Alexa Responds to Alexaholic/Statsaholic Controversy

Posted Mar 26, 2007

Two days ago, I wrote about how Amazon/Alexa is blocking Statsaholic from using their API.  Today I’ll report the other side of the story: Alexa‘s side.

Alexa says that using the name Alexa is not tolerable in any circumstances, so it had a problem with the name Alexaholic.  “We reached out to Mr. Hornbaker [founder of Alexaholic] last year in an attempt to resolve the problem amicably. We even explored an acquisition, which we didn’t have to do,” writes Geoffrey Mack, an Alexa representative on his blog.  “Unfortunately, it became clear over time that Mr. Hornbaker did not want to stop trading off the Alexa name. This left Alexa with no alternative but to bring legal action to recover the misappropriated name.”

Hornbaker then was legally forced to change the name Alexaholic.  Hornbaker chose the name Statsaholic, but was still using the Alexaholic domain to transfer traffic to Statsaholic.  Mack also wrote “Mr. Hornbaker is in fact not using our web service to generate the traffic graphs on his website. Instead of obtaining the traffic data for a fee using the API which Alexa offers, he has chosen to pirate proprietary Alexa data by taking Alexa traffic graphs without permission.  Mr. Hornbaker is now trying to extract more value from Alexa by turning this into a PR issue, which he admits is a deliberate strategy.”

Alexa stated that they will be pursuing this issue aggressively and make sure that they are compensated for any losses.  In this case, I’d say that Alexa has a stronger argument especially because of the piracy involved.