Gaymer Sub-Reddit Gets Cease and Desist Letter

September 10, 2012 -

Gay Gamer chronicles a legal fight that is brewing between the sub-Reddit r/gaymers and Gaymer.org. Gaymer.org sent a cease and desist to Reddit asking that the sub-Reddit be removed because it violates a copyright it holds for "gaymer."

Here's the trademark Gaymer.org owns - filed by site owner Chris Vizzini in 2007:

"IC 042. US 100 101. G & S: Computer services, namely, creating an online community for registered users to participate in competitions, showcase their skills, get feedback from their peers, form virtual communities, engage in social networking and improve their talent; Computer services, namely, hosting and maintaining an online website for others to discuss, receive and disseminate information concerning video games; Computer services, namely, hosting on-line web facilities for others for organizing and conducting online meetings, gatherings, and interactive discussions. FIRST USE: 20030526. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 20030526"

Users of r/gaymers say that the term 'gaymer' has been used for quite some time - in fact prior to 2003 (which the trademark cites as its first usage), but Vizzini is defending his cease and desist letter:

"I did send the reddit legal team a cease and desist letter," he wrote in an online chat room. "I emailed them asking them to change the name to something else but they ignored me so as a trademark holder I didn't have much choice."

"If you don't defend your trademark, you can lose it," he continued. "Tim and I spent nearly the last ten years and countless thousands on this site. I love it. And I'm not going to risk losing it. This is not a money maker for me, believe me. But the Gaymer name is something I worked hard on, way before reddit was even an idea."

We are not sure if the members of the sub-Reddit will fight this in some way or if they will back down because they lack options. Gay Gamer has a lot more on this story - including reaction from the community - right here.

 


Comments

Re: Gaymer Sub-Reddit Gets Cease and Desist Letter

yah the fact that this guy was even allowed, and believes his own trademark is valid is pretty appalling.  You can't say you appreciate a community then attack them, and try to say you're only doing it to protect yourself cause it's something you've built.  If you actually want the community and not to just make yourself money or look good, you wouldn't fight the battle in the first place. Actions speak better than words.

Re: Gaymer Sub-Reddit Gets Cease and Desist Letter

...Seriously?

Computer services, namely, creating an online community for registered users to participate in competitions, showcase their skills, get feedback from their peers, form virtual communities, engage in social networking and improve their talent; Computer services, namely, hosting and maintaining an online website for others to discuss, receive and disseminate information concerning video games; Computer services, namely, hosting on-line web facilities for others for organizing and conducting online meetings, gatherings, and interactive discussions.

I'm not exactly an expert on patent or trademark law (and would not claim to be), but this wording seems mighty vague. It basically just described almost every interactive website on the planet.

----
Papa Midnight

Re: Gaymer Sub-Reddit Gets Cease and Desist Letter

And this is why these stories about trademarks drive me so crazy.  At least you admit you are not an expert, that is a huge step right there since few do....

Every time a trademark related story comes out people start chiming in with misunderstandings about how trademarks work, usually in order to defend the idea that trademark owners (or at least unpopular ones) should roll over and let the popular company do whatever they like.

I strongly suspect that if this story had come out with roles reversed, if some 'gay site' was using reddit's trademark and refused to stop even after reddit asked nicely, and then had to use legal means to get them to drop the usage, that the tone would be VERY different.

Re: Gaymer Sub-Reddit Gets Cease and Desist Letter

Trademarks are on the name, not the idea. For example, a slightly different website called Gaymer would infringe that trademark, an identical website called something else would not. The rest is the context the mark is being used in - something called Gaymer that doesn't fit the same context wouldn't infringe either.

Re: Gaymer Sub-Reddit Gets Cease and Desist Letter

Sounds like something that could cause a lot of blowback.

Yes, you have to defend trademarks. That does NOT mean you have to sue them or even make them stop using it. License it to them for a nominal fee (say, $1), they put notice on the page, everything is solved nice and amicably.

Re: Gaymer Sub-Reddit Gets Cease and Desist Letter

Blowback.. the internet way of saying 'don't mess with the popular kids.. doesn't matter who is in the right, whoever has more trolls with make you suffer if you don't let them do as they please'.

Reddit has its own trademarks.  You better believe they would defend them if someone was using them and refused to stop when asked.

Re: Gaymer Sub-Reddit Gets Cease and Desist Letter

Should be interesting to see if the cider company wades in.

/b

 
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