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Need help big time, Microsoft wants my domain !

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  • #16
    Originally posted by DirectPixel
    Go for the big leagues and ask them for an affiliation, given that you will make changes to your website.

    Your forums will grow by tons and tons, and you'll have almost no further legal troubles to worry about.
    Very good point! That would be huge for your community.
    Console Racing Review


    • #17
      Originally posted by Chris Stewart
      Very good point! That would be huge for your community.
      Yes, I agree with DP, he makes a very good point.

      You should follow his advice and try that approach to the matter.


      • #18
        I would not reply to Microsoft until you have spoken with a lawyer. (Or at least with some people who are experienced in these matters.) If they are willing to affiliate with you, that could be great, but I'll bet they'd rather just steal your domain. Anything that you say to them can be picked apart by their army of lawyers and used against you. Check and double check EVERYTHING you say to them before you say it!


        • #19
          Originally posted by gab1982
          k thanks for the quick replies people as i know of Microsoft cannot copyright a allready used word such as Windows, Windows is a word that is like a pane of glass in peoples houses in which you can see in and out of. Im not going to let them get this one.
          It is not copyright that you have to worry about. It is trademark law. Windows is a legally registered trademark and brandname belonging to Microsoft. Your site is capitalizing on that brandname and trademark and therefore breaking the law.

          Your domain name is geared towards the Windows OS. This is dilution of trademark which can result in pretty heavy fines (up to $100,000 if I recall correctly). You could hire a lawyer but unless you can prove that your site existed before 1991 (when Windows was first shipped), you will have to surrender the domain under U.S. Law. That is where Microsoft will file lawsuit at and that is where the primary root files are, so a judge can simply order it taken. Unless you have a couple of hundred thousand for court and legal fees, your best bet is to surrender the domain name after nominal transfer costs and the cost of obtaining a new domain are covered by Microsoft. You could probably get $500.00 out of them without triggering squatting laws.
          Translations provided by Google.

          Wayne Luke
          The Rabid Badger - a vBulletin Cloud demonstration site.
          vBulletin 5 API


          • #20
            Not talking as a Microsoft employee (not even sure I should post this)...

            I would take this letter, and try to get some major PR behind it. Everyone likes to hear about Microsoft going after the little guy, exploit it... When the hoopla dies down, move to a different domain, and exploit it some more.


            • #21
              annoying sometimes microsoft arent they

              hey, as a tip for your site, it looks cool BUT i think you should make the start button at the bottom be the forum jump (possible to do with javascript)

              that would look pretty nice design otherwise
              Craig Peters
              Webmaster Ltd


              • #22
                atm, both .net and .org are available.. just fyi :P
                but generally, i doubt there's anything you could do.. especially when the behemoth that is the US government^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^HMS is involved
                My open eyes see everything, and you see nothing. . .
                That forum


                • #23
                  i have not earn 1 penny from so its not capitilsing on the windows name the only ms flag images are the news posting images which i will update and change asap.


                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Joe
                    Not talking as a Microsoft employee (not even sure I should post this)...

                    I would take this letter, and try to get some major PR behind it. Everyone likes to hear about Microsoft going after the little guy
                    In some cases I would agree...however not this one. Microsoft has a vested business interest in making sure that the Windows trademark is not diluted. The site is obviously about Windows, the site is obviously infringing at least one trademark, and it is not absolutely clear to the average consumer that the site does not belong to, or is not sponsered by, Microsoft. Right there they're already three steps ahead of where most companies are when they send these letters. The tone of the letter is also much different than most I've seen. Instead of taking a bully approach, they explain their reasoning in a (relatively) jovial manner, acknowledging the good that comes from community websites about products, not threatening lawsuits but stating facts.

                    Neowin, on the other hand, does not contain the word "Windows" in it. Neither does TweakXP. Hence the reason they are seen as providing far less confusion as to the owner or endorsement of the site. And the fact that these sites still exist prove that Microsoft is not trying to landgrab anything it can, but rather is judiciously enforcing its' trademarks.

                    If you were just using the flag logo, I could see them letting it go...but the Windows name is one of the most powerful in the software world, certainly one of the most recognizable if not *the* most recognizable, and they have spent over a decade cultivating it to that status. They can't afford, nor should they be expected, to allow use of the name where it creates consumer confusion.


                    • #25
                      Here's my view:

                      First thing: if you want to keep this, you're gonna need a lot of money. I'm sure you've figured that by now.

                      Second: ask a lawyer (there are a few who offer free or low cost consultation) what you can and cannot do. That reply to the thread could be construed as supporting defamation of Microsoft, so you may want to hide that thread for now. Johnny Cochran might be interested

                      Do as Westech suggested: remove any signs of MS, and make your disclaimer much more visible. But, rather than you speak to them, insist that all communications go through a lawyer. This is an extra barrier of protection: not only are you reviewing what you'll say, but a lawyer can put it in better words.

                      If you're making money on the site, try and curb that so that you are spending money on the site, so that you are not capitializing off of MS's software.

                      I think the affiliation is a good idea, but a very risky attempt. If they even do accept, you need to make sure that you stay in control of the site.


                      • #26
                        i dont make any money from the site at all, i have never heard of a free lawyer who can i ask and where can i contact them?
                        Thanks for the help.


                        • #27
                          I would recommend you hide/delete the thread. You never know, MS could use it against you....


                          • #28
                            HIre an attorney and put a "Windows is a registered trademark of Microsoft, Inc. This website is in now way affiliated, or endorsed, by Microsoft, Inc." in the footer.


                            • #29
                              Alternatively, turn your site into Window

                              Provide help for installing windows, mirrors, etc.

                              Actually, now that I think of it... what COULD Microsoft do if you renamed everything to Window SOS and removed the Windows logos? They wouldn't really have a case for trademark infringement on the domain name, would they?
                              Last edited by DirectPixel; Wed 2 Jul '03, 10:36am.


                              • #30
                                bloomin eck dood bill gates is worth over 4 billion quid himself so imagine how much microsoft is worth..

                                they took on the usa goverment and won (they havnt been broken up).....

                                they want your domain name, you say its not afilliated to microsoft, are you trying to say that you didnt realise they might get a bit upset about you using as a domain name, and you didnt think that people would assume that its a proper microsoft website, sorry i dont believe you..

                                you obviously realised the conection when you got it and banked on trading of it by getting hits, hoping once people realised it isnt an official microsoft site they looked round and stayed.

                                well if you ask me your best outcome here is a bit of cash for the name and some more for a sweetner...

                                this probably isnt what you want to hear, but your boll**ed m8.......


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