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Re: [wg-b] Brand Names That Are Not Allowed To Be Used In Advertising

On Fri, Apr 21, 2000 at 07:43:28PM -0400, John Berryhill Ph.D. J.D. wrote:
> Moving on to some practical aspects, and getting beyond this "free speech"
> distraction....
> Does anyone have any practical suggestions on what to do with trademarks
> that are not allowed to be used in connection with advertising in many
> places?
> For example, what is the point of allowing cigarette companies the right to
> pre-emptively register their domain names, when they are largely forbidden
> from advertising their product anyway, and none of them has had the cojones
> to test whether that rule applies to the internet?
> I've checked the registration for such terms as  winston.com , camel.com ,
> and doral.com, and none of them belong to the "right" people.  I personally
> smoke a pack of Camel Lights each day, and I can't even find anywhere on the
> internet to buy them.
> What the sunrise provision does is to ensure that R.J. Reynolds will have
> priority in the word "Camel" over someone who wants to sell camels - you
> know, that funny animal that spits.
> Now, Muhammad's Camel Lot cannot get a registered trademark for the word
> "Camel", so he can't pre-emptively register the word "Camel" as a domain
> name.  R.J. Reynolds, on the other hand, would be crucified if they actually
> used their registration for "Camel" cigarettes to sell them on the internet.
> But you can bet that they are going to "protect their brand" by making sure
> that you aren't going to find any dromedaries at camel.anything.  Now THAT
> makes a world of sense.
> As a matter of fact, you can't get a trademark registration for any term
> which is generic for those goods and services.
> So what the sunrise provision does is to set up a domain name system where
> the generic names of goods and services are LESS likely to have any
> correspondence to a domain name.
> That reduces the communicative value of the internet.  If I want to look at
> a camel, then it makes sense for the domain name to have something to do
> with camels.  Why should a special right be granted to someone who is not
> even allowed to advertise their product under that brand?
> I'd walk a mile for an answer to that one.

Further, the camel is very closely associated with the Perl programming
language.  This came about through a very popular publisher -- O'Reilly
& Assoc. -- deciding long ago to use public-domain woodcarvings (and
now in-house drawings) on the cover of their publications.  The Sendmail
reference, for example, is often referred to as "the Bat book" due to
the large bat on the cover.  Similarly, the Learning Perl and Programming
Perl books from ORA have camels on their cover, and the worldwide Perl
community recognize and associate the camel with Perl, in much the same
way the Linux community recognize and associate the penguin with the
Linux OS.

Mark C. Langston
Systems & Network Admin
San Jose, CA