Maybe I’m just stupid but I’ve become experienced enough with domain issues that yesterday’s mildly threatening letter from America Online’s legal firm “Arent Fox” was more interesting than scary. The last time it was the New York Times’ firm which had one of those really fancy long names with something like ten lawyers in the firm. They told me I needed to turn over “GolfDigest.net” which I’d registered in conjunction with an expensive Golf Digest magazine advertising buy for the tourism group I worked with. In that case they actually withdrew the request and let us keep using the name when I pointed out that Golf Digest had approved our ad using the URL which was in a huge font in Golf Digest magazine. They could hardly claim we were trying to pull one over on them.
However, with a name like Arent Fox you’ve GOT to be good, so I have replied to them as follows:
Yesterday I recieved your letter dated June 19 asking me to turn over WINAMP.INFO to AOL because you feel it violates their service mark and I’m competing with them by placing some search information at that domain.
I think I agree that I should turn this over to AOL – I was unaware they owned a mark for the WINAMP name. But I do want to clarify a few things first:
* This was registered to me by the .info registry only AFTER all copyright holders had been given ample notice and time to register domains they felt they were entitled to – why didn’t AOL do this?
* Since AOL appears to think they should have registered this domain at the time but did not, it only seems fair that I’d be compensated in modest fashion for the time and expenses of registration and renewal. Are you empowered to offer any reimbursement. It does not seem reasonable that I’ve been paying AOL’s domain bills for several years.