May 10, 2000 4:47 PM   Subscribe

This is for real eh?
posted by neo452 (8 comments total)
I am confused. How is it copyright theft for Microsoft to set up a site called digitaldiva, but not theft for someone to own, one letter off of mattel. (devil's advocate, like).
And, how they can complain about theft after taking the digitaldivas name, since there was for years a magazine called DigitalDivas, since they have been, in fact, infringing on the publication's trademark.

posted by sperare at 5:11 PM on May 10, 2000

PLEASE for the love of God understand this is about trademarks and not copyright. There's enough of that sort of confusion over at Slashdot.

Trademarks are about marketplace recognition, not one-letter-offed-ness. Digital Divas was doing computer education for newbies; Digital Diva is doing computer education for newbies.

Mattel sells toys. MattL does not sell toys.
posted by dhartung at 6:01 PM on May 10, 2000

Here's the test: Will there be confusion in the marketplace?

With digitaldiva(s).com, a consumer could hear about the site/service, go to either site and assume that they reached the right place. That's confusing.

With Mattel vs., if a consumer typed the name wrong, they would instantly know they had made an error. No room for confusion.

Being one letter off is NOT the legal issue at hand. If a lawyer tried to argue that either case was trademark infrigement because the name was one letter off, they would be laughed out of court.
posted by y6y6y6 at 6:17 PM on May 10, 2000

We'll just have to see how both cases pan out in court. The etoy case didn't settle things. Some case law needs to be put in place firmly here.

I remember the early Divas days, when the site was still hosted at, where it seemed to be more of a trade org resembling Webgrrls. Unfortunately, the Webgrrls site also has turned into a newbie zine. I hadn't been there for a while. Was I completely misunderstanding the purpose of the Divas?

posted by Electric Elf at 6:30 PM on May 10, 2000

could we all have a little more description in our link text please? "this is for real, eh?" is totally not helpful. Thank you.
posted by novarese at 4:58 AM on May 11, 2000

Thank you, thank you, thank you dhartung and y6y6y6 -- I've been trying to get this point across for days.
posted by faith at 10:13 AM on May 11, 2000

sperare, what magazine was that? What action has the magazine taken against Digital Divas in relation to its trademark? Are you sure they're not connected? says it dates back to 1997.
posted by dhartung at 12:48 PM on May 11, 2000

I'd be interested in hearing about the magazine, too - but only out of curiosity. Even if there was such a magazine, it wouldn't make any difference unless they also claimed trademark rights in computer services (specifically, online publishing of articles related to computer/Internet use). Besides, sperare said "was a publication" - trademark is a use-it-or-lose-it deal, unlike copyright which protects a work for a certain number (17?) of years.

And regarding Electric Elf's question about the purpose of the Digital Divas - nope, you didn't misunderstand. We are a trade organization and the 'zine offers us the perfect avenue for promoting our members. If a website contains nothing interesting or useful to anyone outside of its administrators, who's going to visit it?
posted by dana at 3:26 PM on May 11, 2000

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