Mike Chatha re: xbox.ws
Letter re: Microsoft in reasonable Net action shocker!
From: Mike Chatha
Thanks for covering this story, but I'm afraid I should point out some inaccuracies which you may wish to correct:
1) We don't even own XBOX.US.COM - see the registrar's website at http://www.centralnic.com/register.php?op=search&domain=xbox where the domain has always been on sale. I believe at one time I did think about acquiring it but changed my mind before purchasing it. This is a fair indication that MS has not properly checked its facts. Of course it is pretty difficult to be accused of selling something that I don't even own! We have not yet notified MS of this fact, as if the matter did end up in court it would probably work in our favour.
2) Microsoft WERE aware that we were operating the XBOX.WS site, as a year or so ago I tried to register XBOX.BIZ . We listed the successful existence of XBOX.WS as a justification for owning and operating XBOX.BIZ, on the grounds that there had been no previous objections by MS. MS finally won this domain via the internal procedure provided by the the BIZ registrar. This goes to show that MS must have been aware of the existence of the XBOX.WS site for quite some time, and evidently had no objection to it.
3) My primary intention was, and continues to be, to develop a games portal on XBOX.WS . We are some way down the road to planning this site and forming the necessary partnerships, and parting with the domain will not help at all.
4) Microsoft are aware of this intention, and only contacted us when we put a notice on the site referring to the number of visitors we were getting. Their lawyers termed this amount of traffic as 'substantial' and raised the point that we were taking traffic away from XBOX.COM .
5) We already have already responded to the MS lawyers by letter on Sep 1st expressing our regret etc, restating our intentions to run a games portal, and inviting them to a meeting to discuss the matter further. We also asked them to provide suitable wording for the site copyright notice, which we would be happy to update. So far, we have heard no response.