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UTube gets YouTubed

From Slashdot: UTube is suing YouTube, claiming that its normal operations have been disrupted by users attempting to reach YouTube. Not only is access to the web site impaired; there have been rude emails from users demanding to know where the videos are.

Personally, I don't think there is much of a case here. There hasn't been any trade or service mark infringement. Neither party is trying to mislead the other to the wrong site. The parties are in unrelated businesses, so the actual overlap of common customers is likely to be very small. (IANAL; usual disclaimers apply.)

If anything, this is similar to the "slashdot" effect of a link being placed on a very popular site (with users who tend to follow links) to a less popular site (not necessarily equipped to handle a sharp traffic increase). Perhaps UTube has a case against the rude folks who are disrupting customer service, but otherwise, I think they just need to ensure that they have sufficient provisioning (for their entire business, not just bandwidth). These things happen on the net; they are part of the cost of doing business.


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Nov. 5th, 2006 08:14 pm (UTC)
Sounds similar to the old "altavista.com" problem. A small software company, and they had a legal right to the name, but when they started getting thousands of hits they redid their business model to serve ads and redirect people to av.com. I seem to remember the guy eventually sold the domain to us for like 3 million or something...
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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