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 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

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

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?

By the way, I have a tremendous amount of respect for your writing and I
appreciate your hard – hitting style and your willingness to pan companies
that aren’t living up to their promise. This type of unbiased analysis is
noticably absent from those who make a living doing it for the investment
firms, and generally speaking, the vast majority of journalists and pundits
have a track record that is even worse. (In response to: “ Dumps Yahoo!“)

Best regards,

Dale B.

Hong Kong

Dear Dale,

Well, sort of. Yahoo! tapped Google to power its secondary search results
back in July. Secondaries are buried under the portal giant’s “Web Page”
listings, and it’s likely Google simply offered Yahoo! a cheaper deal over
what previous tenant Inktomi could deliver. That
said, such a high-profile deal does give a boost to the upstart Google, who
I still feel continues to beat the pants off Yahoo!’s human listings. I
also think Yahoo! should give some thought to spending some of that funny
money currency to bring Google in-house.

And thanks so much for the kind words. Best of luck with your investments,
and have a great day.

Warm regards,


Your writing is refreshing.

Robert D.

New York, NY

Dear Robert,

Danke 🙂



Any questions or comments, love letters or hate mail? As always, feel
free to forward them to [email protected].

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