Verizon Steals PoliBlog Name ***UPDATE***

The folks at Verizon have persisted in operating a not-very-good blog by the name “PoliBlog.” This, despite the fact that Steven Taylor has been running a good blog named “PoliBlog” since February 2003; is the #1, #2, and #3 search on Google for PoliBlog; is almost the exclusive subject for Technorati posts mentioning “PoliBlog;” 1731 links vs. their 149 (many of which are on this controversy); and has sent them numerous messages on his prior claim to the name PoliBlog as a political blog.

More here.

UPDATE: Verizon has relented and agreed to change its name to “Policy Blog.” Taylor observes, “While their letter was written in response to my letter of 11/21/06, it strikes me as unlikely that it is coincidence that it comes just as the issue started to receive Blogospheric attention as of last night and into today.” Indeed, especially since they’ve repeatedly rebuffed previous attempts to resolve the issue.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. madmatt says:

    Just another reason why net neutrality could be an issue…whats to stop them from appropriating anything they like?

  2. James Joyner says:

    I’m not sure how this relates to net neutrality? Domain registration is a separate issue altogether and what one names a website is hardly something that an ISP would control.

  3. legion says:

    Ah, but if the ISP in question decides to ‘favor’ (or even subtly re-direct) traffic going to their similarly-named knock-off site?

    Just like the RIAA goes after low-level individual file traders to avoid a protracted legal fight from a sizeable organization, ISPs could do things like this all day to small individual bloggers without the means to sue them back, couldn’t they?

  4. […] Steven Taylor is in a little spat with Verizon, the telecom giant. The company has a weblog of its own covering technology and telecommunications policy. That’s all well and good. The more voices in the blogosphere the better. It’s just Verizon decided to name the weblog “PoliBlog.” Taylor correctly wonders “why their blog designers couldn’t use Google to recognize that the name was taken.” James Joyner posts some stats on Taylor’s weblog vs. Verizon’s. Guess who’s winning in the Google rank and link battle? Stealing a name is not polite and pointless since there are thousands of word combinations they could have used. […]