Starting next week, RVeNEWS will change its name to RV Daily Report in an effort to avoid litigation threatened by a competitor, according to a current posting on the Stoughton, Wis.-based website.
The move was forced in July when the owner of a competitive website felt RVeNEWS was causing confusion in the marketplace. An attorney representing the owner of RV News threatened legal action unless RVeNEWS changed its name, said Greg Gerber, founder of RVeNEWS.
Gerber solicited input from his current readers regarding the new name for the website. “First we asked readers to tell us whether they liked or hated about 40 prospective domains. Then we whittled that number down to the top 10 and asked readers to rank them in order from their most favorite to their least favorite,” said Gerber.
In the end, readers had ranked RV Daily Report among their top favorites — a choice Gerber said was indicative of what he is trying to do in serving the RV industry.
“With our comprehensive reporting of stories impacting RV dealers, manufacturers, suppliers, campgrounds and RV owners, we are really reporting all the news we can find,” he explained. “And as the industry’s pioneer in developing a daily newsletter listing all the stories we found that day, RV Daily Report really describes what we do best.”
The readers’ top two choices — RV Industry Today and RV Industry Update — were eliminated after objections were raised by an association that RV Industry Today may cause confusion with readers of RVIA Today, published by the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association, and discovery of a Wall Street publication that provided a regular update of companies in the RV industry.
“We wanted to avoid repeating the problem that led to the name change in the first place,” said Gerber. “I think RV Daily Report will be well received by our readers and the industry we serve.”
Gerber noted this will be the second name change for his website in the past four months, and he thanked readers for their patience, support and understanding.
“I really loved RV Industry News and wish I could use it today,” he said. “But, we founded that publication with the help of Milo Media. When Milo Media went out of business, we attempted to buy the rights to use the name, agreed to a price and even drew up a contract, but the company president refused to sign it. So we were forced to start over with RVeNEWS.
“I really didn’t expect a problem with RVeNEWS because we used www.rvinews.com as the domain upon which we built RV Industry News. So, when we had to start over, switching the “I’ to an “E” didn’t seem like it would be a big deal,” Gerber explained. “But, apparently it was enough of a change to frustrate a competitor.
“Many of our readers encouraged me to fight to protect the domain, but I really couldn’t afford the cost and the distraction that would be inherent in any legal battle,” he added. “RV Daily Report will work just fine and may even work to our advantage based on some other ideas we would like to implement this fall.”
Switching the name should not cause any problems for readers other than requiring them to bookmark a new page. “Our goal is to simply rename the site this weekend and preserve all the content, comments, etc,” Gerber explained. “But, if we run into a glitch, and need to redesign the site, it will be fully functional one way or the other come Monday morning.”
Starting Monday (Aug. 24), the new website can be accessed at www.rvdailyreport.com. People who have accessed RVeNEWS on their Blackberries at www.rvenews.mobi, will be able to keep abreast of industry happenings by visiting www.rvdailyreport.mobi. People who forget to enter the new domain will auotmatically be redirected to the new site.
Gerber said he’ll take advantage of the situation to make some changes to the website’s functionality as well as to the daily newsletter.
Editor’s Note: The first item below is a news story posted Monday (July 27) on the RVeNews website about a copyright battle brewing between two rival RV news distributors. The second is a blog written by Greg Gerber, one of the contestants.
An attorney representing Don Magary, owner of RV News, sent RVeNEWS founder Greg Gerber a certified letter today (July 27) demanding that Gerber stop using the RVeNEWS brand.
“Needless to say, ‘RVeNews’ is the same or confusingly similar to my client’s established business trade name, RV News, and has caused, or will likely cause, confusion in the marketplace,” wrote Henry W. Stein, with the law firm of Stein and Stein, of Mesa, Ariz.
Stein contends that Magary’s company, Website Management, owns the domain name rvnews.com and that RV News has been published since 1975. “RV News has served the recreation vehicle industry for more than 30 years throughout the United States,” Stein wrote.
“My client recently learned that you are maintaining a website known as ‘RVeNews” which purports to serve the same market as The RVeNews,” he added. “Moreover, your securing the domain name RVeNews.com is likely a violation of the anticybersquatting consumer protection act, 15 U.S.C. chapter 1125, other statutes, laws or rules.”
“By this letter, my client hereby demands that you immediately and forthwith cease using, marketing, advertising or otherwise employing the name ‘RVeNews’ in its trade name and/or as part of its domain name,” wrote Stein. “In the event you fail to honor this demand within 30 days, you will leave my client little choice but to pursue its remedies through the United States District Court. We trust, however, this will not be necessary and look forward to your immediate cooperation.”
Gerber did not immediately wish to comment, but said he would address the issue in his blog Monday afternoon.
Meanwhile, the RVeNews notes on its site: 25 DAYS until RVeNEWS switches to a new domain. More details to follow.
Gerber’s blog, first posted Monday afternoon (July 27):
A funny thing happened last week. While I was putting 1,800 miles on my car attempting to learn more about the RV industry and to better serve our readers, my competitor — Don Magary, of RV News — was consulting lawyers.
Apparently Mr. Magary feels that my 120-day-old website and daily newsletter causes a great deal of confusion among readers of RV News, a monthly online publication. He and his lawyer have given me 30 days to cease using RVeNEWS in any marketing or even using it as part of the domain name.
I’m sure we could easily beat such a frivolous lawsuit, but that would distract me from building this business and serving our readers during a time the industry is rebounding. Besides, my website wasn’t built on a name, it was built on content.
I certainly don’t want to inconvenience anyone looking for breaking news in any of the 1,478 stories we have posted at RVeNEWS.com in the past 120 days. People may forget to type the “e” in our domain name and wind up on Magary’s site scratching their heads and thinking, “What the #@(!?”
So stay tuned. The fun will start later this week.