IP & Religion -Reply

Jim Maule MAULE.Prof.Law at LAW.VILL.EDU
Wed Feb 4 14:43:02 PST 1998

Emily Hartigan <HARTIGANE at LAW.STMARYTX.EDU> writes

> To use a Web address to trick people into "hitting" on your page seems
> like cheating, and doing so in a partially commercial medium.

I have a comment that is a tad offlist but hopefully not creating
more discussion: PC Magazine of several issues ago had an article
discussing the things people do to trick others into getting to their
Web site. Domain name mis-use is just one. I'll spare you a
description of the others; some are outrageous to those who, like me,
share Emily's concern about the morality of the practice.

Now for a try at an onlist query: Am I correct in assuming that it
ought not make a difference whether the domain name is "connected" to
religion on its face, when applied, or not at all? May I set up a Web
site with the name www.thepope.com? Or www.truechristians.com? Am I
intruding on a person's or denomination's legal rights? If the
government "protects" the other person's or entity's right to keep
others from "using" its "name" in a domain name, is the government
violating the EC? (I suppose an earlier "pre-digital" analogy is the
church name dispute: who is really the *First* Presbyterian Church of
Megapolis? Do we really want to mislead? Try to make people think the
church is Baptist and hit them with Lutheran doctrine at the sermon?
I doubt it. But then I would never have thought of the planned
parenthood situation as a hypo.....)

Jim Maule
Professor of Law
Villanova University School of Law
Villanova, PA 19085
maule at law.vill.edu
(610) 519 - 7135

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