[Random-bits] Court orders owner of PETA parody site to relinquish address

James Love love@cptech.org
Thu, 03 Aug 2000 15:02:39 -0400

August 3, 2000

             Court orders owner of PETA parody site
             to relinquish address 

             By Sonja Barisic, Associated Press, 06/20/00 

NORFOLK, Va. -- Animal-rights activists know the name PETA is an acronym
for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. But in cyberspace, the
letters briefly stood for People Eating Tasty Animals.

>From September 1995 to January 1996, a Maryland Internet entrepreneur
used the Web address www.peta.org as the home page of the fictitious
group.  The site described itself as "a resource for those who enjoy
eating meat, wearing fur and leather, hunting and the fruits of
scientific research (and more!)."

The animal-rights group wasn't laughing. They took Web site owner,
Michael Doughney, to court and last week a federal judge ordered
Doughney to relinquish the Web address to PETA and limit his use of
domain names to those not "confusingly similar."

"He did a selfish and self-serving thing by trying to profit from the
name of an organization that serves to help animals," Lisa Lange,
spokeswoman for Norfolk-based PETA, said Tuesday.

PETA accused Doughney of trademark infringement and cybersquatting --
registering names of companies or groups in the hopes of selling them to
their namesakes.


James Love, Director           | http://www.cptech.org
Consumer Project on Technology | mailto:love@cptech.org 
P.O. Box 19367                 | voice: 1.202.387.8030
Washington, DC 20036           | fax: