Author Topic: My Cease-and-Desist Letter  (Read 122361 times)

Offline KG

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Re: My Cease-and-Desist Letter
« Reply #15 on: May 30, 2013, 03:55:11 PM »
The "10 day" clock is ticking! :)  If it's business days, then next Friday, June 7th will be the deadline.  If it's calendar days, then the drop-dead day is Tuesday, the 4th (?).  This is so exciting; I wonder what Trenk's next move will be.  No matter what he does, he's not going to come out looking good and neither will whoever started this tempest in a teapot. 

Did anybody contact our forum administrator unofficially (by phone, for example) to make an objection or was the C&D from the lawyer (at taxpayer expense, btw) the first inkling that the Township has a problem with our - "the little people's" - domain name?

Offline Jake Freivald

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Re: My Cease-and-Desist Letter
« Reply #16 on: May 30, 2013, 04:54:02 PM »
Bert, please assume that everything below is hypothetical, but based on a letter similar to the one I received.

I understand what you're saying. If a site owner thought that there was the possibility of confusion, it might be remediated in the way you describe.

However, if the letter doesn't demand that the site owner remediate, but rather demands the owner stop using the domain and deregister it, then putting a disclaimer at the top doesn't satisfy the demands of the C&D letter. Since legal action is threatened with respect to ownership and maintenance of the domain, the threat of that legal action would still exist even after the remediation had occurred.

Moreover, what if the site owner thought that there was no need for any remediation whatsoever -- that, say, the letter was either thuggish foolishness or foolish thuggery? Then it might be bad to take this putatively remedial step: After all, if the page owner did something to mitigate the town's complaint, that might be taken as a sign that he thinks the town has a point. Then, if the town is merely being foolish, they could claim that they were right all along and that the site owner should comply with the rest of the demands of the letter; and if the town is being thuggish, they could continue to thuggishly demand that the site owner comply with the rest of the demands of the letter. Either way, unneeded remediation seems to be a losing move for the site owner.

Therefore, if the page owner doesn't think the town has a point, he shouldn't comply at all while this threat is looming over him. Only when the town has written a formal retraction of its demands should the site owner make concessions (if he wants to), whether they are really needed to avoid confusion or whether they are provided for the sake of "getting along".

Does that make more sense?
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Offline Jake Freivald

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Re: My Cease-and-Desist Letter
« Reply #17 on: May 30, 2013, 04:55:40 PM »
KG, the C&D was the first contact I had from the town on this issue.
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Offline Bert Peronilla

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Re: My Cease-and-Desist Letter
« Reply #18 on: May 30, 2013, 06:34:21 PM »
Jake, putting the disclaimer that your forum is not associated nor affiliated with the Township’s web site is not giving in to Trenk’s demands.   It removes the perceived motive that you are trying to confuse the public that your forum is connected to the official Township web site.

The Township’s web site has a copyright caveat – “All content © 2006-2013 West Orange, NJ and its representatives. All rights reserved.”   The following are filed Trademarks:   west orange nj, west orange patch, west orange public schools, west orange high school, and a few others.   I assume the Township has filed the west orange nj trademark.
 
Your westorange.info has “Information about West Orange, NJ.”   I am not a lawyer, but the issue about the confusion is in the use of West Orange, NJ in both web sites.   The use of West Orange, NJ by the public is not illegal.    I use it all the time in the return address of my letters, etc., but I am not causing any confusion, so Trenk has no issue with me.

I hope you will try putting the disclaimer and let’s see what Trenk says.   Depending on how far this goes, I may even bring this up with Mayor Parisi.   I just had a nice meeting with him last Thursday.

Offline Jake Freivald

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Re: My Cease-and-Desist Letter
« Reply #19 on: May 30, 2013, 06:44:52 PM »
The following are filed Trademarks:   west orange nj...  I assume the Township has filed the west orange nj trademark.

If it has, it has been or will be rejected. No one has copyright or trademark of place names. If they truly claim to have trademarked "west orange nj", it's laughable.

This maybe a good time to note that there's a fully functioning website up at http://westorangenj.com -- much more sophisticated than my little single-page site. One might ask, has the town sent them a cease-and-desist letter? If not, why not, and why send one to me? If so, why are they still in operation?

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Depending on how far this goes, I may even bring this up with Mayor Parisi.   I just had a nice meeting with him last Thursday.

I think it would be excellent if you did. The mayor is generally a personable man; I don't understand his approach or motivations in this case.
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Offline KG

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Re: My Cease-and-Desist Letter
« Reply #20 on: May 30, 2013, 07:38:03 PM »
This maybe a good time to note that there's a fully functioning website up at http://westorangenj.com -- much more sophisticated than my little single-page site.

That site seems to be "parked" and for sale at the moment.  I hope Trenk or Glicker's guy snaps it up before there's any more "confustion" than we have now.

Offline Jake Freivald

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Re: My Cease-and-Desist Letter
« Reply #21 on: May 30, 2013, 07:50:43 PM »
I'm sorry, I meant http://westorangenj.net.

The fact that westorangenj.com is "parked" means that it's already owned by someone: according to networksolutions.com/whois, if I'm reading right, it's to a private seller who is in the business of selling domain names. 
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Offline WO-StatusQuo

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Re: My Cease-and-Desist Letter
« Reply #22 on: May 30, 2013, 07:56:44 PM »
That site [westorangenj.com] seems to be "parked" and for sale at the moment.  I hope Trenk or Glicker's guy snaps it up before there's any more "confustion" than we have now.

Estibot prices it at $1300 while URLappraisal says $54.  It appears that the <dot>info (outlaw) domain is pegged at $75 and $46 at Estibot and URLappraisal, respectively.   I suspect that the longer we can hold it and drive traffic to it, the higher those estimates might go.  Let's get busy linking it up on all the SEO sites. :)

Offline WO-StatusQuo

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Re: My Cease-and-Desist Letter
« Reply #23 on: May 30, 2013, 08:06:29 PM »
I'm sorry, I meant http://westorangenj.net.

The fact that westorangenj.com is "parked" means that it's already owned by someone: according to networksolutions.com/whois, if I'm reading right, it's to a private seller who is in the business of selling domain names.

I find myself to be, personally, more "confusted" by "westorangenj.net" than by westorange.info.  That maplewood online dude is willfully and recklessly touting his site as the definitive site for INFO about West Orange, NJ (our fair city).  The audacity is mind boggling.  Alert Trenk.  This has to be stopped.

Offline jerryjliu

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Re: My Cease-and-Desist Letter
« Reply #24 on: May 31, 2013, 02:07:43 AM »
There is also a West Orange, Texas.  Why don't you fill your site with information about that West Orange?  ;)

Jerry
« Last Edit: May 31, 2013, 02:40:46 AM by jerryjliu »

Offline Bert Peronilla

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Re: My Cease-and-Desist Letter
« Reply #25 on: June 04, 2013, 01:35:22 PM »
Jake, I quote from Mr. Trenk’s letter to you: “The Township further demands that, within ten (10) days, the Info Domain (westorange.info) be withdrawn from the current registrar, and that you cease all current and future use of the Info Domain, or anything else confusingly similar thereto.”

When I go to “westorange.info”, I see: “Heard about the cease-and-desist letter?
The Trenk Law Firm sent me a Cease-and-desist letter on behalf of the town, demanding that I stop owning or using the westorange.info domain.

Since the ten days have come and gone, I take this to be quite an effective response to Mr. Trenk’s assertion that your westorange.info domain could be mistaken by the public to be “associated or affiliated” with the Township’s web site.  You have used Mr. Trenk’s letter to debunk his claim.

Offline Jake Freivald

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Re: My Cease-and-Desist Letter
« Reply #26 on: June 04, 2013, 01:39:12 PM »
Interesting point. That wasn't the plan, but it certainly has that effect. I like the way you think. :)
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Offline mmeyerowitz

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Re: My Cease-and-Desist Letter
« Reply #27 on: June 12, 2013, 03:05:27 PM »
1. Trenk needs to justify his billable hours or fees by "doing something."
2. Can he reference a case in which someone was actually confused by the website? Did the town get a complaint?
3. The citizens own the town and its name. JF is a citizen and is entitled to use the name. They work for us, we don't work for them.
4. This is political retribution against Jake and all those who oppose the current administration, esp. re: the downtown redevelopment fiasco. This letter is simply and attempt to silence the critics.
5. This letter is an example of the new modern "totalitarianism" employed by despotic administrations.

Offline Swinson

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Re: My Cease-and-Desist Letter
« Reply #28 on: June 19, 2013, 09:51:06 AM »
As the Webmaster for the Town of Richmond in MA, I have to say I find the C&D quite humorous and ill conceived. We have a domain, richmondma.org which is the official website for our small town. It is hosted by a company that does "Government websites" and has a bunch of templates that makes it easy for a limited number of staff to make needed changes.
Our domain is richmondma.org we have a "squatter" at richmondma.com, it basically is an "advert" site. Now I say "squatter" in that they actually registered their domain first, so in reality we are the squatter.

Now I don't think they care and I can tell you we don't care who sits next to our domain or if they make money off of adverts for businesses in MA and the like. It is not our place to limit free speech nor do we have any real rights to limit content that might tangentially or even directly discuss our town. As a parent and a town official I would be a bit upset if someone squatted an adult site using alike domain name, but even still I don't think there is a legal remedy. I am pretty sure geographic location is not protected, but even if it were I don't see a level of confusion here that would make one think the site is in anyway an official government site. I see not city or town seal, I think most web users (even seniors) would find none of the information present that would indicate in being an "official" site (tax payments, city phone numbers, assessing data, GIS data etc.) Further would all cities and towns be subject to a who registered it first, leaving the hundreds of other cities and towns name Richmond out in the cold or subject to C&D letters? I am certainly not a lawyer and I am in no way trying to give you legal advice but I can't see this as being a reasonable use of Town Counsels time and effort and it seems in very bad form to try and C&D bully someone into giving up their domain.
These opinions are mine, they do not represent an official position of my municipality but please know if you lived in Richmond, MA we would be fine with a richmond.info website...sadly someone already has it and it is more about Richmond, VA...oh well.

Offline LakerInBama

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Re: My Cease-and-Desist Letter
« Reply #29 on: June 21, 2013, 07:04:00 AM »
Jake,
  Your counsel's response was hilarious but your performance at the town meeting was phenomenal! Surely, FoxNews is covering this. I patiently await the township's response to your and your attorney's very thoughtfully prepared questions regarding the implied (my word) threats as to their remedies. Hopefully, that Big Meanie will wish you well in your endeavors and cut you a royalty check for highlighting the positive attributes of your and his town!

Kenin