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Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Gambert Cites Wikipedia, Then Edits Wikipedia, Then Gets Banned From Wikipedia

I keep thinking that Jason Gambert's attempts to trademark the term SEO cannot get any more dramatic than they have been. However, Gambert continues to provide us all with entertaining drama with his attempts at manipulation and deceit. Gambert's latest victim: Wikipedia.

Although the Wikipedia saga has been playing out over the last couple of weeks, the story was first broke by Tamar on Sphinn, drawing public attention to Gambert's latest tactics.

Short review: After a number of SEO firms objected to Gambert's attempt to trademark the term SEO, Gambert filed his first response in the case, in the form of a rambling monologue which purported to be his "answer" to SEOMoz's Notice of Opposition. The Trademark Trial and Appeals Board threw out Gambert's "answer" as not being compliant with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, specifically, for his refusal to either "admit" or "deny" the specific allegations in the SEOMoz Notice of Opposition.

Nonetheless, a cursory examination of Gambert's "answer" is pertinent here. In it, he repeatedly cites the Wikipedia "search engine optimization" or "SEO" pages as definitive legal sources upon which he bases his arguments. Without going into the merits (or, rather, the obvious demerits) of whether or not Wikipedia is an authoritative legal source which is binding upon the USPTO, let us examine what has subsequently happened regarding Gambert and Wikipedia.

Gambert cites Wikipedia as an authoritative source which should be binding on the USPTO. Then, on or about June 27, 2008, Gambert begins to make edits to the Wikipedia page he cited, which edits change the meaning of "search engine optimization" and "seo" so that Wikipedia "supports" his arguments.

On June 27, Gambert is warned by Wikipedia editor Gwernol to stop link spamming. Gambert responds by arguing that his link spamming constitutes linking to pages of "historical significance". Wikipedia editor Jehochman then warns him again, after Gambert reinserts the links into the page.

On July 5, Gwernol again warns Gambert about his "disruptive edits" and his attempts to use the page for advertising and personal promotion. By this point, Jehochman has recused himself from the discussion as Jehochman is an interested party in the trademark dispute.

Later that same day, presumably after Gambert had again violated Wikipedia's Terms of Use, he is indefinitely banned from making edits on the site.

A number of discussions back and forth follow, which are quite interesting reading. The full set of discussions is available here.

There is no need for me to get into all of that, the discussions speak for themselves. However, the points I wish to elucidate are these:

1. Gambert cites Wikipedia as an authoritative source for consideration by the USPTO.
2. Gambert then goes in and attempts to edit and manipulate the very source he cited.
3. So Gambert, in reality, is attempting to do nothing more than cite himself as a source, using obvious sockpuppetry, in yet another attempt to decieve and manipulate the trademark examiners.

Now all this time Gambert has said his motives in obtaining an SEO trademark are pure. However, his actions throughout this case have been of the cloak and dagger nature, utilizing sock puppet accounts, fraud, deceit, and manipulation. Oh yes, not to mention the fact that he lies even on the Wikipedia discussion page, claiming he already has a trademark to the term SEO, which could not be further from the truth.

So, let me ask you: Is this someone whom you would trust to hold an SEO trademark for the "greater good" of the SEO community? I'd love to hear your responses.


At 7/08/2008 03:09:00 PM , Anonymous SEO Canada said...

LOL this just keeps getting better and better... now is it really a "cloak and dagger" nature or a "cloaking and dagger" :) I'm guessing he is more blackhat then white :)

At 7/08/2008 03:33:00 PM , Blogger Dave Davies, CEO said...

LOL ... do I even need to make a comment?

This is insane.

At 7/08/2008 05:17:00 PM , Anonymous Jono Alderson said...

Absolutely unbelievable. You'd think he'd give up by now, or somebody in the trademark office would bar him from there too.

At 7/10/2008 03:37:00 PM , Anonymous Web Design Canada said...

Thus far Mr. Gambert's relentlessness is only further damaging his chances of success in the matter. At least when he started his claims were well founded under a certain interpretation of the functions of seo. It was sound in theory which is why the seo community got all shook up about it; however, this latest attempt to manipulate public opinion is laughable; someone is getting desperate.

As for quoting Wikipedia as an authoritative source, all I can say is that a newspaper tried that and they had to print a retraction. He makes me lower my head, shake it side to side, and sigh.

It's entertainment now, so lets enjoy a good laugh.

At 8/21/2008 10:09:00 PM , Anonymous Natural Breast Enhancement said...

Its a nice article about Wikipedia,keep posting.


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