HarleySpace.com changes name to avoid legal woes

Publish Date: 
Apr 17, 2012

Harley-Davidson has won its battle with a website operator who fought allegations of copyright infringement over the domain name of his social media website.

The former HarleySpace.com has been renamed IronRides.com, in deference to the Motor Co.’s claims.

"They said I was trying to profit off their name," webmaster Jimmy Coulbourne, 36, of Delaware, told the York Daily Record. H-D argued the domain name's use of the word "Harley," combined with orange and black logos, constituted, among other things, "cybersquatting" - registering domain names with intent to profit from someone else's copyright.

"The term 'Harley' is among numerous company registered trademarks that may not be used for commercial purposes without our permission, when used in conjunction with motorcycles or motorcycle-related matters," H-D spokesman Bob Klein told the newspaper.

Coulbourne has another theory: His site, which carried a disclaimer stating it was not affiliated with the company, brought in 800 registered members over two months.

"They'll never convince me that my members are foolish enough to think this site is owned by Harley," he says. "Their lawyer said they have similar products in the works. They're probably up to something. Maybe I beat them to the punch."

Posted by Holly Wagner

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