Premier bully

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Dave, an acquaintance of mine from the university, has been threatened by Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach for registering “edstelmach.ca” and using it as a redirect to his blog. Before this threat letter, he had had no contact with the premier’s office. Snippet:

This letter was sent to me regarding my ownership of the domain name edstelmach.ca, which I purchased for approximately $14.00 on April 4, 2007 (four months after Mr. Stelmach became Premier of Alberta). The letter accuses me of interfering with and misappropriating Ed Stelmach’s personality (I’m really not sure where Ed Stelmach’s personality is, but I certainly didn’t take it).

It’s being covered quite heavily by local media, and there are lots of comments at Dave’s blog. Some expound on the legal virtues of Dave’s case—i.e., that there are none and ICANN rulings on the issue mean Stelmach might win this fight—but I think there’s something even more interesting here that Dave touches on: the ridiculous route the premier’s office decided to take with this.

Rather than try and get in touch with Dave to see if they could get him to somehow hand the domain over to Stelmach, they’ve gone ahead with all their muscle and are threatening to sue him. For someone who isn’t doing so hot in the polls, this is an absurdly shortsighted direction to take. Whatever your politics, you can certainly appreciate that the optics of suing a starving student over a $14 domain name aren’t terribly positive.

Good luck to you, Dave. And shame on you, Stelmach.

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One Response to “Premier bully”

  1. Fish
    January 11, 2008 at 7:58 am #

    Dave can bitch all he want but he doesn’t stand a chance. Fact is that the domain in the premier’s name was originally forwarding to some man-boy love website. If I were Stelmach, I’d be pissed off enough to write a threatening letter as well.