Online hacker magazine 2600 has emerged victorious in its campaign to retain ownership of the controversial FuckGeneralMotors.com domain.
Ford has withdrawn its appeal to the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, meaning that 2600 can direct FuckGeneralMotors.com at anywhere it jolly well pleases (it plans to canvas opinions on this at the forthcoming H2K2 conference.
At one time FuckGeneralMotors.com (one of a series of sites 2600 registered to take shots at American corporate bigwigs, racism and the mass media 1n 1999) pointed at Ford. The motor company expressed concerns that the non-tech savvy would think Ford had created the site itself.
Rather than asking 2600 politely to stop, Ford decided to call in the lawyers.
In December, 2001, Judge Robert Cleland of the Eastern District of Michigan, dismissed Ford's lawsuit in its entirety for "failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted". The decision meant Ford had no legal right to prohibit 2600 from pointing FuckGeneralMotors.com at Ford's homepage.
Ford (supported by various intellectual property lawyers) initially decided to appeal but has now given up the ghost and handing 2600 an almost complete victory. It doesn't recover its costs, but then again it doesn't have to shell out any more legal fees.
In a statement, 2600 said Ford "has officially and unconditionally conceded its complete, utter, and perpetual loss" on the merits of the case, which it says sets a precedent for free speech on the Internet. ®