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RE: [wg-b] Reality checks [the grateful dead(hits)]
At 10:11 AM -0500 12/14/99, Hartman, Steve wrote:
>The truth is that the communicative domain names ala whyihateoreo.com are
>not problematic as long as Internet users are not confused or misled. At
>bottom, Nabisco's products and conduct as a corporation speaks with far more
>authority than a website or a non-misleading domain name.
Thank you for a very enlightened viewpoint. This is indeed the point
that many have been trying to make; namely that consumer confusion is
the important issue. The only difference I believe we have is the
real point at which the consumers are confused.
It is my contention that the mere domain name pointer is not the
place where the consumers are confused. After all, there are many
different "delta.com" and "continental.com" and the like. The
Internet consumer has learned to look at the website where she thinks
the company she is looking for is located. If that site could
confuse the consumer as to the source of a product or service, then I
feel it is infringement and should be covered under existing
trademark infringement laws. The grey areas come when you have
coined names like "kodak" and "oreo" and "xerox" that are NOT common
words that are registered solely to "sell" to the trademark holder.
Personally, I don't feel even this is confusing to the consumer.
Internet consumers already understand that their "guess" may not be
the appropriate "hit" and I doubt they will be confused.
Now, I feel that some compromise should be discussed. We have been
throwing these issues around for almost 5 years now. We have many
well written papers that are available to us, with many diverse
viewpoints. Is that not the point of this exercise? Your posting,
Steve, was excellent in that it put across a point of view that
leaves room for compromise and does not namecall. I truly hope that
others follow suit and we get down to something everyone can at least
try to live with.