Does Public Citizen really not get it? Is Paul Alan Levy so blinded by a raging obsession with expanding free speech and attacking businesses that he honestly believes what he is saying? Or is possible Levy really, really does not understand?
Dozier Internet Law filed suit against Levy's long-standing friend and client, Ronald Riley, for trademark infringement. Looks like they have been working together for well over five years.
The Dozier Internet Law lawsuit has been mentioned in two recent news articles and had become, until the entire lawsuit was read, a hot topic defending Riley and criticizing us because, according to Paul Alan Levy, the lawsuit is about the failure of Riley to link to the Dozier website but instead linked elsewhere when using the law firm name.
Well, it is not the destination of the link that is the biggest part of this lawsuit. Not by a long shot.
So, for those journalists who have a nasty habit of taking a short cut, the next time you go to Paul Alan Levy and Public Citizen for insight into a legal case, be sure to ask a tradeamrk infringement attorney who has experience in trademark matters arising on the interent. An experienced trademark infringement lawyer would have pointed out the following:
The Dozier Internet Law lawsuit sets out as one example of trademark infringement becuase the link to the firm's website pointed to another page. The lawsuit states that "this is but one example of the many abuses...".
So, what is this lawsuit about?
1) Riley's anchored text links with the Dozier name are coded so that they repeat the name multiple times and then lead, of course, to an error page that he uses to direct traffic to his commercial site. This is "keyword stuffing" and trademark infringement.
2) Riley tells the search engines that this site is not a criticism site but is the "Dozier Internet Law" website by using Dozier's business name and page title and meta tag search engine optimization tactics to mislead the search engines.
3) Riley has repeated the Dozier name over and over and is "keyword stuffing" the content of the page with the Dozier name while at the same time keyword stuffing the HTML code of the page as explained in paragraph 1.
4) Riley had two pages of hidden text with Dozier's names on the page and the background set in the same color as the words. This is hidden keyword stuffing, a favorite unethical practice of spammers and scammers, and got this site banned by Google until he removed them well into this litigation.
So, does Levy just not get it? Does he have any background in SEO or online business to figure this out? Does he have any objective resource to turn to? Evidently not.
Oh, Riley nets about $250,000 from his website properties every year. Is this site fair criticism? You can't necessarily tell by looking at it today. But if you really understand the web, you can figure it out. The question is whether the Dozier Law Firm trademarks are being infringed. Riley offers services to many of the same sorts of clients we represent, and he drives eyeballs to his commercial site from this site optimized with the Dozier law firm name. But that is not where it ends. Not by a long shot. He runs a prominent textual ad for a major competitor, a private law firm that supports Riley, and remarkably runs two separate ads on the page for none other than his own lawyers in this case...Public Citizen, with whom we compete for defense work.
The last fact, of course, jumps off the page for those who understand legal ethics. But then again, when you go change a website and try to pass it off to a federal judge as the original, get caught, and get tossed out of court, I'm not surprised. Paul Alan Levy and Public Citizen need to stop obsessing about business following honest and fair business practices and start cleaning up their own house.
So, for you journalists who think you can call Levy and get even a remotely fair and accurate portrayal of the issues in a case, you should know better. Levy is unreliable. Perhaps it's intentional. Likely it is pure ignorance. No matter. For you it means lame reporting with a bad source delivering bad information.