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    Highlights of the ICANNWatch Archive
    (June 1999 - March 2001)

    This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.
    Corinithians Reversed: Federal Court WIPO UDRP Challenge Upheld | Log in/Create an Account | Top | 95 comments | Search Discussion
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    Re: PhillipsSucks
    by fnord ({groy2k} {at} {yahoo.com}) on Monday December 10 2001, @07:41AM (#4043)
    User #2810 Info
    mjrippon writes:
    In all your whinging none of you deal with the point made in both the Phillips and VivendiUniversal cases that someone who does not speak English as their first language may well recognise the mark but not the use of the "sucks" suffix.
    While I otherwise mostly agree with your points, I have a problem with this one. Which term is more likely to be well known and understood in the English speaking world, sucks or vivendiuniversal? For example, I'd never heard the phrase vivendiuniversal prior to this story and I still don't know quite who they are or what they do (that is, what is their trade), but I've heard the phrase sucks thousands of times and have a general sense of its by far most common meaning.

    That this ratio should be turned on its head in the non-english speaking world isn't credible. I think I can safely say that I also hear the phrase phillips used in any context (Phillips the electronics maker isn't even the only possessor of a 'phillips' trademark) far less often per day than I hear the phrase *sucks used in its pejorative context. This is true even of English media content, the internet, television, et cetera, so how the non-English speaking world would learn the meaning of endless trademarks in advance of learning the common meaning of sucks escapes me.

    To me what is important here is at what point does one draw the line between the right of consumers to criticize and the right of companies not to be extorted. I think that varies from case to case, as it should, and while I may disagree with exactly where the line is drawn in some individual cases under the UDRP, it seems to remain a shifting line on a case by case basis to them as well. A couple of other cases are worth mentioning, the various permutations of guinness-sucks domains taken away from John Zuccarini, after he got in trouble over the guinnes.com domain (Mr. Zuccarini is a prolific typosquatter), and the case transferring various wal-mart-sucks domains from Kenneth Harvey who had previously registered walmartcanada.com and then lost it through the UDRP.

    A common element in these cases is the presumed intent of the registrants. Even to someone like the undersigned who is opposed to the UDRP, the clear intent in these cases is profit, not criticism. Zuccarini and Harvey are not the best posterkids for free speech in the namespace. Neither is Sallen. -g

    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    Re: PhillipsSucks by fnord
    Re: PhillipsSucks
    by mjrippon on Monday December 10 2001, @11:01PM (#4047)
    User #2960 Info
    I agree with your conclusion, but the point I am making is that both Vivendi Universal (a multinational media group, Vivendi is a French media company that bought out Universal studios) and Phillips are trademarks, capable of distinguishing the products marked as such in *any* language, whereas sucks, although being widely understood in its slang sense, is still an English language word that may not necessarily be understood at all.

    For example, a doctor in Karachi or Chang Mai may recognise that his TV is made by Phillips, but may have no idea what "sucks" means. One navigating the internet, he may come across the domain name PhillipsSucks and believe "sucks" to be a new Phillips product. Who are we, as native English speakers, to say different?
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]

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