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QotD: Katie

Question: What do you think of the katie.com debate?

My Answer: I hope that Katie Jones sticks it to the Tarbox. Not to diminish what happened to Ms. Tarbox, but what she (via her lawyer) seem to doing to Katie Jones are quite deplorable in and of themselves. Rename the book. Let Ms. Jones alone.

You are encouraged to answer the Question of the Day for yourself in the comments or on your blog.

5 Responses to "QotD: Katie"

  1. What I find the worst about it, is that the publisher claims it isn't them, and Ms. Tarbox responds to emails saying it is the publisher. Katie Jones says on her site that it seems to be the lawyer, Parry Aftab, representing Ms. Tarbox. Supposedly this lawyer is the "angel of the internet" for protecting the children. I have heard rumors that the lawyer wants to launch some sort of educational program named katie.com. So rather than respect people, we use the law to try and change things for the sake of protecting the children and lining pockets. I wonder if the lawyer will be able to even use her cell phone for awhile seeing as she posts it clearly on her web site, 201-463-8663.

  2. The article on Slashdot claims that Katie.com isn't copyrighted, but that doesn't make sense to me. Since any document that has a credible time stamp can be considered copyrighted for practical intents and purposes, and Jones has had the domain registered since 1996, she's obviously owner of the domain. The publisher should at least offer to buy Katie.com from Jones and offer to move her to another domain (Katie.net?), but I seriously doubt that they can make any claims to the right to use Katie.com as a book title.

    I'm curious, if they claim that using Katie.com is a free-speech issue, then what would stop anyone else from using the book title for their project? Perhaps it's only copyrightable when they do it, eh? I suggest that they write a book and call it "Microsoft.com" and see how that goes over.

  3. Grayson: Don't mix up trademark and copyright. A name cannot be copyrighted, only trademarked (because "katie" in itself isn't an original work). Further, trademarks have to be registered. katie.com is not registered, while MIcrosoft is.

  4. If Aftab and Tarbox succeed in this crazy game, then our entire system of owning domain names will be in jeopardy. If all it takes to take over a domain name is to write a book about it, then that's absurd. If anything, katie.com should sue the publishers for taking her domain name and using it without her permission. Granted, I don't actually think that's the right thing to do, but it would still make more sense than being required to give up your domain name just because someone writes a book about it. If they wanted to use the domain name in the book's title, they should have picked a different title.

  5. My point was derived from a quote on Slashdot equating the problem to copyright. My point was that IF it were, in fact, a copyright issue, it would already be effectively time-stamped material, showing clear prior ownership of the URL. The issue has been settled, anyway, with a change in the title of the book.


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