iambic Registers Domain with Rival's Product Name
Several days ago, iambic registered the two new domain names. However, these weren't for products it makes. Instead, they were the names of some of its top competitor's products. 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.
Update: iambic's CEO has announced that his company has surrendered the two domains and he apologized for registering them in the first place.
Yesterday, when DateBk5 was released, many people assumed they would be able to find it at DateBk5.com. On discovering that they had instead been taken to a competitor's site, some people began a grassroots protest.
This involved 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.
Many protester's ire was increased when it was pointed out that all proceeds from the sale of Pimlico's products were donated to charity, specifically a refuge for endangered gorillas.
Keith Griffin even went so far as to register DateBk6.com, and DateBk7.com and give them to Pimlico. Ted Tschopp did the same thing with DateBk.com, DateBk.net, and DateBk.org.
Not everyone has disagreed with iambic's actions, though. Some have written to support it on the grounds that Pimlico could have registered the domains itself long ago. If it didn't, they were available to anyone.
At this point, iambic has partially given in to the protesters' requests. DateBk4.com and DateBk5.com no longer point to the page on Action Names Datebook. Instead, they point to blank pages.
Steuart Dewar, the owner of Pimlico Software, had this to say, "I guess there's someone there [iambic] who is patting themselves on the back at how clever they are. Personally I don't find it clever - I find it distasteful and surely a reflection on the ethics of the people who run that company."
He went on to say, "People have asked why I did not raise a big stink about this myself - the answer is that it was obviously not necessary to do that. The Palm Community is more than intelligent enough to arrive their own conclusions, which they apparently have."
iambic has released an official statement on this issue:
On May 2, 2002, iambic purchased and registered datebk4.com and datebk5.com which were available. As a vendor of datebook software, iambic's maintains that it has the right to purchase domains containing the generic key word "datebook" (and the abbreviation "datebk") which are not trademarked.
As there was never any previous interest in, use or promotion of these domains, they did not generate any significant additional traffic or sales for us.
On May 5, 2002 we began to receive some concerns and notice postings questioning these domain registrations within the Palm user community. We became concerned when this trend continued and began to shift the discussion away from who makes the best datebook product to issues surrounding the registrations, sales practices, and other non-product issues.
As a member of the Palm developer community, and order to move the discussion back on track, on May 8, 2002 we redirected these pages to a blank page.
Ethics and strong customer support have always been the cornerstone of iambic's success.
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