From ZDnet: AA Not Awarded .org Site

Owners of the Web site have fended off a bid by the national organization to snatch the domain name, saved in part by a wide-ranging disclaimer on the front page.

I thought this was funny:

Alcoholics Anonymous had filed a claim with the WIPO board, which has the right to transfer domain names from one party to another, alleging the site’s owners were violating the organization’s trademark and using the site in bad faith. AA also accused the site’s owners, who used a fictitious name, of providing false information when registering the site.

The board, however, sided with the current owners Dec. 28, saying they posted adequate notification that the site was not affiliated with AA. Furthermore, the board noted, AA encourages anonymity and a decentralized structure.

  • true believer

    Tough crap AA, it looks like it’s an outside issue. The group conscience of the world says F'off. Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all your traditions except self promotion, copyright, revenue generation, and deceptive practice. All I care about is that when I Google AA sucks I get to Stinkin’ Thinkin’. This way I know the hand that helped me quit the deadly cult will be there for others who need it.

  • Rick045

    This is interesting. The current owner is an AA member, and actually used one of AA's own brochures to support his position. It looks like if AA wants to pursue this further, it will have to be through the courts.

    "Accordingly, the Panel finds that Respondent does have some legitimate right to use the domain name as well. It has buttressed its case by sending a brochure published by the General Service Office of Alcoholics Anonymous in New York (The Complainant) entitled "Ten Frequently Asked Questions About A.A. Web Sites." The existence and contents of this brochure were not challenged by Complainant in its Reply to Respondent’s Response. Nor does Complainant dispute Respondent’s status as a locally-based Alcoholics Anonymous organization."

  • Rick045

    I didn't realize on first reading how old this decision actually is (late 2001). I guess if AA were going to fight it, they would have done so by now. The site doesn't appear to have changed from what is described in the decision.

  • Oh shoot! Sorry… This is an old article. Somehow, it popped up at the top of a feed I was looking at, and I thought it was current.

    It's still pretty interesting, but I didn't mean to dredge up ancient history.

  • Anyway, that website is so damn ugly, it's hard to believe they're not doing it on purpose.

  • Rick045

    That's no problem ftg. It's still interesting because it demonstrates how AA's own literature and "disorganized structure" can be used against them. I don't see why the same tactics couldn't be used in other court cases, and that might be part of the reason that AA didn't pursue this further.

  • AnnaZed

    "…Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all your traditions except self promotion, copyright, revenue generation, and deceptive practice."

    Heh, heh, heh, now this is an example of the fine slogans that pop up here and then disappear under the weight of conversation that needs to be preserved on the adjunct site. This sentiment concisely expressed … wait, no I mean this FACT concisely expressed needs its own heading and maybe a handy PDF type thing that explains briefly and clearly exactly what it means.

  • Z

    Hilarious post! I've decided "anonymous" means they get to define you. You check your whole self at the door and they give you a new one. (I think some people want this, which would explain why someone on a recent thread said 12 steppers WANT to be duped.)

    OT and FYI — article in Lifehacker with links … I'm interested in what the caffeine article might say, too: