[ Home Page | Condensed Version | The Movie | The Book | News | Blogs | Feedback / Mail List ]

Act 48: A Curious Exchange

On December 20, 2001, I received this curious fax from Ms. Greenberg.

Dear Mr. Mishkoff:

Yesterday I was informed that your website, www.webfeats.com, featured the mark "The Shops at Willow Bend." When I visited the site in order to determine the nature of the use, I was surprised to learn that the mark had actually been incorporated onto the site as a hyperlink to the now-enjoined website, www.shopsatwillowbend.com.

On clicking the link, I was taken to the offending website, which was clearly operational, yet password protected.

Please take notice that we consider any operation of the website, whether or not password protected, to constitute a violation of the Court's injunction dated October 11, 2001, which reads, in pertinent part:

  1. Defendants are hereby RESTRAINED and ENJOINED from using the Internet domain name www.shopsatwillowbend.com. FURTHER Defendants are ORDERED to remove the domain name www.shopsatwillowbend.com from the Internet.

To assure compliance with the Court's order, we are taking steps to inform the service provider of the injunction.

I trust you will take prompt steps to comply with the order, to avoid involving the Court in this matter.

Very truly yours,
Julie A. Greenberg

View the Original Letter (in a separate window)

I can understand why the situation might have been confusing to Ms. Greenberg (as explained in my response, below). What I can't understand is why she would make the statement that the site "was clearly operational" (emphasis mine). If she was unable to view the site because of the password protection, how could she possibly have come to the conclusion that it was operational, much less claim that it was "clearly" operational? Things that she can't even see are nonetheless "clear" to her? Some kind of divination process, perhaps?

Anyway, it wasn't a big deal – so when I returned her fax later that day, I managed to refrain from making snide comments in my response. (As I have "clearly" been unable to do here!)

Dear Julie:

I am in receipt of your fax of earlier today.

The www.ShopsAtWillowBend.com website is not operational. I removed the site from the Internet immediately upon receipt of the judge's order.

The "authorization" (password protection) dialogue that you encountered actually "protects" nothing at all. In fact, if you were authorized to enter my system and were to enter your username and password into the authorization dialogue at that site, you would receive an error saying, "Not Found: The file you requested was not found on this webserver." (This is my customized substitution for what is technically known as a "404" error.)

I understand your confusion upon discovering the inactive link to my "mall" website on the WebFeats home page. I had removed that link when I removed the website, as I don't like to have "dead" links on any of my web pages. I noticed that the link had "reappeared" yesterday, and I removed it again at that time (so the link was actually gone well before I received your fax). I'm not sure how that happened; my guess is that I accidentally used an outdated copy of my home page from which to make some revisions.

The link in question was probably online for no more than a day or two, and at no time was it possible for anyone to use that link to access my "mall" site - which, as I said, is not, and has not been, online.

Hank Mishkoff

Next: A Note about Web Archives

[ Home Page | Condensed Version | The Movie | The Book | News | Blogs | Feedback / Mail List ]

©2001 Hank Mishkoff
All rights reserved.