NCAA Tries To Bully Fan Discussion Site Into Handing Over Its Domain Name

from the how-about-ncaasucks.com? dept

Reader Eileen writes in to alert us that the NCAA — known for its overly restrictive views at times — is trying to bully the owner of the discussion website NCAAbbs.com into handing over its domain names. The NCAA is, not surprisingly, complaining that any domain name that includes NCAA automatically should belong to the NCAA. Of course, it’s not so simple. While the NCAA does have a trademark on its name, that doesn’t mean it gets automatic control over any site that uses NCAA in its domain name. The NCAAbbs site is clearly not associated with the NCAA and is pretty clearly just a fan discussion site. The owner of the site says that he’s planning to fight the demand, and hopefully he can succeed. While the domain dispute process can be a bit arbitrary, the courts have often realized that a trademark holder does not get full control over every domain that mentions them. Hopefully, that will be the case here as well. Of course, the one area where it’s pretty clear that you can keep such a domain name is in cases of “sucks sites.” So perhaps if the NCAA wins this, the owner can simple relocate to NCAAreallysucks.com.

More to the point, however, you have to wonder what the NCAA thinks it’s doing here. You have a site that has been set up to promote the NCAA and all of the various sports teams within the NCAA. This is an incredibly useful promotional tool that the NCAA should be celebrating and helping rather than attacking. Why do so many organizations think it’s smart to threaten, attack or sue their biggest fans?

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Comments on “NCAA Tries To Bully Fan Discussion Site Into Handing Over Its Domain Name”

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16 Comments
Anonymous Coward says:

Mike;

Organizations that attack their fans don’t typically do it just to be “jerks”, they are often FORCED into doing it to protect their copyright to the use of their name.

Disney is well-known for “attacking” schools and other completely non-threatening users of their “intellectual property” and send “Cease and desist” orders so as to make sure that when they REALLY DO want to go after someone, they can demonstrate that they have been consistent in protecting their copyright.

-avi

Murdoch's #37 fan says:

Re: Re:

Nope, because if I run a company called Nates Cars Autos and Accessories market, I will want NCAAmarket.com, and I can keep it, I just can’t do anything to do with college sports on it.

It’s why you can have a national A1 moving company and an National A1 advertising company, both with trademarked names, and nothing either can do about each other.

Anonymous Coward says:

NCAA

You mean the National Council of Accountants and Attorneys?
or the Northern Canadian Arctic Association?
How about Nixon Clinton Ambiguity Association?
or Never Claim Any Acronym ….

Real ones:

NCAA National Clinical Assessment Authority (UK)
NCAA Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority
NCAA National Council of Arab Americans
NCAA National Civil Aviation Authority
NCAA New College Alumni Association
NCAA Non-Nuclear Consumables Annual Analysis
NCAA NATO Civil Airlift Agency (US DoD)
NCAA NATO Civil Aviation Agency
NCAA National Command Authority Aircraft
NCAA NATO Civil Air Augmentation
NCAA National Council for Accreditation and Attestation (Republic of Moldova)

Anonymous Coward says:

If I were the owner of NCAABBS.com I wouldn’t even fight NCAA, I would first put a note on my website that says, “I am relocating to NCAASUCKS.com because they are suing me for trademark infringement” I would let that site stay there for a respectable period of time to let everyone know (and I would take down all content that helps the NCAA immediately) and then I would sell NCAABBS for as much as I could to the NCAA and then I would open up NCAASUCKSBBS.com and start a whole new website there.

visitor (user link) says:

I was recently sent a letter from the NCAA in regards to my site http://www.atmarchmadness.com. They want me to transfer the domain to them due to the fact that they trademarked ‘March Madness’ and any domain name containing that belongs to them by law (in reference to college basketball). I draw in a petty 50 visitors a day during the tournament time-frame (just to do a bracket challenge) then traffic goes to nil. Am I really hurting them with this?? Since i do not have the means to even come close to combating them in a court of law, I will just comply. Just thought it was unnecessary of them to demand the domain name transfer.

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