), those domain names being , a prominent California attorney; and , a Denver attorney.
," for example, are websites created to criticize a product, service, company or organization.
For some people, blogs have become 'gripe sites
', used to vent their frustrations about co-workers, bosses and even company policies, which is where the problem arises," he said.
On the other end of the spectrum are gripe sites, where disgruntled consumers air complaints about major corporations like Chase Bank, Starbucks, or Dell, or about local doctors, home builders, or car dealers.
Levy noted that most businesses invoke trademark law, rather than libel law, against gripe sites. The most common argument claims trademark infringement--that using the company's name will create confusion among consumers, especially since many gripe sites' titles include the company's name, as in PayPalSucks.com or AOLSucks.com.
For instance, Levy represented Michael Kremer, the operator of two gripe sites critical of the Bosley Medical Institute, a hair-replacement clinic headquartered in Beverly Hills, California.
But companies have been less successful in using ACPA to stop gripe sites.
are the result of the building industry's failure to regulate itself and a failure of regulatory agencies (when and if they exist in a state) to do their job.
BuzzMetrics, a company that pharmaceutical and automotive marketers turn to, tracks the "naturally occurring conversations," aka buzz, on message boards, blogs, review sites and gripe sites
. It has tracked "passion" and "advocacy," for instance, to see what brand attributes might breed evangelists.
Online gripe sites
such as www.baddealings.com and www.complaintbook.com allow consumers to share bad experiences with companies so other consumers will know to avoid them.
One important area where special care and attention is necessary in order to address a cybersquatter is the ever-growing number of gripe sites
. While there are cases suggesting that these sites have some measure of protection as commercial free speech under the First Amendment to the U.S.
- Concurrent Rights, Cyber Squatting and Gripe Sites