This afternoon, a user at tumbledore.tumblr.com claimed that Tumblr had stolen this subdomain (pitchfork.tumblr.com) from him and given it to us. The URL had been perceived as inactive by us and by Tumblr, since the last post that had been made was on November 18, 2009, and said, “This filter is obsolete.” The post before that was from March 21. There had been a total of five posts ever made to the account.
Pitchfork emailed Tumblr the other day to ask how we would go about securing those URLs to use them for our publication. This approach was made to begin actively using them to publish content, as well as to gain control of our copyright/trademark interests in order to avoid potential issues through the misuse of the Pitchfork name, logo, and content. Within 10 minutes, a tumblr representative responded: “Hi, Megan. Those URLs are now free. Please let me know if there’s anything else I can help you with. Thanks for using Tumblr!”
It could not have been clearer to either us or Tumblr that the account had been abandoned. If there had been an active blog at this URL, Pitchfork would definitely have contacted the user before ever going to Tumblr. We also would have assumed that Tumblr would not comply with our request if there was an active account at that subdomain.
It is not our wish to kick people out of active accounts. For example, the user @pitchfork on Twitter had an active account before we signed up. That’s fair, and in that case we don’t feel any more entitled to a ‘pitchfork’ URL than anyone else. We’ll be happy to surrender the URL and find a home elsewhere if the original register of the account wishes.
Below is a screenshot of the RSS feed of the last few posts to the original account: