Feeds

When Smurfs Attack!

Father Abraham hires an IP attorney

High performance access to file storage

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

SANS - Survey on application security programs

More from The Register

next story
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray
High Fidelity Pure Audio – is this what your ears have been waiting for?
Record labels sue Pandora over vintage song royalties
Companies want payout on recordings made before 1972
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Ex–Apple CEO John Sculley: Ousting Steve Jobs 'was a mistake'
Twenty-nine years later, post-Pepsi exec has flat-forehead moment
Apple DOMINATES the Valley, rakes in more profit than Google, HP, Intel, Cisco COMBINED
Cook & Co. also pay more taxes than those four worthies PLUS eBay and Oracle
Number crunching suggests Yahoo! US is worth less than nothing
China and Japan holdings worth more than entire company
prev story

Whitepapers

SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.