Cpoyright or Trademark

Discussion in 'Members Lounge' started by glengall1, Sep 8, 2006.

  1. glengall1

    glengall1 Member

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    Hi there,

    This is a genuine question so please do not think I am taking the rise.

    I have the domain scottishdmoz.com etc.

    Would I be in breach of copyright or trademark to use it for a directory?

    I would appreciate your thoughts on this matter.

    Take care
  2. motsa

    motsa DMOZ Admin DMOZ Admin

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    I would say that it would be very inappropriate to do that.
  3. glengall1

    glengall1 Member

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    No problem. How do you think that?

    the last thing I want to do is be innappropriate or cross any laws or boundaries. If I were to be sued they wouddn't get very much though :)

    Looking for the genuine comments so I don't make a fool of myself (if I haven't already with this post.) :p
  4. motsa

    motsa DMOZ Admin DMOZ Admin

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    IANAL so I really can't speak to the legal ramifications of doing what you mention. Creating a site similar to another site using a domain name that incorporates the other site's domain name (thereby making it appear on the surface that you have a relationship with said site) is shady at best. Can you picture creating scottishyahoo.com and putting a directory there? How well do you think that would go over with anyone?
  5. hutcheson

    hutcheson DMOZ Meta DMOZ Meta

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    Copyrights protect the product of creative effort. If you're posting your own material, then copyright doesn't enter into it; if you're posting a derivative of the ODP, then copyright may be involved, regardless of your domain name. To avoid issues you must abide by the terms of the ODP license.

    Trademark protects the distinctive identification of the creator. The name "scottishdmoz" might raise trademark issues. If you were using it for, say, a retail outlet for australian percussion instruments, then there's little likelihood of confusion with the California-based web directory. If you're using it for, say, a web directory, then there is much higher likelihood of confusion -- and that is an important consideration.

    The ODP changed its name a couple of times -- the original name, "Gnuhoo", aroused trademark protests from both the Free Software Foundation (home of the "gnu" operating system) and Yahoo.

    Bear in mind that AOL (a multinational company larger than either the FSF or Yahoo) owns the relevant trademarks. Even if you're totally disinterested in any possible ethical issues, even if you're completely unconcerned about your own personal reputation -- consider the economic cost of responding to just one boiler-plate "cease and desist" order. Bear in mind that domain-name-squatting is in particular bad odor with both the registrars and the courts right now. Ask a lawyer whether you wouldn't be well-advised to pay $6.95 to get a less risky name. And ask yourself if the possibility of causing confusion is really worth the economic risk?
  6. glengall1

    glengall1 Member

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    Thanks for that. I see your points completely. It was more of a tribute and a compliment to DMOZ rather than an attempt to make a commercial venture out of it that I was thinking of. I myself would think, if I made money out of it, it would indeed be problematic copyright wise. I was just thinking of making a Scottish directory in the vein of DMOZ as the idea and concepts of it are good. I would like to make it with the same principles (human edited, not just submitted sites, but well researched sites entered by me, etc. etc.)

    I have no want to pretend to be DMOZ at all, as I could never do that, and I think that the similar domain would indeed confuse visitors. I think I will stick with my original idea of thescottishdirectory.info that'll do.

    As a wee aside I get a bit confused sometimes (as you all have already seen :confused: :) ) but what would be your opinions on the extension of directories as obviously DMOZ covers .com, .org etc. What is the best extension?

    Thanks for all the answers it really confirmed what I felt already. I really don't want to get into any problems with people like AOl etc.
  7. glengall1

    glengall1 Member

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    Fair point. I must say that the way I feel about Yohoo at the moment (can't get my site into their SERP's) I don't think I will be venturing down the ScottishYahoo route :).
  8. pvgool

    pvgool DMOZ Meta DMOZ Meta

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    The fact that you make money out of it has nothing to do with copyright or trademark laws.

    This is alrealy possible. Just join as an editor somewhere in http://dmoz.org/Regional/Europe/United_Kingdom/Scotland/ and help build it to become even bigger an better as it already is. :wink:
  9. glengall1

    glengall1 Member

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    Yes I applied a few weeks ago and my application is awating review and I hope I am the right kind of person to help with the project. It was applying that actually made me think of it as some kind of practice.

    I would really like to become an active part in the DMOZ team as I genuinely see it as a great resource for the wordls Internet community and if more people put their time where their mouths are and stopped moaning about it then it would be an even greater place.
  10. Callimachus

    Callimachus Member

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    I had considered starting a Canadian oriented directory based on ODP, or perhaps a mirror using a dmoz type domain but someone is sitting on dmoz.ca which displays an advertising portal, though they are selling it on SEDO for $1500 USD. Now that could be valid domain dispute case I would think. :) odp.ca is a parked portal too but at least they aren't trying to sell it for big bucks.
  11. glengall1

    glengall1 Member

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    I hate when people get the domains and park them. If you are going to use it fair enough but to extort money out of people for thousands when everybody knows how much it actually cost to get it is really annoying. :eek: :eek:
  12. mostly cloudy

    mostly cloudy Member

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    If fair use is used as a defence that is one of the 4 factors to be considered, in the US - not sure about other territories.

    link
  13. Keef

    Keef New Member

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    This topic brings to mind the case of Mircosoft vs MikeRoweSoft...

    ... as reported by CNN here: http://edition.cnn.com/2004/TECH/internet/01/20/rowe.fight/index.html



    For my own part, I once had to defend my company's trading name and registered trade mark against someone who, fortunately, had not researched the finer points of UK intellectual property law - I was quite able to anticipate his subsequent actions and rebuff them with the aid of a well prepared strategy. All the same, it was an unnecessary and unpleasant experience - and one I would say is best avoided if at all possible.

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