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    This discussion has been archived.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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    PhillipsSucks
    by mjrippon on Monday December 10 2001, @02:16AM (#4037)
    User #2960 Info
    Have you even read this decision? You seem to be completely missing the point. The panellist in that case was making the point that the Respondent had focussed on the fact that the domain name was not confusingly similar to the Complainant's mark, when what he should be focussing on was that he had a legitimate right to use the domain name (eg. he had a point to make - he didn't) and/or that the name wasn't registered or used in bad faith (eg. he was entitled to use the mark in the domain name as he had a legitimate point to make, regardless of the merits of that point).

    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. I am glad that both cases involved the use of English panellists. From what I see of the postings on this site, some Americans don't seem to understand that there are people in the world who don't actually understand English. At least we are used to dealing with foreign languages in our European context.

    In PhillipsSucks, if the Respondent had used the domain name to say something - anything - about Phillips then he would have a case to make. He could argue that he was a legitimate user and is not making bad faith use. The problem for him was that he was not a legit user, and he was found to be making bad faith use. The panellist considered whether the Respondent was making good faith non-commercial use of the domain name and concluded on the evidence before him that he was not. That's what arbitration is all about.

    What I object to is this theory used by some panellists that using a mark in a -sucks domain name is effectively competing with the mark in question and therefore bad faith. THAT is what prevents free speech, but that is NOT what PhillipsSucks was all about....

    mjr
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    PhillipsSucks by mjrippon
    Re: PhillipsSucks: WORD
    by freespeechcenter (registry@freespeechcenter.org) on Monday December 10 2001, @03:56AM (#4039)
    User #3147 Info | http://www.freespeechcenter.org
    Thank you for your opinion. With regard to the term "sucks," the logic of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is specious and fallacious and not supported by any evidence, only the conjecture of the WIPO panel. To the contrary, the word "sucks" has entered the idiom of every language of the Internet. In a future U.S. District Court challenge to a WIPO UDRP decision, the Free Speech Center, will produce the expert testimony of a noted linguist to support the contention that "sucks" is universally understood as a critical term of protest among all Internet users regardless of their native language.
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    Re: PhillipsSucks
    by fnord (groy2kNO@SPAMyahoo.com) on Monday December 10 2001, @08:41AM (#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 ]
    THE REGISTER (U.K.) ARTICLE ON WIPO
    by freespeechcenter (registry@freespeechcenter.org) on Thursday December 13 2001, @04:20AM (#4062)
    User #3147 Info | http://www.freespeechcenter.org
    Link to the recent article of the United Kingdom publication "The Register," concerning the WIPO "SUCKS" matter:

    http://theregister.co.uk/content/6/23362.html
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]


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