Friday, August 31, 2007

legal stuff and mid-life crises

On the matter of Crocs, Inc. being a bunch of douches, we recently received an email from "Vincent Vin", who had this to say:
I saw your post at LittleRubberShoes.com and your mention that you feared that Crocs might try to force IHateCrocs.com offline. But in truth, CrocFans.com and your web site are both protected free speech and fair journalistic use of their tradename in the respective domain names. There are a zillion web sites that use Apple and Mac in the domain name and it's not an infringement. Free speech is protected whenever a web site such as MacWorld.com, Apple-Expo.com or MicrosoftReallySucks.com (hypothetical) says whatever they want, so long as it is about facts and opinions and such things as fan comments or negative comments. You CAN legally use a tradename in your domain name so long as you are not pretending to be Crocs or whoever. There is a lot of precedent in matters like this and it was naive of CrocFans.com to cave in out of needless fear. The worst they can get is an injunction to take the domain and that's only if the judge is a total ass. If they go around suing for actual cash damages, they would probably lose and they would cultivate their own bad PR. I personally was interested in Crocs shoes as a vegetarian after seeing a NY Times article but now I would be inclined to decline such a product because the company has no sense of ethics much less a sense of what is legal.

My email to Crocks:
"You have a lot of nerve to be sending cease and desist letters in order to STEAL legitimate fair usage web domain CrocFans.com. And you have no legal ground to stand on except that you have successfully bluffed. I'm going to give you as much bad blog as I can, boycott you forever and use my vegetarian web sites to promote boycott.
- Take your Boss Tweed attitude and go to hell!"
I, for one, hope that Vincent Vin is right. Don't let them take you out, Croc Fans Dot Com! Resist!

Here's an email from Cathy that sounds ridiculous with the possibility of being completed fabricated and unfortunate if not:
Just saw your site and had to add my experience.

Approaching his 60th birthday my husband spied a pair of (urgh) crocs in a local shop in Brighton. Making a beeline for a horrible pair in vomit green he tried them on with a gleeful look like a little boy in his first wellies. How do they look he asked me. Behind my pasted on smile I was screaming silently ARE YOU MAD!!. But against my better judgement I just nodded and they were bought. Three days later he returned from a secret forage for MORE crocs – this time a violent shade of blue and I knew he was lost.

One month later and after 32 years of marriage he declared he needed to go to Thailand to `find himself`. That was 9 months ago and for all I know his horrible revolting crocs are frightening children all over Thailand.

I wonder – are these crocs impregnated with some chemical that activates the latent stupid berk gene in men? All thoughts appreciated.

Let the war continue…
Terrible!

As an aside, I have once again changed Vincenzo Ravina Dot Com. I decided to go old school internet this time, sparse with text and blue links.

Also: the first person to send in a photograph of themselves wearing one of our t-shirts will get something awesome mailed to them. Email your pictures to ihatecrocs@gmail.com.

Also: we were featured on the Unofficial Podcast. I guess this guys makes podcasts for blogs, pretending to be the writer. I'm not sure why he gave us the accent he did, as we are from Atlantic Canada, but whatever.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

I agree with your assessment of the second story. It's ridiculous enough to be a bad fabrication, and if it's true, there's severe mental illness involved.

Danielle said...

If I had an ihatecrocs shirt, I would totally send you a picture, but alas, I do not. Mail me one and I will take a picture in it and waive my right to the "something awesome".

The Peter Files Blog of Comedy said...

I made these comments at I the new I love crocs.com:

I just happened to notice this controversy by accident because of a contest in the Chicago Tribune's Q sesction based on the decline in the fashionability of wearing croc's.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/features/lifestyle/q/chi-0909_chal_new_h_n_dsep09,1,7495586.story

Q Challenge number 257 Croc and Awe

"Have Crocs jumped the shark? Some fashion forecasters are predicting that the giant plastic shoes are on the way out, and investors note that the company's stock has taken some recent tumbles. There's even a Web site -- Ihatecrocs.com -- calling for the "elimination of Crocs and those who think that their excuses for wearing them are viable."
Ah well, it couldn't last forever. Now the question is, what to do with those spongy, brightly colored clogs once no one is wearing them anymore?
Come up with a good use for cast-off crocs and send your entries -- limit three per person -- by noon Thursday to q@tribune.com. Include name and address and put Challenge 257 in the subject field."


Having mentioned that, you might consider adding to the NAME of your website, not the address, "Crocs.com, The Home of all things Crocs: Fans Raves, Commentary, Jokes, Free Speech, Comedy and Parody"

Then a byline that says"We are not officially affiliated with the manufacture and sales of crocs shoes. See (web address) for the Croc's home page."

Then I suggest you put a big Crocodile near the top of your page too.

This will help protect you in several ways, I think.

One, it makes clear that this is a Crocs fan site.

Two, it cites commentary, comedy, free speech etc, in the opening at the top of the page. The first thing any attorney or judge would evaluate in looking at the site.

Three, adding a crocodile muddies the issue of whether you are entirely a shoe fan web site, since croc and crocs are words in common useage. The manufacturer really should have used an alternate spelling such as krocs. Their trademark may have no standing whatsoever because it is a term in common useage. I am not an attorney, though I have played one on the stage. See one, I strongly suggest starting with the American Civil Liberties Union.

This is a unique case and they might enjoy getting in there and setting some ground-breaking case law on this.

Finally, you might want to consider, with an attorney or an agent, finding out how much Croc's might be willing to PAY, that's right pay for the domain name.

Sounds like you are undergoing considerable time and effort here. Your time is valuable. They want something from you, like a domain name that draws visitors daily.

That has economic value. Find out what it is worth.

They may have even, perhaps not, damaged its value somehow. I think I remember hearing somewhere that in a court of equity, one must do equity to receive equity, is that right attorneys out there?

Well, trying to get you to give up your domain name for nothing in return sounds like a croc to me!

If you need a humor break, come visit me at the:

Peter Files Blog of Comedy, Satire, Jokes, Commentary and Video (Much Original Material)
Http://ThePeterFiles.Blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

Hi,
i hate crocs mainly because they look so cheap looking. The fact that they look plastic was a draw back and they look horrible when wearing them, big bulky things suitable only for small children who's parents have not thought of some sort of sandal or wellington boot.

Anonymous said...

Lovely crocs! I want to be know more about Crocs Sale places where I can buy these crocs.