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  Post #1 (permalink)   05-13-2010, 12:41 PM
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Hi Guys!

I am hiding the actual domains (and type) here so if you do get the idea, please keep it to yourself or PM me.

I got a Copyright Infringement notice from a law firm on behalf of a "search engine" because of my domain name. They are well known company and operate as "sows.com" with tile "Search of web site" since 1999.

I stared similar type of site in 2005 with domain name "searchofwebsites.com" at that time "searchofwebsite.com" was already registered but there was nothing special about it. (No copyright .. just an average looking site)

In 2007 the big guys at sows.com acquired the domain name "searchofwebsite.com" and started redirecting it to their main site "sows.com".

Today, after 5 years of my site being online, I got Copyright Infringement notice from a law firm saying "It has come to our attention that searchofwebsites.com is willfully infringing on our clients copyright material at sows.com and searchofwebsite.com. You have blatantly copied Search of web site name ......"
In short, take the site down in 5 days or get ready for consequences.

I have been using that site for over 5 years without an issue. Other than the domain name and type of site, there is no similarity. I mean with them, design, working etc... Now they want me to shut it down?? Just because my domain is similar to their title name.

What are my options here?? Am I really in trouble??

PS. I am hiding the actual names (and dates) with italic words above. If you do get the domain name, please don't mention it.
 
 
 


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  Post #2 (permalink)   05-13-2010, 01:05 PM
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You had already established use of the domain before they bought the similar domain.
I would personally ignore this until they come up with a far better inquiry.

Quote:
In short, take the site down in 5 days or get ready for consequences.
I could almost guarantee this did not come from a real lawyer.
I have never, ever worked with a legitimate lawyer who used this type of unprofessional vernacular.

I would research this supposed law firm and really push them to make the first move before proceeding any further.
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  Post #3 (permalink)   05-13-2010, 01:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue View Post
I could almost guarantee this did not come from a real lawyer.
I have never, ever worked with a legitimate lawyer who used this type of unprofessional vernacular.
I am really sorry. I didn't mean they actually said so.. (I wrote that out of Inverted commas as if the were my words)

They said the
Quote:
"We expect a written verification of your compliance with this demand within 5 days of this letter. We will be monitoring ...com and will be considering all available remedies to enforce and protect SOWS.Com rights."
I was not sure about the law firm myself but I checked and their site seems to be mentioned on newspapers and even Law.com

Last edited by Fastian : 05-13-2010 at 01:22 PM.
 
 
 


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  Post #4 (permalink)   05-13-2010, 04:30 PM
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Sounds to me they probably just want your domain name and this would be an easy way for them to get it.
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  Post #5 (permalink)   05-14-2010, 10:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Plexihost View Post
Sounds to me they probably just want your domain name and this would be an easy way for them to get it.
That's what I am thinking. Hhhhhmmmm, but why after five years?
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  Post #6 (permalink)   05-14-2010, 10:16 AM
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Have your paperwork ready. Go to archive.org, get copies of your site from when you had it and what you were doing with it - get your WHOIS info and make sure that's ready too. Then depending how they want to proceed, you'll need to hire an attorney to defend your site.

You can respond to the law firm and let them know that you've operated the site since 2005, long before another company bought it and you hold the rights to your site.

I'll be interested to see where this goes. You may want to contact some of the "web legal services" and see if anyone has any thoughts - this could be one of those high profile cases that lawyers love to take on for free in order to get name recognition - so check some of the legal forums and see if anyone has thoughts on this.
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  Post #7 (permalink)   05-14-2010, 12:48 PM
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Just because you received a letter from a law firm doesn't mean they are going to proceed with it. This is just the beginning of a dialogue.

I, however, advice you to speak with a local attorney and get his consultation regarding your case. I'd rather spend a few hundred dollars but make sure my work doesn't go down the drain after years of effort.

I am trying to find an article that I read a few years back that suggests that copyright liability ends in certain number of years. In other words, if you are a holder of the copyright and someone else has been using it for over 5 years (hypothetical number), you cannot seek damages.

The problem here is a bit strange. They seem not to have a trademark on the name, so they are going after a "copyright"? What copyright exactly, if you are not even in the same industry? The domain consists of all dictionary names, they don't own the names, so I think they are just trying to muscle their way through.
 
 
 


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  Post #8 (permalink)   06-03-2010, 01:07 PM
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You need to be careful, a letter from a lawyer is not binding, they are not an executive, lawyers have to go to court of Justice to get rights to act. I would recommend that you take a legal advisor who guides you. Do they have a registered Trademark ? If yes, they might have the right to claim the Domain Name from you. But as I already said, get yourselve a lawyer and let him check the case.
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  Post #9 (permalink)   06-10-2010, 04:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Artashes View Post
Just because you received a letter from a law firm doesn't mean they are going to proceed with it. This is just the beginning of a dialogue.
The problem here is a bit strange. They seem not to have a trademark on the name, so they are going after a "copyright"? What copyright exactly, if you are not even in the same industry? The domain consists of all dictionary names, they don't own the names, so I think they are just trying to muscle their way through.
Totally agree with this. They want your domain name for free
 
 
 


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  Post #10 (permalink)   06-10-2010, 01:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaroNetTanya View Post
Totally agree with this. They want your domain name for free
hmm- it's like googlegooglegooglegoogle.com though there he was using google's name so had to take it down.
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  Post #11 (permalink)   06-11-2010, 07:09 PM
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Quote:
In short, take the site down in 5 days or get ready for consequences.
That's what makes me a little bit suspicious. I honestly doubt that any lawyer made that sentence. They would never say "get ready for consequences." I would ask for a better inquiry as to why they want the site down.

All the best and good luck!,
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  Post #12 (permalink)   06-11-2010, 09:05 PM
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I also agree , don't just give up your name without consulting the lawyer at least. A lot of these companies try to scare others into giving up the names for free.
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  Post #13 (permalink)   06-15-2010, 07:54 AM
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Disregard, please.. I spoke before I read thoroughly
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Last edited by PsyberMind : 06-15-2010 at 07:56 AM.
 
 
 


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  Post #14 (permalink)   07-28-2010, 03:23 AM
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If this is your domain "searchofwebsite" then they can't take down your site because of "search of website" is a Dictionary word.

You can get help from Non Profit sites who provide help on copyrights.
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  Post #15 (permalink)   07-28-2010, 09:29 AM
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I think the answer's clear: tell them to pound sand. They're obviously trying the bear method; you're the bear, and they're making themselves bigger than they are, in a fraudulent attempt to steal a domain. Expect nothing less from lawyers.
 
 
 
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