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Toddler's website in trademark dispute

sengan posted more than 15 years ago | from the will-this-nonsense-ever-cease? dept.

The Internet 122

Edmond Howser wrote in with this story about Archie Comics writing to the owner of the veronica.org website, asking him to "cease all use of the Internet domain "Veronica.org," all use of the Veronica trademark," and hand over the domain to Archie Comics. Turns out the website is about Veronica, a toddler... The story also mentions your contribution in helping Ajax.org. Perhaps we can help Veronica by expressing our disappointment to Archie Comics' Feedback Page.

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

slow news day? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2039830)

Haven't we heard enough of these "big company trying 'protect' a trademark" stories? Especially when they are only peripherally techno-related (this IS a techno-news site, you realize).

Her father doesn't know enough about the Internic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2039831)

In the letter to Archie comics, her dad asks why archie hasn't registered veronica.edu or betty.edu or archie.edu; perhaps someone should tell him that these are reserved for educational institutions (and as Archie Comics doesn't hold classes, they probably wouldn't qualify.) I would have emailed him, but there is no mailto link or email address, despite the words saying 'click here to send email to my daddy'.

my letter to archie inc. or whoever they are (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2039832)


i just sent this, and i liked it enough
that i thought i'd share it.


You people are out of your minds.

You're suing a toddler because her name is
the same as a cartoon character? This is
bizarre and sick.

One hopes that the courts will not encourage
this madness. My attitude towards your
moronic publications has always been indiff-
erence leavened by a small dose of disgust,
but that has changed. Disgust now informs
every fiber of my being.

God will punish you for this loathsome and
barbarous act.

this is a good opportunity... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2039833)

for some script kiddies to hack into the web page and post a story or two ... i assume the talkback page is heavily moderated

Trademarks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2039834)

I'm no lawyer, but my understanding of trademarks is that a company is REQUIRED to vigorously pursue infringements on any trademark or they will lose it. This may not be a case of Archie Comics trying to be mean, pick on toddlers, or even to win the case. They may be filing merely to demonstrate their intent to protect it. In fact, reviewing these excerpts from the text of the article hints at this. Any trademark lawyers out there want to enlighten us?

"For its part, Archie Comics says it is simply trying to protect its trademark. "

"We certainly cater to children, and we wouldn't be in business if we didn't make children happy," he added. "I would love nothing better than to resolve this amicably, in a way that makes everyone happy."
(Hmm, sounds like he wants to let the kid keep veronica.org, so long as their point is made that Archie Comics continues to own the trademark.)

open letter to ACP's PR man (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2039835)

From: Matt
To: paulc@archiecomics.com
Cc:
Bcc:
Subject: veronica.org
Reply-To:

paul,
it seems a pity that your company would decide to go after a
harmless website like veronica.org. if these "ideals" of yours about
protecting your intelectual property rights were taken to the logical
extreme you would sue people for naming their daughters veronica. now
obviously your would not do such a thing because it would be seen to
be socially "out of place". just like the above hypothetical situation
threatening an innocent unrelated website like veronica.org is
socially "out of place". possibly not by more common social standards,
but defenitely by net, or internet, standards. since "the net" as a
society and its impact on more general or common society grows, you
risk more to your long term future goodwill by persisting with such an
action. i write this letter in the hope that your company will not
persist with such an action. also i hope that your company would take
on a more coporate sense of the societies that it lives in and deals
with. this way hopefully all can co-exist and benefit. so please, call
off the dogs of war.

sincerely,
matt

Another Lame Lawsuit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2039836)

Why don't they go after the Veronica, Archie and Jughead utilities while they're at it. At least those are intentionally derived from the comic.

make sure you redirect it to a porn site (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2039837)

and let them know :)

There really isn't a case here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2039838)

Simple, but true. Marketing people don't have a clue about the TLDs. *.org is non-commercial. If the toddler was using veronica.com then, because *.com is for commercial use, the company would have a case. As it is, they don't.

James Green

What the USPTO needs to do... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2039839)

... or whoever would have the legitimate authority to resolve this in the eyes of the courts, would be to stipulate that, in the case of common names or terms, the existence of domain names cannot constitute trademark infringements, and that the law of first come, first served applies. Therefore, the use of a domain such as veronica.org, or even veronica.com, by a party who does not hold a trademark on that name in some region or business market could not be used by a third party as an argument that the trademark has been diluted and thus they are free to actually infringe on the trademark in question.

Did that make sense?

Michael Knepher
josefk@wenet.net

picking on someone their own size, I see... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2039840)

Taking a domain name from a baby. Good to see them fighting the good fight against those obvious blatant trademark infringers. I'm sure Archie comics will be coming to seize this and all Veronicas from now on, or those Veronicas be required to change their name to something else.

Doesn't it make you feel warm and fuzzy all over?

lets not go and get god into this.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2039841)

yeah, i also wrote a letter to those sicko's.. but lets not get god into this.. (if for no other reason, cause god doesn't exist anyway..)

relevant (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2039842)

I think it's very relevant and I'd like to hear about it. When it comes down to it, it's what Rob wants that's gonna' matter, but my vote is for keeping them. You don't have to read or like every single news posting. I've said my piece.

saadiq
saadiqr@princeton.edu

Archie and Veronica (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2039843)

So what about the Archie protocol?

It was used a long while back to find programs on ftp sites before the web and search engines (remember that? Back when I was young AOL didn't have net access. yada yada yada ) I also seem to remember that there was an archie client named Veronica as well. (or maybe that was just some other search protocol, maybe for gopher?)

An what about Anarchie? It's a great FTP (and archie) tool for the mac produced by Peter Lewis.

use the slashdot effect! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2039844)

....and remind these corporate weenies
who rules the internet - the people,
not the silly, greedy corporations!

email has been sent..

betty.org registered (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2039845)

done, damn I actually used to enjoy archie
comics, but this is BS.

btw, organization is: Bettys for a Better Internet

z80@unix.c-shell.net

/. 'em!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2039846)

/. 'em!!!
/. archiecomics.com!!! MUAHAHAHHA

Greedy pencil pushers. It's one of the few ways we can fight back, eh? ;)

p.s. I never laughed reading archie comics. Not even once.

hmmmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2039847)

to piss off microsoft, or your kid?

Surrendering use of TradeMarked names (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2039848)

...and in the small print it reads...

"Furthermore, your daughter must also surrender her name, 'Veronica', as must all other persons - dead or alive - and no one shall be able to use the name or monicker 'Veronica' in the future without the express written consent and big honkin' fee paid to Archie Comics.

"Names are intellectual property, copyrightable, and trademarkable according to United States law. We, Archie Comics, are fiercely defensive of our trademarks and cannot permit our names to be made disreputable by allowing some drooling, smelly, noisy toddler to have this name. It will potentially ruin the profitable future of the Veronica name and of Archie Comics."

Well, something like that. :)

J.Crawford
jacrawf@oz.net

You can call me anything you like... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2039849)

... but you can't call me Veronica.

(with apologies to Elvis Costello.)

Veronica reaches a new low (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2039850)

I always thought of Veronica as being a little bit of a self center character but I think stealing "candy" (non-for-profit registration of a name) from a baby is even below her. This is the type of thing that could loose Archie Comics "in" status with it younger readers.

Btw, since it is possible to have an identical name trademarked by several times by seprate companies as long as each use is in non-competting fields (Veronica Windshield Wash, Veronica Cheeses, etc). I would be curious to know if anyone here has the resources to do an U.S. trademark look-up and see if some other company has an older claim to a "Veronica" trademark than Archie Comics.

As far as the Internic policy goes, I think if they are going to continue this stupid policy then they should fill the "whois" database for com/net/org domains with entries for the oldest instances of any names trademarked before Jan 1999. This would at least make it easier to tell if a domain name might possibly be yanked before you attempt to register it. At least no one has trademarked "209.134.29.46" yet. :)

If only someone produced soap under the trademark of "dir" (Dirty Is Removed). If trademark law worked the way that Internic is "enforcing" it, then a soap company would be able to bully alot of OS authors.

betty.org registered (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2039851)

redirect it to screechingweasel.com

boycott (not like I read those anyways) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2039852)


After hearing the ludicrous request made by the "lawyers representing archie-comics" regarding veronica.org, I can assure you that
nobody I know or am related to (myself included) will ever spend a dime on
any archie-related comic or 'product' ever, ever again.

That is sooooo mean! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2039853)

Can you even imagine the truama that your child would go through everytime someone said his name?! No one deserves to be so horribly insulted

-Anonymous Loser

BTW-Did you know that www.microsoft.net isn't registered...heheh...:)

Her father doesn't know enough about the Internic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2039854)

If you read the quote from his letter to Archie Comics' lawyers, you'd know he's pretty sharp and is taking the right tack with his defense of the domain name. It's time that someone with the knowledge to fight back was involved so that Internic is forced to stop being such idiots about disputes like this. They'll probably end up pulling his domain come Jan. 22 anyway, since they haven't shown much evidence of having any common sense judgment up to now. Some people may think that this is an irrelevant story, but incidents like these go to the heart of who gets to control the Internet - is access and content going to be treated as a public trust, where you and I have as much opportunity to create content as some huge corporation, or as a new marketing medium for the already bloated corporations? Internic's "one-size-fits-all" dispute policy is ridiculous and needs to be scrapped.

Michael Knepher
josefk@wenet.net

town in canada (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2039855)

isn't ajax a town in ontario canada, where i live?

Veronica WHO? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2039856)

What audacity it is that Archie comics believes they own the right to a Name.... DID they trademark it? Is no one allowed to name their child Veronica without having to license the name from Archie Comics?

This is a bunch of utter BS fostered by greedy lawyers and stupid people who think they can sue for anything.

Maybe the site was a trademark infringement of "Veronica's Closet" or maybe a million other things that have the name veronica assoicted with some probably predating Achie Comics use...

I'd like to see the court slap Archie comics with a massive fine for wasting the courts time and the father counter sue for ten times the value in punative damages (harassment) for this utter stupidity. Maybe if the courts fined you severely for bringing utterly baseless suits this type of crap would stop.

betty.org registered (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2039857)

did you pay for it with bazooka wrappers?

Archie Porn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2039858)

Does this mean that the porographic cartoon parodies of Archie(tm) i've seen on the internet are also in violation of copyright?

Jughead would be ashamed of what these fat cats are doing.

It's part of owning a trademark (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2039859)

You have to defend your trademark, even if it means pissing some people off. That's how they work!

No Subject Given (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2039860)

I don't understandwhy you guys violate your ACP commitment, specifically
"(g) never be shown engaging in violent or abusive behavior"

as shown at
http://www.archiecomics.com/insideacp/legalese.h tml#forparents

I consider picking on small children a horrible thing as I'm sure most moral people would. I know that America follow the "sue it if it moves" credo, but this is ridiculous.

Do you realise the public backlash you've just opened yourself up for? the last batch of knee-jerk-reactionist-lawyer-hiring-apparently-gra duated-from-a-community-college-business -program executives that did something like this got their ass handed to them in many small pieces. (www.ajax.org and www.pokey.org)

I'm sure that this is all some misunderstanding caused by an overzealous lawyer and some uniformed marketing exec. I don't particularily care about your comics (because I don't read them), but I think you are hurting yourself more than you'll ever know and that can't be good for your business. Your organization is all about image; you want to look like a nice family-oriented organization with all american values. You're hurting that image now, possibly beyond repair.

Your little foray into the world of corporate stupidity is now publicized on some very popular sites.

http://slashdot.org/articles/99/01/15/194221.sht ml
http://www.news.com/News/Item/0,4,31027,00.html? st.ne.ni.lh

CNET (www.cnet.com ), the owner of news.com is a massive site that draws millions of visitors per month. Not only do they have an artilce about your attack, but there is also related in a realaudio broadcast (http://www.news.com/Radio/Rams/1999/01/15/pm.ram ).

Slashdot (http://slashdot.org) is also carrying a forum about this (the last time they carried something like this, they managed to gather over 1300 petitions against the aggressor).

I really hope that you figure out a way to extracate yourself from this mess you created. Maybe your initial blunder can be turned into a lesson that can be used to instruct other sue-happy individuals and companies.

betty.org (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2039861)

An interesting topic for a /. poll would be how many people independently discovered this. My second reaction to the veronica.org story (right after visiting veronica.org) was to look up all of {archie,betty,veronica,jughead}.{org,net,com} to see which were available, with the intent of maybe getting one to annoy Archie Comics.

Do archie comics even exist anymore? Unforunately (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2039862)

I never liked Archie. But unfortunately, there
always seems to be a fresh supply of the damn
comics every now and then at the grocery store.

The covers all end up looking alike. :)

Veronica.com -- HAWMAHwhAWHWHAHHWAHHAHAHHHAA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2039863)

Brilliant! :D

archie.nu is available .. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2039864)

Go register at www.gov.nu and win a free trip to the southern pacific

ja@linux.nu

Yet Another Letter to Archie Comics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2039865)

It's a name: I'm sure they would lose any court case if they pursued it. The problem is, defending against such a case could severely financially damage the family that owns Veronica.org, so they might just drop it. Here's the letter I sent.

-----

Hello.

Reading slashdot.org today, I discovered that Archie Comics is using its extraordinary legal clout to attack the owners of Veronica.org, because you apparently feel that the use of this name infringes on your copyright. One of the few things we own in this world is our names, and in this case, it seems you're trying to take away even that. They aren't using images or text from your comic books: if they did, you might have some grounds for legal action. You espouse family values in your comic book: why do you not do so in your real world actions? If you pursue this legal action, I'm going to be finding other comics for my children to read.

Thank you for your time,

Giles

Censorship in the Arche gang (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2039866)

Hello People i went to Archiecomics.com and found any refrence to Veronica.org. hmmmmm

"little family" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2039867)

While corporate terrorism against private citizens may be atrocious, do remember that this poor "little family" lives in affluent Beverly Hills.

my letter to archie inc. or whoever they are (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2039868)

I chose to contest their business practice related to the internet. I thought this worth sharing as well...

Your company's posturing against the Sams family and their domain, veronica.org, transcends good business practice and the fringes of idiocy. That a business would tread over humanity would not surprise me. But a comic book company challenging a family's exuberance over a newborn with legalistic territorial pissings scales the Mount Everest of stupidity.

No doubt, some schmuck with an MBA on his wall and a slug for a brain between his ears conjured up this challenge to the Sams. He probably thinks of children as tax deductions rather than gifts of love.

Your company has shown itself unworthy of a presence on the internet. Like many other businesses, you fail to grasp the essence of the internet: people share information freely. The domains of the internet are not dollars in a wind tunnel you grasp for. They do not belong exclusively to those with balance sheets and stock options.

Gregg Casillo
casillo@ix.netcom.com

Canadian - veroni.ca (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2039869)

has anybody registered veroni.ca yet?

Pokey.org (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2039870)

I suppose that the Archie corporation didn't look at what happened to Prima in its desire to obtain pokey.org

cc rider (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2039871)

Dear Sir:

I just read about the dispute you are having over the veronica.org site and I couldn't agree
with you more.

However, I also believe the current owner is also correct on one thing. Your company
needs to quash Veronica's Closet. It is obviously a feeble attempt to rip you off and
infringe your trade mark. 1) The main character is VERONICA 2) She has obviously led
a life full of rejection and has tried to compensate through clothing so she can compete
with the "born rich" 3) She exhibits poor taste in men (e.g. her ex-husband) which is just a
manifestation of her need to be accepted and over compensation for her feelings of
rejection from her unrequited desire for "Archie." 4) I also can't stand that whiney woman
who plays Veronica (note also she has dark hair--coincidence, I think not).

cc: /.


reply to your tomfoolery (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2039872)

heathen? see, thats the problem. you view people who don't see things your way as "uncivilized" (definition of heathen in Merriam-Webster) and thus feel it your obligation to civilize the heathens. If you were just gonna "pray" for the heathen there wouldn't be a problem. Infact, praying for another isn't all that bad. Its when you begin exercising that self righteous white man's burden's stuff (although you don't have to be white to exercise it) that I begin to become annoyed..
Christians are not taught to accept their neighbor's, they are taught to change them.

Colour me cynical... (1)

zztzed (279) | more than 15 years ago | (#2039887)

...but I don't see why anyone would register a domain for their two-year-old daughter. It's stupid. I mean, if you want to put up a page about how great and how cute your little toddler is, why not use the webspace that your ISP provides? And yes, one could say that my registering a domain name is stupid, but at least I can read and write. Also, I am aware that the issue here is that a big nasty faceless corporation is trying to squash the little guy for using a name that just happens to be one of their trademarks but the little guy isn't using it in any way that relates to the corporation's trademark, so don't flame me about me ignoring the real issue here, because I'm not.

Sorry, it's her name (1)

Analog (564) | more than 15 years ago | (#2039888)

Unless trademark law has been changed recently (and it may have been; you no longer have to be in the same business to be infringing a trademark, for instance) trademarks offer no protection against someone who is using their own name. If you are foolish enough to trademark a common name, you will have to live with the possibility that someone with that name will also use it, or (quite possibly) that you will lose the mark altogether.

Of course, there is no doubt in my mind that Archie comics is hoping that these people cave without researching the issue.

Sorry, it's her name (1)

Trepidity (597) | more than 15 years ago | (#2039889)

Not entirely correct, AFAIK. The courts have ruled that just because it's your name is not a 100% flawless defence in all cases. For example, a guy with a last name of McDonald decided he wanted to sell hamburger's. It was his hamburger shop, so he called it "McDonald's Hamburger Shop." The *other* McDonald's was none too happy, and won in court, even though it *was* the guy's name.

Work smarter not harder... (1)

maelstrom (638) | more than 15 years ago | (#2039890)

Instead of aiming the /. effect at the offending companies each time this happens (and it WILL happen again), lets aim it towards something that will be able to take care of all of them.

I'd like to see someone that has "a clue"(TM) about trademarks and the Internet step up and give those of us that don't have a full grasp on all the issues, a place to aim our Congress Critters and get the law changed to something more reasonable.

I don't have a lot of sympathy for Archie Comics, however maybe some of you have forgotten or weren't around here when the whole Linux trademark debacle took place. Also remember those that advocate nailing linux.org with trademark infringement. We wanted Linus to do exactly the same things that Archie Comics is doing right now.

betty.org (1)

gavinhall (33) | more than 15 years ago | (#2039891)

Posted by Charles Bronson:

It should be noted here that betty.org is not a registered domain name, so does anyone with $70 to throw around want to annoy Archie Comics?

archie comics and email (1)

gavinhall (33) | more than 15 years ago | (#2039892)

Posted by johnny the homicidal maniac:

so, i hit the page listed, and look for specific email addresses of people at the company - mikes@archiecomics.com; richg@archiecomics.com; chuckg@archiecomics.com; paulc@archiecomics.com - executive producers and the like. and i get spammed with four identical letters, mentioning "All e-mail is directed to the appropriate
editor within ArchieComics Online." and thanks for writing. i'd buy betty.org in a heartbeat if i had the money, but the semester just started. email archie comics, or each of the people above, and let them know how ridiculous this is, eh ?

The bastards! (1)

pingouin (783) | more than 15 years ago | (#2039893)

They should pick on somebody their own size [veronica.nl] . But they haven't the cojones, I'm sure.

--

Hmm... (1)

Tom Servo (961) | more than 15 years ago | (#2039895)

I wonder if they are going to sue the people who created/implemented the archie and veronica services now.

Someone should really create a "Lawyers Hall of Shame" page to commemorate the stupidity, greed, and thuggery of those who bully individuals with frivolous legal threats over domain names.

Uh, that was his point... (1)

adamsc (985) | more than 15 years ago | (#2039896)

In the letter to Archie comics, her dad asks why archie hasn't registered veronica.edu or betty.edu or archie.edu; perhaps someone should tell him that these are reserved for educational institutions (and as Archie Comics doesn't hold classes, they probably wouldn't qualify.)
That just possibly might have been his point. Archie already owns veronica.com [veronica.com] and it is ridiculous for them to worry about a non-commercial site that in no way pertains to them. I could understand somewhat if he was running something like ibm.org but trying to claim sole rights to a commonly used name? Registering every possible domain that shares the same name as a character in a comic book is insane!

Highly relevent (1)

adamsc (985) | more than 15 years ago | (#2039897)

Old business practices conflicting with commonly accepted Internet procedures? Sure sounds like a nerd topic to me.

Besides, there's always the old standby:

  • Rob is a nerd. He finds it interesting.
  • You didn't pay anything to Rob. He never promised anything
  • You are not the sole arbitrator of what constitutes a nerd.
Grow up - not everyone feels the same as you do. Learn to deal with it.

hahaha (1)

PHroD (1018) | more than 15 years ago | (#2039898)

who CARES? has anyone actually read archie comics since the 60's? Kids read like DC and Marvel et al. these days, even most little kids. I NEVER found Archie or Popeye (another suck-ass comic) or any of that stuff even MILDLY funny. Sheesh... maybe we should /. archiecomics.com

Corrections (1)

dylan_- (1661) | more than 15 years ago | (#2039900)


..and, of course, "hart less" should be "heartless"...I've seen that one a few times...I guess it's difficult cos it slips thru the spell checker. :-)

dylan_-


--

Irrelevant (1)

asmussen (2306) | more than 15 years ago | (#2039901)

This sort of thing is an example of the commercial world creaping (sprinting) up on us here on the internet, and is highly relevant to the politics of the internet, even if in of itself it is only a minor example.

Feel the power of Slashdot (1)

KevCo (2333) | more than 15 years ago | (#2039902)

I think this type of thing is a good use of the slashdot effect. Maybe Michael Silberkleit [mailto] , publisher of Archie Comics will realize his error after he has to sort through 20MB of hatemail.


WTF does he hope to do with a .org domain anyway? Corporations should stay in .com where they belong.

Oh great... (1)

Millennium (2451) | more than 15 years ago | (#2039903)

Yeah; was that last bit really necessary? More likely they'll get punished by the media, which is most definitely not God even if many uninformed people take the words of the media as gospel (sorry, bad pun; couldn't resist).

multiple lawsuits (1)

Hilbert (2515) | more than 15 years ago | (#2039904)

so does this mean both archie comics and hanna-barbara (betty rubble from the flintstones) will sue you?

Another letter to archiecomics.com (1)

Hilbert (2515) | more than 15 years ago | (#2039905)

Attached below is the letter I sent to the feedback address. I tried to exhibit politeness in this letter; I hope that if you do write them as well (please do!) that you will approach them in a level-headed manner. The "advocacy" mentioned in the news.com article won't mean a damn thing in the future if it's associated with a angry-mob mentaility.


To Whom It May Concern,

I would like to add my voice of concern to the many you have already received regarding your dispute with the owners of the veronica.org domain. It seems unconscionable to lay claim to anything containing the common name of a character in your publication -- a name which can be traced etymologically for centuries.

Have you sued Hanna-Barabara for their use of the name "Betty" in "The Flintstones"? These two characters have peacefully coexisted for the last three decades; certainly your Veronica and this child can too.

I hope that this debacle can resolved amicably, and I encourage you to cease your legal threats against the Sams. Thank you for your time to consider this message.

Chris Prince

Jugheads! (1)

glomph (2644) | more than 15 years ago | (#2039906)

Seems pretty appropriate to describe the situation.

i dont mean to be flamebait...BUT (1)

CrAlt (3208) | more than 15 years ago | (#2039907)

maybe just maybe veronica.org did have something on their site that riped off Archie comics. And then after "dad" got a Email from Archie comics he threw up this babby Web site...hoping to play on our harts, tricking us into siding with him. For all we know veronica.org could have had Archie comic p0rn on it or something.


Just an idea, and why i wont send a uninformed Email to Archie comics about something i know nothing about.

thats not my point..... (1)

CrAlt (3208) | more than 15 years ago | (#2039908)

my point was....What IF befor this all hit the news the Dad had something up there that realy was a violation. Then he just threw this babby veronica site up there to get everyone on his side.

It was just a idea

thats not my point..... (1)

CrAlt (3208) | more than 15 years ago | (#2039909)

A) is that realy the letter? and how come he didnt put up the letter they sent him?

B) it donst matter WHAT that letter sez. Lets say the fist site WAS a rip of of A-comics.
Dad gets a Email from the lawyers.
Dad takes down the ripoff site...throws up a Babby site and sez. "look your trying to beat up on a babby, you cant have the domain because its named after my babby"

If the 1st page realy was a rip off then Dad is gona try to hide that fact. He is gona try to make it seem like that site always was about his babby


Again...im not trying to say A-comics it right...im just saying we dont know what was on that domain/webserver be4

jughead.org is already taken (1)

matty (3385) | more than 15 years ago | (#2039910)

Checkit: http://www.jughead.org [jughead.org]

So let's do what's right (1)

fugue (4373) | more than 15 years ago | (#2039912)

Trademark law obviously needs a complete overhaul. I don't think that this is planned. Does anyone have any idea what we can do to cut this problem out at the source? Letter-writing campaigns are all well and good, but I've stopped contacting site admins about spam, and I'll stop contacting companies about trademarks too in a couple of years. Can we do anything to push for at least some clarification of trademark law?

Pay attention (1)

Troy Roberts (4682) | more than 15 years ago | (#2039913)

Her father clearly understands. He was making the point that they have veronica.org (note the org), not veronica.com (which Archie comics owns). His point is that they have a non-commercial domain.

If your going to make a comment, at least look at all the information.

The letter I just sent... (1)

Kha0S (5753) | more than 15 years ago | (#2039915)

Date: Fri, 15 Jan 1999 20:18:06 -0500 (EST)
From: Andrew Hobgood
To: talkback@archiecomics.com
Cc: mrhit@aol.com
Subject: VERONICA.ORG Domain Name: a plea for sanity

Hello there.

I'm a concerned netizen who finds your lack of regard for personal originality and personal freedoms (as well as civil liberties) a horrible example of corporate America.

By trying to get the young Veronica Sams (and her parents) to give up the domain "veronica.org," you're setting a poor example for other companies. This domain is clearly not in competition with yours in any way. Have you sued the developers of the Internet for their usage of the terms "Veronica" and "Archie" as Internet search tools that have been around for longer than the web? No, you haven't.

If you continue to disregard the possibility that this young girl (all of a eighteen months old, and very cute, I might add) is not out to get you and your profits, I'll be forced to begin a campaign among local comic collectors (many of which I'm close friends with) to denounce your company and the twisted ideals which you represent.

I find your closed-minded attempts to strip a toddler of her web presence to be highly deplorable and disgusting.

If you take action against Veronica Sams and her family, I suggest you also take action against the following (and this is by no means a comprehensive list):

- Owners of all the following domains:
veronica.nl
veronica.net
archie.org
jughead.org
betty.net

(ad nauseum)

- The following authors of common software programs:
Peter Deutsch, Alan Emtage, and Bill Heelan
(authors of the "Archie" FTP search tool released in 1990
University of Nevada
(authors of the "Veronica" Gopher search tool released, on Nov. 17 1992)
Rhett Jones (University of Utah)
(author of "Jughead", another Gopher search tool, released in 1993)

Recall, by no means is this a comprehensive list of all uses of your trademarks from the Archie Comic Book series. Make sure to eliminate all of them, or your precious earnings will be threatened by things completely outside of your market!

Thanks for your time,

/Andrew

Cute kid (1)

malus (6786) | more than 15 years ago | (#2039916)

I'd sue her...

No, this is Rob's site (1)

A nonymous Coward (7548) | more than 15 years ago | (#2039917)

You may think of it as a techo news site, but it's really whatever Rob wants it to be. How many other non-techno news articles have you complained about? All of them? I bet not.

--

Well said. (1)

Jonathan C. Patschke (8016) | more than 15 years ago | (#2039918)

I realize that this is an IS news site, not a pro-anything-religious site, but I'd just like to say that seeing your comment has made my day. :)

Thanks.


The following sentence is true.
The previous sentence is false.

Sorry, it's her name (1)

SIGBUS (8236) | more than 15 years ago | (#2039919)

On the other hand, there is a town in central Illinois (I forget the name), that has a McDonald's Restaurant that was in business before the hamburger chain, and sucessfully brushed back the megacorp's lawsuit...

--

Doh! (1)

Duke of URL (10219) | more than 15 years ago | (#2039921)

Once again I've been beaten out by another /.'r to get credit for a link to a story.

On topic, however, I think we should do another petition.

My Letter (1)

VValdo (10446) | more than 15 years ago | (#2039922)

Dear Archie Comics--

I wanted to offer my feedback about the whole veronica.org controversy-- it seems bizarre and even a little paranoid to think the public could confuse a web site about a little toddler with your strip.

Couldn't the money you're using to pay your lawyers be used for something more constructive-- maybe contribute it to the little girl's college fund or something? A little now would go a long way in her future. It could be a nice project maybe, to show solidarity and support for a real-life Veronica rather than try to take something away from this family.

Just my feedback.
W

Irrelevant - NOT (1)

Lord of the Files (10941) | more than 15 years ago | (#2039923)

The topic of trademarks, and complaints that businesses have about domain names similar to their trademarks has come up repeatedly in more "relevant" articles. This story is a continuation of those, and an example of how ridiculous these companies are becoming. As a continuation it is relevant.

Something Odd? (1)

baglunch (11210) | more than 15 years ago | (#2039924)

I've looked at the news.com story, seen the veronica.org site, and visited the archie comics site. I just can't shake the feeling that something fishy is going on here and not in the way everyone seems to think. It's just a feeling, I don't have any evidence or inside information on this, but upon evaluating the situation... it just seems so ludicrous. I am continually amazed at the creative stupidity of corporations, and if this situation is everything that it is reported to be, I'll be amazed yet again. But my gut feeling is that someone is pulling a fast one on news.com at the expense of Archie comics. And we are providing the Rent-A-Mob element. Or perhaps someone at news.com has an agenda all their own... conspiracy theory, anyone?

But my first reaction to any obvious situation is to be skeptical. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. At this moment, I can't imagine a worse scenario for Archie Comics to be in. I'm sure their lawyers know little Veronica Sam isn't competing with their comic Veronica. I'm sure they know the ReadyWhip Bad PR potential of something like this. It just isn't worth it. To my mind, there's just gotta be something more to this.

Clue (1)

loki7 (11496) | more than 15 years ago | (#2039925)

This is not a flame, but...

Do you have a clue about how internic works???
Just because you can't ping a name (or browse it with IE) doesn't mean that it's not registered. You don't need an IP address to register a name.

(Clue: you can use 'whois' to find out registeration information about domains)

peter

Trademarks (1)

symbolic (11752) | more than 15 years ago | (#2039926)

I'm no lawyer, but my understanding of trademarks is that a company is REQUIRED to vigorously pursue infringements on any trademark or they will lose it.

I'm no lawyer either, but this might make sense if the alleged offenders were actually trying to develop another commercial interest. If Archie Comics is going after a common name, why don't they finish the job and demand that all people named Veronica turn over their names as well.

archiecomics.com -- MEGA cookies (1)

domc (11897) | more than 15 years ago | (#2039927)

Just visited archiecomics.com to help in the /.ing. Did anyone else notice how many cookies they set? It seemed like almost twenty. A sign of pure evil!

domc

petition (1)

Natedog (11943) | more than 15 years ago | (#2039928)

I don't think Archie has a case here (as the previous post suggests), but I still think it would be a good idea to petition this. We need to send a message to companies that we won't stand for such things. If we don't, we'll only see more and more non-profit and small businesses get run over by larger companies. We need to let corporations know such actions also hurt themselfs by demonizing their public image.

Trademarking a common name (1)

Intermod (13276) | more than 15 years ago | (#2039930)

Although I'm quite sick of hearing about domain name disputes, I had to laugh at this one. A trademark simply can't be placed on a common first name. I'm sure the lawyers involved aren't planning on taking the case to court. Instead, they're simply trying to get an easy domain using scare tactics.

Do archie comics even exist anymore? (1)

dirty (13560) | more than 15 years ago | (#2039931)

When was the most recent issue of archie published anyway? I thought it was a long time ago, atleast a decade. Not to mention I don't see how you can trademark a name. Is someone going to trademark Matt and sue me everytime I put my name on something? Once again, I think we should kill all of the lawyers. This country would be a much better place if NO ONE had a lawyer. That way huge corporations would have just as good of a chance at mudling their way through a court case that joe shmoe would have. I just hope that the parents don't cave for fear of a lawsuit which, while they would win, would probally cost them a fortune.

Oh damn! (1)

yonderboy (13585) | more than 15 years ago | (#2039932)

Looks like we'll have to get rid of the archie, veronica, and jughead utils because they're a copyright violation too. Damn.

Amen to that. (1)

code zero (13707) | more than 15 years ago | (#2039933)

I sent an email to one of the Execs expressing my disapproval.

Veronica.com (1)

John Zachary (14636) | more than 15 years ago | (#2039936)

Ohhh! Very good!

Slashdot should begin documenting cases of Net-stupidty such as this. After accumulating quite a few instances (which might take all of an hour), I bet some large media site would pick up on that pretty quickly.

petition (1)

Jae (14657) | more than 15 years ago | (#2039937)

So when is the petition gonna start up?

-Jae

My email (1)

jsares (14664) | more than 15 years ago | (#2039938)

Dear Archie Comics:

Please cease all actions against http://www.veronica.org/. It has been
reported on http://slashdot.org/ and http://www.news.com/ that you are
asking to have the veronica.org web site taken down and have the domain
turned over to you. This is not in good taste and goes against the
spirit of Archie Comics.

A close family friends owns several local comic book stores in the North
East Ohio area. After explaining the situation to him he is willing to
stop carrying all your comics and other items. He will also speak with
several other local owners and ask them to do the same. In addition I
will help veronica.org take legal action against you.

After this happens you will not be able to keep this out of the
international media. I don't think you want the entire planet to think
that your company is so hart less as to demand a family take down the
site they put up for their daughter.

I doubt you have the integrity to post this to your web page since you
filter the comments that are posted there for content. I would like an
email in response letting me know that you are dropping your action. If
not I will help to organize a boycott against your company, have this
reported to the national media, and provide legal action for rightful
owners of veronica.org.

Sincerely,

Jason Sares
Akron, Ohio



Internic Whois (1)

jsares (14664) | more than 15 years ago | (#2039939)

Registrant:
Archie Original Art (ARCHIECOMICS-DOM)
c/o Archie Online, 325 Fayette Avenue
Mamaroneck, NY 10543

Domain Name: ARCHIECOMICS.COM

Administrative Contact, Technical Contact, Zone Contact:
Chou, Michael (MC606) mchou@PAGEUPCOM.COM
212-777-2800
Billing Contact:
Chou, Michael (MC606) mchou@PAGEUPCOM.COM
212-777-2800

Record last updated on 04-Jun-97.
Record created on 15-Jul-96.
Database last updated on 15-Jan-99 07:09:42 EST.

Domain servers in listed order:

NS2.PAGEUP.NET 204.254.231.5
NS4.PAGEUP.NET 204.254.231.4

Law Firm (1)

jsares (14664) | more than 15 years ago | (#2039940)

Catherine S Reynolds - Grimes & Battersby
3 Landmark Sq # 405 Stamford, CT (203) 324-2828

Charles W Grimes - Grimes & Battersby
3 Landmark Sq # 405 Stamford, CT (203) 324-2828

George W Cooper - Grimes & Battersby
3 Landmark Sq # 405 Stamford, CT (203) 324-2828

Gregory J Battersby - Grimes &Battersby
3 Landmark Sq # 405 Stamford, CT (203) 324-2828

James G Coplit - Grimes & Battersby
3 Landmark Sq # 405 Stamford, CT (203) 324-2828

Joan J Baird - Grimes & Battersby
3 Landmark Sq # 405 Stamford, CT (203) 324-2828

Leora Herrmann - Grimes & Battersby
3 Landmark Sq # 405 Stamford, CT (203) 324-2828

Melissa T Rosse - Grimes & Battersby
3 Landmark Sq # 405 Stamford, CT (203) 324-2828

Quote from Law Firm Partner (1)

jsares (14664) | more than 15 years ago | (#2039941)

This was on http://www.nyipla.org/public/10_faq.html [nyipla.org]

Q: What is a copyright?

A: Copyright protection is provided for original works of authorship fixed in a tangible medium of expression. That means one cannot copyright an idea, only the expression of the idea. The various categories of copyrightable works include:

literary works;
musical works, including accompanying words;
dramatic works, including accompanying music;
pantomimes and choreographic works;
pictorial, graphic and sculptural works;
motion pictures and other audiovisual works;
sound recordings; and
architectural works.

Copyright rights are limited in duration to a term of the life of the author plus 50 years for individuals, or a term of 75 years from the first publication or 100 years from creation (whichever expires first) for works made for hire by employees.

Copyright rights commence upon the creation of the underlying work, and registration is not absolutely required. Registration of a copyright claim with the U.S. Copyright Office, however, is a prerequisite for commencing an action for copyright infringement.

Copyright applications are frequently filed without the services of an attorney and are the biggest bargain in the intellectual property field. The current copyright filing fee is $20 per application, and it typically takes about six weeks for the Copyright Office to process the application and issue a registration. No separate foreign filing is required. The U.S. filing achieves rights in all countries adhering to the Universal Copyright Convention or Berne Convention.

(Answers provided by Greg Battersby, Grimes & Battersby, Three Landmark Square, Stamford, CT 06901)

More Internic Whois (1)

jsares (14664) | more than 15 years ago | (#2039942)

Registrant:
David Sams Industries (VERONICA3-DOM)
505 South Beverly Drive, suite
1017 Beverly Hills, CA 90212 US

Domain Name: VERONICA.ORG

Administrative Contact:
DiAngelo, Rio (RD4076) rio@HIGHERSOURCE.COM
310 -281 -8434
Technical Contact, Zone Contact:
Web Sites Now Hostmaster (HRA11-ORG) hostmaster@WEBSITESNOW.COM
310-553-7000x260
Fax: 310-786-8349
Billing Contact:
Sams, David (DS9384) mrhit@AOL.COM
310-772-0770 (FAX) 310-772-0714

Record last updated on 15-Dec-98.
Record created on 04-Nov-97.
Database last updated on 15-Jan-99 07:09:42 EST.

Domain servers in listed order:

NS1.WORLDSITE.NET 209.134.30.4
NS2.WORLDSITE.NET 209.134.30.5

Info on David Sams Industries (1)

jsares (14664) | more than 15 years ago | (#2039943)

found this on http://www.directresponse.com/Sec tion53-West.html [directresponse.com]

Video/Multimedia/Electronic Marketing Infomerical Producers:

David Sams Industries Inc. * 505 S Beverly Drive Suite 1017 * Beverly Hills, CA 90212 Phone: 310.440.2550 Fax: 310.440.2552


David Sams Posting to Sell a Domain (1)

jsares (14664) | more than 15 years ago | (#2039944)

found this on http://domainame.com/wwwboard/mess ages/1522.html [domainame.com]

travel.tm

Posted by David Sams Industries Inc. on February 11, 1998 at 00:38:19:

make us an offer we can't refuse

this url is priceless

More David Sams Info (1)

jsares (14664) | more than 15 years ago | (#2039945)

Found this on http://www.ccmcom.com/ccmupdate/ 98_12_21/news.html [ccmcom.com]

The CCM Update's Second Annual Year-end Countdown
Top 15 Impact-makers of 1998

In a year of presidential scandals, landmark space flights and an unforgettable home run race, the Christian music industry saw few "firsts" or watershed moments. The exodus of key executives and industry veterans will likely be the year's hallmark, the impact of which will significantly impact 1999.

On the philosophical front, the debate that began in '97 on what makes Christian music "Christian" continued this year as more gray areas emerged and artists and labels further explored general-market possibilities. Christian radio was challenged to think deeply about the decision to add or not add a song and in an aggressive move, the Gospel Music Association went so far as to adopt a concrete definition of gospel music.

As in '97, there were a multitude of news-makers to pick from for this year's list, however the top 15 events best represent '98 and will inevitably be springboards for '99's impact-makers. The countdown begins:

...

13: Christian Music Sees Increased TV Exposure

Christian music saw increased TV exposure in 1998 as Time-Life Music advertised its first-ever Christian music compilation series, "Songs 4 Life," via direct-response TV ads. In June, David Sams Industries,, Family Christian Stores and Christian Network Inc. launched four weekly TV shows focused on Christian music and its artists. Home Shopping Network co-founder Lowell "Bud" Paxson also launched the seventh TV network, PAX-TV in August.

Archie Comics Auto Response (1)

jsares (14664) | more than 15 years ago | (#2039946)

Thanks for writing!

Your submission is greatly appreciated!

All e-mail is directed to the appropriate
editor within ArchieComics Online.
We love the mail we receive, and read
every bit of it usually more than once.

Whenever you want to write us, be sure to
send your e-mail to a specific address at
archiecomics.com such as pt@archiecomics.com .
(If you respond to this automated message,
only a computer will reply!)

Write us again, soon!

Your Friends at ArchieComics Online

A good example (1)

StangMan (14673) | more than 15 years ago | (#2039947)

There are simply far too many attorneys out there with no real work to justify thier existence. They constantly have to come up with this sort of garbage to continue to collect a salary.

slow news day? (1)

El (94934) | more than 15 years ago | (#2039948)

No, we need to hear these, if only because the highest and best use of the fabled "slashdot effect" is to provide a clue-by-four to hit these guys in the head with. Trademarks do NOT apply to businesses in other categories with the same name, and trademark law says NOTHING about domain names! Perhaps EFF should start a legal fund to establish to precedents, which may discourage these corporations from playing this infantile "my lawyer is bigger than your lawyer" game.

Veronica.com (1)

jareth (124708) | more than 15 years ago | (#2039949)

Interesting to note that they already own veronica.com

Lawyers, big four (1)

foo (143650) | more than 15 years ago | (#2039950)

Well, not the big three, but four. There is sign that .edu can be had.

But that's beside the point: the point is, these lawyers seem to have absolutely no common sense. IMHO they should all be sent back to school to learn some of this basic knowledge. Or else they should all be fired. Gee. Take a case they have absolutely no background knowledge about.

My letter (1)

Korpios (158322) | more than 15 years ago | (#2039951)

I have recently discovered that Archie Comics has asked the owner of Veronica.org to turn over the domain name to Archie Comics. Perhaps Archie Comics' attitude here might be understandable if the content of the site was actual Archie Comics comic strips or whatnot; instead, the content of the site consists of nothing more than a homage to a toddler. I am outraged at Archie Comics' insistence that they own all rights to a simple name, "Veronica," which has been in use for decades -- if not centuries -- before Archie Comics ever existed, or the character "Veronica" were ever conceived.

By your actions, you are suggesting that all those persons in the world named "Veronica" have names owned by another entity -- an idea as outlandish as it is ludicrous. I would be absolutely insulted were a corporation to sue or harass the owners of the Thomas.com or Tom.com domain names (whoever those owners might be), and insist that the name "Thomas" or "Tom" belong solely to that corporation. I am no less insulted by the implications of your current actions.

I wholeheartedly recommend that Archie Comics immediately cease all harassment of the owners of the Veronica.org domain name. I look foward to hearing from you.

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