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Fascinating court case settled in the supreme court about Copyright

Labeled as information in Legal Discussion started by Rob Monster, Jun 15, 2019.

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  1. Rob Monster

    Rob Monster CEO, Epik Epik.com Staff PRO Gold Account VIP

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    Wall-Street.com is a domain registered at Epik.com The owner is a long-time Epik client named Jerry Burden. I would characterize Jerry as a savvy street fighter. In March 2019, he won a landmark court case that was decided by the Supreme Court in his favor.

    In short, if someone comes to you with a copyright claim and they do not actually have an issued copyright, the court will not hear the case. In short, Court ruled that a copyright infringement suit must wait until the copyright is successfully registered by the United States Copyright Office.

    In other words, if someone comes to you alleging copyright infringement, a common law reference means nothing. The court must require the complainant to demonstrate an issued US copyright registration. Without that, the complainant has no case.

    The summary is here:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fourth_Estate_Public_Benefit_Corp._v._Wall-Street.com

    The full petition is here:

    https://www.scotusblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/17-571-petition.pdf
     
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  2. Ategy.com

    Ategy.com NameCult.com Gold Account VIP

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    .. and before too many people misread this .. COPYRIGHTS and TRADEMARKS, while often confused by some people, are NOT at all the same thing!

    Most domain ownership issues are trademark issues .. while copyright is generally about the actual content of a site (or book, or movie, or song, etc etc)

    So if someone says your domain is infringing on their trademark, don't think that you are safe simply because that did not register their trademark. Trademarks do NOT need to be registered to be fully legal and active.


    Also important to note that what Wall-Street.com was doing was still copyright infringement .. and just that Fourth Estate couldn't yet take legal action because their copyright process hadn't finished and paperwork not completed. As long as the pending copyrights are approved, then what they were doing was still (retroactively) illegal.
     
  3. Rob Monster

    Rob Monster CEO, Epik Epik.com Staff PRO Gold Account VIP

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    And this story has a happy ending: WallStreet.com and Wall-Street.com have JUST sold.

    The deal is under NDA. I wanted to mention in case anyone noticed a change of registrar this weekend. Congratulations to Jerry Burden.

    This outcome could have been very different had Jerry bowed down to a potentially ruinous lawsuit. Instead he found a resourceful way to seek justice and prevail.

    At some point Jerry might come into this thread and do a a little master class on navigating the supreme court system. I learned something from Jerry from this case about the topic, but Jerry is more expert.
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2019
  4. Ategy.com

    Ategy.com NameCult.com Gold Account VIP

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    Is there something more to the story? Because this isn't really seeking justice at all ..

    From the wiki page you linked I saw no denial that what wall-street did was indeed copyright violation! It's kinda like if I siphoned gas from your new car, but the police said they couldn't press charges right away because you didn't have your licence plate yet and they needed to enter your licence plate in order to take things to the next step. Just because you didn't have your licence plate doesn't make what I did legal or ok.

    He potentially sold a hot potato as a lawsuit for the copyright infringement can still be filled retroactively after the copyright registration process is complete. Just because the site has new ownership does not mean Fourth Estate can't take future legal action. Even if the new owners take down the content in question, it does not legally forgive the fact it was previously there while in violation.


    That being said .. I'm not a lawyer so I could be wrong .. lol ..
    @jberryhill? Your opinion?
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2019
  5. Rob Monster

    Rob Monster CEO, Epik Epik.com Staff PRO Gold Account VIP

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    And the buyer is officially known asThe Motley Fool.

    upload_2019-6-17_11-23-1.png

    Deal details are under NDA.
     
  6. dande

    dande UNNATURE.COM VIP

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    Neither do I need to run off my pant because someone shouts Trademark. We too often over exaggerate trademark in this forum.
     
  7. Ategy.com

    Ategy.com NameCult.com Gold Account VIP

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    Definitely .. each case and specific domain are unique. That being said .. from what I've noticed .. 40% of domainers are overly paranoid about trademarks .. while another 40% aren't nearly paranoid enough .. which leaves maybe 1/5 domainers who have a relatively good idea of what's safe and what isn't.

    My point however .. is that most of the combined 80% don't realise that there is virtually no difference in the legality of a mark holder whether they registered it or not. What matters most with trademarks is usage .. if some has been using their mark actively in commerce then they do not need to register their trademark in order to be protected (although registering their mark does make their claim to it clearer and easier to defend).


    All that said though .. this here is a case of copyright infraction .. where I think it's similar in that any unique content you create (book, movie, song, photo, etc) is still legally yours .. but it seems the difference here is that you need to register your copyrighted content before taking legal action against someone infringing against you.
     
  8. Mister Funsky

    Mister Funsky Top Member VIP

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    Thanks for the thread and the info Rob!
     
  9. mAd MaX

    mAd MaX Established Member

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    #UDRP sham 👎
     

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