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Online Journal Publisher Raided by Police 399

Posted by Roblimo
from the not-just-dumb-but-actually-evil dept.
mwalker writes "Transasia Corporation is claiming over a million dollars in damages based on their claim that a search engine request using the word 'Leonardo' brings up not only their web sites but also those of the MIT-published Leonardo arts organization. What's worse is that the police have now raided the publication for incriminating papers (papers containing the word 'Leonardo')." Okay. This is over the edge. Way worse than the Etoys/etoy stupidity. I'm making a personal donation to the Leonardo Defense Fund, 425 Market Street, 2nd Floor, San Francisco, California, 94105, U.S.A. I strongly urge other Slashdot readers to take their own appropriate actions - short of lawbreaking or violence, of course. Here's the Leonardo Finance site so you can see the enemy's face first-hand. Unbelievable!
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MIT Online Journal Raided by Police

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  • This Christmas I downloaded an mp3 from an xxx porn site that had pictures of Michaelangelo having sex with a cabbage. I await you in court. :)

    URL? ;)

  • Since then I have been happy to believe that everyone but I was stupid. To do otherwise would be a violation of a fundamental law of the universe.
  • The Leonardo Journal folks should be supported, if for no other reason than that they have an article about art created with the aid of a bug! [mit.edu]
    ABSTRACT Since the early 1980s, artist Hubert Duprat has been utilizing insects to construct some of his "sculptures." By removing caddis fly larvae from their natural habitat and providing them with precious materials, he prompts them to manufacture cases that resemble jewelers' creations. Information theory, as explained by biologists such as Jacques Monod and Henri Atlan, helps us understand what seems to be the insect's aesthetic behavior. The activities of the caddis worm, as manipulated by Hubert Duprat, are prompted by the "noise"---beads, pearls and 18-karat gold pieces---introduced by the artist into the insect's environment. This article is based on a conversation between the artist and art critic Christian Besson.

  • by Roblimo (357) on Wednesday December 22, 1999 @05:13PM (#1451086) Homepage Journal
    Looks like we were among the first to pick up on this one, so no links. I mean, we do actually *break* a story now and then. Not often, but it happens. ;-)

    - Robin

  • C'est tout fini, mes amis. Je pense que je vais bouger au la Antartique, ou Montana, parce que la monde avait tourne fou. Au revoir.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    . . . then the art guys should be sued into the ground.

    A prank of this nature is wholly inappropriate, and certainly would reflect poorly on MIT as a whole -- guilt by association, as it were.

  • We use a Mac-To-PC Netowrking Software package called DAVE. On in clear print, it says DAVE (tm). A trademarked first name. Now I'm definitely not an advocate for LF, it's just the opposite, but I don't want to see them use this in their case.
  • Transasia Corporation have obviously used police as their tools in taking this action. What criminal allegations could they raise? And what did they tell the police to make them believe a raid was justified? Even more worrying is that a raid (at least under most laws) needs a search warrant. That they got this past a judge higlights the worrying problems that occur when law enforcement acts without sufficient knowledge of web based technologies. Next Google [google.com] will be sued by Microsoft because "evil monopolistic empire" brings up their homepage.
  • We're talking about a trademark.
    Not a patent, or copyright.
    A trademark.
  • Just needed to bring your attention to this.
    ----
    "War doesn't determine who's right, just who's left"
  • by tilly (7530) on Wednesday December 22, 1999 @04:25PM (#1451099)
    MIT has a tradition of elaborate hoaxes.

    Either some officer was seriously bribed, or else this is a hoax.

    Cheers,
    Ben

  • That's not quite what I meant :-P

    I meant, could MIT's page have been cracked by a disgruntled (ex)-student-kiddie?

  • > If we have to shift the paradigm of Internet
    priorities to make it more friendly to business, then I don't have any problem with that.

    This about sums it up - why don't the businesses shift -their- paradigm? Why should I change to suit them? If they cannot figure out a way to 'engineer' me to their site, they don't deserve my business. If a business tries to survive on the net with 'impulse buys', they are in for a nasty surprise. This is not television, and they cannot barge into my room with ads blaring for their product. I have to *choose* to go to their site, and if I get sidetracked along the way, they have no one to blame. Not the search engine, not their marketing execs, nobody. Because it was my choice, and I made it (either consciously or not).

    > Corporations pay a lot of money for broadband Internet access.

    Yes, I'm sure they do. However, they are buying this broadband access for *themselves*. They are not subsidizing the network structure unless they are allowing others to pull data down through their pipes. Some packets may be routed through their routers, but only a small percent, and this could easily be routed by other servers (such as the aforementioned MIT). I do not believe that a medium sized company is going to set up a root server with multiple T3's to add to the net's infrastructure just to be altruistic. Which means, it isn't going to happen.

    If a business is to survive on the net, they have to learn that the net is not a captive audience. Only I choose whether to go to their site or not. This is not the same as going to a hardware store in my hometown, as there may be only one store in existence. On the net, there may be many places selling the same product, and only I decide where to buy it. And you can rest assured that when a company pulls a stunt such as this lawsuit, I have already made up my mind not to give them my business.

    Cheers,
    GC
  • Agree entirely...

    What really cheeses me off is the intrusion of politics and governments and the whole legal system into affairs of the 'Net - it should be plain and simple, "this is your top-level domain, this is where you belong. If a search engine doesn't pick you up in the top dozen, your site is crap", end of argument.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    It appears that a warrant was executed by police in FRANCE, against a chapter of the Leonardo Arts association in FRANCE, *NOT* in the use, and NOT at MIT, simply affiliated with them.
  • And above all else sue that little schmuck Leonardo diCaprio (sp?) He *DEFINITELY* has the money to fight of the foo foo frenchies...
  • In case anyone does feel hopeful, here's my list of things that need to happen (in order):

    I am very hopeful, but some points on your solutions:

    Take away corporation's ability to interfere in elections. There's a bad Supreme Court decision that allows corporations to essentially buy candidates with "soft money" and the like.

    Soft money isn't what you're describing. For one thing, it is spent by parties and activist groups for voter education (including issue ads) and recruitment. That's as true for the EFF as MS's PAC. For another, you can't buy candidates or elections-- both depend on votes. Finally, this is all free speech-- saying a guy can't talk about an issue because the government department of lunch thinks your thoughts are too popular or are reaching too many people is silly.

    Major tort reform: With punitive damages at the judge's discression. See above.

    The goal of tort reform is fewer lawsuits, not more. That's where this stupid Leonardo lawsuit comes in-- this should never have reached court (though admittedly I don't know how the legal system works in france). Punitive damages are the worst-- they are totally arbitrary, lining a lawyer's pockets.

    Pump money into the public schools: The smarter the populace, the more people who can think for themselves, the better. Better teachers, smaller school systems, smaller class sizes, more community involvement. This includes requiring decent alternative education choices for people who don't learn in the "conventional" way. While we're at it, get the fsck'ing corporations *out* of the school.

    I can't see what your problem with corporations are-- it doesn't make sense to blame them for everything that happens that you don't like. I pretty much agree with your solutions on education, though. I'd add that we ought to give alternatives to kids whose schools are failing (e.g. inner city schools).

    Start sending execs who break the law to prison: No fine will deter a major corporation from breaking the law. Sending the execs who cause said corporation to break the law will.

    This is silly. You can't solve frivolous judicial action with more frivolous judicial action. I don't think (knock on wood) that this would have happened in the US, but we can't let anger at corporations (remember, this was the French gummint which ordered and executed this friggin' stupid raid) become the universal source of the world's problems, and the knee-jerk target for blame.

  • Are you absolutely mad? The MIT group should be penalized for some absent-minded client surfing around and forgetting his original purpose? So, according to you, the only use for the 'modern internet' is to allow corporations to make as much money as they can and trample the rights of others (who are not even in the same business)? The internet was originally designed for *information sharing* (first by the DoD, then it was by scientists/universities), not corporate greed, and personally, I think it may be better off without corporate lawyers getting into the fray and suing everyone within arms length (and on the net, that can be a damn long arm).

    I cannot see this being legitimized by any amount of reasoning. If you believe that the company has the right to summarily and arbitrarily shut down the MIT site for potential loss of earnings, then you might as well go back to believing in the divine right of kings over common folk and live like a serf. Either way, you are forfeiting any rights you have to be treated fairly and equitably.

    Cheers,
    GC
  • Lets think about this. Dumb corporation tries to sue students who use everyday language on their website, and yells 'Trademark Infringement'. Judge laughs. Jury laughs. Dumb corporation gets publicly sat down in court. HARD. Boom! Now a precendent as been set. Future targets of idiotic lawsuits can now point to this legal decision as a previous related ruling.

    Hmmm... Actually, that's not a bad idea. Perhaps we could persuade some large, high-visibility company to bring an idiotic lawsuit to bear, knowing ahead of time that they'll lose.
  • by Yebyen (59663) on Wednesday December 22, 1999 @03:16PM (#1451117) Homepage
    You cannot own the word Leonardo... it's a name. Leo DiCaprio could be attacked too, I guess. Hey why don't you dig up Leonardo DaVinci and beat him up, he's infringing too!

    If this madness doesn't stop, I'm founding my own planet, one with no patents or such. (Or a BETTER patent system... one that exists to protect IP and to do nothing else... no "giving huge corporations the edge" or that crap... maybe they'll have to start protecting their ideas with good, old fashioned security.)

    But let's think about this for one more moment... they're claiming to own the word Leonardo... !!!... Utter stupidity.

  • by Dirtside (91468) on Wednesday December 22, 1999 @03:16PM (#1451119) Journal
    If this kind of thing keeps up -- police organizations acting subservient to business interests, without consideration for the rights of the individual -- eventually we're going to end up in among the worst of all possible worlds: one controlled by the corporations with no concern for the individual, and no rights except what the corporation gives you.

    On another note, I would like to announce that I have trademarked and patented the use of every word in this comment. Anyone using the words "If," "this," "kind," etc. will be immediately sued for... one MILLION dollars!

  • From the patent:

    A method for inducing cats to exercise consists of directing a beam of invisible light [...]

    If it's "invisible light", how can the cat see it? If the cat doesn't see it, how does it induce any behavior at all?

  • If a search on the name Leonardo has started all this, why not just strike back with more of the same?
    If you just add "Leonardo da Vinci" or "Leonardo di Caprio" to your your HTML pages MetaTags, and then submit them to all kinds of search engines, it would be interesting to see just how many sites will pop up the NEXT time they do a search on Leonardo.
    Will they sue the owners of all these websites too then?
  • by waveman (66141) on Wednesday December 22, 1999 @05:41PM (#1451130) Homepage
    Doctor Evil, one million dollars is not much these days. You should ask for ... TEN BILLION DOLLARS!!!
  • If they're into the world of money management, they speak english. And probably german as well. They may be snobs, but money speaks volumes.

    And they're not from Quebec, after all ;-)

    --
  • by crush (19364)
    Well, there is a link on the MIT page. If it is a hoax then it's in incredibly bad taste: if you go to the Leonardo Finance page you'll see that these are very nice people. I quote: Thirty of them are graduates of the Stanford Business School in California. and furthermore they have high aims: The "shareholder-experts" are free and independent, but they all share the same values : market economy, belief in the individual, creativity and innovation. Leonardo Finance consequently constitutes a formidable source of ideas, capital, competence and contacts, and thus represents one of the principal European centers of expertise dedicated to the creation of wealth. Compare that to the organization at MIT which: serves the international art community by providing a channel of communication for artists and others interested in the arts, with an emphasis on artists who use science and developing technologies in their work. Where do they think the money comes from?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 22, 1999 @04:34PM (#1451142)
    I don't know where wired got it from, but this article on Etoys references the Leonardo problem http://www.wired.com/news/business/0,1367,33189,00 .html The article is about a rally to protest against Etoys. A quote from the article: "Also appearing at the event was Jack Ox, a New York-based editorial advisor for Leonardo, a scholarly review published by MIT Press now facing a similar suit to the one challenging etoy. Transasia Corporation has filed suit in Nanterre, France, against Association Leonardo, the non-profit arts organization that produces the journal, for trademark infringement. The company is claiming more than US$1 million in damages in lost revenue." ulf
  • A better french translation could be:
    -----

    Subject: Vous êtes des personnes horribles!

    Je suis consterné de voir la réclamation en dommages que votre compagnie a fait à l'association Leonardo.

    Votre compagnie ne peut posséder le nom Leonardo pas plus que pape Jean-Paul II ne peut posséder le nom Jean-Paul! Ce que vous avez fait est une très mauvaise pratique et doit être puni. Votre compagnie mérite d'être mise en banqueroute pour avoir commis un acte si mauvais!

    Je m'assurerai que tous ceux que je connais évitent de faire affaire avec votre compagnie.

    ----
    A Canadian frog pissed off by French frogs... 8)
    GFK's
  • by David A. Madore (30444) on Wednesday December 22, 1999 @04:36PM (#1451151) Homepage

    (Paris, 1999/12/23)

    After its successful lawsuit against ``Association Leonardo'' for illegal use of the trademark ``Leonardo'', and somehow managing to be placed higher than them in web search results, Leonardo® Finance filed a suit against the famous on-line discussion forum ``slashdot [slashdot.org]'' this morning for commenting on the matter without acknowledging the fact that the term ``Leonardo'' was a registered trademark of Leonardo® Finance. They claim $42 billion damages due to the massive slashdot readership, and legal experts all agree that slashdot is sure to be found guilty as charged.

    ``This is terrible,'' is reported to have said slashdot creator CmdrTaco, ``I have no choice but to close the site. This means I'll never be able to pay the damage.''

    After this, Leonardo Finance is expected to sue the gli Uffizi museum in Florence for showing paintings of the Renaissance painter Leonardo® da Vinci without duly acknowledging Leonardo® Finance's ownership of the trademark. ``We will probably settle for the paintings themselves;'' said a representative of the finance firm; ``by rights they should be ours, anyway.''

    Leonardo® da Vinci was unreachable for comments.

  • This whole thing is outrageous enough that I really doubt it's veracity. I did a search of the leonardo site, and came up with a couple of interesting things. If you do a search based on the word lawsuit, you get three hits, one of them being this page:
    http://mitpress.mit.edu/e-journals/Leonardo/isas t/spec.projects/karnow.html
    check it out.
    it has some really good thoughts on exactly the issues we are all discussing.
  • So why didn't they call it the "Big Dick"?

    logan

  • This is almost funny to the point of seeming completely fake, but after reading about the police raid it literally makes me want to vomit. This has got to be the stupidest lawsuit I've ever heard of.

    Why doesn't this corporation sue Leonardo DiCaprio for millions because he's using their trademark as his first name?

    Why don't they demand every original work of Leonardo Davinci's, since he's done the same, and compounded interest based on the years the works haven't been in their possession compared to the appreciation the works have gained over such time?

    If I go out and trademark the word "the" or "and", does that mean I can sue every publishing house and website in existence for all the money in the world, and especially the search engines since they don't even use my trademarked word(s) in their search routines?

    Should we sue all those sites that put false META tags in their pages so that they can get the top hits from a search engine? (actually, this would be useful ;)

    What disgusts me most is that the police actually carried out the raid. THIS IS INSANE! If I were an officer and someone handed me an order to take a bunch of my colleagues and break into an 80 year-old woman's house to confiscate pieces of paper with the word "Leonardo" printed on them, I'd laugh at the joke - but not much, because it'd seem TOO STUPID. Upon finding its reality I'd simply turn in my badge and give looks of pity at the utter stupidity of those who actually carried out the order.

    That's about all I care to say... After all, I don't want some corporation suing me for billions of dollars based on "slander" that was posted on a website (heaven forbid, the Internet has such possibilities?!). Then again, I did use that trademarked word a couple times in my post, so I can probably already be fined a few million dollars and look forward to a SWAT team crashing through my front door to show me the world wide web on my own home PC! WOOHOO!
  • by David A. Madore (30444) on Wednesday December 22, 1999 @04:41PM (#1451181) Homepage

    The lawsuit is not against the journal based at MIT. It is against the French non-for-profit organization ``Association Leonardo'', the French chapter of the Leonardo Network.

    See this page [mit.edu] for more details. As it is hosted by MIT Press [mit.edu], I don't think the whole affair is BS.

  • Let's say that this is not a fraud. This is going to be the easiest protest ever on the net.

    You don't have to worry about flooding an ip - just stick the word Leonardo in the keywords on all your pages!

    After all, what would they do? Sue all of us?
  • History is filled with small minded individuals who decide that everyone but themselves is stupid. A bunch of Americans, or Frenchman, or Russians, or whoever won't be remember for that trait alone. It's too common. Acting whiny and beligerent won't do it either; you have to kill a lot of people while doing it.
  • by grappler (14976) on Wednesday December 22, 1999 @04:48PM (#1451209) Homepage
    Anyone heard the latest on LEONARDO DiCaprio? Word on the street is he's making a new movie that chicks are sure to dig. Unfortuately, girls, there's bad news too: rumors are flying about a hookup between LEONARDO and Britney Spears. What a hot couple. I bet they'll be together forever!

    My, it's been a while since the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were popular. In my opinion, Splinter was the coolest character, but he was surely closely followed by LEONARDO!

    Here's a little fun little-known fact for you readers out there: LEONARDO the turtle's name was inspired by an artist/scientist from waaaaaaay back in the rennaisance named LEONARDO DaVinci! You might have heard of him.

    My, there's been a lot of talk about people named LEONARDO in today's column hasn't there. Well, here's another fun fact about the name LEONARDO: The name LEONARDO, a close relative of Leo, Leonard, and Leon, means "Like a Lion".

    Let's hope the lions, er, lawyers, aren't sent after me because of this column. Time will tell, dear readers. Time will tell.

    --
    grappler
  • by Roblimo (357) on Wednesday December 22, 1999 @04:48PM (#1451211) Homepage Journal
    The Leonardo Journal and the International Society for the Arts, Sciences and Technology have been around for a good long time. I read their stuff from time to time, even though I find some of it a little stuffier than it needs to be.

    This is not an MIT prank. I blew up when I saw the submission because I have always *liked* Leonardo and ISAST - and because the idea of suing over search engine placement is a new low.

    I'm sorry that so many Slashdot readers took this as an opportunity to knock the French. Leonardo was founded in France, and ISAST is as international as, well, Linux. One dumb company and a few over-reaching French cops don't reflect on the whole country any more than some of the obnoxious moves made by U.S. Government agencies and U.S. companies reflect on all U.S. citizens.

    I'm going to spend the rest of the night shaking my head and asking myself, "What is this world coming to?"

    Note "the world." All of it, not any particular country. ;-)

    - Robin

  • one can use the court of public opinion - with videos of the dumping - which doesn't have as much potential for backfire
    Hmf. Seen many reports on Disney's labor practices on ABC news lately?

    When defending one's rights in court requires access to the mass media, surely we're in deep trouble. Legal proceedings, civil and criminal, are supposed to be about facts and law, not about who looks better or camera, or who can get the most airtime.

    It's bad enough that you would have to hire high-priced lawyers, but under your scheme you'd have to hire video producers and publicists.

  • by Magus311X (5823) on Wednesday December 22, 1999 @03:19PM (#1451228)
    Suing over results in a search engine? Either someone at LF has been seriously misinformed or they need a serious talking to.

    If this was an actual problem, wouldn't everyone have sued every other search engine over this by now? Eesh.

    I'm quite fluent in French, and I think my IS deparment is going to have a word with their IS department. Want to get in touch with LF? Here you go for those who don't mind making international calls/faxes:

    Tel: +33(1) 47 20 24 88
    Fax: +33(1) 49 52 01 01
    --
  • by Booker (6173)
    It's not an independant source, but the link to Leonardo Online [mit.edu] tells their side of the story... nothing about the police raid except in the headline.
    ----

  • Has no-one noticed that Didier Benchimol, one of Leonardo Finance's Directors, is an ex-Netscape guy? I used to deal with him for press enquiries on an occaisional basis. Surely someone who used to work for Netscape should know better!

  • by spaceorb (125782) on Wednesday December 22, 1999 @03:20PM (#1451233)
    When I search for 'Leonardo' on any given search engine, I pull up 50 million pages for Leonardo DiCaprio, 3 for Leonardo/ISAST, and 2 for Leonardo Finance. My question is, doesn't Leonardo DiCaprio have more money? They must not be a very smart finance firm...
  • by Booker (6173) on Wednesday December 22, 1999 @06:35PM (#1451238) Homepage
    First, sorry for my poor spelling of "independent" :)

    here [mit.edu] is more information on the raid, and a snippet:

    The search warrant was served by a squad of eight French policemen accompanied by a locksmith. They had instructions to copy all papers with the word "Leonardo" on them. More absurdly, they had instructions to log into the Internet from my mother's home, presumably to show that the Leonardo web sites could be accessed from this location. They left with copies of papers dating back to the 1960s.

    ----
  • ...but McDonalds is a famous name, and it was created (I assume) by a guy named McDonald.
    Nope, Ray Kroc (sp?)

    IIRC, Ray Kroc created the franchise; the original store (which became popular due to its proliferation of shake machines) was founded by a couple of brothers called Mac and Dick McDonald. Which, incidentally, explains the name "Big Mac", even though Dick invented it.

  • by Hrunting (2191) on Wednesday December 22, 1999 @06:44PM (#1451248) Homepage
    The subject basically says it. The company is suing, it feels rightfully, over trademark infringement, and as evidence of this it is using the search engine results to say, basically, "Look, this company is diluting our trademark!" It's an interesting excuse, that a search engine result could be used as evidence.

    With that in mind, the search warrant seems odd, and what seems even odder is that it could be served. Does anyone know of any previous case history where the police needed to search a premises for trademark infringement? The only thing I could think of looking for is some sort of knowledge of the infringement which might incriminate. Normally, this information can be requested through a subpoena.

    In any case, I thoroughly hope this actually goes to court. Slashdot is quick to jump on the case of anyone even bringing up a case like this, but I think the actual problem is that none of this has gone through the legal system yet. Once a few precedents get established (based on already established precedents, I might add, which will probably make it very easy for the Journal to win), less and less of these cases will come to trial, I bet.

    Tell the coalition of plaintiffs to go through with the case. Then end the message with, "Ha ha. We need the precedent and you can look funny when you set it."

  • Could thier web server have just been cracked by some kiddie with an admirably twisted sense of humour?

  • by cheese63 (74259) on Wednesday December 22, 1999 @03:21PM (#1451250)
    I pulled these off of the contact page of the Leonardo Finance page:

    Yves Delacour : yves.delacour@leonarofinance.fr
    Franck Monnot : fmonnot@leonardofinance.fr
    Valérie Virlouvet : valerie.virlouvet@leonardofinance.fr

  • by aeonek (73537) on Wednesday December 22, 1999 @03:21PM (#1451253)
    It should be a good idea too confirm this before donating any money.
  • by Carnage4Life (106069) on Wednesday December 22, 1999 @06:49PM (#1451256) Homepage Journal
    From roblimo's post:
    . I'm making a personal donation to the Leonardo Defense Fund, 425 Market Street, 2nd Floor, San Francisco, California, 94105, U.S.A. I strongly urge other Slashdot readers to take their own appropriate actions - short of lawbreaking or violence, of course.
    From the post I am replying:
    You aren't doing so hot where it counts. Stories about robots and the like are massively cool, but "strongly encouraging" me to send my money somewhere to defend against something I think is inane?

    Now with both relevant sentences side to side i would like to ask bugzilla and all the moderators who believe this is worthy of a 5, where does roblimo strongly encourage anyone to send money...? he said he has sent money and strongly encourages every one to take appropriate action. Now since I am assuming that that slashdotters are generally of above average intelligence I feel stupid pointing out that all roblimo said is "I have sent money, do what you feel is right". Now unless everyone else on slashdot has been implanted with obedience chips or has had their logic circuits fried, how is this even mildly coercing people to send money? I would assume that the average slashdotter (i.e. geek, scientist, intelligent human being) is more individual than bugzilla and all the moderators who agreed with him think...and thus does not rush of to listen to the Who, or buy AIBOs or download Quake 1 source code simply because Roblimo or CmdrTaco suggests it. So why should they send money to some fund based on Rob's opinions only?

    It seems that you are making the Slashdot a role model and are now complaining because you don't approve of this role model's behavior. Please stop this kind of thinking....I am already pissed at all the parents that have forced warning labels on everything I watch, listen to and read. We don't need that crap ( disclaimers and pseudo-censorship) on slashdot too. After all I had assumed that the slashdot readership was at least mature if not adult enough to take responsibility for their own actions.

    I can't wait to stop seeing posts bitching about slashdot and its owners on this site. If you don't like it, leave, don't start fscking it up for us that are don't sweat the small stuff by posting you're view of how slashdot should be. If you feel that strongly about it...grab the source, create your own site, and stop bitching here.

    Bad Command Or File Name
  • > Infinity
    > oo = symbol for infinity
    > oo = oo + 1
    > oo - oo = oo - oo + 1 (6th grade math
    > - subtraction postulate)
    > 0 = 1 (Hmm...)

    Uhhh, in my 6th grade math class, we would have gotten the following from your derivation.

    oo = oo + 1
    oo - oo = oo - (oo + 1)
    0 = -1

    Perhaps someone needs to retake 6th grade math? :-)

  • Dork. I can't believe I'm replying to this either. The point isn't about the proper handling of infinites. Believe me, I understand the whole discussion is baseless given how silly infinites are being treated in his signature. The point is about simple algebraic substraction, assuming infinity could even be treated that way. Which, of course, it can not.

    Get a clue, clueless coward boy.
  • by WNight (23683) on Thursday December 23, 1999 @03:00AM (#1451271) Homepage
    Yeah, and that corp will get a molotov cocktail tossed through a front window at night, while the person they recently pissed off has an airtight alibi. Problem solved.

    If you cheat, by buying your way through the courty system, walking over people, they will fight back. And they won't do it with expensive lawyers.

    And, it's be hard to really get upset at the vigilante justice... "Tasty, yet morally ambiguous."
  • by Mr. Slippery (47854) <tms.infamous@net> on Thursday December 23, 1999 @03:21AM (#1451279) Homepage

    "Loser pays" has problems of its own. Let's say Amalgamated Megacorp is screwing you over by dumping toxic waste in your swimming pool. You take them to court, but because they have millions to spend on O.J.'s legal team and the Chewbacca defense, you lose. You now have to pay their legal costs. You end up bankrupt, ruined, living on the street in a cardboard box.

    Given the possibility of having to pay millions for your opponent's legal fees, average citizens are unlikely to bring suits against the rich and powerful even if their case has merit.

    and trigger happy prosecutors have more to think about before filing cases.
    What do prosecutors have to do with civil litigation? Although that's an interesting idea, making the state liable for defendant's legal fees if a prosecution fails.
  • by hbo (62590)


    I have sent the following email to the contact addresses listed on the Leonardo Finance web site:

    I urge you to abandon your shortsighted persecution of Association Leonardo. The kindest light in which your actions could be viewed would be to suppose that you undertook your lawsuit out of ignorance of the true nature of the organization you were attacking. Surely entrepreneurial energy is not incompatible with art and art scholarship? How on Earth can your reconcile the vicious legal attack you have launched on a prestigious academic arts organization with values you claim for yourself on your web site?
    The "shareholder-experts" are free and independent, but they all share the same values : market economy, belief in the individual, creativity and innovation.
    To the above excerpt from your web site should be added the following qualifying statement:
    Except when others in the France and the World at large try to use the name of one of the greatest creative geniuses of the last 500 years, Leonardo da Vinci. And for what? To promote art! What has that got to do with creating wealth?
    Your attempts to stifle artistic freedom are bound to fail in any civilized court of law. In the meantime, you are doing irreparable harm to your reputation. Please reconsider your ill-advised actions in this matter.

    Sincerely,

    Howard Owen
    hbo@egbok.com


    Howard Owen hbo@egbok.com Everything's Gonna Be OK Consulting

  • I guess this is the beginning of the end. It's a sad day when you can't even mention a word that a certain company may deem innapropriate. The following is taken from the article:

    Transasia is claiming over a million dollars in damages based on their claim that a search engine request using the word "Leonardo" brings up not only their web sites but also those of the Leonardo arts organization.

    The suit asks that the Association Leonardo be forbidden from using the word "Leonardo" in its web site projects or any other products or services.

    Does anyone else feel threatened by this? If I should put slanderous remarks on my webpage about the shoddiness of M$ products should I expect the men in blue to knock on my door? I understand that there are certain things you can't say (such as yelling 'FIRE' in a crowded movie theatre), but isn't this going a little bit too far?!
  • I'm sitting at my desk at Microsoft right now and I just did a search on 'microsoft'. Lo and behold, I saw non-microsoft sites pop up. Now Microsoft definitely IS a valid trademark, and I think you lot are definitely infriging. This is your official cease and desist notice. NO PUTTING THE WORD MICROSOFT ON A PAGE THAT WILL BE INDEXED BY A SEARCH ENGINE. FAILURE TO COMPLY WILL RESULT IN DEATH BY ANAL ELECTROCUTION. You have been warned.
    --Shoeboy
  • by Maul (83993) on Wednesday December 22, 1999 @03:24PM (#1451300) Journal
    This IS worse than all the patent suits, wars between competing sites, and so forth.

    This needs to be a wake up call to everyone that companies will do anything to put themselves into a position where they can sue someone else.

    Does Leonardo Finance think that they have the right to sue someone because their page shows up in the same search query? This is beyond belief, and it will be even more rediculous if this goes ANYWHERE in court.

    Do we actually need laws to stop these people from bringing stupid lawsuits up? I hate to say it, but at the rate things are going, we might need a little government control to smack these companies around. Someone needs to propose some kind of bill to stop this BS. As much as I hate government control, this seems like the only way to stop this type of action, which is most certainly against the spirit of the net, is through the government or the legal system.

    I'm sure most Slashdotters are quite sick of this type of action, but it seems our protests aren't doing anything to help. We need to tell the legal system that we expect all behavior of this type to be thrown out immediately.

    It seems we're already losing the patent battle, with Amazon's suit being held in court. This is the next step, with companies suing eachother of lame stuff like this. I'm wondering where it will stop, if it does.

  • I am not a lawyer, but from what I remember, the origin of Limited Liability Corporations is not to prevent criminal prosecutions. As far as I know, it was to shield investors from the claims of creditors demanding payment. The debts are held by the corporation, not the individual investors. This is the main difference between partnerships and corporations. It serves a social purpose by allowing people to participate in financially risky endevours without risking everything they have. The creditors know this and are supposed to factor it into their original decision to give the loan.

    It is totally reasonable to send an individual to prison if he/she uses a corporation to commit a criminal act (like intimidating someone else or causing injury). It is disturbing to think that someone could enjoy immunity from criminal prosecution just by saying "it wasn't me, it was the corporation." Whether the criminal act was in the corporate interest seems irrelevant.
  • by jkorty (86242) on Wednesday December 22, 1999 @03:25PM (#1451311) Homepage
    Roblimo, please post a followup when they throw this out of court. Don't leave us thinking that the world never corrects it's errors .. as an ordinary newspaper would do to it's readers.
  • > Do we actually need laws to stop these people from bringing stupid lawsuits up?
    Though IANAL, there did exist at one time the concept in law of a `trivial lawsuit'. That is, anyone was allowed to file a lawsuit for any reason, no matter how silly or nefarious, but before going to trial, and before much money was spent, the suite would be reviewed by a judge. If the judge thought the case had no merit, it was simply thrown out. This mechanism largely prevented the use of meritless lawsuits as a weapon to browbeat opponents into submission.

    The trivial lawsuit is a faint concept today. It has been crushed by a flood of contradictory and excessively vague laws that in effect, make nontrivial nearly every potential lawsuit that can be dreamed up. For that we can blame our legislatures.

  • Are there any other sources other than the Leonardo Online site?

    I'm not saying anyone is falsifying anything here, but I'd like to see some independent confirmation of the facts.
  • by adamsc (985) on Wednesday December 22, 1999 @03:26PM (#1451332) Homepage
    Leo DiCaprio could be attacked too
    So some good could come from this, too. Talk about moral quandries...

    FTHI:

  • .. before they arrest Leonardo DiCaprio?
  • Well...
    last I checked (Here in the USA anyway) we lived
    in a Democratic Republic NOT a democracy.

    Really, its the best government money can buy.
  • by bugzilla (21620) on Wednesday December 22, 1999 @09:03PM (#1451338) Homepage
    Now with both relevant sentences side to side i would like to ask bugzilla and all the moderators who believe this is worthy of a 5, where does roblimo strongly encourage anyone to send money...? he said he has sent money and strongly encourages every one to take appropriate action.

    What is the "appropriate action" left? Boycott something? Sure, that'll work. Just like boycotting amazon.com will show that Bezos guy. IMO, there's nothing to be done outside of the normal legal process. There's a legal system in place and no matter what is done to patch it to work with current (or not so current) world politics it will always be able to be taken advantage of for cross purposes. This is one of those situations and causing a fervor about it isn't going to help it. Heck, Katz will probably have a "sauces from the Frenchmouth" sometime next week.

    It seems that you are making the Slashdot a role model and are now complaining because you don't approve of this role model's behavior.

    By reading and posting to Slashdot, I, along with millions of others, have made it a role model - granted, an unwilling one, but a role model and member of the world media all the same. As part of that role, they have a responsibility (oops, did I curse?) to present the news, whatever it might be, in a responsible fashion. Why? Because people believe what they read and many folks have turned to Slashdot as their sole news source over the last year or so. Slashdot has themselves said that they need to be more responsible when posting a news story. Or am I mistaken and Slashdot is no longer a news site? Hmm, the title graphic still has that darn word in it.

    My main point, and forgive me if I've been too microcephalic in trying to get it across, is this: the lack of responsibility for the manner in which some news items are posted on Slashdot is starting to show and it isn't a pretty sight. I like Slashdot, I really do. And you're right, I don't approve of some of the behaviour, but that's my right and I can bitch about it until the cows come home, but by doing so in the forum provided by Slashdot, I hope to get the message across not only to the guys running the show but also to the readers brave enough to read below a threshold of 4. Here's to the hope that we'll have some better thought out editorials and commentaries by the powers that be in 2000 and beyond. I'm rooting for you, I'll tell you that.
  • (Disclaimer #1: IANAL.)

    (Disclaimer #2: Remember, this lawsuit is being brought in France, not the US.)

    In American civil law, you can file a motion to dismiss a case (or for the judge to grant a "summary judgement" to one side) at the very beginning. You can do this if your opponent's case is so weak that even if all of your opponent's facts are correct, there's no reasonable interpretation of the law that would allow your opponent to win.

    If you bring a lawsuit that is extremely bogus (e.g., suing the Department of the Interior for beaming mind-control rays at you through your houseplants), then the judge can fine you for wasting the Court's time. That doesn't happen too often, though.
    --
    "But, Mulder, the new millennium doesn't begin until January 2001."

  • by Sp@mMan (82919) on Wednesday December 22, 1999 @03:27PM (#1451343)
    I dont know if anyone else has noticed, but Slashdot recently (past 6 monthes) seems to jump on the band wagon, conclusions etc. way to fast. Sure, the etoy/etoys thing turned out to be true. But now, your starting to ask us to send money, all because of an article on the cusp of news? Relax guys! Let me just say this to people with money to burn out there, hold your money, until you see the facts, from multiple organizations before we break out the Witch burning kit.
  • Um...
    perhaps you don't know the french educational
    system very well. Unlike here in the US they
    actually learn languages.

    You can expect to write them a letter in French,
    English, Spanish, or German and expect that they
    will probably not only be able to read it, but
    respond to it.

    Do not forget...france isn't huge, just to their
    North is Germany, South is Spain, and West is
    England.
  • http ://www.altavista.com/cgi-bin/query?pg=q&sc=on&q=le onardo&kl=XX&stype=stext [altavista.com]

    Leonardo DiCaprio and Leonardo Da Vinci are the only links I saw (I didn't go any further than the first 10 results)
  • by 348 (124012) on Wednesday December 22, 1999 @03:28PM (#1451351) Homepage
    Can this be validated? Nothing on the AP newswire, Call a buddy at MIT , he's heard nothing.

    This is simply to hard to beleive.

  • I have thought long and hard about things like
    this. Here are my thoughts on legal system
    fixes:

    for Civil Suits:
    The judge should have the power to Rule that
    the lawsuit is "Frivolous". If this is done
    then it is trown out of court, loser pays ALL
    fees for BOTH sides AND compensates the court
    for its time and paperwork fees.

    for criminal cases:
    Eliminate Private Lawyers, and dedicated DAs
    office lawyers. Once the DA decides to
    prosecute, 2 lawyers are randomly selected from
    a "pool" of eligable, registered "Criminal
    lawyers". One becomes prosecutor, one Defense
    Attourny.
    All of these lawyers are paid BY THE CASE.
    There should be no incentive to win a case.

    The last one needs some explaining. As it stands
    now, we have a system where people with lots of
    money can "Buy Justice". You can get away with
    murder if you have a good defense team.

    Also, there is alot of prosecution which shouldn't
    happen. The criminal system has become less about
    suposed "Justice" and more about "What can we get
    them on".
  • This is getting crazy. Do people actually understand what search engines are?! Joe Schmoe goes and starts his company and calls it Joe Inc., and one fine day he goes and searches the Web for "Joe". Shocked by the number of websites that "steals" his name, he calls the authorities, who promptly goes and incriminates everyone else on earth named "Joe" who happened to use their own name on a website.

    This is really ludicrous. Do people even understand what search engines are?! And it's not as if the word "Leonardo" is something so special that nobody would use it unless they were deliberately infringing somebody's trademark. If the controversy were over another site using the name "Slashdot" on another site, it'd be different. But even then, I don't think Slashdot.org shows up as the first entry when you search for "Slashdot" on a search engine. That is certainly not a reason to go running to the authorities.

    What is the world coming to?! Have people become so petty and childish that they would go running to Mommy Police Department just because their site doesn't show up at the top of a search engine? Makes me sick. In this age of corporatism and mass commercialization, are companies becoming not only exploiting consumers to make more $$$ but also becoming so childish that something like the position in a search engine becomes reason to bring in the authorities???

  • by Skyshadow (508) on Wednesday December 22, 1999 @03:29PM (#1451366) Homepage
    Okay, this one is just too bizarre to believe.

    There ought to be some major urges for tort reform, and I mean tort reform with punitive damages available. It makes me sick that deep-pocket corporations can use the high costs to the legal system to bully those annoying "citizens" who live in the country.

    In the mean time, we've got to figure out a way to hurt these people without being juvenile about it (Script-kiddieing is not the way to go). Unfortunately, as EToys has pointed out, they don't really see an impact from our boycotts -- we're just not enough in the target audience.

    I feel pretty helpless. If only we lived in a country where people had enough brain cells to take the system back from the corporate special interests that control it (but we don't). So many people vote straight tickets or for the candidate that promotes Jesus the most or whoever brings back the pork barrel programs, it just seems like intelligent people can't make any difference.

    Well, I'm depressed now.

    In case anyone does feel hopeful, here's my list of things that need to happen (in order):

    Take away corporation's ability to interfere in elections. There's a bad Supreme Court decision that allows corporations to essentially buy candidates with "soft money" and the like.

    Major tort reform: With punitive damages at the judge's discression. See above.

    Pump money into the public schools: The smarter the populace, the more people who can think for themselves, the better. Better teachers, smaller school systems, smaller class sizes, more community involvement. This includes requiring decent alternative education choices for people who don't learn in the "conventional" way. While we're at it, get the fsck'ing corporations *out* of the school.

    Start sending execs who break the law to prison: No fine will deter a major corporation from breaking the law. Sending the execs who cause said corporation to break the law will.

    I could go on, but this post is long enough already. Suffice it to say: This bullshit will continue until America either breaks the hold of the corporations. The only alternative is revolution; CEOs everywhere should take notice that all the money in the world didn't protect, say, Nicholas II or Battista. In any event, we're (and I'm speaking to the non-Firsters, the non-trolls and the non-knee-jerk slashdotters, which disqualifies a lot of the people who port) the ones who will have to make the changes happen. I don't see it happening, and it makes me sad.

    ----

  • I sent the following email (Thanks, Babelfish!) to these three addresses:

    Subject: Vous personnes horribles! (You horrible people!)

    Je suis consterné par la réclamation de votre compagnie des dommages par l'association Leonardo. Votre compagnie ne peut posséder le Leonardo nommé plus que pape John Paul II peut posséder John nommé! Ce que vous avez fait est terrible et doit être puni. Votre compagnie mérite d'être mise hors des affaires pour un acte si mauvais. Je m'assurerai que chacun que je sais évite votre compagnie pour le reste de ma vie.

    (English translation: I am appalled by your company's claim of damages by the Association Leonardo. Your company cannot own the name Leonardo any more than Pope John Paul II can own the name John! What you have done is terrible and must be punished. Your company deserves to be put out of business for such an evil act. I will make sure that everyone I know avoids your company for the rest of my life.)

    Send a copy of this email (the French version!) to the addresses:

    yves.delacour@leonardofinance.fr [mailto]
    fmonnot@leonardofinance.fr [mailto]
    valerie.virlouvet@leonardofinance.fr [mailto]

    That'll show the frogs! (Humor, folks, relax.)

  • I tend to think that it's BS. Not merely on the face of it, but it seems that the company's lawyers are overwilling to justify their own existence. I'm surprised that it happened in France rather than the US; French civil law is extremely conservative in both judgements and damages.

    Consider the recent judgement against tobacco companies in France. Where in the US the settlement was in the hundreds of millions of dollars, the French settlement ended up in the record books - at around 150k$US.


    --
  • Most of the population in France can't speak anything but french. It's a bit better than Spain, a lot better than Italy, on a par with Germany. Nothing like the Netherlands (English), Belgium (Flanders: french+english) or the scandinavian countries (English).

    BTW, Germany is east of France.

  • by Gromer (9058) on Wednesday December 22, 1999 @03:30PM (#1451371)

    IANAL, especially a not a French lawyer, but this is just nuts. No way in hell is this suit going to go in Leonardo Finace's favor. First of all, there is ample evidence that Leonardo Arts was there long before Leonardo Finance's trademark, and that alone should invalidate the case. The fact that Leonardo is a name of a person further invalidates it. If this suit succeeds, I will no longer be able to have any respect for the french legal system. Frankly, I would hope that this be thrown out the first time a judge takes a look at it.

    Moreover, this suit cannot succeed on PR grounds. Not even CNN-style obfuscation as with the eToy issue can cover up the egregious stupidity of this suit. Leonardo Finance is clearly the bad guy here, and will certainly appear so if this gets any media coverage. Leonardo Finance's only hope is that this won't get any attention, because any attention it gets will be bad for them. With any luck, and some help from Slashdot (media people! we know you're reading this!), this will get lots of attention.

    In fact, this is so obviously grounds-less that it seems to me it must be an intimidation tactic. Leonardo Finance is hoping that it can scare Leonardo Arts into backing down and settling in a manner agreeable to Leonardo Finance. Leonardo Arts is calling their bluff, and Leonardo Finance is going to have to back down very fast or be at risk of looking like a fool, wasting money on an unwinnable court battle, and possibly exposing themselves to countersuit (Is this possible under French law?).

  • That's what I said... build lead domes. If you're enclosed in enough lead you won't die from radiation. (Instead you'll die from lots of big explosions that superheat the lead and make your eyeballs explode. They might not actually penatrate the lead, but they'll make sure you explode :-)

  • > Most of the population in France can't speak
    > anything but french.

    Yes but when talking to people at a finance
    company, you can generally assume they are more
    well educated.

    Certainly English, German and Spanish are
    fairly standard at their schools.

    > BTW, Germany is east of France.

    Hmmm I always thought of it as north....
    I guess it depends where in france you are ;)
  • Well, you can reform the Supreme Court all you want and manage to release America from the hold of the corporations, but it won't make any difference in this case.

    The suit was filed in, and all parties involved are based in, FRANCE.

    Read the links first!
  • http://mitpress.mit.edu/e-journal s/Leonardo/#raid [mit.edu] RIGHT THERE on the Leonardo Art/Science network webpage it reports on the raid...

    Here's some excerpts..

    Roger Malina, Chairman of Leonardo/ISAST, San Francisco, announced Monday that the Association Leonardo in France was being sued for trademark infringement on use of the word "Leonardo."

    [...]

    Following issuance of the suit, Transasia asked that a search warrant be served on the legal address of the Association Leonardo, now the home of the widow of Frank Malina - the founder in the 1960s of the Leonardo Journal. The search warrant was served with no prior warning by a squad of eight policemen.


    So stop thinking this is a hoax! Of course, if it is, I'll choke on my own foot and die.....


    Man's unique agony as a species consists in his perpetual conflict between the desire to stand out and the need to blend in.

  • After a few times through:
    I am dismayed by the complaint of your company of the damage by association of Leonardo. Your company cannot have named Leonardo more that pope John Paul II can have named John! What you have marks it is terrible and must be punished. Your company deserves to be put out of the companies for a so bad act. I will make sure that each one that I know avoid your company for the remainder of my life.

    Not bad, actually.

  • The trouble with the USA is the overwhelming number of small minded individuals who arrogantly pass judgement on civilizations and cultures that dare to suggest that
    maybe the USA should think a bit about the rest of the world for a change


    The trouble with the rest of the world is the overwhelming number of small minded individuals who arrogantly assume that a vocal minority of small minded Americans justifies stereotyping the rest of the population. I for one am sick of listening to Europeans whining about how evil America is. We've got our problems, just like everyone else, but we're no worse than anyone else either.
  • I appreciate the claims here are pretty terrible. However I expect more from /. before something like this is posted. All the proof there is at the moment is something that amounts to a press release on Leonardo on-line's website.
    Perhaps for future stories should include the press releases "handed out" at Comdex?

    Perhaps I should take my domain and post an interesting story about being raided and sued by some large company . . . people might just send money without checking.
  • ...but McDonalds is a famous name, and it was created (I assume) by a guy named McDonald.

    Nope, Ray Kroc (sp?)

    Chris
  • Not true.
    They are/were in a legal dispute with The MCdonald. The Head of the McDonald Clan in Bonnie Scotland. Hmm, I wonder where the name CAME from?
    o in closing, yep McDonalds are just as evil.
    They even have a lawsuit agains a Sottish sandwich shop, called McMunchies.
    They're McBastards(tm)
    :)
  • Between this and the $25 million "invested" in hyrdrinos, it's pretty clear that construction on the B-Ark is way behind schedule. The giant space goat is very close.
  • Are they not going after leonardo.com, leonardo.net or leonardo.co.uk? These sites should look at what has happened to etoy.com and shudder. But I notice that Yahoo finds 190 hits with a search of leonardo... and "the bad guys" do not appear to be in the top 30 or so. Altavisa found over 400,000. These guys have their work cut out for them if they are going to ga after the lot. This is too silly for words. The scary bit is that they found some cops dumb enough to do anything other than laugh.
  • While MIT *does* have a reputation for "hacks" (skillful pranks, not compromising a computer), the university staff would never allow this to occur. And asking for money for a nonexistant legal fund isn't even a hack; it's a scam. This would never get past the staff; if it was a fake, the PR for MIT would be nightmarish.
  • by bugzilla (21620) on Wednesday December 22, 1999 @03:46PM (#1451442) Homepage
    Thank you, Sp@mMan, for a voice or reason in all of the "me too's". I've also noticed the tendency of Slashdot in the recent year to regurjitate FUD a bit too quickly all while using some pretty weak excuses when called on it. Now we're being asked to send our money to someone to defend themselves against the French? All humor related to the French military tradition of surrender aside, doesn't France use the "loser pays" method of who pays for court costs? Sounds like someone is just rattling their saber to get a little free publicity.

    Slashdot, you guys are now in the position of having no small amount of influence on a large part of the net culture - please start thinking about using it wisely. You aren't doing so hot where it counts. Stories about robots and the like are massively cool, but "strongly encouraging" me to send my money somewhere to defend against something I think is inane? Thanks, but no. If I were up for that I'd open up the yellow pages, turn to religion and play "pick a sect".
  • by / (33804) on Wednesday December 22, 1999 @03:48PM (#1451444)
    For an interesting perspective on police != protection, you might read Dial 911 and Die [jpfo.org], which was put together by the Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership [jpfo.org]. Even if you're not ESR with a tallit and sidelocks, you might be interested.

    PS, moderators, a post's pro-firearms content is insufficient cause for moderating it down.
  • Odd that this comes out on /. the same day that the Andy Kaufman movie comes out. :)
    Does anyone have a single report from anyone except a group of artists (who could easily be doing this as a publicity stunt/performance art piece?
    Personally I think it's a great parody of the ETOY(S) joke.

  • OK you have a good point but McDonalds is a famous name, and it was created (I assume) by a guy named McDonald. Plus, Mickey'd's doesn't attack people who sing "Old McDonald Had a farm..." so they're not that evil.

  • Please verify this first, this may well be a hoax. And if it isn't a legal brief will have a much more useful effect.
  • by DeathB (10047) <adamp.ece@cmu@edu> on Wednesday December 22, 1999 @04:09PM (#1451454) Homepage
    As I read through alot of this and other threads, I notice many people getting ready to DOS them off the face of the earth. By flooding their mailboxes, you make sure that they will not have a chance to read any of the well thought out (but probably still scathing) responses to their action.

    By all means, I'm not saying don't flame them. I'm working on an email in french which might blister some of the paint... But I'd really appreciate it, if there was a chance that they might hear some of us.

    I know Slashdot is hardly known for it, but it'd be nice to show some maturity.

    More on topic: I think that actions such as these are a disgrace, the warrent should never have been issued or served. They said that their first concern in all of this was that the MIT site came up first in a search engine... Isn't that evidence enough? When they are sending out a journal by that name, and also have a web site using it, what does searching the premisis do besides constitute harassment?

    I almost hope someone is getting the facts wrong here, because this is amazingly stupid.

  • Everyone put the word "Leonardo Davinci" in your web page meta tags. That'll show them!
  • I just wanted to let every one know I've filed for a trade mark on the name Brian. Actully this trademark includes any word using the letters b, r, i, a or n. I've done extensive research and found when my friends try to look up my phone number online or in the phone book an enormous amoount of of people with the same first name as me are also found. How can I expect my friends to find me under these conditions. This just will not do. Any one caught using or saying the name Brian without prior written consent will have legal actions brought against them. If your name is also Brian please begin legal procedings to have this changed ASAP. At the begining of the new year anyone caught still using the name Brian will have their homes raided by a top police swat team. Then the offender will be strip searched and asaulted with night sticks in a most uncomfortable place (it won't be in the back of a volkswagon either). Thank you for your time.
    ----------------
  • Apparently, Didier Benchimol, VP of Netscape Europe is part of this outfit. I attempted to confirm that Didier Benchimol really is VP of NS Euro, but, alas, it was too late when I tried to call the California offices of Netscape. Perhaps a few calls/emails to Benchimol's Netscape offices (and his superiors at NS) might be beneficial. EUROPEAN HEADQUARTERS Netscape Communications SA CNIT, B.P. 370 2 Place de La Défense 92053 Paris-La-Défense France +33 1/41.97.55.55 +33 1/41.97.55.00 Fax
  • Remember that while you can sue for just about anything you do have to get the judge to agree with you. Now I have no idea about French judges, but I would guess most judges in this country would throw this out so fast that it would make your head spin. Plus the web page is hosted here in the USA.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Here's some contacts I gleaned off of their pages:
    Press that did a writeup for them
    • La Tribune, 28/10/98
    • Le Quotidien du Multimedia, 16/10/98
    • Les Echos, 07/10/98
    • La Tribune, 04/09/97
    • L'Entreprise n130, Juillet-Août 1996
    • Agefi, 17/04/96
    Prespective Startups (at one time)
    • Integra
    • Monte-Cristo Multimedia
    • Synchronix
    • AlloCiné
    • Imediation
    Board of Directors
    • Yves Delacour
    • Didier Benchimol
    • Antoine Dupont-Fauville
    • Jean-Pierre Gallocher
    • Michel Saillard

    • It also lists more stuff about the board members, but you can go read it yourself.

      Feel free to let any of these people know what jerks these guys are

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