July 14, 2011

Thursday 110714


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CrossFit Mission Gorge (CA) at Yosemite National Park.

An update for the CrossFit Affliate Community, courtesy of the CFHQ Legal Team. Please read more . . .

CrossFit, Inc. v. Tal Moore

You decide to become a CrossFit affiliate. What's one of the first things you do? Pick
your name. It's not easy: you feel like you're naming a child! But then CFHQ approves it
and you go to register your new domain name. You're totally pumped. Except . . .whoops.
Wait a minute. Your domain name is already taken? How the heck can that be?

Unfortunately, a lot of CrossFit affiliates are finding out that they can't get the domain
name they want because someone has already bought the domain name with the sole
intent of profiting from a new affiliate. Usually, that person intends to either (a) hold it
hostage, or, more commonly, (b) sell it to a newly minted CrossFit affiliate owner at
some kind of premium. It's called "cybersquatting" and is prohibited by federal law (a
portion of the Lanham Act, known as the Anti-Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act
(aka the ACCPA).

And we're sick of it. It's time to send a message to the cybersquatters that they need to go find an easier target than CrossFit and our affiliates.

On June 30, 2011, CrossFit, Inc., filed a lawsuit in federal court, in the Western District
of Washington (in Seattle) against Tal Moore. Mr. Moore has been served and has 21
days in which to respond. The complaint alleges that Mr. Moore is the proud owner of
over 350 domain names with "CrossFit" in them. The suit also contains language from
email traffic between Mr. Moore and newly licensed CrossFit affiliates who were
charged anywhere from $50 to $400 for the domain name containing their licensed name.

Under the ACCPA, among the many remedies available to an aggrieved plaintiff,
damages can range from a minimum of $1000 up to $100,000 per domain name. That
could make this lawsuit, if successful, cost Moore between roughly $350,000 to over $35
million in damages.

CFHQ faces this problem daily and we are committed to protecting and preserving our
name, your name, and our affiliates.

Stay tuned for updates, and feel free to contact us if you have questions.

Posted by Lisbeth at July 14, 2011 12:05 AM

Thank you HQ

Comment #1 - Posted by: Merle at July 14, 2011 2:57 AM

Thank you HQ

Comment #2 - Posted by: Merle at July 14, 2011 2:57 AM

Awesome, thanks!

Comment #3 - Posted by: Don Clarkson at July 14, 2011 4:14 AM

Thanx HQ

Comment #4 - Posted by: Keith M at July 14, 2011 4:55 AM

This happened to us almost three years ago when we affiliated. HQ stepped right in and helped us successfully aquire our URL.

Thanks, HQ!

Comment #5 - Posted by: Wendy at July 14, 2011 5:44 AM

Thank you, HQ!!

Comment #6 - Posted by: Pam Munson at July 14, 2011 5:48 AM

Nice work Dale and the rest of legal!

Comment #7 - Posted by: Randy T. at July 14, 2011 6:32 AM

HQ shark tank hard at work....love it! Thank you. This happened to us when we started the process of establishing our affiliate several years ago. We ended up going with another name.

Comment #8 - Posted by: Kimberly at July 14, 2011 6:34 AM

Go get 'em HQ!

Comment #9 - Posted by: Tim Fleck at July 14, 2011 6:49 AM

That is awesome!

Comment #10 - Posted by: John H at July 14, 2011 7:17 AM

They did this for us as well. Thanks much to Affiliate Support (Esther ) and HQ!

Comment #11 - Posted by: jason at July 14, 2011 7:21 AM

This has less to do with protecting affiliates and more to do with CrossFit protecting its brand...the Guy didn't pay his Affiliate fee, so HQ isnt getting any money off it.

Comment #12 - Posted by: red at July 14, 2011 8:25 AM

"Red"- How so? We have a similar situation with one of our members and their biz. When they went to go purchase the .com for their business, they found out that someone bought up all the domains with an "i" in front of it (probably hoping to cash in on all the apple offshoot companies). It was going to cost them thousands of dollars in order to purchase the .com domain. Instead they purchased a .us domain for a few bucks. If the same scenario happens for a new CF affiliate, how is HQ NOT protecting their Affiliates?

Comment #13 - Posted by: Cam at July 14, 2011 8:49 AM

So psyched to read this. Hoping we can ultimately claim our site, still using an abbreviated URL.

Comment #14 - Posted by: Benjamin Frank at July 14, 2011 9:17 AM

Thanks CFHQ. We submitted our info to legal 2 years back and figured that this issue would eventually come to light in the greater community. Our cybersquatter owns a few derivations of CF Malibu and when I contacted him in 2009 he created a very bogus story about getting ready to "launch his franchise" but was deployed minute. He claimed to have spent THOUSANDs of dollars on web developers for his site and wanted "only" 2k dollars or so for me to buy his name. He used a bunch of other lingo that made it obvious he knew little about CrossFit. I offered to buy the name for the $12 he paid for it. I am on blogspot, have never spent a dime on web related issues, and will only consider changing over to www.crossfitmalibu.com if it doesn't cost me more than a few bucks. Anyway.... Thx legal for taking care of this. And thx CFHQ for giving us the chance to be unique and run ourbusinesses the way we like- to fit our personalities and preferences!

Comment #15 - Posted by: Mike CF Malibu at July 14, 2011 10:27 AM

Awesome! Thanks HQ

Comment #16 - Posted by: Hypoxia CrossFit at July 14, 2011 11:21 AM

Oh "Red" -- you so nailed us. Dagger to the heart. Everyone who knows me will tell you I'm only about the Benjamins and the bitches.

Or maybe you're just plain old-fashioned wrong. But thanks for playing! It wouldn't be Internet fun without anonymous opponents!

Comment #17 - Posted by: Lisbeth at July 14, 2011 11:32 AM

Boom! Thanks HQ!

Comment #18 - Posted by: CrossFit Cal City at July 14, 2011 11:41 AM

Hope this ends in a settlement or summary judgment. Thanks Aff Team and Dale.

Comment #19 - Posted by: Steve - CrossFit Ocean City at July 14, 2011 1:29 PM

Thank you! Thank you !! Thank you CFHQ!!!

Comment #20 - Posted by: Teena at July 14, 2011 2:20 PM

Thanks HQ! You all definitely have your hands full with the squatter issue and all the traditional gyms out there offering "Crossfit" illegally. Thanks for your support!

Comment #21 - Posted by: CrossFit Impavidus at July 14, 2011 2:22 PM

Cool pic bro

Comment #22 - Posted by: Corey T. at July 14, 2011 2:47 PM

I don't suppose that he has the inverse of some existing affiliates? It would be like X-mas in July to discover someone had been squatting on www.dieselcrossfit.com

Comment #23 - Posted by: Evan - CrossFit Diesel at July 14, 2011 3:46 PM

Thanks HQ

Comment #24 - Posted by: Mike at July 14, 2011 4:07 PM

Thanks HQ!

Comment #25 - Posted by: Lisa Q at July 14, 2011 4:51 PM

I like you guys :) Tell the legal intern Matt E. that alumni arena misses him but to keep up the good work! Thanks HQ!

Comment #26 - Posted by: UB CrossFit at July 14, 2011 5:46 PM

so funny i read this because we are currently trying to get Mr. Moore to give us a domain our new name since we moved towns.

he wanted to sell it to us for $100 on June 28th and it wasn't until after the paypal transaction that he told us he no longer "owned" the web address.

go daddy informed me yesterday he still did.

he now wont return my emails.

what a crook!


Comment #27 - Posted by: david at July 14, 2011 5:52 PM

It would be really awesome if you guys could force him to change his first name as part of the settlement...his current name is playing with my emotions.

Comment #28 - Posted by: Tal Young - CrossFit Spartanburg at July 14, 2011 10:54 PM

That also happened to us..but I knew the law contacted HQ and refused to buy up any other domain...2 weeks late the domain was given up...Thanks HQ

Comment #29 - Posted by: mario at July 15, 2011 3:26 AM

Right On!

Comment #30 - Posted by: Peter Roulet at July 15, 2011 9:38 AM

Great work HQ!

Comment #31 - Posted by: Jonathan - CrossFit Malaysia at July 15, 2011 3:58 PM

This actually happened to me and unfortunately the people (yes people) where others in our very own community purchasing sites to traffic to there affiliate website. I have yet to hear from the person to sell the sites to me but HQ legal was a huge help in this matter and got the websites taken down.

Thanks HQ!

Comment #32 - Posted by: Melissa Metzke at July 17, 2011 9:27 AM

Atta Boy HQ!!!

Comment #33 - Posted by: Tom Ragusa at July 19, 2011 7:52 AM

I have a question what if u want to open a small tshirt company and use a domain name with crossfit in it is this illegal??

Comment #34 - Posted by: Krystle at August 21, 2012 12:37 PM

I was wondering the same(ish) thing...for example, would it be a problem if I were to use the term "crossfit" in a domain for a blog/site focusing on crossfitters, etc.? I know this is slightly off topic, but just curious (thanks, Krystle!). :)

Comment #35 - Posted by: Stevie at August 22, 2012 2:42 AM

Hi Krystle and Stevie,

I work for the CrossFit, Inc. Legal Team. Please allow me the opportunity to ward off any misinformation.

It is illegal to use the CrossFit® trademark without proper permission from CrossFit HQ. CrossFit HQ awards permission for our CrossFit® trademark to be used through License Agreements used with affiliates and Sponsorship Agreements used with The Games. Clauses within the License Agreement allow affiliates to register domain names that include the trademark and print the trademark on t-shirts.

One exception to the law against using the trademark is that it may be used for "fan boy" purposes. That means that when the trademark is used only for the purpose of discussion, like in a blog, and not in any way associated with commerce, it is not illegal.

Thanks for the questions.

Comment #36 - Posted by: Katie at August 22, 2012 8:23 AM

Thank you so much for the clarification, Katie. Very much appreciated.

This probably isn't the best place to be discussing this type of thing, but could I ask just one small follow up question? Would advertisements (i.e. Google Adsense) on the blog prevent it from meeting the "not in any way associated with commerce" requirement?

Thanks again- I sure do appreciate your taking the time to respond.

Comment #37 - Posted by: Stevie at August 22, 2012 2:24 PM
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