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Activision Disputing Ownership of Fake Modern Warfare 3 Website Because of Course it Is

Activision apparently didn't think ModernWarfare3.com redirecting to the official Battlefield 3 site was all that funny.

Right now, ModernWarfare3.com is a dead URL. Going there just gets you a fat "403 Forbidden" error. Perhaps that has a little something to do with the fact that, up until recently, the site was redirecting to the official website for EA's rival military shooter, Battlefield 3.

The ModernWarfare3.com site, as it appeared prior to the Battlefield 3 redirecting chicanery.

Oh, snap.

As it turns out, ModernWarfare3.com was registered all the way back in 2009, back when Activision's third entry in Infinity Ward's Modern Warfare franchise was still little more than a glint in some game designer's eye. The mysterious person who registered it (who is as yet unnamed) evidently is no fan of the series. At one point, the site was set up as a parody of the official Modern Warfare 3 site, using the exact same trade dress elements and assets as Activision's official product website, albeit with decidedly nastier language used to describe the game. These include such ridiculously infantile product descriptions as:

"Modern Warfare is crap. On November 8, 2011, the most over-hyped first-person action series of all-time returns with the copy and paste sequel to the lackluster Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. Check out the E3 2011 gameplay demo featuring the Black Tuesday level for a look at the epic fail of the campaign. Pre-Order Call of Duty MW3 Today for Xbox 360, PS3, and PC to secure exclusive bonuses only available online for Modern Warfare 3 fanboys who don’t know that Battlefield 3 is the better game"

Right.

Activision's lawyers have reportedly been haranguing the owner of the site since its existence came to light, to the point where last week, the owner just up and set the domain to redirect straight to Battlefield 3's official site. It was a much stronger statement that made the social media rounds last week in great quantity.

Evidently, it was the last straw for Activision, as Fusible is reporting that the publisher has officially filed a complaint with the National Arbitration Forum. This effectively means that Activision is angling to get the rights to the name back for itself based on, well, fairly obvious reasons.

EA has been rather exhaustive with its registration of Battlefield-related domains, but Activision has run into this problem multiple times in the past. The company apparently still does not own ModernWarfare.com, nor does it own the rights to ModernWarfare4.com, which currently directs to a site in which the owners threaten to torture a clown if their demands of "dedicated servers for Modern Warfare 2" are not met. So that's a thing.

I guess it pays to be proactive, doesn't it?

Alex Navarro on Google+
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Posted by Alex

Right now, ModernWarfare3.com is a dead URL. Going there just gets you a fat "403 Forbidden" error. Perhaps that has a little something to do with the fact that, up until recently, the site was redirecting to the official website for EA's rival military shooter, Battlefield 3.

The ModernWarfare3.com site, as it appeared prior to the Battlefield 3 redirecting chicanery.

Oh, snap.

As it turns out, ModernWarfare3.com was registered all the way back in 2009, back when Activision's third entry in Infinity Ward's Modern Warfare franchise was still little more than a glint in some game designer's eye. The mysterious person who registered it (who is as yet unnamed) evidently is no fan of the series. At one point, the site was set up as a parody of the official Modern Warfare 3 site, using the exact same trade dress elements and assets as Activision's official product website, albeit with decidedly nastier language used to describe the game. These include such ridiculously infantile product descriptions as:

"Modern Warfare is crap. On November 8, 2011, the most over-hyped first-person action series of all-time returns with the copy and paste sequel to the lackluster Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. Check out the E3 2011 gameplay demo featuring the Black Tuesday level for a look at the epic fail of the campaign. Pre-Order Call of Duty MW3 Today for Xbox 360, PS3, and PC to secure exclusive bonuses only available online for Modern Warfare 3 fanboys who don’t know that Battlefield 3 is the better game"

Right.

Activision's lawyers have reportedly been haranguing the owner of the site since its existence came to light, to the point where last week, the owner just up and set the domain to redirect straight to Battlefield 3's official site. It was a much stronger statement that made the social media rounds last week in great quantity.

Evidently, it was the last straw for Activision, as Fusible is reporting that the publisher has officially filed a complaint with the National Arbitration Forum. This effectively means that Activision is angling to get the rights to the name back for itself based on, well, fairly obvious reasons.

EA has been rather exhaustive with its registration of Battlefield-related domains, but Activision has run into this problem multiple times in the past. The company apparently still does not own ModernWarfare.com, nor does it own the rights to ModernWarfare4.com, which currently directs to a site in which the owners threaten to torture a clown if their demands of "dedicated servers for Modern Warfare 2" are not met. So that's a thing.

I guess it pays to be proactive, doesn't it?

Staff
Edited by pochunki

oh, people.

Edited by iDarktread

"Right." 
 
Hah, really liked that.

Posted by AlmostSwedish

huh, kinda cool I guess?

Posted by Simplexity

I like watching activision struggle.

Posted by Little_Socrates

I love how the internet is still a place for ridiculous pranksters.

Posted by Rolyatkcinmai

I love you, Alex.

Online
Posted by B_Heart

activision, you so crazy

Posted by BulletproofMonk

ModernWarfare3.com still takes me to the BF3 site.

Posted by bushpusherr

The whole thing was kind of funny until I saw the that blurb from the website.  Anyone who says "epic fail" deserves to lose.

Posted by Sanity

This is actually really funny... Dont care about COD one way or the other but its always funny watching these big developers struggle over a domain.

Posted by Make_Me_Mad

I'm so glad the Internet exists, just for reasons like this.

Posted by takua108

I like it how I knew this was going to be an Alex article just by reading the headline :V

Posted by Darkstar614

@BulletproofMonk said:

ModernWarfare3.com still takes me to the BF3 site.

same

Posted by jaks

Domain squatting should be punishable by death. 
 
Unless it's squatting on Activision IP in which case it is hilarious.

Posted by StingerMK2

im totally in the dark over URL ownership laws, but im guessing the only option activision have is buying them off the owners, right? its not like the courts can step in and take the URL off of the owner just because it "might" hurt their brands

although having said that the people don't actually own the domain name right? its just registered, so maybe they can go straight to the source? oh i dont know, this whole thing is stupid and awesome

Posted by PKHilson

Hahahahaaha

Posted by xbob42

I find the entire fiasco utterly hilarious.  This is quality entertainment!

Posted by ribeye

haha

Posted by Arker101

This article has made my day.  
"  which currently directs to a site in which the owners threaten to torture a clown if their demands of "dedicated servers for Modern Warfare 2" are not met. So that's a thing. "

Posted by WilliamHenry

@StingerMK2 said:

im totally in the dark over URL ownership laws, but im guessing the only option activision have is buying them off the owners, right? its not like the courts can step in and take the URL off of the owner just because it "might" hurt their brands

although having said that the people don't actually own the domain name right? its just registered, so maybe they can go straight to the source? oh i dont know, this whole thing is stupid and awesome

No, theres totally rules against domain squatting in cases like this. Activision is going to get the domain back and it wouldn't surprise me if they got it for free. They'll probably end up buying it off of the user to speed up the process though.

Posted by Juicebox

Which bland fps will you choose?

Posted by EpicSteve

I just purchased ModernWarfare5.com

In a few years, it'll be really funny.

Posted by Jeffk38uk

Guess I shall go and register Giantbomb2.com then.

Posted by Xpgamer7

I love it when ridiculous, harmless stuff like this happens.

Posted by Rhombus_Of_Terror

I'll start giantbomb.co.uk if you like...?

Actually that might be awesome. Union Jack banner, proper english, pipes and smoking jackets in front of an open fire for TNT and instead of Happy Hour it'll be called Bar Crawl, and all members are called Chaps.

Posted by lockwoodx

Domain trolls doing it right for once.

Posted by WiqidBritt

I could tell Alex wrote this article from the headline.

Posted by lockwoodx

@RhombusOfTerror said:

I'll start giantbomb.co.uk if you like...?

Actually that might be awesome. Union Jack banner, proper english, pipes and smoking jackets in front of an open fire for TNT and instead of Happy Hour it'll be called Bar Crawl, and all members are called Chaps.

I would totally subscribe to that.

Posted by AuthenticM

I knew Alex had written this article just by reading the title. :)

Posted by mnzy
@RhombusOfTerror said:

I'll start giantbomb.co.uk if you like...?

Actually that might be awesome. Union Jack banner, proper english, pipes and smoking jackets in front of an open fire for TNT and instead of Happy Hour it'll be called Bar Crawl, and all members are called Chaps.

And we would finally get a Football Manager Quick Look.
Posted by chickdigger802

lol that mw4 site is pretty hilarious.

can't wait for 2013!

Posted by TIIME

National Arbitration Forum?...How--What?  
 
How does the National Arbitration Forum have any authority on proceedings outside of a governed court of law? 
  
I mean, what's stopping the owner of ModernWarfare3.com saying to the National Arbitration Forum: "Go fuck yourselves!" 
 
Does the National Arbitration Forum have subpoena power? 
 
Possession is nine-tenths of the law. Finders keepers, losers weepers. 
 
Admittedly, I'm not a lawyer, it seems suspicious to me.

Posted by JacDG

@mnzy said:

@RhombusOfTerror said:

I'll start giantbomb.co.uk if you like...?

Actually that might be awesome. Union Jack banner, proper english, pipes and smoking jackets in front of an open fire for TNT and instead of Happy Hour it'll be called Bar Crawl, and all members are called Chaps.

And we would finally get a Football Manager Quick Look.

Football Manager Endurance Run?

Posted by YOUNGLINK

too funny!

Posted by TadThuggish

Joystiq's article started with "Activision Complains..." I cannot tell you how many times I've read an article that started with "Activision Complains".

Posted by Vexxan

Hilarious.

Posted by reson8er

Ya know, if it were any company besides ActiVision I would probably not find it as amusing.

Edited by FacestabMan

Advertising against a game is bad, but charging $105 (game plus map packs) a year for the same content with updated weaponry is just worse. The game still runs under an updated Quake 3 engine, still lacks big enough maps, still lacks dedicated servers on PC (just like MW2), still has overall the same mechanics and perks with a few changes (no more tactical nuke, now that, more than an improvement is just a fix for something that was instantly broken).

I'm against kiddie nonsense like saying "CoD is gonna suck, buy BF3 instead" and force it down everyone's throat, but what Activision keeps doing every single year is just wrong.

Posted by UberExplodey

fart noise.

Posted by Marokai

It's hard to tell how Alex feels on this issue after reading that. His bitterness for the sake of bitterness is so broad at this point that he could be mad at Activision for being cocks about this issue and trying to take something that isn't theirs, or he could be mad at the guy who owns the domain because he wanted to be unpredictable and cool in his outrage. Such a mystery.

Posted by cikame

I wish people would stop taking sides, two totally different games and call of duty's still going to be more popular because of its simplicity in owning and playing.

Posted by AlwaysBeClothing

If they don't own Modernwarfare or modern Warfare 4, I wonder if there is a legal grounds for them to claim this website then.

Posted by jozzy

@RhombusOfTerror said:

I'll start giantbomb.co.uk if you like...?

Actually that might be awesome. Union Jack banner, proper english, pipes and smoking jackets in front of an open fire for TNT and instead of Happy Hour it'll be called Bar Crawl, and all members are called Chaps.

Oh man, don't tease us like that, do it! (and I am not even british).

Posted by DarkGamerOO7

I wonder if this is the same person who registered the domain name http://www.pspgo.com/, a website that redirected itself to a Nintendo DS Lite website.

Posted by kerse

@RhombusOfTerror said:

I'll start giantbomb.co.uk if you like...?

Actually that might be awesome. Union Jack banner, proper english, pipes and smoking jackets in front of an open fire for TNT and instead of Happy Hour it'll be called Bar Crawl, and all members are called Chaps.

I'm listening.

Posted by timmbot

Ryan is gonna have a ton of fun when Batman 3: BatmanBatmanBatman comes out.

Posted by Ramone

@kerse said:

@RhombusOfTerror said:

I'll start giantbomb.co.uk if you like...?

Actually that might be awesome. Union Jack banner, proper english, pipes and smoking jackets in front of an open fire for TNT and instead of Happy Hour it'll be called Bar Crawl, and all members are called Chaps.

I'm listening.

This is the greatest idea ever

Posted by Subjugation

Activision offices on the day they found out about this:

"Whoops."

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