Friday, September 15, 2006

 

Doppleganger?

If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, this little blog has been very flattered in its year of existence. First came the Battle of Ontario:
A friendly face-wash to our inspiration, Battle of Alberta, where sacamano and Matt are representin' North and South, respectively.

Then the Battle of California:
Now taking applications for the BoC editions of Matt (South: Anaheim) and Sacamano (North: San Jose).

That's right boys, you're being (potentially) replaced.

And now, we have: the Battle of Alberta?

Apparently someone noticed that we are exploiting the commercial potential of our little niche here approximately 0% effectively, and has decided to see if they can do better. (I first noticed the site go live the day after both Calgary and Edmonton won G5 in the 1st round to take 3-2 leads). What do I think of this, you ask?

Well, I do find it kind of weird that someone would want to start a blog with the exact same name as an existing one with a decent number of readers. But past that, I offer the same prediction as I do with every new blog: it will either (A) be interesting to read and be successful, or (B) be boring to read and be unsuccessful. There are really no other relevant factors. Time, and nothing else, will tell.

And speaking of branding confusion, I would like to recommend to all of you the book at the right: The Battle of Alberta, by Steven Sandor (Amazon.ca). I got it for Christmas last year, and enjoyed it tremendously. The second half is Oilers/Flames and is terrific, as you would expect. The first half chronicles pro and semi-pro hockey in Alberta up until that point, beginning in 1895 on the North Saskatchewan River (apparently ice conditions were nearly as bad as your average Florida Panthers home game).

It's a nice, brisk lesson for hockey fans -- especially those of us in these parts, where treatments of pro hockey history generally stretch back as far as 1972, if that. Enjoy.

Comments:

They appear to have a moderation queue. So much for accountability.
 


Hi Andy,

Thanks for the link. You have lots of faithful readers who are ready to "drop the gloves" for you in my comments [lucky for the queue].

Not that it matters but since you can easily go, as one of your readers did, and find out my name, address and telephone number, from my domain name registration, I think that thedrizzler's comment is completely unfounded.

I registered the name as whim in the spring and was not aware of your excellent blog at the time. Even though I live in Edmonton, I am not a native Albertan, so have little interest in the Oilers or Flames...I'm simply an Internet guy that saw what I thought was a cool domain and bought it [I own a bunch of them].

And yes...btw...you are leaving a lot of money on the table with your site...you should at least contact the Oilers and Flames to see if they'll give you some perks.

When a friend of mine wanted to start a hockey blog, I offered to let him use my site, since I wasn't doing anything with it...really there was no intent to crowd your turf.

However, since the legal question was raised in your comments a couple days ago I have done some research. Questions of copyright and plagerism are silly, they protect against content theft only and our site has not stolen any content, but I did find that the term "Battle of Alberta" is a registered trademark owned by an Edmonton investment company. It has been registered since the year 2000.

I'm not a lawyer, so I don't know what this really means, but you and your readers will be happy to hear that I'll likely be picking a new name for the site, or tossing it completely...not sure what your risk is but just wanted to introduce myself and let you know what I found out.

Good luck, now I know how it feels to be the rookie in camp...

Jon Symons
 


http://oilfans.com/forum/index.php?t=showposts&id=3015&rid=0

One of the guys has started posting on Oilfans.
 


Hi John,

Thanks for contacting us, and letting us know your deal. Can you email me at andygrabia@gmail.com. Let's take this conversation offline.
 


On the legal topic, I'd be interested to see if anyone's ever taken a run at someone doing something like this with the tort of passing off.

I don't have a good torts textbook handy, so I'm relying on wikipedia but it seems to me that in creating a blog that has the same name as a very well known blog that's been favourably referenced in the national media, there's at least an argument there. I write this without having looked at any case law though.

According to wikipedia, there are three elements to the tort that must be shown by the plaintiff:

1. Goodwill or reputation attached to the good or services.
2. "...a misrepresentation by the defendant to the public (whether intentional) leading or likely to lead the public to believe that the goods or services offered by him are goods or services of the plaintiff."
3. Loss or damage as a result of the erroneous belief that the defendant's goods or services are those fo the plaintiff.

Interesting stuff.
 


I think Jon deserves credit for showing up and admitting what an adventuresome Googler could find out (as I spent about 15 minutes doing)--namely that he's mostly interested in domains as a commodity and doesn't really care about the Battle of Alberta itself (a brave admission up front if he hopes to have a commercial future with his site). There are other good niches open in sportsblogging and forum moderation, but I'd suggest that this one is unusually well filled for the foreseeable future.
 


mr. pheer?
 


I think Jon deserves credit for showing up and admitting what an adventuresome Googler could find out (as I spent about 15 minutes doing)--namely that he's mostly interested in domains as a commodity and doesn't really care about the Battle of Alberta itself (a brave admission up front if he hopes to have a commercial future with his site).

Agreed. Wholeheartedly agree.
 


Oh for crying out loud. You guys are way too nice. The internet is full of boring, derivative blogs. Sites like this and guys who think that they can generate some cash with a catchy name and a bunch of links to people who actually generate interesting content are not a good development.
 


I agree. But I am also DRUNK.

OIlerzzzzz
 


Tyler, you're such a hardass. Course, I'm also drunk. OILERRZZZZZ!
 


I'm not drunk. BECAUSE DRINKING MESSES WITH MY CRACK BUZZ.
 

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