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An up and coming actor for whatever reason has not registered there .com name. Are they absolutely going to hit it big and become famous and successful?...pure speculation.

If I were to register the name and then park it and keep it for as long or until such time that the actor sends the proverbial " letter" asking for the name to be transferred over to them....and at that possible future time, I willingly turn the name over to them without even blinking....does this seem like an alright thing to do....or does the name have to remain unregistered forever and ever until someone with that exact name registers it??.

Does anyone have an opinion? I ran a test on a blog with the name, and sure enough people do search for this person and I am going to make parking revenue.

The key to my question is, I am going to turn the name over when asked, if lots of time passes, I may turn it into a fan site.

I ask, for the simple reason, if this is so morally reprehensible,( cybersquat) why on earth is there not a law that only a person with that exact name can register it legally?..

Comments (31)

I would do it, send me the persons name...

Comment #1

Too late - I took the plunge, just wondering what people it is likely both good faith ( will return the name) and bad faith ( purchased to park)..

Comment #2

Make a fan site, throw up a bunch of affiliates and then when the day comes give it back.

Easy peasy...

Comment #3

There are already laws protectng TMs. It's against the law to rob a bank but people still manage to do it. Having something against the law doesn't make the action impossible to do...

Comment #4

Lmao, I think OP was asking an ethics related question jh3.

If you're absolutely certain you'll turn it over, as against someone who might not, go ahead, register it.

However, keep in mind, if the person eventually does become a big celebrity -.

1. You face civil action, I've been told with a liability of $100,000..

2. You join the faceless / nameless underbelly of this business..

3. If you're asking this question, isn't your conscience trying to tell you something?.

Edit : people are fast! I guess all my points are covered above.....

Comment #5

How can you start a thread, ask a specific question, then when someone answers state that it was a rhetorical question? We even waste time by posting it.....

Comment #6

Why on earth is there not a law that only a person with some technical know-.

How can register it legally with no risk of losing it to a person who also bears.

The same name?.

(And the list goes on and on, depending on how far-ahead thinking you are...)..

Comment #7

The question I posed was used for persuasive effect and it seem that seeing as two people have made issue with my question, my bombastic remark completely missed the mark.

So, what I gather, is that some domainers think it's ok to register a non-trademarked common name based on speculation and other people think that if someone happens to be an actor, wether or not they make it big, their name is off limits to register forever.

I didn't think I would have to remind anyone that an up and coming actor with nothing more than bit part credits in a few ' things' does not have automatic celebrity trade mark protection on their name.

I will be blunt, I see no problem at all in registering a name that clearly does not have trademark protection and then immediately release that name if the person actually does make it big.

Being new, I can't help but notice that morality around here is confusing. I have followed several posts and no one has a problem with someone regging a name of a legitimate company who forgot to re-register that name. I have also noticed that no one condemns people for suggesting that they will put porn on those same sites to force the company to move quickly in getting it back for a larger profit.

I also couldn't help but notice that no one criticized that lucky fellah who registered the Popes name and sold it for big bucks....pure speculation on his part...genius if you ask me.....

So I register a name of a person who has not even come close to hitting it big ...pure speculation on my part and I'm joining the underbelly of society? I say, I can see that the moral viewpoint around here shifts easily with the wind.

Lastly, the criminal act of robbing a bank is an illegal act immediately upon engaging in said activity.

There is no illegal act in registering a non-trademarked common name.

I hope I haven't wasted your time with this response...

Comment #8

I strongly disagree. Then what? you will need to send them the total income received and will have to pay it back plus some fine if you were doing this in bad faith.

Just move on. Chances are if the actor is an up in coming star then just leave him be. Let him register his own name. Besides, I think any talent agency or people moving this new actor forward would be the people you'll be dealing with.. not the actor himself.

Be careful. Read the legal section here at NamePros and don't do anything others are being sued for. This is not a game as you suggest in your statment above. You are basically telling the guy to DO IT UNTIL HE GETS CAUGHT. Nice one..

Comment #9

So, what your saying is that you cannot register non-trademarked names? Why did everyone cheer for the guy who registered the popes name? The absolute split second the Pope Chose Benedict, that name became copyright protected....

I'm, I can't legally register a non-trademarked name, just in case one day that person hits it big? This is pure speculation, just like the guy who registered the Popes name....what is the difference?..

Comment #10

What if everyone was cheering for you to jump off a bridge? would you do it? because they are encourgaging the fact? It's simple really. Exactly. You mentioned the key here above. "In case one day that person hits it big". This is bad faith already and he's not even hit it big yet. Did you happen to see any legal WIPO actions based on actors and their domain names? some fall through the cracks and others just move full force.

On topic, this era is all about the web. News stations moving online, user driven content, soon you'll be watching tv based on what your peers on the web want to see instead of what "CBS" what you to see, etc. Things are changing and I doubt you and others stand chance based on registering domain names from stars or other TM'able ventures.

Example: Think about it.. Mr. John Smith owns Who the heck is John smith? and why is he owning the name of an actor who's been in business for well over 20 years? Samuel get's pissed, because his profession is acting and he knows nothing about the domain world.. but finally catches on and decides he wants to launch a dot com of his name.

Unfortunately he cannot. Why? because you took it. Make sense? So he does a query on the web and enters his name to find that it's being heavily monetized by what's called a cybersquatter.

Samuel has tons of cake and now wants to have his domain name because he's planning on launching a blog where he can publish news and information about upcoming movies or shows he's recently attended. You would be forcing him to use another name based on the fact you are using his .com name for your own financial gain leaving the actual actor in the dust.

Samual doesn't like that idea very much so he wants to take a 5 million dollar budget and sue the squatter. Not hard. He simply needs to show bad faith. Do you think that will be hard for him to do? I think not.

Fan sites are one thing, revenue building and generation on someone else's trading name (trademark, AKA TM) is another. If you are in this for the money, find a product or service that you are able to promote with the intention of legal operations and not cybersquatting.

If you are more confused now than previous, I apologize. it's clear what's going on in this industry and if I were you I'd stay clear. It might mean you earn few $$ now, but in the future you might get sued for everything and lose your lifestyle of living. For what? a domain name....

At any rate these opinions are that of my own. I will not argue with the domain veterns on this forum based on any of your points and questions above. It's just how I feel and what I see going on.

Two Words: Be Careful..

Comment #11

And those two words practically sum it up.

Registering domain names of people is quite tricky. Perhaps another two words.

I can add to that to maybe generalize on this is "tolerance varies.".

Some people like Johnny Depp might not care. Others do, especially if they're.

Prepared to enforce their rights...

Comment #12

Psalzmann, thanks for the detailed answer...very clear and what you say makes, it turns out I am a cybersquatter I'm going to dump the name, does not seem like it is worth the risk.


Comment #13

I'll tell you what tpruby - be a good samaritan, turn it over to the actor in question, believe me it's the best thing a fan can do and for all you know you might make a friend for life.

That'll be a great end to this story. Good Luck with whatever you decide though...

Comment #14

Just to clear up one point, I was always going to turn the name over, as soon as I was asked, I was just planning on parking it until such time...but always was going to hand it over with no inflated sellers fee.

The difference now, is that I will just cut my puny loss and dump it...

Comment #15

Personally, I think you are doing the right thing. Let those "other guys" who voted to reg the new pope's name deal with the wraith in situations like this. A waste of $8 for regfee is much more viable then a lawsuit with damages owing.

Also, let it drop do not attempt to sell it to them or anyone else. Just in case they hit you up with some unknown law nobody knows nothing about based on you trying to get rid of the name for "monetary gain". That might and can happen as well...

Then when it finally comes online and he does happen to make it big and become filthy rich, you will have documentation that you did own that name before him or anyone else. Perhaps this might be a great article to blog about, it might make it on the evening news (lol) and you might gain in other ways (traffic = $$$) because of it.

Life is funny that way.

Good luck!..

Comment #16

It futher muddies the water when legit brokers/auctions sometimes list and sell obvious TMs...

Comment #17

People speed all the time time, is everyone caught? Nope.

I agree the domain business, especially parking, needs to be cleaned up. Someone needs to go after these big guys. But nothing will ever get done until someone with big backing steps up to the plate. Maybe this is just thr first round with Microsoft going after the guys in IndianaThey need to go after the parking programs. Cut off the money and squatting dwindles down.

Registering TM domains and using them in bad faith is illegal. We all know that. But one line did catch my eye... "with no inflated sellers fee." But still a fee. This means your intentions is to gain from the domain. Yes, that is squatting.

Jh3 - listen to him and you go down faster into the depths of of squatting. Some people have low or no morals and the only thing that matters is money regardless of how it is earn. You want respect in the domain business, then do everything according to established laws.

On another forum, someone stated cybersquatting is not illegal, it goes to show his ethics. We each choose our own path. But if you make statements which ultimately would hurt us as a industry, you will be called out. And believe me, I have no problems calling people what they are... cybersquatters. If they don't like it, too bad, then stop cybersquatting...

Comment #18

You don't need respect in this business, if you have a domain someone wants they will buy it, plain and simple.

I would also appreciate you not use my name and the words "low morals" as it insinuates you know me and clearly you don't...

Comment #19

Best advice is if you have already registered it then put some blog or some nice template on it. And gift it to the actor with that name.

Don't even ask for the money. Just give it like that. If he hits it big time someday he might remember you and pay you for your deeds.

If he doesn't then also there is nothing lost. But most of the time you get good results when you do good to others.


Comment #20

Im sure he meant hypothetical instead of it being in rhetoric... Forums and rhetoric dont generally work... Unless your intent was a very small forum of 1..

Phil makes a good point. In answer to him, as someone whos just finished a long and arduous negotiation cycle with the top level ad abritrators, focus is very much on not sub syndicating your AFD or Y! domain match feed to any clear TM violating names. In fact our signed agreement clearly states this and lists the penalties should we be in breach of this.

Ref: the OP. There is no doubt that if this guy becomes famous and wants his domain then get it he shall. Protection to you is zero and there are many cases of celebs reclaiming their name from cybersquatters. Im sure Philip and John and Jesse will know all of them but I can tell you that BruceSpringsteen took back his name from a fan site about him which I believe made no money and was purely a shrine to him - so your parked money spinner stands no chance...

Comment #21

I don't agree, and I'll tell you why. If you have a domain and another party believes they are entitled to that domain, there are multiple ways for them to acquire it without having to pay you. If they can prove you are infringing upon their brand or service mark, you may get a nice big label slapped on your head. If they are particularly malicious, you may also get the rug pulled out from under your feet as well...

Comment #22

Once again, someone reading too much into a comment. My statement had nothing to do with cybersquatting...

Comment #23

Yes it is, because the fan site is just a blanket to make money on the name, and not bona fide use of a domain. That is not foolproof protection at all...

Comment #24

Bona fide use of the domain? Fan site is not a good use?.

As you can see I have been around a while, I gave my advice, take it or leave it, I couldn't care less...

Comment #25

Not if it shows any hint of commercial use. I guess you've been lucky so far...

Comment #26

A true fansite is good faith usage, if you read any of my posts at all, you will see I am 100% behind that...

"make a fan site, throw up a bunch of affiliates and then when the day comes give it back.

Easy peasy. ".

But your suggested usage is not a bona fide offering of goods/services, it is a comercial venture, that is not a true fansite.

One of my favorite sayings: "It's better to be luck than good"..

Comment #27

Better to be luck that good? huh? what if you are bad luck?.

I have seen tons of fan sites with google adsense, haven't you? As long as the site has a reasonable amount of content I don't see anything wrong with a few ads...

Comment #28

I see people speeding in excess of 10mph over the speed limit, does that mean what they are doing is legal since no one is stopping them?.

Don't confuse getting away with something as a legal right. I think many celebs either don't care or don't know what is going on with the domain. There is no suc thing as TM police, the alleged TM holder must take a proactive stance in defending their mark. Just because they don't means somebody is lucky to continue their cybersquatting...

Comment #29

For the record, I dumped the name and was able to get a refund...thanks everyone for pointing me in the right direction...

Comment #30

What makes you believe there isn't one?.

15 U.S.C. 1129:.

1129. Cyberpiracy protections for individuals.

(1) In general.

(A) Civil liability.

Any person who registers a domain name that consists of the name of another living person, or a name substantially and confusingly similar thereto, without that persons consent, with the specific intent to profit from such name by selling the domain name for financial gain to that person or any third party, shall be liable in a civil action by such person.

(B) Exception.

A person who in good faith registers a domain name consisting of the name of another living person, or a name substantially and confusingly similar thereto, shall not be liable under this paragraph if such name is used in, affiliated with, or related to a work of authorship protected under title 17, including a work made for hire as defined in section 101 of title 17, and if the person registering the domain name is the copyright owner or licensee of the work, the person intends to sell the domain name in conjunction with the lawful exploitation of the work, and such registration is not prohibited by a contract between the registrant and the named person. The exception under this subparagraph shall apply only to a civil action brought under paragraph (1) and shall in no manner limit the protections afforded under the Trademark Act of 1946 (15 U.S.C. 1051 et seq.) or other provision of Federal or State law.

(2) Remedies.

In any civil action brought under paragraph (1), a court may award injunctive relief, including the forfeiture or cancellation of the domain name or the transfer of the domain name to the plaintiff. The court may also, in it's discretion, award costs and attorneys fees to the prevailing party.

(3) Definition.

In this section, the term domain name has the meaning given that term in section 45 of the Trademark Act of 1946 (15 U.S.C. 1127).

(4) Effective date.

This section shall apply to domain names registered on or after November 29, 1999...

Comment #31

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


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