Dutch Boyd Apologizes to Two Plus Two
Mason Malmuth, owner of Two Plus Two Publishing LLC, published an apology letter from Russell “Dutch” Boyd today on Two Plus Two’s poker forum. The mea culpa of sorts comes after a lengthy legal dispute between the two parties and appears to be an effort by Boyd to bury the hatchet and move on.
The issues between Boyd and Two Plus Two began back in 2009 when a company owned by Boyd, Jacknames.com, registered the domain name twoplustwopoker.com. Late in the year, Two Plus Two sued Boyd for cybersquatting, trademark infringement, unfair competition, deceptive trade practices, and intentional interference with prospective economic advantage. In March 2012, a lower court ruled in favor of Two Plus Two, hitting Boyd with a statutory judgment of $25,000 and attorney’s fees of $33,985.
A publically defiant Boyd appealed the verdict, but the judgment was reaffirmed by an appellate court this May.
In the letter, dated June 24, 2014, Boyd apologized to both Mason Malmuth and Two Plus Two, saying that he now realizes what he did was wrong, that, “…that it makes no difference how much money I might have made from this domain, or when you ultimately obtained it: cybersquatting is stealing, and the act of registration itself led to a legitimate lawsuit against me.”
Boyd was also contrite about how he behaved while the legal matter played out; he had lashed out against Malmuth and the company on more than one occasion and tried to rally others against Two Plus Two. “I hope that we can put this entire matter behind us and remain cordial to each other moving forward,” he concluded.
In the thread on the Two Plus Two forum in which Malmuth posted the letter, the first response was, “Well do you accept his apology?”
Malmuth was cool in his response, writing, “We’ll see what happens. Specifically this means that the apology is conditionally accepted, but we’ll watch and see how Boyd behaves in the future and that will determine our final position.
“Also, and I’m sure there’s some interest here, we did receive a payment of $60,000 from Boyd.”
Malmuth was also asked (sarcastically) about what he was going to do with the $60,000, since, as the poster stated, “this wasn’t about the money it was about setting a precedent.” Malmuth responded by saying that the money was going towards paying for Two Plus Two’s legal fees. The judgment was originally made in 2012, but because Boyd’s appeal dragged on until this year, Two Plus Two incurred additional attorney’s fees that weren’t covered by the attorney’s fees granted in the judgment. Malmuth said that rather than going after Boyd for more money, Two Plus Two will simply use the rest of the judgment to cover its costs.
The entire apology letter from Dutch Boyd, as posted on Two Plus Two, is posted below:
I’m writing to apologize, both to Two Plus Two and to you personally, for my actions leading to your company’s lawsuit against me.
Although I was initially defensive and angry, I’ve come to realize that my actions were wrong and unjustified. Regardless of my motives, it was improper for me to register the www.twoplustwopoker.com domain name, which belongs to your company. It was wrong to try to profit by using your trademark on a hosting site, and to later make the domain available for sale. It was also wrong for me to challenge the merits of the lawsuit, or to tell the public that you had “no reason to sue me” after you obtained the domain. I realize now that it makes no difference how much money I might have made from this domain, or when you ultimately obtained it: cybersquatting is stealing, and the act of registration itself led to a legitimate lawsuit against me.
My anger and frustration led to some negative and disparaging comments about you and Two Plus Two during and after the case, for which I also apologize. Contrary to what I may have said (or encouraged others to say), I don’t believe you are a “bully,” and I don’t believe this case was simply about a “money grab.” Neither I nor anyone else should have insulted you personally about this matter. I now realize that this case was simply about protecting the Two Plus Two brand and trademark, which is extremely valuable to the company and to you.
Put simply, I am sorry for my actions, and I have learned a lesson. I will not register any Two Plus Two related domain names or take any harmful action against Two Plus Two in the future. I will also not insult or disparage you or your company in the future. I hope that we can put this entire matter behind us and remain cordial to each other moving forward.
Russell “Dutch” Boyd