The Record (Waterloo Region)
Opinion, Tuesday, March 6, 2001, p. A06
Name is caught in a tangled Web
Regarding the Feb. 10 article, Degrassi Meddles With Fan’s Domain, are modern companies really that ignorant?
It seems there has been miscommunication between University of Waterloo student Mark Polger — a fan of the Degrassi television series — and Epitome Pictures, which wants Polger to hand over the Degrassi domain names on his Web sites. This dispute is exactly the opposite of the ideals on which the Internet was created.
Why would the company send him an unofficial statement of claim if not to scare him into giving up the rights to his three Web sites? It is a clear case of a large company picking on a small guy.
If the name Degrassi were a rightful trademark, Epitome should be pursuing a lawsuit with Alex Degrassi, who also registered degrassi. com. It would be impossible for them to monopolize the name Degrassi, as it is a common street as well as part of many business and related names.
Since Polger has been maintaining the Web addresses since 1998 and promoting the now dead show, it seems harsh for the producing company to resort to such tactics.
At the same time, if Polger is such a struggling student, maybe he should consider a cash settlement and a shift to new domain names. It might just save both sides a great deal of trouble.
Category: Editorial and Opinions
Story type(s): Letter
Length: Short, 176 words
2001 The Record – Kitchener-Waterloo. All rights reserved.
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