Tuesday, September 26, 2006

FAIR cyber-squatting on Tanner sites

The same thing happened last year when Grant Palmer's book came out.


Ministry files suit over Web sites=20
Lighthouse: The group says a pro-LDS foundation is infringing on its tradem=
By Pamela Manson=20
The Salt Lake Tribune=20

Salt Lake Tribune =20
A Salt Lake City organization that is critical of the LDS Church filed
suit Monday accusing a pro-Mormon foundation of trademark infringement
and unfair competition.
The suit by Utah Lighthouse Ministry Inc. accuses The Foundation
for Apologetic Information & Research (FAIR) of registering 13
Internet domain names associated with UTLM, including those of
founders Jerald and Sandra Tanner, to create confusion.
The Tanners are former members and longtime critics of The Church
of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, while FAIR says it is "dedicated
to providing well-documented answers to criticisms of LDS [Mormon]
doctrine, belief and practice."
The alleged cybersquatting - the practice of registering or using
Internet domain names with the intent of profiting from the good will
associated with someone else's trademark - takes visitors looking for
UTLM publications to a selection of hyperlinks to articles posted on
FAIR's Web site instead, the suit contends. In addition, it says,
these Internet sites "bear a remarkable resemblance of 'look and feel'
to the UTLM Web site."
The ministry's site is utlm.org; FAIR has been using the names
fairlds.org and blacklds.org. The names in dispute include
utahlighthouseministry.com, utahlighthouseministry.org,
sandratanner.com and gerald tanner.com.
The suit, filed in U.S. District Court, names as defendants FAIR,
which has addresses in New York City and Mesa, Ariz.; FAIR president
Scott Gordon of Davis, Calif.; Discovery Computing Inc. of Mesa, which
provides Web services to FAIR; and Discovery officers Allen L. Wyatt
and Debra M. Wyatt.
The legal action seeks transfer to UTLM of the 13 domain names,
which were registered in 2003 and 2004 by Allen Wyatt, and triple the
unspecified monetary damages suffered by the ministry.
Wyatt said he has not seen the suit, but contended that viewers
could tell the difference between the FAIR and UTLM sites.
"There's no confusion as to whether it's her [Sandra Tanner's]
organization or not," he said. "I just grabbed the names because they
were available."
However, he acknowledged that he disagrees with the Tanners'
position and said taking the domain names is a valid free speech

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