Some Advice to Education Site Taking on Marijuana Site
Education site worried about effect of corresponding .org domain name.
This morning I came across a story about an education web site at NewsBowl.com that is worried that a marijuana site is at NewsBowl.org. The owner is worried that students will type .org after NewsBowl instead of .com and find themselves at a site about drugs.
First, it’s kind of ironic that the owner of a .com would worry about what’s on the .org equivalent, since mostly it’s the other way around. But in this case I suppose there could be some confusion because some education sites are on .org. Then again, maybe the owner of the marijuana site should be concerned, too, since some of his stoners might stumble upon the education site and learn something.
Going back in time, NewsBowl.com should have registered alternate extensions. But since it can’t, here’s my advice:
1. Realize that having a trademark to “News Bowl” for “entertainment services in the nature of a current event quiz contest” doesn’t necessarily give you rights to all uses of the term “bowl”, including the drug term.
2. Going to the press about your issue is likely to drive more traffic to the marijuana site than keeping quiet about it. It’s not like public shaming will cause the .org owner to close his site.
3. You’ve tried to contact the owner but can’t get past Domains By Proxy. I assume you’ve tried emailing the owner using the whois email address? It should be forwarded to the owner. Then again, I’m sure it’s getting you some traffic as well.
4. If you really want to find out who’s behind the site, you can proceed with a UDRP. Since Domains By Proxy is a proxy service, this will unmask the registrant. (You’ll probably lose the UDRP, though, since the registrant is using the domain for a real web site unrelated to your trademark.)
5. Your NewsBowl.com site appears to get very little traffic, so the spillover to the .org site must be minimal, too. In fact, compete.com shows no traffic for the .org.