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

Posted by Alex (3043 posts) -

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
#1 Posted by Alex (3043 posts) -

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
#2 Edited by pochunki (63 posts) -

oh, people.

#3 Edited by iDarktread (1263 posts) -

"Right." 
 
Hah, really liked that.

#4 Posted by AlmostSwedish (674 posts) -

huh, kinda cool I guess?

#5 Posted by Simplexity (1430 posts) -

I like watching activision struggle.

#6 Posted by Little_Socrates (5834 posts) -

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

#7 Posted by Rolyatkcinmai (2760 posts) -

I love you, Alex.

#8 Posted by B_Heart (178 posts) -

activision, you so crazy

#9 Posted by BulletproofMonk (2734 posts) -

ModernWarfare3.com still takes me to the BF3 site.

#10 Posted by bushpusherr (923 posts) -

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

#11 Posted by Sanity (2042 posts) -

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.

#12 Posted by Make_Me_Mad (3202 posts) -

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

#13 Posted by takua108 (1575 posts) -

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

#14 Posted by Darkstar614 (1123 posts) -

@BulletproofMonk said:

ModernWarfare3.com still takes me to the BF3 site.

same

#15 Posted by jaks (253 posts) -

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

#16 Posted by StingerMK2 (398 posts) -

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

#17 Posted by PKHilson (216 posts) -

Hahahahaaha

#18 Posted by xbob42 (563 posts) -

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

#19 Posted by ribeye (479 posts) -

haha

#20 Posted by Arker101 (1484 posts) -

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. "

#21 Posted by WilliamHenry (1248 posts) -

@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.

#22 Posted by Juicebox (495 posts) -

Which bland fps will you choose?

#23 Posted by EpicSteve (6910 posts) -

I just purchased ModernWarfare5.com

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

#24 Posted by Jeffk38uk (725 posts) -

Guess I shall go and register Giantbomb2.com then.

#25 Posted by Xpgamer7 (2453 posts) -

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

#26 Posted by Rhombus_Of_Terror (2199 posts) -

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.

#27 Posted by lockwoodx (2532 posts) -

Domain trolls doing it right for once.

#28 Posted by WiqidBritt (582 posts) -

I could tell Alex wrote this article from the headline.

#29 Posted by lockwoodx (2532 posts) -

@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.

#30 Posted by AuthenticM (4242 posts) -

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

#31 Posted by mnzy (2959 posts) -
@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.
#32 Posted by chickdigger802 (571 posts) -

lol that mw4 site is pretty hilarious.

can't wait for 2013!

#33 Posted by TIIME (15 posts) -

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.

#34 Posted by JacDG (2134 posts) -

@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?

#35 Posted by YOUNGLINK (561 posts) -

too funny!

#36 Posted by TadThuggish (968 posts) -

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

#37 Posted by Vexxan (4624 posts) -

Hilarious.

#38 Posted by reson8er (33 posts) -

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

#39 Edited by FacestabMan (76 posts) -

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.

#40 Posted by UberExplodey (974 posts) -

fart noise.

#41 Posted by Marokai (3230 posts) -

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.

#42 Posted by cikame (1155 posts) -

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.

#44 Posted by AlwaysBeClothing (1575 posts) -

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.

#45 Posted by jozzy (2053 posts) -

@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).

#46 Posted by DarkGamerOO7 (611 posts) -

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.

#47 Posted by kerse (2177 posts) -

@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.

#48 Posted by timmbot (66 posts) -

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

#49 Posted by Ramone (3065 posts) -

@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

#50 Posted by Subjugation (4779 posts) -

Activision offices on the day they found out about this:

"Whoops."

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