domain Name: VERONICA.ORG Administrative Contact:
    DiAngelo, Rio (RD4076) rio@HIGHERSOURCE.COM 310 -281 -8434
    Technical Contact, Zone Contact:
    Web Sites Now Hostmaster (HRA11-ORG) hostmaster@WEBSITESNOW.COM
    310-553-7000x260Fax: 310-786-8349 Billing Contact:
    Sams, David (DS9384) mrhit@AOL.COM 310-772-0770 (FAX) 310-772-0714
    Record last updated on 15-Dec-98.
    Database last updated on 19-Jan-99 16:07:10 EST.
  • Tanenbaum's name is with one 'n'. And I
    wouldn't know what Andy would to with a
    world.std.com as he lives here in the
    Netherlands and works at .cs.vu.nl

    Ivo

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