Humorous Reply to a C&D Letter
Neustar Domain Names

Humorous Reply to a C&D Letter Sent to the Owner of a Geodomain Name

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When I was initially looking to acquire a geodomain name, I was assured by a number of people that there would not likely be any issues regarding owning a domain name that comprises the name of a city or town. In the 5+ years of owning at least two geodomain names, this has proven to be true, with nary a complaint received. Unfortunately for one guy, this isn’t the case.

Staci Zaretsky shares an interesting story on the Above the Law legal website concerning the WestOrange.info geodomain name. WestOrange.info is owned by a person named Jake Freivald who had built a “rudimentary” website about the town of West Orange, New Jersey. According to the article, “it doesn’t look like a site that’s sponsored by West Orange in any way, shape, or form — unless the town hired middle schoolers to create its online presence.”

That apparently didn’t stop the town attorney from sending Mr. Freivald a cease and desist letter (C&D) for attempting to “confuse and conflate the Township’s official domain name and Web site.” In response to this legal letter, Mr. Freivald’s attorney, Stephen B. Kaplitt (who represented him pro bono), sent a very funny response. Both of these letters can be read on the Above the Law article.

Receiving a C&D letter from an attorney can be concerning for a domain owner (and sometimes intimidating), and many simply hand over the domain name in question to prevent legal action from being pursued. It’s great to see that the owner of the domain name was represented, at no cost, to reply to this threatening letter.


About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of DomainInvesting.com. Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has sold seven figures worth of domain names in the last five years. Please read the DomainInvesting.com Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest.


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Comments (11)

    gene

    That is great, thanks for sharing.

    The best part of this letter is the following statement:

    “…my client’s rudimentary website…is so minimalist that it arguably qualifies as modern art.”

    Here’s a lawyer who can even differentiate real art from garbage, let alone an recognize an overreaching, prospective plaintiff.

    June 19th, 2013 at 10:33 am

    rob sequin

    West Orange should fire attorney Richard D. Trenk for his bullying tactic and West Orange should issue a public apology to Mr. Freivald for attorney Trenk’s bad behavior.

    Perhaps the New Jersey bar associate would consider sanctions against attorney Trenk.

    In addition to RDNH lists now being maintained, perhaps someone can start a bully list.

    PS. Now attorney Richard D. Trenk and the world can find his name in a Google search for all these keywords.

    Oops. Maybe now I’ll get a cease and desist letter from him too.

    June 19th, 2013 at 10:34 am

    patti

    This was actually fun to read…..including Mr. Kaplitt’s response. :) Now I know who my lawyer will be!

    Thank you for posting this, Elliot.

    June 19th, 2013 at 10:43 am

    Joe

    Thanks for sharing, Elliot! I want him to be my lifetime attorney! 😀 And yes, mr. Bully should be fired right away by the Township.

    June 19th, 2013 at 11:51 am

    Domenclature.com

    “…my client’s rudimentary website…is so minimalist that it arguably qualifies as modern art.”

    The problem with that approach is that it opens the door to go after advanced sites, such as NewYork.com. The emphasis shouldn’t be on aesthetics, principles of beauty, artistic taste, or even philosophy of the site.

    June 19th, 2013 at 12:20 pm

      Elliot Silver

      I believe the attorney was only concerned with his client’s asset. I also don’t believe a C&D like this would open any door for other cities. In fact, there have been many cases (mentioned in the letter) where municipalities have gone after domain names and lost.

      June 19th, 2013 at 12:22 pm

      Domenclature.com

      I agree with 3 of your points above, Elliot.

      I was just saying that the stare decisis (legal precedent) shouldn’t reside with the look of the site.

      June 19th, 2013 at 12:33 pm

      Elliot Silver

      That is a good point.

      June 19th, 2013 at 12:47 pm

    DonW

    Nice going. Westorange.info has now exceeded monthly bandwidth & I cant get a view from screenshots or archive. :)

    Don

    June 19th, 2013 at 5:33 pm

    Kassey

    You made my day! Thanks

    June 19th, 2013 at 8:10 pm

    David Gruttadaurio

    Who knew lawyers had a sense of humor? This is the definitive C & D response letter. Great post, Elliot.

    June 20th, 2013 at 10:38 am

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