Alliance miffed at Web site

An Ottawa Web site operator is in hot water with the Canadian Alliance.

Consultant Mike Gifford uses the site to poke fun at Alliance leader Stockwell Day and the party's platform.

But the Alliance charges that the site unlawfully uses the party's trademarks to get its message across.

Mike Gifford bought the domain name in March, and uses the site to post articles critical of the Canadian Alliance. Gifford says the purchase was made a week before the Alliance applied to trademark the name "Canadian Alliance."

The site uses the blue and green Alliance colours and a modified version of the party's logo.

But Gifford says that's where the similarities end. "Anyone who goes to the site can clearly see that this is not the Alliance party. This is not the official Alliance site."

To ward off confusion, Gifford has even added a disclaimer and a link to the Alliance's official site.

But Robert Dechert, the lawyer representing the Alliance, says the site is a clear case of trademark infringement.

"They are giving the impression that they are a designated agent of the party, and they are not," he says. "If they want to have public discourse, that's fine. But they should do it under their own name."

Gifford says he will move the content of the site to another address he owns if the party proceeds with legal action.

As for the address at the centre of the trouble, he plans to sell it on an Internet auction site to the highest bidder if the Alliance proceeds with legal action.

Related Links:Mike Gifford's "Alliance Exposed" site (it is also available through official Canadian Alliance site

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