What is THEBARBIES.COM?

**Note: We have decided to not place this document on our
"thebarbies.com" domain to avoid any additional legal trouble that may cause

Much to my chagrin it has become Yet Another Tribute To Corporate Strongarm Tactics. That certainly wasn't the original idea, but I suppose that's as good a use as any at this point, being that my wife and I may have the domain forcibly taken from us by Mattel Inc., the creators of the Barbie(R) Doll.

Please Note: our site is non-commercial, and non-commercial use is specifically exempt from trademark dilution laws

To give fair representation to both parties, we have included, and will continue to update our ongoing correspondence with Mattel's attorneys.

To give you an idea of how ridiculous their claim of "trademark dilusion" is, I have included our entire access log from April 16 2000 to May 31 2000. That's right, 4 unique visitors in 46 days, and that includes friends, family, and lawyers. Even if Mattel "wins", they will be getting a truly useless domain for which I can only imagine they are paying thousands of dollars in lawyer fees.

In case anyone is interested, here is the backstory:

When we purchased the domain "thebarbies.com" sometime in late 99, it was intended to be an all-girl "clan" site for my Tribes playing wife, who often played under the name "Mundane Barbie". We also purchased "tribesarena.com" at the same time, which was intended to serve as an informational site for players of the Tribes "Arena" mod. To be perfectly clear, this is simply a hobby and strictly non-commercial.

After placing the obligatory "under construction" pages on the two domains, other responsibilities intervened for a few months.

Early this year, I moved those two domains to a new machine for testing purposes. To that end I typed up a quick HTML document: a simple satirical page asking $350,000 for each "incredible" domain name. It was a joke. I didn't think anyone saw this except my wife and I. About two weeks later I moved all our content to the new server and the joke pages were gone. This all happened about three months ago.

Since then thebarbies.com has remained in it's under construction stage, while my wife has worked on another clan site at tribesarena.com: The Wears.

On Wednesday May 31st, we received our first legal threat.

Apparently this is an ongoing problem - Mattel seems to think that they own the women's name "Barbie", as well as the colloquial Australian word for "barbeque", and any image of a rubber doll. Here are some external links:

  • Aqua Triumphant in "Barbie Girl" Lawsuit
    Here's the evidence that the American legal system can still work. Congratulations to Aqua and MCA for following through, and to the wise federal judge who dismissed Mattel's suit.
  • Playing Around with Barbie(R)
    An excellent paper by law student Alyson Lewis, first on the issues of of fair use in general, and then on specific issues and cases surrounding Mattel's Barbie(R) Doll.
  • Barbie(R), Mattel and Censorship
    Here's another individual being harassed by Mattel for a benign and lawful use of the internet - includes links to other censored sites and information.
  • Stripper: Barbie Lawsuit a Bust
    Wired news article about what appears to be another fizzling lawsuit by Mattel against a Canadian stripper named "Barbie"
Where denoted with a (R), "Barbie" is a registered trademark of Mattel, Inc.