| The following is a letter to Carlo Bertocchini,
regarding the Robot
Wars Forum (this is in response to the last
mail between Carlo and Delphi):
Subject: Letter from Duane, Morris &
The attorneys are asking:
1. the title of the forum be changed to "an unofficial forum on robot wars events" or "an unofficial robot wars forum"
2. the acknowledgement of the service mark be placed at the top of the page rather than the bottom.
3. the disclaimer use the "robot wars llc" not "rwi" and state the forum "is not affiliated with, sponsored by, or endorsed by robot wars llc or the robot wars joint venture."
4. the description of the forum be changed to "the meeting place for competitors, future competitors, and fans of robot wards events held by robot wars llc or the robot wars joint venture" or all discussions regarding robot wars events and robts that compete in such events are welcome"
I would be happy to fax you a copy of the letter, or I presume the attorney (fran jacobs) would be willing to send you a copy. I would appreciate your cooperation with their demands so that we can all proceed with our other, much more fulfilling activities.
Sorry that our forum is causing you headaches.
I think that what we have done for them so far is A) enough to protect their trademark, and B) above and beyond anything that we would be required to do by any court of law. I would be happy to make further changes unless those changes affect the look, feel, and utility of the forum. I think that most of what they are asking will do just that.
Lets consider each in turn:
1. The title is an integral part of the look and feel of the forum. It is clear by the description and disclaimers that this is an "unofficial" forum. If a court would decide that our forum's title had to include the word "unofficial", then it would follow that most of your other forums could be required to do the same. It is hard to imagine a court ruling that would allow one of the parties in a public debate to demand that the discussion be framed in a certain format.
2. I know of no legal precedent that has required the owner of a web page to place certain words in certain prescribed locations on their page. Our disclaimer is clearly visible, and as such, I think it satisfies any requirements for the disclosure of the nature of the forum.
3. I think that the changes I recently made will satisfy this request.
4. The sentence that they would like me to add to the description is not strictly true. The Robot Wars Forum is NOT limited to discussions of "Robot Wars events held by robot wars llc or the robot wars joint venture". We have discussions of many other robot-combat type events including "FIRST", "Dragon Con", "Robot Sumo", and "Robotica". It seems odd that they don't want us to use their name, but they would like us to limit our discussions to just their event.
I agree that this is not a "fulfilling activity", but I would hope that Delphi would help me protect the freedom of expression that Delphi, and it's forums, depend on.
I don't know how long this thread will survive here, so if anyone
wants to save this for posterity, feel free to post it on your web page.