Trademarks in Subdomains - Copyright Issues

Maybe you've thought about using a trademarked name as a subdomain on your website. For example if you owned laptops.com, you considered apple.laptops.com. Is that a legal use of somebody else's trademark?

Good question. The Anticybersquatting Law of 1999 covers only the specific case of cybersquatting, which means squatting:

It makes people who register domain names that are either trademarks or individual's names with the sole intent of selling the rights of the domain name to the trademark holder or individual for a profit liable to civil action.


So that's not the copyright or trademark law we're concerned with. In fact there is no real law covering domain names, but there have been a lot of lawsuits. Specifically with regard to trademarks in subdomains, Google was sued because it hosted jewsforjesus.blogspot.com on Blogger.

Trademarks in domain names is a general trademark issue, and whether you're using it as a second-level domain (laptops.com) or third-level (apple.laptops.com), you can be sued. In fact, there have been suits for trademarks appearing in other places in the domain name, such as laptops.com/apple.

When you're dealing with a gray area like this, the important thing to remember is that it's all about whether consumers can be confused. If they land on your web page whether it's at apple.laptops.com or at laptops.com/apple or even at laptops.com/bongo, and it looks like it could possibly be the Apple website itself, then you have a problem.

This is especially compounded if your title elements use the trademark name without identifying your own main site.

Remember, trademarks are typically owned by companies with deep pockets, and regardless of the merits of your case, litigation will cost you far more than it will be worth to you.

You will find life easier if you keep these points in mind:


  • If you are putting a trademark name in the title attribute of the page, include your own site name or trademark somewhere in that. Don't say "Apple Powerbooks." Instead, say "Apple Powerbooks at MyLaptops.com"


  • On the page where you display the products associated with the trademark, make sure that your own trademark/site name is visible and prominent, and make sure it links back to the main page and other parts of your site.


  • Do not attempt to imitate the look and feel of the website belonging to the trademark owner. Make sure your site/page is distinct, and the more it looks like the rest of your site the better.


  • When you have a substantial amount of content or product listings related to the trademark, display a disclaimer saying that you are not affiliated with the trademark owner.



This post does not constitute legal advice. You should talk to an intellectual property rights lawyer if you are really interested in this issue.
Posted at 6:57 PM | 3 comments read on

$1.99 GoDaddy Coupon (199TEST)

Hey you cheapskates, head over to GoDaddy to take advantage of domain names for only $1.99. That's right, $1.99! The coupon code is 199TEST.

What's the catch? The catch is you get to register only one domain name at that price.

It works for .com as well as other extensions. Time to throw out that .info, El Cheapo, and UPGRADE!

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Posted at 12:37 AM | 2 comments read on

Join AVI Files - It's easy, here's how!

Well if you've ever downloaded a group of avi files from los Internets that look something like this: awesomemovie.avi.001, awesomemovie.avi.002 and so on, you've probably wondered why you can't play them. That's because the are split avi files that need to be joined again.

So how do you do it? First, you need to download HJ Join. It's tiny, so don't worry about that. And it runs on Windows 3.1, 3.11, 95, 98, ME, NT, 2000, XP, and yes, even Windows Vista (though the website does not mention Vista).

Unzip the HJ Join directory and you'll find a an exe file that says Join32.exe. All you need to do is make sure that Join32.exe is in the same folder that your partial avi files are in (yada.avi.001, yada.avi.002, etc.). Click on Join32.exe and it will start working. Be patient. It may take a few minutes.

By the way, you can also use the same tool and technique to join mpeg files, join mpg files, join exe files and files of other extensions.

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Posted at 12:11 AM | 1 comments read on

Google Chrome Privacy - Iron vs. Chromium

So Google as always is being very creepy with Google Chrome, which they use to collect a ton of information about you, like every site you visit and so on. So some people are like, well we like the browser but we don't like the company behind it or how they're collecting and using personal information. Google Chrome does assign a unique ID apparently to each browser, which makes everything you do trackable.

Enter the Germans. SRWare Iron came out with a stripped down version of Chrome which doesn't collect any data.


* unlike the current Chrome beta it uses the newest Webkit version of the current Chromium build

* it does not generate a unique ID of every client for use by Google

* no installation timestamp ill be generated for google

* no "suggest feature" that phones home to google (for help) what you type into the address bar

* will not phone home to google in case you mistyped a URL

* no phoning home for error reporting

* does not send RLZ tracking info to google, e.g. about when and where Chrome was downloaded

* NO frickin updater that installs itself as a startup app to run in the background

* does not load google homepage in background when the browser is loaded


But the question is does Iron actually do anything different from Chromium? Chromium is the open source project that is behind Google Chrome. Does Chromium do all this stuff for Google? Like sending your data to them, and so on?

I don't know. Does anybody know the answer to that question? Is it safe to use Chromium? Or do we have to go with Iron if we don't want Google tracking us?

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Posted at 10:27 PM | 0 comments read on

Google Chrome Scrolling Bug FIXED!!!

Hey if you have a laptop of any sort (I think all Synaptics scroll mouse thing laptops), you may have noticed that the latest release of Google Chrome does not work. The scrolling feature is broken. You can scroll down (too fast anyway), but can't scroll up. It's a big pain in the butt.

The issue was tracked by the development team, and has been resolved. But it's not in the latest official release, so if you want to be able to use Google Chrome with your laptop RIGHT NOW, with the scrolling features working properly--and it's a real pain if they don't work, then download the latest version of Google Chrome from the trunk. Keep in mind that these are development versions, and not necessarily as stable as the latest official version:

The download page is here. As of this moment, the latest version is 2868. Download the file that says mini_installer.exe.


Almost all laptops are affected by the bug but these are some of the confirmed ones:
Toshiba P200
HP nx6310
Toshiba Tecra A8
Asus X50RL XP Pro
Dell Inspiron 1520
HP Compaq 6910p
Dell Latitude D620
Dell Vostro 1500
Dell XPS M1330
Dell Inspiron 6400

Now you truly can browse happy. Right now Google Chrome is faster than Firefox because of its V8 Javascript virtual machine, which makes everything snappier, but in the next version of Firefox, Firefox will release a new version of its own Javascript runtime, TraceMonkey, which is supposed to be even faster than Chrome's V8.

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Posted at 9:46 PM | 0 comments read on