January 25, 2000
Our nightmare began with a phone call from an Intellectual Property Broker in the UK trying to buy our Domain Name, blueyonder.com, for an undisclosed client.
We told him the name was not for sale.
We also told him that it was an integral part of my Graphic Design Business, Blue Yonder®, and a tribute to my father, a career US Air Force NCO.
When he was unsuccesful in acquiring our name, another more agressive agent was put on us. He told us that we'd be sorry if we didn't sell.
When he was unsuccessful, Telewest's Marketing Director, Philip Jansen gave it a try. He told us it would be in our best interests to sell out.
When he was unsuccessful, the chore fell to Gavin Patterson.
Patterson told us that Telewest intended to use the confusingly similar blueyonder.co.uk if we refused to sell out, and that if we tried to sell them our Domain Name to them at a later date, it would be worth considerably less.
Telewest decided to use our identity with the full knowledge of the extremely negative affect it would have on us.
Never the less, We refused to sell out.
Since then, we have been inundated with MIllions of unwanted emails, viruses, and attacks directed at us and our ISP's.
We receive complaints and legal threats about viruses, attacks and abuses originating from Telewest's network.
We receive complaints from Telewest's customers about poor service.
Yes, Telewest's own customers are convinced that Telewest owns Our Domain Name.
The bottom line.
Telewest/ Liberty Media/ Microsoft et.al., took what they were unable to buy, our identity.
The privacy rights of every one of their customers who were led to believe that they could use our blueyonder.com in their email aliases have been violated.
Who was it really, who wanted our name? The client was Telewest, the UK arm of the Global Cable Network controlled by John Malone and his partners; ( Bill Gates, Bill Huff, TCI Cable, AT&T, Liberty Media, UPC, Microsoft, Vivendi Universal, Cox Comm., United Artists, Credit Suisse First Boston, Barclays Bank, Bank of America, Citi Corp, Deutsche Bank, etc. ).
Telewest has offered internet service under the names: Cable Internet, CableInet, Telewest plc., Telewest Communications, and now, Telewest Broadband.
Despite being unable to buy BLUEYONDER.COM from us, Telewest was able to buy the 2 month old, and confusingly similar BLUEYONDER.CO.UK.
BLUEYONDER.CO.UK had only been registered two months previously, by a jeweler in Liverpool, while We had been running the BLUEYONDER.COM site continuously since 1996.
Telewest representatives threatened us that they'd use the confusingly similar blueyonder.co.uk if we refused to sell our name to them.
We were told by Telewest's people that we'd be sorry if we refused , and that it would be in our best interests to sell. Further, if we decided to sell it to them later, we'd get nothing for it.
This sounded like extortion to us, and we refused to have anything to do with Telewest & Co..
Everyone from Telewest who contacted us was made aware of our long running use of the name, and that it's use in business afforded us trademark protection.
Any use of a BLUEYONDER name for hosting close to a million customers, as Telewest had planned, would inundate us with email, expose us to attacks and viruses, and generally make the complete, legitimate use of our Identity impossible.
Telewest made good on it's threat and our lives been changed.... for the worse.
Malone and Gates would not take NO for an answer.
Adding insult to injury... they even copied our logotype!
In November of 2003, Telewest claimed 389,000 HighSpeed Internet Customers, alone. That doesn't include TV, telephone or dialup customers.
On March 11, 2004, Telewest claimed that number had risen to 452,000 . That has risen to over 498,000 in May 2004