Domain name war games
A blogger named Rogers Cadenhead has recently gone public with the fact that the movie studio MGM has filed a dispute against him concerning the domain name wargames.com. Cadenhead says he has owned the name since 1998, and began operating an online video game shop there this year. The suit stems from the fact that, as he puts it, MGM "produced the 1983 movie WarGames and registered it as a trademark". He also notes that the studio is producing a sequel scheduled for release next year.
Over at Techdirt, they're pretty pessimistic about the little guy's chances: "Given the history of the domain name arbitration game, where the big company almost always wins, the deck is stacked against Cadenhead".
But wait! The Browser is not an attorney, and does not play one on television. But we noticed something curious about MGM's trademark of the term. Although the movie came out in 1983, MGM did not bother applying for a trademark until 2001 - three years after Cadenhead got the domain. If Cadenhead can prove he acted in good faith, that might be enough of a loophole to let him slay the MGM lion.
Rogers Cadenhead is no stranger to the domain name battle. In 2005, he registered BenedictXVI.com before the new pope was appointed (he also registered sites under the other candidates' name). Frankly, I think he has the right idea. Registering these names can lead to some future money (he has a few books out). However, as we know it can also lead to law suits and maybe 1,000 years of purgatory?
Look at all the free publicity MGM is getting for the new movie. Might that not be intentional?
Is it cheaper to go to sue somebody than to launch a national ad campaign?
I just see it as the big guy trying to bully the little guy.
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