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Contacted by Company because of domain infringement? What should I do, Any advice? ):

Discussion in 'White Hat SEO' started by RaveRandi, Mar 2, 2011.

  1. RaveRandi

    RaveRandi Registered Member

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    Basically it's a mirco-niche website. I set it up some what like a product review website. It gets about 100$ / month on Adsense, I don't mind losing it.. But I don't want to lose it.

    They told me that my domain infringes their copyright.

    I'm trying to think this one through, I know many websites are out there with a negative connotation towards brands. eg: paypalsucks.com

    I don't think they can do much right? They told me they were going to contact google.

    I think they're bluffing to try and scare me, but the letter they wrote scared me pretty good. Lol, but any suggestions on this? Any tips/advice/experiences will be appreciated!
     
  2. bennyb

    bennyb Regular Member

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    I would go to your local attorney and pay 50-100 bucks for the consultation on such subject. He might be even able to write them a nasty-ass letter so they would leave you alone. The best lesson I learned over the years is "whatever happens-get a lawyer"
     
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  3. daveguy

    daveguy Power Member

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    Go to USPTO.gov - click trademarks - search marks - basic word mark search and
    search up the part of your domain that is in question. If its listed, they have a right to sue. Even if its not registered they still have the right to sue actually, its just harder in court. Trademark and copyright infringement can even get you just for misspelling the the name of the mark in a blog post. If you forget to capitalize or forget the the little © symbol, your infringing. Trademark and copyright infringement is pretty broad to be honest. There have been court cases from domain copyright infringement where the plaintiff's won. They said they were going to contact Google though, so that makes me think they just want to get you de-indexed and not take legal action. Anyways good luck, I would say just hold out and see what Google does, but I wouldn't worry about it unless they say their going to sue
     
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  4. CenTex Hosting

    CenTex Hosting Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    I would check into the copywrite. 90% of websites have never filed copywrite papers.

    So if they have not filed with the state and then the Gov then really you have nothing to worry about. I am not a lawyer but i have gone through the copywrite process.

    If nothing else offer to sell them the site.
     
  5. Octavio

    Octavio Newbie

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    Kill it with fire and magnets? I would get advice from an attorney to see if you really are liable for anything. That worst thing that can happen to you I understand is to loose the domain, so this guys are probably attempting to scare you to negotiate a cheaper deal.

    Yeah, they are pieces of s***
     
  6. ahiddenman

    ahiddenman Elite Member

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    Or ask them to buy the domain from you haha :p
     
  7. Blackhat Scott

    Blackhat Scott Regular Member

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    If there trademarked name is in your domain name like mykillerfordtruckDOTcom then you will lose for "cyber squatting." Google will not get involved in anycase for civil matters like this. I was ina similar situation twice before and know. I got a letter from their attorneys. I checked it our and I was wrong according to law. You can run a trdemark search oin the govt website. Also makes sure they have the trademark for "first in commerce." if they don't they can't do anything. One I ignored because I found out they didnt have the trademark they said they had... and they never bothered to file a trademark either... so that went away on its own. If you are in the wrong, you should lose the domain. Dont waste money on a lawyer. I'm right on this.
     
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  8. daveguy

    daveguy Power Member

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    you are correct in that in order to sue the trademark must be registered. However if they can prove they used the trademark in a tangible medium before you... they could win, it would take years though
     
  9. the_demon

    the_demon Jr. Executive VIP

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    Current US Law states that you cannot trademark a domain name.

    Also put a disclaimer at the bottom saying "We are not associated with XYZ/BRAND.com whether expressed or implied". That way they cannot claim bad faith intent.

    Still, I would consult an attorney.
     
  10. daveguy

    daveguy Power Member

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    Just curious as to where you got your source to this? I am in a senior level class in college right now called "advertising law." I specifically asked my professor about copyright and domain names, and there most definitely is law restricting infringement.

    putting the disclaimer at the bottom is a great idea, but it won't protect you completely.

    My source Proffessor Fran Collins ... google her.
     
  11. jon_xx_x

    jon_xx_x Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    And that's why you don't get advice from a black hat forum lol.
     
  12. ooodaveb

    ooodaveb Junior Member

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    It's probably not a good idea to take legal advice from any forum. Perhaps there are lawyers here but more than likely not. If you made $100/month, just take that $100 and visit a competent attorney.

    If $100 is too much to spend on an attorney now, then give up the domain because when they sue $100 will not let you in the door.
     
  13. orlandolongwood

    orlandolongwood Junior Member

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    Domain disputes are handled by ICANN, not Google; these guys have confusing "copyright" with "trademark," and courts have even backed sites that have a trademark name in them.

    The other posters who recommend you *not* get legal advice from a forum are correct, but 100 bucks won't get you legal advice either. The people who contacted you may actually be the ones breaking the law - PLEASE use your old pal google to find the Chilling Effects Clearinghouse and learn about your rights for free from the pros.

    Finally - invite the losers who are trying to rip you off that you welcome ICANN dispute resolution - you are at no risk of anything more than the remote chance of losing your domain.
     
  14. iiaok

    iiaok Regular Member

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    Honestly, just let them try to contact Google...has anyone gotten through to them in the last decade?!

    "Dear Google, sitexyz.com is stealing my traffix! Zomg!"

    Yeah, that will go over like a fart in church.
     
  15. RebelMaster

    RebelMaster Junior Member

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    LOL And 'G' won't EVEN smell it! :D


    RM
     
  16. jon_xx_x

    jon_xx_x Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Google takes copyright very seriously because I'm pretty sure they can be sued for having the listings in their search engines, it's pretty much copyright infringement against them as well.
    I had a site steal my content and Google removed them in about a week I think, it was. And it only took that long because they give them time to respond to it. They are still not on google 1+ years later.
    They have a third party company that does it.
     
  17. Shaw33

    Shaw33 Newbie

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    If the letter was from a company then I would not worry about it too much. Google will do nothing, so no worry about that either. If you have the angle to legally do what you are doing then have an attorney answer the company letter as to your rights and have him throw in a couple lines about illegal harassment etc.
     
  18. Aaric

    Aaric Elite Member

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    Just move it offshore and do not dare to reply to emails.