On 5/30/97 5:31 PM, Kynn Bartlett (firstname.lastname@example.org) wrote:
>> 1. The true owners of Majordomo could challenge the activites of the =
>> registrants of the domain name majordomo.com, and would most likely =
>> win if they went to court, based on having used the name Majordomo in =
>> the capacity they have for several years.
>Is the word "majordomo" something that can be trademarked in this
>way? I mean, it _is_ a real word. (Also: Have the owners actively
>enforced trademark in the past, e.g., against products like Macjordomo,
It is a real word, which would make trademarking it harder, but not
impossible. The likelihood of two independent entities distributing
email list software and calling it Majordomo, with no knowledge of the
existence of the other, is what makes it appear more likely the owners of
the software would probably win if they went to court. (This is not what
happened; clearly the folks using majordomo.com used it because it is
identified with the name of that particular software program, which they
use in their business. Hence a clear conflict, because of the way they
represent themselves and the advantage they know they get from being
associated with the name Majordomo, which is, no doubt, why they picked
it, and is a calculated business move, as you yourself suggest near the
end of this post.)
>> 2. The InterNIC's registration dispute policy, which can be read at =
>> http://rs.internic.net/domain-info/internic-domain-6.html states the =
>> "The applicant (=B3Registrant=B2) is responsible for the selection of =
>> its own domain name (=B3Domain Name=B2). The Registrant, by =
>> completing and submitting its application, represents that the =
>> statements in its application are true and that the registration of =
>> the selected Domain Name, to the best of the Registrant=B9s =
>> knowledge, does not interfere with or infringe upon the rights of any =
>> third party. The Registrant also represents that the Domain Name is =
>> not being registered for any
>> unlawful purpose. "
>Well, they clearly didn't register it for an unlawful purpose, per
>se. Does Brent Chapman own the word "majordomo", though? What
>about the word "majordomo" when connected with mailing lists? I
They registered it, and as you can see above it states, "to the best of
the Registrants knowledge, does not interfere with or infringe upon the
rights of any third party." To me, this is not a complex issue. The
conflict is obvious.
>> I think it's clear that the registrants of majordomo.com were not =
>> entirely forthcoming with their intentions, and/or did not read the =
>> InterNIC's policy prior to registering that name.
>The "not entirely forthcoming" accusation sounds a bit strong.
Actually, it was a euphemistic understatement. Interestingly, the law
doesn't care if the individual who violates it knows he or she is in
violation or not. Ignorance is not a good business practice.
>> Just my thoughts. I think it was extremely risky to register that =
>> domain name, and completely unethical.
>I wouldn't have done it, but I don't think it's "completely
>unethical" in the way you describe it. It's probably a good
>idea from a business standpoint, even.
Only from the standpoint that the word "ethical" and the word "business"
are frequently strange bedfellows, and only if the business in question
thinks the risk of legal action and the damage to their credibility is
worth misleadingly using someone else's name. The fact that the word
majordomo is not in everyday use is on the side of the folks who own the
software. It's not like a company calling itself "Cheese" and selling
cheese, which would probably be unprotectable as a trademark.
This thread would be much more interesting if anyone knows a good
trademark attorney who can provide their opinions about it, but there is
plenty of in-depth reading available, right here on the Net, such as this
list on Yahoo!:
"...awakening is never the product of force but arises through a resting
of the heart and an opening of the mind."
--Jack Kornfield, _A Path With Heart_