webshells.com/labor/nwuco Forum


Union Busters EBG Website Threats
Author Steve Zeltzer
Date 01/02/18/14:29
Hit Count 297


---------------- Begin Forwarded Message ----------------
Date: 02/17 12:25 AM
From: Lyn Gerry, redlyn@loop.com

This week, the websites wbai.net and savepacifica.net received
threatening letters from Epstein, Becker and Green demanding that
they these websites infringe on Pacifica's trademark.

The Public Citizen Litigation group, a public interest law firm
founded by Ralph Nader and Alan Morrison in 1972 is representing
both wbai.net and savepacifica.net.

Below is the letter received by Robbie Osman of Friends of Free
Speech Radio in the Bay Area regarding savepacifica.net, and
Robbie's response.

Lyn

=====================

February 15, 2001

CERTIFIED MAIL
RETURN RECEIPT REQUESTED

Friends of Free Speech Radio
905 Parker Street
Berkeley, CA 94610

Robbie Osman
6459 Irwin Court
Oakland, CA 94609

Re: Unlawful use of the Pacifica Trademark

Dear Friends of Free Speech Radio and Robbie Osman:

We are counsel for Pacifica Foundation, owner of the trademark
and trade name "Pacifica." Use of this mark by our client dates
back many years. It just has come to our client's attention that you
have registered the "savepacifica.net" domain name with the
InterNIC organization through Network Solutions, and that you are
maintaining a Web site with that domain name. Such domain name
registration, and use thereof, constitutes blatant trademark
infringement, unfair competition, dilution, and may raise other
causes of action under state and federal law. In addition, your
domain name registration and Web site use restricts our client
from conducting business on the Internet under its own name, is
likely to cause confusion, and dilutes the distinctive quality of our
client's famous marks, among other wrongs. Recent court
decisions have made clear that the manner in which you have
registered "savepacifica.net" and misappropriated our client's
trademarks constitutes a clear violation of our client's rights.
Accordingly, on behalf of our client, we hereby demand that you
immediately cease all use of any domain name, on or in
connection with your Web sites, or otherwise, that infringes our
client's trademark rights; effect transfer of the domain name to our
client by completing the appropriate template of Network Solutions;
and that you relinquish all rights to the domain name. In the
absence of your response in accordance with the foregoing by
February 19, 2001, appropriate action will be taken against you to
enjoin your use of the domain name and retrieve the domain name
from you. We will also consider seeking temporary, preliminary and
permanent injunctive relief, as well as damages for the harm
suffered and which continues to be suffered by our client, together
with attorney fees because of the wrongful deprivation caused by
your illegal use of our client's registered trademark and trade name.

Very truly yours, EPSTEIN BECKER & GREEN, P.C.

By: Tanya Vanderbilt

cc: Pacifica Foundation

===================================

February 15, 2001

Tanya Vanderbilt
Epstein, Becker & Green
Suite 700
1227 25th Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20037-1175

Dear Ms. Vanderbilt:

I have received your letter dated February 14, 2001. Although you
claim that your client noticed our domain name recently, the
domain name savepacifica.net has been in use for nearly two
years. As you know, it is the internet address of a completely non-
commercial web site that publicizes the misconduct of the
usurpers and censors whose temporary control of the Pacifica
Foundation is under attack in the courts and in the forum of public
opinion, and provides interested viewers with information about the
various ways they can join this opposition. The web site also
contains extensive criticisms of your law firm for its shameful role
in this controversy. I can understand why you would want to help
your clients suppress our web site, but the laws you threaten to
invoke will not serve you in this regard.

Quite to the contrary, the cases decided under both the new
cybersquatting law and the Lanham Act of which it is a part make
quite clear that we are entitled to register and use this domain
name, and that it does not violate your client's rights in any way.
These laws do not apply to noncommercial web sites like ours,
which are created for the purpose of consumer criticism and not
competition with your client. Nor is there any possibility of
confusion. The web site makes it quite clear that we are fighting for
the soul of the Pacifica Foundation, but that the site is not an
official site and is not sponsored by the Foundation in any way.
And the existence of your web site belies the claim in your letter
that the maintenance of our web site "restricts [y]our client from
conducting business on the Internet under its own name."
Similarly, nobody who comes upon our web site through a search
engine could possibly believe that ours is an official site. Even the
description of our web site that appears in search engines and
directories makes clear that we are not the official site.

Even apart from these issues, if a web user typed pacifica.com into
her browser, she would get to a different entity. Indeed, a recent
WHOIS search reveals 789 different registered domain names
including the term "pacifica", and that number does not account for
the many domain names that are duplicative except for their top
level domains. The notion that your clients have any exclusive right
to all domain names containing that term is, in a word, foolish,
however typical of your firm it may be.

In short, the web site and the domain name are protected by both
the First Amendment and the laws that you purport to be invoking.
It would not surprise me if you bring the lawsuit that you threaten,
however frivolous the case may be, because it is of a piece with
other efforts that you and your firm and your client have undertaken
to suppress its critics' free speech. My biggest regret about such a
lawsuit would be the knowledge that you would not only be milking
the Foundation for attorney fees to fund your hopeless lawsuit, but
also placing the Foundation at risk for an award of attorney fees
that will be awarded after your frivolous lawsuit is dismissed. Be
assured, therefore, that we will be asking the judge to assess the
fees against you and your law firm personally.

Sincerely yours,

Robbie Osman
[savepacifica.net domain name owner]
________________________

----------------- End Forwarded Message -----------------

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