My “doaskdotell” subdomain under my own legal name:
This index page constitutes the subdirectory entry for the “doaskdotell” wordmark for my three books with that series name prefix for three of my books (1997/2000, 2002, 2014). I am likely in the future to make a subdomain entry “doaskdotell.johnwboushka.com” name work, although it cannot be allowed to be redirected to “doaskdotell.com” automatically, as explained below.
I have the “doaskdotell.com” domain name reserved through Dec. 2, 2023.
The domain had been created on Dec. 2, 1999. For a long time it has housed a copy of the text of the books, along with additional footnotes.
The phrase has long been associated in the public mind with more than one issue. Specifically, the phrase is a negation of the infamous “don’t ask don’t tell” policy regarding gays in the military (referring to sexual orientation only, not including transgender persons who created a separate issue legally). The DADT policy was created as a matter of US law in December 1993 after president Bill Clinton proposed “don’t ask, don’t tell, don’t pursue” in July 1993. (The “don’t pursue” had originally been part of my own view.)
The phrase has been used also in some public health concepts or toolkits, especially with respect to HIV. Sometimes it has been used in a more general way with respect to mental health therapy, even with “coming out”.
My own belief is that the multiple meaning of the phrase in popular culture would negate the idea that any one party should control the use of the mark online with a legal trademark. A search of the TESS system (today) still shows one trademark application from 1996 dead from related to another book series (more discussion). I believe that the USPTO would most likely agree with me on this statement, because generally (as a matter of trademark law) different kinds of businesses can use the same wordmark but with a different public context.
However, I believe that if I continue to use the domain name indefinitely, it should have a “commercial” purpose. Normally, that means being able to process financial transactions on the site, with proper security and privacy. But, interpreting the concept more generously, it may mean intending commercial use (such as making derivate works – especially films – from the books offered through links to large-scale online vendor stores). It may mean informing large retailers about the availability of the books, as consumer items, in bulk for retail stores with the POD process from a POD self-publisher.
Some of these concepts relate to some ideas in Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s 2018 book “Skin in the Game” (review link) where he says “you must start a business” and not just “virtue-signal” with “free speech” (or “freedom of reach”) as the only vehicle. It’s interesting that this book was added to his “Incerto” series which he uses to identify a series of books in a manner similar to what I have done with “Do Ask Do Tell” with the dark-vs-white bisected book cover design appearance.
The purchase links for the books right now here are housed here. I may move these links to this directory later.
The “doasktoll.com” (since 1999) is being trimmed down and I intend to replace it with a further simplified commercial page soon. That page is being tested on another domain “doaskdotell.info”. It is not yet working properly and not available yet for public view.
The subdirectory “billboushka” explains the parallel idea for nicknames.
(Saturday, September 17, 2022 at 2:30 PM EDT, John W. Boushka)