I had to post on this because who knows the next time I can write "The California Political Cyberfraud Abatement Act." The fact that a law to prevent, well, exactly what it sounds like, uses the word "abatement" just brings to mind, like, Mosquito Vector Abatement Districts or something. Not an odd linkage I suppose, since both would be intended to ward off pests.
The Times runs this article on the battle over the domain "www.noon87.com" which actually gets you to the Yes on 87 site. Follow that? Seems someone (ahem, Big Oil, ahem) forgot to register alternative domain names and got scooped by the opposition who banked, justifiably, I can only assume, that people trying to get to www.nooiltax.com would take a stab at getting there via noon87.com. While the faux no site originally directed people to the Yes site directly, it now takes you to a nifty page listing the real No's backers and their bank rolling.
The article implies the faux no eventually re-directs to the real No site, but mine has yet to make the jump - so who knows. [Ed's note: no, it doesn't redirect, but does offer a link to the Real No site at the bottom. How kind.]
The change was prompted by - what else - litigation.
Of course, it's easy to understand why oil companies would be concerned over a potential hike in the "oil tax" given recent plummeting profits as drivers in droves abandon their gas guzzling SUVs and H2s and 3s. Oh wait . . . . On the plus side, at least consumers can see the fruits of the reported $31,017,570 they've provided Exxon, Chevron, and the others to use for political activities. It's so hard to appreciate emissions from your car's tail pipe the same way you can appreciate the television transmissions on your TV screen.
You can find the California Political Cyberfraud Abatement Act (simply marked in the table of contents completely inelegantly as "Decptive Onlie Activities" in the California Elections Code here.
Suing their cybersquatting asses is fine and dandy, but the Yes campaign has still scored major earned media by following the Daisy Spot Political Advertisment Rule: why pay to broadcast your advertising and message if you can get the news to cover your ad for free?