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Activision triumphs in ModernWarfare3.com dispute

Publishers win court case against Anthony Abraham

Call Of Duty publisher Activision has won its court case against ModernWarfare3.com owner Anthony Abraham.

Miami resident Abraham bought the domain in July and used it to redirect visitors to the webpage of rival EA shooter Battlefield 3, and a comedy video referencing Modern Warfare 3.

According to legal documents obtained by Fusible, Activision filed a domain name dispute with the National Arbitration Forum on July 15.

"It appears that the Respondent supports the game Battlefield from the game developer Electronic Arts ("EA")," read the complaint.

" EA is one of Complainant's principal competitors in the video game industry, and Battlefield game competes in the marketplace with Complainant's MODERN WARFARE games and its other military-themed shooter games in the CALL OF DUTY series."

The three member panel deciding the case were not convinced by Abraham's defence, that Modern Warfare was a generic term.

The complaint cost Activision just $2600 to file.

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Latest comments (4)

Cody Pike Studying Electrical Engineering, Alabama University5 years ago
Next thing you know, Activision's legal team will be bringing lawsuits against the producers of documentaries, because they have precedent that they 'own' the words 'Modern Warfare'...
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Andrew Jakobs Lead Programmer 5 years ago
@Cody Pike: There is a big difference in using 'Modern Warfare' for a real 'militairy' site or using it for linking to a rival game, and in this case it was blatantly obvious the guy bought it to spite activision.. So I must agree with the judge..
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Andrew Clayton QA Weapons Tester, Electronic Arts5 years ago
Cody, not the same thing. This guy sat on the domain just to stick it to Activision. Whenever we think of "Modern Warfare 3", we don't think of some vague concept, we think of a specific thing.

Copyrighting the title Modern Warfare is not the same thing as copyrighting something like "Edge".
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Tommy Thompson Studying Artificial Intelligence (PhD), University of Strathclyde5 years ago
Whatever your feelings on Activision, they are legally entitled to take action here. It is clear that the term 'modern warfare' is being used in the context of their game. Part of their dispute required that they give sufficient evidence to justify the relevance of Abrahams domain name to their product. That, combined with the fact this is a clear case of defamation (which isn't covered by the First Amendements freedom of speech) justifies their legal victory.
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