Ford sucks. No, really, we mean it. Long and hard. And Ford swallows.
<gesture> Spit. </gesture> Skeptical? Don't just take our word for it.
Just ask the guy who registered fordsucks.com. Or the guy who registered classicvolvo.com
and wound up facing a legal battle.
(Yes, Volvo is owned by
Ford, as is Mazda, Lincoln, Mercury, Jaguar and Aston-Martin.) Or you can
ask Wally Rawson, a third-generation seller of replacement parts for Ford
cars and trucks. Wally registered 4fordparts.com and 4fordtrucks.com as
part of his parts business. Ford sued him. At the same time, Ford sued
Hans Rekestad (the guy in Sweden running ClassicVolvo.com). The fordsucks
guy was also named in the same lawsuit.
Or read over the nightmare that Blue
Oval News was put through. Or you can ask the guy in England who published Jaguarcenter.com (an animal
preservation Website). Or Jaguarenthusiastsclub.com (Also animals, also
They got sued, too. Ford didn't sue in England or Sweden.
They sued all these people in Detroit, Michigan.
We suppose Jacques Nasser (President and CEO of Ford) would have the courthouse relocated to Dearborn
(Ford's Detroit suburb) if the federal government would let him.
Ford didn't just sue. Ford asked for $100,000 in damages. Not for all
these cases put together - $100,000 per address! And Ford won't just let
any of these people give up the names and walk away. Ford won't reimburse
them for their registration and renewal costs.
Wally Rawson (the parts guy) didn't want to be bothered with the lawsuit, so
he just gave Ford both names. Ford is still suing him. Ford tells him he
can't crawl out of the soup until he pays Ford $6000.00 ($3000 per name).
The fordsucks guy, evidently, decided it would be cheaper to pay the
blackmail than to fight it out in court.
So as you can see, Ford really DOES suck.
2600 has ever even owned a Ford so we ourselves can't tell you how
much their VEHICLES really suck. But we CAN tell you that Ford, the
company, really sucks because of the above - and because of what they're now doing to us.
Over the years, we've registered quite a few domain names, many of
which have been critical of certain corporations and government agencies.
In the Fall of 1999, when Network Solutions Inc. (NSI) stopped being the only registrar of
domain names, it became possible to register domains with certain
four-letter words in them, just as it had been before NSI imposed their
own moral language code on the Net. We obtained our own little collection
of names in the rush that ensued. Most of these were simply done for
fun, but a few wound up carrying somewhat serious messages. For instance,
www.fuckracism.com connects you to a site that keeps an eye on the Klan,
www.fuckmicrosoft.org takes you to a page all about the evil goings-on
at that company, www.fuckthemassmedia.com goes to a variety of pages
about the corruption of the media, etc. It was in this spirit that
fuckgeneralmotors.com was registered.
At first, the Website pointer for this Domain Name
(www.fuckgeneralmotors.com) was pointed to the IP address of the server
computer for the official site of General Motors. They
took offense and threatened us with legal action, accusing us of
"trademark infringement." We explained that putting their name
a phrase hardly constituted such a thing, whether the phrase says
"Fuck General Motors," "General Motors Sucks," or even "General Motors
Is Great." It's as obvious a case of freedom of speech as we can
Some months earlier, we had been through the same thing with Verizon,
who had tried to threaten us into giving up www.verizonreallysucks.com.
Eventually they changed their tune, publicly stating that they had no
desire to "squelch free speech."
seem to share this view.
But what does all this have to do with Ford? After all, we never even
registered a Domain Name with Ford's name in it (they were all taken -
unfortunately for the fordsucks guy because he got sued and couldn't afford
to fight with a corporate juggernaut).
Months after the threat from General Motors, we pointed the domain at
various competitors of GM. It was our eventual plan either to find or put
together a site that would provide a forum for people critical of the
company. While that was being done, we pointed the domain to other
sites that might be of interest to people who weren't big fans of
General Motors. One of these (it made sense to us then and it still does
now, albeit less so after what we've learned) was Ford.
We really didn't think anything of it. Until we found out that Ford was
actually suing us for linking to them! Apparently their logic goes
something like this - someone who takes the initiative to type
www.fuckgeneralmotors.com into their browser winds up being pointed to
the IP address of Ford's main server, and the Ford homepage pops up on their
screen. Funny, right? If you don't want a GM, buy a Ford. Well, Ford
doesn't think it is funny. Ford's court papers hypothesize that these
browser-typers cannot think for themselves and will automatically assume
that Ford has registered the address and pointed it at their homepage.
In our view, that argument is even funnier.
Based on this implausible hypothesis, Ford argues that the pointer to the
IP address violates the "Federal Trademark Dilution Act" by "tarnishing" the
pristine image of the brand associated in the media of late with so many SUV
Of course, nobody in their right mind would jump to
Ford's conclusion. And most people who remain in their right mind
would have no problem doing a "whois" on the Domain Name which clearly
no connection to Ford. At no time has it ever been required for one
site to get permission from another site to link or redirect. Apparently,
Ford wishes to get new rules passed through judicial legislation, and
change the way the entire Net works, but without asking the IETF or the W3C or
any other standards-setting organizations what they think about the
What we think Ford is doing here (since Ford knows it has many
alternatives other than going to court) is simply trying to establish a
legal precedent (one that will then be applied - and if we've
learned anything in the past year, it's that American corporations have
enough lawyers on the payroll to do it - to every hyperlink on the entire
World Wide Web).
Ford never made any attempt to contact us before filing this
lawsuit in federal court. A simple request to not point the domain at
them would most likely have wound up with our doing just that, since
the project really had nothing to do with Ford in the first place. But
even tried to resolve this. In addition, Ford has the ability to block
our pointer from reaching their homepage, which would accomplish
wanted. Again, they made no attempt to do this. It seems quite apparent
that Ford either wants to establish broad new powers in defining who
may link to them (powers that Ford's lawyers will presumably turn around
and peddle to every other corporation out there who wants to shut down one
Internet critic or another) or they simply want to drive us out of business
maybe a little of both.
We hope you realize the profound threat to the Internet that this
lawsuit poses. If they win, they (and every other potential plaintiff
with a trademark who doesn't like criticism or hyperlinks) will gain
sweeping new power in actually
determining who may link or redirect to them and who may not. This threat
becomes clear when reading their filing: "The public recognizes, and
often relies on the expectation, that links to a company's official
web site address are sponsored by, affiliated with, or somehow approved
by that company." This simply isn't so. It never has been, nor should it
Ford goes on to say that anyone not "affiliated or associated with Ford
[has] absolutely no right to point their domain name... to Ford's
official website." In addition, we are accused of falsely representing
ourselves by registering the fuckgeneralmotors.com site because we had
no right to even register such a site. By that logic, the site you are
currently looking at also has no right to exist.
If you're offended by the language of the site in question, we
It really isn't our goal to spread profanity. But it is absolutely
vital that speech - even speech which offends - be protected. Ford is
trying to cloud the issue by portraying us as four-letter word spewing
hooligans who are a threat to the American way of life. Quite to the
contrary, freedom of speech IS the American way of life and frivolous
suits such as this one only serve to undermine it. We can't let that
happen which is why we're determined to fight this.