Possible Reasons for Viacom's Action

Their may be many reasons while Viacom is attempting to shut down Star Trek Web Sites. They claim it is to protect their trademark however some think otherwise...

If you know of any to add please let me know at kevinatk@home.com

Trying to Protect Their Trademark

According to a an article in the The Financial Post this is Viacom's official reason. According to them, "Current U.S. trademark law requires the holder to make every effort to protect a mark or risk losing some claim to it."

An example of this is what almost happened to Kleenex.

For example, I think a trade name can fall into the public domain if it becomes the descriptive name for an item. In other words, it can be *too* successful. This almost happened to "Kleenex." Velcro didn't fall into the public domain because its owners were careful to keep "hook-and-loop" around. I can't think of a case (with case law) where it did happen, but it is certainly a real possibility. Perhaps there is an intellectual-property analogue, or perhaps there could be an implication that a copyright infringement was permitted if not objected to under certain circumstances. As we all know, the Internet does pose some new legal issues. (From a Usenet Article by Amarna, amarna@pipeline.com)

Trying to get Every Little Bit Of Money before Killing Trek Altogether

With out any other web sites around. Fans were have no choice but to go to their own official site on The Microsoft Network. The Microsoft Network is a private network in which you have to pay a monthly fee to use.

However, Viacom denies this in a recent news article,but others think otherwise:

Glouberman [a Toronto-based Web publisher who runs a page devoted to trademark wars on the Internet] suggested that part of the impetus behind Viacom's letter was simply that it was posting its own official Star Trek site, Continuum, as part of Microsoft's network. Viacom executives deny this.

But Mike Brown, who runs an official Star Trek homepage (www.cdsnet.net/vidiot) and has communicated with other Trek fans, site-operators and Viacom executives, said "the timing is a little coincidental."

Microsoft is Making Them

Trying to Protect Their Copyright

Most folks don't know that you can lose your copyright if you do not make best, concerted efforts to defend it. (from a post on the Babylon 5 mailing list by Jms at B5, jmsatb5@aol.com)