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Posts Tagged ‘Cyber-Squatting’

81A metonym is a word that denotes one thing but refers to a related thing.  For example “Washington is a metonym for the U.S. Government.”  And the number 81 stands for the eighth letter of the alphabet which is “H” and the first letter which is “A”:  HA = Hells Angels.

And speaking of the number 81, the Hells Angels Motorcycle Corp. has taken legal action against Fawn Myers (Visalia, CA.) and the Internet domain name registrar (GoDaddy.com) for trademark infringement.  The motorcycle club which is defined as a California nonprofit organization, states that Fawn Myers and GoDaddy.com are trafficking in domain names that infringe the club’s trademarks.  They put longtime outside counsel Fritz Clapp who is representing the club on the domain case.  For reference it is Hells Angels Motorcycle Corp. v. Myers, 1:09-cv-00118, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California (Fresno).

I’m just a little curious if Fawn was somehow new to the “internet thing” and received one of those confusing pop-up-ads — you know the type like the jack-in-a-box, in your face when surfing the net that describes (FLASHING) “great opportunity” for a business start-up — work from home — let your computer do all the work?!

It seems the “allegedly” infringing domain names were offered for auction on EBay, according to the complaint filed Feb. 11th in federal court in Fresno, CA.  The domain names offered for auction were ha-mc.com, All81.com, USA81.com, and 81mc.info.  The names were offered for sale on EBay beginning Feb. 7th.  Fawn stated on eBay that the names up for sale were “parked” with GoDaddy, and that she would donate “a majority of the profit” from the domain name sales to the society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

Evidently Fawn doesn’t know how to do the “Google” and didn’t correlate the number 81 with Hells Angels when she bought the domain names.  Yet, the HA-MC.com name was offered for $8,181.81 and according to court papers all the eBay pages listing the domain names featured an illustration of a devil’s head which remarkably looked similar to the HAMC logo.  Go figure.

This looks like an open and shut case of cyber-squatting and the HAMC will likely recoup damages from the infringement.  But what happens if the motorcycle club decides to push legal limits and seek damages from very legitimate domain names like hamc.org which belongs to the Hebrew Academy of Morris County in New Jersey, or the name hamc.com which belongs to the Heart of America Medical Center in Rugby, N.D.  Where does symbolic naming end on the internet?   From a math point of view the number “81” is the square of 9 and the fourth power of 3 and that like all powers of three 81 is a perfect totient number.  Will mathematic books now be required to provide accreditation to the symbolic number of the club?

How ironic would it be if Google used the same cyber laws on HAMC for a “likeness” infringement re; the Hells Angels search engine called Go81gle?

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