Web publisher Katie Jones has owned the domain name katie.com since 1996.
In 2001, the Plume imprint of Penguin Putnam published a book by Katie Tarbox, an 18-year-old who (willingly!) got involved with a cyberstalker when she was 13. The original book title was Girl.com, but they changed it because that’s a porn site. Obviously, they knew that giving the book the name of a domain was significant. They did not, however, approach Katie Jones before deciding to publish the book as Katie.com.
The publisher has repeatedly tried to force Katie Jones out of her domain name, claiming SHE is a cybersquatter. Jones has had to spend a lot of money fighting their efforts, and a lot of time responding to the harassment and unwanted messages she is receiving because of their deliberate misuse of her domain name.
Now Parry Aftab, who has for years been involved in“internet safety organizations (CyberAngels in the past, now WiredSafety), is harassing Katie Jones. She claims to be the lawyer representing Katie Tarbox (a stupid twit who can’t even manage to use proper spelling on). According to Jones, Aftab has made threats like “it’ll only get worse” if Jones doesn’t donate the domain name to her organization. Note that she isn’t offering to buy the name, which would be far more honorable.
Aftab is also claiming that Jones has no legal right to sell the domain to anyone, because of its association with the book.
If you’re as ticked off as I am, let the following people know:
Clare Ferraro — President, Plume Books
David Shanks — CEO, Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
Susan Petersen Kennedy — President, Penguin Group (USA) Inc. and Chairman, Plume Books
375 Hudson Street
New York, NY 10014
John Makinson — Chairman and CEO, The Penguin Group
London, England WC2R ORL