Recently, a doting father bought his son, an unusual present. Though nowadays, when unborn babies get their own blogs or Twitter feeds, this gift may not be so unusual soon.
Dad bought darling beta a domain name on the web: Narnia.mobi.*
The son was a huge fan of the Narnia books and movies, and instead of being the run-of-the-mill dad, buying action figures, or quilts, or suchlike things, he decided he would notch up a few points on the cool-dad scale, and buy him a domain for the mobile version of the Narnia site.
Enter villain: The Estate of C. S. Lewis, who controls the rights to the intellectual property of Narnia. And like all villains in movies are wont to do, they did the stupidest thing possible: Sue the father.
The father claims that he is legally permitted to own the domain since there is some sort of window that is given to all owners of trademarks to book sites that would be pertinent to their trademark, and somehow the Estate of C.S. Lewis overlooked this one. Now since the domain name was bought after the window was closed, the father claims that he is legally in the right.
And obviously he would fight to keep it, seeing how difficult it is to get just the right domain name, unless you are looking for something nonsensical like, ummmm, Yahoo or Google :P. (put links)
Whatever; I am not going to argue about who is right.
But look at this: however the situation ends, whether the creative father or the lumbering C. S. Lewis Estate wins, the C. S. Lewis is going to get oodles of bad press, especially in the target market it’s trying to sell its merchandise, for example, young boys like the darling beta in this story.
Instead, what they should have done, to become heroes in this story, is to have gone and told the father and son that: “Look, we know you are huge fans, otherwise you wouldn’t have bought the domain. But let us make the site that goes on the domain in the Narnia fashion, or at the very least, do let us link up your site with our main site, and let us sell cute little Lion, Cupboard and Witch dolls on your site. Hell, you can even keep 10% of the revenues we make on your site.
That, my dear friends, is an offer, you can’t refuse.
And, this is not because there aren’t any clever guys who are advising the C. S. Lewis Estate. Mind you, they are too clever by half. It’s those lawyers who know that litigation will rake in more money than their hefty retainers, who said, let’s sue their puny little mobile domain asses.
Incentives, I tell you, make the world go round.
Any consulting company who still wants to hire me, can do so. Surprisingly for the amount of brain power I come with (I am selling myself here:P), I am willing to be paid salaries you pay your analysts.
I may not be that cheap much longer, if I keep coming up with such award-winning cost-cutting ideas. (“Fire them bloody lawyers!”)
Oh, and here is my resume.
* Interestingly WHOIS, a tool which tells you who owns the domain, shows that C. S. Lewis estate owns the domain now. Must have been quite the letdown for the poor boy. ^^