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Thread: Microsoft lawyers threaten Mike Rowe (17)

  1. #1
    Head Honcho Administrator Reverend's Avatar
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    Microsoft lawyers threaten Mike Rowe (17)

    In what could easily be mistaken for an Onion story, Microsoft has unleashed the full fury of its lawyers on 17-year-old Canadian high-school student, Mike Rowe, demanding the handover of his Internet domain.

    The domain? MikeRoweSoft.com. No, seriously.

    Victoria-based Mike is currently studying maths and chemistry and plans to study computer science at Victoria University next year. He registered the domain in August because he thought it would be cool to have a site that sounded like the famous company to show his Web designing skills. The Beast of Redmond however reckons that the phonetic domain infringes its copyright and insists Mike hand it over or face the consequences.

    Mike told us that when an email from Microsoft’s Canadian lawyers Smart & Biggar arrived on 19 November laying out its complaint, he was “amazed and appalled”. He replied saying he didn’t want to hand over the domain and didn’t feel there was any risk it would damage Microsoft’s name. He then got another email. “They responded to this email by offering to give me all of my out-of-pocket expenses in return for the domain name. This came out to be $10; the amount I paid for the domain. This made me feel insulted. I had spent a lot of time building up my site and I had only been offered $10 for my work. I responded by asking for $10,000, which I regret doing now, for my work and domain name.”

    As he now knows, Mike had unwittingly slipped into the classic trap set by companies in order to get hold of domain names - the creation of a “bad faith” use of the domain. By offering to sell the domain for profit (even if sparked by the offer of payment by the other party), according to the bent logic of domain dispute arbitrators, it shows the owner had no legitimate interest in the domain and so it should be handed over.Microsoft, with its case bolstered, declined and Mike heard no more until 14 January when a 25-page letter and book were Fed-Ex’ed to his house explaining why he would have to hand over the domain, stating he had intended all along to sell the domain for profit and that his domain would confuse Microsoft customers.

    Full Story: The Register

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    Super Moderator Super Moderator Big Booger's Avatar
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    Piss on MS.

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    Head Honcho Administrator Reverend's Avatar
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    Here's some domains that are available to purchase. (Purely for legitimate use,and not for financial gain of course )

    mycroesoft.com

    mycorowsoft.com

    micrewsoft.com

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  4. #4
    Hardware guy Super Moderator FastGame's Avatar
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    M$ is stupid and they think they own everything like the Lindows thing. I think M$ should suffer and lose business because of this stuff!!!!

    Everyone should boycott M$, after they come out with the 64bit OS of coarse...

  5. #5
    Techzonez Governor Super Moderator Conan's Avatar
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    That blows!

  6. #6
    Head Honcho Administrator Reverend's Avatar
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    Follow up:

    Young Mike Rowe has reached an agreement with software hardnut Microsoft over the fate of his web site domain name mikerowesoft.com.

    Microsoft spokesman Jim Desler acknowledged that the company had taken an "initial step which was perhaps a bit too impersonal," considering this was, he said, "the story of a bright young kid starting a business and coming up with a creative domain".

    The company is to give the 17 year-old an XBox, pay some of the expenses he will incur in handing his domain over to the Vole and also train him in the use of Microsoft technology.

    Young Mike said that although it would have been "great" to fight it out he realised that justice can be bought and that the $1000 he had to spend on lawyers might not compete with Microsoft's billions. "I am only a 17 year old with a life ahead of me. I wouldn't like to be tied up in court for three years of my life and possibly lose in the end," he said on his soon-to-be-defunct web site.

    Folk registering "creative domains" of their own should be aware that different rules apply to the over-18s when it comes to messing with Microsoft.

    The Inquirer

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    Old and Cranky Super Moderator rik's Avatar
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    I wonder if He'll be modding that X Box?

  8. #8
    Succeded in braking Windo TZ Veteran Dehcbad25's Avatar
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    I wonder if He'll be modding that X Box?
    Good one
    Train him in the Microsoft Technology??
    That means he gets all MSCE CDs to train himself???

  9. #9
    Head Honcho Administrator Reverend's Avatar
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    Mike Rowe has put the warning letter from M$ and a WIPO book up for sale on Ebay.

    The auction is here and currently stands at US $28,500.00

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  10. #10
    all bets are off... TZ Veteran SupaStar's Avatar
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    Umm..it's at $205,100.00. Sounds like he's gonna be a rich man...well, boy...hehe

  11. #11
    Security Intelligence TZ Veteran cash_site's Avatar
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    I wonder if M$ will win the bid, simply to erase all public evidence. Hmm....

    --- 0wN3D by 3gG ---

  12. #12
    Succeded in braking Windo TZ Veteran Dehcbad25's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SupaStar
    Umm..it's at $205,100.00. Sounds like he's gonna be a rich man...well, boy...hehe
    Bid Currently at 6,100.00. It seems that he had to cancel because of fake bidders

  13. #13
    Head Honcho Administrator Reverend's Avatar
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    After the peaks and troughs earlier in the week, which saw Mike Rowe’s letter from Microsoft reach a staggering $20.5 million dollars, the auction has now closed at a more modest $1037.

    In the process, Mike Rowe’s Ebay page received over half a million views, while he was also plagued by fake bidders who nearly skewered the auction.

    The auction is here.

    The Inquirer

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