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I am the /img/avatar7.jpg of the Project Gotham Racing 3 fansite,, and had recently sent a question to Bizarre Creations regarding the possible TM issues with the domain. Today I received this response: I'm glad to see them give me the thumbs-up, but I have a couple questions:.

1) Is it OK to display Adsense ("to cover hosting costs")? The problem would then be "how do you determine if I'm making a profit or not?" I'm thinking that I probably shouldn't, but just have some at the forums (which get 100 uniques per day).

2) Should I still be able to sell the site? I don't really want sued or anything for selling it, if you know what I meanIf so, around how much do you think I could get? The site is getting 200-250 uniques per day, is listed #4 of 640,000 in Google for "pgr3", and has an Alexa ranking of 215,245 in the last 1 week.

Thanks for any input, I don't want to get into any trouble with Microsoft..

Comments (34)

Glad to hear ms gave the ok!.

The short answer:.

1) NO.

2) a-Yes (as long as the buyer agrees to above terms).

B-depends on the buyer (it's a nice site by the way)..

Comment #1

The one thing I would want is sometihing on MS letterhead giving you the ok. Using adsense is against the terms stated by MS. You think you just want to cover your hosting costs, but if you are a fan, it is a labor of love. That is the downside to fan sites.

As far as selling it, as long as the new owner abides by the terms set forth in the agreement, they will be ok. but they may want to get sometihng in writing for themselves, just to be safe...

Comment #2

I've decided for sure against putting up ads, and I guess I would now be comfortable selling it.

Thanks guys! Any other opinions?..

Comment #3

I would prob agree with whats been said already.

But if you sell make sure you show the buyer the email saying you have permission and the T&C , show the actule email.



Comment #4

Hmm what if you were to sell links to the site, could you still do that..

Comment #5

Any hints of commercial use, especially if Microsoft finds out, can matter...

Comment #6

Selling the site is PROFIT as well hence commercial usage on their TM. I am not sure MS has a TM for PGR3 though. Isn't it for the full game name?..

Comment #7

Well a TM would go on the name... and anything that might represent, you COULD have if you could come up with say...a company name that fit the domain... Phoenix Graphics Rebellion 3 for example... then it would be okay since microsoft TM'd "Project gotham Racing 3" and not the acronym...

Comment #8

Yes, but since I am using it as a PGR3 fansite, I would have no case against Microsoft. If I WERE using it for something such as "Phoenix Graphics Rebellion 3", then I could probably get away with it...

Comment #9

Email them back and ask if you can put adsense on it to help cover the hosting cost...never hurts to ask...

Comment #10

Always ask them before you take any action, otherwise they will complain about it. Also, I think your site is great and I think that microsoft crap at the bottom makes the site look worse than it would before. Anyway, at least this proves to everyone that microsoft are taking action towards people who create fan sites. If someone created a fan site about any of my software, games, e.t.c, I would just let them do it without any terms. I think that microsoft really do suck because of this. Anyway, I played the pgr2 on xbox a while back and I liked the game.

We are not all rich so we do not bother with legal action or standing up for our own rights. And what, microsoft make 1million a day, so it would not even cost bill gaytes 1 hours of pay to get the job on and protect his rights...

Comment #11

The reason many companies protect their mark is to prevent dillution of their mark. "Aspirin" and "zipper" were TMs, but no longer because of dillution. Though I agree that companies go overboard in protecting their name, they are legally allowed to do so, and do it so their TM never becomes "general term"...

Comment #12

Very good information. I'm very glad this worked out for you.


Comment #13

As long as you justify enough expenses to cover your profit then technically it is non-profit :-) Good old accounting..

Comment #14

This is not true and not good advise. Nor is it the definition of a non-profit organization...

Comment #15

Have you asked microsoft if they will buy the site off of you?..

Comment #16

Argh, why did I have to be the first to read this one?????? I wish others would have beat me to it.....

Please read every post about TMs here, then you will understand why that question isn't a very good one...

Comment #17

Quote from Wikipedia ( But I guess you still should ask MS about AdSense and everything else...

Comment #18

Mate, sod microsoft and there sh!tty company. It is your site, just put some adsense up to help running costs. Microsoft are sad losers who make $1million a day and still cannot even allow 1 site to be normal. Geez, microsoft need a life.

Why you created a website about a microsoft game is still baffleing me?!?..

Comment #19

I woudnt add a adsense banner or such, infact no banners.... I would put a donation button on the site, then explain what the donation is, (cover hosting costs)..

Comment #20

Grow up, I would strongly recommend against putting any form of advertising up because Microsoft are probably monitoring your website now and will go after it faster than you can say "I've been sued by Microsoft". $1million a day? I can guarantee they make at least 10x that amount every day, if not a 100x. You might aswell jump off the Microsoft haters bandwagon because they are here to stay, and they make some extremely good games - I love age of empires 3, produced by microsoft...

Comment #21

There are many ways of getting around the none-profit problem.

Oxfam is a charity, and a non-profit organisation, however they still need revenues in orde to carry on. Their CEO also earns well over 200k per year.....

It all depends on what profit is ;-).

I would still check everything out with MS before you do anything...

Comment #22

Come on, there is a difference between a non-profit organization and not making a profit.

Robert... don't help out if you don't know what you are talking about please.

(my personal thread hell....someone help me)..

Comment #23

Sounds fishy, why would M$ use a wink? ( )..

Comment #24

Sorry's all you now. Seems like the comments in this thread get more and more ignorant. Maybe we should just leave?.


Comment #25

I don't see what you mean by that? Perhaps you could take the time to explain...

Comment #26

Labrocca... come back... help.... lol.

Ok, it are reasons like this that I will admittedly be a little short with people. Read this thread again and the answer is there. That means you need to read EVERYTHING before you post. Read about 9 posts up and you will see your answer....

NP- is it possible to get a "head slamming against a wall" smiley here?????..

Comment #27

Someone else might have read it before you but just let you post first...

Comment #28

Thank you DNQuest. I had already read every post in the topic before I posted. Perhaps you should acquaint yourself with the theory of Revenues and Profits.

I'm not sure if you were aware of this, but high revenues can still mean no profit. The letter did not determine if advertising was allowed in order to cover costs. Most of any revenues can, if need be turned into costs .e.g Wage for the site workers etc still making it a non profit organisation...

Comment #29

Wow guys... non profit does not mean you cant use advertising to cover costs. As long as you dont actualy make more than you are spending to keep it running.(hense making profit).

I would email them again and ask about putting ads up. I would state that all money recieved from ads will go to the hosting costs and anything over and above will be donated to a charity. This way it's still non profit but is not burning a hole in your cheque book.

Read the definition at wikipodia

Particularlythis part Mail them back with more questions about what they conciter Non-profit...

Comment #30

I dint want to get into this debate, so I wont..

I'll just make a statement that is unrelated to the debate itself..

The original 'email reply' seems very very fishy, and I doubt it came from MS or that even MS was consulted..

To me it looks like someone wants a backlink and could be possibly leading you on.....

Comment #31

If I were you, I'd e-mail 'em back just to ask...

Comment #32

Wow tgo... I just posted that in post #21..

What was DNQuest talking about? Read everything before you post...?..

Comment #33

Perhaps you should acquint yourself with the legal definition of a non-profit organization in the eyes of the government.... and then maybe you might get it. (I believe there is a link on this thread here somewhere.. maybe two of them lol).

It is funny how one little tiny sentence is pulled from a full page describing what a non-profit prganiztions are.

OK, here is the one and only question that needs to be answered here, all I want is a yes or no answer...... ready????......

Was the site formed as a non-profit organiztion in accordance to federal regulations? If the answer is "no", then I hope no one else here posts another thing about the subject....

BTW- If you're expenses are more than your revenue, that does not mean you are a non-profit organization, it means you had a bad year or you are a bad businesman.......

ADD: This is a fansite. It is the labor of love, therefore, you absorb the costs. In doing so, you should not be found in using the domain in "bad faith". The result, you may be able to claim "fair use"....

Comment #34

This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.


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