back to article 4chan founder Moot threatens site for using his handle

The 4chan community site has been home to all manner of jokes, pranks, intentionally offensive imagery, and other juvenilia since it launched in 2003, but one thing it apparently takes very seriously is "Moot," the online handle of its founder, Christopher Poole. As reported by the Betabeat website, attorneys for Poole sent a …


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  1. EddieD


    Old english for meeting.

    Shetland dialect for small

    Standard english for debatable.

    Can all this losers who think that they have a god given right to a common word please bog off?

    1. silent_count

      Re: Moot

      "Can all this losers who think that they have a god given right to a common word please bog off?"

      Now if only we could get a like-minded judge to say the same to 'apple', or the people who think they invented the word, 'windows'.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Moot

        Actually "Windows" is not a protected word. Neither is "Apple" AFAIK. Pictures of apples though...

        1. Raumkraut

          Re: Moot

          Actually "Windows" is not a protected word. Neither is "Apple" AFAIK. Pictures of apples though...

          Microsoft paid a lot of money to Lindows, to make that trademark dispute go away before it hit a court judgement....

          Do you seriously think that Apple haven't trademarked the very name of their company? You're clearly a lot madder than the Apple legal team (and that's saying something).

          Here's a handy trademark list provided by Apple, and here's a similar list from Microsoft.

      2. veti Silver badge

        Re: Moot

        Microsoft's ultra-generic naming style is incredibly irritating, but I actually have no problem with their claiming trademark rights to "Windows" in the context of a computer OS. That's what trademarks are for, to protect innocent punters from being confused by similarly-named products.

        In this case, I don't quite see where the potential for confusion comes from. Sounds like a shakedown to me. I wish all the best, and I hope their security infrastructure and policies are ridiculously uptight.

    2. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

      Re: Moot

      In American English, "moot" means "irrelevant", like the positions of the deckchairs on the Titanic.

      It also means "a ring gauge for checking the diameters of treenails".

      I mentally associate 4chan with computer misuse and horrible people doing dreadful things and upsetting everybody else, although this may be a misunderstanding. "Moot" means nothing to me in this context, and I don't suppose that would be treated any better or worse than , if there was such a site.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: In American English, "moot" means "irrelevant"

        I think you'll find it means "open to debate, questionable", just like in real English.

        1. frank ly

          @AC 22:10 Re: In American English, "moot" means "irrelevant"

          From the online Oxford English dictionary entry for moot ...


          1. subject to debate, dispute, or uncertainty: (e.g.) whether the temperature rise was mainly due to the greenhouse effect was a moot point.

          2. (North American) having little or no practical relevance: (e.g.) the whole matter is becoming increasingly moot

          Further definitions for use as a verb and a noun are also given. Note the following especially ...


          2. (Law) a mock judicial proceeding set up to examine a hypothetical case as an academic exercise: (e.g.) the object of a moot is to provide practice in developing an argument.

          Do you see what the Americans did there?

          I suggest you learn about the real world. It's very big and varied but it may be too complicated for you.

          1. Steve Martins

            Re: @AC 22:10 In American English, "moot" means "irrelevant"

            American English is dumbed down english, as demonstrated so well here. Indeed "moot" does mean irrelevant when pertaining to a specific point within an argument that in itself is open to debate and thus rendered inadmissible to the argument.

            1. Elmer Phud

              Re: @AC 22:10 In American English, "moot" means "irrelevant"

              'American English is dumbed down english'

              Thank you, that'll keep me amused for a while.

            2. Robert Carnegie Silver badge


              I saw it used in a 1980s American comicbook. The hero is in the vicinity of Pittsburgh when a huge explosion occurs. He meets people concerned about loved ones in the town and he offers to check if they're okay, but he realises when he gets closer that the house address he was given "is moot" because the entire town and population has been vaporized.

              On the other hand, the writer went on to have the hero tell us that he eschewed euphemisms when he brought back the bad news and said "They're gone." That's a euphemism. If they'd left town, they'd be gone. The non-euphemism version is "They're dead." Unless they'd left town, that is. So, we don't have an absolute authority on words, here.

              Still, it happens often enough that Britons and Americans use the word "moot" and think that they're communicating when they aren't.

              Another to watch out for is British braces and American suspenders, which are the same item worn to hold one's trousers up by a set of elastic straps passing over the shoulders and neck. American braces are to adjust the teeth, and British suspenders are for stockings, usually of ladies but not always (e.g. Rocky Horror Show).

        2. Killraven

          Re: In American English, "moot" means "irrelevant"

          Sadly, Mr. Carnegie is correct. Common usage of "moot" in the United States is to mean irrelevant or unimportant.

          Americans also continuously refer to midnight as meaning 12:00 at the end of the day, rather than the beginning. It's quite frustrating to occassionally show up for an advertised sale and the store is closed.

  2. TJ1

    Lord of the Rings, Ent Moot

    I think, of anyone, J.R.R. Tolkien has the distinction of being associated with the word "moot" in the general public consciousness, and would be the the primary beneficiary of any recognition, having been working on the Lord of the Rings stories since around 1938.

  3. Matt Bryant Silver badge


    Moot's whole argument is moot?

  4. Anonymous John

    Re "Claims 'moot' is 'a famous trademark'"

    That's a moot point.

    1. James O'Brien
      Thumb Up

      Re: Re "Claims 'moot' is 'a famous trademark'"

      Beat me too it. Damn.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Moot

        The point is moo. Like, a cow's opinion: it doesn't mater.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Internet tough guys...

    ... they don't like it up em.

  6. pierce

    isn't Moot's a brand of apple juice and other such products?

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Efros

      Mott's is the apple juice.

      Moot gives rise to one of the many oral transgressions I find myself getting irate about as I get older. "The point is moot" or it's :"a moot point" is oft heard on US TV being mangled into"The point is mute" or it's "a mute point", one wonders if said point is also deaf. Hearing that really sets my teeth on edge and willing to do severe physical damage to the utterer. Nothing minor, just something the triage station at the local hospital would classify as a mortal injury.

  7. This post has been deleted by its author

  8. Paul 75

    never 'eard of 'im

    famous my arse

  9. Rukario
    IT Angle

    So why isn't their threat written in Italian?

    1. The BigYin


      The RFC for horse heads over TCP/IP hasn't been ratified yet.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I wonder if it's a publicity stunt by the startup. If it isn't, then I'll file it under, "Randomly kicking wasps nests".

    Assuming they didn't know about 4chan until they received the initial letter, a quick google should be enough to find out that picking a fight with 4chan while trying to launch your web-based business is probably not a good idea.

    I'm not judging either side morally or legally here, just thinking in terms of business.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Yeah, they have a whole load of pedos and special ed. kids coming after them if they don't give in.

    2. jubtastic1


      A cursory google about 4chan should have been enough to convince them that calling their site moot might be fine legally but is going to guarantee a never ending onslaught of trolling and DOSing.

      I'm sure it will be commenting reimagined, just not in the way they intended.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    He came back from mexico ewith soup at last!

  12. LinkOfHyrule

    What about famous bovine rapper Moo-T? How come he's not being sued too!?

  13. Nick Mallard

    Moot point indeed

    perhaps someone should point at IRC if it thinks it's going to have any claim to "putting conversation first". Been there, doing that, and probably far more successfully than they ever will.

  14. Blarkon

    Against IP until they are for it

    Don't you love these guys who rail against the "evils" of intellectual property law - until they suddenly decide that they like it.

  15. vic 4

    name MOOT has become firmly associated with Mr. Poole and 4chan

    No it hasn't, never heard of My Poole or 4chan. Anytime I hear the word I assume someone is referring to the word in the English language.

  16. John Tserkezis

    He makes 4chan look like pompus, arrogant, childish whiners.

    No wait...

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Never heard of this Mr. Moot...

    Tell him to get stuffed.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Never heard of this Mr. Moot...

      Maybe you missed that poll in Time magazine then?

      (apparently marble cake is also the game?)

  18. Tenebreux

    The don't let anyone give TED talks. Just because you don't know who he is, doesn't make him not well known.

    1. Haku

      Re: The don't let anyone give TED talks.

      Er, yes they do!

    2. Rampant Spaniel

      Sure they do, they even have one of a random 12 yr old whose claim to fame is having written a whack a bieber app.

      They do have some great talks as well.

      1. Robert E A Harvey

        12 yr old whose claim to fame is having written a whack a bieber app.

        and you have a problem with that?

        1. Rampant Spaniel

          Re: 12 yr old whose claim to fame is having written a whack a bieber app.

          None related to the concept of whacking the bieber, but it is not exactly a high bar, especially these days (with IDE's and 'apps for dummies' books). They have some excellent, insightful and inspirational speakers and sometimes not so much.

          1. Crisp

            Re: "whacking the bieber"

            I think I've found a new euphemism!

  19. revdjenk

    Then the next featured headline said it all...

    Swollen SUPER-GIGANTO PLANET sighted

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Then we find out

    He actually created the site and this complaint is just to get the word out about it.

  21. That Awful Puppy

    Forget the legal team

    They should be worried about /b/tards rising up as moot's personal army.

    Also, in defence of 4chan, some of its boards are rather good, especially the ones concerned with creative pursuits, as I find that the forced anonymity actually helps the discussions by weeding out the typical internet know-it-alls and snobs.

    /b/, on the other hand, is truly the arsehole of the internets, though shits and giggles can be had there too.

    Troll icon, because well, it's 4chan we're talking about.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    4chan and moot's belief in their importance and fame is way higher than it should be. They might be big stuff amongst a large portion of 13 year olds but most people don't know and don't care about them.

    Moot is a generic word. He should have picked something more unique. No matter how much imaginary fame he has that won't change so he can go pound sand.

    1. Christopher Blackmore

      More unique?

      It's binary. A thing either is, or is not, unique. Apart from that, agree...

    2. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      "He should have picked something more unique"

      I respectfully disagree.

      I think he chose his handle perfectly, and this whole issue is brilliantly summed up by it.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'll sue anyone who uses the moniker "Anonymous"

    I've been using the handle 'anonymous' since the days of 14.4 modems...therefore the word belongs to me and the whole internet knows me by my name.

  24. The BigYin

    Time for a rebrand? should become moo.tit

    Nah, that's udderly ridiculous. And you've probably herd one like that before. Ok, I'll stop milking this.

    Cheese it!

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hai, all this talk of 12 yo's. Ive been going to chans for years and I'm 40+.

    I'm not moot's personal army but I do think the startup thinks its being clever ripping his name off and deserves a internet kicking. Not by me though, I'll buy some popcorn and watch how this goes for them... Not so well I'd imagine, as if it annoys me enough to form that opinion, I'd hate to see how the hivemind at /b/ reacts.

    1. Rob Crawford

      When you say hive mind I take it you mean the hivesheepmind


    2. The BigYin

      His "name" is a generic word. Kinda hard to protect. Unless this start-up is aiming for the lulz market segment or something.

      Or maybe "moot" in an investor and this is all some kind of PR campaign?

      1. That Awful Puppy


        This sounds like it might have a grain of truth to it. He was on /b/ today and was very chatty, but ignored every question related to the legal proceedings. On the other hand, it was probably what his lawyers told him to do.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Failure to follow through

    he he thought he was such a famous entity, he should have had his handleregistered as a trademark.

    Or at least put TM after it - Moot™ then those of us who hadn't heard of him would know that he's famous

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Please, he got that name on efnet years ago when we all called him m00tard. Then shortened it to m00t, and apparently somewhere along the line decided to replace the 0's with O's.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    (Can't think of a title.)

    A Steve Jobs doll? Oh yeah, I suppose some would want it. F**king fanbois...

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