Sorry, Mr. Hamilton

Our old friend Oliver Herzfeld writes:

But wait, how about our other “old friend,” Uzi Nissan? Remember him?

Also Hamilton

Nissan the car company never really cared who Uzi Nissan was. Then it decided he had something it wanted very much—the website www.nissan.com, which he created for his small retail computer business in 1994—and it sued him for $10 million. When the two Nissans went to war, Uzi Nissan prevailed in the end, but lost almost everything along the way..

If you visit nissan.com expecting a polished presentation of Nissan’s latest lineup, you’re in for quite a shock. What you land in is Uzi Nissan’s corner of the internet; a shrine to the years of his life spent fighting what is now the largest car company on the planet..

You’re greeted with a straight-out-of-the-’90s web design with 3D-effect link buttons, minimal advertising, crossed-out Nissan Motor badges and a Nissan Computer logo design that seems to resemble a stamped business card..

This is how most of us first trip onto the Nissan against Nissan story, a glimpse of a bygone era of the internet. Nissan.com has been seen by millions of people, as many as 500,000 per month at one point according to court records.

Uzi Nissan Spent 8 Years Fighting The Car Company With His Name. He Nearly Lost Everything To Win

Aha, got you! Domain names are different. I know you knew that. Remember this one?

Bruce SpringsteenBruceSpringsteen is famous for being “Born in the U.S.A.,” but in cyberspace his name belongs to a Canadian.

The New Jersey rocker yesterday lost his bid for rights to the domain name Brucespringsteen.com, which is currently controlled by Jeff BurgarJeffBurgar, an Internet consultant from Alberta, Canada. The case is bad news for celebrities who are anxious to maintain control of their online identities.

Springsteen failed to convince a United Nations arbitration panel that Burgar is using his name for profit or ill will, and Burgar demonstrated that he is using the star’s name legitimately as a fan-club site. The decision was split 2-1. . . .

“It’s the right decision,” says attorney Marc E. Brown, a partner specializing in Internet law with Oppenheimer Wolff & Donnelly in Los Angeles. Brown points out that public figures often lose power over how their names are used–they are considered fair game, for instance, for members of the press. On the Web, Brown adds, it’s often a case of “who registers first, wins.”

Domain Name Loss For Boss

The Internet ruins everything, you know?

2 comments

  • Though there are a lot of other factors beyond who registers first. If Nissan, the man, had posted content for car sales or had offered to sell the site to Nissan, the car company, the case may have turned from Pyrrhic victory to an unquestionable loss on all fronts.

    Brucespringsteen.com returns 404 – an indication that although Burgar still owns the domain, he can’t use it for much anything of benefit for him.

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