This website is owned and maintained by Alf Temme
8137 Lankershim Blvd
North Hollywood, Ca 91605
Dell Inc. sues its own affiliate Alf Temme in the following complaint:
1. Alf Temme registered 7 mis-typed Dell domains for a good but illfated business idea he had (http://www.abouttyposquatting.com/): d3ell.com, de3ll.com, d4ell.com, de4ll.com, dedll.com, derll.com, dxell.com
2. Alf Temme redirected those domains throug an affiliate program directly to a Dell website. This accomplished several things.
a. The potential Dell customer has a much better web experience than being faced with one of those annoying error pages that take forever to display (such as for example with a less likely mistype http://www.dellll.com/ ). Try it.
b. Dell does not lose any business from customers being distracted by Google ads that may appear in the right margin of the error message. Some of these ads are placed by Dell Inc. itself, but some are paid for by competitors of Dell and that would potentially take business away from Dell. If Dell is the only Google advertiser on the error messages, then Dell will pay a fee to Google for each and every such mis-type made by people, which could easily ammount to a hefty Google-Ad bill per month. In the case of the instant re-direction by me of the 7 mis-typed domains above mentioned there is absolutely no cost to Dell for that facilitation. There is only a reward that Dell pays when a customer so re-directed actually transacts a purchase of Dell equipment as a result of having been redirected to the Dell website directly. The total cost to Dell through this re-direction is very likely far less than the payment for Google-Ads. The affiliate program that Dell entered into with LinkShare was intended for Dell to get more people to its website for which Dell was willing to pay a small percentage only on sales that were made, not payment for each customer that was re-directed, such as is the case with Google-Ads. The money paid by Dell to Linkshare is exclusively for a small commission on sales transacted. The money paid to Linkshare for paying Dell purchasers is less than the money paid for the mix of buying and non-buying customers through Google-Ads (this assertion would be subject to proof since the actual exact figures are not exactly known).
3. The bottomline is that Alf Temme received from Linkshare less than a total of $4000 from the small percentage sales commissions that Dell was paying on actual sales made as a result of the very customer friendly instant re-direction of the mis-types made by customers on the 7 above mentioned Dell mistyped names. Dell could assert that it had a loss of $4000 to me plus what portion of their total payment went to Linkshare. This asserted loss then would have been more than offset by not having incurred Google-Ad payments.
4. By the way, the money received by me for such mis-type adventures of mine did not begin to pay for my http://www.realtaxreform.com/ effort that proposes to replace our current 65,000 page IRS taxcode with a system that would save the whole economy upward of $900 billion per year (2002) dollars. I have subsidised my tax reform efforts with money earned with these mis-typed domains (not only Dell domains). Now the fact is also that I did not ask permission from the Dell corporation of Michael Dell whether it would be OK to subsidize my tax proposal. I am sure that Michael Dell would be mighty pleased and supportive of my tax plan. I did not either ask the Dell stockholders whether it was OK, but they all contributed to a great cause without their permission but it did cost them nothing. In fact Dell earned money as compared to the Google-Ad expenditure.
5. Lawyers in Chicago, claiming to representing Dell, sent two letters to me in which they say that Dell wants the 7 above mentioned names plus $15,000 and reasonable attorney fees as damages and perhaps punitive damages. I never saw those letters, but I cannot with certainty say that they were never received by my office. Fact is that even after I was made aware of the letters by way of the suit served at my factory, that after exhaustive searching for those letters I came up dry. I asked the Chicago lawyers to email attach the letters to me and they did.
6. Not having read those letters and not having become aware of them until a few days after the legal server left the suit at my factory, the matter obviously escalated into a formal lawsuit. Upon calling the attorneys to obtain a copy of the letters, they also declared that Dell now required $50,000 to settle the suit. I somehow doubt that Dell is in the business of wanting to earn substantial money on matters that they did not suffer any loss from, but actually profited from. Dell could persist in the belief that they did incurr loss in the total amount of what Dell paid to LinkShare, its affilliate facilitator. It would be an incorrect assumption on Dell's part as explained above. In addition Dell could contend that they incurred additional costs in lawyer fees, and that would be a correct contention, but it was merely as a result of the Chicago lawyers not at least making a phone call to my factory. All in all, I do not believe that Dell is deliberately in the business to create a side income through its legal department to augment its earnings from its computer related business (from which we bought many thousands of dollars of Dell equipment over the past decade and are expecting to purchase more replacement equipment.
7. In summary I believe that Michael Dell himself would approve of my http://www.realtaxreform.com/ and wholeheartedly support it with the less than $4000 I received from Linkshare.
8. Truthfully, I cannot believe that a $56 billion a year corporation would behave in this sort of punitive fashion that certainly would not behoove its otherwise charitable nature. I even believe that the Chicago lawyers do not represent the Dell corporation in a manner compatible with Dell's true wishes. The Chicago lawyers that represent themselves as alledgedly doing Dell's bidding are presenting a posture that sounds more like a hustle than proper corporate business behavior.
9. In closing it requires mention that according to law Dell could ask for as much as $700,000 in punitive damages, with mis-typed domain related legislation that was unwisely passed by Congress and that such legislation today is at odds with recent Supreme Court rulings. I do not believe that Dell would benefit from the adverse publicity, were it to pursue such path. Alf Temme is basically a person tilting at windmills in government matters that appear in principle wrong. In this case it is concerning the constant drive to consolidate monopoly in the marketplace by denying small and medium sized companies access to the potential customer base of the giant corporations. All manner of generally perceived as objectionable advertising methods are the only way for small upstart companies to gain a foothold in the marketplace. Some of these objectionable methods of advertising are: junk-email, mis-typed domains, Google-spamming (the practice of creating websites with fake content that will drive the ranking of such websites to the top of the Google listings), Highway billboards, TV advertising, radio advertising, flyers under the windshield wipers of your car, etc. All annoying and all disliked by the general public, but unfortunately, with every law or measure limiting or entirely eliminating any form of advertising the total economy will suffer (yes Dell included and Michael Dell has the economic knowledge to understand that).
The former Soviet Union had almost completely accomplished to eliminate advertising entirely from their society (except advertising for their comunist propaganda) The Russian people paid the price of economic poverty because of the absence of advertising that resulted in a stunted economy. The insight that I want to promote is that with the advent of the internet, all other possibilities for advertising are suffering more and more when people spend more and more time on the internet, taking away time from reading magazine advertisements, watching television ads, reading newspaper ads etc. The time that people devote to the internet and the time they spend on their handheld internet connected devices gives an opportunity to replace the lost conventional exposure to advertising with internet based advertising. But if the Congress passes all manner of legislation that restricts or outlaws such internet based advertising opportunity, then the total economy will suffer immensely. Taking away advertising opportunities from the internet will then diminish the total opportunity for people to be exposed to advertising.
For example the mis-typing of domain names would be from 10% to 20% of traffic to be distributed or purchased by small or also big companies, making for more business to be transacted. In this case Dell does not lose any customers, but if I were to redirect the customers to a totally different website, it would be immediately apparent to the customer that they did not land on the Dell website and they would try again (exactly as alleged in Dell's complaint). But if that customer were to land on a website that would pretend to sell Dell computers and those computers would not be Dell made, then a tortuous act would have been perpetrated. According to famous past Supreme Court Judge Oliver Wendell Holmes: A trademark does not confer a right to prohibit the use of the word or words . . . [by others] . . . . A trademark only gives the right to prohibit the use of it so far as to protect the owner’s goodwill against the sale of another’s product [or service] as his.” According to Oliver Wendell Holmes it means that mis-typed domains are OK to be used to sell a service or a product and the ownership of such mis-typed domains constitutes use of another's name or trademark to sell one's own product of a different name or Dell products period. The legal staff at Dell may not have any sympathy with philosophical matters of this nature, because that was then and this is now. And now means that we can grind any small business in the ground if we have the legal means to do so. I hope that Dell has a differen view on matters.
10. I hope that Dell would promote http://www.realtaxreform.com/ by not shaking me down by way of this lawsuit. I propose that if Dell feels that I must be punished and taught a lessen that Dell will take the 7 domain names that I have no longer posession of, but I did not release them in a way that now some guy in Korea or the Cayman Islands can grab them. I released them into a Disputed Domain folder at Moniker.com from which they can be transferred into Dell ownership immediately. In addition I released other mis-type domains of other companies that I received small revenue streams from, because I suspect that the Loeb&Loeb lawfirm speializes on trawling the web for mis-typed domains and then contacts the respective companies and offers their services on a contingency fee basis. And then they set about doing the extortion that they are doing in this case while having received the consent for their free services from Dell. Could this assumption be right? It certainly would exonerate Dell from having responcibility for the tactics perpetrated in the name of Dell. It is not a very good public relations move. The public's reaction to this lawsuit is mixed. About 45% pro-Dell and 55% pro-Temme.
11. What is wrong in principle with the mis-spelled domain legislation is the similar proposition as a person buying land right next to Disneyland and build a hotel on it and that people that drive past the hotel on their intended way to Disneyland might see the hotel and book a room there and in that way the owner of such hotel would profit from the famous trademark and traffic created by Disneyland. According to this warped ACPA (Anticybesquatting Consumer Protection Act) domain related legislation it should be outlawed to purchase property close to Disneyland because that would potentially take business away from Disneyland and take advantage of their famous trademark and cause potential confusion. Also the people that purchase such property close to Disneyland should be called property-squatters and be subject to a law that should be named Anti-propertysquatting Consumer Protection Act. Domain names are internet real estate on which the owner of any domain name can develop "buildings" with a greater value than any physical buildings that can be built on vacant land. It has not taken long for government to take control over private property on the internet by creating law that is in conflict with the principles expressed by the Constitution.
2 Loeb letters
Civil Cover Sheet
Rule 7.1 Statement
Application of Daniel. D. Frohling to appear PRO HAC VICE
Application of Nathan J. Hole to appear PRO HAC VICE
Application of Douglas M. Masters to appear PRO HAC VICE