Friday, March 02, 2007

New York MTA Wants Our Web Site Shut Down

Today we received an email from the New York Metropolitan Transit Authority demanding that we shut down our web site. Here is what their attorney wrote:
President, Mission to America, Inc.
Tualatin, Oregon 97062

Your website,, is a classic example of an unlawful “ambush” website. You are attracting and holding people to your website by misappropriating MTA’s website address and materials pertaining to MTA.

Demand is made that you immediately:

1. Change your website address so that it does not include MTAinfo.

2. Remove from your website all terms, imagery, information and any other references to the MTA or to its services.

Thank you in advance for your recognition that this is a serious matter and that it is inappropriate for an organization with your goals and objectives to operate in this unlawful and unethical manner.

We fully expect you to take the actions demanded above.


Senior Associate Counsel
Direct telephone no: 000-000-0000
Fax no: 000-000-0000

I am assuming the problem the New York Metropolitan Transit Authority has is that they operate a web site using the domain name of The problem with that is that we registered the web address FOUR MONTHS BEFORE the New York Metropolitan Transit Authority registered their domain

You can see a history of the content we've had on this web site at the Internet Archive:*/ As you can see historically there is nothing that "ambushes" or does anything to detract from or harm in any way the New York Metropolitan Transit Authority.

Maybe this was the problem: Since the archive does not yet have more recent copies of web sites, what the above link does not show is that late in 2006 we did something we thought would be fun. After receiving an email from a man who said, "My wife was looking for bus information and ran across your web site. She immediately knew your web site was for me. I have some questions I'd like to ask." We thought that the idea of the impossibility of a "bus ride to heaven" would be fun. So we made a header that included two buses , a tram, and Jesus on the cross. One bus was an NYMTA bus, the other bus and the tram were from Moscow, Russia (pictures taken during a mission trip). The only transit related text we added to the site was on the home page. It had three sentences:

"You may have come here for information about another type of trip, or to look for a job. We don't have the bus or train schedule, nor do we have job information. But we can tell you how to take the most important trip of your life."

We obtained written permission from the photographer to use the picture of the NYMTA bus.

Here is a link to the Google cache showing the content of the web site:
(Note: this page will change once Google updates their cache, but Google should retain the old web site for several weeks.)

So this is an ambush??? This is misappropriating materials pertaining to MTA? Is this what got the New York Metropolitan Transit Authority so concerned about our web site that they want it taken off line?

Even with three sentences that mention bus travel, the web site has always been about the Gospel message... salvation through Jesus Christ alone.

What should we do? Biblically we want to be loving in our response. There is no Biblical reason to mention buses or trains... the Gospel message does not need buses and trains. So we changed the header image and removed the three sentences shown above.

What do you think?



Anonymous Anonymous said...

I humbly suggest the following verses to help you in your decision.

Luke 6:37-38
Matt 5:7,9,25,38-48
Matt 6:33-34, 24-27

The man/company that sent you the letter is obviously also looking to see how a Christian/Christian organization is going to handle this matter. This is a great opportunity to be an example of Christ. Christ was a servant to us, a giver, a peacemaker. Christ showed great love toward us, though we did nothing to deserve it. These are the attributes He desires to see in His disciples. Keep in mind please the tremendous opportunity God has given you right at this moment in this circumstance to serve Him. And remember that God is able to still bring those He desires to your website regardless of the address you have. Thank you for desiring to serve Him. You have great stuff on your site. God will bless you for it. Don't worry. :) I've said a prayer for your ministry and this situation. Thanks for listening and I pray for you to remain in God's will in all you do.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007 8:38:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a chance to bring God glory by handling the situation the way He says to in His Word. This lawyer's soul is just as important as yours and mine. Let's glorify God with this one and not worry about ourselves.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007 11:00:00 AM  
Blogger BrickBalloon said...

Thank you for your love, support and prayers. I appreciate your advice and scripture suggestions.

What I find interesting is that it appears the attorney also filled out our form for requesting a copy of the Gospel of John. So I sent our normal package, which includes the Gospel of John plus three Way of the Master tracts, to his home address. It's a strong presentation of the Gospel. I am praying that he is, or will be saved to eternal life in Jesus Christ through God's grace.

Thank you! And bless you!

Tuesday, March 06, 2007 7:46:00 PM  
Anonymous David Todeschini said...

I ALSO ran across this web site while trying to find a train / bus route from Queens to Long Island, NY - "ambush" web site... INDEED!! Well, I am a minister in the Church of Jesus Christ (Born Again), and I enjoyed this site. I will IMMEDIATELY link it from my MINISTRY LINKS page on my 3 Web sites which "ambush" each other:

********** SO THERE !!!! *********

Hey! Metropolitan Transit Authority.....

**** ETERNAL LIFE ****

Peace and Godspeed
WebPastor David Todeschini
Author of "Land of Childhood's Fears", "A Book of Sermons", and "Entertaining Angels"

Wednesday, May 02, 2007 7:31:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am looking for transit information in NYC after the steam explosion incident. This is important information for every person in the NY area after an emergency. Please change your web address to allow people to get the NYC transit info they need in case of future emergencies. You don't need to "trick" people into stumbling onto your religious site by using similar initials- again, this is emergency info- it's almost as bad as having a fake 911 phone line, and trying to preach to people when they call for police or medical assistance in an emergency. Please reconsider- Christ would not want you to obstruct public transit info and it seriously irritates the people who find this site by accident. Thank you.
A New Yorker

Friday, July 20, 2007 5:51:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I work for the mta and i was told at work that this web address would get people job access. Well, I am in uniform most of my day and people are always asking how to get a job with the MTA and I have given this adress to quite alot of people. By mistake or is it, HALLELUJAH! Laura

Saturday, September 01, 2007 6:28:00 AM  

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