What the hell is this?!?!

When I registered for my domain last June, I was dismayed to learn that www.grammarvandal.com was already taken. I tried out a few different titles for the site but didn’t like any of them, so I bought www.thegrammarvandal.com.

I visited www.grammarvandal.com and saw that there was nothing on the page but the Web address. I emailed the owner to see if anything was being done with the site, and I never heard back.

I visited www.grammarvandal.com while at work today, and it has been developed.

Check it out.

I created a logo a while ago, and theirs looks JUST like mine. That sucks. Well, I guess it’s my own fault that I didn’t get it out there.

I am pleased, however, to notice that when you google “grammar vandal,” their page doesn’t show up until the second page of results. My site is first, followed by my NPR interview, followed by the Boston Globe feature, followed by various blogs and informal press over the Internet.

It does make me feel weird, though — like I never should have chosen to include a “the” in the Web address.

What do you think?

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12 responses to “What the hell is this?!?!

  1. Slightly opinionated response, Kate: website squatters are of questionable legality, especially if they are using your logo. Often, people will take over the domain names of potential websites, then extract a king’s ransom for their sale. Read:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/1158977.stm

    ~Bridget

  2. Thanks, Bridget. This reminds me when everyone was going crazy for that guy named Kerry Edwards, owner of http://www.kerryedwards.com. He could have made a lot of money — but they decided to stick with http://www.johnkerry.com.

    Eh, I never had the actual logo on here, so it’s not like I’d go after them or anything.

  3. What amused me while visiting their site was that everything has a tiny “TM” next to it for trademark.

  4. I think it’s better to be the Grammar Vandal. And personally, I prefer good grammar with a good attitude.

  5. My suggestion? Print out all of your blog entries and mail them to yourself.

    Why?

    If they copy your entries, you’ll have legal, time dated proof that this is your intellectual property.

    I would also suggest that you take a screen-capture of their website at this date and a screen-capture of YOUR website at this date and mail that with your entries. They won’t be able to turn around and say you copied off of them.

    Although, really, you have the Globe and NPR to back you up, and screencaps can be altered so probably wouldn’t stand in a court of law…

    Or you could just shrug it off and let it go. You’re better anyway. :)

  6. Actually, you might be screwed since they have a trade mark on Grammar Vandal. They could sue you for using it.

    Let me put you in touch with my grandfather who used to be a copyright lawyer – I think.

  7. Hun, I created your logo. For you.

  8. I’m talking about the one I made for business cards. Same font, colors and everything.

  9. Bryan D. Catherman

    Hey, you’re not just any Grammar Vandal–your THE Grammar Vandal!

  10. Tim at Mother Tongue Annoyances has this to say about ‘bated breath’.

  11. Here’s the relevant section of the Lanham Act. You don’t get to keep your trademark (even if they registered it with the PTO – although that would be hard to do, as they would have to use it in interstate commerce) if another person used it before you.
    http://uscode.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode15/usc_sec_15_00001115—-000-.html

  12. I know this is an old post, but I’m going to say this anyway:

    They are most likely using that website to scam email addresses from people looking for your website. Often, people will register domain names that are likely to be used and then wait for someone who wants to use that name. Sometimes they will try to sell the domain to the person trying to register it. Sometimes they will set up the site to look similar or identical to a site with a similar domain name (for example, http://www.myspase.com to look like http://www.myspace.com) and then use it to gain information from the people mistakenly accessing the fake site. It looks like these people are attempting the latter.

    There are a ton of fake myspace sites out there that are used to acquire people’s passwords and then send out spam using their profiles. We’ve all heard of these myspace phising scams. It seems http://www.grammarvandal.com is trying to get emails.

    So, I wouldn’t worry about trademark disputes. If this is the case, they only benefit so long as your site is around. As for the people looking for your site who end up on theirs, I just hope they don’t give out their email address.

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