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  1. #1
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    brand/copyright infringement notices
    Just received another Guitar Center notice from CJ this time about "Music & Arts" that need to be added to my negative list. Just wondering how they claim "Music & Arts" when US Trademark database disclaimer says "NO CLAIM IS MADE TO THE EXCLUSIVE RIGHT TO USE "MUSIC & ARTS" APART FROM THE MARK AS SHOWN" for "MUSIC&ARTS.COM" trademark? I don't really care about Music & Arts as a keyword but Guitar Center notices became nightmare here.

  2. #2
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    Sounds like Guitar Center wants no competition on those terms.

  3. #3
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    Guitar Center has never responded to my question most likely because they have nothing to say. CJ responded that Guitar Center most likely will never reply and one of the options is to discontinue relation with Guitar Center and this is most likely what we are going to do here. I would expect to see CJ standing behind affiliate the same way they stand behind merchants.

  4. #4
    The "other" left wing davidh's Avatar
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    So they're requiring affiliates not to do PPC bidding against them on certain terms? There's nothing wrong with that, and whether they have trademark or copyright control on the terms in question is totally irrelevant. It's up to you to either accept their terms or don't.
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  5. #5
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    No one here bids on their keywords. They came in broad match.
    What if guitar center decides they own "coupons" or "deals" keywords? I would assume both could be relevant for them.
    Last edited by DealSucker; January 21st, 2012 at 11:12 PM.

  6. #6
    ...and a Pirate's heart. Convergence's Avatar
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    Seriously, how many people would search for "Music & Arts" if they weren't looking for them? Not exactly a generic search phrase...
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  7. #7
    The "other" left wing davidh's Avatar
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    The issue at hand has nothing to do with "owning keywords". If they want to prohibit their affiliates from competing with them on certain keywords, it is well within their rights and there are plenty of good reasons for having such a policy in place. It is up to the affiliate to choose whether they are willing to work within the merchants prescribed restraints, or to not be an affiliate of that merchant.
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  9. #8
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    FWIW, they have several trademarks/service marks for Music & Arts, not just the .com one.

    but to speak to davidh's point, they can pretty much specify that you don't use 'puppies' to market the program. You don't have to accept their terms and they don't have to accept you as an affiliate

  10. #9
    Super Dawg Member Phil Kaufman aka AffiliateHound's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidh View Post
    The issue at hand has nothing to do with "owning keywords". If they want to prohibit their affiliates from competing with them on certain keywords, it is well within their rights and there are plenty of good reasons for having such a policy in place. It is up to the affiliate to choose whether they are willing to work within the merchants prescribed restraints, or to not be an affiliate of that merchant.
    I could not disagree more. I think it is absolutely ridiculous and total over-reaching for a merchant to claim an exclusive right, to the exclusion of their affiliates, to generic terms. I tell merchants that and I refuse to work with merchants that impose such outrageous "rules". There are no good reasons for such over-reaching other than greed and attempts to screw affiliates. Prohibiting the use of the merchant's brand name is one thing (that's another issue) but when a garden product related site prohibits ppc use of the term "garden" that is over the line.
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  11. #10
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    regardless of personal opinion in the matter, Guitar Center does have multiple registered trademark/servicemarks on the books for 'Music & Arts' and 'Music & Arts Centers.' See registration #s 3715720, 3485768, 3686483, 2866149, 2868579. The aforementioned .com hasn't even been through the process yet. for that, see serial # 85141337

  12. #11
    The "other" left wing davidh's Avatar
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    What sense does it make to have an affiliate program if not to extend your reach? If somebody's marketing efforts already cover a certain territory, what sense does it make to invite others to cover ground that they've already got covered - cannibalizing their efforts - and to also pay them for reaching customers that they have already reached?

    The narcissistic sense of entitlement that is fostered here at ABW goes a very long way in giving affiliates a bad reputation.
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  13. #12
    Super Dawg Member Phil Kaufman aka AffiliateHound's Avatar
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    Then don't have an affiliate program. But don't start one and make the ability to succeed with it merely illusory.

    It is merchants' with a "narcissistic sense of entitlement" who think because they sell blue widgets they own the word "blue" and no one else can ever use it.

    I love the concept of of using those seized terms to promote competitors of the over reaching merchant. Gee, I guess those were customers they DIDN'T already reach.
    Since June 10, 2012 a vegan aarf but still writing the Hound Dawg Sports Blog
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