Previous letter | CTT dispute page | next letter

My Response to CTT's First Letter

April 9, 1997

Dear Mr. Klein:

Thank you for your letter dated March 26, 1997, informing me of your client's views regarding my Web site. I received the letter last week because the address you used on your original communication is out of date.

I first conceived of and created the site in late 1995, and applied for and received the domain name at that time. I checked carefully before applying to use that domain name, and found no indication of your client's use of that name, either as a domain name or trademark, in any of my searches. Thus, from what I have been able to tell, my use of the word "" as a web site name may predate your client's use of the name.

Since I began operating the site, I have been careful to avoid public confusion between my site and other entities with similar names. Your suggestion that my continued use of that domain name may cause confusion is puzzling, but I am concerned about it. If you have any evidence of confusion caused by my use of the domain name, please provide it to me and I will be happy to work with you or your client to avoid confusion with your client's magazine.

I was, in fact, unaware of the "Lies" magazine's existence until I received a phone call last month from George Raft, who I gather is the principal of your client, Creative Think Tank, Inc. (CTT). As I mentioned earlier, before I registered the domain name and created my Web site, I performed an extensive search of on-line materials in an effort to discover other sites or publications with similar names. At that time (December 1995), I found no mention of your client's magazine in the documents indexed by the half dozen major Internet search services. I did, however, find materials relating to two other publications called "Lies" or "Lies Magazine"; one of them a music-industry magazine (you can view their Web site at, and the other a literary magazine published by high school students at the American School of Madrid (their site is at

Since receiving the phone call from Mr. Raft, I have repeated my search, and have been able to find one reference to his magazine: a listing that refers to it as "Lies: The Truth About Washington D.C." -- see I suspect that listing did not exist at the time of my original search.

Because I did not want my Web site to be confused with either of the two publications that my original search did uncover, I have scrupulously avoided referring to my site as "Lies" or "Lies Magazine", or indeed, as being any kind of magazine. In all references to the site, both on the site itself and in promotional materials I have distributed, I have always referred to it only as a "Web site", and only by its full, unique Internet domain name, "".

Thus, I do not believe there could be any public confusion regarding whether my Web site is affiliated with CTT or with its magazine "Lies: The Truth About Washington D.C." However, please let me know if you have any evidence of such confusion, and I will gladly take steps to see that such confusion does not occur.

I also respectfully disagree with your claim that my mere use of the domain name "" represents a violation of your client's common law trademark rights. Although I have no intention of violating anyone's legitimate trademark rights, common law or otherwise, I do not believe my site constitutes such a violation. If you have any legal authority for that assertion, please provide it to me, and I will review it and ask for legal advice on its effect on my continued use of the domain name.

Finally, based on the phone conversation I had with Mr. Raft, I suspect that your client is interested mainly in obtaining the memorable (and hence valuable) domain name "" If such is the case, he may wish to reconsider his current approach of threatening legal action. I am quite proud of being the legitimate owner of the domain. I have invested considerable time and effort in the creation of the Web site, have been careful to follow the domain-name guidelines laid down by NSI, and have taken care to avoid any confusion with other publications and entities. However, if Mr. Raft wishes to contact me directly to negotiate amicably and in good faith over this matter, he is free to do so. I can be reached by phone at [number deleted] (days) and [number deleted] (evenings), and through E-mail at


John Callender

Previous letter | CTT dispute page | next letter