By Lisa E. Crowley
BROCKTON—A battle between a grassroots group and the company that has proposed constructing a 350-megawatt natural gas power plant in Brockton has moved into a new arena: Cyberspace.
Leaders of Stop The Power--a group of residents from Brockton and the Bridgewaters-- are awaiting Brockton Power-Advanced Power’s promise to give back the group’s once-held internet domain name, StopThePower.org—a website name Advanced Power bought about 8 months after the grassroots group had an internal fight which required Stop The Power reregister its domain name as StopThePower.net.
Eddie Byers, one of the leaders of Stop The Power, said while his group believes it was one of their own working against them who initially caused the domain name snafu, he does not understand why Advanced Power would have bothered to purchase the group’s original website name, and wonders how—and most notably who—informed the company there was a problem when the group tried to renew the name.
“Why would they buy it? How did they find out it was available,” Byers asked several times during a recent interview.
He said it seems the company is using its might in every way against a grassroots group with very little money except what Byers himself provides, and residents who have jobs and lives to attend to.
“They get paid to do this—we’re a group of residents with jobs and lives,” Byers said. “What does that say about them,” he said.
Advanced Power company representatives have directed all comment to a letter sent to Stop The Power dated Sept. 1 in response to Stop The Power’s letter by its legal counsel Paul M. Glickman demanding Advanced Power relinquish control of the .org domain name because it is a violation of common law trademark rights and is cyberpiracy.
Through telephone calls and emails Advanced Power has ignored the question Byers posed as to why the company bought the .org name and will only point to the letter from its lawyers.
In the response letter written by Siobhan E. Mee, an attorney with Bingham McCutcheon LLP in Boston, Advanced Power said “despite having a lawful, good faith basis for registering the .org domain name, our client is not currently using the .org domain name and in fact has never used the .org domain name.”
The letter continues, “Although we believe Stop The Power’s claims are meritless, use of the domain name is not something our client intends to pursue.”
Advanced Power states in the letter while it has every legal right to maintain control of the .org domain name, it is in the process of de-registering the .org domain name and will be available for Stop The Power, if it so chooses."
The de-registration has not been completed. As of Sept. 6, Stop The Power has sent a second letter to Advanced Power stating the group disagrees the company had the right to purchase the domain name and believes the company did it to confuse and silence opposition to the project.
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