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Hello,

I got DP email last night, but I didn't read it until this morning. After reading his Email regard legal situation with Harley-Davidson Corporation, I really find this interesting and hope I can offer some of my past experiences.

First, I will brief myself so I hope you will be patient and keep up with me. I am deaf so english is not my first language because I use America Sign Language as my first language. If my grammar isn't at its best, I hope you will excuse me for this reason. In the past, I started a website specialist for 1997 30th Anniversary Camaro and formed it into a club. It has been quite a fight for me and I managed to get through this with help from one of GM employee.

I would like to give DP my compliment on this website. When I first thought of starting a website that all HD enthusiasts would come and share similar interest, I was going to start this site, however, DP already beat me to it. So I currently own several domain names like harleydavidsonenthusiasts.com, hdenthusiasts.com, and so forth on. Only thing that really concerned me when I first visit the website was the fact that H-D Logos are being used including this gauntlet glove and several H-D logos(link and mugs). They represent H-D without a doubt. Of course, H-D logo as a link to their homepage is another issues. So many things to list.

DP, don't feel awful. I started 30th Camaro club website as a completely dumbfound and knew nothing about the copyright law and so forth on. I learned my lesson the HARD WAY! I faced several obstacle with GM and SLP Engineering . SLP Engineering is responsible for Camaro SS package and did 100 LT4 30th Anniversary Camaro SS, the rarest camaro as of now. I used 30th logo that was trademark of GM and some of logos that was also trademark of SLP and Indianapolis Motor Speedway because 30th Anniversary Camaro was duplicated over 1996 Indianapolis Pacer Camaro, white with hugger orange stripes.

GM, at one point, threated with legal action against me for using their logos and trademarks. Instead of getting an attorney and fight back, I went and asked other website owners such as www.f-body.com and www.camaroz28.com for advices. After they reviewed my site, they pointed out that I am providing a resourceful informations on this rare vehicle and would make ideal market target for GM when this vehicle become classic and may be most sought-after vehicle in 20-30 years like 1969 Indianapolis Pacer Camaro is right now. So they introduced me to Scott Settlemire, GM Camaro Brand Assist Manager and because of his love for the camaro, he helped me out by leading me in right directions. He gave me this lady in charge of Logos and Trademarks dept for GM to get written permission to use Logos and Trademark. After some back and forth with her, I became so frustrating that I contacted Scott and he helped me out by stepping in. Within couple of weeks, I got the permit and 300 reprinted Camaro posters to be distributed out to all members! It was a good feeling at that time.

But Harley-Davidson is whole new ballgame. I have tried to contact them and get written permission for HarleyDavidsonEnthusiast.com and gave them full detail with website layout and etc. They simple put it this way that if I am to use their logos, they are risking the possibility of damaging their reputation because if my site offer forums and provide incorrect informations or offer auctions and then users get robbed by online fraud. So I think that this is their biggest concern of you using "Harley Davidson" and they are more concerned of their reputation and consumer issue being damaged.

Since I am not aware of your step-by-step procedure to date, I have no idea if you made an effort to work out with them without threatening to bring your attorney in. I would work out the deal with them and find out exactly what is bothering them about this site and what kind of change they want to see. If it is gauntlet glove with H-D Logo, then remove it! And work with them on your Online Store and show them exactly what you are marketing so they can get the picture. WORK with them first. If it didn't work out, then fight with them. Your chance in court will be better because you showed that you tried to work it out with H-D, but they chose to play hardball with you. And since you basically didn't infringe with their copyright law then I can't see how you will lose the case.

When you said on bottom of your website, "Copyright 2001-2002 HarleyDavidsonForum.com All Rights Reserved ", what did you mean? Did you submitted your artwork to copyright office in Washington, D.C. to be copyrighted? Can you be specific on what copyrighted material do you own?

I am currently working on two separate websites that will offer forum and auction for bikers and for gamers. Of course, the website will be free of charge for all users to use. And I am waiting on two of logos drew by professional comic book drawer to be copyrighted before I open the website officially. It will be tough battle for H-D to fight with one of my biker site when the drawer and I own the copyright materials.

If they offer to buy-out on your domain name, let me know then maybe I will offer them hdenthusiasts.com LOL! ;) J/K!
 

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Hey Ken thanks for all of the insight on your post. Keep us up to date when your sites become available. I am sure that plenty of us have things we need to get rid of via the auction.

The MOCO has already acknowledged that the graphics are mine, including the logo. Because it was actually "created". The issues that were brought up have already been fixed/taken care of.

Just waiting for their next move. The MOCO is actually very frugal and cheap. They do not want to spend any money, they would rather you just "give" it to them. So, with that in mind, it's going to be like squeezing blood from a turnip.

As for the copyright for the forum, I just own the implied copyrights to information/artwork on the site, nothing submitted to the copyright office.

I am with you and agree about the validity of their claims, that is the reason why I am standing up against them, I do not see where we are doing anything wrong with using the name.
 

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Harley-Davidson really needs to learn from another big name American Company "Fender Guitars". I'm posting at the "Fenderforum" since when it started and it's private owned.
After a few years, the Forum was very well received by Fender lovers. Fender acknowledged the great resource of information from an independent site on their customers and products, good and the not so good. However, Fender employees including the CEO started to post and give insights, news and answers. They discussed inputs on their products and to great demand reissues one of their classic amplifier. The host of the Fenderforum does a good job of keeping it professional and I see the same here at the harleydavidsonforum.
David, maybe next time you get a message from HD tell them about the Fenderforum and the great things that came out of it.
 

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Hey "D"

Welcome them in to the family.

Even though I don't think they wanna come in the kitchen. The coffee maybe to Black for their taste.
 

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IMHO, I'm pretty sure that's NOT the issue here. The MOCO is being the MOCO. Nothing more.

And I'm pretty sure DP is of the same view.
 

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You never really know what is going on behind the scenes.

There is no question the MoCo can gain valuable insight from a site like this, in particular considering the tame nature of it compared to some other sites.

When it comes right down to it the only ones that do not gain from the truth being known are some dealers. I wouldn't be surprised at all if some dealers are lobbying the MoCo to get rid of the site.
 

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HIPPO said:

When it comes right down to it the only ones that do not gain from the truth being known are some dealers. I wouldn't be surprised at all if some dealers are lobbying the MoCo to get rid of the site.
You bring up a good point. With today's common access to the internet, the traditional "biker" is probably thought of as being "old, eccentric, and out of touch" But as several users have brought up, "Knowledge is power". With the creation of this site and the members "banding together", I can see why dealers can view it as a current threat.

Buyers being informed, they don't like that. That's probably why alot of them are still polishing the bikes on their showroom floors instead of in the service shop filling it with gas, and watching it roar away.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
dprice said:

Buyers being informed, they don't like that. That's probably why alot of them are still polishing the bikes on their showroom floors instead of in the service shop filling it with gas, and watching it roar away.
That's actually the whole point why MoCo is trying to bring this site down. :rolleyes:
 
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