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Today I recieved this email:.

Dear Mr. (Me):.

We represent Pamela Anderson and the venture known as Pamela-poker.com. Your use and registration of the domain name "Pamela-poker.info" as well as the use of Ms. Anderson's name and likeness for your website violates Ms. Anderson's rights under the federal trademark law and under state right of publicity laws. We reject in advance any defense that your website is protected since it is clearly of a commercial nature. Further, under a line of federal cases, the use of the "pamela-poker" portion of the domain name and URL is a trademark violation even if your site was entirely non-commercial, which it is not.

Anderson's publicity rights claim, and courts routinely reject such disclaimers in trademark cases as being insufficient to avoid confusion.

Accordingly, unless I receive from you confirmation in writing within 24 hours from today that you will immediately and permanently cease the use of all domain names, including Pamela-poker.info, for any website that relates to Ms. Anderson, her Poker site, or otherwise, and agree to identify to us and transfer to us /img/avatar5.jpgship of all domain names that contain any reference to Ms. Anderson, we will initiate legal action against you.

We will not agree to any extension of the foregoing deadline.

I look forward to your confirmation.

Steven M. Weinberg.

Greenberg Traurig LLP.

Anyone have any suggestions on how I should pursue this? Also, he said he represents Pamela-Poker.com, and the site is actually PamelaPoker.com. Pamela-Poker.com redirects to a free-be site, so I assume is owned by another third party like myself.

Any help or commets is much appriciated..

Comments (54)

It's a well worded email from them. Also you are squatting....plain and simple. Attempt better originality next time if you want to create a commercial endeavor...

Comment #1

How is it squatting? It is a site that is promoting her online poker room. I am waiting for news on the affiliate program launch so I can start adding more content and links to her site. Right now, there is no affiliate program, so it kind of sucks having all this targeted poker traffic, but dont have the correct room to send them to :-p...

Comment #2

AZ-.

You don't have much of a legal leg to stand on. If you really want to salvage the domain/site, I'd suggest talking with the attorney who wrote the C&D and proposing an arrangement that would be acceptable with Pamela. It is in your best interest to be straight forward with them and answer the letter. If you decide to fight this, your conduct during this time will be scrutinized...

Comment #3

Yea I have pretty much figured that there really isnt much I can do. I will see if there is anything that I can change on the site that will be acceptable to them like you suggested, but other than that I'm not sure. Thanks for the input..

Comment #4

Does this mean that online gambling is legal for Pam Anderson? How can trademark law cover an offshore venture of another country?.

Edit: Pamela-poker.com.

Redirected to "gamesgift.com". Established in 2005.

Pamelapoker.com.

PamelaPoker.com is powered by DBPN (Doyle Brunson Poker Network), a company incorporated and licensed in Curacao, Netherlands Antilles. PamelaPoker.com is not available to residents of the following Countries and States: Russia, Italy, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Michigan, Nevada, Oregon, South Dakota, Washington, and Wisconsin.

Mailto:) are in. (offshore).

I made NO mention at all of your domain or this letter.

Namenut..

Comment #5

I'd tell them give you 5k or you are keeping the domain live and sending the traffic to party poker!..

Comment #6

Anyone have a comment on this? It sounds like a good point, but I have little knowledge on the topic...

Comment #7

Personally I would give this guy his wanted domain. See http://www.gtlaw.com/biographies/biography.asp?id=1627 for my reason.

Fighting a lawyer with that much talent in the area is hard to do.

Now from what I see.. Pam Anderson is Canadian therefore I don't think she has anything to do with this. I don't have any knowledge what so ever of laws in the US.. So I cannot really answer but from what I read it seems legit.

- Steve..

Comment #8

That's the worst possible advice you can give. It's grounds for cybersquatting and penalties are up to $100,000 for such actions...

Comment #9

Wow.... unbelievable, that is the most unprofesional and "un-lawyerlike- email I've ever seen.... that is the biggest joke ever. I've been in this game for a number of years now, and personally, if it flies like a duck and quaks like a duck then- well, you get the picture.... lol.... I'm not a lawyer, but have dealt with enough to suspect this to be BS...

This is just killing me low, too many tip offs... Labrocca, I would not comment on things you know nothing about..

Comment #10

I would state that most of their email is BS, based on the fact that Pamela-Poker.com, nor any variant of it, has a trademark, and proper names may be trademarked, but the only way to infringe on the TM of a proper name is if you present a false claim of sponsorship or endorsement by that person, which you do not by clearly stating such in your disclaimer. I think most of it is a complete scare tactic...

But you have to consider that the only reason you started the domain was in hopes of becoming an affiliate and making money, which clearly seems to be impossible at this stage, so what benefit do you have by holding onto it? It's a fairly bad domain name on it's own and I can't picture it getting much type-in traffic, if any.

If it were a domain that had potential of bringing in good money or served other purposes and they were just trying to bully you, I'd be all for fighting it, but I just don't see the point...

Comment #11

You're claiming a senior partner at an international law firm doesn't know what he's talking about? http://www.gtlaw.com/biographies/biography.asp?id=1627..

Comment #12

I been in this game for quite some time thank you. I do only speak on subjects I know about...unlike you sir.

I know lawyers...have lawyer friends...have gotten legal letters. Today as a matter of fact Atari Corporation's lawyer called me. I would say I am well versed in lawyers. hehe...

This was a first contact email. Also it wasn't written to a lawyer so most lawyers don't go all out for that kind of communication. My lawyer types like 80 words a minute and while he tries to proof everything he sends...things slip by. The hyphen may be a mistake because he might be sending the same email to the hyphen owner...who knows?.

Also to impersonate a lawyer is a crime in most states.

The email imho is legit and the threat is real.

It's obvious the domain holder is infringing on their mark. That's plain as day...

Comment #13

I've been sent a C&D letter before and it wasn't through email.

I think a 24 hour deadline is ridiculous considering they dont know if you've read your email yet or not. I guess they do now since you did post it on this board. lol.

I just think such a deadline is ridiculous. I would email them with a request of payment for your efforts in time & money for the development of your site. If they're willing to spend time & money (whether their legal is on retainer or not) they shouldn't have a problem throwing $10,000 your way to get this thing settled...

Comment #14

My thoughts:.

1) respond. whatever you do, respond.

2) find out if they represent pamela-poker or pamelapoker, as you say they're two different sites.

3) did you register this domain in response to pamelapoker? which came first, yours or theirs?..

Comment #15

I would agree....however I don't think this email/letter came from his office (imho). Had it come from "gtlaw" the letter would have reflected a more professionally written demand. It would have been a certified letter requiring a signature. Also the 24 hr demand is a little unreasonable considering they would have no way on verifying the intended recipient actually read the email..

Another reason I feel this is a fake is that a lawyer of this caliber would be advised not to act on this matter at all at this time. There is current litigation weighing against the industry as a whole and at the congressional level there is strong opposition to the activities of these "offshore" ventures.

A sterling legal reputation and "gtlaw's" constituency would clearly dictate a low profile on such a case if "gtlaw" would even touch this client with a 10 foot pole.

To: AndrewZ.

I would say if the domain name means enough to you to then seek legal advise. My experience in law is limited to risk management and auto claims/adjustments. I'm sure we all mean well but I'm not sure any of us know the law or the truth about this letter. You could simply call GTlaw and ask.

Most likely the peeps that paid "Pamela Anderson" the low to mid six (6) figures for the video spoof are behind the letter.

All that said... You would be well advised to be careful with your ventures considering your genre.

Good luck in this and please keep us updated.

Namenut..

Comment #16

I would suggest this. Send back information and do a phone conversation. Mind you even that can be fooled but only a good lawyer will be able to talk on the phone professionaly. Ask him about the laws and see what we can do to work this out. Sound professional and don't let him know you don't know about laws and stuff. I also suggest doing some research or contact a lawyer of your own for help.

- Steve..

Comment #17

I've been in here for a while too my friend. And have received enough letters from FELLOW DOMAINERS trying to use this method to hijack typos and trademarked names so I think I know a bit of what I'm talking about. You think it's hard just throwing a lawyers name at the bottom of an email? You think it's hard faking an email address? Ha. This is possibly the most unlawyer like letter I've seen in a while. I personally would not give this letter the time of day. The deadline is fishy, the wording is especially fishy.

You should post the email address here. I think that would help make things a little clear. Was the email from gtlaw.com? If it was, was their any request to transfer it to some other email?..

Comment #18

I also don't understand why they would send an email (which could be deleted from filters) and not a certified letter...

Comment #19

The 24 hour deadline does sound fishy indeed..

Contact GTlaw yourself and ask them if there is a C&D letter send to your email address..

Period!.

Then you know where you stand, at this point you may be tricked...

Comment #20

Damion,.

Now there's wisdom from my neighbor. BOOM!..

Comment #21

I can tell you first hand this is fake. I own pamelapoker.ca and haven't gotten anything.. (Then again I have intentions to develop).

Seems like they are trying to muscle you and pamela-poker is not pamelapoker.. and there is NO TM on pamelapoker... Copywrite yes.. unless they'd aquired trademark SINCE I registered my domain. If I develop I may make it an affiliate site as well since they don't even have the legal right to own a .ca .. Which also might be why I don't have a letter.

Not sure..

Comment #22

Wow that is suprising! I did recieve a follow-up response, and am pretty sure it is not fake. To be sure, I sent an email to him directly through the gtlaw website, and got a response that it was indeed him. Here was his reply:.

Yes, it was me.

There are very specific criteria for becoming an affiliate and should the company decide that you qualify, you will only then have authorization to use intellectual property belonging to the company and Ms. Anderson. Until then you are not permitted to do so, and you must cease all such activities. There is no compromise. Without the authority of the company and Ms. Anderson you are in violation of the intellectual property laws.

Please confirm today that you will immediately blacken the site and transfer the domain name to us. If you don't agree to do so, there is no hope of your ever becoming an authorized affiliate.

Steven M. Weinberg.

Greenberg Traurig LLP.

Funny thing is, Pamela Poker is a part of the Doyle Brunson Poker network, which I am an active affiliate of. So if I am already an affiliate, his claim would not be valid for me...

Comment #23

Wow, what a p*ssing contest we have on this thread, I guess I'll jump in, I feel fiesty today...

1 - This is a C+D, there doesn't need to have laws or diting previous precedents to make thier message clear. "unprofessional"??? a C+D is simply correspondance from one party to another. It can be elaborate, it could be simple, but the point is the same, they claim you are allegedly doing wrong and you get the picture.

2 - Email is a form of communication and accept as such in the court of law. It DOES NOT have to be certified for it to be legit.

3 - Emails CAN BE tracked.

4 - "I'd tell them give you 5k or you are keeping the domain live and sending the traffic to party poker!" I guess you are saying you weren't being serious later, but this is completely irresponsible on a legal thread.

5 - pamelapoker.com created 2-13-2004 pamela-poker.info created 7-14/06.

6- Steven M. Weinberg Greenberg Traurig LLP - look up the name. It is illegal to pass yourself as a lawyer and a simple search shows who he is.

7 - It probably is a typo and a form letter to other squatters.

8 - TMs do not have to be registered, they can be common law. pamelapoker.com has been branded in commerce. The site even goes so far as to use pamelapoker.com in it's advertising. The ONLY way this is permissable is if you have written permission to do so. You are using the domian and the name "Pamela Anderson" on the iste. They have a screen shot.

9 - 24 hour deadline, email is instant. I will admit 24 hours is a bit rash, but emails (which can be tracked) are usually checked often by people. Plus it shows how serious they are.

10 - C+Ds DO NOT have to be followed up by the sender, it is a courtesy to avoid legal costs.

11 - The penalty of cybersquatting (which this is) is $100,000.00 fine, punitive damages, real damages, legal costs, maybe more. If someone wants to make an example, be prepared financially (btw- someone on this forum listened to the bad advice given in this thread and is making an example of him, they are refusing to settle with the person and are taking him to court).

12 - It is clear people would rather argue than accept facts of TMs and domains and how everything relates.

13 - darnit, I agree with Labrocca on this one too...

I guess I'm done for now except for follow up posts answering people foolish posts lol......

Comment #24

Nothing needs to be done by you whatsoever. In his email, he stated that he represented Pamela-Poker.com, NOT PamelaPoker.com. As well, you are not violating any trademarks or legal points regarding GamesGifts.com, the owner of Pamela-Poker.com. If anything, they are violating copyrights under PamelaPoker.com by using the hyphenated version of the domain (you may be as well, but you are safe unless PamelaPoker's Legal Department contacts you with a C&D). You do not need to do anything, so please disregard this email and save it for future reference...

Comment #25

Well, it looks like all you "not real" supports were wrong. It was a typo and I bey there are others who were served C+Ds too. Ok, that is one dumb arguement down.....

Comment #26

I guess I will wait on his reply and try to work something out. Right now the domain isnt worth it for me. If the PamelaPoker affiliate program would be ready to go, then it would be a different story becuase I am getting great traffic from keywords like "pamela poker bonus, pamela poker bonus code, pamela poker promo code, pamela poker promo, ect.", but without the affiliate program the traffic isnt much good to me...

Comment #27

Everyone saying "the domain with the hyphen may have been a typo" need to think in a more legal standpoint. He included the hyphen in his email, period. Whether he did it on purpose or by accident is irrelevant, as it was there regardless. The domain "Pamela-Poker.com", which the email sender supposedly has legal say over, does not have copyrights or trademarks in place that by any means have power against Pamela-Poker.info...

Comment #28

If you really want to be certain and some professional advice contact John Berryhill by phone that is ( To get your answer as fast as possible) to explain your situation and what has been presented to you.

There are mentionings that there are two different enterprises involved so if you really want to continue with this domain I would definately get to the bottom of it.

They have given you 24 hours so make use of it to investigate this further..

You say you want to make an affiliate site out of it but 1 company is for sure not allowing you to be a affiliate if you would contest but what about the other?.

That is the main question! If neither will accept you what's the point right?.

Ask John Berryhill what your options are...

Comment #29

This thread reminds me of the fact people without legal experience should keep their comments within their scope of knowledge...

Comment #30

Here is the heart of the C+D, you are looking ro profit from her TM without permission. You are diverting traffic that would otherwise go elsewhere. Plus you attmepting to make money off of her name. Please read item #11 of my previous posting to understand the water you might be treading if you pursue this the wrong way... and there is no legal obligation to settle it amicably if you POed a lawyer...

Comment #31

One of life's great lessons that you hope you don't have to learn the hard way...

Comment #32

Hey whatchya know! I was right...ugh hum...anyone care to apologize to me? Looks like I won the pissing contest hands down...

Comment #33

Good luck, heck, no one aplogized to me when I proved emails can be tracked after I received a boatload of nasty postings suggesting I had no idea what I was talking about..

Comment #34

The question I have is what's reasonable insomuch as anyone demanding a C&D be fully complied with within a 24 hour period. Such a short timeline leaves no time for obtaining legal advice or any part of a fair and equitable due process.

Some sites are actual businesses, and the complexities of shutting down a business in such a short period of time is unreasonable. How is it that compliance is accepted so quickly simply because of an attorney's interpretation of what is an infringement and what isn't? Yes, many times the complainants will be right, but isn't it fairly one-sided that one party dictates the tone and terms of compliance, especially when it's a 24-hour period? After all, it's their job to go after what "they" consider infringements, or what they are told to treat as an infringement, not what always is one legally...

Comment #35

If he feels the request is unreasonable then he doesn't have to comply. He can wait till he gets slapped with a lawsuit. I think 24 hours is reasonable. If someone was stealing from me I wouldn't give them another minute to continue doing so.

This is CLEAR infringment. It's outlined well in the initial email. The guy is using their mark and even the likeness of Pamela Anderson to compete against them. It's all very unacceptable. His site is about as much a business as a drug dealers...

Comment #36

So they gave 24 hours to stop breaking the law... that is unreasonable...

Comment #37

That is pretty insulting. How am I competing against them, I am sending traffic and players to them! The site is primarily focused on a Pamela Poker review, and bonus codes, something that potential players need information on- so I provide it. They are not going to find that info on the Pamela Poker site...

Comment #38

I agree, those pharmacutical companies are shady as hell.

Like I said in my original reply, regardless of legal standing, the domain was only purchased in hopes of becoming an affiliate, which at this point is impossible, so it doesn't seem worth fighting for. Let it drop and be more careful in the future. At least learn not to put anything up on the site that will give them reason to come after you. Make it a site about wildlife or something, until you sign-up to become an affiliate and then you have the right to use it for such......

Comment #39

But see, I am a part of the affiliate program. The site and software is a skin of Doyles Room, and is a part of the Doyle Brunson Poker Network, which I am an active affiliate of...

Comment #40

Andrew, why post if you are just going to argue? You were given very straight forward advice and opinions from some very knowledgable people. Did you read the affiliate TOS??? most say you cannot use TMed names to promote. Additionally, you need permission fromt the TM holder to use the TMed domain. I am guessing you have no such letter.

Tell you what, do what you want but I don't want to hear you crying if they decide to play the heavy hand...

Comment #41

I do appriciate all the people who posted useful suggestions, but some are just plain out stupid. And dont worry mommy, I'm a big boy and wont come crying to you.

Also, I wasent trying to argue. I was just trying to present more facts to get some more opinions...

Comment #42

Do yourself a favor and call the guy, his site is pretty cheesy for a high priced lawyer but here is a quote from his site..

Comment #43

My question is why are you stuck on Pamela-poker.info?.

Why don't you get Amanda-poker.com .net .org etc. (availabe as of this post) and stay clear of any celebrity likeness...

Comment #44

And without knowing: a) your affiliate terms, and b) the agreements between.

Pamela Anderson and the Doyle Brunson Poker network, what makes you so.

Sure his claim isn't valid?.

Objectively speaking, I find Mr. Weinberg's approach very effective. Seriously.

It doesn't matter how one feels about it. Nothing personal, it's business, as a.

Famous saying goes.

Aren't your 24 hours up? Better decide fast whether to transfer it to them or.

Risk penalties, it's your choice.

Oh, and I hope you don't mind my adding a rep to you, Labrocca, for winning.

The pissing contest...

Comment #45

For anyone who is interested in this, I have reasoned with Mr. Weinberg that I will keep the domain, but I will innactivate it until the official Pamela Poker affiliate program is launced. Once accepted, I can continue to use it like I previously was, and had planned on doing. Thanks for all the input from everyone...

Comment #46

So the outcome of all this was that the e-mail was genuine?..

Comment #47

Yes the email was genuine, and I am positive of that becuase I contacted him directly through the website email client, and got a response...

Comment #48

Very surprising. I've seen quite a few C&D letters and that one was the most unprofessional so far.

Particularly badly worded is the part about needing contact "in writing", which is very confusing when the request is sent by e-mail...

Comment #49

This is good news all around. Shows that that sometimes the bark is worse than the bite and that direct communication may be a good way to deal with these types of issues in the early stages. Hope your future (rehabilitated) site is a success...

Comment #50

Sorry this is a tad off topic, but what in the world could any of them have been thinking? For example, 99% of all online-related porno convictions have always been gained directly from the illegal material evidence being sent VIA EMAIL! The cops simply trace those IPs and go directly to the houses/businesses owning the corresponding computers. Duh!..

Comment #51

You realize e-mail is written, right??? Blue, it is amazing what people don't want to accept...

Comment #52

All my personal opinion,.

Greenberg Traurig is a very well respected law firm with about 1350 lawyers. It currently ranks 71 in Vaults guide of most prestigious law firms. I know from personal experience that the attorneys there are very professional and committed. Additionally, no one pays corporate law firm rates 500+ an hour if they are just trying to scare you. Feel free to keep discussing this though because Im sure an attorney would not send an email like this, rack up billable hours searching domain forums for discussion on it, and then use said discussion as the final nail on the cybersquatters (your) coffin.

Its interesting how cybersquatters try to rationalize and justify what they do, admit you were wrong (after proper verification of the legitimacy of the source) and transfer to the mark owner.

BTW, there are common law trademark rights. Also, you may want to look into California law regarding trademark protection for celebrity names.

Don't even waste your time or money consulting a lawyer. Will you prevail if this C&D is coming from a legitimate source? Almost certainly not...

Comment #53

If you would read the entire thread, I already posted that this was resolved. We agreed I would keep the name, and pull the site down untill I was accepted to the Pamela Poker affiliate program. In addition, I just recieved word that my site was deemed acceptable for the program, and will begin promoting as soon as it is launched...

Comment #54


This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.

 

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