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Graduate Student Defends Right To Own Chicago2016.com

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the but-all-he-did-was-think-of-it-first-and-register-it dept.

The Internet 461

An anonymous reader points to a story in the Chicago Tribune about another domain-name battle. Quoting the article: "As Chicago wages its battle to host the 2016 Olympics, it also finds itself scrapping over a valuable piece of cyberspace: the domain name of Chicago2016.com. The bid team along with the U.S. Olympic Committee are trying to wrest that online address from Stephen Frayne Jr., a 29-year-old MBA student. Frayne snagged it back in 2004, about two years before the bid was launched. ... 'We certainly see Chicago2016.com as the logical default domain for our site, and we believe having someone else control it is misleading for people seeking information about Chicago's bid,' said Patrick Sandusky, a spokesman for Chicago 2016, a moniker protected by trademark."

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Looks Legit (5, Insightful)

SolarStorm (991940) | more than 5 years ago | (#25066035)

This does not a case of someone trying to make a buck on the name. It looks like someone smart who registered a domain name for the purpose of discussion. The domain is not parked, not defamitory and is in use. Case closed. If this he looses his domain name, then who is next?

Re:Looks Legit (4, Interesting)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 5 years ago | (#25066083)

It looks semi-legit. While it's a discussion site on the Olympics, it appears that he intentionally intercepted the domain by registering a bunch of <city><year> combos that happen to match Olympic years. Coincidence? I think not.

Generally speaking, ICANN tends to frown on such speculators. The originating entity has a right to their trademarks. Just because someone is crafty enough to beat you to it doesn't mean they should be rewarded.

This is quite different than someone like MikeRoweSoft.com; a domain registered with the guy's actual name to perform his own business.

Re:Looks Legit (4, Interesting)

mortonda (5175) | more than 5 years ago | (#25066133)

The originating entity has a right to their trademarks.

And exactly where is this trademark that is infringed by this domain? If it was chicagoolympics2016.com, they might have an argument.

Re:Looks Legit (4, Informative)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 5 years ago | (#25066241)

And exactly where is this trademark that is infringed by this domain?

According to TFA, "<city> <year>" combos have become a common method of referring to a specific instance of the Olympics. e.g. Syndney 2000 [wikipedia.org] , Athens 2004 [wikipedia.org] , Beijing 2008 [beijing2008.cn] , etc. Such naming has all the trappings of a protected mark.

This fellow registered the domains in 2004. Which was AFTER the practice had become commonplace among Olympic cities.

Re:Looks Legit (5, Interesting)

RodgerDodger (575834) | more than 5 years ago | (#25066307)

It doesn't matter. The Chicago 2016 Olympic organising committee sought their trademark 2 years after the domain name was awarded and put into use.

McDonald's have a pattern of naming burgers with a Mc-prefix. If I started a domain named 'www.mcchocolatecake.com', and McDonald's started to offer, two years later, a McChocolate Cake, they wouldn't have a right to seize my domain. Same deal.

Re:Looks Legit (1, Informative)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 5 years ago | (#25066373)

McDonald's have a pattern of naming burgers with a Mc-prefix. If I started a domain named 'www.mcchocolatecake.com', and McDonald's started to offer, two years later, a McChocolate Cake, they wouldn't have a right to seize my domain.

Actually, they would have a right. You yourself admitted that the Mc-prefix is a common pattern among McDonald's trademarks. In effect, the "Mc" brand itself is their mark. You have no more right to infringe upon their "Mc" mark than I have a right to create a program called "Microsoft Birdhouse". Both instances would be seen as bad faith and an attempt to hang your agenda off someone else's trademark.

Now if you created a parody site called "mcchocolatecake.com" and testified that you had used the term with the belief that it was so outlandish that McDonald's would never use it AND that any onlooker would see the name as a parody rather than a legitimate name, then you might have a case. But if McDonald's did come out with a McChocolateCake, you might be screwed anyway. It would be up to the ICANN panel to decide.

Re:Looks Legit (5, Informative)

GigaplexNZ (1233886) | more than 5 years ago | (#25066451)

The Mc prefix is also used in Scottish naming conventions, what if someone was selling Scottish chocolate cakes online? Common patterns are not enforceable trademarks.

Re:Looks Legit (3, Interesting)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 5 years ago | (#25066813)

The Mc prefix is also used in Scottish naming conventions, what if someone was selling Scottish chocolate cakes online?

Then they'd have a legitimate argument. If they had a "discussion site" on McDonald's food, (analogous to this situation) they'd be slapped down. Also, a Scottish company cannot expect to successfully market a "McBurger" regardless of how common the "Mc" is in Scottish names. "McBurger" would be confusing with McDonald's existing marks and would have no right to ride their coattails into the market. They'll need to be more original than that. (e.g. Try "McGregor's Burger")

Common patterns are not enforceable trademarks.

This is only true if you can PROVE it's a common pattern. Trademarks are industry-specific. Unless you can show that "Mc" is a common prefix among food stuffs (and not just Scottish names), a judge will be likely to find against you.

Re:Looks Legit (4, Funny)

omeomi (675045) | more than 5 years ago | (#25066869)

They'll need to be more original than that. (e.g. Try "McGregor's Burger")

McDowell's [wikipedia.org] , maybe?

Re:Looks Legit (-1, Redundant)

Bishop Rook (1281208) | more than 5 years ago | (#25066625)

Actually, they would have a right. You yourself admitted that the Mc-prefix is a common pattern among McDonald's trademarks. In effect, the "Mc" brand itself is their mark. You have no more right to infringe upon their "Mc" mark than I have a right to create a program called "Microsoft Birdhouse". Both instances would be seen as bad faith and an attempt to hang your agenda off someone else's trademark.

Re:Looks Legit (4, Insightful)

Bishop Rook (1281208) | more than 5 years ago | (#25066651)

Actually, they would have a right. You yourself admitted that the Mc-prefix is a common pattern among McDonald's trademarks. In effect, the "Mc" brand itself is their mark. You have no more right to infringe upon their "Mc" mark than I have a right to create a program called "Microsoft Birdhouse". Both instances would be seen as bad faith and an attempt to hang your agenda off someone else's trademark.

There is no "in effect." Trademarks must be registered. "Mc" is not a registered trademark, Microsoft is.

Post above should be modded redundant... Don't know what happened there.

Re:Looks Legit (4, Informative)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 5 years ago | (#25066723)

There is no "in effect." Trademarks must be registered.

You think so? Then, my good sir, could you please explain the difference between (TM) and (R) markings [wikipedia.org] ?

Let me just nip this in the bud right now. From Wikipedia:

The owner of a registered trademark may commence legal proceedings for trademark infringement to prevent unauthorized use of that trademark. However, registration is not required. The owner of a common law trademark may also file suit, but an unregistered mark may be protectable only within the geographical area within which it has been used or in geographical areas into which it may be reasonably expected to expand.

Re:Looks Legit (5, Insightful)

Bishop Rook (1281208) | more than 5 years ago | (#25066733)

Though apparently American courts have ruled in favor of McDonalds several times over "Mc$WORD" businesses. While other countries appear to have (rightly) laughed them out of court. Wow our justice system is fucked.

Re:Looks Legit (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25066757)

But if McDonald's did come out with a McChocolateCake, you might be screwed anyway.

If McDonald's came out with McChocolate Cake, everybody wins.

Re:Looks Legit (5, Interesting)

mysidia (191772) | more than 5 years ago | (#25066929)

So if McDonalds named a product the McHammer, they get to forcibly take MCHammer.com on the basis of they own mc*?

And when Apple gets to forcibly take www.ink.com, and any other site that begins with "i" just by introducing a product with that name, since they introduce i* naming.

Here's an idea... perhaps I can trademark ".COM" and forcibly seize any domain ending in ".COM" since it contains something that looks like part of my mark.

What the heck is more generic than a random city name followed by 4 digits?

If I ever lived in Chicago; I might want Chicago2016.com. Perhaps to plan a party, unveiling of a new project, or event of some sort in the year 2016.

The Olympics are not the only event of interest to a city. City names and year numbers definitely shouldn't belong to the IOC.

Re:Looks Legit (5, Funny)

houstonbofh (602064) | more than 5 years ago | (#25066511)

Oh, God. If McDonald's ever sells Hammers, I won't know who to root against!

how about Mccain? (1)

meeya (1152133) | more than 5 years ago | (#25066699)

if some Mc started selling caines? he has a right to register his domain, Mccain.com. he cant wind it up cos there is a presidential candiadate.but i support SolarStorm (991940)' s argument.

Re:Looks Legit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25066815)

Moreover --- if his domain pre-existed the bid, then it quite possibly pre-exists the use of Chicago2016 as a trademark. Note to self when registering domains for the purposes of squatting make sure to trademark them too. There's nothing wrong with this particular squat -- he guessed at the market. It's not like he took a pre-existing name and hooked onto it -- like say nissan.com (oh wait, scratch that, apologies to Harry Nissan who got screwed).

Re:Looks Legit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25066957)

The site is chicago2016.com and it is about the Chicago 2016 Olympics. So I would say that it is pretty obvious that the guy purposely chose the one internet domain most obviously connected to the Chicago 2016 Olympics.

Maybe he initially didn't intend to profit from the confusion, maybe he did. But there is no doubt that his domain will be misleading millions and millions of internet users if Chicago does get the 2016 Olympics. His refusal to willingly give it up under these circumstances is either a selfish disservice to society or in fact an attempt to extort the organizing committee, and is in any case questionable. Incidentally, it may not be a coincidence that he is getting a MBA.

The argument that the fact that he registered the domain before Chicago filed their bid doesn't hold water as there is (as noted below) a very well defined procedure for generating Olympics "" combinations and so these can easily be predicted with educated guesses. Again, the web site _is_ about the Chicago 2016 Olympics, so clearly the guy knew what it would be referring to.

Re:Looks Legit (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25066213)

MikeRoweSoft.com? That domain was registered in bad faith, with obvious intent to mimic a registered trademark. If he had registered "MikeRowe.com" or "MikeRoweComputers.com" then that would be okay. But tongue-in-cheek attempts to show good faith (like Panavision) don't work.

Re:Looks Legit (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 5 years ago | (#25066253)

The MikeRoweSoft thing really isn't comparable. That name was meant to be a play on an existing company's name. Maybe if he had started the company in 1973 and Microsoft wanted to make him change his company name.

Be it shady to try to grab a bunch of domains like that, I don't know if .com can be trademarked like that and the trademark be made retroactive by a couple years.

I wonder if he can take their trademark? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25066407)

If he beat them to "using the domain in commerce" shouldn't the student own the trademark instead of them?

I thought trademarks went to the first person to "use the mark in commerce" but IANAL so I might be wrong.

Re:Looks Legit (1)

Grant_Watson (312705) | more than 5 years ago | (#25066595)

Was it a trademark at the time he created the domain? If the domain predates the bid, that seems unlikely.

Re:Looks Legit (5, Interesting)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 5 years ago | (#25066629)

ICANN frowns on it, but doesn't do shit about it. I HATE cybersquatters. My own domain was stolen in my opinion due to a glitch on Network Solutions part which allowed it to lapse before they even removed my name servers from the root servers, for this I am very mad. Even worse is that it is now parked, by some jackass who refuses to sell it back to me at a reasonable price. Feel free to mailbomb him, the domain is schizo.com and his information is accurate in the whois records ...

The point to my rant anyway is that, while squatting pisses me off, it would appear that this (and other domains like it) were registered by someone who thought ahead, more than 12 years ahead in fact. He IS using the domain, and what he's using it for doesn't matter. The fact that its used for Olympic discussion doesn't matter either. He had the forsight to register it before they did. Business is all about getting the right idea before someone else, and the name really is essientially a vanity domain, they can come up with plenty of other names to use.

So ... he's not really squatting, he's using it, and for a good purpose I think.

To me, the name isn't something that can be considered a trademark or any thing, I can't see how a city name can be considered property and more than the word 'shoes'. A post below this as I write says 'if it was chicagoolympics2016.com they might have an argument' ... I can't see how any of the parts of the name can possibly be considered a registerable trademark, I'm not saying they aren't, I don't know, they probably are.

But they olympics have been around far longer than trademarks and copyrights. If anything Chicago should be considered public property at best.

While he might be taking advantage of the situation, thats all the Olympic committee does anyway, they pull shit like deals with Visa so no other cards work, which is just ridiculous and in no way something that can be considered for the good of the sport, spectators or anyone other than those who get paid by the Olympic organization.

So in short, as someone who has been screwed out of his own domain, I cant' really say I'm sorry they were screwed out of it. He took a gamble on many names, if they really were concerned they should have registered the possiblities themselves long in advance like everyone else does. Google owns wwwgoogle.com, microsoft owns wwwmicrosoft.com, many companies have the insight to think ahead on things like this. They didn't, fuck'em.

And really, I can't imagine they can't afford to buy it from him, they'd just rather try to strong arm him into losing it rather than dealing with the fact that they weren't planning far enough ahead.

Just because someone is crafty enough to beat you to it doesn't mean they should be rewarded.

Evolution, business, and pretty much everything else in nature disagrees with you. Craftiness is a very GOOD reason to be rewarded, its part of what drives innovation. Next you'll be telling us that the runner who is faster in a race than everyone else shouldn't be the winner, because its not fair to the slower people.

I'm tired of all this 'its not fair' crap. Lifes not fair and no one even cheated the system on this one.

Good for him. I hope he makes a fortune from it.

Re:Looks Legit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25066761)

Feel free to mailbomb him, the domain is schizo.com and his information is accurate in the whois records ...

Anonymous Cowards are not your personal army.

Re:Looks Legit (1)

SilverJets (131916) | more than 5 years ago | (#25066831)

Coincidence or not...too bad. He got there first. What happened to capitalism?

Oh I forgot, it is only allowed when the big company is screwing over the little guy. It is not allowed the other way around.

Re:Looks Legit (2, Interesting)

mysidia (191772) | more than 5 years ago | (#25066837)

However, he registered it before there was any thought of trademark of the name; he could have trademarked the name, if he had a product.

And he built a site that is about speech of a somewhat political nature, not mere commercial speech.

The courts in the past have acknowledged that political speech is among the speech most protected in the US by the first ammendment, far more than any commercial speech.

IOW, the 1st ammendment should be in full force here.

If he loses the domain, then it really does mean there's no real justice in terms of protecting legitimate domains.

(If you're big enough, you get whatever domain you want, and you can lock-in names in advance as much as you want. If you're small, you are forced to move over, whenever a big guy wants a name you 'locked in' by paying before and maintained with annual renewals, use, & such, long before anyone else thought of it.)

Re:Looks Legit (4, Funny)

piltdownman84 (853358) | more than 5 years ago | (#25066897)

It looks semi-legit. While it's a discussion site on the Olympics, it appears that he intentionally intercepted the domain by registering a bunch of <city><year> combos that happen to match Olympic years. Coincidence? I think not

Great idea, I just picked up Baghdad2018. I'm going to be rich when hell freezes over and they get the Winter Olympics.

Re:Looks Legit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25066389)

Have you seen the content of his site? I am not saying it provides a legal reason and he makes it well know that it is not the actual site, but it's probably a good idea on his part to make it even more clearly not related to the official site.

Re:Looks Legit (1)

Frankenshteen (1355339) | more than 5 years ago | (#25066483)

More than legit - a public service. Imagine sponsoring debate, in the USA? This is more about the Sandusky folks wanting to stifle dissent before it starts roaring. Let Sandusky take Chicago-2016.com, Chicagotwentysixteen.com, Chicago2016.info, or whatever he can find that is available.

Re:Looks Legit (3, Funny)

Minwee (522556) | more than 5 years ago | (#25066521)

If this he looses his domain name, then who is next?

Or even worse, what could happen if he were to lose his domain name?

Add a Hyphen (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25066041)

It's an under appreciated punctuation mark anyway.

Re:Add a Hyphen (5, Funny)

dfm3 (830843) | more than 5 years ago | (#25066171)

It's an under-appreciated punctuation mark anyway.

Fixed. Sorry, I just couldn't resist. ;-)

Re:Add a Hyphen (1)

Kratisto (1080113) | more than 5 years ago | (#25066349)

Let's-not-get-carried-away-though, or-you-might-end-up-sounding-like-you're-speaking-hurriedly.

What about them new TLD's? (1)

zmjjmz (1264856) | more than 5 years ago | (#25066045)

I heard a while ago that ICANN would be more lenient in letting people have new TLD's, so maybe they could have chicago.2016?

Are you insane? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25066063)

Yes, let's start giving out numeric tld's. There's no way that would ever conflict with IP addresses.

Re:Are you insane? (2, Interesting)

zmjjmz (1264856) | more than 5 years ago | (#25066085)

2016 is just a suggestion. Maybe it could be chicago.olympics?

Re:Are you insane? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25066131)

Just shut the fuck up retard. Quit while you're ahead.

Re:Are you insane? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25066677)

I went to Wikipedia to look up a list of all the cities that have hosted the Olympics, intending to be a smart-ass and suggest that chicago.olympics could be confused with the time they hosted in 19-whatever. But it turns out they've never hosted before. And not only have they not hosted, but they were originally given the 1904 Olympics, but then it was taken away and given to St. Louis to coincide with the World's Fair.

Chicago has been screwed over by the IOC once before, it's about time they were given their fair shot (at hosting, not at the domain name.)

Re:Are you insane? (2, Insightful)

Tangent128 (1112197) | more than 5 years ago | (#25066573)

2016 certainly wouldn't...

Re:Are you insane? (1)

jelle (14827) | more than 5 years ago | (#25066793)

Why not a tld for each year? If done correctly, where the same entity can have control of same-named domains in no more than a very limited few tld's, (where bla1234.com, bla1234.net, bla1234.org but also bla.1234 would be considered same-named), then having a lot of tld's would solve the namespace collisions that are so common these days.

jesus. let him have it. (1)

zymano (581466) | more than 5 years ago | (#25066053)

He's not getting rich off of that.

Sandusky? (3, Funny)

iowannaski (766150) | more than 5 years ago | (#25066059)

I could get a great look an MBA by sticking my head up his ass, but I'd rather take Chicago2016.com word for it.

Re:Sandusky? (1)

iowannaski (766150) | more than 5 years ago | (#25066139)

$comment =~ s/k\s(an.*com)/k\sat\s\1's/

Disconcerting. (5, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#25066065)

I can understand the notion that people who snipe domains associated with trademarks generally can't hold on to them. The idea that one can seize a domain that has been owned longer than a given trademark has existed seems downright dangerous, however.

The notion is awfully close to essentially saying that anybody who can't afford a stable of relevant lawyers can have domain names taken at the whim of those who can, which is rather an ugly idea.

Re:Disconcerting. (5, Insightful)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 5 years ago | (#25066187)

The idea that one can seize a domain that has been owned longer than a given trademark has existed seems downright dangerous, however.

Not necessarily. Let's say I participated in a survey from a company attempting to decide on a new product name. (My wife actually does surveys like this, so it's not far-fetched.) Let's also say that some unscrupulous individual notes all the names, then goes to register ALL of them. The company then chooses a name based on the survey feedback, only to find that every one of their choices has been locked out. Does the company have a right to demand their domain back? (Especially if we're talking about made-up words here.) Do they have a right to demand it back if the person starts a "discussion site" on the upcoming product?

You can see the difficulty.

Nearly the same sort of issue happened here. This MBA speculatively registered a whole bunch of (city)(olympic year).com combinations. Unsurprisingly, he got lucky on one of them. Does that make what he did right? Does it make it right because he added a "discussion site"?

Food for thought, anyway.

Re:Disconcerting. (1)

powerspike (729889) | more than 5 years ago | (#25066293)

well in this case i would belive so, the person had proir information of the products, and registered domains based on those products, if the company had his name down on the testing run, it wouldn't be hard to prove they where registered in bad faith. registering the domain city/year in bulk seems seriously flawed, but 1) it was speculation, 2) it was for the purpose of what was is something that forseeable, and 3) he's use of it is inline with what it's purpose is intended, honestly, i hope he gets smacked down. (just a note, if he on the otherhand was using it for anything except the Olympics, then he'd have fair use.)

Re:Disconcerting. (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#25066401)

I agree that there are circumstances where it would be reasonable, and I also agree that this fellow isn't necessarily too far from being one of them.

My concern is just that the ruling will end up being "foocorp can take john smith's bar-domain if at any time foocorp concocts a trademark bar." rather than "under particular circumstances, with evidence of malfeasance on john smith's part, foocorp can take john smith's bar-domain."

Given that domains are fairly cheap, I'd be more inclined, in view of the potential for abuse inherent in any seizure right(even if compensated), to put the burden of protective registration(or some other means of signaling the intention to use a trademark) on the entity that is thinking of using the name. Chicago could have registered plausible olympic date names for peanuts. Similarly, doing open market research on names you don't own seems like a trivially stupid thing to do. I agree that there are potential cases; but I would argue that mechanisms other than allowing people to seize websites by coining trademarks after the fact would achieve the same ends at considerably lower danger.

Re:Disconcerting. (2, Insightful)

Crazy Man on Fire (153457) | more than 5 years ago | (#25066409)

Not necessarily. Let's say I participated in a survey from a company attempting to decide on a new product name. (My wife actually does surveys like this, so it's not far-fetched.) Let's also say that some unscrupulous individual notes all the names, then goes to register ALL of them. The company then chooses a name based on the survey feedback, only to find that every one of their choices has been locked out. Does the company have a right to demand their domain back? (Especially if we're talking about made-up words here.) Do they have a right to demand it back if the person starts a "discussion site" on the upcoming product?

I'd imagine that pretty much any company doing this sort of thing would be smart enough to snap up the domain names in question before doing that type of market research.

Re:Disconcerting. (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 5 years ago | (#25066449)

I think guessing a bunch of names, even if it might be easily guessable or caught doing scatter shot, is different from being shown names and registering them. One involves some form of interaction between the person and organization, the other doesn't, the second means that someone took what might be considered a trade secret or something under similar protection.

I do see your point, I'm just not sure what my position is. Archive.org doesn't show its history to be anything other than "coming soon" or error messages.

Re:Disconcerting. (2, Interesting)

Digero (974682) | more than 5 years ago | (#25066463)

I don't know the details about those surveys, but it seems like the type of thing that the company would require you to sign an agreement that you won't use the names for your own purpose before they choose one of them, plus an NDA so you won't share it with someone not bound by the agreement.

Plus, it would make sense for the company to register domain names for all of its prospective names before sending out the survey.

Re:Disconcerting. (2, Insightful)

Fluffeh (1273756) | more than 5 years ago | (#25066621)

Any company that goes to the extent of doing detailed customer feedback surveys and can't afford to spend $20 per domain to register possibilities SHOULD lose out to someone with half a brain that will go register them.

In my opinion, same deal here. What's that, you have a idea for your city to maybe have a shot at the 20xx games? Go register the domain for $20. Save the hassle later.

Re:Disconcerting. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25066661)

Let's say I participated in a survey from a company attempting to decide on a new product name.

Did you sign an NCA/NDA or similar? ...

Re:Disconcerting. (1)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 5 years ago | (#25066715)

I see your point.

However, our company does surveys for new product names, all of the ideas we have going into the survey are already registered. If the survey ends up resulting in a pick for one of the existing names we keep it. Those that don't get used are put up for sale, at cost, if no one buys it, we loose the year or two year initial registration fee, thats the cost of doing business.

Interestingly enough, most of the domains don't get bought, and once they expire someone else snaps them up via places like dotster and the like only to squat on them. So in the end, they get screwed and we make out just fine, and no guilt since we offer to sell them for only what we paid for them, and we also post on the 'parked' domains websites that they will be allowed to expire if no one buys them from us before the initial registration period.

Theres a reason you keep things secret until you're ready to move on them. You don't tell the world your secret recipiet, then sue them when some grandma on welfare uses it without permission. THAT is not right.

People need to take responsibility for protecting themselves and stop expecting everyone else to do it or expecting to litigate out of it later using some bogus technical reason or loophole, in my opinion.

Re:Disconcerting. (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 5 years ago | (#25066847)

However, our company does surveys for new product names, all of the ideas we have going into the survey are already registered. If the survey ends up resulting in a pick for one of the existing names we keep it. Those that don't get used are put up for sale, at cost, if no one buys it, we loose the year or two year initial registration fee, thats the cost of doing business.

Such practice is common and altogether prudent. It's not that a company wouldn't have a case if they didn't pre-register the names, it's that they save themselves an expensive battle by paying a little more up front.

Of course, the practice only started because companies ran into exactly that sort of issue. (Especially given that domain names were once very expensive to register.) If they hadn't, I'm sure there would still be plenty of companies that hold off to register.

However, the survey was just an example. Obviously, this fellow found a loophole that no one has considered preemptively defending against yet. I'm sure that (city)(EVERY YEAR KNOWN TO MAN) will be locked out by their respective cities after this debacle. That doesn't help the current situation where this fellow took advantage of common foreknowledge to predict viable domains.

Re:Disconcerting. (1)

SilverJets (131916) | more than 5 years ago | (#25066853)

Does the company have a right to demand their domain back?

No. Unless the participants in the survey signed some sort of contract agreeing to not reveal details about the survey, etc. Otherwise, it is not their domain to demand back.

Re:Disconcerting. (2, Informative)

Brain Damaged Bogan (1006835) | more than 5 years ago | (#25066259)

just look at nissan.com it existed long before datsun switch names, yet the car manufacturer is still litigating to take away a guy, whose last name is Nissan's website...

Re:Disconcerting. (1)

tixxit (1107127) | more than 5 years ago | (#25066701)

Datsun switched to Nissan at roughly the same time as DNS was invented.

Re:Disconcerting. (5, Insightful)

_generica (27453) | more than 5 years ago | (#25066709)

Hmm.

Datsun became Nissan in 1983. If someone managed to register nissan.com "long before" then, then I say he and his flux capacitor deserve the domain name.

Re:Disconcerting. (1)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 5 years ago | (#25066865)

His company however WAS named nissan looong before the car company. And he got the domain name 1st....

FIRST POST (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25066089)

LOL!!!

Unlike most sites (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25066095)

This site is an active site, he's not cybersquatting in anyway shape or form.

this is nothing more than cyber bullying (1, Troll)

DragonTHC (208439) | more than 5 years ago | (#25066101)

The same thing happened with that guy named Nissan. He won the right to keep his domain name since it's his last name.

I think anyone who snatches up a domain name should be entitled to that domain name. Now, registrars are using dirty tricks anyway like early bidding on domains. /me looks at .me

What's next, grant the patent to the large organizations simply because they're large?

Re:this is nothing more than cyber bullying (4, Funny)

iowannaski (766150) | more than 5 years ago | (#25066235)

What's next, grant the patent to the large organizations simply because they're large?

Watch yourself, son. You're dangerously close to infringing my patent on "a method for granting patents to entities using a relative comparison of the size of entities."

He was there first (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25066105)

...And that's HIS brand on the cattle!

Direct Link (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25066119)

http://www.chicago2016.com/ [chicago2016.com]

Smart guy or internet monster? (1)

Clever7Devil (985356) | more than 5 years ago | (#25066125)

I know there are people here who have thought through the ramnifications of this longer than I have. Maybe someone can enlighten me.

Why isn't this guy just a smart cookie for jumping on this domain before the city of Chicago or the IOC did?

Makes me wish I had.

Re:Smart guy or internet monster? (1)

Korin43 (881732) | more than 5 years ago | (#25066605)

I think the idea is that he did it because it's someone else's copyright (or in this case he had good reason to assume it would be eventually). The problem with people snatching up domain names based on someone else's copyright is that it just makes it harder for the real owner to get the site, and the person snatching up the domain name isn't adding anything to the internet, they're just trying to get some cash from a big company.

Re:Smart guy or internet monster? (1)

Fluffeh (1273756) | more than 5 years ago | (#25066637)

It's not exactly rocket science. Think of possible cities and tack on a year in 4 digit increments.

Domain names are the new slot machines.

guess they should have investigated the trademark (5, Insightful)

SuperBanana (662181) | more than 5 years ago | (#25066151)

a spokesman for Chicago 2016, a moniker protected by trademark.

Awww, isn't it too bad that trademarks don't give you retroactive ownership of whatever you like? Next time, check BEFORE you secure the trademark to see if it's already available. In fact, I bet they did- and just assumed they could take it over, just like how the IOC and USOC shut down everything named "olympic", even stuff that was named because said business was near a (different) Mount Olympus.

Raise your hand if you're completely fed up with the Olympics. Raise your hand if you think it's time that the IOC/USOC-bought legislation "protecting" the Olympic "trademark" was repealed.

Re:guess they should have investigated the tradema (3, Funny)

Brain Damaged Bogan (1006835) | more than 5 years ago | (#25066319)

*raises both hands*
...and the idea of mounting olympus is raising my wood.

Re:guess they should have investigated the tradema (1)

baileydau (1037622) | more than 5 years ago | (#25066563)

a spokesman for Chicago 2016, a moniker protected by trademark.

Awww, isn't it too bad that trademarks don't give you retroactive ownership of whatever you like?

Also, trademarks ONLY give your mark (in this case the name Chicago and year 2016) protection in a particular category (I guess sporting events).

That DOES NOT give you any protection against someone using the same mark in another category.

Now this guy may be sailing a little close to the wind by hosting a discussion about the Chicago 2016 olympic bid, but I *thought* there was some ability to use others trademarks in discussion etc as long as they were properly attributed.

Raise your hand if you're completely fed up with the Olympics. Raise your hand if you think it's time that the IOC/USOC-bought legislation "protecting" the Olympic "trademark" was repealed.

BTW in Australia there is a brand of tyres named Olympic (now part of / or was originally Olympic Tyre and Rubber before becoming Beaurepairs). It was founded in 1933, see http://www.beaurepaires.com.au/centric/about/history.jsp [beaurepaires.com.au] for more info. I'd like to see them try to take that name from them.

Re:guess they should have investigated the tradema (1)

BuddyJesus (835123) | more than 5 years ago | (#25066633)

Next time, check BEFORE you secure the trademark to see if it's already available.

Even if they did check it wasn't like they could change what they were trying to trademark. I mean, their trademark had two parts: "Chicago" and "2016". They can't really change either (unless you think they could warp time and/or rename Chicago just for the Olympics).

Re:guess they should have investigated the tradema (1)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 5 years ago | (#25066887)

2016Chicago.com is free.....

Re:guess they should have investigated the tradema (1)

ookabooka (731013) | more than 5 years ago | (#25066705)

Raise your hand if you're completely fed up with the Olympics. Raise your hand if you think it's time that the IOC/USOC-bought legislation "protecting" the Olympic "trademark" was repealed.

Uhh, I know how us slashdotters are supposed to hate big-corp buying laws and whatnot, but if anything deserves an exception I think it would be the olympics. I mean, because it's such a massive international event there has to be some leeway between nations to make it all work, otherwise each olympics would be tied up in litigation across the globe. . .yeesh.

Here's Some Pure Gold, Gratis (2, Funny)

davidpfarrell (562876) | more than 5 years ago | (#25066261)

ChicagOlympics.com

chicago2016.org (3, Insightful)

iamwahoo2 (594922) | more than 5 years ago | (#25066275)

chicago2016.org already contains an official site, so I cannot understand why they have to have the .com site as well. I am not a fan of domain squatters, but I am only for kicking someone off of their domain when there is blatant demonstrated abuse of the system and when no other alternatives are available. This does not appear to be the case here.

Re:chicago2016.org (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25066453)

Semantics are important. .org means that the owner isn't focused on making a buck.

Re:chicago2016.org (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25066731)

Shouldn't this be the true Olympics spirit? Oh, wait...

Re:chicago2016.org (1)

PunkOfLinux (870955) | more than 5 years ago | (#25066763)

That convention went away a long time ago. I have a .com site that I have no intention of making much money on (just to cover the costs of hosting). Look at /.. It's a .org and makes some money.

Re:chicago2016.org (1)

cashman73 (855518) | more than 5 years ago | (#25066899)

Olympic committees are non-profit organizations. The .org domain is for non-profits. They don't need to take the .com, other than to prevent a bunch of old farts that think all websites have to end in .com for some reason from being confused, which isn't a valid reason. Case closed.

Unless I'm mistaken. (2)

stonedcat (80201) | more than 5 years ago | (#25066315)

Unless I'm mistaken, and to be honest this has happened once in my lifetime.

Anyone can freely use the city name of Chicago in any way they wish, as well as the year 2016 in any way they wish.
Fucking businesses like the Olympics, and don't try and argue with that they rake in a shit ton of money, need to be put in their place.

at least the site loads (1)

xaosflux (917784) | more than 5 years ago | (#25066335)

At least the .com discussion site got one thing right: it works! Mosey on over to the official .org site, and get bombarded with a monstrosity of flash and auto playing video! Guess I should be happy it didn't ask my to install silverlight...

.org more suitable? (1)

MessyBlob (1191033) | more than 5 years ago | (#25066347)

Are we looking at a non-problem? Although it involves business to get funding and build infrastructure, could the NPO official site take a .org or .info name?

It's Corporatism (4, Insightful)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 5 years ago | (#25066353)

Since when can someone snatch a trade name (which is basically what a domain name is), just because it "fits"??

The old rules basically were: if you registered a name first, it was yours, unless it could be construed as misleading or confusing to consumers (i.e., confusing one product for another), based on someone else's EXISTING name.

This might not be the best example, but a rocket and a tennis shoe could both be called "Nike", even though they were otherwise unrelated, because there was little possibility of confusion.

Chicago did not have the name first. If the goddamned business people would have some foresight, they would have grabbed such names when they started thinking about bidding for the Olympics... not years later after someone beat them to it. I do not see where there is any legal principle that says, "We didn't think of it then, but it obviously should be ours, so we want to take it now!"

I call "sour grapes". They fucked up, and now want to take advantage of someone who was smarter than they were. That does not a legal case make. If they want to make money on the name, then grab the name first! Why should they take precedence over someone with more business-savvy then they have?

A fair middle ground solution (2, Interesting)

sleeponthemic (1253494) | more than 5 years ago | (#25066393)

.. Would be to give him the .org and they take the .com

Whilst it is true that .org *should* go to the organisation I think a .org that is a forum for discussion on the bid is actually quite in line with what you often get on a .org.

(I realise some will say he doesn't deserve to lose the .com atall and I am in agreement with you, however, I think we all know that he's going to get the shaft and I'm just pointing out a genuine solution whereby he gets to keep a legit domain for his forum).

Or better yet... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25066641)

...screw that. Why should he settle for the .org? If he wanted it to begin with he would have registered it. If they want the .com badly enough they have enough resources on hand to purchase it from him. They get their coveted domain, and he pockets a wad of cash. Middle-ground enough?

Re:A fair middle ground solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25066783)

They could have gone a step further and just asked to negotiate a written contract to use the domain for x amount of years/months leading up to the Olympics. Alas, our society has more of a "smash and grab" mentality than "share and share-alike".

Re:A fair middle ground solution (3, Insightful)

hejish (852589) | more than 5 years ago | (#25066979)

Why shouldn't the olympics take the .org and leave him with the .com? Are the olympics listed officially as a for-profit business?

Here're a couple dumb questions (1)

musselm (209468) | more than 5 years ago | (#25066411)

What's "logical" about that domain?

What's more logical about that address than, say, "olympics.cityofchicago.org"?

Best,
Andrew

Re:Here're a couple dumb questions (1)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 5 years ago | (#25066803)

While you're example domain is more properly fitting, its also too long for most people.

I would love to get people to use domains intelligently. Microsoft for instance, shouldn't own windows.com imho. They should use windows.microsoft.com or microsoft.com/windows for websites. Windows.com should point to something like a co-op or trade association for people who make windows, the things in your car or house that let you see outside. Unfortunately, most if not all of the rest of the world disagrees with me :)

I think there should be a limit to the number of domains a company can own, like one. Sure if you buy out another company you can use theirs too if you treat them like a seperate company. But once you stop selling the products under that company name, you lose that right. Macromedia being a prime example. Adobe bought them, so as long as they sell Macromedia DreamWeaver then they get to keep the macromedia.com domain. But they don't do that anymore, so why should they be able to squat and waste a name.

Of course, I also feel that if a copyright holder doesn't allow me to buy their copyrighted works, they have no right to the copyright itself (thinking old software that is no longer sold).

If Microsoft doesn't want to sell me Windows XP, fine, but they shouldnt' be able to tell me I can't buy it from someone else or download it for free since they aren't using the copyright for its intended purpose anyway, which was to give them a chance to use the copyrighted work exlusively long enough to make a profit. If you aren't selling it, you can't possibly make a profit and your right is forfit.

Again, the rest of the world (or at least the politicians) disagree with me.

Sucks for them (1)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 5 years ago | (#25066421)

When I lose a domain I paid for because Register.com sent emails to the wrong email address, and sells my domain to a spammer, no one cared. My complaint to ICANN was dismissed. I see no reason why this valid domain should be removed from this non spammer.

Where is the damage? (2, Informative)

eggman9713 (714915) | more than 5 years ago | (#25066485)

IANAL, but I fail to see how the Olympics have been financially damaged (financially being a key word) by this guy having a piece of prime cyber real estate. How can they prove that they made less money without that domain? In property lawsuits, often objective proof of damage is required. Anything less is not proof. And on the side, if they want this prime real estate so bad, they should stop being cheapskates and cough up, just like in the physical world.

Chicago 2016, a moniker protected by trademark (1)

scdeimos (632778) | more than 5 years ago | (#25066687)

Chicago 2016 protected by trademark? Big deal!

As we all know, from Apple Computers, Inc. vs. Apple Records, trademark infringment does not apply here because Stephen Frayne Jr. is not operating in the same line of business.

Re:Chicago 2016, a moniker protected by trademark (1)

cashman73 (855518) | more than 5 years ago | (#25066927)

Actually, he is "operating in the same line of business," whether he thinks so or not. He's doing that by running a forum site promoting discussion on the same general topic (hosting the olympics in Chicago in 2016) as the olympic bid committee.

I got two possible solutions! (4, Funny)

Vexorian (959249) | more than 5 years ago | (#25066845)

a) We move the Olympics year!
b) Chicago gets a new name!

Very simple, really (1)

swordgeek (112599) | more than 5 years ago | (#25066859)

"...about two years before the bid was launched..."

Case closed. Everyone go home.

Well, that's how it would work in my fantasy universe at least.

Why not just go for .us? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25066913)

This would make more logical sense for me, every olympics should get preference on their Country's TLD, so instead of chicago2018.com, they should opt for chicago2018.us. and London for its 2012 games should have London2012.co.uk and so on.

Ahem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25066941)

Is there any particular reason they can't use .gov and be done with it?

We'll fix it in post production (3, Insightful)

GuNgA-DiN (17556) | more than 5 years ago | (#25066955)

Dear Marketing Wonks:

The next time you come up with some brilliant idea or name the FIRST thing you should do is perform a domain name lookup to see if your name is already taken. If it isn't then you should register it immediately! Do not wait until you make the presentation. Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200. Trying to retroactively take a domain name from some guy who snatched it up because you were too lazy to register it makes no sense. If you have some brilliant idea then chance are there are about 2,000 people out there with the same idea. Cover your ass and do your homework. That is all.

Signed,

The Internet

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