Thursday, February 19, 2015

The REAL "Sweeble" & Bubblews Copyright Infringement?

The REAL "Sweeble" & Bubblews Copyright Infringement

"Will the real Slim Shady please stand up?" - Eminem

Well guess what folks, she has stood up! Her name is Sue Greenwood and she is the true owner of the name "Sweeble". I will start by referencing her own post regarding the way Arvind Dixit / Bubblews is handling things: What isn’t working – Sweeble and Bubblews

Let's back up a little, on January 29th, 2015 Arvind revealed to the members of Bubblews his "next big thing" Bubblews & Sweeble App 

Many of us vigilante former and current (Im a former) Bubblers started doing research on this name, reason? Well, for some it may have been out of curiosity, others simply know what a snake Arvind is and knew there was a story to be uncovered.

I actually found Sue Greenwood's website around Feb 1st I think it was and we started raising a lot of chatter on Facebook. I wrote an article about it myself but it was regarding slightly different aspects:
Bubblews: Arvind Dixit: Sweeble: Clarity You will find that I am not in any way nice about my perspectives on how he robbed everyone to create this app, there is proof of how much he paid programmers and developers when he failed to pay us. 

Doing some digging through the archives of Bubblews members posts using the search word "Sweeble" I came across this (btw... there are a hundred posts about this app)... but this one really caught my eye! 

So, in this it was indicated that Sue had no knowledge of Bubblews or any Sweeble app until Melanie informed her. There's that Arvind snake in the grass again! Now Arvind can say until his head falls off that they thought of the word themselves by imagining that it was Bubblews spelled backwards but come on... that would be Swelbbub which is not even close. You can be damn sure they researched this first as any wise business person would do to be sure it was not in use. 

My guess (keyword guess) is that they saw the original site "Sweeble" was no longer in operation as a business and decided that because Sue Greenwood is a hop across the puddle in the UK that there was nothing she could do against Arvind and his millionaire backers. 

Btw, let me give reference to "Millionaire backers" :  Jason Zuccari's Father Funds Bubblews 

Okay, where was I? Oh yes, can Sue Greenwood sue Bubblews for copyright infringement? I cannot say I know all about law in such cases, although I need to really study up on it as I am creating 2 sites of my own. In the meantime many of us have put on our study caps to see if there is a way for Sue to protect her long established business name.

Some references: 

Okay everyone, let's lawyer up a bit here from our comfy computer chairs. I wish I could do this as a narration with the "Columbo" detective voice!

From the first link - Jurisdiction "5. United Kingdom (presented by Bob Pimm)
a. All property is theft: squatter’s rights are still big news in the UK–where left is "left" and right is "right."
b. And now for something not completely different. It’s really trademark law–"passing-off."."

This made me ask something of myself about locale of establishment. Is location based on where you are or is it based on the url's details? Example "Sweeble.uk" versus "Sweeble.com". If it were .uk then it is a clear representation that this site is limited to the UK interest. However, .com is global. The answer... Sue Greenwood has her site registered as "Sweeble.com".

Now if she were to try to get a Panel Decision, these are what they will look for (quoting first link):
Sue could lose IF : 
"b. Registrant has no legitimate right or interest to domain name.
i. Legitimate rights could include:
A/ Prior use of domain with a bona fide business;
B/ Registration of domain that corresponds to a trade name or personal name.
C/ Legitimate non-commercial or fair use of domain.
"

Well, that clarifies a lot! "Sweeble.com" was an operating business for a number of years, it is still a name the owner uses to talk about business processes in online earning pros & cons. Her horse is even named Sweeble! This is this persons identity in MANY ways. 

Now citing the second link above:
"13. How is it decided who has the best right to a disputed domain name?

Domain name administrators and registrars operate on a first-come first-served basis.

Over time, using a domain name will in itself establish some rights to that domain name, particularly if you also publicize that domain name (for example, on your letterhead).

However, the fact that someone has registered a domain name does not automatically mean that they have the best right to it. If the domain name incorporates a registered trademark, the owner of that trademark may well have stronger rights to the name.

In many cases, several businesses could have rights to a domain name, particularly when a domain name describes a product rather than using a company name or trademark.

Two other important factors come into play in many domain name disputes.

You are more likely to win a dispute if you can show that the other party registered it (or is using it) in bad faith. Bad faith might include registering a domain name using your trademark in order to sell it to you (or a competitor), or to pass their website off as being related to your business.

(here is where it gets ugly for Sue) Large companies, with deep pockets, may be prepared to run up large legal bills pursuing a domain name. If faced with such an opponent, it may be in your interest to negotiate a settlement."

(And THIS PART is probably what Arvinds lawyers have advised him) ----
"18. Is it better to use a dispute resolution procedure or to go to court?
A dispute resolution procedure can only be used if you have rights to a domain name which someone else has r
egistered 'abusively' or in bad faith. 

By contrast, court action can be taken on other grounds: for example, if someone is breaching your intellectual property rights or libelling you.
 

In terms of outcomes, successful use of a dispute resolution procedure will result in the domain name being transferred to you. If you want to claim damages, you will need to take court action. Bear in mind that it can be impossible to enforce judgment, particularly against individuals or companies based overseas."

Do you recall I referenced millionaire backers for Bubblews? here is the long and short of it folks, as Sue Greenwood has also pointed out, it would take at least 300k pounds (roughly $440k US dollars) to even attempt to try and take legal action. Arvind knows this and is basically going to strong arm himself into legal ownership by acting illegally.

I dont know about you guys, but with this sites past years of unethical business behavior and now this added... I would be ashamed to even have my name anywhere near the "Bubblews Brand".