DeBeers attempts sleazy take down of parody ad

As you probably heard, on November 12th a group of artists and activists unveiled a “Special Edition” of the New York Times dated “July 4th, 2009” and outlining the end of the war in iraq, a national tax base for schools, and free public universities, among other things. In addition to the print paper, an online version has been posted at

The South African Diamond conglomerate, DeBeers, has complained about the below ad (gif version) appearing on the website.

Certainly one wouldn’t expect DeBeers to be pleased; they’ve tried to separate themselves from the blood diamond problem for years (an angle the parody ad actually plays on).

However, the ad is, to quote the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Corynne McSherry “a clearly parodic ad on a clearly parodic website.” But in an attempt to sidestep the First Amendment and other legal protections for parody, DeBeers is trying to intimidate the domain name registrar into shutting down the domain name. It’s already a stretch, as DeBeers has no connection to the name, which may be why they didn’t use the standard protocol of the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy and went straight to bullying the registrar.

The domain has effectively been put at risk by DeBeers overreaching. The Electronic Frontier Foundation has stepped in and responded to DeBeers’ complaint, and informed the registrar of it’s rights. We’ll see what happens…

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  1. Frank says:

    Where’s the ad?

  2. @frank – it’s big in the middle of this post. You can also look here

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