Thursday, April 23, 2009

Wikipedia challenges (noncom) artists group using a domain name to parody theirs

Corynne McSherry of Electronic Frontier Foundation has an important discussion on a "trademark parody" case.

It seems that the Wikipedia Foundation is going after the domain name of a noncommercial site that discusses “Wikipedia Art” after some parties had an entity with such art removed from Wikipedia because it was not sufficiently “encyclopediac”.

Wikipedia is trying to stop the group from using the name. But it would not violate trademark law, because it is non-commercial, amounts to commentary or parody, and does not use a Wikipedia trade dress or logo. It is possible that Wikipedia could enter a dispute with ICANN and force administrative resolution with ICANN’s Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP). They might prevail, but that would not be binding in US courts. Even the "prospective" nature of the 2006 Trademark law would not make a difference here.

The EFF story is here.

The Wikipedia art site is, “a collaborative performance and public intervention.”

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