Feeds

When Smurfs Attack!

Father Abraham hires an IP attorney

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

Having been toasted in a recent Belgian children's cartoon, Smurfs are now on the counter-attack, mounting an intellectual property rampage against domain name holders. Studio Peyo, which owns the rights to the Smurfs trademark and copyright, has been sending out threatening letters to webmasters who use the name in their web addresses.

The letters are fairly indiscriminate, notes East Bay ISP Robin Bandy. He received one for a nine year old web page he hosts that translates English into Smurf language. He told them to take a Smurfing hike.

A Smurf representative hit back, insisting that "the simple registration of a domain name websmurfer.devnull.net containing a protected denomination and the use of that domain name, even as a personal webpage, constitutes a violation of the copyright and trademark rights attached to this denomination, notwithstanding if the web-site refer or not to the Smurf™ character by itself."

The email goes on to threaten UDRP, the domain name dispute resolution process overseen by internet quango ICANN.

But the UDRP doesn't apply to host names, only domain names, Bandy points out.

"In short: ICANN's UDRP does not apply to the site 'websmurfer.devnull.net' and even if it did the UDRP would not treat that site as having been registered in bad faith and would consider my use of the term 'websmurfer' a legitimate interest in the name. Good day," he replied.

But the little blue people's legal offensive has had already had a chilling effect on academia with a Smurf Name generator hosted by the University of Michigan falling silent pending legal advice.

Stand fast against the blue people, advises Bandy.

It seems that there's a new, and as yet undocumented member of the VIS (Very Important Smurf) clan - cloned from the blue DNA of Brainy Smurf - "A moraliser who believes everything Papa Smurf says is sacred. Everyone puts up with him, but let's face it: he's a bore. In fact, he's a real pain in the Smurf."

Yes, I think we've all met IP Lawyer Smurf. ®

Related link

Websmurfer under siege

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
White? Male? You work in tech? Let us guess ... Twitter? We KNEW it!
Grim diversity numbers dumped alongside Facebook earnings
Bose says today is F*** With Dre Day: Beats sued in patent battle
Music gear giant seeks some of that sweet, sweet Apple pie
Amazon Reveals One Weird Trick: A Loss On Almost $20bn In Sales
Investors really hate it: Share price plunge as growth SLOWS in key AWS division
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Too many IT conferences to cover? MICROSOFT to the RESCUE!
Yet more word of cuts emerges from Redmond
Chips are down at Broadcom: Thousands of workers laid off
Cellphone baseband device biz shuttered
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.