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IP: Anti-Cybersquatting Law Coopted By Verizon ?
From: Dave Farber <farber () cis upenn edu>
Date: Mon, 15 May 2000 15:45:15 -0700

From: Kenneth Latta <Kenneth.Latta () invictus63 com>
To: "'farber () central cis upenn edu'" <farber () central cis upenn edu>,
        "'galler () umich edu'" <galler () umich edu>

[Clip from 2600 Magazine]
The new name for the company formed by the merger of Bell Atlantic and GTE 
is Verizon. You may have already started to see ads for Verizon Wireless. 
Soon, this will be the name of the local phone company for millions of people.

We decided it would be a good idea to register verizonsucks.com because, 
if our experience with past phone companies is any indication, Verizon 
will in all probability be thought of in this way in the near future. But 
we didn't move fast enough. Apparently, Verizon realized this was going to 
happen and they went and had their lawyers register verizonsucks.com 
themselves! (The logic of owning a site that says your business sucks 
really escapes us.)

We did the next best thing and registered verizonREALLYsucks.com. We kept 
the domain in reserve for when we might need it. That day has come.

On Friday, a certified letter was sent to 2600 by Bell Atlantic demanding 
that we turn this domain over to them or face the consequences. In an 
absurd twisting of logic, they claimed that we were violating the new 
"Anticybersquatting Act" by owning this domain. This corporate abuse makes 
it quite clear how such laws turn into an open invitation to trample on 
the rights of individuals. When written, this law was designed to protect 
companies against those who would register their name and hold it for 
ransom. But this is a statement, an OPINION, one which in no way would be 
confused with the actual name of the company.

The tactic is clear. Verizon intends to go after anyone who criticizes 
them on the net, abusing the intent of this law to accomplish their goal. 
We cannot allow this. We call on INDIVIDUALS around the world to criticize 
Verizon on as many domain names as possible and to exercise your rights to 
free speech aggressively since we are in real danger of having them wiped 
from the net entirely.

Just for the fun of it, we've gone and registered 
VerizonShouldSpendMoreTimeFixingItsNetworkAndLessMoneyOnLawyers.com. We 
look forward to seeing their legal threat for THAT one. (This domain uses 
the new 63 character maximum length name - some browsers may complain 
about this.)

We understand that corporate threats can be very intimidating and 
effective. If you find yourself in a position where your right of 
expression is being challenged and you don't have the means to defend 
yourself, you can turn the offending domain name over to us and we will 
stand up for your rights.

We find ourselves facing no fewer than five lawsuits at the moment in what 
can only be interpreted as a last ditch attempt by corporate America to 
take us out of the picture once and for all. Please help us by showing 
your support and spreading the word. We will not and cannot back down on 
such an important matter.

Wouldn't they have spent less money on fighting this? Look at how many 
people with an extra 70 bucks laying around and an axe to grind read 2600 
Magazine! They are now going to find themselves fighting to gain names like:
I might even register...
Unless its taken of course!<g>

What about it?
Are they completely within their right to pursue this twisted logic? I 
don't think so.
That being the case.... what's the best Verizon Name you can come up with? 
Maybe I'll register that one instead of



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