Cal Tech and MIT have had a fun rivalry going for a few years now (or rather the practice of hacking between the two schools increased during my undergrad years). Knowing that I wasn’t too surprised when I received a link to mitrejects.com and saw the end result.
It’s a relatively harmless and humorous little joke, but I wonder how the Cal Tech administration will respond. More interestingly, I wonder the Cal Tech administration can do. I doubt there is any law on the books anywhere that mentions “defamation via domain name.” My guess is that Cal Tech will look of the owner of the domain name and ask them nicely to stop redirecting it to caltech.edu. The joke may end there, but if the owner of the domain name politely declines the request, I expect that Cal Tech will look into legal options before ultimately realizing that the mostly likely option for resolving the issue will be to issue a request or “take-down notice” of some sort to the domain registrar for the domain mitrejects.com. At that point it would not at all surprise me if the domain redirect was killed by the registrar, trumping the wishes of the actual owner of the domain name.
It’s a realistic possibility, and it begs a couple questions:
- Should there be laws preventing this sort of internet bullying/pranking?
Note: this is all entirely speculative, and potentially completely wrong and inaccurate. I however, don’t think it’s a bad guess.