GoDaddy reviews : Great idea to pick GoDaddy?? American Idol Contestant's Name in Domain

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I registered the '.net' version of a top-50 American Idol contestant's name from this season's show. It is very likely that this individual will make the top 12 and I was wondering if trouble could potentially land in my way down the road. Just for example, if the artist's name was John Smith I purchased

The dot-com TLD of the same name was registered by (I believe) show executives since all of the top 50 contestants have their respective '.com' names registered by the same organization.

So, I was wondering, would it be possible that down the line I could be forced to forfeit the name if contacted by the individual and/or his/her representatives? Am I legally obligated to forfeit the name without any compensation, or would I be entitled to something in return?.

As far as I know the name was not trademarked or registered in any way with the USPTO or other organizations at the time of it's registration. I do know that there have been defamation claims in the past involving celebrities wanting the domain names for their personal name, but at the time of this particular domain registration the contestant was not even finished with their initial audition on the show far from being a celebrity.

P.S. - The domain is currently being parked. It receives quite a bit of hits daily and there has been some revenue from clicks.

All help is appreciated. Thank you..

Comments (13)

If they go after you then you will have to turn it over. You will not be compensated. You are clearly using the name in bad faith. If this happens and you do lose the name then it will also go on your "record" which could go against you in future cases.

Moral - always weigh up the pros/cons of cybersquatting...

Comment #1

Thanks, that's what I was highly assuming Rep added...

Comment #2

However, a genuine non profit fan site is unlikely to attract an adverse reaction...

Comment #3

That's one general exception. However: Why else register the domain name unless one intended to turn it into a non-.

Commercial site?..

Comment #4

Is it a common name? If it is, I don't see how they could come after you...

Comment #5

Not necessarily.. It involves a first, middle, and last name. Thanks all for the help so far..

Comment #6

Yeah, the individual named in my domain made it to the Top 24 tonight .. one of my favorites as well. We will see what happens...

Comment #7

Couple of .nets sold in the past for around $2,000..

Comment #8

On the side, I somewhat recall an article exactly on this subject somewhere..

It's about people who register domain names before the contestant possibly.

Becomes a celebrity.

Also, the US Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA) allows some.

Relief under a very limited circumstance:

Search under personal names in that link.

OTOH, there was one recent case providing possibly some form of clarification.

Involving personal names:

Comment #9

I believe Idol (or some affiliate) already regged the names (.com) of the top contestants......

Comment #10

I mean it's no different if you add the word 'fan' after the name. Ex: or so registering a name is open game.

Of course the above domains are taken but to me a name is a name even with fame unless registered under a trademark and I don't think any contestants names is a trademark.

That's my call..

Comment #11

If you show signs of bad faith, then expect to lose the domain. IF you create a fansite, tehn do it correctly, but even that is no gaurentee that you will be safe...

Comment #12

In one of the more interesting sales, former American Idol contestant Constantine Maroulis bought for $2,500 in a private sale. Maroulis is reportedly still trying to get,..

Comment #13

This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.


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