Being Eugene Volokh

eugene.jpgBlogs are such a new phenomena (and perhaps such an ultimately ephemeral one) that it seems a bit odd to think about the history of blogging, but remember back to the very early days of the blogosphere when The Volokh Conspiracy was on blogspot? Well, I was recently revisiting the archives from my first blog (because — hey! — blogging is about nothing if it is not about narcissism), and I tried to follow some of the links to the old Volokh Conspiracy archives. As it turns out http://volokh.blogspot.com no longer has anything to do with The Volokh Conspiracy. Rather, it is now a blog called “The SEO Reviewer” which promises to provide readers with “the latest information regarding Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and is a repository for Search Engine Press Releases.” One can only assume that the SEO Reviewer chose their blogspot identity as a way of maximizing their traffic by capitalizing on the efforts of Eugene and company. Was there some sort of a contract here? Is there some sort of a tort?

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5 Responses

  1. Maybe there’s a decent cybersquatting or a personality rights claim. It’s amazing how many blawgs spawn knockoff domain names. I know Althouse and How Appealing for sure. I tried accessing those blogs while traveling once and ended up at sites that had nothing to do with those blogs.

  2. I’m not sure how solid those claims are but I am pretty sure the ACPA extends to unregistered marks and personal names protectible as marks. Where the alleged infringer engages in no commercial activity (or engages in criticism) the claims are a bit tougher, but here, where driving traffic is the sole goal, courts may be more receptive.

  3. Kaimi says:

    Nate,

    This happens all the time. It happened to Jordan Fowles’ old site: http://fowles.blogspot.com/ .

    If you ever decide to close down A Good Oman for good, hang on to the blogspot name. I would hate to see it being used to hawk phone cards or search engine farms.

  4. anonymous says:

    That’s a pretty unflattering picture, with an unflattering position. can you post a different one?

  5. 3L says:

    I noticed this same thing once when looking up blog citations in court cases on Lexis. There was one case which cited an old Volokh post, but it had become the SEO Reviewer. I expect this will be a perpetual problem as blogs are cited more frequently in court cases.