From GrotonWitch's GRIMOIRE - 11 Jan '00
Here's the problem. The ADL has laid claim legally not only to the acronym, but to the words within it. I looked carefully over their claim and over certain case law PRIOR to the decision to change the name of our organization to AREN... but the law IS on their side here and, in the past, they have made other organizations stop using "close" names and acronyms which were nowhere NEAR as close to ADL as ours was.
We were very careful in how we made the change of names. AREN simply replaced WADL on a national level and that is what I am going to suggest to you that you do as well. Diane, these people aren't playing and they've got the law on their side. Period. If you persist in using the WADL acronym, they WILL come after you and they will win. I hate to put it in such blunt
terms, but they will. You can't afford the legal battle that a copyright/trademark infringement costs -- especially since they have a huge and prestigious NYC law firm on retainer for these issues. Basically, they legally "own" the term: discrimination.
Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns. I'm sure that we can find a place for you within AREN, Diane. The goals of the new organization haven't changed -- they've merely been expanded to incorporate the needs of the new century. We are attempting to nationally organize our efforts in an efficient manner which allows us to address problems, network with other groups, educate the general public, etc. We can only do that by presenting a united front -- not backstabbing other organizations with similiar goals. Our only hope, in my humble opinion, is to start acting LIKE groups such as the Christian Coalition and ADL.... if you can't beat them, join them as it were. I am not saying we should try and tell people what to think, but I DO believe that we will have much more success if we organize and educate.
Creide Stewart, Esquire