Ken Block Gymkhana 2
Ken Block Gymkhana 2 DCshoesFILM

In November 11, 2008, DCshoesFILM first uploaded "Gymkhana Practice" onto YouTube. To date, Gymkhana's first three films alone have garnered nearly 100 million views.

What was initially just a really cool drift video had become viral virtually overnight. From that moment forward, Ken Block has managed to keep the momentum of his films like he keeps the momentum of his four-wheel drifts -- the Gymkhana series is now nothing short of an entertainment franchise.

As with anything lucrative, others get hungry for a piece of the action. Mad Media, the company that helped Ken Block co-produce the first three Gymkhana videos, realizes the value of the videos and registered the domain name in hopes of subsequent profit.

A sneaky move from Mad Media, Ken Block did not take the turn of events very well and has now launched a lawsuit against Mad Media in response.

"Mad Media did not own the URL prior to being hired by us. They purchased this URL while working for us. This is the part we find extremely unethical. When you hire any company to work for you, it is expected that they will not try to steal from you and build something from your creative project.

Imagine the Internet as we know it today existed when George Lucas created Star Wars and the sub-contractor, which 20th Century Fox hired to film the movie, registered the the URL while producing the film - then tried to profit off it without the consent and knowledge of George Lucas and 20th Century Fox. Would that be ethical? "Star" and "Wars" are both common terms, but Lucas' use of it has forever changed what they mean, and said company would be profiting off of this meaning..."

As far as Mad Media is concerned, gymkhana is a sport and Ken Block, as an individual, has no right to restrict of how anyone chooses to use the word. In a disclaimer placed at the bottom of the site page, "this website does not originate from, is not affiliated, connected, or associated with, and is not sponsored or approved by Ken Block or DC Shoes."

Although Mad Media may have a point in theory, Ken Block did in fact trademark 'Gymkhana.' What's more, the page links content back to Ken Block's Gymkhana Five, blurring the lines of free use of common terminology and a conflict of interest.

It's clear that both sides are committed to bringing the dispute to the courtroom. Stay tuned as the beef unfolds.

For now, enjoy Gymkhana parts ONE-TWO-THREE!