GeekDad Settles a Legal Matter and a New Day Dawns

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How long have you been a fan of GeekDad? If you’ve been reading us for a while, you may remember that prior to April 2013 we lived as a sub-site to Wired.com. We left them at that point because we had some issues with the new contract being offered, and because the friends we had there had moved on for one reason or another. At the time, we did everything we could to get out clean. But it wasn’t enough.

For the last two years, we’ve been in legal wrangling with Wired’s parent company, Condé Nast, over ownership of the GeekDad brand. The details would make for a much longer post, but the short story is that someone high up at CN decided that they owned the GeekDad brand–a decision with which those of us who created GeekDad, and made it what it is, disagreed. It’s been a hard, emotionally-draining two years. There’s been a lot of second-guessing: if we’d done this or that differently or sooner, could we have avoided the mess? But, I’m happy to say, the resolution is nigh.

As of last week, GeekDad LLC and Condé Nast have settled our legal issues. The bottom line is that we are paying Condé Nast to relinquish all claims over the GeekDad brand. It is tough to have to pay for what we believe was ours from the beginning, but it seems to be the cost of business sometimes these days, and while Condé Nast has been firm in their position, they have been reasonable in working together to find a path for the settlement that helps us get back to where we want to be. The price certainly isn’t cheap, but it’s something we feel we have to pay, because GeekDad is incredibly valuable to all of us (and hopefully to you).

To help offset the buyout, you may have noticed more ads and more sponsored posts lately, as well as the crowdfunding. Those are all meant to help pay off this settlement. So, anytime you can use our Amazon store, buy our t-shirts at SlashLoot and ThinkGeek, buy the products in our reviews, click the ads on our website, make a regular pledge to help us out on Patreon, or make a one-time donation via GoFundMe, you are really making a difference. One that we appreciate and allows us to keep GeekDad alive.

The upside is that, eight years into our run, the sun is rising again. We are looking at this time as a new beginning – free from threats of legal action, doing things on our own terms, we’re ready to tackle the future. We continue to be a collective of geeky parents, writing about the things we love in our free time. This is not a full-time gig for any of us and, truth be told, our writers deliver content daily without pay right now. In fact, until we pay off our settlement, all the income we bring in will only be going to legal and administrative costs.

So, whether you’re a new reader or you’ve been with us since the beginning (2007!), thank you for supporting us. Thanks for reading the articles and clicking the links. You’re the reason we write about the books we read with our kids, the toys we test, and the gadgets we try out. You’re the reason we peck away at our keyboards and write GeekDad. Thank you so much!

~Ken Denmead
Publisher, Editor-at-Large, and ‘Grand Nagus’ of GeekDad.com

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35 thoughts on “GeekDad Settles a Legal Matter and a New Day Dawns

  1. Congratulations! I’ve worked with CN before for advertising placement and the nick-name “Conde Nasty” is very popular. I’m glad to see you’ve succeeded in keeping what’s yours and will try to help out to keep Geek Dad going!

  2. Just FYI, the right side bar is cutting off the third column of products in the store when viewed in Chrome on Linux. I can send you a screenshot to show what I mean if you want.

    1. Thanks, RE – yeah, we know about it – has to do with screen resolution and the fact that the Amazon tool is built using the most advanced Web 2.0 technology (meaning OLD). Most important thing is that you click through from there. Our affiliates account will still get the credit. THANKS!

  3. Dang, I don’t think I realized that you all were going through that struggle. Which, of course, was probably done on purpose. We don’t need to know how the sausage is being made…though, I do love sausage! Anyway, keep on keeping on! I’m glad to know that my monthly patreon donation is going towards making that legal bill go away.

    1. Thanks a bunch, Joel. Yeah, while you’re going through it, it’s not good to publicize because that can spoil the proceedings. In this case, even through we had the disagreement, and wish the result were different, at least CN has been reasonable in working towards settling in a way that lets us move forward. Gotta look at the bright side 😉

  4. Good for you, Ken. I invented and pitched the “What’s Inside” column in 2006. When I had to leave Wired in March 2013 for the same reason you did, CN claimed full ownership of the property, which was amazing because they didn’t even have ownership of the _articles_ (I made sure of that). Unfortunately I didn’t have the money to fight them, so by default they kept What’s Inside.

    1. That sucks Patrick! I’m glad you’re talking about it. CN really hasn’t treated people fairly. When this went down, I told Ken that I would have to stop writing for GeekDad so that Wired couldn’t claim any of my IP in the future.

    2. Patrick – I’ve heard the same story from some of the other old staffers there. I’d imagine that change in consideration for the writers hurt a lot of people.

        1. Not as much, as we’ve been judiciously republishing our older posts with updated content. There’s more of an issue with republishing with us because we were independent for about the same length of time time as we were with Wired, and so we’re putting back up our own original content, if that makes sense, and that’s not always appropriate to step on our own toes.

          If you’re interested in anything particular, let me know!

  5. Yay! Thank goodness for the settlement, bummer you have to pay, but I agree, in the long run it seems to be the correct course of action. Good luck with everything in the future.

  6. I never understood the reason GeekDad partnered up with Wired (and the RSS feeds suffered), but I was glad when you left and became independent again.

    Sorry that it’s been a difficult road, but I’m glad to hear that you are getting out from that shadow.

  7. I’ve been a reader of GeekDad for a very long time and remember when you left Wired. I’m sorry that you’ve had a such a hard time. Thanks for letting us know about the reason for the increase in the ads and so forth. My daughter is 19, studying Theater and considers herself a Geek too.

    Is GeekMom going the same issues w/their name?

    1. We did, though to a lesser extent. CN backed down after we went to a lawyer and we were able to keep ownership without having to pay CN.

  8. Strength to your writing arms all GeekDads. This part of the journey has no doubt been so taxing on you Ken – damn fine work in charting a path through the legalise. I still throughly enjoy the breadth and quality of content that so deeply relates to my own life. Love your work!

  9. Thank you Ken (and team) for your commitment to GeekDad.com. You know I love your work. I’ll continue pointing as many people to GeekDad.com as I can.

  10. Freedom is nigh! Thank you for fighting for two long years!!! That’s a long time, especially for legal battles. Ugh! Glad to hear you will have official GeekDad ownership again. I’ll be in touch via the PR email to see if we can help in our small way to contribute to your cause (paying off that settlement).

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