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Old October 24th 2004, 07:02
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VWoA email

Hi

I received this email from VWoA, I look after a website in Australia for my car club. Is this a hoax, did anyone else get it?

Steve


Sent: Thursday, October 21, 2004 1:25 AM
Subject: Volkswagen of America, Inc. Internet Licensing Program.

Hi:

During an Internet prospect review, you were identified as a candidate for the Volkswagen of America Club and Enthusiast Internet Licensing Program. This is a free, electronic licensing program for Clubs and Enthusiasts that allows the use of Volkswagen trademarks on Internet websites, if certain conditions are met. The Program can be easily accessed from Volkswagen of America's web site http://www.vw.com, under the main menu option "VW the company" then "Trademark Program". You can also access the program directly at http://vwtrademarks.com

If you are a Club or Enthusiast and have any interest in using Volkswagen’s trademarks in your domain name or on your website, you must apply for a trademark license. The Licensing Application Process describes the program in full detail.

Also, you need to know that if you are already currently using Volkswagen trademarks on the Internet or in a domain name, this email does not constitute any agreement or acknowledgment that your uses adhere or conform to the Licensing Agreement. You need to apply and receive a license to avoid the wrath of our legal guru's.

We truly look forward to hearing from you and to your participation in this program. Once you are licensed, you will be able to obtain benefits only available to licensees, such as listing your Club Events on Volkswagen of America's Club Event Calendar.

Please do not hesitate to send this email to anyone you may know who would be interested in participating in this program.

Sincerely,

Volkswagen of America, Inc. Marketing


====================================
THIS IS A SYSTEM GENERATED MESSAGE
PLEASE DO NOT REPLY TO THIS NOTE
====================================
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  #2  
Old October 24th 2004, 10:18
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i just read over their entire licensing program. their email seems to be consistent. i was questioning how professional the statement "You need to apply and receive a license to avoid the wrath of our legal guru's" was and figured that as a giveaway of a hoax, but they actually have similar casual statements laced in their licensing program.

one key statement to point out in their General Terms and Conditions..."If you currently own a domain name that is acceptable to the program, you hereby agree to transfer the name to VWoAs domain name registry. If a new domain name is required, you agree to register the name through VWoAs registry." not sure if legally that translates to what i think it does, but i don't like it if it does.

also, in their list of restrictions they note "slanderous statements", not sure what defines that (is someone saying they suck slanderous?) and how liable the site is when it is contained in a forum that is open.

i am not aware of GL.com ever getting such a notice and the logo containing a graphical image of a car that looks like a bug is the only thing i see in potential violation at this point. not sure how the use of their trademarked terms applies in a forum setting. if that use falls under their protection you could extend the argument to ask if you are even allowed to speak the words. i am equally unclear if a picture of a car/bus is a violation as compared to the use of a graphic or picture as it relates to a commercial enterprises logo or statement of work.

all that said, it just dawned on me that they noted laws in other countries could vary. so not even sure if/how they could come after you. maybe they narc on you to VW of Australia and they come after you for being such a bad boy. dunno.
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Old October 24th 2004, 10:46
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WOW! I have never seen a more sadisticly proprietary corperation.

Makes me want to look over my shoulder whenever I say Volk... uh... you know, that "V" word I need permission to say here.

In "General Terms And Conditions" it reads to me that what you submit to VWoA for licensing becomes their property if accepted.

What a friendly f&(#!*@ car company!
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Old October 24th 2004, 11:27
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biggest catch i see is that this is all centered around if you are a "non-commercial" site. by their definition you can not have any advertising etc. not sure how many people want to put large forums up like this and not recoup costs. i can see that for small personal sites, but even with as much as i like having this up here, not being able to recoup costs (which is all i really shoot for and am not even remotely close to) would be a show stopper. only thing i could think to do is switch to donation based. not sure how well that would work (pobably not at all is my guess) and if they would still consider that advertising or commercial since money is involved.
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  #5  
Old October 24th 2004, 14:26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yetibone
In "General Terms And Conditions" it reads to me that what you submit to VWoA for licensing becomes their property if accepted.
I got the email too. Haven't read over everything yet but can you post the terms in the quote.
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Old October 24th 2004, 20:08
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GL.com and VKG haven't received anything....yet. i don't mind enforcement of copyright and trademarks and fully understand the view of the courts regarding consistent enforcement by a company (lack of consistent enforcement by a company greatly hurts their stance on all cases current and future), but it leaves me wondering if all of the other marques (domestic and foreign) actually spend the capital for a staff to go out hunting for potential violations or if they just enforce when it is recognized. i can even extend my understanding to where it impacts a manufacturer's potential revenues by parts retailers or wholesalers cutting against the manufacturer's/dealer's parts business and such, but VWoA has no more stake in the aircooled world within clubs and the likes. non-reputable aircooled repair shops and retailers/wholesalers are the only areas that could potential hurt their image. leave the damn hobbiests alone.

super, here is the verbage...

General Terms and Conditions
Domain Name:

As a general rule, an Enthusiast or Club will be granted limited permission to use no more than two Volkswagen trademarks in a domain name and on a single website. By way of example only, an acceptable enthusiast domain name would be WWW.JOESVWBEETLE.COM, or an acceptable club name would be WWW.AUBURNHILLSVWCLUB.COM. Impermissible names would be WWW.VWBEETLE.COM OR WWW.VWCLUB.COM. (Check out the distinction here: the permitted examples connect the trademark with the enthusiast or club. The impermissible examples look confusingly like US!) If you currently own a domain name that is acceptable to the program, you hereby agree to transfer the name to VWoAs domain name registry. If a new domain name is required, you agree to register the name through VWoAs registry.

Website:

A single* proper use of the encircled VW Logo on the homepage of each Website will be permitted following a statement reading:

Officially Licensed Volkswagen Enthusiast Website or,

Officially Licensed Volkswagen Club Website as appropriate.

In addition, you agree to use a legend in the following form at the bottom of the home page of the website and in the legal notice/copyright page of the website:

"This website (or club) is not affiliated with or endorsed by Volkswagen AG or Volkswagen of America, Inc. All Volkswagen trademarks herein are used under license from VWoA.

*By single use we mean that our logo should appear only once on a licensed sites homepage, and not, for example, as dozens of tiny logos in a background tile.

Quality Standards and Monitoring.

Because you will be using Volkswagen trademarks, everything you do will be a reflection on Volkswagen. We must insist, therefore, that you maintain the same high trademark quality standards that we maintain. VWoA and VWAG shall have the right to inspect your website at any time in order to insure that you are abiding by the provisions of the License. We reserve the right to revoke our permission at any time if in our view the quality of the website is insufficient or if the site contains pornographic or obscene materials; slanderous statements; material not associated with automobiles, automobile clubs, or automobile enthusiasts; advertising which is inconsistent with the Volkswagen brand; unlawful material, including but not limited to material that infringes any partys trademark or copyright rights, or any other type of material objectionable to VWoA or VWAG. (Were not trying to slam the door on your creative handiwork. However, if were going to grant someone a license to use our trademarks, we need to know that were giving it to a site that supports our brand values: friendly, different, original, honest, and approachable.)

Title.

You acknowledge that VWAG and VWoA are the owners of all of the Volkswagen word marks, as well as all Volkswagen logos and design trademarks used by or registered to them respectively. All rights to all Volkswagen trademarks and service marks including those specifically mentioned herein are reserved by VWAG and VWoA for the respective trademark owners use and benefit.

Liability and Indemnity.

Your license shall create no agency, joint venture relationship, or mutual responsibility on behalf of one party for the debts or liabilities of the other. You agree to indemnify, defend and hold VWAG and VWoA harmless from and against any third party loss, claim, damage or liability arising in any way from any content, conduct, or representations made on your website.

Term and Termination.

If your application is approved, VWoA will grant you permission to use specific trademarks for one year. This permission may be renewed on a yearly basis, in VWoA's sole discretion, assuming that your website has maintained the quality standards referenced above and abided by all use restrictions, and you pay the renewal fee for the domain name. VWoA may terminate this Agreement at any time without notice, and without liability, upon 24 hours prior written notice to you. You may terminate this Agreement upon ten days written notice to VWoA. Upon termination, you must immediately cease all use of the Volkswagen trademarks and service marks.

Nonassignability.

The permission granted shall not be assignable or transferable to any other party or entity without the prior express written permission of VWoA.

Nonexclusivity.

The permission is non-exclusive, and in granting it, VWoA neither confers on nor infers any rights in the trademarks to you.

Miscellaneous Provisions.

1. No alteration, modification, amendment, or other change of the License shall be binding on the parties unless it is in writing, approved and executed by VWoA.

2. Any notice or other communication pursuant to this License shall be in writing and shall be deemed to have been fully given or made when e-mailed with time/date stamp or mailed by certified mail, return receipt requested, whichever occurs earlier.

3. The License will be construed according to the laws of the State of Michigan, excluding the choice of law provisions. You consent to the exclusive jurisdiction of the state and federal courts for the County of Oakland, State of Michigan, U.S.A. for the determination of any claim or controversy between the parties and arising out of or relating to this Agreement. You hereby consent to the jurisdiction of the Michigan courts and waive any objections as to personal jurisdiction or as to the laying of venue in such courts due to inconvenient forum or any other basis.

4. The License constitutes the entire agreement between you as the Licensee and VWoA as the Licensor, and it supersedes all prior or contemporaneous communications and proposals, whether electronic, oral, or written, between you and VWoA with respect to the subject matter of the License.

5. A printed version of these Terms and Conditions, the License, and of any notice given in electronic form will be admissible in judicial or administrative proceedings based upon or relating to the License to the same extent and subject to the same conditions as other business documents and records originally generated and maintained in printed form.
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Old October 24th 2004, 20:41
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I don't think that GL or VKG will be bothered because neither has "beetle" or vw" in their domain. Unless they copyright "kafer" soon. I have read the above but exactly what sentence has the part about it "becomes their property if accepted".
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Old October 24th 2004, 20:53
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soon the statement " i own a 73 volkswagen super beetle "

will be "i own a 73 v-car great insect"

i'm sorry but i find it hard to stomach the restriction of using the name of a product i own which the manufacturer has discontinued production of.

imagine if Ford went to every enthusiest site and demanded they register there domain with ford or be sued. i can imagine that you would be able to here the laughter all the way to Alaska.

what's next? they tell you you can't customize your "insect" because it infringes upon "V-car's" intended use of they're intelectual property. only full restorations of the "insect" will be allowed and only after inspection and approval from "V-car"

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Old October 25th 2004, 00:45
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I think I should get a lawyer just to read the last few posts just to make sure I didn't break any copyright laws with my thoughts.
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  #10  
Old October 25th 2004, 07:43
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Hi

Thanks for everyones input, I guess that I should put with all the other junk email.

Steve
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Old October 25th 2004, 08:33
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Well Steve since you're "down under", the first thing the application asks is if you are in USA or Canada.
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  #12  
Old October 25th 2004, 15:04
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This kind of crap from VW against the people that keep the Beetle fire burning caused me to purchase a new GMC Denali instead of the Toureg. Wanted the Toureg but could not support VWOA. I have been building VW race/street cars for over 25 years. That's really too bad that they have turned their most loyal supporters over the years into people that buy anything BUT their new products. Maybe attempted world domination of car makes by VW makes them think they have us all covered. But frankly I would rather put $40K+ into my Super Convert than pay them for an Audi TT. I am just tired of the predatory behaviour against people in and supporting our hobby, one that promotes the brand whether they like to admit it or not! Next they will ask us all to remove the VW logos from non-stock Beetles so they are not confused with factory stock vehicles (for liabilty reasons right?).

Just my opinion,

Thanks

Randy
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  #13  
Old October 25th 2004, 18:32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Superman
I don't think that GL or VKG will be bothered because neither has "beetle" or vw" in their domain. Unless they copyright "kafer" soon. I have read the above but exactly what sentence has the part about it "becomes their property if accepted".
Superman, that wasn't written on their terms and conditions page. Thats how I interpreted it.

Read the section regarding "Standards and Monitoring"

The letter "V" and the letter "W" arranged together side by side, or over-under inside a circle, the word "Volkswagen", and their various slogans belong to VWAG, and VWOA. If permission were granted to use those symbols on a non-commercial basis, then you are using their property (so they say) and are subject to rules and regs drawn up by VWAG and VWOA regarding where you put the "V" and the "W", how you arrange them together, how big they are, what color they are, how many times you use the "V" and the "W" together, which emblem design you use, etc...

No, by signing a licensing agreement you do not make VWAG and VWOA owners or YOUR material, BUT you give them control of your material and it's presentation.

In my mind thats 9/10ths of ownership.
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Last edited by yetibone; October 25th 2004 at 18:39.
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  #14  
Old October 25th 2004, 22:02
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yetibone
Superman, by signing a licensing agreement you do not make VWAG and VWOA owners or YOUR material, BUT you give them control of your material and it's presentation.
I understand it better when you word it like this and that's probably the correct meaning; but, like all laws we all have our own interpretation.
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Old October 25th 2004, 23:14
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I wonder if Volkswagen Corporate speaks Russian?

http://beetle.org.by
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