Is this a trademark violation?

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Is this a trademark violation?

Daniel R. Tobias
I just ran into this Twitter account:

https://twitter.com/Wikipedia411

It has "Wikipedia" as part of its username/URL, and uses
"Wikipedia.org" as its account name (displayed at the top of its
tweets). However, the description on its account page says "Facts
brought to you daily. Not affiliated with Wikipedia, aggregate
content generator."

Where copyright is concerned, it would probably be in violation of
the license of Wikipedia if it used more than fair-use amounts of
Wikipedia text, since there's reference to credits or license, but if
they just paraphrase facts derived from Wikipedia (as they seem to be
doing, and just about the only way to get anything from Wikipedia
into 140 characters anyway) they're probably in the clear there since
facts are not copyrightable (only the expression of them).

However, it is trademark law they are most clearly afoul of; despite
their disclaimer, they're using an account name that seems to imply
that they represent Wikipedia (you have to pull up their profile page
to find out they're not official, so lots of people who see retweeted
tweets from them will think they're coming from Wikipedia), and they
also use Wikipedia's logo as their icon.

While most of their tweets have facts that presumably came from
Wikipedia, the stream is peppered with tweets with "teaser" text and
a link, which when followed doesn't go to Wikipedia but to some site
called ChaCha (the link destination, as usual on Twitter, is
obfuscated by the use of link-shorteners). That site has the typical
annoying style of many modern websites of presenting its content in
"slideshow" style with bite-size chunks of content that are "1 of 10"
and you have to keep following "Next" links to get to the rest of the
feature, and if you don't use AdBlock Plus they're all surrounded by
annoying ads, some of which blast sound at you, and try to spawn
popups and the like.

--
== Dan ==
Dan's Mail Format Site: http://mailformat.dan.info/
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Dan's Domain Site: http://domains.dan.info/



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Re: Is this a trademark violation?

Richard Symonds-3
I used to work for cha cha... Or at least, I trained their staff at my old
job. They're a text message question answering service based in the us but
using Philippine staff.
On Feb 8, 2013 1:48 PM, "Daniel R. Tobias" <[hidden email]> wrote:

> I just ran into this Twitter account:
>
> https://twitter.com/Wikipedia411
>
> It has "Wikipedia" as part of its username/URL, and uses
> "Wikipedia.org" as its account name (displayed at the top of its
> tweets). However, the description on its account page says "Facts
> brought to you daily. Not affiliated with Wikipedia, aggregate
> content generator."
>
> Where copyright is concerned, it would probably be in violation of
> the license of Wikipedia if it used more than fair-use amounts of
> Wikipedia text, since there's reference to credits or license, but if
> they just paraphrase facts derived from Wikipedia (as they seem to be
> doing, and just about the only way to get anything from Wikipedia
> into 140 characters anyway) they're probably in the clear there since
> facts are not copyrightable (only the expression of them).
>
> However, it is trademark law they are most clearly afoul of; despite
> their disclaimer, they're using an account name that seems to imply
> that they represent Wikipedia (you have to pull up their profile page
> to find out they're not official, so lots of people who see retweeted
> tweets from them will think they're coming from Wikipedia), and they
> also use Wikipedia's logo as their icon.
>
> While most of their tweets have facts that presumably came from
> Wikipedia, the stream is peppered with tweets with "teaser" text and
> a link, which when followed doesn't go to Wikipedia but to some site
> called ChaCha (the link destination, as usual on Twitter, is
> obfuscated by the use of link-shorteners). That site has the typical
> annoying style of many modern websites of presenting its content in
> "slideshow" style with bite-size chunks of content that are "1 of 10"
> and you have to keep following "Next" links to get to the rest of the
> feature, and if you don't use AdBlock Plus they're all surrounded by
> annoying ads, some of which blast sound at you, and try to spawn
> popups and the like.
>
> --
> == Dan ==
> Dan's Mail Format Site: http://mailformat.dan.info/
> Dan's Web Tips: http://webtips.dan.info/
> Dan's Domain Site: http://domains.dan.info/
>
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> WikiEN-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> To unsubscribe from this mailing list, visit:
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikien-l
>
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Re: Is this a trademark violation?

Fred Bauder-2
In reply to this post by Daniel R. Tobias
Clearly, it is.

Fred

> I just ran into this Twitter account:
>
> https://twitter.com/Wikipedia411


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Re: Is this a trademark violation?

William Beutler
Also, every tweet is [citation needed].


On Fri, Feb 8, 2013 at 8:55 AM, Fred Bauder <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Clearly, it is.
>
> Fred
>
> > I just ran into this Twitter account:
> >
> > https://twitter.com/Wikipedia411
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> WikiEN-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> To unsubscribe from this mailing list, visit:
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikien-l
>
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Re: Is this a trademark violation?

keilanawiki@gmail.com
In reply to this post by Daniel R. Tobias
They also have some American staff, I used to work for them.

Keilana

Sent from my HTC One™ S on T-Mobile. America’s First Nationwide 4G Network.

----- Reply message -----
From: "Richard Symonds" <[hidden email]>
To: "English Wikipedia" <[hidden email]>
Subject: [WikiEN-l] Is this a trademark violation?
Date: Fri, Feb 8, 2013 7:52 AM


I used to work for cha cha... Or at least, I trained their staff at my old
job. They're a text message question answering service based in the us but
using Philippine staff.
On Feb 8, 2013 1:48 PM, "Daniel R. Tobias" <[hidden email]> wrote:

> I just ran into this Twitter account:
>
> https://twitter.com/Wikipedia411
>
> It has "Wikipedia" as part of its username/URL, and uses
> "Wikipedia.org" as its account name (displayed at the top of its
> tweets). However, the description on its account page says "Facts
> brought to you daily. Not affiliated with Wikipedia, aggregate
> content generator."
>
> Where copyright is concerned, it would probably be in violation of
> the license of Wikipedia if it used more than fair-use amounts of
> Wikipedia text, since there's reference to credits or license, but if
> they just paraphrase facts derived from Wikipedia (as they seem to be
> doing, and just about the only way to get anything from Wikipedia
> into 140 characters anyway) they're probably in the clear there since
> facts are not copyrightable (only the expression of them).
>
> However, it is trademark law they are most clearly afoul of; despite
> their disclaimer, they're using an account name that seems to imply
> that they represent Wikipedia (you have to pull up their profile page
> to find out they're not official, so lots of people who see retweeted
> tweets from them will think they're coming from Wikipedia), and they
> also use Wikipedia's logo as their icon.
>
> While most of their tweets have facts that presumably came from
> Wikipedia, the stream is peppered with tweets with "teaser" text and
> a link, which when followed doesn't go to Wikipedia but to some site
> called ChaCha (the link destination, as usual on Twitter, is
> obfuscated by the use of link-shorteners). That site has the typical
> annoying style of many modern websites of presenting its content in
> "slideshow" style with bite-size chunks of content that are "1 of 10"
> and you have to keep following "Next" links to get to the rest of the
> feature, and if you don't use AdBlock Plus they're all surrounded by
> annoying ads, some of which blast sound at you, and try to spawn
> popups and the like.
>
> --
> == Dan ==
> Dan's Mail Format Site: http://mailformat.dan.info/
> Dan's Web Tips: http://webtips.dan.info/
> Dan's Domain Site: http://domains.dan.info/
>
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> WikiEN-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> To unsubscribe from this mailing list, visit:
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikien-l
>
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Re: Is this a trademark violation?

Thehelpfulone
In reply to this post by William Beutler
And a tweet like "I swear these people need to be stabbed....http://
twtrpic.com/WFMlvNsP  <http://t.co/gm4WrC4P>"  as of ~10 hours ago is
particularly damaging to our reputation.
 <https://twitter.com/Wikipedia411/status/300109544946794496>


On 8 February 2013 14:13, William Beutler <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Also, every tweet is [citation needed].
>
>
> On Fri, Feb 8, 2013 at 8:55 AM, Fred Bauder <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
>
> > Clearly, it is.
> >
> > Fred
> >
> > > I just ran into this Twitter account:
> > >
> > > https://twitter.com/Wikipedia411
> >
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > WikiEN-l mailing list
> > [hidden email]
> > To unsubscribe from this mailing list, visit:
> > https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikien-l
> >
> _______________________________________________
> WikiEN-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> To unsubscribe from this mailing list, visit:
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikien-l
>



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Thehelpfulone
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Re: Is this a trademark violation?

Daniel R. Tobias
In reply to this post by Daniel R. Tobias
On Fri, 8 Feb 2013 06:55:33 -0700 (MST), Fred Bauder wrote:

> Clearly, it is.

So is anybody going to do anything about it? Should Wikimedia Legal
be notified?


--
== Dan ==
Dan's Mail Format Site: http://mailformat.dan.info/
Dan's Web Tips: http://webtips.dan.info/
Dan's Domain Site: http://domains.dan.info/



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Re: Is this a trademark violation?

Daniel R. Tobias
In reply to this post by Daniel R. Tobias
On Fri, 8 Feb 2013 13:52:06 +0000, Richard Symonds wrote:

> I used to work for cha cha... Or at least, I trained their staff at my old
> job. They're a text message question answering service based in the us but
> using Philippine staff.

The site, and the cluster of Twitter feeds that seems to be
associated with it, form a "walled garden" that seems to only link
within itself (other than paid ad links outward). The various Twitter
feeds constantly retweet one another, and are sprinkled with posts
with tantalizing teaser text and a link that tuns out to go to "Cha
Cha" (and to a page there that is invariably disappointing compared
to what was teased in the tweet, and which leads the user down a
rabbit hole of following "Next" links through multiple pages of
slideshow-like presentation in the vain hope of finding something
less lame). They draw people in with sometimes-clever one-liner quips
in tweets, but once you've followed any of their stuff you get
deluged with expoitative crap.


--
== Dan ==
Dan's Mail Format Site: http://mailformat.dan.info/
Dan's Web Tips: http://webtips.dan.info/
Dan's Domain Site: http://domains.dan.info/



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Re: Is this a trademark violation?

David Gerard-2
In reply to this post by Daniel R. Tobias
On 8 February 2013 13:47, Daniel R. Tobias <[hidden email]> wrote:

> I just ran into this Twitter account:
> https://twitter.com/Wikipedia411
> However, it is trademark law they are most clearly afoul of; despite


I understand WMF is on the case :-)


- d.

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Re: Is this a trademark violation?

Fred Bauder-2
In reply to this post by Daniel R. Tobias
> On Fri, 8 Feb 2013 06:55:33 -0700 (MST), Fred Bauder wrote:
>
>> Clearly, it is.
>
> So is anybody going to do anything about it? Should Wikimedia Legal
> be notified?

I cc'd them earlier, but here is another.

Fred


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Re: Is this a trademark violation?

Daniel R. Tobias
In reply to this post by Daniel R. Tobias
On 10 Feb 2013 at 12:00, Keilana wrote:

> They also have some American staff, I used to work for them.

How many people do those guys have working for them? We've run into
two on this list already. Do you guys have any dirt you can dish on
them?

By the way, in the digest version of the list your "From" line comes
out as "=?utf-8?B?a2VpbGFuYXdpa2lAZ21haWwuY29t?=". Perhaps the
techies in charge of programming the list digesting ought to get the
software to decode UTF-8-encoded header lines before outputing them
into the body of the digest, since that form of encoding won't get
decoded by mail reader programs in that position.

And why is the digest body encoded as "base64" (usually used for
binary files) instead of the more readable-in-raw-source
quoted-printable?

--
== Dan ==
Dan's Mail Format Site: http://mailformat.dan.info/
Dan's Web Tips: http://webtips.dan.info/
Dan's Domain Site: http://domains.dan.info/



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Re: Is this a trademark violation?

keilanawiki@gmail.com
In reply to this post by Daniel R. Tobias
I have no idea, I don't have any dirt because I got quite bored quite quickly. I just answered questions on their text message service, and I'm not sure if that has anything to do with their other pages. Sorry I can't be of more help!

Sent from my HTC One™ S on T-Mobile. America’s First Nationwide 4G Network.

----- Reply message -----
From: "Daniel R. Tobias" <[hidden email]>
To: <[hidden email]>
Subject: [WikiEN-l] Is this a trademark violation?
Date: Sun, Feb 10, 2013 7:41 AM


On 10 Feb 2013 at 12:00, Keilana wrote:

> They also have some American staff, I used to work for them.

How many people do those guys have working for them? We've run into
two on this list already. Do you guys have any dirt you can dish on
them?

By the way, in the digest version of the list your "From" line comes
out as "=?utf-8?B?a2VpbGFuYXdpa2lAZ21haWwuY29t?=". Perhaps the
techies in charge of programming the list digesting ought to get the
software to decode UTF-8-encoded header lines before outputing them
into the body of the digest, since that form of encoding won't get
decoded by mail reader programs in that position.

And why is the digest body encoded as "base64" (usually used for
binary files) instead of the more readable-in-raw-source
quoted-printable?

--
== Dan ==
Dan's Mail Format Site: http://mailformat.dan.info/
Dan's Web Tips: http://webtips.dan.info/
Dan's Domain Site: http://domains.dan.info/



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