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  1. #1
    Member onecrazymom's Avatar
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    Question domain name laws
    Can anyone tell me what (if any) laws there are regarding using a celeb's name as part of one's domain name? My 16 year old will be starting her first website next week, and asked me that question. I have no idea. Anyone..?

  2. #2
    Moderator BurgerBoy's Avatar
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    If the celeb finds out that you are using their name in your domain name they can probably sue you if they want to if you didn't get premission from them to use their name.

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  3. #3
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    It depends if it is a trademark. How can anyone stop you using a non trademarked name?
    So what if they are a celebrity? It is just a name

  4. #4
    Staril - Mad Cat Woman Sue's Avatar
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    It also seems to depend on what you are using the site for and what else is in the domain name. If it is a fan site with a domain like celebxisthegreatest.com it should be fine. If it is a pure commerce site then you could well have problems.

  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador Daniel M. Clark's Avatar
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    It does not matter if the name is trademarked. If you are using the name in a way the celeb doesn't like, the celeb can definitely take steps against you. This is where rights of publicity and privacy come into play. It's also where commercial vs. editorial use comes into play. Generally, unless you're willing to go to court - whether the suit is valid or not - you should stay away from celebrity names.
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  6. #6
    Visual Artist & ABW Ambassador lostdeviant's Avatar
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    Don't do it unless you want to lose the domain and get sued. The law is in favor of trademark holders and celebrities.

  7. #7
    Member onecrazymom's Avatar
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    I agree that intent and content would probably make a difference. I suppose it also depends on the celeb. I'm thinking humble and kind celebs wouldn't mind (johnnydeppfan.com is proof). But i'm guessing SharonStoneIsANutBag.com would get the owner into trouble.

    Hm. I'm not sure what to tell the kiddo. She doesn't want to do a commercial site while she's learning the ropes, so she decided on a celeb site. :\

  8. #8
    ABW Ambassador Daniel M. Clark's Avatar
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    How about an opinion or review site? Does she enjoy writing?
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  9. #9
    ABW Ambassador 2busy's Avatar
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    You can search the archives at http://domainfights.com/search/CASE_ARCHIVES/ to see examples of other cases.

  10. #10
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    As has already been said above, the law favors the celebrities when it comes to using their name in a domain name. There are many cases that essentially side with the celebrity namely because the sites are essentially piggybacking off of the popularity of a celebrity. With that said, a parody site or something to the effect of Celebname-Sucks.com would be allowed.

  11. #11
    Affiliate Manager Alan Hamilton's Avatar
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    As was partially alluded to by anothe poster here, it would not necessarily be a matter of whether the suing party prevails. What does matter is that most affiliates do not have deep enough pockets, nor do they have the time and / or emotional constitution to undergo a costly / lenghty law suit. It's not worth the substantial monetary cost or emotional drain, and their attorneys know that. I'd definitely stay away from it and keep it simple! Good luck to your daughter in her venture though - hope she enjoys it.
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