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legal question - longshot but...

Discussion in 'Other Off Topic Forum' started by Slim, Nov 15, 2003.

  1. Slim

    Slim Formula 3

    Oct 11, 2001
    1,735
    Pacifica, CA, USA
    Full Name:
    richard
    A while back I thought I'd check to see who owns the domain name that is my full first and last name. I was shocked to see that it simply redirects to an anti-abortion propoganda website. I did a "whois" lookup and got the contact info for the person who had registered the name and asked that if they don't in fact intend to use it for a real website, perhaps they'd like to pass it along or sell it to me so I can make an actual site using that url. That's the spirit of the internet anyway - that the url has something to do with the content there...

    I got a reply offering it for a couple grand and it turns out this guy is just squating on lots of real name combinations.

    OK, that's not my question. I know people can do this. And i know I certainly don't own a trademark to my own name, and that it's not unique, etc. But today I checked that url again and it is now redirecting automatically to a website that has totally gross pictures of chopped up fetuses and stuff like that. I do business independently under my own name. Someone out there may just guess and stick my name into the url field of their browser trying to get my site (or the site of any number of other people that share my name) and what they get is this insane website! I do not want to be associated with this stuff! (perhaps this guy isn't a member of that movement but simply redirecting the name urls to the most disgusting/shocking site he can think of knowing that we'll want to pony up the money to keep from being associated with it!).

    Any chance in hell there is anyway to get an injunction against this use of the domain name? I mean, this domain name represents probably hundreds of real actual people in this country and has nothing to do with anti-abortion stuff. It's freaking me out!

    I don't even want to give you guys the url in question because it's totally gross. But if you must look, you'll see that richardstephens.com automatically loads http://www.abortionismurder.org/ and when you try to close the window another pops up, etc. But I suggest you just take my word for it and not view it.


    -Rich
     
  2. JaguarXJ6

    JaguarXJ6 F1 Veteran

    Feb 12, 2003
    5,335
    Denver, CO
    Full Name:
    Sunny
    Cyber squatting is illegal. In the days past, people might have made some money from it, but who will pay the legal fees required to file an injunction? If your company uses your name as a trademark, for example, think of www.disneyhomevideo.com which is something I just pulled out of the air. In this example, it points to www.rotten.com. If Disney wanted it, there's no legal ground to stand on for the current registerant to be able to retain the website. Fighting this as a corporation would probably be better than as an individual simply wantin to establish a website for personal use. But I'm just ASSuming here. Hopefully one of the copyright/intellectual property lawyers can speak up!

    If its good for business and cost effective, good luck and give the owner hell. Perhaps there is a Richard Stevens in the abortion world and someone smart redirected the URL to the "opposing" point of view before the competition.

    F'em, I say!

    Obligatory Ferrari content - A friend of a friend was one of the partners that setup the .ws website domain in conjunction with Western Samoa (sp). And he loves Ferrari's!

    Sunny
     
  3. wax

    wax Four Time F1 World Champ
    Advising Moderator

    Jul 20, 2003
    41,736
    SFPD
    Full Name:
    Dirty Harry
    SEC. 3002. CYBERPIRACY PREVENTION.
    b) 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 person's 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, United States Code, including a work made for hire as defined in section 101 of title 17, United States Code, 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 its discretion, award costs and attorneys fees to the prevailing party.

    (3) DEFINITION- In this subsection, 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 subsection shall apply to domain names registered on or after the date of the enactment of this Act.

    Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act was signed by President Clinton on November 29, 1999

    Record last updated 11-14-2003 10:36:09 PM
    Record expires on 01-22-2005
    Record created on 01-22-2000

    You win. That'll be 250 bucks, dude.
     
  4. Slim

    Slim Formula 3

    Oct 11, 2001
    1,735
    Pacifica, CA, USA
    Full Name:
    richard
    Wax, thanks! You rock! So...how do I bust this guy and get the domain name? Do I have to file a civil suit? I checked again and he is selling them for $985 through a site called markray.com, so obviously I don't want to spend more money than that. (in reality i don't really need the domain but just don't want it redirected to that site anymore and might as well use it for my own businesses).
     
  5. wax

    wax Four Time F1 World Champ
    Advising Moderator

    Jul 20, 2003
    41,736
    SFPD
    Full Name:
    Dirty Harry
    From:
    http://www.icann.org/general/faq1.htm

    Someone else has registered my company's name as a .com domain name. What is the process for resolving my complaint?

    [I broke single paragraph into two, as it appears "ordinarily" applies only to the court litigation portion of the actual paragraph.]

    All ICANN-accredited registrars follow a uniform dispute resolution policy. Under that policy, disputes over entitlement to a domain-name registration are ordinarily resolved by court litigation between the parties claiming rights to the registration. Once the court rules who is entitled to the registration, the registrar will implement that ruling.

    In disputes arising from registrations allegedly made abusively (such as "cybersquatting" and cyberpiracy"), the uniform policy provides an expedited administrative procedure to allow the dispute to be resolved without the cost and delays often encountered in court litigation. In these cases, you can invoke the administrative procedure by filing a complaint with one of the dispute-resolution service providers listed at http://www.icann.org/udrp/approved-providers.htm. For more details on the uniform dispute resolution policy, see http://www.icann.org/udrp/udrp.htm.
    ____

    It appears you can have this matter expedited, uh, expeditiously, or as some might say, agilely, amain, apace, at flank speed, at once, by forced marches, cursorily, decisively, directly, double-quick, effectively, fast, feverishly, flat-out, forthwith, furiously, hand over fist and/or hand, hastily, hell for leather, hell-bent, helter-skelter, hotfoot, hurriedly, hurry-scurry, immediately, in double(-quick) time, in high (gear), in no time, in passing, in seven-league boots, instanter, instantly, lickety-cut/split, nimbly, on the double/instant/run/spot, PDQ, pell-mell, post(haste), pretty damn(ed) quick, promptly, pronto, punctually, quick(ly), rapidly, readily, right away, right off, slapdash, smartly, snappily, speedily, spryly, straight(a)way, subito, summarily, superficially, swiftly, trippingly, under forced draft, whip and spur, with - a rush/(all) haste/speed/dispatch|giant/rapid strides/speed, without (further) delay, Sir.

    But it'd still be helpful if an attorney dropped a couple of cents on this topic.
     
  6. Slim

    Slim Formula 3

    Oct 11, 2001
    1,735
    Pacifica, CA, USA
    Full Name:
    richard
    most excellent! thanks. if anyone out there has any experience with this process, please let me know.
     

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