Tuesday, April 08, 2008

digg punked me for trademark infringement

Back when that whole "Twitter" thing started taking off, I promptly registered the usernames "reddit" and "digg." Both accounts were idle for quite some time because I frankly didn't think Twitter was worth using (I still don't quite get it, despite all of Scoble's declarations to the contrary).

A couple weeks ago, I was directed to twitterfeed, a nifty site that seamlessly plugs an RSS feed into Twitter. So I did what any reasonable person who owned those 2 twitter accounts would do, I plugged the reddit rss feed into "reddit" and the digg rss feed into "digg."

Quite a few friends emailed me about why I, a co-founder of reddit, would do a such a thing. I didn't see the problem. If people want to use reddit, they will. If they want to use digg, they will. Google and Yahoo still co-exist.

So my digg Twitter account was happily twittering along until this morning. Here's the email I received:

Hi There,

We've received a note from Digg regarding your Twitter account. It has come to our attention that your Twitter account:


is in violation of our Terms of Service, specifically article 6 of the General Conditions, which mentions trademark infringement:

6. We reserve the right to reclaim usernames on behalf of businesses or individuals that hold legal claim or trademark on those usernames.

To settle this issue we've changed the user name to "Digg_News" in the full name and user name fields in order to eliminate confusion. You can change your user name to something else if you'd like, but please honor the Terms of Service accordingly:

1. Visit Twitter.com/settings

2. Edit the Full Name and Username fields

3. Click "Save"

We appreciate your cooperation in this matter.

I guess this is the part of the blog where I'm supposed to rail against "the man," but I just don't care enough.

I'll just keep my decidedly-not-nefarious digg feed running on this new "digg_news" account and hope no one has a problem with me still using the digg logo.