At the beginning of the year, President Barack Obama’s new 501(c)4 political nonprofit, Organizing For Action, was launched with all the usual bells and whistles. But the tech wizards at OFA forgot one important rule in today’s Internet world: Register all the iterations of your website address before someone else does.
Now Obama’s team is filing complaints against the folks smart enough to get the addresses before he did.
As Obama’s OFA made its debut, no one in his purportedly Internet-savvy campaign had obtained the corresponding .com, .net, .org or .us sites, nor did OFA register other names that are close to its official one, as is the sensible practice. In the case of the .net address, a fellow named Derek Bovard had already registered the .net address by the time Obama’s team took notice.
Bovard has routed his new site to the homepage of the National Rifle Association.
Naturally, Obama and his fellow community organizers were furious. So furious, in fact, that they have replied by filing complaints against Bovard–and, apparently, a variety of other people who had registered domain names that OFA now wants.
Obama’s group filed the complaints with the authority that governs website domain addresses, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). The complaints were filed under Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) rules. Obama’s case number is 1483257 and was filed on Feb 6. UDRP cases are usually decided within one to two months after first filing.
Bovard told Breitbart that he feels he has a solid case that he owns the .net address fair, square, and legally.
“We have been granted ‘Service Mark’ #85838531 from the United States Patent and Trademark Office for the website as ‘Providing an on-line website featuring information on the United States Constitution and Conservative values’ and we were also the first to use it in ‘commerce.’ So I don’t believe they have any valid legal ground to stand on in regards to this website name. Before purchasing this site I had checked TESS (Trademark Electronic Search System) for any existing Trademarks or Service Marks and found none. I also searched for any existing companies called Organizing for Action and found none. So I bought it, legally.”
Bovard said he intends to use the site address to provide “information on the United States Constitution and Conservative values.”
“This site is going to be used strictly to discuss political views and ideas based on Conservative Values, the US Constitution, the Bill of Rights and Freedom of Speech in the USA which seems to be overlooked quite often. My partner and I are firm believers in not only the First and Second Amendment Rights, but in ALL Rights granted to us by our country, my country.”
Bovard also disputed several reports that he offered the address for sale to team Obama.
“I also want to make it perfectly clear that I have no intentions of selling this website name to Obama’s group nor did I purchase it with the intent of selling it to them or anyone else. It’s never been for sale, I’ve never solicited it for sale. I have indicated a personal opinion about it’s worth but that’s it.”
“We have taken what little action we could to contribute to the fight against anyone who attempts to defy or go against the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the rights contained within them. We are sickened by the mockery being made of our country and our government and then advertising this mess to our fellow citizens and the rest of the world,” Bovard said in an email.