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Love Letters, Hate Mail


Usually I enjoy your muckraking style, but this time you implied but failed to elucidate two important facts: 1.) After WIPO is done, the whole matter can be taken up in court, and yes, big companies have an advantage here too; and 2.) small companies with legitimate sites that predate the petitioner are winning many of these battles.

But agreed, the speculators, whose business is buying and selling domains, rather than using them for other businesses, do lose when they encroach upon established marks. Nobody is losing generic sites, just sites that encroach upon established marks.

Whether InfoSpace is that established is questionable, and whether other coined brands, as in your example of myinfospace.com can be protected, is a matter of legitimacy. Most of the speculative bastards I know and met, in real estate, or stocks or domains can just go straight to Hell. The world is better off without them, and your premise that they cause good things to happen is just pure drivel. (In response to: "InfoSpace Playing Domain Name Lotto")

Michael D.
Martinez, CA

Dear Michael,

We can always agree to disagree.

Only a handful of 'small companies' are winning these battles. There are scant few genuine David versus Goliath triumphs, but they all make front-page news because they sell papers at the newsstand. That gives the misleading impression to Main Street that WIPO is somehow fair and unbiased, while the mounting defeats, many suspect, go largely unnoticed.

As for your rhetoric with regards to speculative bastards, I'm sure many shared, and still do share, a similar sentiment with regard to hotbed issues like the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, or for that matter, a capitalist society. But peel back the emotion from the issue at hand, and you're sometimes left with a handful of opportunistic publicly-traded companies clearly taking advantage of a loophole in U.S. trademark law - namely WIPO's overbroad interpretation of globally famous trademarks.

And I say it stinks.



That's easy for you to say. You obviously never had to try to make a living as a musician. As if the record companies aren't screwing the musicians enough, now you're sticking up for the fans that do. Nice work. (In response to: "RIAA Helps Nab Napster Felon")

Brian C.
New York, NY

Dear Brian,

I appreciate the feedback. Rather than beat a dead horse, I encourage you to check out a thoughtful piece of editorial from the New York Times on the subject of Napster, penned by Grateful Dead lyricist and co-founder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, John Barlow. Some nutritious food for thought.


Dear Kelly,

Thanks for the article sorting out the 'he said, she said' Amazon/Yahoo brouhaha.

Your points about the declining utility of the Yahoo! search engine is noted and while I still use it a lot, I also found myself falling over to Google after becoming frustrated with the general amount of pay for view garbage that proliferates Yahoo! results. What seems ironic is that Yahoo! is powered by Google now right?