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Untitled #29.95

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MicrosoftEdu.com Past projects / Ongoing projects / "rogue" sites / MicrosoftEdu.com
Date: Tue, 3 Aug 1999 12:34:32 -0700
From: "Scott Behm (LCA)" <sbehm@microsoft.com>
To: "'microedu@yahoo.com'" <microedu@yahoo.com>
Subject: microsoftedu.com -- legal problems

Mr. Mingo:

It has come to our attention that you have registered the domain name microsoftedu.com, and have set up a website at that address. Unfortunately, your domain name and website misuse Microsoft's trademarks and copyrights, as well as Bill Gates' right of publicity, in a manner that is misleading and diluting of those intellectual property rights. You have apparently also sent unsolicited e-mail including false statements about Microsoft's view on software piracy (example included below). Microsoft respects your right under the first amendment to make commentary and opinion on our company and its products. However, we must object to the trademark, copyright, and right of publicity violations represented by your current activities. Therefore, we ask that you immediately:

  • stop using the microsoftedu.com domain name, and register another domain name that does not infringe Microsoft's trademark rights;
  • stop sending e-mail or making other communications that contain false or misleading statements about Microsoft and/or that contain infringing or other misleading matter;
  • stop using the name MicrosoftEdu on your website;
  • stop using photos or other likenesses of Mr. Gates for which you do not have explicit authorization to use;
  • stop using the Windows flag logo on your website;
  • stop using other elements of Microsoft's website designs, logotypes, etc., in any manner that is likely to confuse users as to the relationship of your site with Microsoft (there is none) or the identity of your website and its content;
  • stop linking to Microsoft's websites in a manner that confuses users as to the relationship of your site with Microsoft (there is none), or the identity of your website and its content.
I would be happy to discuss with you the specific changes you need to make in order to avoid these improper uses of Microsoft's and Mr. Gates' rights. Or, I would be happy to discuss this matter with your attorney. Please let me know. In any case, it may be advisable for you to seek legal guidance in this matter from an attorney competent in trademark law (including recent domain name infringment law), right of publicity and copyright law, and the general law of parody and the first amendment.

Please make the changes requested above by close of business this Thursday, August 5 (or take your site offline by then in order to make the changes by some later date). Thank you in advance for your cooperation.

Scott Behm
Corporate Attorney/Microsoft

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