Archive of UserLand's first discussion group, started October 5, 1998.

Re: SalonHerringWiredFool.Com

Author:Dave Winer
Posted:10/27/1999; 5:46:44 AM
Msg #:12391 (In response to 12387)
Prev/Next:12390 / 12392

Just wondering whether you have permissions from the publications to use their brand names in the domain name?

We weren't sure if we needed to. The domain was available. We think it's merely descriptive of what the site contains, so it's fair use. We're not claiming a trademark, just a domain name. And we specifically disclaim any endorsement by, or relationship with, any of the companies or products.

We acknowledge that Salon, Red Herring, Wired News and The Motley Fool are trademarks belonging to the respective firms, and we point directly to their websites from every page, making colorful use of their logos, as supplied in their RSS channels. Again, this seems to be fair use.

Further, we are generating flow for them. We're pointing directly to their stories, their ads, reader comments, and any revisions they might make to the stories. This is the high road in the syndication world. This the web way. Knowing what I know about each of the pubs, as a reader and a technology partner (and in the case of Wired as a former editor), I think they would agree.

We asked a few people whose opinions we value for comments before opening the site publicly, and they all asked the same question you did, but in a different way. Perhaps the only controversial thing about the site is its domain name. And this raises, for the first time that I'm aware of, this particular side of domain name culture and legality.

So, I'm hoping to get comments from each of the publications. Do they support what we're doing? Is this something they foresaw when they published their RSS files? If not, how do they feel about it?

Basically I want to start a discussion, and see where it goes. And I didn't want it to be a theoretical discussion, I wanted to have a site live, on the air, changing every hour, perhaps even covering itself, in a way, if the various pubs decide to address the question on their sites as well as ours.

It was the most concise way I could think of to make RSS and XML interesting to the business reader, investor, and thinker.

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