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Alanis Morissette sues over alanis.net

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beatz

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Very interesting.
By reading the letters on alanis.net this looks like a reverse hijacking try from A.M. side really. Consumer.net which is the owner of alanis.net apparently had never ANY content related to alanis morissette on alanis.net.Furthermore, it seems A.M. only owns TM's for "Alanis Morissette" but not for just "alanis".Would indeed be very surprising if she would.
Damn - what do these people think? That they're the only ones that have a right to a common personal name? That there is only one alanis in this world?
Much like Sting and Sting.com. Fortunately that sucker lost his case.
 

uncle

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seems that behind the very sophisticated image and spirituality of this talented young artist there's little more than very prosaic (but how human) craving for hard ca$h

lol
 

devolution

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I just read this too in my newspaper - what a cheek!

I bet it's just the Record Company suggested doing this so that they could get some money to try and doctor their books?! ;-)
 

Zoobar

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Maybe she should register her name at home before trying to hijack/steal someone elses domain. Its available.

Alanis.ca was available. Someone beat her to the punch and registered it yesterday.

When she released her 1st album back in the 80's she did promote herself as "Alanis" but abandoned that identity and was repromoted as Alanis Morissette to give you the impression she was a fresh new artist.

She won't win her case, but it sure is a cheap way to get your name in the press.

If anyone is acting in bad faith, its her camp.
 

Guest
Good Luck with the lawsuit, What she is doing is stupid, just like someone with money to do.
 
F

Fountain

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Originally posted by beatz
Very interesting.
By reading the letters on alanis.net this looks like a reverse hijacking try from A.M. side really. Consumer.net which is the owner of alanis.net apparently had never ANY content related to alanis morissette on alanis.net.

EXACTLY!!! Why is it called alanis.net then? It's got nothing to do with any other Alanis either. It's an obvious attempt to attract traffic to the site and associate Alanis Morissette's name with products she has nothing to do with. What a bunch of imbeciles you are for supporting internet parasites.
 

Who-Wiz

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Tastes like a contrived argument. Smells like "troll". :)
I don't think the insults are necessary, Fountain.

I sympathize with anybody who wants a name they can't have... its frustrating. People certainly get defensive and testy about everything. I've had people get ruffled by domains I've had. This case sounds terrible though. Clearly the alanis.net website had nothing to do with Alanis Morrisette. "Alanis" is her first name like "Whitney", "Dolly", or "Marilyn". While people may always think of "Marilyn Munroe" when "Marilyn" is mentioned, it doesn't mean that any website with her first name infringes on her trademark.

There are TONS of other domains out there that try to make money from her name and include her name in their domain. Going after the ONLY website that does nothing of the sort seems more than a bit crude to me.

If I registered George.net, and George Foreman's attourney came after me 3 years later --after nothing about George appeared (or was planned to appear) on the website... I'd sure be pissed.

W|Z
 

O.C.

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Has any one seen www.Martha.com?!? One mention of "Stewart" and that name's not his any more.


Alanis is a name. Simply owning Alanis.net is not infringement. It becomes infringement when the owner mentions a connection to Alanis Morisette or is shown to have registered it with infringing. (A trademark does not have to be registered for it to be recognized.)

By the way, according to archive.org he did sell *@alanis.net email addresses for $12/yr but he never mentioned Alanis Morisette. Either Alanis and her label are jumping the gun a bit too fast or then the owner of Alanis.net approached them offering the domain name for sale.
 
F

Fountain

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Originally posted by Who-Wiz
"Alanis" is her first name like "Whitney", "Dolly", or "Marilyn". While people may always think of "Marilyn Munroe" when "Marilyn" is mentioned, it doesn't mean that any website with her first name infringes on her trademark.

There are TONS of other domains out there that try to make money from her name and include her name in their domain.

I don't know of any. Examples please.

Originally posted by Who-Wiz
Going after the ONLY website that does nothing of the sort seems more than a bit crude to me.

If I registered George.net, and George Foreman's attourney came after me 3 years later --after nothing about George appeared (or was planned to appear) on the website... I'd sure be pissed.


Bad example. There are plenty of Georges out there. Ever heard of one, or even two, by the name of Bush? Know of any other Alanises at all? Your argument is a technical one. Everyone can see what's going on here. The site is deceitful.



Originally posted by O.C.
Alanis is a name. Simply owning Alanis.net is not infringement. It becomes infringement when the owner mentions a connection to Alanis Morisette or is shown to have registered it with infringing. (A trademark does not have to be registered for it to be recognized.)

I'm not talking about legal technicalities. I'm talking about what's really going on. The bottom line is that some people will be deceived into believing that whatever the site offers is owned or endorsed by the only Alanis the public has heard of, Alanis Morissette. If the law says this behaviour is okay, then it simply means that the law needs to be changed.

Let's suppose that some people are deceived, and do buy products in the understandable but mistaken belief that the site is owned or endorsed by Alanis Morissette. I suppose that this is a situation that everyone else who's posted to this thread thinks is quite okay. I don't. I suspect that most people would agree that it's unacceptable to sell products by deceit, and people ought to have a legal recourse if it happens.
 

Who-Wiz

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Originally posted by Fountain
I don't know of any. Examples please.
www.alanis-morissette.com
www.alanisutopia.com
www.angelalanis.com
www.alanismorissette.nu
www.alanis-japan.com
www.alanismorissette.cz
www.alanis.de
And many many more...
Just look for them on Google.


All of these sites have photos, fan clubs, music, reviews, messageboards. Alanis.net? Nothing of the sort. Is the REAL problem that they DON'T have up Alanis related merchadise??

Originally posted by Fountain
Know of any other Alanises at all?
"Alanis Morissettes" I don't have problems with, but she simply does not have a trademark on her first name. First names aren't easy to trademark for a reason.

"Alanis" is a form of "Alanas" (or Alannas), the feminine form of "Alan". Alanis was named when her father Alan, spotted the name "Alanis" in the newspaper after wanted very much to name his offspring after himself.

Because Alanis has become so popular (and her name relatively non-popular), she has unintentionally overshadowed others with the same first name. This simply to say that "Alanis does not Equal Alanis Morissette" in any and all instances.

Originally posted by Fountain
Your argument is a technical one. Everyone can see what's going on here. The site is deceitful.
Your argument is an emotional one. Please point out ONE other thing aside from the name of the website (which we will have to disagree construes deception) that is deceptive about Alanis.net.

I'm guessing, but I don't think you're saying the SITE is deceitful... you probably mean the NAME is deceitful because of its inherent implications and connections. I know of many people who have had domains that got them good or bad press unintentionally. One friend of mine had a domain that was the name of a company he never knew about (they never owned or used this domain), but they ran a scam on consumers... and at one point, he received many phone calls from people thinking he was that company. I owned a .com domain that someone started an Internet hosting company on the .net side of. My global e-mail alias caught a frequent amount of mistyped e-mails from the company. Eventually they purchased my DotCom from me. To-date, Alanis' representatives have never tried to PAY for Alanis.net, without provokation they are simply trying to sue it out of the owner by inventing flimsy reasons.

Originally posted by Fountain
The bottom line is that some people will be deceived into believing that whatever the site offers is owned or endorsed by the only Alanis the public has heard of, Alanis Morissette.
The mistake is up to the public to make as I noted, it HAPPENS. I do not think Brandy.net should be handed over to "Brandy" either, even though she has popularized that name more than any other Brandy on the planet. Same with "Britney". How about Madonna getting Madonna.net? True, their names are not as unique as Alanis, but trust me... if her father spotted the name in the newspaper, the name has been out there long before Alanis Morissette was born.

The website sat there minding its own business, no mention of the singer on it AT ALL. Suddenly, they are being sued to snatch the domain name.

Originally posted by Fountain
I suspect that most people would agree that it's unacceptable to sell products by deceit, and people ought to have a legal recourse if it happens.
Were such products being sold, wouldn't a disclaimer be more than adequate? I cannot see why it would not be. This has been standard procedure in situations like this.

I can tell you must appreciate Alanis, and you feel she is being done wrong by this case. I completely disagree with you, but I will say it would NOT have taken much for Consumer.net to have gotten on my BAD side. --But they have done NOTHING to provoke this suit (although I found the response letter amusing).

They should have simply offered to BUY the domain. Period. If the reports are right, he responded by saying that if they wanted it, they could pay him $10,000. In my opinion, that's a drop in the bucket for them (setting precedence, be damned).

If Alanis and co. really want the name, hopefully they can prove the three basic points:

(i) Respondent’s domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights; and
(ii) Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name; and
(iii) Respondent’s domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.

I think they lose on 1 and 3. Number 2 is a tricky one.

W|Z
 

RMF

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I don't really know much about this case, so its hard for me to comment on it. What I hate is seeing people lose a domain that "is" their name to someone else who has the same name.

My opinion is that nobody is more important than another. Just because someone is popular or a celebrity shouldn't mean that they deserve the name more then someone else with the same name.

For example: my last name is Freeman, now someone else might own Freeman.com that also has the lastname Freeman. Would that mean Morgan Freeman would have more rights to Freeman.com then I would, or the owner?. No.

RMF
 

DomeBase

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"FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH
Status: REGISTERED
Official PTO Status: Registered
Register: Principal
Serial No: 75377734
Registration No: 2403100"

Is it trademark infringement to use the word "Fountain" in a domain name due to this famous, trademarked three-word phrase using the word fountain?

Is it trademark infringement to use the word "Fountain" in a screen name when people might mistakenly believe it is associated with "fountain of youth" products?

For my two cents, no to both questions... (You do not have to change your screen name Fountain). It is one thing to enforce a trademark, and quite another to divide up a trademarked phrase into multiple components and try to enforce subsets. For example, see --

"DUPLICATE REGISTRATION FOR SAME TM: 21% had more than one domain name for the same trademark number. If domain name A is identical to trademark name B, and domain name C is different than domain name A, then how can domain name C be identical to trademark name B? Registering domain names that are subsets of a trademark is not consistent with the Sunrise rules. For example, if someone has a trademark on "The Best Place in the World to Find a Home or get a Job", one should not be able to register domain names for BEST.INFO, PLACE.INFO, WORLD.INFO, FIND.INFO, HOME.INFO, GET.INFO, and JOB.INFO. "
http://www.domebase.com/study.htm

I have a trademark ITU application for "HealthInsurance.info". I do not believe that gives me a claim "Health.info", "Health.com", "Insurance.info," "Insurance.com" or "HealthInsurance".
 

O.C.

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A few of you seem to be confusing this thread about law with a thread about ethics. Law and ethics are two seperate things. This thread has mainly been discussing the legalities.

For the record, I personally did not discuss whether it is morally correct or not to own Alanis.net. I discussed whether or not Alanis Morissette has a legal leg to stand on to pursue the name in this manner. I personally believe Alanis.net and Martha.com are parasitic, but there's not much legally to back me up. There's no law against comitting adultery but that doesn't mean it's right to commit adultery.


Also, forget george.net. We have a real life example right here: Can we please use Martha.com as an example?

The owner is obviously profiting from Martha's celebrity (as well as people named Martha). Based on what is on the site alone, should there be a law that entitles Martha Stewart to own Martha.com? No. Why? Because such a law would hurt ordinary citizens more than profiteers... what if Martha Smith or John Martha of Anytown, USA registered it?


BTW, a long time ago I received spam emails about Martha.com using phrases similar to "Now Martha is online! Shop with Martha!", etc. This alone is enough to show bad faith and trademark dillution. Martha has grounds to sue for the name and win if she can procure a piece of the spam.



Now back to the legalities of M.A.'s suit:

This is of main importance: (iii) Respondent’s domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.

Since Alanis is a name, simply owning alanis.net is not infringement. Registering or using it in bad faith is infringement. Some one asked for a list of alanis domain names: http://www.netcraft.com/?restriction=site+contains&host=alanis&position=limited
 

Who-Wiz

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Originally posted by O.C.
A few of you seem to be confusing this thread about law with a thread about ethics. Law and ethics are two seperate things. This thread has mainly been discussing the legalities.
Exactly. My deal is this... if the domain owner of Alanis.net has NEVER (unlike Martha.com) used the domain to do anything other than offer services like e-mail... its never claimed any connection to Alanis Morissette... then I don't even see them as parasitic (until their actions show such). It's a NAME.

I find it CREEPY as all hell that the owner of Consumer.net (Russell Smith) is being referred to as "the notorious" in news releases. Unlike Zucharini (who they are clearly confusing him with), LOOK at what he is doing with his websites! This isn't Celebrity1000.com, people. Its a very cool ring of websites. This is just wrong.

Look at what Russell Smith does with his websites. Now search on Google and find ONE instance of another domain name he has "notoriously" cybersquat on. Just find "one"! This whole thing stinks to me, because there is certainly a public relations battle going on, and lies are being spread around. It's disturbing. Many news outlets are simply parrotting the same stories, and the original stories rely mostly on the lawsuit's contents. Few are really digging into the topic and finding more substantive information about the story.

If simply using the name "Alanis" was parasitic, than these guys would be offenders as well and sued for it:
Alanis Consulting Services
Roy Alanis - Principal Consultant
http://www.alanis-consulting.com/sys-tmpl/door/

Originally posted by O.C.
For the record, I personally did not discuss whether it is morally correct or not to own Alanis.net. Since Alanis is a name, simply owning alanis.net is not infringement. Registering or using it in bad faith is infringement. Some one asked for a list of alanis domain names: http://www.netcraft.com/?restriction=site+contains&host=alanis&position=limited

Also, it just occured to me... GO TO www.ANYWHO.com (a service of ATT, no relation to FreeWho.com).

Type Alanis into the LAST NAME field and try the states of AL (10 entries.) AZ (24 entries), AK (4 entries), CA (293 entries)... etc... etc. If Consumer.net wanted to start a vanity e-mail website for the Alanis NAME I think they're perfectly within their right to do so, especially if NO effort is made to link this service with Alanis M.

The one glaring problem that I think he needs to overcome is that one fan website used to call itself "Alanis.net", and eventually changed itself to "Alanis Underground". They still have some links up that confuse people. This website was NEVER located at the Alanis.net address to my knowledge.

W|Z
 
F

Fountain

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Who-Wiz, I asked for examples of sites that "try to make money from her name". I have not visited all the sites you listed, but I am certainly familiar with www.alanisutopia.com. It is a fan site and does not seek to profit from Alanis's name. If any of the others do, then action should be taken against them as well.

My argument is not an emotional one. It is a realistic one. The real problem is not that the site does not contain Alanis Morissette related material. The problem is that it contains no material that has ANY connection with the string 'alanis'. This begs the question: why is it called alanis.net? Would this site ever have existed in this form if Alanis Morissette were not a famous name? We all know the answer is "no".


Who-Wiz wrote:
"Were such products being sold, wouldn't a disclaimer be more than adequate".
Yes, I believe it would. I would find that satisfactory. But, of course, that would defeat the purpose of the alanis.net name, wouldn't it? So I'm sure the owner would be unwilling to do this.


O.C. wrote:
I personally believe Alanis.net and Martha.com are parasitic, but there's not much legally to back me up. There's no law against comitting adultery but that doesn't mean it's right to commit adultery.
Well, I don't know why there isn't something legally to back you up. It does not seem to me that a judge or jury would have much difficulty in deciding that 'alanis' in the domain name is there only for the purpose of attracting Alanis Morissette fans to the site, in the mistaken belief that Alanis owns or endorses the products it offers, and that this deceit should not be permitted to continue. I don't know why the legislation would not allow - if it doesn't now - a court to make this ruling.

P.S. I apologize to all for my first post.
 

draqon

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no offense intended, but you are wrong Fountain.

A court, or more likely a WIPO panel, would need PROOF that the domain name Alanis was somehow being misused. Otherwise, the domain owner would be quite safe because names of people are generic and therefore protected. Single words, like car.com, jump.com, music.com, and people's first names like bob.com or tom.com or sue.com are all acceptable. There are thousands of Alanises all over the world, so if someone wants to call his site that, its legally fine.
 
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Fountain

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I thought that a court would only need to find, beyond reasonable doubt, that the purpose of the site is to deceitfully cash in on Alanis Morissette's name. Do you have any doubt at all that that is its purpose? I don't.
 

draqon

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courts use evidence. there is no evidence that has been mentioned, other than your instinct and opinion that this individual registered the domain in bad faith. do i share your opinion? Yes. But I'm glad to know that courts dont just use opinions to decide legal matters.
 
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