Skip to Content
Streetsblog Los Angeles home
Streetsblog Los Angeles home
Log In
Metrolink

Metrolink Sues Metrolinkrider.com for Domain Name and Loses

metrolink_1.jpg
At a Time When Transit Agencies Are Fighting For Every Dollar, Metrolink Wastes Money Suing Bloggers

This week's LA Weekly has a fascinating expose on Metrolink's ham-handed attempt to silence bloggers by dragging them in front of international courts.  I wish this were an April Fool's story, but it isn't.  The story's author, Max Taves, abandons any pretense of objectivity slamming Metrolink as a "Paranoid Transit Agency" before we even get to the text of the piece.   After reading the story, I can't say I blame him.

 And the story is basically this.  Desperate to shut down a website that is critical of its policies, Metrolink filed suit against Bob Arkow because his website was a violation of international copyright laws.  You see, the website's name is MetrolinkRider.com and Metrolink claimed that people might think the site was an official
Metro message board.  Metrolink also sued for the domain metrolinksucks.com which doesn't have a website attached to it yet, but is also owned by Arkow.  Metrolink must have a pretty low
opinion of its riders...that or members of its board and staff are
going to be shocked to hear that Kobe Bryant doesn't spend his off days updating the links at this website.  Don't panic Camino, Metrolink lost its case in front of the United Nations' World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) court earlier this month.

Despite this setback, Metrolink is sticking to their guns and refusing to apologize for what is clearly a gross violation of Arkow's right to free speech.  According to LA Weekly:

Yet Metrolink’s Francisco Oaxaca doesn’t regret spending public moneyand L.A. County lawyers’ time trying to shut down Arkow’s small sites.He sees it as merely a trial run in silencing other bloggers and Websites.

“I don’t think it was a mistake,” Oaxaca says. “If we do this again,we’ll have more information than if we hadn’t tried it, to see what isthe most effective way to protect our trademark.” He promises thatMetrolink is “considering actions against other domain-name holders.”

It must be reassuring for Metrolink passengers to hear that agency that just raised fares for the second time this year isn't wasting money on frivolous expenses. 

Say what you want about Metro, but I could never see them tilting at windmills like this.  As a matter of fact, their press department always returns my calls and even does outreach when there's an event they wish to promote.  I don't think anyone that reads Streetsblog thinks I go easy on Metro as a result, but by treating each other as professionals, blogger journalists and public agencies can develop a mutually beneficial relationship.

Or you agencies and bloggers can go to war with each other and the world will be full of websites named (nameofyouragency)sucks.com.

Image: Atwater Village Newbie/Flickr 

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog Los Angeles

Strategizing About Reduced Funding in the Active Transportation Program

Funding for Cycle 7 of the Active Transportation Program is less than $200 million, and already there have been requests for fifteen times the amount of available funding

July 18, 2024

Eyes on the Street: Hollywood Boulevard Bike Lanes are Open

The Hollywood bike lanes project, already very much in use, is also already being criticized by commenters at Nextdoor and other social media

July 17, 2024

Eyes on the Street: Vincent Bikeway is Coming Together

The new waterway bike/walk path - with on-street connections - is expected to open later this year

July 17, 2024
See all posts