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Latino Army Of Light to fight AOL’s army of darkness

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In what appears to be a case of reverse domain hijacking, New York based society ‘Latino Army Of Light‘ is fighting for its virtual survival against a giant: AOL – America Online.

According to the LatinoAoL.com web site:

The LATINO ARMY OF LIGHT is a fraternal order composed of members of Latin descent.

The order was started in Loisiada, originally intended to be a Fraternity for the Puerto Ricans who had migrated there in the late 30’s and early 40’s, because they were not accepted by the White Lodges in the area.

The popularity of the lodge grew in the late 70’s and early 80’s, and it opened its doors to all Latinos, whether from South America or the Caribbean. In the 80’s the Army of Light began to sponsor food drives, little leagues and community organization.

AOL contacted Latino Army of Light officer, Nick Spanos, a well-known philanthropist and established real-estate businessman based in the heart of Manhattan’s classy SoHo district. As a licensed real estate broker, Nick Spanos runs the highly successful business, bApple.com (Big Apple) for several years now.

Nick is also an honorary officer of the Latino Army of Light, due to his lengthy relationship and philanthropic involvement with the local Latino community.

“I grew up with the sons and grandsons of the founding members and in 1998 I helped them register the domain, LatinoAoL.com”, says Nick. “The society’s practice is very close to that of the Freemasons, who at that time would not accept members from minorities, such as Hispanics. So they started their own fraternal society, Latino Army of Light.”

AOL sent a Cease and Desist letter, alleging trademark abuse and asking for the domain to be handed over. AOL is using AOLLatino.com to redirect it to its Hispanic portal at Latino.AOL.com

However, AOLLatino.com was not used until 2003, according to Archive.org records. The domain AOLLatino.com was registered exactly 8 years ago, in 2002 – a whole 4 years after the order of Latino Army Of Light registered LatinoAoL.com

“Should a secret society be forced to open up its records and disclose its affiliations and nominal practices, just because a large corporation demands it? Should we just surrender our domain simply because it contains AOL’s acronym?”, asks Nick Spanos. “My lawyer says, no”, he adds.

Communication between AOL and the Latino Army of Light is in its preliminary stages still and no UDRP has been filed; the case already reeks of ‘reverse domain hijacking‘ overtones on AOL’s behalf.


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Comments

One Response to “Latino Army Of Light to fight AOL’s army of darkness”
  1. Stephan says:

    Ridiculous! AOL is definitely trying to bully them into surrendering something they have no rights for. Good luck to the organization and its fight – light against darkness it is!

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