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back to article YouTube - uTube showdown stays alive in federal court

What's in a name, right? For the Universal Tube & Rollform Equipment Corporation, operator of uTube.com, its domain name means cash - and with a federal court's recent refusal to dismiss the company's suit against YouTube, the possibility of even more cash in the future. The company has operated uTube.com as a means to sell …

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Web 2.0?

If YouTube is Web 2.0, then we need 2.1 to come out soon.

Universal Tube makes more in one day than YouTube has ever made.

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This is asinine

"The company has operated uTube.com as a means to sell used pipe and tube mills and rollform machinery since 1996. After YouTube's launch in 2005, the sleepy little Ohio website went from around 1,500 visitors a month to roughly 70,000 per day"

Ok so let me get this right utube opens its website after Youtube and they are claiming damages? This is asinine, this sounds more like a cyber-squatter then anything? well maybe not cyber-squatting in the since of taking a website just because the name is famous but this is pretty close. How could they not know that the traffic was going to come in. This to me sounds like they are just trying to get their name out there to sell more product. If anything Youtube should be suing them. This is just another case of someone just trying to make some cash off of a high profile company.

Second I question the judge's decision of property. There is already a big precident that has been set in the sex.com case. I today's world there are enough cases involving IP that it should be construed that though it is not a physical object it is still property. When I buy my domain name i am buying property, all be it in a they cyber world but still same principle applies. I'm sure that if Youtube want's they can probably launch a counter-suit and bury these no names wannabe's that are just trying to hock some used junk on Youtube's name.

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uTube's site could use some optimization anyway

When they first filed the suit, all of their badly-optimized HTML and client-side-resized images meant that the total bandwidth was about 1.5MB per pageview, meaning they were serving up at least 70GB/day for no good reason. If they were a competent organization, they would have optimized their site pretty quickly, and then done what they could to cash in on the false popularity, and then just let a happy accident be. Instead, their first response was to make a court case, and THEN started to cash in on it, and only now is their site actually bandwidth-optimized.

The fact they did it backwards wouldn't be so distasteful if it weren't for their decision to continue with this lawsuit.

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Anonymous Coward

misunderstood

Rick, utube.com was running since 1996... so there is no cyber-squatting...

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Les

The Internet needs a literacy test...

Rick - uTube (the pipes people) have had their site since *1996*. YouTube (the video people) have been around since 2005. On my calendar, that means the pipes came before the videos by quite some time.

But the real problem is that far too many web users can't get a simple domain name right. We need smarter users, not smarter websites. Never mind web 2.x, we need users that are out of beta testing.....

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Anonymous Coward

"Let me get this right" - heh

"The company has operated uTube.com...since 1996. After YouTube's launch in 2005..."

> Ok so let me get this right utube opens its website after Youtube and they are claiming damages?

Close, but no cigar. 1996 is actually *before* 2005.

It is pretty asinine nevertheless - the ad revenue is making them $30k per month, against $2.5k bandwidth costs, so it's not phenomenal business sense. Unless, of course, they think they can make more money through litigation.... Ahhh, it's a wonderful world.

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Erm?

"Ok so let me get this right utube opens its website after Youtube and they are claiming damages?"

I'm guessing a little on this one Rick, but I think 1996 comes before 2005.

So, I don't think you've got it right.

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Erm, not quite...

""The company has operated uTube.com as a means to sell used pipe and tube mills and rollform machinery since 1996. After YouTube's launch in 2005, the sleepy little Ohio website went from around 1,500 visitors a month to roughly 70,000 per day"

Ok so let me get this right utube opens its website after Youtube and they are claiming damages?"

Rick, 1996 was *before* 2005.

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Anonymous Coward

@Rick

Read it again, even the section you quoted makes it quite clear thay uTube.com has existed since 1996 doing what it does, and then YouTube.com came along in 2005 :)

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Hypocrits

Most people would be happy (in fact would kill) to have a domain name drawing that many hits. If people are going there by accident then you could actually just put nothing BUT a page of ads up - why bother with any content at all? Crackers. Just optimise the page, stick as many revenue generating ads as possible on there, take the money and run to the bank with it. Some peopledon't know when they're well off.

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Rick, you need to re-read what you quoted.

"The company has operated uTube.com ... since 1996."

"After YouTube's launch in 2005..."

So uTube opened their website 9 years before YouTube came on the scene.

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Rob

No Rick, you've misread

"Ok so let me get this right utube opens its website after Youtube and they are claiming damages? This is asinine, this sounds more like a cyber-squatter then anything?"

uTube.com has been operating since 1996. But after YouTube.com opened, their (uTube's) visitor numbers shot up due to stupid people being allowed to use the internet and caused them (uTube) bandwidth problems and heavy charges. This is pretty much the main source of their complaint.

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Rick, you've misread the article ... and totally missed the point

uTube.com (the pipe company) "has operated uTube.com as a means to sell used pipe and tube mills and rollform machinery since 1996"

That's *1996*, ELEVEN YEARS AGO ...

YouTube had its "launch in 2005" TWO YEARS AGO.

Rick said "Ok so let me get this right utube opens its website after Youtube"

ELEVEN is more than TWO.

So no, you didn't get it right.

And US law is more difficult that you think ... just because something is "property" doesn't make it "land" (so "trespass" is difficult, as are several other of the claims made by uTube) but the Judge upheld the right to continue the case on trademark dilution etc. claims. And there's a big difference between state and federal law, so something that is illegal in one state may not be illegal in another, and so any precedent must be evaluated with that in mind.

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Read again

@Rick

uTube started in 1996, YouTube in 2005, not the other way round, so *if* there was any cybersquatting going on (and no-one is claiming there is) it would be YouTube that was doing it.

However for uTube to try and get YouTube shut down is just being silly. Most businesses are only too happy if they manage to get increased visibility (even if it is only accidental).

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to Rick

A mis-understanding in your post :

utube.com was registered in 1996 and youtube was founded in 2005, a long time after, so they are not cyber-squatting.

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asinine?

"operated uTube.com..since 1996... YouTube's launch in 2005"

"Ok so let me get this right utube opens its website after Youtube ..."

In what asinine world is 1996 AFTER 2005?

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er...Rick

i think you'll find 1996 is a year that comes BEFORE 2005 and uTube were there first.

But "we were here first" holds no weight and I don't think the argument has any merit, after all - how can you blame someone else for stupid people ?

Personally I was shocked and stunned that youtube wasn't a personal insult site for Scottish people.

(if you don't understand, that ask a Scot ;))

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What??

Rick, 2005 was AFTER 1996.

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Bronze badge

Not asinine(ish)

Rick, if you reread your quoted text, uTube.com opened in 1996, YouTube.com in 2005.

The "After YouTube's launch" text is in relation to the increase of hits to uTube.com and not its launch.

That aside, uTube's approach is still asinine. I find it doubtful that shutting down YouTube.com will decrease the number of hits to uTube.com for quite some time.

Their best bet is to request that GooTube pay for the increase to their hosting bills.

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Re : This is asinine

Rick if you're going to use a quote to support an argument, make sure you check the sentence before the one youre quoting:

"The company has operated uTube.com as a means to sell used pipe and tube mills and rollform machinery since 1996. After YouTube's launch in 2005, the sleepy little Ohio website went from around 1,500 visitors a month to roughly 70,000 per day"

I know that there is a lot of theoretical work in quantum physics that points to circular time streams but on my calendar 1996 still comes before 2005.

As for the Intellectual Property / Property argument I was under the impression that separate laws govern IP and the judge will be aware of this and hence why he has sent them away to resubmit their unsuccessful suits under the correct legislation.

Saying that, I would hazard a guess that the whole thing is doomed. There is no real case to answer other than the fact that the names sound similar, different areas of trade - no question of passing off.

uTube may have stood a chance if they hadn't then set up an internet flea market to cash in on those poor illiterates who can't spell "you". They might have been better off approaching youtube and seeing what they would offer for the domain, or better still arrange for a redirection link to be on the page (at a price).

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This is silly

It's quite clear that Youtube is accidentally harming utube, and ought to compensate them for it. What Youtube/google ought to offer to do is this:

1)Host utube.com gratis.

2)If they can make sense of the user's intention (eg does the HTTP referrer from the search query say "video", or "plumbing"), then seamlessly redirect.

3)If the intention cannot be determined, serve up a simple page: "Did you want a)Video (YouTube) or b)Pipes (utube)"

That would fix everything - and it would cost a negligible amount.

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Erm.... A website is for what again ???

So let me get this right.

They are sueing YouTube because they got more visitors to thier website than they wanted to get ??

Surely the whole point of having a website is to get lots of people visiting it.....

The case should be thrown out of court because they are muppets

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Precedent

This all seems a bit silly - why should Universal Tube mind if thousands of extra visitors are driven their way? However, since MS managed to get a decision in their favour over Lindows, on the bizarre grounds that it could be confused with their product (!), I would say all bets are off.

Anyone who can take Rupert Murdoch for a few bucks has my vote, anyway...

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My mistake!!

It was late last night and I had been at the local pub for some pints. 2005 does indeed come after 1996 after a quick check of the calander. My apologize for the ill written commentary on this. Though i still think my second point does have some validity?

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Guy

Are these the tubes that the internet are made of?

Isn't this goint to be detrimental to the internet, as we currently have two tubes and they want to get rid of one of them??

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Domains, owned or rented

I maybe wrong on this but...

I was under the impression that domain names are only rented from a registar, and are never actually your "property". Hence the need to pay yearly, 2-yearly, 5-yearly etc. And the domain name remains under the ownership of the registrar, they just give you permission to use it for the pre-paid amount of time.

So if anyone should be sueing for tresspass or similar, shouldn't it be the registrars? But hang on they own the other domain name too... Can just see the headlines now, "Network Solutions to sue self over (yo)Utube mixup" mind you stranger things have happened...

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Lot of misunderstanding here...

Lotsw of people seem to think uTube should be happy that they're getting more hits, as "that's what a website's for". Looks like Web 2.0 has conquered the universe!

What many commercial websites are actually for is communicating to a target audience and making sales, NOT just dealing with masses of unwanted hits. There was clearly a financial loss to uTube at first, in that they were paying for completely useless and unwanted additional hits. However, they've rather shot themselves in the foor on that one IMHO by turning it into a profit opportunity - good luck to them, but they can't really have it both ways. Can they?

Oh, and I think Rick might've got the message by now...

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