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.

Related Information:

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Palm Info Center

I.M. Anonymous @ 5/8/2002 5:36:39 PM #
And palm infocenter is busy trying to capitalize on it.

Im sure he is trying to get this article slashdotted now.

We know your ILK palminfocenter editor, like a vulture!

RE: Palm Info Center
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/8/2002 5:38:23 PM #
Troll, go somewhere else. Those of us that are pissed at Iambic are THRILLED to see a headline on this now, instead of buried on the page about the DateBk5 release. Thanks, Ed!!

The article on news.com is up now, cute headline they came up with.

RE: Palm Info Center
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/8/2002 5:41:12 PM #
Don't try to divert attention to the real "villains" here...that being iambic and their unethical domain name redirections. PIC and other sites like it are merely reporting the facts that transpired.

I would commend Palm InfoCenter and several other Palm related sites for being objective and giving the two parties an opportunity to respond before posting articles on the matter. If they were as unethical and profiteering as iambic, they all certainly could have posted some sensationalized article early yesterday, without giving each side a chance to present their side of the story. But they did not. PIC (and most other sites) did the RIGHT thing and waited gathered facts before going forward.

Your statement, while you are entitled to make it, is certainly uninformed, biased and one that smacks of an attempt by "interested party" to shift attention away from its ill-conceived cybersquatting plan.

Kudos to Palm InfoCenter on its journalistic integrity!

RE: Palm Info Center
WhoDat @ 5/8/2002 11:30:52 PM #
First of all look at the name of this website, Palm INFO Center. This Iambic/DateBk thing is Palm community information. Saying that PIC is capitalizing on it is like accusing The Weather Channel of capitalizing on rain. IT'S their job, it's why people check this site on a regular basis.

Second, if you don't like PIC, you can probably type in a different website and just not visit.

Third, this didn't start as its own topic. The discussion began as a thread in the DateBk released article. Then this topic quickly sprung legs. Next, Iambic responded. BAM, it's a story in its own right.

Fourth, this is a great topic and likely being viewed in other industries. It calls out ethics of the web, as well as, responsibility by companies to prevent this happening to them.

Finally, this is by far the best site for PalmOS information, period. The people that visit, geeky as we may be, want to know what's going on.

Keep up the great work Ed.

RE: Palm Info Center
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/9/2002 1:30:27 AM #
Boy, are you looking at the back of your own teeth!

Well Done To The Palm Community

WolfUK @ 5/8/2002 5:35:36 PM #
A big congratulations to the Palm community in general and the PIC community especially. Work of Iambic's behavior spread quickly and generally met with universal disbelief and I am delighted that Palm users felt strongly enough to email Iambic, post in various newsgroups and in site forums and generally spread the word. I hope that Iambic have now learnt the error of their ways and that cheap tactics like this will not be supported or tollerated.

As for the outcome, I would like to see them make a contribution to the gorillas as way of amends.

RE: Well Done To The Palm Community
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/8/2002 6:51:28 PM #
I was on the verge of buying Iambic's product when I read about this. I went straight over and bought DateBk5 from Pimlico and sent letters to each explaining why. I hope the PR flacks at Iambic choke on the one I sent them...! :-)
RE: Well Done To The Palm Community
Caspian @ 5/8/2002 10:39:16 PM #
I agree that it was very heartening to see the Palm community come together on this issue. But, it looks like we have not won a complete victory. I would like to see Iambic give the pirated domain names to Pimlico and give a large donation to the fund that the Pimlico software sales supports. I would also like to see a clear and public _admission_ that Iambic's actions were a misguided attempt to capitalize on the release of a competitor's new product along with an unqualified _apology_ to Pimlico and the Palm community.

Their "press release" takes us all for fools and is an insult to the user community.

I have deleted the one Iambic application that I had on my PDA and will buy no more until I see an immediate and sustained change in their actions. They cannot afford to sit around on this. If it takes them a few more days to do the right thing, I will never buy another Iambic product and will actively advise other users not to also.

RE: Well Done To The Palm Community
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/9/2002 9:45:38 AM #
Hi all,

i can't believe what i'am reading. It's obvious that it was a mystake, and iambic regret cerntanly this. I am customer from Europe (read my post down).

Since the beginning, i bought Action Names. iambic was the first company in Palm OS software with a REAL tech support for european people. Unfortunately, my english is not fluent. Since i buy a Palm Vx (now a Sony high res), iambic always follow me (and for god sake i'm not a genius!!) even when my question concern the Palm himself. And in French. I had always a good feeling with them since this tech support, and i always have the feeling that iambic was different of the other company because of the time they spend with me. Now i learn all this story and i find it's completely amazing that such a story take this proportion.

People have to be clever. "iambic have to remove their link", ok. "iambic have to die for this" it's completely crazy. For me, i can't dissociate iambic with the palm, because action names datebook is the only application i always use in my palm (and it's far better than datebook according to me).
But if the company die, i won't have any reason to stay with a palm device because the pim was the only reason for me to prefere palm than Pocket PC. I hear that agenda fusion was like Action Names, i will probably try it.

I respect everyone, and i hope that pimlico association will grow, i am in humanitary assocaition myself. But don't be silly. iambic is a large actor of palm software , and from Europe, Palm is dying. Some company like iambic are a large part of success of Palm in Europe.
I respect every opinion. Please respect mine.

Well done the palm community.

You are killing one of our best company software.

This is really great for Palm OS.

RE: Well Done To The Palm Community
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/9/2002 11:02:22 AM #
While I agree that this may permanently ruin Iambic's reputation and they may have done much to warrant the good buzz they had before, they took the action that led to this backlash. Even if they hadn't anticipated this level of a reaction, expecting *something* should be a given.
RE: Well Done To The Palm Community
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/9/2002 12:45:39 PM #
"You are killing one of our best company software. "

If this incident is indicative of future actions of this company, then I say good riddance to bad blood...

RE: Well Done To The Palm Community
Mor @ 5/9/2002 2:55:26 PM #
So What? I have no problem with Iambic's tactics. I thought it was clever. However, I probably wouldn't link the domains directly to Iambic's site. I'd link them to fair product comaparisons pages and sales write-ups in Iambic's advantage. I believe in "if you sooze, you lose."

Maryland - Home of the 2002 NCAA Men's Basketball National Champions - Terps!
RE: Well Done To The Palm Community
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/9/2002 4:58:14 PM #
>> I believe in "if you sooze [sp], you lose."

And I unequivocally disagree!!! Were they clever? Yes. (Though "underhanded" is a better adjective, I believe.) Were they legal? Perhaps. But were they *moral*? Absolutely NOT. And that is the point. I am so gratified to see the Palm community so indignant over this issue--it shows that integrity still counts among a great number of people.


Registered or not, here we come...

mdyesowitch @ 5/8/2002 5:38:59 PM #
While it's true that Pimlico could have registered the names, it's easy to see why a nonprofit application would be content with one sitename. For Iambic who only needs to sell at most 7 copies of actionnames to register both domains for 2 years, it's practically nothing.

Well, it's not exactly nothing. It's still moderately sleezy even if it's legal.

RE: Registered or not, here we come...
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/8/2002 7:15:21 PM #
If Iambic had registered domains like "datebook" or "palmdatebook" or even just "datebk", I might raise an eyebrow a bit, but would let it go. But since
they choose the _actual_ names of Pimlico programs "datebk4" and "datebk5", I shouted a big "WTF?".
- marcus
RE: Registered or not, here we come...
Palm_Otaku @ 5/10/2002 2:36:54 AM #
Iambic's Cybersquatting is a potentially dangerous move for them, not just in terms of extremely poor public relations, but also legally. Check out this article at: http://www.hg.org/art141.html

Personally, I think that Steuart Dewar has far too much class to wade into this quagmire, but the official statement from Iambic does not ring true. It's pretty obvious that Iambic was intending on driving internet traffic intended for pimlico products to their site.

Especially when you consider that Iambic has also bought keywords from Google on the Adwords program for:
Documents To Go

*sigh* I'm sure some folks will say this is just good old business competition practices, but I consider it shameful :-(

RE: Official statement received
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/8/2002 6:11:43 PM #
It's nice that they feel they have the "right" to register the domain names that match their competitor's products...they apparently don't know that ethics is not about what is legal, but what is proper. There are lots of activities out there that may be within a business' legal rights, but that doesn't mean it is good business ethics to do them.

To issue a statement from the company's PR rep, rather than the company prez, that says they were within their rights to register the datebk domains goes to show this company hasn't a clue. No apologies or anything. Sheesh.

Statement from iambic

Ed @ 5/8/2002 6:05:53 PM #
I have updated the article with an official statement from an iambic spokespeson on this issue.

News Editor
Official statement received
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/8/2002 6:06:26 PM #
RE: Official statement received
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/8/2002 6:09:34 PM #
well, it looks like they got the hell out of the kitchen!
RE: Statement from iambic
PDA Guy @ 5/8/2002 6:11:19 PM #
"(and the abbreviation "datebk")"

Oh yeah, LOTS of people abbreviate DateBook like that...

<rolls eyes>

Nice try on spinning, but it doesn't explain a lot. And won't get your customers back that you've lost either...

RE: Statement from iambic
ardiri @ 5/8/2002 6:13:49 PM #
"(and the abbreviation "datebk")"

Oh yeah, LOTS of people abbreviate DateBook like that...

lets note specifically that it had to be datebk4 and datebk5 (exact spelling of product released by their competitor). their statement doesn't mention anything about the removal of posts from their forums, nor the banning of users from their forums. it took them almost an entire day to figure out that it was a problem (and, then, write a short explanation). this is a PR stunt gone wrong - big time. now, iambic and datebk are known everywhere, both of them getting traffic, which means sales.. who are the losers here? the users. :) this publicity just made a few people richer... not posting on the subject would have been the best thing. i dont condone iambics actions (they should know what they did was wrong) :) they are treading on very thin ice - and, its not nice to be in their position right now (been there myself)

// az

RE: Statement from iambic
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/8/2002 6:26:11 PM #
That statement from Iambic justs shows how totally gutless they are. To not accept any cupability in this, and claim it was all just innocent and not an attempt to steal traffic from CESD....how dumb do they think we are?!?? Their behavior these last couple days, from the cybersquatting, to their censoring of comments on their board with no response, to this "spin" statement, just proves to me that they are a company with no values at all.
RE: Statement from iambic
Pentagonal @ 5/8/2002 6:30:13 PM #
This response shows no remorse whatsoever, and the "Datebk" abbreviation defense is a baldfaced lie. I'm insulted that they thought we would fall for such a weak response. Their ethical shortcomings become more apparent.

RE: Statement from iambic
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/8/2002 6:30:51 PM #
Hey Arron! Cool, a color of Diety3D coming soon!!! hey iambic did a bad thing but lets not forget that their software isn't bad, they make good contributions to the PalmOS Community...this was just a mistake!
RE: Statement from iambic
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/8/2002 6:42:31 PM #
I could accept a mistake....IF they had come forward and admitted it was a mistake (something they STILL haven't done), if they turned the domains over to CESD, and if they apologized to their users for deleting all their posts off their Forums. They not only made a mistake, they tried to cover it up and keep us quiet, and tell us they had every right to do what they did, etc. etc. Nope, I don't care ONE BIT if their software is good. I will never buy it again.
RE: Statement from iambic
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/8/2002 7:50:38 PM #
It is not just Datebook products, Iambic. It is your ethics. You are hoping that this thing would go away -Kiss, Hug and Forget. Yes, probably - forget, forget about buying Iambic Products.

Redirecting into a blank page is unethicals as well. You have to redirect it in Pimlico Software. Here is the right URL for it!


Vidal are you reading this! Clean up your missed. Wipe your self now. Here are some tissues you just ...

RE: Statement from iambic
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/8/2002 8:38:46 PM #
"Ethics and strong customer support have always been the cornerstone of iambic's success."

If these are what they consider ethics, how must their customer service be?

RE: Statement from iambic
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/8/2002 9:07:48 PM #
I take offense that the moron sitting in Iambic takes us for morons. We are not and he/she better stop treating us as one. As for Ardiri's comments that this could have been a Hollywood-type plug and generated free publicity for Iambic and Pimlico, well, it may have benefitted Pimlico but I doubt that moron at Iambic was clever enough to use this trick as a plug for their product.

Going by what we see here and elsewhere, despite their "PR" statement a lot of the Palm Community are still furious about their unethical practice. Trying to weasel out of it is almost as pathetic as doing it in the first place.

And not addressing the issue of censoring their customers from their forums goes to show that their intention was not genuine in the first place as claimed otherwise in their statement.

I always had a bit of a trouble deciding on some of the similar products from Iambic and others. I guess for me now, I will always consider others before I would even touch Iambic.

RE: Statement from iambic
Patrick @ 5/8/2002 9:15:42 PM #
It is good to see people not losing sight of the real issues. Iambic targetted specific competitor product names, not generic variants of "DateBook".

In addition, the censorship on their forums should beg the question about what other types of topics have been ... adjusted? If someone were to gripe, for example, about a serious bug in one of their applications, can anyone trust ever again that it would be made available for others to see?

RE: Statement from iambic
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/8/2002 10:40:29 PM #
"Ethics and strong customer support have always been the cornerstone of iambic's success."

Should this be read as "It depends on your definition of sexual intercourse..."

RE: Statement from iambic
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/9/2002 5:29:20 AM #
Aaron Ardiri, you'd better hurry up and register www.deity3d.com before iambic makes another "innocent" mistake and takes it first!
RE: Statement from iambic
ardiri @ 5/9/2002 10:49:37 AM #
    Aaron Ardiri, you'd better hurry up and register www.deity3d.com before iambic makes another "innocent" mistake and takes it first!

i believe such "cybersquatting" in this case only really matters if the other party is actually capable of writing software like the domain they are stealing (think about it) :)

Iambic could have posted a better statement regarding this whole issue - and i thought i got flamed way back *g* - *phew*

// az

RE: Statement from iambic
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/9/2002 1:18:17 PM #
Hey Aaron!
When will you release a VFS compatable update of HaCkMe? The prcs are cluttering up my RAM!
(PS- I love this program )

Only 2 domains

I.M. Anonymous @ 5/8/2002 6:09:20 PM #
Amazing to see how much press this story has gotten in the past day! I've seen it here, News.com, Brighthand, and PDA Buzz.

I know some others registered domains in addition to me. Want to set the record straight, I only registered datebk6 and datebk7 another loyal user registered the datebk domain.

Glad to see so much support!


RE: Only 2 domains
Ed @ 5/8/2002 6:25:44 PM #
Thanks Keith. I checked with VeriSign and DateBk.com (and .org and .net) were registered by Ted Tschopp and they all also point to Pimlico's site.

News Editor

New site for Action Names refugees

I.M. Anonymous @ 5/8/2002 6:43:58 PM #
I just started a new group entitled an2datebk (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/an2datebk/).

This group is to assist former users of Action Names with the transition to Datebk products. I have seen many a post today from Iambic customers who have deleted Action Names and will need assistance to get up and running with Datebk.

If you have some spare time and are a Datebk veteran, please join us in the new group to help new members of the Datebk community.

I prefer Action Names
MadMax @ 5/8/2002 9:31:07 PM #
I'm going to stay out of the editorials. I must say that as an avid Palm user [power user], Datbk seems like a fat convoluted pig. Not just in memory size, but in it's cumbersom interface. I've tried many times to use it when a new version comes out. The one basic task I need to do is:
Schedule an appointment with someone in my address book. Yeah, I know I can link to a name but, I want to look at my calander and see that at 2pm on Friday I have a meeting with Doe, John. I can't seem to get Datbk to do this! If I'm doing something wrong, let me know-
I prefer Action Names

RE: New site for Action Names refugees
rldunn @ 5/8/2002 11:03:33 PM #
Click on a time, hit the "L" link button, choose a name from the list, and make sure the option in the popup window for 'Append to Description Field' is chosen, and then the name (and/or company and/or phone number, if chosen) will show up in the selected slot.

RE: Also prefer Action Names
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/9/2002 8:48:51 AM #
I have tried both and even though I made a two week valiant attempt to like Datebk (it seems that there is SO much support for it) I found myself deleting it and JackFlashing Action Names back into my ROM. It's interface is simpler, easier to navigate and has much better support for the Address book. (Not to mention being much smaller...)
Frankly, far from being upset by these evil business practices... I think it's kind of funny! :-)

The biggest complaints I have seen are that there are no categories for appointments, which I have found can be easily worked around by using icons and filtering the list according to what icon is on the appointment, and that you can't link an appointment to multiple contacts... which is a good time to add a note to the appointment with those contacts.

Has anyone seen ActNames on the new Clie NR70? Awesome...

Yes it's kinda wrong, but really, most who care already use Datebk!

Long Live Iambic and their sleazy business practices!

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