Saturday, May 29, 2010

Wii Want it All

Dear Rich: If college students who play Wii recreationally wanted to create a blog to share news about Nintendo's Wii console and Wii (software) games with other gamers, wanted to host mini competitions to play other gamers and used the name Wii in the domain (URL) for the blog that would be used for news, promote Wii competitions and collected enrollment fees from teams and sold merchandise to the registered gamers who could track their game scores on the Blog, would this be allowed? First of all, congratulations. You have provided the longest single sentence/question ever submitted to the Dear Rich blog - 82 words. We're going to have to parse it in order to provide the best answer. (1) Yes, a blog to share news about the Wii is fine. (2) Hosting Wii competitions is fine as long as you don't imply that Nintendo endorses the events. (3) Using the word "Wii" in your domain for your blog is a little iffy although you're probably okay, again as long as it's clear that the blog is not Nintendo-endorsed. Others have incorporated Wii into their domains with apparently no problems. But beware. If Nintendo believes you are acting in bad faith, they can go after the domain under domain name rules. (4) Selling merchandise if it has Wii or Nintendo trademarks or logos or Wii-generated artwork is where things start to get decidedly uncool. Nintendo, if it learns about that kind of thing, will have an obligation to protect its trademarks and copyrights. (5) Collecting enrollment fees creates a whole bunch of additional issues from shopping cart security to the age of your customers (we're talking about chronological age not Wii Fit Age). The Dear Rich Staff feels that a better business model is to make participation free and to rely on Wii related advertising (whether Google or otherwise). (Y'now just sayin').