[Below this line, AOL Watch reproduces the African-American Online Search page which linked to documents about their dispute with AOL.]

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From Slashdot.org:
AOL accused of domain name hijacking
Posted by Hemos on Thursday June 24, @11:05AM EDT
from the no-now-its'-ours dept. Michael Fischer sent us an interesting story about AOL using trademark leverage on African-America OnLine Search, which had been registered in Sept of 1998 as aolsearch. AOL wanted to use it as the search location for their web site, although it does not seem to be currently in use. The {former} owner of the domain is accusing of Network Solutions of "an arrogant, indifferent attitude" to the problems surrounding the dispute.

More on Slashdot.org News........
From Internet.com June 23rd, 1999


A Web developer in New York claims she's the victim of reverse domain-name hijacking by America Online Inc.

Cybele Emanuelle, owner of
WebmasterFX Digital Systems said she registered the domain aolsearch.com back
in September of 1998 and subsequently built a site at that address called
African-American OnLine Search. According to
Emanuelle, aolsearch.com was a guide to "the best of black pride & empowerment on the net" and got positive reviews from many visitors.

Unfortunately for Emanuelle, her site stood in the way of plans by AOL to
launch a new search engine covering both the Web and its proprietary
content. The big online service is currently previewing AOL Search to its
subscribers, and recently announced plans to launch it officially later this fall, using technology from
Inktomi Corp.

Last April, Emanuelle received a
notice by e-mail from an attorney
representing America Online, accusing her of violating AOL's trademark
rights and demanding that she transfer the aolsearch.com domain to AOL.

After she refused, Emanuelle heard little else on the matter, until
receiving an automatically generated e-mail template from Network Solutions
last May 13th asking her approval for a request to transfer her domain to
America Online. Emanuelle immediately contacted NSI to stop the
transfer and to ask for an explanation.

"I talked with people there, including the legal department, who pulled up
my account and assured me I had nothing to worry about. (They said) 'You
didn't give your approval, so everything's fine.'"

One week later, however, the URL aolsearch.com stopped working, and
Emanuelle's site went dark. According to internic records, the domain had
become the property of America Online Inc.

Emanuelle has since gone looking for answers from Network Solutions and the
Department of Commerce, which oversees NSI's contract with the government.
NSI has said that it properly followed its domain dispute policy but was
unable to notify Emanuelle of the transfer because hard copy documents sent
to the mailing address in her registration record were returned as
undeliverable . Emanuelle disputes that explanation, saying she has
successfully received other NSI correspondence, including invoices, at that
address, and is considering a legal challenge.

" I invested a lot of time and energy into this. I wasn't
cybersquatting. And to have this done and have an arrogant, indifferent
attitude from Network Solutions makes my blood boil."




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