The Mother Of All Lawsuits Filed Against Network Solutions
Fake News written by on Wednesday, May 17, 2000
I've said it before, and I'll say it again: it's a wonderful time to be a lawyer. The epic struggle between hackerdom and corporatedom is a win-win situation for us litigators. If the wind is blowing one way, we can make money filing lawsuits on behalf of Big Evil Yet Deep Pocketed Corporations. If the wind shifts, we can still make money defending the little guy against the corporate tyrants. As I'm writing this, the wind is blowing towards Virginia -- Network Solution's home state -- as the mother of all trademark infringement lawsuits offers to make me and my cohorts a whole lotta money. We're talking Bill Gates money here, folks, and I'm celebrating.
In a recent court case, the judge upheld NetSol's claim that they own their customer's domain names. It doesn't take a Harvard Law School graduate (which I'm not) to foresee the consequences: NetSol is the owner of every single trademark-infringing domain in existence -- registered or unregistered!
My law firm, Rilley, Lowe & Morals, is on the case. We're filing a class-action lawsuit on behalf of every single trademark holder in the US (and possibly the world) alleging that, for every registered trademark, NetSol must own some domain (registered or unregistered) that violates it. Take RilleyLoweMorals.com, for example. We just registered it with NetSol, but of course they claim ownership of the domain according to a clause in their license agreement printed in Flyspeck-3 font (my personal favorite). That's a trademark infringement (or will be as soon as we fill out the mountain of paperwork with the USPTO), plain and simple. And that's just one domain out of billions of possibilities.
We're licking our chops. This could be the biggest piece of litigation in the history of the Universe. Those poor schmucks in 1849 all thought they could get rich panning for gold... but the real money is found in America's courtrooms. We've just struck the NetSol Lode. As Metallica's head lawyer recently said, "Cha-ching!" (By the way, he was my roommate at the Chattafoocheeble Downstairs Discount Law School. For those of you wondering about my stance on the Napster case: Whatever brings the greatest gold to the greatest numbers of lawyers is a Good Thing(tm) in my book.)
Now, some of you might be wondering about the strength of our case. It's rock solid. I can just hear the NetSol weenie lawyers trying to argue in court, "But we can't possibly own all unregistered domains!" To which I'll rebut, "What's the difference? If someone pays to register a domain, does your ownership of it suddenly spring into existence? Are your customers paying for the privilege of creating intellectual property for NetSol's exclusive use and benefit? If not, then you are liable for all unregistered domains. If so, then you'll shortly be out of business -- there's only so many suckers to go around, and most of them have only GeoCities homepages without domain names."
Stay tuned. If you own a trademark of any kind, you should be receiving a snail mail with the subject "You might already be a plaintiff!" within the next three months. Unless you have any kind of moral objection (an unfortunate weakness some humans possess) and wish to excluse yourself from this class-action lawsuit, you'll be on the road to riches.
And my law firm gets to keep 30%. It's a wonderful time to be a lawyer.