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Language Translation Domain Name Claims 302

Posted by Hemos
from the altavista-your-domain-name dept.
Anonymous Coward wrote to us with a recent story in which Wired reports that whatshappenin.com claims that quepasa,com, being a mere translation of their name, is an infringement on their trademark. So, who wants to help me translate Slashdot into all of the major world languages? *grin*
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Language Translation Domain Name Claims

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  • If I'm not to wrong, the initial reason for having domain names was that it was much easier to remember that IP addresses.

    Then the marketing people discovered Internet, and everything changed. Suddenly it was much more important to tie domain names to products and use trademark laws to protect the domain name in all possible languages. When are people going to understand that a domain names aren't the same as product names? Never I guess....
  • The defendants can always say that "que pasa" *really* means "what happens", and not "what is happening"...

    "what is happening" is more properly translated as "que esta pasando"

    (Of course, I think the whole thing is idiotic.)
  • >I think the Brits prefer STROKE to SLASH.

    Ah, if only OJ had the same preference....

    (okay, waaay off-topic - had to be said, tho :-)

  • "All they need is a backhoe, a lawyer, and a flood pinger!"

    Why so much? "a backhoe, a lawyer OR a ping flooder" is enough. Problem is though, a backhoes and ping flooders are only temporary... lawyers are a more permenant solution.

    ps. This is a joke. Laugh. lol.
    pps. Haha, you can't sue me- I'm in germany right now. They don't entertain frivelous lawsuits here. Too bad I have to go home next year.
    ppps. When is slashdot going to add a spell checker next to the preview button?

    -----
  • The Hearst Corporation [hearstcorp.com] has a registered trademark for What's Happening [uspto.gov], "providing a monthly calendar of community events".

    Whatshappenin.com also owns the domain whatshappening.com... and they don't seem to have US registered trademarks for either one.

    Far be it from me to suggest that someone should call up Hearst [hearstcorp.com] (a rather large media company) and whisper a few words to their counsel.

    The Hearst Corporation (HEARSTCORP-DOM)
    959 Eighth Avenue
    New York, NY 10019

    Domain Name: HEARSTCORP.COM

  • After all, I'm no more fond of sue-happy corperations than anyone.

    But I can certianly see it from the other side.

    If *I* had put a lot of my time, effort, ans money into building a web business; *I* certianly wouldn't want some dirtbag little cybersquatter to appropiate my trademark and by protected by the fact that it's a direct translation, and not the trademark itself.

    So is every startup company, in addition to registering their trademark (and all combinations and permutations therof) in english, now going to have do the same for every major language in the world???

    That many registrations could suck up a fair bit of money, especially for a company thats starting out small.

    So, in this particular case, I have to ask myself... who's less distasteful? The big sue-happy company? Or the cybersquatters, who damittedly, have come up with a novel new WAY of cybersquatting, but are cybersquatters nonetheless.

    I guess I'll just have to flip a coin.


    john


  • There is a spanish site known as "Barrapunto" (spanish translation for /. ) which also posts news about Linux, computers and technology. You can check it out here. [barrapunto.com]. Personally I think is a great idea to let some web site to have their foreign language counterparts.
    As a Mexican, I can tell you is very dificult to find a really good web site (like ./ ) in Spanish.
    Now it is a fact spanish is more spoken in the world than English, and most probably Chinese and Russian are more spoken than spanish. This is a great oportunity for web sites to reach more and more people around the world.

    While it is true that the US is propably the world's biggest user of online services, the rest of the world is catching up really fast. More fiber optics, satellites, and high speed digital networks are been installed and/or in the process of been install as we speak (read?) and there will be one moment in the future where th Internet will be as common as a the phone network or as the public electrical infrastructure. Internet in the 90's has been like radio was in the 20's-30's .

    The 90's where the decade the information era arrived to our homes and small offices, not as an isolated event, but as a global phenomenon that changed most of our activities of daily life. So it is totally acceptable that this translated web sites will keep "popping" up every time, because the Internet is a world wide communications network, not a US only priviledge.
  • by dkh2 (29130)
    llach dot

    Diolch yn fawr!

    Dyma gobeithio mi fyd eich troed yn ffres bob amser,
    eich bobgail yn rhydd o lint,
    ac fydd y gwallt eich trwyn byth yn tufu'n hir!

    --------------------
    English: ...

    Thanks very much!

    May your feet be always fresh,
    your navel be free of lint,
    and the hair in your nose never grow long!


    --

  • I agree. Especially in a topic about trademarks.

    Get it right or get corrected.
  • barrapunto.org

    It exists. And it's (almost) a translation of
    slashdot.org
  • Not only was the site a piece of junk (frame/graphics hell type site), but check out the license that you are unknowingly accepting when you access the site:

    END USER INTERNET LICENSE

    IMPORTANT - READ CAREFULLY BEFORE ACCESSING THIS WEB SITE.

    By accessing WhatsHappenin.com you accept this Agreement without limitation or qualification.

    THIS IS A LEGAL AGREEMENT BETWEEN YOU, THE END USER, AND THE PROVIDER, WHATSHAPPENIN.COM. BY ACCESSING THIS WEB SITE, YOU ARE AGREEING TO BE BOUND BY THE TERMS OF THIS AGREEMENT. IF YOU DO NOT AGREE WITH THESE TERMS, DO NOT ACCESS THIS WEB SITE.

    1. GRANT OF LICENSE. The provider, WhatsHappenin.Com, grants you, the end user, a non-transferable, non-exclusive license to browse, respond to and otherwise use this web site, solely for your own personal use, with only one central processing unit at any one time.

    a. You may not copy, distribute, publicly display or perform, reverse engineer, translate, port, adapt, modify or make derivative works of, or otherwise use any content contained on WhatsHappenin.com.

    i. "Content," as used throughout this Agreement includes, but is not limited to, any text, sound recordings, musical compositions, lyrics, graphics, images, photographs, databases, logos, motion pictures or other audio-video works, HTML or other files and software technology.

    b. You may not rent, disclose, publish, sell, assign, lease, sublicense, market, or transfer any content or use it in any manner not expressly authorized by this Agreement.

    c. You shall not derive or attempt to derive the source code, source files or structure of all or any portion of the web site by reverse engineering, disassembly, decompilation or any other means.

    d. You shall not use the web site to operate a service bureau or for any other use involving the processing of data of other persons or entities.

    e. You do not receive any, and WhatsHappenin.com or other respective owners retain all ownership rights in any content.

    f. Any communication or material you send to WhatsHappenin.com, electronically or otherwise, including but not limited to data, questions, comments, suggestions, or submissions is and will be treated as non-confidential and non-proprietary. Anything you send to WhatsHappenin.com may be used for any purpose including, but not limited to, reproduction, transmission, disclosure, publication, broadcast, and posting. WhatsHappenin.com is free to use, without obligation of any kind, any ideas, concepts, techniques, or know-how contained in any communication you send, for any purpose whatsoever, including, but not limited to, developing, manufacturing, and marketing products and services.

    g. Any content, product, service, program, or technology on this web site is copyrighted, trademarked, patented or otherwise protected by intellectual property rights and may not be copied, distributed, publicly performed or displayed, adapted, modified or made into derivative works, or otherwise used, even if merged with other web sites. Any use of content without express written permission of WhatsHappenin.com or the rightful owner is strictly prohibited. Any such right that is not expressly licensed herein is reserved by WhatsHappenin.com or other rightful owners. You shall not alter or remove any copyright or trademark notice or proprietary legend contained in or on any content.

    i. All content is available for your non-commercial use only.

    ii. WhatsHappenin.com neither warrants nor represents that your use of the material displayed on its web site will not infringe rights of third parties.

    iii. Images of people or places displayed on WhatsHappenin.com are either the property of WhatsHappenin.com or used with permission. Use of these images by you or other third parties is prohibited unless expressly permitted in this Agreement. Any unauthorized use of these images may violate copyright laws, trademark laws, the laws of privacy and publicity, and communications regulations and statutes.

    iv. Any trademarks, logos, and service marks (collectively the "Trademarks") displayed on WhatsHappenin.com, whether registered or unregistered are property of its respective owners. Nothing contained on WhatsHappenin.com should be construed as granting by implication, estoppel, or otherwise, any license or right to use any Trademark displayed on WhatsHappenin.com without the written permission of the owner of the Trademark. Misuse of any Trademarks, or any other content, displayed on WhatsHappenin.com is prohibited.

    2. NO WARRANTY OR LIABILITY. The Products are provided to you on an AS IS and WITH ALL FAULTS basis.

    a. You assume the entire risk of loss in using the web site.

    b. WHATSHAPPENIN.COM MAKES AND END USER RECEIVES NO WARRANTY, WHETHER EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, AND ALL WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, TITLE, AND FITNESS FOR ANY PARTICULAR PURPOSE ARE EXPRESSLY EXCLUDED.

    c. IN NO EVENT SHALL WHATSHAPPENIN.COM BE LIABLE FOR ANY DAMAGES, CLAIM OR LOSS INCURRED BY USER (INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION COMPENSATORY, INCIDENTAL, INDIRECT, SPECIAL, CONSEQUENTIAL OR EXEMPLARY DAMAGES, LOST PROFITS, LOST SALES OR BUSINESS, EXPENDITURES, INVESTMENTS, OR COMMITMENTS IN CONNECTION WITH ANY BUSINESS, LOSS OF ANY GOODWILL, OR DAMAGES RESULTING FROM LOST DATA OR INABILITY TO USE DATA) IRRESPECTIVE OF WHETHER WHATSHAPPENIN.COM HAS BEEN INFORMED OF, KNEW OF, OR SHOULD HAVE KNOWN OF THE LIKELIHOOD OF SUCH DAMAGES. THIS LIMITATION APPLIES TO ALL CAUSES OF ACTION IN THE AGGREGATE INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION BREACH OF CONTRACT, BREACH OF WARRANTY, NEGLIGENCE, STRICT LIABILITY, MISREPRESENTATION, AND OTHER TORTS. IF WHATSHAPPENIN.COM'S DISCLAIMER OF LIABILITY SET FORTH IN THIS AGREEMENT SHALL FOR ANY REASON WHATSOEVER BE HELD UNENFORCEABLE OR INAPPLICABLE, END USER AGREES THAT WHATSHAPPENIN.COM'S LIABILITY SHALL NOT EXCEED $100.00.

    d. The web site is complex and may contain some nonconformities, defects, viruses or errors. WhatsHappenin.com does not warrant that the web site will meet your needs or expectations, that operations of the web site will be error free or uninterrupted, or that all nonconformities can or will be corrected.

    e. While WhatsHappenin.com uses reasonable efforts to include accurate and up-to-date information on its web site, WhatsHappenin.com makes no warranties or representations as to its accuracy. WhatsHappenin.com may periodically add, change, or improve any of the information, products, services, programs, and technology described on its web site without notice. WhatsHappenin.com assumes no liability or responsibility for any errors or omissions in the content.

    f. WhatsHappenin.com has not reviewed all of the sites which are linked to its web site, and the fact of such links does not indicate any approval or endorsement of any material contained on any linked site. WhatsHappenin.com is not responsible for the contents of any site linked to it; and your connection to any such linked site is at your own risk.

    3. MISCELLANEOUS.

    a. This is the exclusive and entire Agreement between WhatsHappenin.com and you regarding its subject matter.

    b. Any legal dispute which may arise from or in connection with this Agreement, web site or its contents will be governed by the laws of the State of California. All parties to any such dispute will submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the federal and/or state courts of the State of California for all purposes. U.S. Copyright and Federal Trademark laws will be strictly enforced, subjecting violators to substantial civil and/or criminal prosecution.

    c. You shall pay any taxes on transactions that may occur on the web site.

    d. If any provision of this Agreement is declared invalid or unenforceable, the remaining provisions of this Agreement shall remain in effect.

  • You got it on the button. We studied that Jeep case in my Business Law class. They don't have a ground to claim any sort of infringement!
  • Anyone?
    Chuck
  • Long live Surashidotto!
  • by RedStorm (9407)
    http://www.BarreObliquePoint.org/

  • The British Equivalent might be

    Slashfullstop or Slashstop

    I think the Brits prefer STROKE to SLASH. so...

    Stroke fullstop

    And some people wonder why they are lousy lovers... ;P

    Hasdi


  • You can have barraponto [barraponto.com.br] when you pry it from my cold dead hands, dammit!

    (Wait... did someone just say "no problem"?-- *ack*)
  • inciderepunctum.com
    We'll show those damned Romans who's boss. They won't be able to infringe on Rob.
  • "Querstrich" would be "-" (not the mathematical operator, which would be called "minus"
  • I think it's about time a reasonable judge with common sense stopped that whole lawsuit BS. (Same for 'caution wet floor' and 'caution ice-cream is frozen and thus hard to bite' suits).

    If ever someone comes and talks about that information highway once more, I'll sue him because highway is the exact translation of my family name. And I don't want to see my family name show up in questionable contexts. -brrrr! Hold the horses!

    Note to CmdrTaco: Go and trademark also 'backslashdot.org' - there's a lot of DOS (and sucessors) users out there! Maybe also its siblings like '.\' or './' or '..\' or '../' or '..\..' or '../..' and maybe 'A:\>'(you see the pattern, right?)

    See you on acolonbackslashgreaterthan.org...

  • by oll (78871)
    snestreck punkt!
  • crtkatochka.org

    (crtka = /, tochka = .)

    KV
  • Babelfish comes up with a different set. Of course, I ran "slash dot" instead of "slashdot", because the latter isn't a common (dictonary) word.

    French:
    point de barre de fraction

    German:
    Schragstrichpunkt (with an umlaut over the a)

    Italian:
    puntino di taglio

    Portuguese:
    ponto do slash

    Spanish:
    punto de la raya vertical

  • by GnomeAttic (97126) on Thursday October 14, 1999 @06:59AM (#1613710) Homepage
    I read that www.buttshappening.com is claiming to own the rights to www.quepasaterior.com. Frankly, I don't get it.
  • Learn speak Russian properly ;-). Stresses are raz-`del `toch-ka.
    And my two cents: Ukrainian: ko-`sa `krap-ka
    Privet.
  • Ummm. I realize this is widely repeated and beleived, but the Mac GUI was not a direct rip-off of the Xerox GUI. Go kick about in www.mackido.com for details. This fact doesn't necessarily change whether or not look and feel lawsuits are bad, but slinging around inaccuracies surely can't help the matter.
  • There is an interesting precedent here waiting to happen. I think that the site may have a point if it is a trademarked (either registered or no) phrase, or name. But to think any words would be pretty silly. Just wait until we until this thing backfires and a number of foreign sites start attempting to shut down their english counterparts.


    -- Moondog
  • The good thing is that if this system we're using now, which works when universities and the like want distinctive domains at the appropriate place in the namespace, fails because of losers who don't understand how to play well with others, we'll have to replace it with a better one.

    And doing better than the system we've got now wouldn't be hard. At least, with respect to the currect domain name problems. We've got fucking morons running the system who can't do ANYTHING right. (I will stand by this in court!) We've got morons using the system who don't understand the rules, and we've got assholes who try to exploit the rules.

    We need a system more like telephone numbers where the actual number isn't thrilling, it's just a unique ID string. Then the finding and searching for sites can be done with white/yellow page systems, where you search by category or name, and if multiple companies have the same name, you go by location and business type.

    Until we move to a sensible system like this, we're destined to have problems like this. And the annoying thing is that our laws almost guarantee these problems. You have to protect your trademarks, so if the lawyer says attack, you have to. So we either need to change the laws (yeah, right) or the situations the laws apply to.

    And we need to do this before the current system gets so entrenched that it never changes.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    skråstrek(slash) punktum(dot) - Norwegian
  • Do you suppose www.gift.com [gift.com] can sue www.poison.com [poison.com] (or vice versa?) because the German word for poison is "Gift"?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    It's time the courts came up with a liberally applied "jackass" clause for cases like this.
    Hmm...
  • This is rediculous. WhatsHappening is a phrase, and cannot (or should not) be a trademark. How the heck they think they can sue because this phrase exists in other languages is beyond me. I'm almost sorry I checked Slashdot this morning, there are enough articles about stupidity this morning to last a week.

    Also the article didn't mention but I assume that this company is based in the US. IF it gets really stupid I suppose they could move the operation a few miles south to Mexico.
  • Being Spanish and fluent in English (although my orthography shucs ;-) I must say that "que pasa" is not really the same thing as "what's happening". In my opinion the real translation of "que pasa" would be "what's up".

    So the question is, do those guys how the trademark of "what's up"?

    As a side note, I must say that I don't understand how somebody can "how" a common sentence like that (like AOL's claims over the "You've mail" and even "You've men" sentences).

    A final question: If I make a Spanish dictionaire, can I claim the trademark over an English dictionary containg the same words but in English?

    Angel
  • by jabber (13196)
    kreska kropka
  • by Haven (34895)
    I am not an expert on patent laws, but wouldn't the patent not apply becuase its international? This is about as absurd as patenting Ecommerce... I'm still trying to get my lawsuit into court. As we all know I patented the base 10 numbers system and the entire 3rd dimension. The 4th dimension is patent pending
  • Vielen dank, alle.

    ~afniv
    "Man könnte froh sein, wenn die Luft so rein wäre wie das Bier"
  • The idea of using a numeric system for internet naming would be to remove the value of any particular address. And then domain name squatting would be as silly as sitting on a random phone number.

    Do you remember phone number or business names? Now imagine that instead of having to get out a phone book you merely typed in the name to get the number. Nice and easy.

    Especially if you could bookmark the addresses. I mean, when you pull down the bookmarks, do you see http://... or the page titles? It wouldn't matter what the address of the page was because you'd scroll own your bookmark list looking for what the page was called.

    And the best thing about this is that it would get rid of DNS problems like 1) the company that runs it, 2) the companies that exploit it, 3) hacks that may barely work, like unicode dns.

    If addresses were found based on company names, then merely having a directory system (like altavista, I imagine they'd be ad-revenue driven) and a browser that supported unicode would be enough.

    I don't think unicode DNS will ever happen. I mean, IPv6 is a *good* thing and it's hard to convince people of the worth of upgrading, a protocol I'll never see the benefit of, like unicode support, won't be high on my list, nor that of any isp in a country using a roman alphabet. I personally can't see the worth of going through a lot of trouble to expand the system for what seems like negligible benefit. (I can't honestly see any benefit in supporting pictoral-characterset languages. It just makes it easier for people to keep using native languages, and I think the net would benefit if more people used a common language.)



  • Your right. Actually, it's quite interesting reading.
  • If your were to take a word and translate it back and forth between several languages, you can (and most likely will end up with a different idea all together).

    Relating to this article: If a company were to trade mark a phrase or idea, then as it is translated around, it may eventually cover several completely unrelated subjects. So if a trade mark exists across many languages, then at what point will the trade mark stop, one translation, twelve. Once again we hit the problem of, (If its okay now, at what point does it become wrong?)

    I didnt see this point yet, but if its already here, please ignore it...
  • Using Babelfish:

    barredefractionpoint.org (French)
    schrägstrichpunkt.org (German)
    tagliopuntino.org (Italian)
    slashponto.org (Portuguese)
    rayaverticalpunto.org (Spanish)

    Using The Dialectizer [rinkworks.com]:

    swashdot.org (Elmer Fudd)
    sleshdut.org (Swedish Chef)
    ashslayotday.org (Pig Latin)

    paranoid.android

  • So register abdefghijklnpqrstuvwxyz.com ... no? (you're hooped if it also required the tripe-w, though)...
  • I don't get it. what shap pen in? It's not even propper english. Shame on us for not allowing spaces in machine names (and by extension URLs).
  • From what I recall were going to call one of their models "silver mist". However, in German 'mist' refers to an unpleasant odour of a farmyard nature so it got called the "silver ghost".

    ---------
    To hell with you, I never liked you, you are no friend of mine...

  • slash dot => barra punto
  • Well, I'm British and I have to say I don't use the word Period to mean anything other than a unit of time or menstruation. I would say we use "slash" or "oblique" and "dot" or "full stop" or "point".

    Pretentious?...Moi?

    ---------
    To hell with you, I never liked you, you are no friend of mine...

  • If I remember correctly, trademark law states that the trademark is very narrow, limited to the work or phrase in the situation or niche.

    The main point is to ensure that no one is confusing one for the other.

    No one is gong to confuse "what's happening" with "que pasa".

    I think lawyers who file suits like this should be made to work a day of pro bono beyond whatever they are normally required to donate, as well as paying all court costs and lawyer fees on the other side. And it should come directly from the lawyer, not the corporation, unless the lawyer can prove it wasn't his or her idea.
  • kartayatu_bindu.org {sanskrit}
    vyavachchhetsiiH_bindu.org {sanskrit}
    saJNchhinna_bindu.org {sanskrit}

    kaataa_bindu.org {hindi another indian language}
    kaapo_bindu.org {gujarati (another indian language)}
    kaap_bindu.org {marathi (yet another indian language)}

    [ translating the meaning slash == to cut
    as in 'slash and burn' ]

    - ak
    ack:
    sanskrit dict from http://reality.sgi.com/cgi-bin/atul_asd/sanskrit/d ict/search.html
  • However, knowing how the Japanese tend to import words directly into their own language using katakana, I think a more realistic translation would be something like:

    "Surasho_dotto.org"

    -----------
  • This suit is wrong, for only one good reason, AFAICT: Trademarkable spelling.

    The name in question is like any stupid spelling of a word -- Fruit->Froot, Clean->Kleen, Happening->Happenin'.

    If a name is spelled incorrectly, then it becomes a proper noun, not a word that has meaning that can be translated into another language.

    -chad

  • Soon you'll have to register your domain name in every country in the world, in a dozen languages and in all the TLD's to have a quiet life.

    Some companies are already doing just that. Just browse some of the more obscure TLD's and you'll find them. Among the most prominent: critical path, the church of scientology, and our own beloved NSI.
  • does slashdot have any problems with barrapunto.com? this sounds like a bunch of 'mierda' to me; these guys just figured out the latino market is bigger than they thought and now they want a piece of the action. estos gringuitos ya se pasaron de listos...

    Raj, give me that burger
  • > (I knew speaking Spanish would come in handy some day) Of course, you could have clicked on the "in English" button at the top of the page. :)
    -Kenton Varda
  • "Que pasa" translates better as "what's up", and I don't think the owners of whatsup.com would take too kindly to the people at whatshappening.com trying to infringe on their trademark by suing the foreign language equivalent of their domain. I also don't think the owners of wazzup.com or yodog.com or whatupg.com or howsitgoing.com would take too kindly to whatshappening.com infringing on their trademark rights. If you examine the date of record creation for all of those websites (which all exist and are all registered to different registrants), you will find that whatshappening.com was NOT the first in that category to register. In fact, whatsup.com and wazzup.com registered years before whatshappening.com ever existed. quepasa.com, on the other hand, was registered only one month after whatshappening.com was registered. whatshappening.com is playing a dangerous and foolish game, and I hope they get bitten hard.
  • If your from New York City or Southern California,
    you already know that quepasa is English,
    therefore it ain't a translation!
  • OK, so loads of people have said this but anyway...

    I have yet to come accross and Englishman (or woman for that point) who has said 'period' to mean anything other than a strech of time or menstruation (and who say's I can't speell).

    Also, Slash ? Nope... I've met a few who say 'forwardslash' but here in Sussex (south England) most say 'stroke'.

    British English... hmm, I've still got to find the time to play around with the MS word Australian English dictionary...
  • CR4CKz 4 pHR34kZ, 5TuFF 7H47 /\/\4773rZ!!!@$#$@%$!#$#!!!!!11!!!!

    4|\|D 1 4M TH3 5173'Z /\/\41N741n3R, C/\/\DR 74C0!!!! PH33R M3, 0 L0\/\/LY l00z3r!!!!!!!!

  • Or Japanese, a la Pokemon, purikura, burapi, pokeberu, famicon, puresute...

    Slashdot
    -> surasshu-dotto
    -> surado
  • by vlax (1809)
    A '/' is a barre oblique, but the word "slash" is a lot closer to "tiret" in meaning. "tiretpoint.org" is a lot neater a domain name than "barreobliquepoint.org", unfortunately, "-." isn't quite the same as "\.". Or maybe just "barrepoint.org" makes more sense ("|." - close enough).

    Personally, I like a Deutschlish "Slaschpunkt.org" a lot better. German has a way of getting coughed out that fits the programmer mindset a lot better than French morphology.

    I like the ZDTV standard of just dropping the "http://" when they give urls and saying "com" as "calm", "org" just the way it looks, and national domains are spelled out (".ca" as "dot-cee-aye"). If you've had a browser more than 10 minutes, you already know how to make a URL.

    That pronunciation strategy works a lot better in translation too. es-el-`a-es-hache-de'-^o-te'-point-comme seems a lot easier to work with.

    I assume Radio-Canada will get on that bandwagon one of these days.

    (Regards d'un que'be'cois en exile)
  • ashdotslay

    =:)
  • First things first: quepasa.com is not a cybersquat. It is a robust site, with interviews and other useful information of apparent interest targeted at the Latino community, offered in two languages. As such, it is a domain put to use, and not just a placeholder for someone waiting to make a buck; i.e., a cybersquatter.

    Secondly, as an American, I'm deeply ashamed of such sue-happy corporations in my country who feel that they own not only their domain name, but every connotation from it, and its equivalent in any other language. Domain names often contain words that convey concepts in English. Since other languages contain words that express similar concepts, conflict is inevitable. Hell, even English has synonyms, many of which exist as domain names at the same time. If you were allowed to sue someone for having a domain just because it came close to yours, there'd be about as many separate domain names as there are class A address ranges.

    That ain't the way it's supposed to work, folks. The lawyers and the other corporate assholes at whatshappenin.com are trying to fuck it up for the rest of us, and we can't let them.

    The bottom line is this: unless you've trademarked your name and its translations, you don't own the idea expressed by that name -- just the name. That's been proven over millions of domain name registrations.

    English isn't the only language of record in the world or on the Internet, and whatshappenin.com isn't the only repository of "current events."
    _____
  • http://www.barrapunto.com [barrapunto.com]

    Hey, it's even got some things better than SlashDot: from here it's faster. It has no ads. On their FAQ page they tell you to send them an email if you spot a typo (imagine Hemos doing that?).

    That same FAQ page gives credit to SlashDot, BTW.
  • by dpdx (52919)
    Actually, on quepasa.com, even if you couldn't speak a word of Spanish, you'd be able to click the button at the top that read, "in English," and as soon as you could say, "Put down the Chalupa", up would come a useable page with the content translated into perfect English. Problem solved. Commune away with your Latin sobrinos y sobrinas.

    It looks like I'm shilling for quepasa, but I'm not. They've just got a better site, and they're DEFINITELY getting screwed.
    _____
  • by vlax (1809)
    Je voulais dire "es-el-`a-es-hache-de'-^o-te'-point-orgue".

  • I'm a brit myself. (Will someone tell the Queen it does NOT rain in Manchester ALL the time! At least three people saw the sun, last thursday!)

    It could be regional - there are as many regional dialects in England as there are official languages in the rest of the world. More, if you include Wimbledon Common. (Orinoco is NOT a Londoner!)

  • In trademark law, the question is not whether you find the products confusing, it's whether you find the names confusing.

    Separately, and I think what you are referring to, trademark protection is generally offered within a "class" of goods. "Restaurants and cars are different classes" would be one reason to reject the Jeep lawsuit. But, websites that dish out information would so far be in the same class, so the name confusion issue comes to the fore. Someday, this may not be true any longer. Because Jeep cars and Jeep restaurants both use telephones does not make either of them a phone company, and perhaps someday the web will be considered like a phone. But for the time being, a portal is a portal is a portal.

    A broader form of trademark protection across classes is also legally available. I don't know what the details are exactly, but "made up name" is very helpful to meet the condition. So, Xerox, for example, could claim that they own the name without regard to class. Jeep might have a claim along the same lines, except that the word jeep started out generic, GI slang for General Purpose vehicles, so that's probably why AMC/Chrysler does not get the word across all classes. Or perhaps they didn't defend it vigorously enough in the past.

    This latter point is very important:

    Under trademark law, a trademark holder is required to take legal action to defend its trademark. Otherwise, future infringers can claim "look, they didn't say anything about those guys". So, it is not necessary for whatshappening to actually believe their claim in order for them to feel that it is prudent to make it. Else, their shareholders may sue the officers for not protecting the company's interests.

    Yeah, it can lead to some absurdity, but the system is not totally broken. Without trademarks, realize that a certain Redmond firm could come call their next version "Windows Linux", without regard to what was in it... Linux is trademarked, isn't it?

  • By accessing WhatsHappenin.com you accept this Agreement without limitation or qualification.

    THIS IS A LEGAL AGREEMENT BETWEEN YOU, THE END USER, AND THE PROVIDER, WHATSHAPPENIN.COM. BY ACCESSING THIS WEB SITE, YOU ARE AGREEING TO BE BOUND BY THE TERMS OF THIS AGREEMENT. IF YOU DO NOT AGREE WITH THESE TERMS, DO NOT ACCESS THIS WEB SITE.

    Wait a minute! Don't you have to be able to access the 'license' before your first use of the software itself (whether you do or not doesn't matter)? Unless this appears on your first access to the site, then it's not.

    1. GRANT OF LICENSE. The provider, WhatsHappenin.Com, grants you, the end user, a non-transferable, non-exclusive license to browse, respond to and otherwise use this web site, solely for your own personal use, with only one central processing unit at any one time.

    Only one CPU at a time? What if I have a dual-Celeron box? Am I forbidden from viewing this web site if I use a multithreaded browser?

    a. You may not copy, distribute, publicly display or perform, reverse engineer, translate, port, adapt, modify or make derivative works of, or otherwise use any content contained on WhatsHappenin.com.

    This is reasonable. It's just like any other commercial website/program/image/audio. No problem here.

    i. "Content," as used throughout this Agreement includes, but is not limited to, any text, sound recordings, musical compositions, lyrics, graphics, images, photographs, databases, logos, motion pictures or other audio-video works, HTML or other files and software technology.

    Once again, no problem here, except for the HTML part.

    b. You may not rent, disclose, publish, sell, assign, lease, sublicense, market, or transfer any content or use it in any manner not expressly authorized by this Agreement.

    Also acceptable.

    c. You shall not derive or attempt to derive the source code, source files or structure of all or any portion of the web site by reverse engineering, disassembly, decompilation or any other means.

    Unless that the original is GPL'ed, this is also not a problem.

    e. You do not receive any, and WhatsHappenin.com or other respective owners retain all ownership rights in any content.

    Acceptable, unless it happens to be your content and they are trying to leverage this license on you.

    f. Any communication or material you send to WhatsHappenin.com, electronically or otherwise, including but not limited to data, questions, comments, suggestions, or submissions is and will be treated as non-confidential and non-proprietary. Anything you send to WhatsHappenin.com may be used for any purpose including, but not limited to, reproduction, transmission, disclosure, publication, broadcast, and posting. WhatsHappenin.com is free to use, without obligation of any kind, any ideas, concepts, techniques, or know-how contained in any communication you send, for any purpose whatsoever, including, but not limited to, developing, manufacturing, and marketing products and services.

    Umm, not if I don't say so. Licenses of other companies don't override ownership of copyright (correct me if I'm wrong).

    g. Any content, product, service, program, or technology on this web site is copyrighted, trademarked, patented or otherwise protected by intellectual property rights and may not be copied, distributed, publicly performed or displayed, adapted, modified or made into derivative works, or otherwise used, even if merged with other web sites. Any use of content without express written permission of WhatsHappenin.com or the rightful owner is strictly prohibited. Any such right that is not expressly licensed herein is reserved by WhatsHappenin.com or other rightful owners. You shall not alter or remove any copyright or trademark notice or proprietary legend contained in or on any content.

    Not a problem.

    i. All content is available for your non-commercial use only.

    Not a problem either.

    ii. WhatsHappenin.com neither warrants nor represents that your use of the material displayed on its web site will not infringe rights of third parties.

    Hmm? This sounds sorta like the disclaimers on warez sites...

    iii. Images of people or places displayed on WhatsHappenin.com are either the property of WhatsHappenin.com or used with permission. Use of these images by you or other third parties is prohibited unless expressly permitted in this Agreement. Any unauthorized use of these images may violate copyright laws, trademark laws, the laws of privacy and publicity, and communications regulations and statutes.

    Unless one happens to be of you, no problem.

    iv. Any trademarks, logos, and service marks (collectively the "Trademarks") displayed on WhatsHappenin.com, whether registered or unregistered are property of its respective owners. Nothing contained on WhatsHappenin.com should be construed as granting by implication, estoppel, or otherwise, any license or right to use any Trademark displayed on WhatsHappenin.com without the written permission of the owner of the Trademark. Misuse of any Trademarks, or any other content, displayed on WhatsHappenin.com is prohibited.

    2. NO WARRANTY OR LIABILITY. The Products are provided to you on an AS IS and WITH ALL FAULTS basis.

    a. You assume the entire risk of loss in using the web site.

    What that if their site somehow crashes my entire computer, and I have other work open that I lose?

    b. WHATSHAPPENIN.COM MAKES AND END USER RECEIVES NO WARRANTY, WHETHER EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, AND ALL WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, TITLE, AND FITNESS FOR ANY PARTICULAR PURPOSE ARE EXPRESSLY EXCLUDED.

    Like before, not a problem.

    c. IN NO EVENT SHALL WHATSHAPPENIN.COM BE LIABLE FOR ANY DAMAGES, CLAIM OR LOSS INCURRED BY USER (INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION COMPENSATORY, INCIDENTAL, INDIRECT, SPECIAL, CONSEQUENTIAL OR EXEMPLARY DAMAGES, LOST PROFITS, LOST SALES OR BUSINESS, EXPENDITURES, INVESTMENTS, OR COMMITMENTS IN CONNECTION WITH ANY BUSINESS, LOSS OF ANY GOODWILL, OR DAMAGES RESULTING FROM LOST DATA OR INABILITY TO USE DATA) IRRESPECTIVE OF WHETHER WHATSHAPPENIN.COM HAS BEEN INFORMED OF, KNEW OF, OR SHOULD HAVE KNOWN OF THE LIKELIHOOD OF SUCH DAMAGES. THIS LIMITATION APPLIES TO ALL CAUSES OF ACTION IN THE AGGREGATE INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION BREACH OF CONTRACT, BREACH OF WARRANTY, NEGLIGENCE, STRICT LIABILITY, MISREPRESENTATION, AND OTHER TORTS. IF WHATSHAPPENIN.COM'S DISCLAIMER OF LIABILITY SET FORTH IN THIS AGREEMENT SHALL FOR ANY REASON WHATSOEVER BE HELD UNENFORCEABLE OR INAPPLICABLE, END USER AGREES THAT WHATSHAPPENIN.COM'S LIABILITY SHALL NOT EXCEED $100.00.

    $100? $100?!? This is not acceptable. What if their site somehow makes me lose some critical data?

    d. The web site is complex and may contain some nonconformities, defects, viruses or errors. WhatsHappenin.com does not warrant that the web site will meet your needs or expectations, that operations of the web site will be error free or uninterrupted, or that all nonconformities can or will be corrected.

    Viruses? Viruses?!? This is definitely not acceptable. No license should ever mention that their product may contain viruses!

    e. While WhatsHappenin.com uses reasonable efforts to include accurate and up-to-date information on its web site, WhatsHappenin.com makes no warranties or representations as to its accuracy. WhatsHappenin.com may periodically add, change, or improve any of the information, products, services, programs, and technology described on its web site without notice. WhatsHappenin.com assumes no liability or responsibility for any errors or omissions in the content.

    That's fine, I'll just take it to the copyright holder (unless they can prove that they submitted an updated version of the content and that it had been submitted for a while).

    f. WhatsHappenin.com has not reviewed all of the sites which are linked to its web site, and the fact of such links does not indicate any approval or endorsement of any material contained on any linked site. WhatsHappenin.com is not responsible for the contents of any site linked to it; and your connection to any such linked site is at your own risk.

    That's fine, it's like commercials on TV (in the case of banner ads). I don't see a problem here.

    3. MISCELLANEOUS.

    a. This is the exclusive and entire Agreement between WhatsHappenin.com and you regarding its subject matter.

    I am not fully sure about this, but I believe that if you are not given an explicit opportunity to see this license before you access it, then this does not apply.

    b. Any legal dispute which may arise from or in connection with this Agreement, web site or its contents will be governed by the laws of the State of California. All parties to any such dispute will submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the federal and/or state courts of the State of California for all purposes. U.S. Copyright and Federal Trademark laws will be strictly enforced, subjecting violators to substantial civil and/or criminal prosecution.

    This is acceptable, as this is also the standard agreement in the case of a magazine or newspaper.

    c. You shall pay any taxes on transactions that may occur on the web site.

    This would only apply to intrastate transactions, wouldn't it?

    d. If any provision of this Agreement is declared invalid or unenforceable, the remaining provisions of this Agreement shall remain in effect.

    I personally don't have any problem with this.

    Well, there's my analysis of this license. It's only my opinion, the way I see this license, so don't flame me if I'm horribly wrong.
    _______
    Scott Jones
    Newscast Director / WKPT-TV 19
    Game Show Fan / C64 Coder
  • This is offtopic, but at Barrapunto.com, their equivalent of ACs is "Pendejos Sin Nombres," translated as Anonymous Assholes.
  • Soon you'll have to register your domain name in every country in the world, in a dozen languages and in all the TLD's to have a quiet life.

    This is just getting silly. People should be happy with what they have, or else they should have thought of that in the first place, and registered the name then.

    I want to propose a rule stating that getting a lawyer to try and get a domain off someone else is ground for getting barred from registering domain names.

    Kinda like Groucho Marx's quote that he wouldn't be a member of any club that accepted the likes of him....
  • by Jerf (17166) on Thursday October 14, 1999 @07:08AM (#1613799) Journal
    Foriegn equivalency clauses used to only matter if your trademark extended in other countries, which isn't as common as it seems. For every McDonalds, there are thousands of Joe's Local Trademarked Band.

    But on the Internet, it's all international. Taking it to the extreme that whatshappin.com seems to want to take it implies that when you get a trademark, and take it to the internet, not only do you instantly gain an international trademark (because trademark's can be tied to a specific locality, such as a state), but, apparently, you gain every translation of the trademark???

    This really shrinks the trademark domain! Furthermore, a quick spin around altavista shows "What's happenin?" -> French -> English as "Which is happenin?", which, silly as it sounds, would registering that as a domain name be an infringement because it translates to the same thing in another common language? (Note: AFAIK, that's not a babelfish blunder; the phrase pretty much translates equivalently. If not in French, then elsewhere.)

    I think "whatshappenin" actually has a reasonable argument, founded in trademark law, although quepasa does as well. The problem is trademark law; in principle, it's a good thing, but a device that made things work well, keeping trademarks local until they are used on a large scale (how many college bands have the same, trademarked name, just live in different states?) no longer functions correctly on the Internet. Unfortunately, only a new international agreement could really fix the problem. In the meantime, if this goes to court, keep an eye on the result; it certainly will set precedents. Watch out, Le Monde (A major french newspaper that translates in english to "The World")... here comes the Boston Globe... both newspapers (same trademark domain), both translate to roughly (very) the same thing... lawsuit time!
  • ...is in Suck [suck.com] today.
  • ...because they didn't think of "quepasa.com" soon enough. Clearly they (of bar and music events) were goin' fer that "hip" soundin' name and somebody else came up with something hipper.

    Poor baby...

    --
    grappler
  • I doubt this is as precedent-setting as it looks. It is a trademark issue rather than a domain name issue. I find it difficult to believe that the issue of trading under the same translated name has never occurred before. I just wish I had the legal experience to say whether it had.

    A lot of people are expending a lot of energy and hype every time a new legal challenge comes up. They're making the same mistake as the censors - this can often be dealt with under existing legislation and precendent, and if not, it should be. Enacting new laws and setting new precendents for the same issue in every popuylar new medium is awkward and sloppy, and will not keep up.

    Just like writing good code. Make no assumptions, and abstract as far as you can!

    Dave

    --

  • by Jerf (17166)
    Patents != trademarks != copyright. Your message makes little sense.
  • by jabber (13196) on Thursday October 14, 1999 @07:12AM (#1613827) Homepage
    Tinylimp has just spun off several small web-sites called:
    abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz.com,
    ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ.com and
    1234567890.com,
    and stated that any website or company using any portion, or combination of constituents, of these site names, will be sued into oblivion.

    That international web language is starting to sound like a sensible thing, almost.
  • Last I checked, the phrase "What's Happenin'" was strongly identified with Raj, Dwayne, and Rerun. Any patent lawyers in the house, that can help a brother out.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    kautta(slash)piste(dot)

    www.kauttapiste.fi sounds cool. :=)

  • I realy think this is just another attempt at a quick buck. It seems anymore that if things are not going your way then sueing and getting rich is the next best thing. Personaly I think it's realy a no question case. They were just beaten to the punch, so to speak. I mean if I were to go into some gift shop and see some guy buy an item with my first name on it could I sue. Maybe it's just time people woke up and realized that all these B.S. lawsuits are just hurting everyone. It raises cost to the consumer, jams the court system, and is realy creating a society of fear and greed. I mean it's either sue or be sued.
  • This is such a blatently bogus claim.

    Trademarks are on the terms themselves no on the MEANING OF THE TERMS. Should "Pizza Hut" be able to claim any translation of "Pizza" and "Hut"? No. What it trademarked was the sequence of glyphs: "P" "i" "z" "z" "a" .... It did not trademark the MEANING. I guess nobody could make a car company called "People's Car" could it? Because Volkswagon already has that (very bad rough translation...I don't know german).

    silly silly silly
  • in dutch: deelstreep punt

    BTW. the slash is really hidden away on swedish keyboards. Really annoying. Luckily the dot is where it should be :)
  • by costas (38724)
    Kathetos Teleia

  • Even among domain name disputes, this stands out as particularly absurd. People don't even need to understand much about domain names to realize how ridiculous it is. If domain name legality were a more mainstream issue, this would be choice late-night monologue material! I've got three theories on a motive:

    1) Quepasa.com is publicly traded, and ostensibly has some money, so they're digging for gold.

    2) Nobody I know had ever heard of whatshappenin.com, and now they have...they've gotten a tremendous boost in brand recognition out of this. What are links on sites like Wired and Slashdot worth compared to the minor legal fees associated with the lawsuit and press releases?

    3) And finally, the motive best supported by Occam's razor, the people behind this suit are idiots. :-)

  • http://www.barrapunto.com

    And up to recently they were even *more* like slashdot.

    Chip.
  • by trexl (16434) on Thursday October 14, 1999 @07:19AM (#1613853) Homepage
    In America we simply use slashdot. To translate, we could simply type loudly and slowly S L A S H D O T !!! In spanish S L A S H D O T - O !!! In Russian S L A S H D O T - SKI !!! It works in the movies.
  • by jabber (13196) on Thursday October 14, 1999 @07:23AM (#1613868) Homepage
    I can easily see the argument being extended even further, into synonym and implication.

    Does a site called whatgoingon.com have to shut down, because the semantic meaning is the same as whatshappenin.com.

    Can Oracle now sue Borland for having a product called Delphi? Seems Sun is going in a related direction, now that they hold StarOffice.

    Say I create a site called tinylimp.com. Will Microsoft lawyers come screaming to my door, because the name implies theirs?

    Maybe someone should just patent the Jungian psych concept of cultural archetypes, and settle it once and for all.

    -- What a lovely can-o-worms, umm, container d'grubs, err, am I infringing a Disney trademark? Hakuna Matata!
  • A major software manufacturer today filed suit against the geriatric fitness site, www.firmcoots.com, charging that it infringed its trademark. A spokesman for the company, Steve Ballhead, insisted that the suit was a clear case of violation. "It's obvious that these old folk are trying to make a quick buck at our expense. Those letters are ours, and we will vigorously defend them. There are lots of other letters they could have used."

    A spokesman for firmcoots said, "We've been adv--ed by -ur lawye- -- -ake n- c---en-. Bu- - w-ll -ay, - h-nk -hey'-e a bun-h -- -u-ke--!".
  • by jd (1658) <.moc.oohay. .ta. .kapimi.> on Thursday October 14, 1999 @07:32AM (#1613884) Homepage Journal
    Le Slashdot (French)

    Das Slashdot (German)

    Slash. Period. (British English)

  • In pig latin: Ash-slay ot-day. --
  • Say I create a site called tinylimp.com
    You're obviously not the first person to worry about synonyms and microsoft; if you look at the page www.crash.com [crash.com] you'll see a link to the EFF. Now that's insurance.
  • by Albatross (57044) on Thursday October 14, 1999 @07:38AM (#1613894)
    WhatsHappenin.com said the sites are offering similar Web services and that the names could be confused by consumers. Quepasa.com offers weather, entertainment guides, search services, and horoscopes. WhatsHappenin.com said this is too similar to its own Web service.

    After a quick look at the two sites (I knew speaking Spanish would come in handy some day) I don't see how anyone could construe that the content of quepasa.com is a spanish equivilant of WhatsHappenin.com. Other than the same names the two sites are completely different.

    WhatsHappenin.com is a listing of bars and live music events, and quepasa.com is a news page. I couldn't find any weather listings on WhatsHappenin.com. The entertainment section on quepasa.com had short news stories and links to other pages that might have information on events.

    The only things they had in common were horoscopes and links to search engines. Neither of these are the main services for either page, and there must be thousands of other pages that also have these.

    The main argument WhatsHappenin.com's suit is that people will confuse the two sites because the names are too similar. But laws right now allow two businesses to have the same name, if their products or services are different enough that people will not confuse them (IANAL). AMC (which makes Jeep trucks) sued a restaurant called Jeep's and lost because one sold trucks and the other sold cheese burgers. These two websites, in my opinion, are dissimilar enough that there should be no confusion between the two and this lawsuit is totally baseless.
  • I'm more familiar with European trademark law than with the US - but I think the basics are similar.

    Trademarks only protect the exact name/phrase as it was registered. Even small variations (see Wenger/Victorinox with their "original swiss army knife" vs. "genuine swiss army knife" are enough to distinguish. In German language: "Das Original" vs. "Das Echte" - I'd translate both to "original"...) .

    Only if it becomes obvious that the new challenger only tries to jump on the successful one's bandwagon and starts plagiarizing the product of the other, then there is a slight chance of cancelling the newcomer's business.

    And as qepasa.com and whatshappening.com have quite different sites (as well in look/feel as in contents) I do not see chances for WhatsHappening to win the cause.
  • I looked all over the site, and not a word about Raj, or even Rerun!

    Does anyone remember when Rerun got caught taping a Doobies concert? "Which Doobie you be?" Ah, memories.

    George
  • by TurkishGeek (61318) on Thursday October 14, 1999 @07:43AM (#1613904)
    "Taksim Nokta". "Bolu Nokta" can also be used, but we usually use "slash" as well...
  • by jflynn (61543) on Thursday October 14, 1999 @08:07AM (#1613917)
    "The sad part is, for most of us this is (was?) just a cool way to check out stuff that interests us, and see that others are interested in the same things. Why is everyone so afraid of that idea?"

    The first part of the answer is found in your other paragraph about smoke and mirrors democracy. A lot of money and power depend on that illusion, which makes an example of true democracy about as welcome as Bill Gates at ALS.

    The second scary part is the bit about "see that others are interested in the same things." This strongly reinforces what the government would consider geeks, cults, perverts, radicals, militant nut-cases, and consumer and labor unions. While we might see it as a celebration of diversity and an empowerment of the individual, to them it is a breeding ground of dangerous ideas and a weapon against established power. It is all of that and more.

    This suit just seems a bit clueless. But expect them to extend as many legal claws into the internet as they can without getting them chopped off. Keep your axes sharp and handy.
  • Heh, this starts to be fun.

    kosacrtatocka.org == slashdot.org

    or even sillier:

    obrnutakosacrta.org == backslashdoc.org

    ;) ... xe xe ...

    bb4now,
    PMC
  • Long before there was a .com in everything, there was "What's Happening"... If a common phrase like that can claimed as a trademark at all, I want the trademark to "cool", so everyone would have to pay me royalties anytime they said "cool" and its derivatives, e.g. "awesome", "rad", "gnarly", or the much more lame (I hope they don't say it anymore) German version: "so geil".

    Besides, Raj and Rerun were What's Happening long before this stupid "dot com" thing anyway...

  • by IIH (33751)
    For humour value, use babelfish to "translate" "Slash dot" from english to french, then the result from french to english, and repeat for a few more languages. A sample run is as follows:

    1) slash dot
    2) point de barre de fraction
    3) not bar of fraction
    4) nicht Stab des Bruches
    5) not staff of the break
    6) não equipe de funcionários da ruptura
    7) not team of employees of the rupture

    So, Slash dot is not a team of employes of the rupture!

    --
  • I would say that they only rational purpose of trademark law is to protect consumers against counterfeit products. So, I am prohibited from selling a "Sun Enterprise 4500" server that is in fact a dual celeron. I can't step on Sun's brand name or their product names.

    The problem is that trademark law tries to operate without reference to intent. That is, under legal theories commonly espoused, I would be prohibited from using the phrase "Sun Enterprise 4500" to describe a service that cleaned your windows in an Enterprise Office Building so that it would be bright and sunny 4500 minutes a year. Those legal theories are bogus.

    To me, trademark should be reduced to a registry of brand and product names, and the only way I should be able to sue someone whould be under fraud laws. I.e. if they were trying to fraudulently pass off their product as my product.

    The biggest problem here is one that's endemic to the legal system: having a lawyer write a nasty letter or even file a lawsuit is cheap. Defending against a spurious lawsuit is not cheap -- and you can't do defense on a contingency basis. In many cases, lawsuits are settled for the defendants anticipated legal fees! This is ridiculous. In my opinion, any civil claim which is ultimately rejected should result in the plaintiff and the plaintiff's lawyers being responsible for all the defendants legal bills. This would level the playing field, and make it possible for defense to operate on a contingency basis as well.

  • ...and you males out there, watch for hand burns when you come to a full stop after stroking :-) :-) :-)

    --
  • Thanks for providing decent research to a hurrily thrown together post. I obviously didn't. I'm at work and the idea of venturing out to chupa.com didn't seem like a wise one to me.
  • WhatsHappenin.com must not have had much happenin' so they had to drum up some news to get visitors to their site. I can guarantee they're going to get a good percentage of all the hits their site has gotten up until now just from this news story.

    -=-=-=-=-

Of course you can't flap your arms and fly to the moon. After a while you'd run out of air to push against.

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