Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Just a Little Irony Here

Jerry Falwell has a web site: It's a place he can post his holier-than-thou, gay-bashing, end-of-the-world messages, and the people who like that stuff can read his pearls of wisdom.

But then this gay guy registers the domain name: See, it's got an extra ell in it. And on this site, he talks about how it was when he was young and coming to terms with his sexual orientation, to see Jerry Falwell on TV saying how terrible gay people were. He says: That was the first time in my life that I ever felt unworthy of the love of God.

So he changed Fal- to Fall- (pretty clever, really), and put up a web site.

How do you feel about that? Do you think it's a nice thing, to create a web URL that's almost exactly the same as somebody else's, so that when people want to go to one web site, they accidentally end up at the other one?

Well, Jerry Falwell doesn't like that approach one bit, and he tried to sue the guy. Here's the AP:
WASHINGTON - Evangelist Jerry Falwell lost a U.S. Supreme Court appeal Monday of a case that sought to shut down a Web site with a similar name but opposite views on homosexuals.

Falwell claims that a gay man from New York City improperly draws people to a site by using a common misspelling of the reverend's name as the site's domain name.

A federal judge sided with Falwell, whose ministry based in Virginia but has ties around the world, on grounds that Christopher Lamparello's domain name was nearly identical to the trademark bearing Falwell's name and could confuse Web surfers.

Last year, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals disagreed and said Lamparello was free to operate his "gripe site" about Falwell's views on gays at Lamparello "clearly created his Web site intending only to provide a forum to criticize ideas, not to steal customers," the court said.

The Supreme Court has now refused to take Falwell’s appeal of that ruling.

Falwell's attorneys have fought over domain names in the past. Three years ago, an Illinois man surrendered the domain names and after Falwell threatened to sue for trademark infringement. Supreme Court declines Falwell Web appeal: Evangelist had been trying to shut down Web site with similar name

Is there an ethical problem here? Does Jerry Falwell think it's wrong to use somebody else's name for their web site? Is it a dirty trick? members are giggling to ourselves over this one. Why? Here -- click on this link: It's just like our URL, except where we're "dot-org," this is "dot-com." Common mistake, we do it ourselves sometimes when we're not thinking.

Look what you get.

The morally self-righteous, holier-than-us, family-values-loving, anti-gay, traditional-maorality-advocating, school-district-suing Citizens for a Responsible Curriculum did the same thing to us that this gay guy did to Jerry Falwell. They did this more than a year ago. I'm sure they thought it was a Real Smart thing to do, real clever.

Whatever, it looks like you found us, so we're okay.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's a difference between the double-ell Fallwell site and the dot-com version of our URL. When you go to the Fallwell site, you see large red letters explaining that the site is not affiliated with Jerry Falwell's ministry. I didn't look at every page on the site, but I saw it on every page I looked at.

When you mistakenly type dot-com instead of dot-org after Teachthefacts, you see no such disclaimer. No-one at CRC is willing to mention the slight of hand. But then, we can see here in the work of the annonymati that the CRC doesn't want to come out. Perhaps the light burns?

April 19, 2006 12:46 PM  

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