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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.
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+