wbai.net Pacifica/WBAI history   events   links   archive   bylaws etc
PNB   LSB   elections   contact info   opinion   search

www.savepacifica.net is also under attack.
Below is the letter they recieved from EBG and their response



February 15, 2001

CERTIFIED MAIL
RETURN RECEIPT REQUESTED


Friends of Free Speech Radio
905 Parker Street
Berkeley, CA 94610


Robbie Osman
6459 Irwin Court
Oakland, CA 94609

Re: Unlawful use of the Pacifica Trademark

Dear Friends of Free Speech Radio and Robbie Osman:

We are counsel for Pacifica Foundation, owner of the trademark and trade name "Pacifica." Use of this mark by our client dates back many years.

It just has come to our client's attention that you have registered the "savepacifica.net" domain name with the InterNIC organization through Network Solutions, and that you are maintaining a Web site with that domain name. Such domain name registration, and use thereof, constitutes blatant trademark infringement, unfair competition, dilution, and may raise other causes of action under state and federal law. In addition, your domain name registration and Web site use restricts our client from conducting business on the Internet under its own name, is likely to cause confusion, and dilutes the distinctive quality of our client's famous marks, among other wrongs. Recent court decisions have made clear that the manner in which you have registered "savepacifica.net" and misappropriated our client's trademarks constitutes a clear violation of our client's rights.

Accordingly, on behalf of our client, we hereby demand that you immediately cease all use of any domain name, on or in connection with your Web sites, or otherwise, that infringes our client's trademark rights; effect transfer of the domain name to our client by completing the appropriate template of Network Solutions; and that you relinquish all rights to the domain name.

In the absence of your response in accordance with the foregoing by February 19, 2001, appropriate action will be taken against you to enjoin your use of the domain name and retrieve the domain name from you. We will also consider seeking temporary, preliminary and permanent injunctive relief, as well as damages for the harm suffered and which continues to be suffered by our client, together with attorney fees because of the wrongful deprivation caused by your illegal use of our client's registered trademark and trade name.

Very truly yours, EPSTEIN BECKER & GREEN, P.C.

By: Tanya Vanderbilt

cc: Pacifica Foundation

===================================

February 15, 2001


Tanya Vanderbilt
Epstein, Becker & Green
Suite 700
1227 25th Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20037-1175

Dear Ms. Vanderbilt:

I have received your letter dated February 14, 2001. Although you claim that your client noticed our domain name recently, the domain name savepacifica.net has been in use for nearly two years. As you know, it is the internet address of a completely non- commercial web site that publicizes the misconduct of the usurpers and censors whose temporary control of the Pacifica Foundation is under attack in the courts and in the forum of public opinion, and provides interested viewers with information about the various ways they can join this opposition. The web site also contains extensive criticisms of your law firm for its shameful role in this controversy. I can understand why you would want to help your clients suppress our web site, but the laws you threaten to invoke will not serve you in this regard.

Quite to the contrary, the cases decided under both the new cybersquatting law and the Lanham Act of which it is a part make quite clear that we are entitled to register and use this domain name, and that it does not violate your client's rights in any way. These laws do not apply to noncommercial web sites like ours, which are created for the purpose of consumer criticism and not competition with your client. Nor is there any possibility of confusion. The web site makes it quite clear that we are fighting for the soul of the Pacifica Foundation, but that the site is not an official site and is not sponsored by the Foundation in any way. And the existence of your web site belies the claim in your letter that the maintenance of our web site "restricts [y]our client from conducting business on the Internet under its own name." Similarly, nobody who comes upon our web site through a search engine could possibly believe that ours is an official site. Even the description of our web site that appears in search engines and directories makes clear that we are not the official site.

Even apart from these issues, if a web user typed pacifica.com into her browser, she would get to a different entity. Indeed, a recent WHOIS search reveals 789 different registered domain names including the term "pacifica", and that number does not account for the many domain names that are duplicative except for their top level domains. The notion that your clients have any exclusive right to all domain names containing that term is, in a word, foolish, however typical of your firm it may be.

In short, the web site and the domain name are protected by both the First Amendment and the laws that you purport to be invoking. It would not surprise me if you bring the lawsuit that you threaten, however frivolous the case may be, because it is of a piece with other efforts that you and your firm and your client have undertaken to suppress its critics' free speech. My biggest regret about such a lawsuit would be the knowledge that you would not only be milking the Foundation for attorney fees to fund your hopeless lawsuit, but also placing the Foundation at risk for an award of attorney fees that will be awarded after your frivolous lawsuit is dismissed. Be assured, therefore, that we will be asking the judge to assess the fees against you and your law firm personally.

Sincerely yours,

Robbie Osman
[savepacifica.net domain name owner]


top of page | wbai.net under attack | home