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2600 v. Ford Motors

michael posted more than 13 years ago | from the just-buy-a-honda dept.

The Internet 286

lizrd writes: "The New York Times is reporting in their cyber law section that Eric Corley is in trouble in the courts again. This time he's being sued by Ford Motor Company for pointing a domain name that the New York Times won't mention to Ford's website. It will be interesting to see how this comes out in the courts, both sides seem to have some fairly strong arguments."

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amnesia and deja vu at the same time (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#213569)

I think /. has forgotten this story before...

Re:Well, regardless of rights... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#213570)

Well, if Ford has any problems they can just ask 2600 to change it. BUT THEY DIDN"T. Instead they filed a lawsuit outright. This isn't about a URL containing GM (and some other stuff) pointing to a Ford IP. It's about Ford trying to get a legal precedent set whereby Ford can determine who and who cannot link to them. BAD. Fucking Bad.

They want to own the Internet and what can or cannot be said on it.

What kind of idiot are you ?? (1)

uXs (335) | more than 13 years ago | (#213572)

If they wouldn't want people to come to their website, then why do they have one ? You're obviously a troll, and a stupid one at that.
It's stupid of me to reply off course, but these kinds of frivoulous attacks on what is obviously free speech are really starting to piss me off.

And another thing, what the fuck is up with the [vulgarity deleted] and the "vulgar word" bits in that article ? They way the USA is putting up with that kind of hypocritical puritanism never ceases to amaze me, and this article was particularily annoying in that respect.

So, in short, fuck GM, fuck Ford, and fuck you.


Re:Is it just me (1)

uXs (335) | more than 13 years ago | (#213573)

Your signature pisses me off. Everybody knows that "fscking" should be "fucking" and is some kind of stupid censorship that morons like you somehow seem obligated to impose on yourself.
The real word is "fucking". Say it once... "fucking"... There, that wasn't that hard now, was it ? Did someone die know ? Djeez


(ps: fuck you)

Re:One more thing (1)

uXs (335) | more than 13 years ago | (#213574)

Your signature pisses me off. Everybody knows that "f*ck" should be "fuck" and is some kind of stupid censorship that morons like you somehow seem obligated to impose on yourself.
The real word is "fuck". Say it once... "fuck"... There, that wasn't that hard now, was it ? Did someone die know ? Djeez


(ps: fuck you)


Re:One more thing (2)

Sabalon (1684) | more than 13 years ago | (#213579)

I can't remember how many times I tried to climb into my web browser to go to the store.

Just the other day, I was clicking on my steering wheel to go to the /. site and get the latest anti-ms drivel.

It's just so hard to tell the two apart, with one being a big, clunky, noisy, oversized piece of junk, and the other being a car.

You think Joe Public is going to know "whois"? (1)

SpiceWare (3438) | more than 13 years ago | (#213582)

Sure you and I know how to go about finding out this information. However, your average web browsing user wouldn't have a clue about whois or what it means and would think Ford was responsible.

bad publicity (2)

Juliet (3536) | more than 13 years ago | (#213583)

I can see both sides.. but from Ford's point of view.. I think it's a bad idea to sue.. It is just causes the slander to linger, and be viewed by a larger audience..

They are letting their buttons be pushed.

Although, I forgot.. everything on the internet is true...

where's the harm? (1)

Lurking Grue (3963) | more than 13 years ago | (#213584)

"But what he cannot do, Lee said, is lead consumers to believe that Ford is the author of the criticism."

How exactly are consumers going to be confused? The domain is not registered to Ford. Wait a minute...I think I understand. Consumers would not see the humor, and would fail to make an effort to look up the owner of a domain that quite clearly would not be registered by Ford.

What kind of "pointing" is going on? (3)

artdodge (9053) | more than 13 years ago | (#213589)

As we all know, there are a number of types of "pointing" you can do with a domain, and I'm wondering how the eyes of the law would view the differences.
  1. A hyperlink. At issue in the DeCSS case. Not the case here. Strong free-speech arguments.
  2. Setting a DNS A or CNAME record to point to their server. The intent of this would be for people to be able to browse in its entirety with the name "" in their "Location" box. This could be dangerous legal ground (misrepresentation, impersonation), however it is technologically trivial (and is in fact the correct behavior, should be the default) for Ford to prevent this on its own servers (who should NOT recognize that Host: field). But again, this is not the case.
  3. A redirect. This is in fact the case here - a 302 Object Moved message (served by IIS/5.0). This falls in the squishy middle ground - a link can be explicitly connected with a comment and a speaker (which "substantiates" the speech), and DNS aliasing has the effect of providing for a persistent comment and misrepresentation while using another's resources, but redirection does neither.
Like I said, I'll be curious to see if the courts have the savvy to differentiate, and what their interpretation of the differences is.


Like a billboard? (3)

malkavian (9512) | more than 13 years ago | (#213590)

Weird lawyers.
It's quoted in the article that pointing the domain at ford is like putting a billboard by a highway saying "Fuck General Motors" and saying it's sponsored by Ford.
Last I checked, if you want to look who's 'sponsoring' the site, you use "whois".
And doing:
whois -h
- 2600 Enterprises (template COCO-12817)
PO Box 99
Middle Island, NY 11953 US

Domain Name:
Status: production

Admin Contact, Technical Contact, Zone Contact:
Emmanuel Goldstein (COCO-12818)
+1 516 751 2600 (FAX) +1 516 474 2677

CORE Registrar: CORE-20

Record created: 1999-09-26 23:21:21 UTC by CORE-20
Record expires: 2001-09-25 00:00:00 UTC

Domain servers in listed order:

Database last updated on 2001-05-18 15:46:51 UTC
That kinda tells me EXACTLY who sponsored that billboard.
Poof, that's this excuse out the window.
In effect, what's happend is that the sponsored by is in the style and colours of Ford ads, (can you remember the nice little 'Fuct' logo done in Ford colours and style that nobody's complaining about??).
Urrr... Next case???



Glad it wasn't me (4)

tregoweth (13591) | more than 13 years ago | (#213595)

I used to own the domain, and I always meant to point it at Microsoft's Web site. I suppose it's a good thing I never did.

Re:And I quote (1)

ethereal (13958) | more than 13 years ago | (#213596)

On the contrary, the use of Ford's bandwidth is entirely and explicitly authorized by Ford. How do I know? Simple: when I requested "", the request went to and one of their machines decided that it was OK to send me the page.

If they don't want to serve me web pages, they don't have to, but it's not my fault (or Mr. Goldstein's) that Ford can't make up it's mind about whether I'm authorized or not. It's fine with me if they even want to make a distinction based on my IP address or the referring page, but it's not my fault if they don't.

As an aside, I often wonder if Mr. Corley is annoyed that news organizations are using his real name so much. I mean, if I had a cool nick like "Emmanuel Goldstein", I'd be pretty unhappy to just be called "Eric Corley", which you have to admit just doesn't have the same ring to it (or the same literary allusion either). I sympathize because my real-life monicker is much lamer than "ethereal".

Caution: contents may be quarrelsome and meticulous!

Re:So this guy wants to be taken serious? (1)

ethereal (13958) | more than 13 years ago | (#213597)

I don't see the problem:

  • this case has nothing to do with illegal cracking
  • this case directly involves how linking/DNS redirection is a First Amendment issue
  • any actions in this case are probably inadmissible in the DeCSS case, and vice versa.

Maybe this was a dumb idea, but I don't think it's for any of the reasons you listed.

Caution: contents may be quarrelsome and meticulous!

Re:It's just a word... (1)

ethereal (13958) | more than 13 years ago | (#213598)

This is the same society who practically rode a guy out of town on a rail for saying "niggardly", which isn't even a racial epithet at all. PC-ness is bad, but ignorant PC-ness is a whole lot worse :)

Caution: contents may be quarrelsome and meticulous!

Re:Good old Slashdot (1)

ethereal (13958) | more than 13 years ago | (#213599)

This is different than the slashback - that was about the caravan to the trial that was going to be formed, this is about the NYT article providing more info on the trial

Caution: contents may be quarrelsome and meticulous!

Re:Lets look at another angle here shall we (2)

ethereal (13958) | more than 13 years ago | (#213600)

If Ford doesn't want me to use their bandwidth, why don't they just not send me the page? It's silly for them to respond to my request for a web page, and then claim that it was an "unauthorized" access. How can it be unauthorized if it required specific action on their part before it could happen?

The slander argument is more reasonable, and I could even see Ford winning out on that one. But right now Ford's essentially giving away their bandwidth; they can't complain if they've uncapped the fire hydrant and more kids showed up to play than they expected. If you're going to take the trouble to track someone down in your logs, why don't you just save yourself the trouble by blocking the accesses you don't like in the first place?

Who wants to drink from the FIRE HOSE?

Caution: contents may be quarrelsome and meticulous!

Re:Geez, Ford couldn't buy publicity like that. (2)

SoftwareJanitor (15983) | more than 13 years ago | (#213602)

Yea, yea... I know that... But would any reasonable person actually believe that Ford was behind something like this? And wouldn't a large portion of Ford's employees feel the sentiment of f***ing their biggest competitor? Even the management?

Of course, the whole thing might have been funnier if the f***GM domain had been pointed to that horribly offensive little image at or something... :-)

Re:Geez, Ford couldn't buy publicity like that. (2)

SoftwareJanitor (15983) | more than 13 years ago | (#213603)

NT, W2k, what's the difference... :-)

Its kinda like "Coca Cola" vs. "New Coke" vs. "Coca Cola Classic"...

One more thing (1)

mTor (18585) | more than 13 years ago | (#213607)

If Ford is so serious about 'protecting' their properties wtf don't they sue Microsoft over the Explorer trademark? MS is using Internet Explorer and Windows Explorer and Ford has trademarked long time ago Ford Explorer. Sure they are competing in different industris but Ford could bring it up under the trademark dilution clause.

Ford needs to be boycotted so they back the f*ck off!

Re:Lets look at another angle here shall we (1)

mTor (18585) | more than 13 years ago | (#213608)

Buut linking is the _foundation_ of the Internet :) Exactly the same thing happens when we slashdot a site. Should a slashdotted site sue because of the uninvited bandwith charges? Hell no! They put it up knowing very well that that could happen. There is NO difference.

Difference might be only in the way the linking is implemented but the overall consequence stays the same.

Ford has absolutely no right to sue under the law and I have a feeling that this case will be dismissed very soon. Let's hope they get a judge who's not in the pocket of the big comapnies.

There is only one thing you can do under the current laws (and let's hope they stay

Re:The big difference no one wants to hear (1)

mTor (18585) | more than 13 years ago | (#213609)

Ok... let's discuss this one in simple details... When you type in a domain name into the 'Address' box you are asking the DNS server to provide you with the numeric IP so that you can connect to the server with the info you need. There is one more step in there since the actually redirects you to a different server. When you 'click' on the link which is anchored with "" and points to you are asking DNS server for the numeric IP of and after which you can connect to it.

The end result is exactly the same! In any case, you connect to the So what you're saying that one methiod is legal and other is not?

There is no difference and I'm even willing to argue that the embedded HTML link can be even more damaging to Ford than redirect. How many people type in daily? How many type I think that the ratio is over 10000:1 in favor of

Re:One more thing (2)

mTor (18585) | more than 13 years ago | (#213612)

Re-read my second last sentence for some answers to your questions/arguments.

The cases where companies sue from different industries over trademarks are FILLED with IP law journals.

You'd also have to read the clauses on 'future values and expansions' but I won't bother since you'd need a JD to understand my arguments. A simple example which Ford could argue is by saying: "We want to protect the trademark Explorer in the computer industry because we might release a game with the same name or a screensaver or a VR Explorer exhibit and we feel that MS is diluting our TM." That worked for a ton of companies and it would work for Ford.

Ford has strong arguments? (3)

mTor (18585) | more than 13 years ago | (#213613)

They are basically saying that you do not have the right to link to their site through "indicent" phrases or words. The linking issue has been resolved already in the Ticketmaster case and I'm sure that it will be upheld yet again.

Ford is just harassing small people. They have a huge team of lawyers and they need some 'exercise' by filing frivolous lawsuits against those who can't defend themselves properly. Why didn't Ford contact them and ask them not to point there or even rejected the headers from the domain name that they didn't like?

Oh my god this is insane. (1)

tippergore (32520) | more than 13 years ago | (#213620)

So, basically the argument of Ford/General Motors is that people visiting will think that this link is actually sponsored by Ford themselves?

Because yeah, all the companies I know like to register the domain equivalent of:, and then link it to their own site for branding purposes....

It makes perfect sense...


Re:So this guy wants to be taken serious? (1)

Valdrax (32670) | more than 13 years ago | (#213621)

Oh, he's blatantly trolling, but you can't deny that black hats get just as much, if not more, use out of the information in 2600 as white hats. It doesn't matter what they call it, it's still a great resource for pulling off cracking.

Do some research (3)

Valdrax (32670) | more than 13 years ago | (#213622)

[A]m I the only who relizes that general motors is not ford at all. GM makes chevy, pontiac, cadalliac, etc... Again GM is not Ford. DOH!

No way! Really?!?

Obviously, you haven't read the background on the story at all. Emmanuel Goldstein was protesting against GM with the website "" originally. He pointed it to a variety of critical websites to GM, including a place called "" When the webmaster of that small site complained that the extra traffic was hurting him in bandwidth costs, he moved it to point to "" as a joke. Without warning, and without asking nicely for him to move the URL, Ford decided to sue 2600 for everything they're worth.

Ford is suing Emmanuel Goldstein for pointing the URL at them because it makes it look like they are the ones responsible for the somewhat immature prank. As the man himself says, they are trying to use the court system to create for themselves the right to demand that people ask before pointing URLs to their website. They are also seeking excessive damages in an attempt to financially ruin 2600. Basically, they're taking advantage of the system to tweak the legal system the way they want and to punish a known ally of hackers.

Re:Wouldn't it be cool to Beowulf cluster these? (3)

Valdrax (32670) | more than 13 years ago | (#213623)

So the fucking euro-pee'ins won't do it first, while rubbing their glistening dick heads aginst the front screens of their fucking iMacs?

Read my sig.

Re:Geez, Ford couldn't buy publicity like that. (1)

chill (34294) | more than 13 years ago | (#213625)

Ford is suing for "tarnishment" -- by linking to their domain it can imply they are behind it or a part of it.

GM might realize that "spoofs" and this sort of thing are a tough case to win against -- when you are the spoofee. (Or they could be oblivious, or revving up their lawyers, or...)

Charles E. Hill

Re:It's just a word... (2)

miracle69 (34841) | more than 13 years ago | (#213627)

This same thing happened a while back with the term "nigger". It's very offensive, very hurtful (much more so than "fuck"), ...

I'm sorry, but that is just a bunch of bullcrap. Nigger isn't an offensive word without context - and even then those offended tend to blow it out of proportion. If nigger was truly so damn offensive, then the entire black community would be up in arms about most of the gansta rap where nigger is used in almost every verse. And guess what? They aren't.

The fact of the matter is this - nigger isn't an offensive word unless context is considered. This goes for all words.

I'm so tired of living in the United States of the Offended. Build a fucking bridge and get over it.

It's as if this country has forgotten a childhood rhyme - "Sticks and Stones may break my bones, but words will never harm me."

I'm sure the moderators will have a field day with this comment, but sometimes, you've gotta get up on your soapbox and slap some sense into people.

HI Mom!

Good old Slashdot (4)

tbo (35008) | more than 13 years ago | (#213628)

First of all, this was posted a few days ago as part of a Slashback [] . Why the hell don't the editors remember anything? I read Slashdot every day, and I can tell when I've seen a story before. One would assume that the editors read it, too (although there seems to be plenty of evidence to the contrary), and since they also wrote the goddamn stories, they have that much more reason to remember them. You don't see the New York Times doing this kind of crap. Of course, somebody's already mentioned all this...

The point I really wanted to make is that yes, 2600 is probably legally in the right here, but that doesn't make their actions any less stupid. Last time around, somebody mentioned that Ford could just block all requests originating from True, but that wouldn't stop 2600 from buying new stupid domains and pointing them at Ford doesn't want to have to worry about this constantly, so they're just suing 2600 to stop them from doing it any more.

Could Ford have asked first? Yes, but Corley is just being a jackass. I'm sure he knew Ford didn't want that domain pointed at their site, and he did it just to piss them off. It's like if I came up to you, smacked you in the back of the head, then complained to the judge that you never told me not to.

Considering that, as a member of the EFF, I am paying for 2600's legal defence, I really wish they would act more responsibly. Fight for what's important, Corley, and stop making such an ass of yourself. DMCA, DeCSS, and UCITA are all worthy causes; is not. I sincerely hope the EFF does not pay Corley's bill this time. If they do, I'll find a more intelligent charity...

Re:What kind of "pointing" is going on? (3)

Hobbex (41473) | more than 13 years ago | (#213630)

$ nc 80
GET / HTTP/1.0

HTTP/1.1 302 Object moved
Server: Microsoft-IIS/5.0
Date: Fri, 18 May 2001 16:23:04 GMT
Set-Cookie: dialogue_id=3e42052c20010518411f690a; path=/; expires=Mon, 16-May-11 16:23:04 GMT;
Connection: Keep-Alive
Content-Length: 169
Content-Type: text/html
Cache-control: private

<head><title>Object moved</title></head>
<body><h1>Object Moved</h1>This object may be found <a HREF=" .jsp">here</a>.</body>

There. I said it. (4)

Sogol (43574) | more than 13 years ago | (#213632)

Eric Corley can publicly say "Fuck General Motors". That by itself is allowed in the US by the 1st amendmant.
The fact that the phrase "does something" by way of pointing to ford is entirely too abstract for archaic law to moderate.

Re:Geez, Ford couldn't buy publicity like that. (2)

ncc74656 (45571) | more than 13 years ago | (#213633)

Well, Ford runs NT, so they are obviously idiots...

Actually, Netcraft says [] F*rd runs Win2K (with IIS 5, of course). FWIW, they also say [] the General runs Solaris (Nutscrape, though, not Apache).

Looking at the uptime info, GM is getting about two months out of Solaris between reboots. F*rd, OTOH, gets less than a month out of Win2K, which gives a whole new meaning to "Found On Road Dead." :-)

(In case I haven't made my vehicular preferences blatantly obvious, check out this link [] (no, it's not a link, and neither are the others in this post...that site is disgusting).)

Re:One more thing (3)

ncc74656 (45571) | more than 13 years ago | (#213634)

If Ford is so serious about 'protecting' their properties wtf don't they sue Microsoft over the Explorer trademark? MS is using Internet Explorer and Windows Explorer and Ford has trademarked long time ago Ford Explorer. Sure they are competing in different industris but Ford could bring it up under the trademark dilution clause.

It's usually not dilution if they're in different industries. Locally, there's a company called "Best Buy Furniture" that is in the furniture retail business. They even have a yellow-tag logo that bears a certain amount of resemblance to the logo of a certain consumer-electronics retailer [] . AFAIK, there's never been any litigation between the two companies...and there probably never will be any. If I'm in the market for a big-screen TV, I'm not likely to go looking in a furniture store for it.

Re:redundant? (1)

pcurran (48910) | more than 13 years ago | (#213636)

Yes, in a Slashback [] from a couple of days ago. Interesting case, though...

The big difference no one wants to hear (1)

joq (63625) | more than 13 years ago | (#213646)

2600 is not linking they're pointing the complete domain to Ford motors, why not copy the whole thing over, then do it? Ford did not invite 2600 to point the domain over to their site causing unwanted traffic going there via way of, I'm sure they could care less if there was a link that said Fuck you Ford [] , as opposed to having the whole domain point to them.

No amount of arguing can clarify this for anyone. Its morally wrong, and legally wrong, unfortunately 2600 is using legal loopholes in the wrong way to fight for their moronic cause.

And I quote (3)

joq (63625) | more than 13 years ago | (#213647)

We all know that in theory we should have the right to express ourselves as we feel, as it is amended, but one thing 2600 won't point out is that by creating the "" site and pointing it to's website, they are using Ford's resources via way of bandwidth which I'm sure is unauthorized. Why not just make a virtual directory with pictures, and or information of a competitor instead of trying to reverse engineer killing two birds with one packet.

Well hopefully their AOL followers don't attempt to h4x0r me for writing this, but enough is enough, time to grow up guys. We do agree with any arguments anyone from there would care to give for the right to register the domain, however there is no one from 2600 that can realistically justify using Ford's bandwidth against Ford's will.

2600 is run by Peter Pan []

One of the guys from my site did a semi humorous article on the whole 2600 deal. Some people may find it informative, others will find it funny, others will call it name calling etc. Personally, I think anyone who runs around doing things to get sued for attention is a moron.

Re:Geez, Ford couldn't buy publicity like that. (2)

iceT (68610) | more than 13 years ago | (#213657)

Gee, you don't suppose that Ford OUTSOURCES the development, hosting and implementation of their website, do you? I mean, what to you suppose the odds are that Ford contracts an Ad Agency to develop and maintain their website...

Let's see:

$ host has address

and's whois says: is owned by:

Business Internet, Inc. (NET-ICIX-MD-BLK1)

3625 Queen Palm Drive

Tampa, FL 33619


"There are thing in the universe that aren't the same as in your little corner of it..."

Re:Ford has strong arguments? (4)

iceT (68610) | more than 13 years ago | (#213660)

But they didn't 'link' to it. There is no page on their web-server that has a link to Ford's site.

What they did do was define a DNS entry that points directly to Fords site. There is no linking. It is a DNS ENTRY. To assume it is a 'link' is to assume that the only protocol on the internet is HTTP.

just re-redirect it (5)

eries (71365) | more than 13 years ago | (#213664)

Sheesh. Just look at the HTTP headers, and put up a page that tells you what happened (ie this is not an official GM page, obviously) and gives you the choice of clicking-through to the real page. It'll give you a chance to make the pranker seem juvenile, and it wil increase hits to your web site. What more do you want?

I just called Ford (5)

geomon (78680) | more than 13 years ago | (#213670)

I just called Ford's customer service line (an 800 number) and told the representative that I was extremely disturbed that they would go after 2600 this way. I told them that I started buying Ford products because I was so sick of the constant quality problems I had with GM products. I also told them that my wife and I just purchased a 2000 Taurus, we've owned our '96 Escort Wagon since 1997, and that we are buying my wife a 2002 Mustang this fall. In short, I informed them that I am perfectly happy with Ford's products.

But I expressed my dismay at the legal tack they have chosen to take. I told them that if I had typed "fuckgeneralmotors" into a search engine, or directed my browser to go to, it wouldn't have bothered me a bit. I would have been laughing at the joke, and would have appreciated being directed to a company who produce a product that I have been happy with for 5 years running.

I told the customer rep to send a note to legal that they shouldn't have been so heavy handed in dealing with Corley and 2600. They could have expressed their displeasure with being associated with the domain name without having to resort to lawsuits.

Gee, maybe they could have even talked to Corely and explained their position. What a novel concept that would have been.

In short, shame on Ford for being so odious. Call their customer reps and let them know that you got the joke, that you would buy Ford products based on your impression of their quality (not on a domain name), and that by basing 2600 they have shown themselves to be nothing but corporate bullies.

They did take my comments seriously.

It's just a word... (2)

The Good Reverend (84440) | more than 13 years ago | (#213673)

This time he's being sued by Ford Motor Company for pointing a domain name that the New York Times won't mention to Ford's website.

When did journalists turn into a bunch of pansies? So the domain name has the word "fuck" in it. It's a dirty word in our culture. But it's relevant to the story. The author of the piece wouldn't be including it to be funny, it's news, and should therefore be included. It's not as if readers won't have heard it anywhere before.

This same thing happened a while back with the term "nigger". It's very offensive, very hurtful (much more so than "fuck"), and it has a cultural history that most Americans aren't proud of. But at the same time, when it's relevant to a news story, you say it/print it. No one is going to accuse the journalist of being a racist because he mentions what someone else says. It's time for people to grow up and realize reporting the news means reporting it all, offensive letter combinations included.

The Good Reverend
I'm different, just like everybody else. []

Unauthorized bandwidth usage? Nope! (3)

King_TJ (85913) | more than 13 years ago | (#213674)

That argument makes no sense, when you realize that Ford made their site public. That's the whole point of running most advertising-type web sites. You want a public presence on the Internet.

Claiming that linking to them from a site they don't approve of is equal to unauthorized use of their bandwidth makes as little sense as trying to control who can and can't view billboards on the side of the highway.

In my opinion, if Ford can't handle the heat from people slandering their web site, they should reconsider running one at all. There's no legal battle to be fought here, though.

Original Use of a Domain Name! (1)

dewright_ca (89241) | more than 13 years ago | (#213679)

I have to admit I am big General Motors buyer, but this has to be one of the most original ways to make a statement about a motor company.

Re:Bah (2)

OmegaDan (101255) | more than 13 years ago | (#213683)

Are they really worried about loosing the customers who type in "" to ford ?

Or could it be that the company dosen't want to be critisized ... which I do believe is a constitutionally protected form of speach! (3)

isfry (101853) | more than 13 years ago | (#213686)

Or Ford have a going to GM and then have GM have a goto 2600

Re:Bah (2)

BradleyUffner (103496) | more than 13 years ago | (#213687)

But that's not what's happening here. He sut registered a domain name and made it point to the website. Using your example lets say there is already a website that says you torture puppies. is there anyhting wrong with me going out and registering a domain name and making it point to that web site?
=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\= \=\=\=\ (5)

Domini (103836) | more than 13 years ago | (#213688)

GM should have pointing to

Read the article fuckwit (1)

popeydotcom (114724) | more than 13 years ago | (#213694)

It's not about GM vs 2600, but Ford vs 2600.

Re:Well, regardless of rights... (2)

spiro_killglance (121572) | more than 13 years ago | (#213704)

IANAL but its Libel not Slander, and in Libel there is a strong fair comment defence. Basically you can slag off anyone or any company to your hearts content as long as you don't lie and say something that is demonstratably false.

For instance if I wrote, Madonna is old and ugly and her music sucks, and she sues me I have a defence of fair comment, as looks and music are matters of taste.

But if I was to wrote that Madonna had sex with a monkey, she can sue me for libel, and if the jury believes that she has never had sex with a monkey, I will lose.

So, writing fuckford or linking to fuckford may be offensive or obscene, but is in no way libel.

Re:And I quote (3)

AMuse (121806) | more than 13 years ago | (#213705)

Because creating a virtual directory with images from Fords' website, or cut n' pastes, could actually get you for Copyright violation.

Linking to their site violates no copyrights, as far as I am aware. The bandwidth excuse is bullshit though.

If that's a valid excuse, then companies can start suing slashdot for being linked to by us.
--------------------------------------------- -----

So this guy wants to be taken serious? (4)

Pflipp (130638) | more than 13 years ago | (#213713)

Wait... lemme try to get it. This is the same guy claiming that 2600 isn't an illegal cracker's hangout, and that linking to DeCSS is legal due to first amendment thingies and stuff? Then I really have to say that this was a stupid action from him, regardless what ANY amendment has to say about it.

It's... It's...

fight the good fight? (1)

Ksop (132400) | more than 13 years ago | (#213714)

So is it time that we all cough up the $20 and register our own|net|org they cant take us all down. Unless they rewrite the constitution when the megacorps take over. Oh they did!? I didnt notice I was playing the Operation Flashpoint demo.
Personally I want to register

When is a word just a word? (2)

Wintermancer (134128) | more than 13 years ago | (#213715)

Slightly offtopic from the main thread, but worth saying:

Odd. I frequently see it being referred to as the "n-word", which is rather perplexing in it's own right. And this is in prominent and respected newpapers. Yes, the word nigger does have a lot of negative history associated with it, and I can understand how upsetting it can be.

Which is why it is important to quote people completely. Something is just lost in the translation.

There is also the question why is the "n-word" only associated this priviledged status? When someone calls a Jew a kyke, you don't see it being referred to as the "k-word"? Or when someone calls an Asian a slope, the "s-word"? Or a homosexual a faggot, the "f-word"? // Add recursive code here

I would rather that they use what was said and let the audience interpret it for themselves. Otherwise, in the Politcal Correct-only dictionary, we will have to correectly parse the "[a-z]-word" for what it really means. Talk about codification of language! But, that is only my opinion.

Re:If anything..Ford should be thankful! (1)

iainl (136759) | more than 13 years ago | (#213717)

They probably are now. When the domain simply existed, it was a bit of a defamation of character to make it appear to the average web user that they owned the domain insulting their major competitor, and only drew a little traffic to their site. By kicking up a stink, they both bring the site to people's attention (thereby massively increasing their hit count more than leaving it alone for people to find) and simultaneously make sure people know that this wasn't their idea, oh no. They wouldn't say that sort of thing ever.

Re:Bah (3)

iainl (136759) | more than 13 years ago | (#213718)

If GM were the ones suing then speech aspects like this would certainly be involved; however its Ford suing, on the really quite reasonable grounds that to the average person the site would appear to be owned by them, and therefore imply that Ford had that opinion of their competitors.

If I were to post news that made people believe that you claimed torturing cute puppies was fun then you'd have grounds for claiming I was defaming you; speech isn't completely free of limitations.

Do the editors read their own site? (5)

locutus074 (137331) | more than 13 years ago | (#213720)

Didn't we already see this in a recent Slashback [] ?


Re:Many different views (2) (142825) | more than 13 years ago | (#213728)

Is it because the fuck is in the name? What about sucks or reallysucks or justplainstinks?

If it does make a difference, you lose. On regulating speech, to get around the prohobitions, one of the test is, if the restriction is content neutral.

Responsible Rebellion (5)

Picass0 (147474) | more than 13 years ago | (#213736)

2600 has been an outspoken anti-capitalist voice, and I wonder if we might not be screwed in the DeCSS fight because of their outlaw image. I'm a Linux user first and foremost, and I see these guys irresponsible behavior hurting something I believe in. I should be able to watch a DVD anywhere I please if I paid for the DVD. 2600's fight with the MPAA is important and impacts us as a community. I wish someone other than 2600 were fighting that battle instead.

2600 could be a very important voice if they would learn to pick their fights. You can't be anti-everything. I wish they would think about what they are FOR, and how they jeopardize those things when they act like children.

So just why are we supposed to be angry with GM? Is someone pissed because my Camaro is faster than their Honda CRX? Or is it the same reason we're supposed to be mad at Verison? They're a big company. And all big companies are evil. All of them. Bull.

If someone is abusing their customers or workforce (ala Nike [] ) shine a light on them. But if someone is just trying to make a buck, hey, so am I. We all have to put bread on the table.

Used to be IRIX (3)

green pizza (159161) | more than 13 years ago | (#213738)

I remember being IRIX about two years ago. too... I can just see the auctions on eBay: "SGI Challenge L, former FORD webserver!!"

Is it just me (1)

MR.Gates (161769) | more than 13 years ago | (#213739)

or am I the only who relizes that general motors is not ford at all. GM makes chevy, pontiac, cadalliac, etc... Again GM is not Ford. DOH!

I thought that companies bought the domains... (1)

Aloekak (172669) | more than 13 years ago | (#213743)


For some reason, I remember that large corporations were buying all the domains that could be against them, and just point them to their own website anyways.

In this case it seems that Ford hadn't thought of everything yet.

Re:Many different views (2)

Bluesee (173416) | more than 13 years ago | (#213745)

Since when do companies enjoy the rights of individuals? Seems to me we're talking about a company being offended. I thought only people have a right to be offended. Corporations are in it only to make money, and if a consumer has a gripe, his airing of it should be protected. Let the company fix it any way it can, but certainly not in the courts.

So, the company is not offended, it's 'good name' isn't being tarnished, because it isn't a citizen in the community! The only interest it cares about is its profitability. I hate when court time is spent protecting the marginal return of corps...

Yes, I know this rant has nothing to do with what you wrote... thanks for being my parent post. :)

Re:Unauthorized bandwidth usage? Nope! (1)

gerddie (173963) | more than 13 years ago | (#213747)

In germany a court ruled, that a company has not to undergo linking from competition: heise [] (german).
Then again, 2600 is not what i would call competition to Ford ...

If you don't want to click through 2600 ... (5)

gerddie (173963) | more than 13 years ago | (#213748)

read here [] .

Re:just re-redirect it (1)

Zone5 (179243) | more than 13 years ago | (#213750)

Anyone who runs a website and tracks statistics will tell you that yes, there are in fact luddites out there still running ancient (and I mean truly ancient) browsers out there... (never mind the insanity of calling anyone using the internet a luddite, but the term fits)

We still get a significant number of people visiting our banking site with - and I kid you not - early beta versions of Netscape 1.0... never mind the rubes still using the ancient IE built into Windows NT4.

Now, of course this is a very small fraction of users, but it probably doesn't take much potential exposure to open a crack where a legal argument can worm into.

I just thought I'd be the first to point out (1)

whirred (182193) | more than 13 years ago | (#213752) is still available. And no, I don't have the nerve to reserve it and point it to goatse.

Re:Many different views (1)

Wordsmith (183749) | more than 13 years ago | (#213755)

I imagine that as newspaper people, the NYTimes people would be miffed but respect the right of the "fuck" publisher to do so. We newspaper people are kind of gung-ho about free speech that way.

The pointed at site (1)

CMan0 (191677) | more than 13 years ago | (#213761)

If I'm not mistaking, the above-mentioned site is

Re:Original Use of a Domain Name! (1)

ichimunki (194887) | more than 13 years ago | (#213762)

You seriously believe there is a big difference between Ford and GM? You're from Detroit, aren't you? This would have been a lot funnier if it pointed to Schwinn or Huffy imho.

What I'm waiting for next is for Ford and Chevy to come out with a "purchase agreement" contract that restricts your right to put those lame Calvin-pissing-on-the-other-logo stickers in the window of your truck. Talk about tarnishing a reputation!

Re:Many different views (2)

agentZ (210674) | more than 13 years ago | (#213765)

I think history would show that the New York Times would not take kindly too it. After all, back in the day they made Infocom stop publishing (in hardcopy) The New Zork Times.

Lighten up (2)

Smoking Joe (218801) | more than 13 years ago | (#213768)

No, not Ford. You guys. All you indignant self-righteous paranoid delusionalists need to lighten up.

It's a yuk. It's a funny. This case will have no impact whatsoever on your Constitutional right to download pr0n through the company firewall. The second it starts to get serious publicity, Ford will probably drop it. If they don't, it's just because they want to make it clear they had no involvement in setting the site up. Like the Democratic Party, Ford has to make it clear they are not responsible for the actions of their more ...ahem... zealous supporters.

If I bought and redirected it to, I would expect Red Hat to distance from me. Of course they wouldn't, but that says more about the immature juvenile name-calling Linux culture than anything else.

It's funny. Laugh. It has nothing to do with Your Rights Online.

both parties are being stupid (2)

maxwells_deamon (221474) | more than 13 years ago | (#213769)

2600 should be able to register this domain name and General Motors should not be able to do any thing about it.

Ford should not be able to control who links to their site.

All that being said, why does 2600 have to be so stupid in this case.

I like freedom of speech and think that I should be able to say most anything I like. However I don't think people should make harmful speech just to see how far they can go.

Free speech is a good thing, but pick your battles with care.

Ford is also being stupid in that they did not even send a letter to 2600 to ask them to break the link. IIRC

Many different views (1)

Daath (225404) | more than 13 years ago | (#213771)

There are many different views on this matter... -My personal view is that some spoof-domains are ok, but fuck[inserttrademark].com is not ok... Imagine what the New York Times would say if someone published a newspaper named "Fuck New York Times"...
But hey, let's see what the courts say... :P

Re:Many different views (1)

Daath (225404) | more than 13 years ago | (#213772)

I imagine the NYT lawyers would disagree... But what do I know :)

Bah (5)

HongPong (226840) | more than 13 years ago | (#213774)

Perhaps I'm stating the obvious, but it seems to me that "fuckgeneralmotors" is a statement of opinion, and someone at would not confuse it with the real GM. Routing it to Ford I'd say is a bastard thing to do, but this is free speech, IMHO.

Companies are on a kick of saying that "Hey! That domain has our company name in it, so it's OURS!" Well, no. No it isn't. It's speech about your company.


Re:Many different views (2)

Courageous (228506) | more than 13 years ago | (#213776)

The domain name system is All Fucked Up (tm).
Where is it written that "all of .com is one
giant space in protection of a Trade"? The
domain name system is as much an expression of
ideas as it is labels of trade; The ability to
register a website called "Fuck Ford" isn't a
abuse of Ford's trade mark, it is an expression
of free speech reflecting the right of citizens
everywhere to express their dislike of the Ford

Companies these days attempt to acquire all known
permutations of their name, including ones which
are negative derivations of their name in order
to protect themselves from things like this.
However, I believe that this should _not_ be
allowed. A company should _not_ be able to buy
up the right to free itself from criticism; this
is tantamount to allowing those with the most
money to buy away the rights of others.

The internet domain system is screwed up, as are
its current policies.


Re:just re-redirect it (2)

hillct (230132) | more than 13 years ago | (#213778)

That'd probably only work for HTTP/1.1 where you have a HOST: header.

You have to wonder though, is ford looking for a solution or just trying to set legal prescident? there are plenty of technical solution to this problem, that would have kept it miles away from the courts.

Maybe they thought the PR benefit of a highly publicized court battle would be greater than the PR benefit of added trafic to their website, and you'd have to admit, on that count they'd probably be right.



What about me? (2)

DaHat (247651) | more than 13 years ago | (#213785)

Doh... 2600 gets sued for their name and I haven't heard anything from Digital Convergence on my name

Re:Do the editors read their own site? (1)

TimeTrip (254631) | more than 13 years ago | (#213789)

I thought I had read about this on slashdot a few days ago.. I just had trouble finding the article. Damn slashbacks ;)

Ford isn't stupid. They know what they're doing... (5)

Gruneun (261463) | more than 13 years ago | (#213791)

They know by making a big stink out of this they end up in a series of headlines and articles. They also get a ton of people who feel compelled to try out the page and... surprise... they end up on Ford's website.

Ever wonder why why Marilyn Manson gets so excited about church groups fighting to stop his concerts? There is no such thing as bad publicity... it still helps for name recognition.

Re:Good old Slashdot (1)

Sven Tuerpe (265795) | more than 13 years ago | (#213794)

Why the hell don't the editors remember anything?

Web servants work in a stateless way.

Both sides? (1)

Sarcasmooo! (267601) | more than 13 years ago | (#213795)

I don't see how General Motors has a cause at all. And if they do, better start hiding any hyperlinks you might have used to say something sucks [] . When you use your page to point visitors (via worded-link) to something that you think blows [] , you could argue that people aren't even sure what they're going to until they get there. They click a word like 'blows' and it takes them to something which may or may not blow [] . Hell, if people are as stupid as GM would have us believe, then anyone who clicked that last link is forever convinced that GM BLOWS [] . But obviously, this is just me expressing my opinion. The issue I'm making is that for GM to have a case, they would have to argue even beyond my use of links, by saying that someone who goes to might be confused, or might think that GM is somehow involved with it, and thusly wants to fuck themselves. GM wants to argue that people don't have the right to link to them in a critical manner, and that people who do are misusing their bandwidth by linking to a publicly accessable website, that is a completely valid target for criticism or parody. [] []

Is there a difference?

Re:just re-redirect it (1)

dachshund (300733) | more than 13 years ago | (#213799)

You have to wonder though, is ford looking for a solution or just trying to set legal prescident?

Probably the latter. Trademarks need to be vigorously defended. If they don't sue here, they weaken future tarnishment cases along the same lines. Additionally (and this is much more doubtful), they might open themselves up to some liability if a company like GM sued for slander-- not that GM would have a case, but at least Ford can prove that they don't approve of the prank.

And yes, I think that they're overreacting and that they shouldn't have the right to tell me what I can do with my HTTP/DNS server as long as it doesn't actually touch them. Unfortunately the trademark system actively encourages litigation.

Re:Like a billboard? (1)

markmoss (301064) | more than 13 years ago | (#213803)

And for that billboard, you could always drive over to the billboard rental agency and check their records to find out who really posted it... The point is, the average person never heard of whois, and is too lazy to use it anyhow. And anyone who thinks Ford _might_ have sponsored isn't too bright, but Ford doesn't want to lose its stupidest customers either.

Not that I'd want to leave standing any analogy between domain names and titles on billboards. In most places you _would_ get in trouble for posting "Fuck" in large letters in the public view, where it might corrupt the last virgin left in the country. 8-) In a url, only someone who already knows it can directly find it.

Re:Well, regardless of rights... (2)

markmoss (301064) | more than 13 years ago | (#213805)

Ford is not trying to control who can link to them. It would be one thing (and IMO it should be legal) if there was a visible * web page with a link to Ford. But instead, type * and the first thing you see is a Ford corporate web site. There is nothing to say that someone else and not Ford set up that automatic transfer. Corley crossed the line here.

Re:And I quote (1)

dhovis (303725) | more than 13 years ago | (#213811)

I really don't think that bandwidth is what Ford is sueing over. The real problem here is that the way the redirect is done makes it look like Ford has registered the domain "".

Yes, those of us in the know would immediately do a whois lookup and see who owns the domain name, but if the average person does this, they would think that Ford was playing a dirty trick.

In effect, I think that Ford probably feels that they are getting a bad name (or could get a bad name) for something they didn't do. Sooner or later some idiot will start forwarding an emails that say "HEY, LOOK AT THIS. FORD POINTS FUCKGENERALMOTORS.COM TO THEIR WEBSITE". Then Ford would have to spend money on a PR campain to correct that misconception.

I'll quote:
David H. Bernstein, an intellectual property lawyer in New York, agreed that Ford is holding the high cards in the case. He said Corley might have meant his linking to be a joke, but "one of the things about parody is that it's only effective if it's clear to consumers that it's a joke."

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and Ford would rather sue now then end up with a public relations nightmare on their hands.

Re:just re-redirect it (1)

bare_naked_linux (306356) | more than 13 years ago | (#213814)

I think this is an excelent idea. If you tried to sue every asshole that offended you (or offends someone else at your expense, as it was in this case), you'd spend sooo much time in court.

However, being able to turn their childish and immature antics against them with a few hacked together scripts and some clever wording may do more to prevent it from happening again. When you take'em to court they get publicity, which is probably what they were after anyway.


Re:It's just a word... (1)

MxTxL (307166) | more than 13 years ago | (#213816)

What you say is ALMOST true, i still very frequently hear on the news and radio people say "the n-word" instead.

Instead of reporting accurately, which no one will argue that news services DON'T really do, they serve a watered down version that no one will disapprove of. It sells more newspapers, and more people watch your TV program.

the onus... (2)

JohnnyKnoxville (311956) | more than 13 years ago | (#213818)

is on Ford to prove that they don't suck.

I have an idea... (1)

linuxpng (314861) | more than 13 years ago | (#213819)

If you want to piss Ford off good, why not use or

Re:I wonder where... (1)

Chakat (320875) | more than 13 years ago | (#213820) used to go to cbs and used to go to nbc.
IIRC, the Merry Pranster Emmanuel Goldstein is the one responsible for those two beauties of domain redirects, also.

If anything..Ford should be thankful! (1)

SacredSalt (321577) | more than 13 years ago | (#213822)

He's driving traffic to their site! Companies spend thousands of dollars to get hits to their sites. Some even resort to dreadful spam campaigns....and here, 2600 is driving traffic to their site without even recieving payment from Ford. Where's the beef?

Re:just re-redirect it (1) (321932) | more than 13 years ago | (#213823)

It looks like Ford has just installed 'My First Web Server' (Win2K/IIS) and are still waiting on 'My First Web Server For Dummies' to arrive.

After which they'll figure it out somehow.

In fact, they probably don't redirect because this looks a lot worse in court.

Oh no, what am I doing, flaming M$ and Ford on /., I must be desperate for some Karma.

Dangerous precedent (2)

dnwheeler (443747) | more than 13 years ago | (#213829)

Unfortunately there has already been a dangerous precedent set that domain names are, in fact, "names." If domain names were considered "titles," then all of these issues go away. It is perfectly legal for me to write a magazine article and title is "Microsoft Sucks" (or whatever), but if I create something NAMED "Microsoft Sucks" then there are trademark issues. So far, I have not seen anyone use the "title" or "description" defense in these types of cases. It will really simply things if domain names were considered "arbitrary" text, which may correspond to a name, a description, a title, or some other related or unrelated term.

Well, regardless of rights... (1)

kypper (446750) | more than 13 years ago | (#213842)

this is a sort of slander, and it would imply that Ford has a hand in it.
I think Ford has a right to be a little frightened and want it GONE.
Still, nothing illegal about it unless you do some fancy loophole searching.

I wonder where... (1)

PYves (449297) | more than 13 years ago | (#213846) goes to? used to go to cbs and used to go to nbc.


Illegal use of bandwidth? (1)

PYves (449297) | more than 13 years ago | (#213847)

give me a break, that's the same thing as linking to another website. Has slashdot ever been sued for slashdotting?

I really have a hard time believing you can sue someone for giving them the means to get to somewhere that is completely open to the public anyways.

he best be kidding.

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