Protest sites galore! Power to the people!
Little man bites back on Net (still)
Despite numerous "judgments" against owners of protest sites, it seems that the little man is unswayed and the Internet remains a perfect medium for making grumblings heard.
Here are three recent examples. One has been squashed, another has the legal letter and another has just gone up. Oh, and a bonus fourth, which is a protest site of a protest site.
First up is angry car customer Dave Wilkinson. Dave was not happy about the service that car dealership Reg (no relation) Vardy has offered him. And so he set up www.reg-vardy.com (.net and .org) and has also purchased www.regvardysucks.com, which points to the same site.
Unsurprisingly, Reg Vardy is not too impressed and Dave received a letter from the multi-million pound company's lawyers who would like all the domains. Dave's response has been to post the letter with the message: "I'm sure Reg Vardy will have very expensive legal teams dying to tear some strips off me, and yes, you guessed it, I'm a married man with 4 children and not able to pay for high power solicitors. But hey, what the hell they can do there worst, sue my arse, I've got nothing to lose except my mortgage arrears and my overdraft." We salute you Dave. Best of luck with the upcoming WIPO kangaroo court.
Next up is a French site, www.jeboycottedanone.com - which those non-francophones means, surprisingly, "I boycott Danone". Olivier Malnuit has finally had enough of the yoghurt maker with the annoying ads, which recently announced heaving job losses - called "restructuring" as ever.
And so he set up his protest site, complete with the company's logo. The French treat the Internet a little different to the UK and US and so this has gone straight to the law courts. Olivier has been ordered to pay the company £475, and it is seeking more damages to the tune of £9,000.
Quite how this can be right, we aren't sure. But then the French legal system appears to take a strong dislike to the Internet.
And then there is new kid on the block, www.dixons-online.co.uk. This one has been set up by one Abu Abdullaah, which we suspect may be a pseudonym, especially since his email address prefix is "Iamahero".
Abu informed us that "after receiving years of poor service at the hands of Dixons, this site has been designed to educate the public, with simple aspects of retailing and consumer law". Unlike most protest sites though, this is a pretty professional job, including good advice on how to complain and where to complain, as well as a disclaimer.
This hasn't stopped Dixons from going to Nominet and WIPO over the site however, Abu says. Nominet's policy is one of reconciliation, which obviously wasn't to Dixons liking and so we look forward to another WIPO decision. But, oh, hang on, WIPO has no jurisdiction in the UK. All the best Abu.
But here is irony of ironies. The famous protest site www.WallmartCanadaSucks.com - famous because it actually won a WIPO ruling - has its detractors. In one email, sent to the URL owner Kenneth Harvey and cc'ed to us, Narsche lambasts him for posting anything and everything he is emailed.
Narsche claims that he and his mates wrote a story while drunk, sent it to Kenneth and it was posted two days later.
Such was his disillusionment that Narsche has threatened to buy and set up the URL www. WallmartCanadaSucksSucks.com - now that must be a first. ®