<nettime> Leonardo raid facts/remarks

From t byfield <tbyfield@panix.com>
Date Thu, 23 Dec 1999 00:54:01 -0500

[: hacktivism :]

...such as they are. since <snafu@kyuzz.org> complained that
nettime was light on facts, here's what i know; the main text
is <http://mitpress.mit.edu/e-journals/Leonardo/#raid>, with 
annotations based on what roger malina from Leonardo told me 
over the last weeks and whatever else i could find out.

this isn't a suit over a domain; rather, it's over results in
search engines. of course, leonardo.* will come up quite high
in some engines, depending on the engine's design. note that
leonardo.com, leonardo.org, and leonardo.net are all registered 
(by entities, respectively, in the UK, canada, and the US [.net 
= Verio!]). 

it isn't clear why Leonardo Finance et al. think that a french
court order can prevent a san francisco-based non-profit from
using the name 'leonardo'--which of course presents a notable
asymmetry compared to borderline-psychotic US courts. however,
though ICANN's 'uniform dispute resolution policy' ostensibly
applies to domain disputes, it *can* be invoked on other grounds
--anything alleged to violate the terms a registrant must agree 
to when registering/renewing a domain with an ICANN-accredited
registrar. those terms include *incredibly* vague language which
could be construed as using a domain to do just about anything
someone somewhere doesn't like--which is why the UDRP is so
bloody dangerous. (and wait till ICANN starts involving itself
in IP number allocation--and, by implication, IP# blocking.)

someone commented in the slashdot thread that an effective way
to foil Leonardo Finance (successful ruling or not) would be for
masses of people to insert 'Leonardo Finance' etc. in their web
pages (cross-linking these pages would work on google). clever
but, like 'virtual sit-ins,' not a long-term solution, because 
this kind of thing can backfire: for example, altavista ignores 
sites on a seemingly ad hoc basis. more generally, corrupting 
search engines is a Very Bad Idea.

a word to all you fun rtmark and sit-in kids: before you gentle-
men start your engines, please check with roger malina to see if 
he even *wants* your help. the etoys attacks may have 'raised 
consciousness,' but a hell of a lot of it is intensely negative--
and *not* just from conservative media. as time goes by, your
targets will quickly become much more savvy about spinning their
nasty actions into stories about the 'evil hacker d00dz' who are
attacking poor little e-commerce sites. and the press will be a
lot more open to that spiel than to yours.


     For further information contact: 
     Roger Malina: leo@mitpress.mit.edu

     Roger Malina, Chairman of Leonardo/ISAST, San Francisco,
     announced Monday that the Association Leonardo in France was
     being sued for trademark infringement on use of the word

[1] the Leonardo journal has an ISSN and copyright, both renewed
    anually. 'I' = 'international,' btw.

     Leonardo/ISAST and Association Leonardo[2] are non-profit[3]
     scholarly arts organizations working on behalf of a
     world-wide community of artists, scientists and scholars.
     Since 1968[4] this network has produced the scholarly journal
     Leonardo, now published by the MIT Press of Cambridge,

[2] <http://www.olats.org/> ( = Observatoire Leonardo des Arts et 
[3] L/ISAST = san francisco-based 501(c)(3); AL = paris-based A 1901
[4] founded paris, 1967.
[5] originally published by Pergamon Press, later by MIT Press.

     Leonardo/ISAST and Association Leonardo also award prizes
     and awards, co-organize conferences and events, and publish
     Leonardo Music Journal, numerous Leonardo web sites and the
     Leonardo Book Series through MIT Press.[6]

[6] <http://mitpress.mit.edu/Leonardo> ( = Leonardo On Line),
    <http://mitpress.mit.edu/Leonardo/ldr.html ( = L Digital Reviews),
    <http://mitpress.mit.edu/LEA/> ( = L Electronic Almanac, paid
    subscription required).
     The legal suit against Association Leonardo has been filed
     in Nanterre, France, by Transasia Corporation and
     co-complainants. Transasia claims to have recently
     trademarked in France the names Leonardo, Leonardo Finance,[7]
     Leonardo Partners, Leonardo Invest and Leonardo Experts.[8]

[7] trademarked 1985-88. site: <http://www.leonardofinance.fr/>.
    58 avenue d'Iéna 75116 Paris; tel +33 (1) 47 20 24 88, fax 
    +33 (1) 49 52 01 01. listed contacts:
          directors: Didier Benchimol, Antoine Dupont-Fauville,
            Jean-Pierre Gallocher, Michel Saillard 
          Yves Delacour <yves.delacour@leonardofinance.fr> (also 
            pres of 'Association Leonardo')
          Valérie Virlouvet <valerie.virlouvet@leonardofinance.fr> 
            (also sec'y gen and main listed contact for of 'LA')
          Franck Monnot <fmonnot@leonardofinance.fr>
     Association Leonardo, 12 Ave George V 75008 Paris (same tel/fax)
[8] and Association Leonardo, ~6 months after the nonprofit AL in 1989
     Transasia is claiming over a million dollars[9] in damages
     based on their claim that a search engine request using the
     word "Leonardo" brings up not only their web sites but also
     those of the Leonardo arts organization.[10]

[9] FF5M (i didn't do this calculation, don't quibble).
[10] they claim that ~50% of their business comes from internet
     marketing, and that they're losing ~20% of their business as
     a result.
     The suit asks that the Association Leonardo be forbidden
     from using the word "Leonardo" in its web site projects or
     any other products or services.  Following issuance of the
     suit, Transasia asked that a search warrant be served on the
     legal address of the Association Leonardo, now the home of
     the widow of Frank Malina - the founder in the 1960s of the
     Leonardo Journal. The search warrant was served with no
     prior warning by a squad of eight policemen.
     Leonardo/ISAST and the Association deplore this attempt to
     destroy the activities of a 30-year-old network of artists
     and scientists that has championed the work of artists using
     new media and the sciences. 

     A Leonardo Legal Defense Fund has been established: donations 
     may be sent to Leonardo, c/o ISAST, 425 Market St., 2nd Floor, 
     San Francisco, CA 94105, USA.

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