Sensis lawyers bully small fry over Yellow Pages trademark

Section of screenshot of Yellow Pages website taken today

Sensis, the Telstra subsidiary that owns things like the Yellow Pages and Trading Post, has kicked off a legal attack on small websites for “trademark infringement”. Why? Because they haven’t got an ® after every mention of “Yellow Pages”.

Apart from the daftness of attacking little fish, which only makes your company look like a bully, you’ve got to wonder why they’re doing it.

  1. They’re re-branding as “Yellow” anyway. identifies itself as “”, and their new logo just says “Yellow”. Here’s a screenshot of their site as of a few minutes ago.
  2. There doesn’t seem to be any actual trademark infringement. At least not by my reading of some material I’ll mention shortly.

I found out about this yesterday when Professor Roger Clarke posted to the Link mailing list. I’ve become more and more astounded at the stupidity of it all as I’ve read people’s comments…

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Predictions for 2008

OK, I’m meant to be clever, so here are my predictions for 2008. The Snarky Platypus didn’t help me with these, as we decided we had better things to do on New Year’s Eve (gin and tonic, for example). So blame me alone.

  1. The Joy of Chairman Rudd’s Iced VoVo Revolution will be dulled by the end of January when they take some stupid actions which demonstrate that they are, after all, politicians like all others. Actually, this has already happened with the announcement of mandatory Internet filtering by ISPs. I’ll write more about that soon.
  2. At least one member of the (former) Howard cabinet will be charged with a criminal offence over something they did in office. I’d like it to be Brendan Nelson, because that deal to buy $6 billion worth of Super Hornet fighter aircraft stinks — mostly because the air force doesn’t want them and the process was, erm, rushed to say the least. However I suspect it might be something to do with the AWB scandal.
  3. Channel 7 will continue to win the Australian TV ratings. Channel 9 will fail to reinvent itself now that its owned by an investment vehicle and not a media proprietor.
  4. Telstra will be forced to separate its wholesale and retail businesses. Meanwhile the Sol Trujillo-led management team will continue to play nasty with the government, causing them to be increasingly sidelined — especially over the Rudd government’s new broadband rollout.
  5. Barack Obama will win the US Presidential election. I know Hillary Clinton is currently the favourite, but I have the gut feeling that the Oprah factor will be important, and that Hillary’s dirty washing will be aired.
  6. When former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra returns from self-imposed exile on 14 February the new government, which is a coalition led by a Thaksin-supporting party, will somehow drop the corruption charges against him. Another military coup will follow.
  7. At least one Australian company will suffer a major leak of its customers’ private data, prompting new laws on dealing with such things (like they already have in California).
  8. We’ll finally figure out what the Storm Botnet, the world’s largest network of hacked computers, is for. My guess: whatever the hell the designer’s paying clients want it to be for.

You might also like to read the interesting predictions from The Australian (not really predictions, but obvious events following on from their news calendar), advertising agency JWT, Peter Black and Rachel Polanskis, and predictions about toy names for 2008.

What are your predictions for 2008? And how do you think mine rate?

Coonan vs Conroy: preparing for battle

Photograph of Senator Stephen Conroy and Senator Helen Coonan

As mentioned last week, Friday morning I’m having breakfast with the ICT minister Senator Helen Coonan and her ALP counterpart Senator Stephen Conroy — along with some many members of the ACS.

That’s Senator Coonan on the right. In every sense of the word.

While the discussion will be chaired by some bloke from Channel 7, I’m assuming there’ll be a chance for questions. When I asked on Link last week, here’s what popped up. What would you add?

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Good old unreliable Telstra

Last Wednesday 11 April, a Telstra chap called to discuss my telephone account. I happened to be at a client’s office so couldn’t talk, but told him Friday would be good to call because I’d be at my desk all day. That was last Friday. He hasn’t called. Which is a shame. Because I was wanting to tell him that Telstra’s crappy service and support was why I’d already moved my mobile phone to Vodafone and I’ll be moving my landlines away from Telstra as soon as I’d figured out how to do that and retain my phone numbers.

Optus vs Telstra: positive vs negative

There’ll be free wireless Internet access throughout the Sydney CBD by early 2008, says the NSW government — and the reactions from leading telcos Optus and Telstra were chalk and cheese.

Optus: “Optus congratulates the NSW Government on its innovative plans… Optus looks forward to seeing more details of the plans and to participating in the expression of interest process.”

Telstra: “There’s no such thing as a free lunch anymore so it will be interesting to see how it is proposed to be paid for.”

I don’t understand why it’ll take so long to set up a few Wi-Fi access points though.