iambic CEO Apologizes, Relinquishes Controversial Domains

Vidal Graupera, CEO of iambic, Inc., has just released a statement that says his company is relinquishing ownership of the web domains it recently registered with a rival product's name. The company asked Register.com to unregister the domains yesterday. The CEO goes on to apologize for ever registering them and promises to reconsider his company's marketing methods.

Mr. Graupera's statement reads:

I would like to offer an apology for offending people by registering datebk4.com and datebk5.com. This practice was not in keeping with our standards, and we are currently reviewing our marketing methods. We can not estimate how long it will take for the register.com to unregister the domains but we started the process of relinquishing ownership of the two domains on May 9, 2002. iambic is looking forward to getting back to the business of making excellent software and regaining the customer satisfaction we've enjoyed for nearly a decade.
On May 2, iambic registered DateBk4.com and DateBk5.com and directed them to its page for its calendar application, Action Names Datebook. DateBk4 and DateBk5 are two versions of a rival calendar application made by Pimlico Software.

This action started a grassroots campaign to get iambic to relinquish the domain names, posting numerous messages to Palm-related messages boards (including here on PIC) to raise awareness in the Palm community and sending emails to iambic asking that it surrender the domains.

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I.M. Anonymous @ 5/10/2002 1:45:49 PM #
< EOM >
RE: good
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/10/2002 2:19:18 PM #
apology accepted. that was all it took to shut me up, and i've been one of the more vocal about this. thank you.
Not good enough
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/11/2002 9:26:27 AM #
Yeah, right. iambic's still a bad boy: they've purchased Adwords Select in Google for trademarks of several of its competitors, including Datebk4, Datebk5, Quicksheet, Documents To Go, and MiniCalc. This is certainly against Google's policy, and smells of a concerted marketing effort rather than "one man's mistake".
RE: good
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/11/2002 10:00:08 AM #
How many times are you going to post this same comment over and over? I count five times you posted it onto this page. To have a protest, you need more than one person.

Now that we got what we wanted, the people who are still protesting are going to find a lot less support. It's like that one guy at party who's still dancing while everyone else has their coats on and is saying goodnight.

It's over. The good guys won, the bad guys lost.

RE: good
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/12/2002 6:01:32 PM #
Yes, while purchasing ads on google might seem similar, I really don't see it that way at all, not really any less than adding "datebook" to the name to get people to think it's Datebk4. A person searching for one of those other products would still find them, what's so bad about an ad showing them an alternative product as well? It's not like the domains where the intent seemed to be to keep them from knowing about the other product completely.

People make mistakes.

I.M. Anonymous @ 5/10/2002 1:46:57 PM #
Hawk! )
RE: People make mistakes.
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/10/2002 1:50:49 PM #
Yes, people make mistakes but most would have admitted it the first day. Iambic is just finally now giving it after a ton of pressure from users, in hopes this will restore their image. I don't know about anyone else, but their image is tarnished beyond any repair for quite some time in my book.
RE: People make mistakes.
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/10/2002 5:41:46 PM #


I'll never patronise Iambic again. Damage is done, apology or no apology.

It was a slimy move in which they deserve to get flamed for.

RE: People make mistakes.
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/10/2002 5:57:52 PM #
Sure, just ask OJ and Bobby Blake.
RE: People make mistakes.
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/10/2002 10:40:51 PM #
This apology on day 1 would have made things right IMHO. Instead they put out that bogus press release with more lies in it. When that failed to satisfy anyone with 3 working braincells, they come out with this. No good. They have blown it.
And people lie. . .
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/11/2002 4:32:53 AM #
If only this statement from Iambic weren't in direct conflict with its previous statement. . .

Sorry, I'm not buying it. Iambic is apologizing because it realized that this might actually hurt their bottom line. It previously defended the action, banned users from their discussion area for mentioning it, and blamed the whole thing on a misunderstanding. Perhaps when they examine their marketing practices they will discover that their customers (and former customers) are more ethical than they are and that there is a consequence to their actions.

I.M. Anonymous @ 5/11/2002 9:29:09 AM #
Iambic are LIARS. Sure, they apologized for this URL thing, but what about the issue of Iambic purchasing Adwords Select in Google for the words "Quicksheet", "Documents to Go", "MiniCalc" not to mention "DateBk4" and "DateBk5".
RE: People make mistakes.
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/11/2002 9:54:15 AM #
He did say, "we are currently reviewing our marketing methods". Not a promise but after this stink I doubt they'll do it any more.

Do you still use Google? It sold these names to iambic. Complaining about one without complaining about the other is hypocrisy. If you are going to boycott iambic, you have to boycott Google. The whole idea of selling search results is on pretty weak ethical grounds.

And what about Register.com? They registered a trademarked name to a company that didn't own that trademark. How ethical was that?

google doesn
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/11/2002 11:17:00 AM #
google does not sell search results on google.com (some people that license google tech apparently want the functionality)
google doesn't sell search results (continued)
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/11/2002 11:18:12 AM #
right. anyway, google doesn't sell search results on google.com. Some licensees apparently want this functionality, but on google.com the only thing you can buy is ads that appear on the same page as the search results, clearly marked off from the actual results by color and text. See http://www.google.com/ads/ . The fact that they don't sell search placement is one of the main reasons I love google. If they tried to restrict who could buy appearances on what keywords, they would create a management and sales nightmare for themselves and completely blow the easy-to-use automated ad-buying and performance monitoring service they now have.

Yeah, Sorry.....Sorry for getting caught!!!

I.M. Anonymous @ 5/10/2002 1:51:01 PM #
Sneaky AND Dumb are not a good mix!!!
RE: Yeah, Sorry.....Sorry for getting caught!!!
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/10/2002 2:21:01 PM #
Oh and since we appologised people will forget and we'll get some free publicity out of this(like we planned?).


I.M. Anonymous @ 5/10/2002 1:47:30 PM #
They've finally realized that the damage they're causing to their ethical reputations among the close-knit Palm community (I mean we all frequent the same gossipy boards) far outweighs any sort of marketing benefit they might have gained from squatting on those domain names.

Mistake made, damage done, but no further damage due to quick rectification. I applaud this move by the CEO.

In any case, I think AND's simplicity had already drawn plenty of old Datebk 3 users over. They didn't need to resort to this.

RE: Finally...
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/10/2002 1:52:47 PM #
Quick rectification???! I would hardly call this quick. They should have apologized the first day.
RE: Finally...
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/10/2002 1:55:00 PM #
That's silly, what you mean to say is that they should never have done this in the first place!

After the space of a week's furore among Palm users and numerous petitions they finally came to their senses. I think it could've been sooner, sure, but the point is that they did an about-turn.

RE: Finally...
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/10/2002 1:58:29 PM #
Well, yeah, they should never have done it in the first place, but if they had immediately come forward and admitted to wrongdoing and relinqished the domains, I would have forgiven the slip. As I see it though, they only did an about-turn because of the huge outcry, and realizing how much business they were losing, not from any true feeling of remorse. And how about an apology for trying to silence users on their Forum and on their list? How about an apology for trying to tell us that the domains were just an abbreviation of the word Datebook?? Sorry, I am glad they at least did this, but I am not about to forgive or forget their actions.
RE: Finally...
chsong @ 5/10/2002 3:20:20 PM #
It wasn't just honest mistake. What about the forum incidents? Removing negative articles.

Damage has been done.
They backed out their original position since they are not as big as like Microsoft, a giant company who could afford the whole world's bashing.

if you lose customers like this, you will lose a whole lot in this small Palm community.

Do do they think they are, Microsoft?


I.M. Anonymous @ 5/10/2002 1:53:11 PM #
Everyone to whom I've recounted the tale of the last couple of days has been impressed by the integrity of the Palm community. It is good to see Iambic rejoining that crowd.


RE: Yay!
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/10/2002 2:09:09 PM #
Only because they had to. I would believe it if they had acknowledge their mistake immediately but this crap about the "vocal minority", the supression of folks who spoke up and the denial that they made a mistake at just too much.

I for one will not deal with this company, EVER.

RE: Yay!
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/10/2002 2:12:11 PM #
The you - for one - will probably end up using a less capable program.
RE: Yay!
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/10/2002 2:19:47 PM #
Even if that were true (which I don't agree with) I would rather do that than deal with a company that screws it's customers like Iambic did.

How dare they suspend forum rights of REGISTERED customers because they spoke up about this? If a registered customer of Iambic's products was outraged by this then obviously it was pretty bad.

Letting companies get away with crap like this means that others will do the same. We should not lie down and take this.

RE: Yay!
Pentagonal @ 5/10/2002 2:31:50 PM #
The honesty and reliability of the app designer is an important component of the capability of the product. I agree with those who say that this is an important step forward but it will not erase the numerous offenses they have committed in the last week.

I.M. Anonymous @ 5/10/2002 4:13:27 PM #
If you're not ever going to use an Iambic product because of this, then you probably ought to stop using Windows/ Office/ Outlook as well. They actually have litigation in process against them (MS) for unfair business practices. BTW, Palm has unfairly infringed on Xerox as well, so you might as well go back to a pencil and paper so you can sleep with a pure soul. Don't shop at Wal-Mart because they exploit poor workers. Don't eat at Denny's. Don't buy Firestones or Fords. Don't buy anything from Japan because they brought us the Pearl Harbor tragedy. You might as well crawl into a hole and pull the dirt back in over your head.
RE: Yay!
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/10/2002 8:12:59 PM #
Alright, I won't. (In case you haven't noticed, many MS customers DO despise the company--but that's because they're the only game in town: we resent how they got there and we resent how they use their position to produce mediocre products, but we have little in the way of alternatives that are widespread standards. How many Soviets loved Stalin? But what choice did they have?) As for the others, I don't think Palm did it deliberately and their appeal will be overturned, and I don't like WalMart or Ford or whatever else you mentioned. Meanwhile, you can be content with your cheap crap and leave us alone.

Unfortunately, part of what you are saying is true: there are a lot of shifty businesses out there, and since there are so many, it is hard--impossible, even--to keep up with whom to avoid. But every now and then someone does something memorable, and since I am a Palm enthusiast, Iambic has earned that dubious distinction for me.

RE: Yay!
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/10/2002 8:22:13 PM #
I wrote the last post. Your Japan example doesn't count. They have re-earned their trust. Iambic can do the same, but it will take time and effort.

Good Work Palmers- now let's move on

MadMax @ 5/10/2002 1:49:12 PM #
This was definitely a bad idea from start. I'm not going to try to dissect what it "really means for the Palm Community". It was just a dumb idea.
Now let's move on to what we're WE are about. We're Palm enthusiasts. We live Palm we love Palm! (most of the time).
Iambic makes great software. Pimlico makes great software. The fact is:
WE HAVE A CHOICE! Let's not do things that could change that.

The Road Warrior

RE: Good Work Palmers- now let's move on
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/10/2002 3:35:30 PM #
"We live Palm?" Are you kidding? I'm a Palm user, and I like to keep up with the latest goings-on, but sheesh! Get a Life!
RE: Good Work Palmers- now let's move on
MadMax @ 5/10/2002 9:25:42 PM #
Dude, you're here? You live it!

RE: Good Work Palmers- now let's move on
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/11/2002 8:55:01 PM #
I think it's possible to visit PIC periodically without categorically "living Palm." Saying that every PIC visitor "lives Palm" is like saying that everyone who attends a showing of Star Wars next week is a "Star Wars fanatic." Don't project your lifeless geekiness on the rest of us, please.
RE: Good Work Palmers- now let's move on
Quik_Fix @ 5/11/2002 11:14:26 PM #
I'm a geek. I live palm... -)

...In accordance with the prophecy...


Pious, Holy Palmers

I.M. Anonymous @ 5/10/2002 2:22:36 PM #
This just goes to show you that Palm users are much more pious than PPC users.
RE: Pious, Holy Palmers
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/10/2002 2:27:13 PM #
And that's bad, why?


RE: Pious, Holy Palmers
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/10/2002 2:39:24 PM #
self-righteous, holier-than-thou maybe????
RE: Pious, Holy Palmers
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/10/2002 2:43:14 PM #
Just so I get this straight, it's OK for a company to mislead it's potential customers? It's OK for a company to tread of the rights of the people who purchased their product?

Am I reading this right?

This had nothing to do with "Holier Than Thou". This was punishing a company for doing something stupid/immoral and that having the arrogance to deny that it was stupid/immoral.


RE: Pious, Holy Palmers
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/10/2002 2:47:48 PM #
Lost my links.
How do I find Laridian, and Olive Tree software again.
Why do I post here you Pagans dont even know what kind if software they carry.

At least You arent PPC users. I know why color pictures are so important to them on a PDA. They need to have smut wherever they go 24/7. How dare one of their kind post on this board.

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