Oh what fun. YouTube must be used to the odd legal threat, given the tendency of some users to upload material that they don’t actually own. But this case is a bit different. It seems a company called Universal Tube & Rollform Equipment, who’ve had the domain utube.com for quite some time are having server problems.
Apparently lots of people who habitually spell “you” as “u” are entering the wrong address, and instead of seeing lots of videos, they’re seeing, err tubes and rollform equipment. They claim that so many people are doing this that their server can’t cope. I can understand that they’re a wee bit upset about getting millions of hits that they don’t want, but it’s not really anyone’s fault (other than the less literate people who can’t spell “you”, but short of tracking them down and sentencing them to compulsory English lessons, there’s not a lot that can be done about that).
So naturally, they’re dragging lawyers into it. Their opening attack says that they want YouTube to do one of two things:
- Stop operating
- Pay for the tubes people to have a new domain name
Well the first one is clearly ludicrous, and the sort of thing that lawyers like to start with. The second is also pretty silly. Domain names cost so little that it’s hardly worth actually getting your lawyer to ask someone to pay for one. Though perhaps they mean the cost of reprinting stationery, publicising the new address and all the related stuff.
All very silly, really.
 Whatever that is