08/01: MarianoRivera.com to Continue (For Now, at Least)!

Posted by: Patrick
Hey all,

I have good news. I spoke with a gentleman from SFX Baseball earlier today and he told me that I can continue to operate MarianoRivera.com as I always have! Unfortunately, though, he was not able to tell me that this would always be the case. So, I don't know if this will become an issue, once again, at some point in the future. I expressed this as a serious matter of concern to me and I asked for something in writing and was told that that could probably be done, so hopefully I'll be able to get that to help ease my mind and the security of this site.

I want to make it clear that I don't enjoy airing out situations like this. I did so because I felt it was necessary. The conversation was opened with a threat and, being a good fan site that is 3 and 1/2 years old, I felt that I was treated inappropriately. And that is what I wanted to bring light to. Nothing else. I hope that it's not something I have to do again. I would like to thank SFX for, in the end, allowing us to continue - hopefully, forever. Though I'm not sure if it's possible or not, I would certainly like to have a positive relationship with them moving forward.

So, for now at least, this situation is over and we can continue being the #1 fan site for Mariano Rivera. I'd like to thank everyone that helped and supported us during this situation. That includes Adrian Padill, Franklin Gomez, Lee LeFever, Dave and Aziz Nekoukar, Ben Martin, David Askaripour, Matt Schweber, Whitney Hoffman, Jonathan Bailey and Michael Singer. I'd also like to thank Ron Blum.

Thank you all.

Comments

Adrian Padill wrote:

Glad to see this site still operating.I guess SFX like many internet sites was seen as a copyright problem.I guess they saw that this isn't a threat to Mariano name,It's just a site to represent the greatest closer of all time.Guess now we just have to worry about Mariano performance which really souldn't be a problem.
08/02 03:03:02

Josh L. wrote:

I have to say that although I like your website, I think you are totally in the wrong here. Cybersquatting rules are pretty well established, and it is true that you are trading on his name. The fact that you have Google ads is enough to justify that. In a court of law, you would lose swiftly. If you are truly just a fan, then you should be willing to move your website to another domain name. Any loyal reader would gladly follow.
08/02 06:43:48

Ben wrote:

Patrick: Great news! Thanks for the link and keep up the great site. @Josh L.: Everthing I read about them says cybersquatting rules are NOT well established. The little bit of precedent there is and the circumstances we're looking at suggest that Patrick could win this one in court.
08/02 09:11:22

Patrick wrote:

Thanks for the comments, Mr. Martin and Mr. Padill. :)

Josh,

I understand your point. However, I don't think being a fan makes it acceptable for me to be treated this way. I make no claims or presumptions legally as I'm not an attorney. What would happen in court is definitely a matter of opinion. Thankfully, I can't see it ever getting to that point, anyway.

But, to run a 3 and 1/2 year old fan site and to simply be sent a letter out of the blue one day in which I am threatened and accused of unethical behavior... it's just not right. As far as I'm concerned, anyway.

Thanks,

Patrick
08/02 09:32:24

Josh L wrote:

Patrick,

You are simply wrong. There have been lots of legal cases of exactly this type--a website that's FirstnameLastname.com of some famous person, and every single one of those website owners has lost. If they choose to sue you, you'll be gone. My guess is that you wouldn't even want to pay the legal fees to attempt to defend your position.

Let me be clear that I don't think you intend to take advantage of Rivera's fame, but the fact of the matter is that you are.

Let me also be clear that I am not affiliated with SFX.
08/02 13:35:32

Triumvirate wrote:

All the cases of cyber-squatting that I have seen have been completely different than what is being said here. What I've read about has always been a person owning a domain without the intent to use it and most often with the intent to defraud and garner traffic for another site. (For instance, if this site redirected to SportsForums.net that would more than likely be considered cyber-squatting as the obvious intention would be to defraud users to support another site.)

As an aside I have to wonder how privacy laws would tie into a case such as this as far as expectation of privacy goes in relation to public figures. Given that they are in the spotlight courts have in the past offered rulings based on the expectation of privacy they have as far as being famous is concerned. I have to wonder how these rulings could be taken as regards the web.

The fact that a person would choose not to pay legal fees in order to sustain a domain name does not mean that the law is against him or that he is, in fact, doing anything wrong. That logic is incredibly flawed. Choosing not to fight a massive corporation with, for these purposes unlimited money to handle legal fees when the person they are suing has limited resources and would have no possibility of recuperating the money or time lost in fighting this (and probably doesn't even make enough money off the site to support the legal fees in the first place) is just good financial sense. In fact, it is what these large companies bank on when bringing up lawsuits in the first place.

If every case like this was taken to the courts there is a good chance that they may find the rules of what constitutes cyber-squatting more clearly defined and in ways that they don't want.

This is of course ignoring the length of time that this site existed prior to any cease and desist letters taken out. The web has been, since the mid-late 90's an active force in marketing. In fact Rivera's career and fame were growing alongside the growth of the web. The fact that any agent or agency representing him would not purchase a domain name in this time (10 years ago, let's say) is a much bigger problem than anything else. Then, after missing out for 10 years to come along and say they have the rights to the domain is ridiculous, especially considering a site, that is by it's own admission entirely unofficial and a fan site has been operating here for over 3 years is ridiculous. Had the domain recently been bought they may have a case, but a period of over 3 years passed and I would be interested to see just what logic they could use to defend that position against any decent lawyer.
08/03 12:26:43

Abdul Isra wrote:

Congratulations Patrick, I hope and pray for this website would certainly like to have a positive relationship with them moving forward.
04/23 20:40:39

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