Activision files complaint over ModernWarfare3.com - Report

Call of Duty publisher seeks transfer in ownership of unaffiliated site after it redirects visitors to official Battlefield 3 page; US Modern Warfare marketing spend surpasses $24 million.

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Modern Warfare 3 isn't supposed to kick off until November, but a dispute over a website devoted to the game is already flaring up. According to a report on domain-tracking blog Fusible, Activision is looking to seize ownership of ModernWarfare3.com through a complaint filed with the National Arbitration Forum.

Activision was not amused when ModernWarfare3.com sent visitors to the official Battlefield 3 site.

Originally registered in March 2009, ModernWarfare3.com bills itself both as "a 100 percent unofficial fan site dedicated to the Modern Warfare series," as well as "a parody of Modern Warfare 3." While the site has for some time openly criticized the Activision shooter as a retread of the series, it drew particular attention recently when it temporarily forwarded all ModernWarfare3.com traffic to the official website of Electronic Arts' competing military shooter Battlefield 3. In its complaint, Activision described the forwarding as retaliation for a takedown notice it sent related to copyrighted content that had previously appeared on the site.

For Activision to win ownership of the site, it would have to show that ModernWarfare3.com is "identical or confusingly similar to" its own trademarks related to the series, that the operator of the site has no legitimate interests for use of the domain name, and it was registered and used in bad faith. The complaint indicates the ModernWarfare3.com owner would be able to retain the name if "making a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the domain name, without intent for commercial gain to misleadingly divert consumers or tarnish the trademark."

However, Activision is arguing that ModernWarfare3.com ran ads for GameStop and Best Buy, making it a commercial venture, and that the forwarding to a direct competitor's website is sufficient to show the site was run in bad faith. At the moment, the site no longer directs to Battlefield 3's site and appears to be free of advertising.

In establishing its own claim to the brand, Activision's complaint noted that the publisher has spent more than $24 million in the US alone on marketing the Modern Warfare installments of the Call of Duty series. As of press time, neither Activision nor the admin of ModernWarfare3.com had returned GameSpot's request for comment.

Discussion

834 comments
kazumashadow
kazumashadow

@RAD_RADIO i think i missed a word or two there, as you can see my phrase doesn't make sense at all and i'm pretty sure you noticed it, after all if you are telling me to read a bit, i'm pretty sure you've done the reading yourself.

RAD_RADIO
RAD_RADIO

@kazumashadow It wasn't 'their' site. It was privately owned BEFORE Activision got to it. Read a bit... it might help

Dangerous231
Dangerous231

good job make those bums out there stop fakeing and acting like there the real mw3 site just so they can lie to unknowing ppl and tell them to go buy battlefield fake 3

cubachino
cubachino

Another big company picking on an underdog. Sounds like Activision wants some of that action Sony got during the month of April and May.

mikees1
mikees1

@the_requiem Thanks for pointing that out.i was not aware India used European games, but now that you mention it it makes sense.

the_requiem
the_requiem

@mikees1: Did you know many asian countries, the ones not in far-east, also get EU games? It includes a small nation like India that happens to have a small population of around billion... or so I've been told.

lujanr32
lujanr32

EA says: U mad Activision?

BigRigs93
BigRigs93

This Fan "warfare" is getting ridiculous. Id like to see Activision concentrate more on making games than money. Hopefully EA will do well with BF3 to prove to Activision that its about taking risks.(MW3 does look good neither the less)

lannyboy334
lannyboy334

Remember when Activision wasn't insanely deep pocketed and lame? Barely... Activision Blizzard has become much less awesome then expected, I actually wouldn't mind seeing EA bounce back with BF3, they are actually trying anymore.

megakick
megakick

This only makes Activision look very small.

mikees1
mikees1

@bluedarrk Sorry to keep bugging you, but i love proving people wrong! If you will not take my word for it then maybe you'll believe it if gamespot states it. Go on to the BF3 page and scroll down to news and features until you see the following headline-Battlefield 3 preorders matching Black Ops' pace - Report. Point made, thank you and goodbye lol!

mikees1
mikees1

I'm a journalist, and have written two historical novels so do i need careers advice from a shop clerk? Nope lol. I have reached the zenith of my aspirations so telling me sarcastically "i'll move up in the world" if i retain my current attitude is nonsensical. I've already achieved everything i set my sights on. Own my own 3 bedroom house, not mortgaged but outright brought. Any ways that's besides the point, i was arguing about a game. The point of the sites i sent you was to prove they were above MW3 in the chart, not that they were top of the pre order chart. I only said that in GAME (our equivalent of Gamestop, i presume) it was top of the pre orders chart. But as i said, check back when both are released and we'll see whose top shall we. PS. You may want to check out the new pre alpha videos on you tube for BF3. Might just change your mind about putting it down!

Khoserken
Khoserken

@oneofthefall Since when milking a franchise is "contributing to the world"?

mikees1
mikees1

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

kazumashadow
kazumashadow

Activision some time takes extreme measures but i think in this case they are kinda right, their site, wich was made in the purpose of advertising Modern Warfare, was actually advertising they concurrent, Battlefield and that could prejudice the sales.

ppg4all
ppg4all

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

jm3811
jm3811

Hacked? "The connection was refused when attempting to contact www.modernwarfare3.com. Though the site seems valid, the browser was unable to establish a connection. * Could the site be temporarily unavailable? Try again later. * Are you unable to browse other sites? Check the computer's network connection. * Is your computer or network protected by a firewall or proxy? Incorrect settings can interfere with Web browsing."

raev92
raev92

well... "at the moment" the site redirected me to BF 3

jakeowens93
jakeowens93

@ppg4all Forgive me- I can't take you seriously with your modern warfare display photo.

jakeowens93
jakeowens93

@ppg4all Haha. I actually haven't reported you once. But I think it's pretty funny that someone else did. If you are really this eager to be reported, calling me a "Jew" is probably the right way to go. Also- "weakling?" What have I done to make myself seem weak?

xXxIRyanxXx
xXxIRyanxXx

I don't understand how anyone can defend Activision in this situation. They can only blame themselves for not registering the domain name. Sure if what the guy doing breaks the contract or whatever, but Activision can just buy the dumb thing off the guy with all the money they are saving off copy and pasting the same game for the past 3 years. A billion dollar company trying to steal from an average guy is ridiculous. Even what the guy is doing is wrong, he is entitled to compensation so if Activision wants the cite they need to pay for it. I support this guy 200 percent, 100 because he's making Activision cry and the other 100 because he is helping BF3.

MrHatnClogs
MrHatnClogs

@zerospecterpunk Probably right, and I agree with you I really hate the way Activision or rathe Kotick has been acting since MW2 launched. It was bad enough the way EA had been acting but Activision has managed to top that.

jay112k3
jay112k3

CRY ABOUT IT ACTIVISION!

kevinsyel
kevinsyel

At least I feel Mikees1 has helped me to realize that it's not just Americans that are n00bs in the ways of the world, citizens of the UK can also fall prey to very similar misconceptions. I was reading his argument on how the whole European scene is dominating in terms of game sales. Which would be a fact if Europe were a country. But like he so astutely points out, there are several countries, including not only the countries within the United Kingdom, but Germany, France, Portugal, Spain, and look at me, that's just western Europe. the fact is, they all have their own censorships, rating requirements, and such. at least America gets away with a single ESRB, and Japan has the CERO system. This in turn creates a localization nightmare, forcing developers to not look at Europe as a whole, but as individual countries. Each country has it's own data, despite what websites and magazines lead you to believe by lumping European countries all together in sales data. Oddly enough, that's like comparing apples to airplanes. Sure, they all have an A, a P, an L, an E, and an S, but they''re completely different.

ppg4all
ppg4all

@jakeowens93- come on you weakling report me again cant you lie better than that

zerospecterpunk
zerospecterpunk

@MrHatnClogs That's actually a really bad idea: all it would do is open the door for Activision to sue them for, at the very least, their lawyer costs. Other than that, I seriously hope most of these comments are made by trolls, because if they aren't.... this amount of stupidity is scary. I'm not going to get into the argument of which series is better (I've only played one Modern Warfare game, and none of the Battlefield games), and Bobby Kotick constantly pisses me off, but none of that matters. This article is about a moron who screwed himself over and has no one to blame but himself: it would have been fine if they just left it at making fun of MW3... hell, I'm willing to bet Activision was probably laughing at the website... but the moment the site started sending people to BF3's site, Activision has every right to bring a suit.

jmace1
jmace1

@mikees1 Yes, giant banks are greedy in the US... and everywhere else in the world. Everyone here in the US knows that and nobody is defending them. The Obama administration is currently trying to set up the consumer protection agency to police them. However, that has nothing to do with the point that I was making and you're getting way off topic.You can go back to before 2008 and you'll see the American GDP was still significantly higher than any other nation in the world. Does that makes us better than other countries? No! For instance, our public education system is pathetic and pales in comparison to many European and Asian nations. It's clear to me that you really aren't concerned with video game sales. You're trying to deduce Americans into an arrogant, stupid, greedy, and malevolent cultural stereotype. Are there Americans that fit the above descriptions. Yes. Now, here is a better question that you need to answer. Are there people across the globe that fit these descriptions? Look at the current scandal with Murdoch. An awful man who would give the OK to hack into the cell phones of people who had been murdered to get the story first for a profit. He was born and had his first paper in Australia. Now if I was tragically ignorant, I could say well all Australians are *insert negative comment* since Murdoch was born there. OR, I could use my reason and say there are evil greedy people everywhere in this world and I need to watch my back. Use your reason!

bluedarrk
bluedarrk

@mikees1 wow yeah you nothing nothing about the video game market. Japan is a lot smaller than Europe or the U.S. yet they sell more video games why? Because they have a bigger video game market. Also those sites you gave doesn't show BF3 being the #1 pre-ordered game for Europe just those two sites. I gave you a site that showed MW3 was on track to beating black ops in pre-orders. You know black ops is the #1 selling game in UK? You don't have any sense of business you think oh well Europe has a bigger population they will sell more BF3 it doesn't work like that. But keep with the mindset your going with I'm sure your moving up in the world.

MrHatnClogs
MrHatnClogs

I really hate the amount of videogame lawsuits going on today but I hope the makers of the site sue Activision just to mess around with Kotick.

mikees1
mikees1

@bluedarrk Outright racism, nice touch always the sign of losing an argument lol. I see your argument going nowhere, more people in Europe yet some how you seem to say "yeah, but more americans play games" haha. ok. @jmace1Two words-Global reccesion, do i need to ask where the clever people who inflicted that on the world hailed from? You guessed it.The U S of A. Lets just agree to disagree and check back when the stats and sales figures for both games are in for both continents shall we. And no, i never said i believed Earth Defence force to be out doing GOW3 (not my personal preference but i am aware how popular the GOW series are). The object of both sites was to show BF3 pre orders out weighed MW3, nothing else. bluedarrk did not believe the figures because he had never heard of either (well being in the states i imagine very little from other countries trickles through their blinkers) site. I have ordered games from both, so am well informed of their authenticity

Torque203
Torque203

@oneofthefall agreed with ya till the 100% deserved, that was a stretch

ebookerd1
ebookerd1

@elitereaper66 how is that a double standard when I think both publishers suck? If you can find a double standard in what I said you are amazing sir. Besides just taking something from someone because it makes you feel sad is called steal. when you are rich it is called imminent domain. That is a double standard. Trying to purchase a site for your product is called buying/purchasing. "Pay the dude for the site and be on your merry way!" That is all I'm saying......

jmace1
jmace1

@mikees1 You've posted a bunch of population statistics which in the world of economics is nearly irrelevant.If you want to look at the strength of an economy look at it's gross domestic product. In 2010, the US GDP was nearly 14,700,000 while the entire European Union, which I think consist of like 27 countries, was barely above the US at 16,000,000. Compare that to the country just behind the US in 3rd, China, with a GDP of under 6,000,000 and unlike China the US is characterized not by massive exports but by massive imports AKA massive consumption and buying power. Look no farther than the recent release of Harry Potter: The Deathly Hallows Part 2 for evidence of the US massive buying power for entertainment. On it's opening day, it grossed 43.6 million in all of Europe and Australia on day 1. In the US alone, it grossed 92.1 million in one day. So look if you want to lie to yourself and convince yourself sales in Europe as a whole will outway the US, but if other entertainment mediums are any indication, then you're just flat out wrong. Nobody is saying European market doesn't matter. NOBODY! It's just the US market is bigger and those are the facts. Sorry! P.S if you seriously believe that Earth Defense Force preorders are greater than GOW3 anywhere in the world than you seriously need to reexamine the information you take seriously. You'll be taken advantage of and manipulated. Use your reason.

ppg4all
ppg4all

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

jmace1
jmace1

@thepyrethatburn I totally agree with you on that specific example. However if we are going to use your hypothetical scenario with Exxon to compare it to this case with Activision than the sites name wouldn't be oilyexxon.com, it would be exxon.com. See my problem with the defendants in this case is that their domain name is the exact name of the product being released, which can and will cause confusion among casual consumers. If their website name was modernwarfare3game.com, I would have no problem them, but it is the exact name of the product, modernwarfare3.com

bluedarrk
bluedarrk

@mikees1 I'm not talking about population in Europe I'm talking about the gaming market. America's gaming market is bigger than Europe's. When did I once talk about population? Do you think because Europe has a bigger population that it sells more video games? I don't believe your websites that you gave me because one said Batman Arkham City was the #1 pre-ordered game and the other said BF3 was so which one should I believe? You don't ever answer questions I ask you, you bs around them. Your talking about population and I'm talking about the gaming market. Just because Europe has a bigger population doesn't mean they all play video games. You really need to answer questions not dodge them. You say I'm an American who thinks inwardly I say your a crumpet that just knows how to bs.

naruto-fan55
naruto-fan55

man, this is awesome, all what CoD fans needed was an actual joke which supposedly leads them to the mw3 site, instead leading them to bf3 site, man that guy must hate CoD, plus Cod is officially overrated by all fans worldwide, but now is time for a change in franchises, bf everybody!!!

Sam998998
Sam998998

I hate CoD. It was good for awhile but now it's just the same thing with different weapons and a new (bad) campaign every time.

AsianPet
AsianPet

Maybe if Activision spent as much money improving the Call of Duty series and implementing new things as they do filing useless lawsuits then people wouldn't hate on them...derp stupid company.

King_Jeremy_77
King_Jeremy_77

I'll be playing Battlefield 3, tired of hearing the name Call of Duty.

xXxIRyanxXx
xXxIRyanxXx

Why couldnt the people that hacked Sony hack Activision. Sony got hacked and they let the guy off the hook after he released their security codes on the internet, now the guy works for facebook. Activision is just gonna steal a website from a guy without any compensation. Soon enough Activision will hold guns to our heads and force us to buy there next terrible COD game, since they think they can force the consumers to do what they want with their own money. I hope Activision loses and the guy can keep his website. Plus the real crime would be showing people camper warfare 3.

oneofthefall
oneofthefall

So many unimportant people complaining about a good game! Gamespot COD haters make me laugh, look at them all moaning about a company thats brought millions of households awesome entertainment for years and done well for itself which it has 100% deserved,and what do these complainers contribute to the world... oh thats right nothing! well they do say that poo comes in piles now!

mikees1
mikees1

@bluedarrk With regards to your comment " And again the sites your coming up with really aren't credible sites", They are not credible sites in your eys purely and simply because they are sites outside the U.S and unheard of to your ears. Basically you doubt the information in said sites because you've never heard of them, well i have never heard of (until you told me you worked at one) nor brought from a place called Gamestop.....Does that mean i should doubt its credibility with regards to charts it may produce because i have no knowledge of its existance? I'm not being rude or hostile but it brings me to the last paragraph of the previous message, about Americans being inwardly looking.....Basically there is a whole world out sidethe United States of America, a very big world that eclipses the U.S, you are not the centre of that world nor is the population of the United States a big percentage of the world population in general.You are just another country that makes up the world as a whole!

mikees1
mikees1

@bluedarrk Right well im British and in Great Britain BF3 is the top of everyones to get list....As i've proved and will continue to prove should you require me to do so. I do not care what happens in America, i do not live there nor wish to do so, so i speak from a British perspective not American and not even as a European. You are wildly underestimating the size of Europe though, America has a population of 311 million. The population of Great Britain alone (and in that i include Wales, Scotland, England and Northern Ireland) is 70 million, Germany has a population of close to 90 million,France 75 mill' Italy 60 mill',Spain 47 mill'. Thats just the main countries in Europe, i have not even included the likes of Holland, Romania the Former Yugoslavia, Belgium Hungary, Poland (or Eastern Europe as a whole) ect.....The list is endless. Europe vastly out numbers the population of the USA, whilst not a part of the European Community it is part of the European continant-Russia which has a population equal to half the U.S. So games sales in Europe as a whole will be supperior to that of America, then factor in the southern hemisphere counties like Australia, New Zealand South Africa, making the American/Japanese market pale in significance. America has this inwardly looking idea that they are the be all and end all of the world....They are not, that is a wholly American observation and one that is not shared by the rest of the world!

Cloud737
Cloud737

@obliviondoll What game are you talking about specifically? None comes to mind with that abbreviation, to be honest. Also, I think it's silly to try to convince people to abbreviate something the way you want just because you don't think it's right. It's like those that complain about proper language use: if the majority does it, it will soon become proper language use, same as the inappropriate abbreviation. Then the appropriate use becomes inappropriate.

Cloud737
Cloud737

@Tokugawa77 Technically, it's not in court as it's an arbitration forum (a non-governmental company). Moreover, I'm not pretty sure about this, but Activision could have appealed to ICANN itself because of the site's violation of its policies, and that surely wouldn't be appealing to a court. So what if Activision does try to get what it wants through court system? Free speech is not without exceptions. If it is, I could claim I have the right to piracy under free speech. If someone tries to stop others from defaming them or stopping hate speech, does that mean it violated free speech just because it used a court system or because you think free speech should be absolute (again, granting me the right to piracy)? Because by your logic, just trying to stop someone defaming you or serving you with hate speech is a violation of free speech. To be honest, I'd like to believe laws are based on those ideals. As much as it pains me to recognize some grave discrepancies between reality and that belief, for the purposes of this article it is still true. The very concept of free speech was NOT made with the idea in mind that there are no exceptions to it, when the case was when you were hurting someone. I don't think anyone would support (absolute) free speech in cases where it hurts people.

obliviondoll
obliviondoll

People, people people... Stop mistakenly abbreviating Modern Warfare - it doesn't deserve to use the short form which belongs to a game that's so far superior to it. MW3 came out in 1999, and while Microsoft will argue that they already did it, true fans of the franchise are still hoping for MW4 (probably never going to happen, but we can dream). On a topic related both to my above complaint AND the article, Battlefield 3 has delayed the release of another great game whose abbreviation is being misused - ME2. Still hoping that actually eventually shows up.