GoDaddy user reviews : Great idea to buy GoDaddy?? Legalities of registering last names

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Let's say your last name is Joggson... And there are only 20 Joggson's in the world, and all are related to you.

Let's say that some domain company registered your last name because it is a typo for another domain. Do you have any legal right to go after that name? Or do you only have a claim to if it is copyrighted?.

I am asking this because someone at a domain holding company registered my last name. It is a very rare last name, and like I said above... anyone with my last name is a relative of me.

Can I go after this name with a simple letter from a lawyer? Or do I have no right to it?..

Comments (19)

Are you a celebrity? Does your name bring thoughts of of someone famous? What harm is caused by the registration of your name?.

Unfortuntely, we have no rights to our names unless your name is used in the course of commerce (athlete, singer, writer) which gives yu a TM. So there isn't much you can do...

Comment #1

What if I am not a celebrity, but we had an actor in the 1930s, a musician in the 70s, and currently there is a published author in our family. All my relatives, but not me...

Comment #2

If: a) any of them can demonstrate trademark rights based on what the law.

Allows, and b) the name in question's infringing on those rights, then any of.

Them might have a chance of getting the name.

Incidentally a well-respected expert on the field shared me this:

Comment #3

If only it were that simple. My name is Harry S. Truman, so you can guess why I would want my name in a domain..

Comment #4

Harry trumancom's currently good 'til July 2006. Make a snapnames BO and.

Hope the current registrant won't renew...

Comment #5

If they don't let the domain expire send them an email and they might actually just give it to you. It worked for me one time...

Comment #6

I think you can only file a lawsuit if they are ruining your last name in any way. Atleast that's what RJ told me...

Comment #7

I have a feeling you may not be famous enough to claim TM over the other guy with the same name.

As far as this situation, you have no real rights to the domain. Maybe you reletives might, but they would have to do something about. But it will be very tough to do.......

Comment #8

Thanks for all the replies. It was much appreciated!..

Comment #9

Maybe not just yet, but I'm working on it..

Comment #10

Not as simple as that. One's name can be famous, a site can "bring thoughts" of that famous person, yet it does not hold the same clout as a Trademarked company (ie REAL products in commerce) and they have no later claim to that site because it was grandfathered (registered BEFORE) the famous guy finally thought of registering it himself.

By the same token, had our forum guy Truman here regged it before the other guy, than likewise the other guy couldn't touch him. (As long as our guy wasn't doing things like making money off it or painting the Trumans in a bad light, etc.)..

Comment #11

[QUOTE=bluesman]Not as simple as that. One's name can be famous, a site can "bring thoughts" of that famous person, yet it does not hold the same clout as a Trademarked company (ie REAL products in commerce) and they have no later claim to that site because it was grandfathered (registered BEFORE) the famous guy finally thought of registering it himself.


Actually, if you can prove your name is what you use in commerce, it is protected the same as the "Trademarked company" (ie real products in commerce), and it does have the same clout. This has been proven over and over again. It is the burden of the person to do so, but they are protected.

I am confused about the "grandfather" clause arguement. If he was famous before the name was registered, he does have rights to the domain. He would have to challenge the owner and prove he is squatting...

Comment #12

The burden you speak of is very heavy indeeed, and so hard to prove that most do not bother, except in obvious superstar cases like a Britney Spears or a Morgan Freeman. And even then it does NOT carry with it the same clout (or huge legal penalties) as a case where someone obviously squats on a Procter & Gamble trademark.

This recent idea (and recent consideration of it by some WIPO rulings) is "patently" (pun intended) absurd, if one thinks about it for more than a moment. These celebs are now claiming that because they use their names in their livelyhood (singing, dancing, acting, whatever) that should be the same as a TM. This is just as dumb as your local plumber Joe Shnozzolla claiming that he ALSO uses HIS name in his livelyhood as a plumber, and therefore he also deserves TM status!.

The stupidity of this "my name should be a TM just like Kleenex" concept is boundless, and there would be no end to it. If WIPO got hooked on it (and we hope they never do) where would the persecution of domainers end? At the level of a "semi-famous" name? Or how about "used to be famous, but is now a has-been"? The whole thing's ridiculous! A person's name is not a true TM - only a company name that produces goods is.

* * *.

As to a "grandfathered" name, it referred in this case to one member of the Truman family tree regging a domain name BEFORE another member of the tree. As long as he had the SAME name, and further did not defame said name, then the other Trumans (although they may claim they're "more famous" ones) have no ammo.

Again it points to the potential silliness of the possible future low level squabbles WIPO might sink down to, wherein some "wronged party" will be crying to them "hey, I was in a mini-series in the 1980s once, so that guy can't register my name!"..

Comment #13

Cybersquatting - profitting off of someone else's work/name.

I don't see where you need to be a certain level of "famous" for protection. If the person can prove bad faith, the would most certainly prevail. Regardless of personal opinions, the track record is a name is a person's TM and anyone looking to profit off (or proved to be in bad faith) of some one else's name has lost the domain...

Comment #14

"Profitting"? Ah, that would be one point necessary to prove bad faith, but most celeb sites that I and others in my field deal with do NOT run cheesy ad sites.

(Even so, last I checked, theoretically a site called making money would NOT be enough to get WIPO to clamp down - I haven't seen them kill even one "sucks site" that was using "freedom of speech" yet.) And in the case of the board member in question, HIS name is not merely that "of another" - it's also HIS name!..

Comment #15

New York is passing a law against registering celebrity domain names:

Comment #16

New York isn't going to pass any such law at all.

It's yet another piece of total garbage internet legislation, like the recent "Net Neutrality" scam (no doubt also pork-laden), this time being proposed by a psycho Senator named Betty Little, who fittingly has a very little brain.

Here's one of the many ridiculous claims of this fantasy set of rules, which goes against every precident ever set in over 10 years of national (and international) agreements of internet law:.

"...a domain name shall be deemed to have it's situs within the state if the domain name registrar, registry, or other domain name authority that registered or assigned the domain name is located within the state.".

(That's "situs" as in legal location - but Godaddy registers like 90% of all domains - and they're NOT in New York, but ARIZONA, which is naturally a pro-Godaddy state.).

So since when is this fantasy happening, Betty baby? Since YOU decided that's how it should be? Well, you must be asleep, because you sure are DREAMING!.


(P.S.: I already own TONS of celeb names, so I'm solidly grandfathered in before any such future legislation attempts. But guess what? NONE of them are for sale, anyway!)..

Comment #17

A last name is so common, I doubt any person can claim a last name as theirs..

Comment #18

Ford, Dell, Ansheuser... yeah, you are right, no last name can be famous..... or can it be?????..

Comment #19

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


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