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Author Topic: I received a threatening letter from ebay/paypal.  (Read 3984 times)
Anonymous
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July 28, 2011, 01:26:56 AM
 #1

I registered the domain http://paypalisascam.com and simply forwarded it to http://paypalsucks.com

Today I got this email; from them -

Quote
ip@ebayenforcement.com ✆ to me
   
We have noted your registration through the local Internet registry in your country of a domain which incorporates the trademark PAYPAL. While we realize that you likely registered the domain with the best of intentions and without awareness of the law in this area, we need to inform you that use of that domain is problematic.

PayPal, Inc. ("PayPal") does not permit use of its trademarked name PAYPAL in a domain name.

Such use is in violation of international intellectual property regulations and the trademark laws of many countries worldwide.

Additionally, arbitrary use of the word PAL in a domain is problematic if the connected website is used in association with a business making use of PayPal or operating in the same sphere of business as PayPal.

PayPal adopted the name and trademark PayPal in September 1999 and, since that time, PayPal has actively used the PAYPAL name and trademark in connection with its online payment and related services, including maintaining the web sites www.paypal.com and numerous country-specific websites in North America, South America, Europe and Asia. The PAYPAL trademark is one of the most famous trademarks on the Internet.  PayPal owns exclusive trademark rights to the PAYPAL name in many jurisdictions internationally, including related common law rights. Accordingly, PayPal enjoys broad trademark rights in its name.

PayPal has made a substantial investment in developing and providing its services. As a result of PayPal’s pioneering efforts and its devoting substantial effort and resources to providing only high quality services, the PayPal name and trademarks are widely known among the consuming public worldwide, and the name and trademarks embody substantial and valuable goodwill.


While PayPal respects your right of expression and your desire to conduct business on the Internet, PayPal must enforce its own rights in order to protect its valuable and famous trademark. For these reasons, and to avoid consumer confusion, PayPal must insist that you not use the domain name for any purpose, do not sell, offer to sell or transfer the domain name to a third party, and instead simply let the domain registration expire.


We regret any inconvenience caused you, but we require your written confirmation that you will at your earliest convenience discontinue any use of your PAYPAL domain, and will then allow its registration to lapse.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation.

Best regards,

Edith
eBay Inc.
Legal Department

I told them I could forward it to the wikileaks bitcoin donation page if they prefer. Im not not using the domain for commerce only as a statement about them seizing people's money and their other arbitrary policy decisions that in any other company would be fraudulent.

Edit: it now points to http://wikileaks.org/Banking-Blockade.html
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July 28, 2011, 01:53:10 AM
 #2

IANAL, but here is my layman's opinion.  This is not legal advice.

1. Companies do things like this routinely as a matter of protecting their trademarks, whether it's valid or not they have to try so it looks like they are active in protecting their trademark otherwise it could be invalidated.  In fact, they probably have a script that monitors the domain registry and sends out these emails.  I bet you could register the domain SpayPalin.com (a political message advocating the sterilization of former Alaskan governor Sarah Palin) and you would get this email because it contains the letters p-a-y-p-a-l.

2. The relevant law, the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (referenced on ebay's info page at http://pages.ebay.com/help/policies/everyone-ebayipuse.html), requires intent to profit from the usage. Specifically, "The ACPA does not prevent the fair use of trademarks or any use protected by the First Amendment, which includes gripe sites." (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anticybersquatting_Consumer_Protection_Act)

3. There are already plenty of prior examples of exactly this situation, like paypalsucks.com.  Believe me, if ebay/paypal legally had a case against you they would legally have a case against paypalsucks.com and it would NOT EXIST.  The fact that it does shows that ebay is all bark and no bite here.

In short, I would laugh and tell them to go fly a kite.

Edit:  Oh yeah if anyone finds SpayPalin.com as hilarious as I do and wants to give me a tiny donation for thinking up something so funny, I would humbly accept it lol -- 1HQiS9PLHPcoQMgN8ZdcGwhoMHWh2Hp37p

1HQiS9PLHPcoQMgN8ZdcGwhoMHWh2Hp37p
Anonymous
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July 28, 2011, 02:01:03 AM
 #3

Does the first amendment apply if youre not in the states?

I guess since its a dot com it would.
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July 28, 2011, 02:16:30 AM
 #4

The first amendment doesn't apply to you, but it applies to ebay.  Meaning they can't sue you under US law if US law makes an allowance for the type of usage you're doing, which it does. They could still sue you in your country, but I don't know what country you live in and even if I did I'm not familiar with its laws. Your country may not allow any kind of usage of someone else's trademark. Or your country may not respect ebay's trademark and allow all usage. Chances are, you're fine though. Even if there is no "fair use" of someone else's trademark in your country, I doubt they would sue you over it since you're not even using the domain, it's just redirecting. Anything's possible and if you want to be absolutely sure you should consult a lawyer. But what they sent you is just a form letter, you're too small potatoes for them to even notice you at this point except that their little algorithm noticed the letters in your domain.

I absolutely would not worry about it so long as there is a bigger fish doing the exact same thing (paypalsucks.com), especially since it has been around for years.

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July 28, 2011, 07:42:31 AM
 #5

This made my day!
Paypal is the biggest scam yet and this just proves it more so!

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July 28, 2011, 08:26:40 AM
 #6

If pushed, PayPal will likely defend that letter by claiming they made clear that they had no desire to restrict your right to free expression but only wanted to make sure you don't use the domain in a way that infringes on their trademark. Incidentally, you were not infringing. There's no chance of consumer confusion, and the arguments for tarnishment or blurring are defeated by the expressive content.

I am an employee of Ripple.
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July 28, 2011, 09:09:34 AM
 #7

Is e-mail btw a legal method to send such letter? Could you claim in court that you never received it?
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July 28, 2011, 09:20:18 AM
 #8

Is e-mail btw a legal method to send such letter? Could you claim in court that you never received it?
Sure. When you're in the right, it's always a good idea to commit perjury.

I am an employee of Ripple.
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July 28, 2011, 09:57:43 AM
 #9

Is e-mail btw a legal method to send such letter? Could you claim in court that you never received it?

In the old days, they consider a notice served the moment it's posted. So you not receiving it is not their problem Smiley

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Anonymous
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July 29, 2011, 02:15:36 AM
 #10

I probably cant claim I never received it since i posted it on the bitcoin forum!
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July 29, 2011, 05:27:54 AM
 #11

You should forward a copy to these guys:
http://www.chillingeffects.org/protest/

I am an employee of Ripple.
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July 29, 2011, 06:09:51 AM
 #12

I registered the domain http://paypalisascam.com and simply forwarded it to http://paypalsucks.com

LOL

Hey Guys! WWW.FREEBITCOINS.ORG introduces "Epic December Contest" where you can Win Sweet Casascius Coins !!!
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July 29, 2011, 07:14:34 AM
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Noagendamarket, you are awesome.  That is all.   Cheesy
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July 29, 2011, 07:29:14 AM
 #14

maybe they should just register paypalisascamdotcomisascam.com and be done with it.
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July 29, 2011, 08:54:54 AM
 #15

maybe they should just register paypalisascamdotcomisascam.com and be done with it.

lol
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July 29, 2011, 08:31:19 PM
 #16

They can take your domain if you're not actually going to do anything with it.

If you wanted to setup a anti-paypal site and exercise your free speech rights, you surely can do that. But if you're just going to sit on the domain and redirect it elsewhere, they have a case of "bad intent" against you and can take your domain from you simply through the registrar (I hope you didn't register it someplace dumb like godaddy).

I've gotten these letters before, and if you aren't going to do anything with the domain then just hand it over and chalk it up to experience.

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July 30, 2011, 02:37:05 AM
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They can take your domain if you're not actually going to do anything with it.

If you wanted to setup a anti-paypal site and exercise your free speech rights, you surely can do that. But if you're just going to sit on the domain and redirect it elsewhere, they have a case of "bad intent" against you and can take your domain from you simply through the registrar (I hope you didn't register it someplace dumb like godaddy).

I've gotten these letters before, and if you aren't going to do anything with the domain then just hand it over and chalk it up to experience.


Not quite that easily. butttttt.



To be on the safe side put a pause on your redirect and add a small disclaimer to the site, "This is a sattire or other such free use information site, etc, that is under construction.  In the mean time it will redirect you to blah.com" or whatever else.

If you're not excited by the idea of being an early adopter 'now', then you should come back in three or four years and either tell us "Told you it'd never work!" or join what should, by then, be a much more stable and easier-to-use system. - GA
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July 30, 2011, 02:52:54 AM
 #18

They can take your domain if you're not actually going to do anything with it.

If you wanted to setup a anti-paypal site and exercise your free speech rights, you surely can do that. But if you're just going to sit on the domain and redirect it elsewhere, they have a case of "bad intent" against you and can take your domain from you simply through the registrar (I hope you didn't register it someplace dumb like godaddy).

I've gotten these letters before, and if you aren't going to do anything with the domain then just hand it over and chalk it up to experience.


Not quite that easily. butttttt.



To be on the safe side put a pause on your redirect and add a small disclaimer to the site, "This is a sattire or other such free use information site, etc, that is under construction.  In the mean time it will redirect you to blah.com" or whatever else.

+1

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July 30, 2011, 06:23:08 AM
 #19

PayPal are criminals and it's only because of stuff like this they are so powerful.
You only make it big in the corporate world if you know how to be an a-hole.
Ignore their flimsy email full of baseless threats and keep the damn domain.
They can't demand that you simply let the domain expire, don't be scared of them.

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July 30, 2011, 06:52:06 AM
 #20

i wonder what they'd say if you kind of did something opposite:

register lowestscumoftheuniverse.com and redirect it to paypal.

no trademark issue, right?
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