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REVEREND BLUESMAN'S SERMON OF THE WEEK:.

My friends, one main fact that's often danced around during most internet discussions is that there will never be any more Holy Trinity of the CNOs (Coms, Nets and Orgs) given out again, once the supply is ended.

All of which makes them even more like the actual real estate that cyber real estate is so often compared to. Since roughly 1995, the public has been made aware and gotten used to primarily only those three dots. Sure, a dozen more have cropped up since then, and a dozen more might in the future, but still the general public's first choice in searching the net has been - and always will be - the CNOs.

(Others more expert than I in such things can certainly provide more accurate breakdowns, but I'd estimate that searches matching hits probably run at least 60% dot coms, 20% dot nets, 10% dot orgs, and 10% other. That means CNOs dominate 90% of the market.).

I bring all this up because I believe this is why so much hanky-panky has been going on in the area of Johnny-come-lately businesses swiping established domain names (and Whois-searched-for names), since the internet celebrated it's "10th anniversary" (1995-2005). These crooks - the stars of so many famous domain disputes - have realized what we all should have realized - the awesome TRUTH that 10, 20, even 50 years from now, ONLY the CNO trio will rule.

The public mind is slow to learn, yet once it grasps a concept it never lets go. For them it took some getting used to, all this jazz about an internet "super-highway' and the modern miracles in information it would supposedly bring. But get used to it the public finally did, and when they did they were weaned on the dot com-lead CNO phenomenon - not the dot "biz" or dot "info" or dot anything else phenomenon. One never forgets one's first love, and likewise the early generations of the cyberspace revolution will never forget their first introductions to it.

This can only serve to put the afore-mentioned crooks in an even more pressurized situation. They are like the greedy cattle barons, gamblers and conmen of the old west - they badly want to make a quick buck in the CNO field, but all of you innocent and honest ranchers have already grabbed up most of the good land.

That's why they don't like "cyber-settlers" - in fact they instead call them "cyber-squatters," as if you haven't even paid for your cyber land. They'll lie, cheat and steal to get it it away from you, too - and they'd bribe ICANN/WIPO or anyone else to get what they're after. Even a legal sale through a bonafide broker can often be a ripoff, when they've hoodwinked you into selling too low.

So you need to ask yourselves, will I still own these fine CNO holdings 20 years from now? How about longer than that - will I be able to pass down my CNOs to my children, and they in turn to my succeeding generations? Or will I just live for today and totally ignore tomorrow - later crying about what might have been?.

And so I say to act only with the utmost caution during these confusing times. And above all, HOLD YOUR GROUND!.

Something to think about, folks.

(And now let's turn to page 39 of our hymnals...)..

Comments (41)

The "has been" part is true, but the "always will be" part is false.

Current facts/statistics worldwide show this has already changed. For example, a native person in Germany is just as likely (if not more likely) to visit a .DE site as a .COM site. It's a big world out there, and as much as we like to think America is the center of all things, it's not. Well, if we are looking that far in the future, CNO (and all others for that matter) might not even exist, because the web could be using an entirely different system for navigation. You speak of the 'early' generations, but the 'current' generations are another story. The kids today are growing up on a web where .DE, .US, .INFO (etc.) are becoming more common place...

Comment #1

I respect your comment and anticipated responses such as this. However, I'd submit that other dots merely becoming more commonly used all the time is hardly an example of CNOs being knocked off their perch.

Likewise, over the years people have also tried A&W Root Beer, Dr. Pepper, and Mountain Dew - but there will always be only one Coke, Pepsi and 7-Up, baby...

Comment #2

Hey (blues)man, don't even get me started on the cola wars...

Comment #3

I agree 100% with DB...and technology is NOT food and beverage.

Everyone has a cell phone now too and 10 years ago they didn't. Technology advances and eventually the slow minded do follow. It would only take a software advance to kill the extensions in general. I see it happening in 10-15 years. Already people don't type .com....most browser just default to that. What happens when the browser instead defaults to the best search result from google? Then it's really only important to get SERP's.

Sorry but your rant bluesman is way off base...

Comment #4

And in this alternate reality you come from, where time is compressed and the Internet didn't exist before 1995, when was the Battle of Hastings? I suppose 1966 instead of 1066 Probably why there have been so many high value sales in .UK and .DE the last couple years, eh? You mean they are like the people who profited off the expansion of newly available realestate as opposed to sitting on the East coast saying California? Naw, never be worth anything!?.

A rather poor analogy to use in an argument about how new namespace real estate has no future. I have no idea how many CNO names I'll have 20 years from now. Just like 20 years ago I had no idea that the number of registered .coms would grow from 100 to tens of millions.

But I do know I won't loose any in the way you describe. Oh sure, I own plenty of names that companies would like to grab. Many of those companies have trademarks to back up their claims. But I'm not a cybersquatter so I'm not worried in the slightest.

As for the kids, as long as they follow daddys advice of only registering names they have a legitimate interest in they'll be fine. If they take the approach other people suggest such as registering Britney-Spears-Jr.com and PlayStation38.com they will no doubt end up loosing their names...

Comment #5

Uh... I knew domains weren't beverages - it's called an analogy.

And CNOs will be worthless, because cellphones were invented? Talk about apples to oranges. (Actually, you fell in to making the same comparison I did, except in the field of cellphones. Ergo, the cellphone giants who pioneered that field will still be the main ones years from now.).

Then you assert that all extensions will be killed off in 15 years? Sorry my guess of 20 years was 5 years off (assuming extensions even DO ever vanish.).

Off base, then? I hardly think so. Never said it didn't exist before that - things can be traced as far back as the '70s - I was of course focusing on the mass public's first wave of interest in the "information superhighway" and the dot com boom. Probably why there have been so many high value sales in .UK and .DE the last couple years, eh?.

Gee, another guy talking about mere foreign interests. Sorry, but America far outstripts other countries in it's use of the net. They're all still in their infancy over there. You mean they are like the people who profited off the expansion of newly available realestate as opposed to sitting on the East coast saying California? Naw, never be worth anything!?.

A rather poor analogy to use in an argument about how new namespace real estate has no future.

No, a rather good analogy (although you just made it, not me). The foreigners should have bought dot coms and used the net LAST decade a lot more, but they didn't. Now they're stuck out in the cold, having to make up their own stupid name extensions. Oh sure, I own plenty of names that companies would like to grab. Many of those companies have trademarks to back up their claims. But I'm not a cybersquatter so I'm not worried in the slightest.

Actually, one who purposely buys domains known to be already trademarked by companies IS a cybersquatter - the fact that they haven't "come after you" yet is quite irrelevant. As for the kids, as long as they follow daddys advice of only registering names they have a legitimate interest in they'll be fine...

Really? You advise them that buying up trademarked company names would somehow still be in their own "legitimate interest"? (Very odd that you'd pick the word "legitimate" there.) If they take the approach other people suggest such as registering Britney-Spears-Jr.com and PlayStation38.com they will no doubt end up loosing their names.

Thanks, but I'd rather take a flyer on one of thousands of celeb-related domains than on what would no doubt be a very big and tough few companies listed in the Fortune 500!..

Comment #6

Fine if that's not what you mean, but the reality is this is exactly what you did say:.

"since the internet celebrated it's "10th anniversary" (1995-2005)" So these other countries have so much more room to grow which will only drive up the demand for their ccTLDs. This is exactly what we are seeing. It is happening, and will continue to happen. Your CNO theory has been proven wrong even before you posted it. Once again, reality check, you did make that analogy..

"They are like the greedy cattle barons, gamblers and conmen of the old west".

And if you leave someone out in the cold they will go and find another TLD, er house, to live in.

And who cares about those nasty stupid foreigners that make up the other 95% of the worlds population! They'll never amount to anything! U.S.A! U.S.A! Actually the rules that define what a cybersquatter is can be found here: http://www.icann.org/dndr/udrp/uniform-rules.htm.

And I don't qualify.

Who says they haven't come after me? I've had enquries from laywers. I've responded to each one explaining how my registration and use of the name does not meet the three criteria laid out in the link above. Each and every time that was the end of it. No, I advise them to spend a few minutes reading the UDRP and a bit of trademark law rather than basing business decisions on the domainer old wives tales, urban legends and out and out BS that saturates the forums.

And it is not at all odd that I pick the word legitimate there. Anyone who knows the first thing about the UDRP would understand exactly why I used it. Horses for courses I guess. I stay away from celeb names. This is partly because I'm not a cybersquatter and have no legitimate interest in them. But it's mainly because I prefer selling a few names I have a legitimate interest in to non-F500 companies for $XXK as opposed to selling names for a few hundred bucks or making a few bucks a day with adsense...

Comment #7

Well bluesman...It's good to know that I don't have to complete with you for domains other than CNO's. Keep getting people to believe you...it only helps me and others that have a different opinion. btw..do you ever say anything nice? I have yet to see a post from you that's friendly...

Comment #8

I'm hoping in 20 years the Internet will be dead and we can all go back to local BBSes running 2400 baud modems where it takes 45 seconds to load a single ANSI image. Ah how I long for the simpler days.

I think in any instance where vast new alternatives are offered, the market will become diluted. It's hard for any product to hold a monopoly when there is extensive competition offering better quality. Which is the case with all these "landrushes". Most people don't like the idea of all the good names being taken, so when new opportunities arise for them to acquire those good names, they're going to seize it. In their minds they'd rather have a good quality .whatever than a crappy .com. With the ever increasing scarcity of quality CNOs this will only prove to amplify this sentiment in the future. I believe CNOs will hold their own for some time, but eventually the legend must die and the aging heroes become forgotten.....

Comment #9

The market is already diluted with these obscure cctld extensions of countries no bigger than my queen-sized bed.

The registrars are laughing all the way to the bank at all the people registering virtually worthless "keyword" names...

Comment #10

I can see the future of the internet not having any TLDs. What's the point anyways? to monopolize every word, sentence and name in the dictionary, OVER AND OVER AND OVER again. Can't get .com? get .net. We don't care if you are infringing on someone's name, we just want your MONEY and don't care as a company if you get sued.

I can see someone stepping up with an idea that in the future will be talk about "why the heck did people in the 2000's type so many dots and slashes?.

Mycompanywebsite should be accessible, period .. just like that.

This prevents:.

- similar TLDs.

- confusing law suits.

- less hassle.

And so much more...

Comment #11

Hmmm...In my locality, the original two cellular providers were Ameritech and Airtouch. Neither exist any more after industry changes buyouts and consolidations. There are still billions of people who have not even used the internet yet. To them, the internet is what it was when they started. Someone just getting connected now may think .info is an old timer just as net/org unless someone told them otherwise. Things change and those growing up with it just don't realize it.

I think a better analogy is television. I grew up with only three channels. Lets call them "ANC" (ABC,NBC, CBS) They do still dominate to some extent because they are free to anyone and the FCC has mandatory carry rules for cable and satellite providers, otherwise they my not still be dominant. My kids don't have a preference for the original three channels. They prefer Nickelodeon, Disney, and others. Many would prefer ESPN, CNN, MTV, or others to their local network channels.

I think the internet domain system is going to end up like cable TV. Many choices, with significant numbers making preferences other than the original big 3. There will still be some mainstream domination, but change will gradually happen.

Yes, .com will continue to dominate for a long time, but the margin of domination will gradually diminish as new generations won't have the preconceived notion that nothing else will do.

I also think at some point, Verisign will get the opportunity to price .com registrations higher themselves to take advantage of the preference. At that point some of the smaller players may be even more inclinded to accept options...

Comment #12

I think rarely do people type the extension in the browser bar. One day the browser will simply search for you and give you the best results (some already do this). It won't matter then what extension you have. Most likely we will be speaking to our browsers saying things like "what movies are playing tonight by me" and it will search for you for the results.

EDIT: I just went to search google and found this interesting tidbit. Now who thinks anyone will be typing any extensions in 20 years? Heck..in 10! Just 20 years ago we were using Commodore 64's. http://www.searchenginejournal.com/?p=3266..

Comment #13

Which means "they" won't have the opinion that .info is any less acceptable than .org.

Also, to some .com means commercialism and is strongly associated with the US. That alone may make some in the world actively choose NOT to use .com as a method of dissassociation.

I think we are going to see true ccTLD's becoming more accepted in relation to the CNO and other new gTLD domains, particularly in non-English speaking countries. No, actually most of us were using typewriters and stamped envelopes, and a select few who could afford it were using Fax machines. Even those using Commodore 64's were either printing & mailing letters or logging into private dialup BBS computers. I don't even think Compuserve, AOL, or Prodigy (remember them) existed yet in 1986.

In 1980, I was doing college computer work with punch cards, and output was to paper, not a CRT...

Comment #14

I think the voice command mobile search idea is great. Now not only can I walk down the street with a hands-free device that makes me look like I'm talking to myself like a crazy bum, but I can also bark out random words as well. Nothing like sitting next to someone and then randomly saying "Pineapple" or "Britney Spears." The future is looking more and more schizophrenic.

Personally I don't think the voice command will work, because there are millions of people in the world who can not properly pronounce words. Are they going to make a Southern dialect recognition version? Eubonics? One for people in Maine, Boston, New Jersey, Pennslyvania... Maybe the future of domains isn't in word typos, but in speech typos?..

Comment #15

But it made great confetti for football games.

I just went through some of my olf RPG and Cobol boxes that are still filled with thousands and thousands of punchcards.... I don't think I need to save them anymore Remember the days, you finsih your program, you carry the cards over to the table to box them.... then you trip......

Comment #16

I've posted lots of positive stuff, including this post right here. I will indeed take your fine advice and continue to promote mainly CNOs.

Regarding my domains, many (but not all) of which involve celebs, it's not cybersquatting, since they're not trademarked companies, and said celebs are long dead with no relatives chasing after anyone. (Myself and others bought up most of the good ones in the '90s, so 95% of them are not available anymore.).

As to the other posters who nitpicked my comments like crazy until I couldn't answer each point without making a post stretching five feet long, I'll just cut to the bottom line instead:.

You think the dot com ruling class is long gone and will be replaced by other extensions in the next 10 years or so? I say that's nonsense. Others go further and say there will soon be NO extensions at all. Also nonsense. (Meanwhile, I don't consider limited BBS babbling to be the "internet," and I have no desire to harken back to those primitive days. 1995-2005 still marks the main consumer wave of the internet boom.).

And even newbies (young as they may be) know how to crack a history book. They'll read about how dot coms made the web, just as certain networks (like CBS, NBC & ABC) made TV, and Verizon made the current age of phone service. Time will tell - we'll see who's right about CNOs - just check back with me here in another 10 years!.

LOL..

Comment #17

Didn't someone say:.

"the fact that they haven't "come after you" yet is quite irrelevant. ".

Celebrity names are trademarks. This is a well established legal fact. A few minutes researching trademark law would show you this. These trademarks can be sold to a company or passed to ones heirs to ensure they remain valid for years after the celebrity's death.

If you want to see what the UDRP panelists think about your reasoning google for Burgar, a (in)famous celeb cybersquatter who has been loosing names left right and centre...

Comment #18

You certainly seem quick to accuse me of doing no research into a subject that I've dealt in for over 10 years, sir. For one who makes such insinuations, it's looks pretty odd then that you didn't even pay attention to my post - I referred to NON-active celebs, not active ones such as Mr. Burgar made the mistake of investing in.

Even in the case of your later comment about deceased celeb names remaining active years after a celebs death is no problem, since they can't remain valid forever, particularly in cases where one agent sells their licensing to another agent years later, and long AFTER the domain name was registered.

Another flaw is in your original point, that celeb names and marks are somehow now the same, which is to you a "legal fact." Too bad for your assertion there that WIPO doesn't back you up on this, since they have denied recent attempts by current celebs to also be instantly "knighted" as trademarks (for YOUR research, check out the Springsteen case and others.).

And what did this wacky guy Burgar do that myself and my friends have never done? Yes, he not only dealt in names of active celebs, he also blatantly rediredted his sites and/or links to different pages - SALES pages! (For example, he "...redirected piercebrosnan.com to a commercial website...") He was indeed begging for trouble with such wildly provocative actions.

You referrenced another comment regarding "the fact that they haven't 'come after you' yet is quite irrelevant." On the contrary, it's very relevant. The fact that they've rightly jumped on the crazy profit-motivated types like the Burgars of the world, while leaving fansite domains - like those owned by myself and my friends - completely alone for over a decade, speaks VOLUMES...

Comment #19

I always found it facsinating that celebrity names get so much legal protection... especially considering that in other aspects of the law, like slander and defamation, they're actually awarded less protection than your average person, because they are considered public figures.

Also, 99% of the time, those aren't they're real names anyway..

Comment #20

I've paid attention to your posts both in this thread and others. It's reading your many incorrect statements on the subject that lead me to believe you have a very poor grasp of trademark basics. Holding a few domain names for 10 years makes you no more of an expert at trademark law than flipping burgers for 10 years makes you an expert at sequencing the bovine genome. You're once again confusing trademarks and copyrights. The part in the US constitution where it says To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries means copyrights and patents can not last forever. This has nothing to do with trademarks.

Well all my lawyers say your wrong. Forgive me if I choose to take their word over someone I know to simply recite domainer trademark lore. Nice example with the springsteen.com case. I particularly like this part of the decision:.

As it is possible to decide the case on other grounds, however, the Panel will proceed on the assumption that the name Bruce Springsteen is protected under the policy; it then follows that the domain name at issue is identical to that name..

In other words the WIPO does agree that celeb names are trademarks. As you can see, the case was decided on other points despite the fact that Bruce Springteen was considered a trademark.

Nice "research" BTW Next time you might want to actually read the document you cite. You don't need to speak volumes. Just say Usage. That's another one of those terms that anyone who knows the first thing about trademarks will understand...

Comment #21

And I believe you're wrong...

What would the owner of Golf.info say to the owner of Golf.org??.

Answer: Would you like fries with that??.

In all seriousness there are a FEW cases where .info may work better but .ORG even for sites not intended for an organization just tends to hold more value....

Comment #22

Good post primacomputer...one of your better rebuttles that I agree with.

Rep added...

Comment #23

In your quote of the decision, I think you left out the most important part of that paragraph, which was only one more sentence longer and directly preceeded your quote... This being "In the view of this Panel, it is by no means clear from the UDRP that it was intended to protect proper names of this nature." Nowhere in their decision do they affirm your assertion. They merely state that Bruce Springsteen does have rights under common law. But for the sake of argument, they decided to "assume" the name was protected under the policy, not that it was a TM. Even if you site the Lanham Act, which essentially affords protection of proper names as TMs, you still have to prove that the name is being used as a false endorsement, which is likely to confuse consumers as to the TM owner's approval of the item being sold.

The key points of their decision rest on the fact that the domain was not besmirching his name in any way and the fact that they didn't find it to be in bad faith. The bad faith issue was pointed out in several clear points. Firstly, the owner was not attempting to deprive Bruce Springsteen of acquiring a domain with his name in it, because he only registered .com, instead of trying to deny access to the name by registering it in all extensions. Secondly, it was decided that it could not be considered confusingly similar, because a search for "Bruce Springsteen" returns thousands of results, some using his name in the domain or whatever.com/brucespringsteen and all of which can not reasonably be assumed to be officially associated or authorized by Bruce Springsteen himself. And the third is the fact that he never tried to sell the domain.

I think it is definitely a grey area that requires a lot of research, but I have to agree with Bluesman's assertion that the domain name alone does not violate TM law, it comes down to what the domain is being used for and your lawyers should be well aware of that...

Comment #24

Actually all Bluesman said is that the WIPO does not back up my statement that celeb names are trademarks. He claimed the Springsteen provided proof of this:.

Another flaw is in your original point, that celeb names and marks are somehow now the same, which is to you a "legal fact." Too bad for your assertion there that WIPO doesn't back you up on this, since they have denied recent attempts by current celebs to also be instantly "knighted" as trademarks (for YOUR research, check out the Springsteen case and others.).

I quoted the part of the decision that made it clear that the WIPO does back me up on fundamental trademark law, that celeb names are trademarks.

There was no discussion about usage, at least not in that post. He did, however, accuse me of being a cybersquatter because I have names that contain other companies trademarks, despite the fact that my usage of the names is legitimate and does not infringe on those trademarks.

"Actually, one who purposely buys domains known to be already trademarked by companies IS a cybersquatter ".

So if you agree that:.

1. Celebritys enjoy trademark protection of their names under common law..

2. A name in itself does not automatically infringe on a trademark, but the usage of it can.

Then you are not agreeing with what Bluesman has said. You are agreeing with that I have said (which is merely reciting what I've been told by lawyers countless times) Thanks!..

Comment #25

Future is in online tv ,future is in TV extension.

Believe me..

Comment #26

(Primacomputer's statements in bold ...It's reading your many incorrect statements on the subject that lead me to believe you have a very poor grasp of trademark basics. Holding a few domain names for 10 years makes you no more of an expert at trademark law than flipping burgers for 10 years makes you an expert at sequencing the bovine genome.

Wrong again. Instead it is actually you who seems to be touting himself as an expert on trademarks, bud. I claimed to know about my own field, which is celeb domains, and how therefore trademarks have never had anything to do with them whatsoever. Until only very recently, however, when a certain few celebs (and their greedy agents) tried to get too big for their britches...This has nothing to do with trademarks. As long as they continue to be used they can last forever.

Thanks for conceding my point, then - because all the old celeb domains I've ever dealt with have long since been out of said "use". And no, some greedy celeb agent can NOT just come along many decades after a celeb is dead (and also long after my domain names have been regged) and try to put them into "use" once again. Doesn't work that way. The key term you left out is that trademarks must be in CONTINUOUS use - because if they are not they lapse out of legal existence. Nice example with the springsteen.com case. I particularly like this part of the decision: As it is possible to decide the case on other grounds, however, the Panel will proceed on the assumption...".

Wow, what a swift move, speculating on a point that they did NOT choose to pursue, and only let it lay for sake of avoiding further argument, since they had decided to go down another legal rabbit trail instead. Yet you nevertheless assume that if had they pursued that original point, they would have agreed with you all the way down the line. Great example of your psychic powers there! In other words the WIPO does agree that celeb names are trademarks.

Not at all. Some celebs have won and some have lost, so they are still very divided in that area. There has been no official declaration that all celebs are automatic domain holders, and if they tried it, it would be a totally ridiculous claim. (Although I can't say I'm surprised that you believe such utter fantasy, however.) ...the case was decided on other points...

Fine - we celeb domainers will take any win we can. Point being once again that if the absurd statement that "all celeb names are defacto trademarks" was true, then the celeb domainer owning Springsteen would never have won under ANY grounds whatsoever. Just say Usage. That's another one of those terms that anyone who knows the first thing about trademarks will understand.

Then it looks like you don't, since you apparently have no clue at all that most smart celeb domainers, including myself, have over the years made it a central part of their business to note whether or not any celeb name is in current use. None of mine or my friends are, which is why none of our domains have ever been bothered by WIPO even once.

You see, while we do not claim to be trademark lawyers, we ARE all by trade experts on the human condition, meaning that we knew years ago to anticipate the hoggish greed of the mind of the modern celeb agent, and that it would therefore be only a matter of time before they tried to legally market their clients as not just talented performers, but as mere pieces of meat going to market after being spit out by some factory.

It is indeed a sad commentary on your view, that you obviously seem to agree on the side of such greedy agents, who would seek to limit everything on the internet down to the limited template of a freedom of speech-killing, micro-managed corporate rat lab...

Comment #27

Bluesman satements in bold: Thanks for conceding my point, then - because all the old celeb domains I've ever dealt with have long since been out of said "use". And no, some greedy celeb agent can NOT just come along many decades after a celeb is dead (and also long after my domain names have been regged) and try to put them into "use" once again. Doesn't work that way. The key term you left out is that trademarks must be in CONTINUOUS use - because if they are not they lapse out of legal existence.

What you fail to realize, that even though a celebrity is dead, it does not mean thier TM, copyrights, patents, likeness or other property is dead. Most celebs have estates which owns all the IP and real property. Just becuase you think a person has been dead for many years, it does not legally mean his "stuff" is up for grabs. Some celebs have won and some have lost, so they are still very divided in that area. There has been no official declaration that all celebs are automatic domain holders, and if they tried it, it would be a totally ridiculous claim.

Do you know why some are lost and some are won??? I think you don't. There are reasons why this happens. Domainers win becuase the TM holder cannot prove all 3 points of criteria to successfully won a UDRP. DO you know the 3 points needed??? Point being once again that if the absurd statement that "all celeb names are defacto trademarks" was true, then the celeb domainer owning Springsteen would never have won under ANY grounds whatsoever.

Again, the name is the TM, this establishes a celebs right to his name, but there are other criteria involved. A TM does not automatically mean a TM holder gets the domain. It is an absurb statement. There is the 1st amendment and "fair use" which comes into play. The TM establishes a persons rights to a domain.

From you arguements, it seems you do not fully understand the UDRP process and critera needed to determine if a domain holder wins or loses. You make general statements without identifying the variables that each case may have. The reason Bruce lost is becuase they could not prove all 3 criter to be successful. It is a true fansite. The reason most celebs win is becusae the domain owners is a squatter and looking to only make money from the domain. Each decision tells you why they decided the way they did.

WIPO, NAF and the courts have all said that a celebs name is a TM, but there is more that is needed to win. That is the part you don't seem to understand. You seem to want to argue about the TM of a name, but UDRP is more than just that. You see, while we do not claim to be trademark lawyers, we ARE all by trade experts on the human condition, meaning that we knew years ago to anticipate the hoggish greed of the mind of the modern celeb agent, and that it would therefore be only a matter of time before they tried to legally market their clients as not just talented performers, but as mere pieces of meat going to market after being spit out by some factory.

It is indeed a sad commentary on your view, that you obviously seem to agree on the side of such greedy agents, who would seek to limit everything on the internet down to the limited template of a freedom of speech-killing, micro-managed corporate rat lab.

Actually, it is more of the reverse, the celeb is protecting himself from the greedy immoral wrath of cyber scum whose only purpose in life is to make money off of someone else's hard work and fame. So the agent is protecting his client (as he should) from the squatters and doing what has been legal for many many years to protect him. But there are limits and as you admitted, not all celebs win, and with that, ask yourself, why? Read the decisioins to find out.....

Comment #28

I guess this is the root of the problem. I read a few pages of text and that somehow turns into me calling myself an expert. That couldn't be further from the truth. I openly acknowledge that I have only a basic understanding of trademarks. The problem is that most of what you know about trademark is wrong. So until you become an expert yourself by reading a few pages about trademarks we are doomed to have a discussion that just goes in circles.

And I mean read government and legal documents not fairy tales by some dude in a forum. No point was conceded. In fact, why on earth would you register names of "celebs" whos trademarks are not is use any more? You mean none of their works are still being sold? That no one knows who they are? It would seem to me that for your celeb names to meet the criteria required for the trademark to have lapsed they could not possibly be celebs.

I think DNQuest.com addressed most of your other errors, so I won't rehash those. Agree completely with his position on the greedy immoral wrath of cyber scum..

Comment #29

To both DNQ and Prima:.

My wish is definitely not to make provocative statements in order to goad anyone into some pointless flame war. If that is what you're looking for, you'd have to seek that elsewhere. You fail to realize that my associates and I do indeed make sure that the old movie stars and others that we build fansites about do not have any estates active online or elsewhere; therefore legally, in the words of DNQ, their "stuff" is indeed up for grabs.

Your conclusions are therefore false that "all" celebs since the beginning of time have active copyrights, etc. It is also false to assume that these "safe" celeb names that we have carefully screened are not true celebs at all if they do not have said current active copyright, etc. use. Many of them, although still popular in the public mind, have simply fallen through the cracks of time, a fact which provides huge loopholes. Most old celebs, in fact, are not covered by any current usage. A notable exception to this is W.C.

His likeness and other artifacts are indeed licensed by agents who must clear usage of all Fields iconic properties by anyone, and they of course also sell related products in their joint agreements with the celeb's estate. (Bogart and McQueen are a couple of other examples.) But, as I indicated, such heavy traffic examples are few and far between.

Do domainers win WIPO cases because the TM holder cannot prove all 3 points of criteria? Of course they do, and I never said otherwise. We are very well aware of this fact because we operate strictly as non-profit fansites, keeping our subjects in a favorable light, and linking only to things related to our celebs, and not their competition. It is this kind of exercise of our freedom of speech that makes it all but impossible for any WIPO case to even be considered against us.

And so before any domain name is bought by myself or my associates, naturally we study all relevant cases, and therefore surely don't appreciate being painted with the same old brush of "cybersquatter," which is a term deserved only by the inept bumpkins trying to make a quick buck by registering yet another flock of lame Britney Spears-related dot coms.

In other words, we certainly haven't existed successfully for over 10 years in this business by NOT keeping our backs fully covered!..

Comment #30

I'm a trademark lawyer on another planet, and I'd like to tell all three of you that you're all wrong!.

So HA!..

Comment #31

Blue, you are complaining that celebrities are trying to protect thier names, you then argue that names are not TMs. what I do like is the word "contineous"... so the old celebs stop being famous, then become famous again? Maybe some of the older celebs no longer have trusts or people looking out for thier bet interests...

Comment #32

If you do a search for the Lanham Act, 15 USC 1129.

Cyberpiracy protections for individuals - It states "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. ".

So essentially they are afforded TM status for domains, IF and ONLY/IF the person who registers it tries to SELL the domain and doesn't have legitimate claim to it... It actually doesn't state that you can't use it for financial gain, just that you can't sell it for such. And obviously, as long as you aren't stating that the person is endorsing or promotes your site or products, you aren't violating any rights that are afforded under proper name TMs.

Secondly, WIPO stated that they don't know whether the UDRP was ever intended for the protection of proper names, so stating that it is, is contradictory to their own findings. Obviously there are other factors involved, which DNQuest pointed out, involving the 3 points that a claimaint must prove. But the fact is, you can't just broadly say that all celeb names are TM and you can't legally own celeb domains. You can, it's been proven, and life goes on...

Comment #33

Slip, illegally profitting from TMed domains is considered "bad faith" which is one of the criteria of UDRP. secondly, we are not talking proper names, we are talking TNed names, which may happen to be a poper. This has been supported in WIPO, NAF and the courts...

Comment #34

My wish is only that you make your statements a bit less provocative and a bit more accurate. I'm not looking for a flame war. I'm looking to set the record straight so that this legacy of disinformation doesn't pass from you to the members here as it was once passed to you in some other forum. What you fail to realise is that you don't know the law. All your verbiage has no legal meaning whatsoever. You do not need an estate, active, on-line, or otherwise, to have a trademark.

First off, no one here ever said that, nor did they say any of these other ridiculous things you repeatedly try to put into peoples mouths. More importantly, we are discussing trademarks here, not copyrights. You seem to habitually confuse these two. How can we have a discussion about this when you lack understanding of such basics? As I have tried to explain many times, a copyright and a trademark are two different things. Even after the copyright of a work expires, a trademark on the title of the work, the characters in the work, the author of the work, the performer of the work, etc.

If a mark popular in the public mind then it's a trademark. That's almost the textbook definition of a common law trademark. You never said it never happened. I never said you said it never happened. But you did cite a WIPO case where it did happen and claimed it was proof that celeb names weren't trademarks. And I thought that was worth pointing out.

I don't think anyone is taking exception to what you do, if that is running fan sites for golden oldie celebs. I know I certainly don't; in fact I applaud it.

What I take exception to are your seriously inaccurate statements regarding trademarks, copyrights, and the UDRP. This is compounded by your insistence that these statements are fact in the face of overwhelming evidence. I have a strong personal dislike for misinformation, in particular when there is a high probability that some kid will read it, believe it, and get himself into trouble because it it. I feel it's my moral duty as a member of this forum to fight the good fight and call such BS when I see it. I had a tortoise that existed for nearly 100 years and had it's back covered the entire time. However it made no claims that having a covered back gave it any understanding of trademark law.

Very wise, that tortoise...

Comment #35

Regarding DNQ's comment: DNQ: Blue, you are complaining that celebrities are trying to protect thier names, you then argue that names are not TMs. what I do like is the word "continuous"... so the old celebs stop being famous, then become famous again? Maybe some of the older celebs no longer have trusts or people looking out for thier best interests.

Just because celeb names have never been automatically considered the same as TMs in the eyes of the law, that doesn't mean their agents don't still want to see their clients' names kept in a positive light, which has always been a major part of all fair use rules. As to the "continuous" stipulation, that of course regards TMs as related to branded and marketed products as manufactured and sold by companies, which celebs are not.

And do older (or partially forgotten) celebs not have people looking out for their interests? That's exactly right - which is the huge loophole where WE celeb domainers have always come in. In fact, it must be said that most of the time we do a far BETTER job than any of their official "agents" have ever done for them! And we did it for FREE!.

The rest are regarding Prime's comments (excerpted for point referral and space reasons): Prime: I'm looking to set the record straight so that this legacy of disinformation doesn't pass from you to the members here as it was once passed to you in some other forum.

That crack falls on deaf ears, since I haven't been haunting any other domain forums. Over 10 years in the celeb domain biz has been MY "forum," sir. You do not need an estate, active, on-line, or otherwise, to have a trademark.

I never said that - we were discussing legal eagles coming after celeb domainers. In fact, you need to remember that I certainly do NOT consider the recent attempts by celebs' agents to make them also be trademarks as being legitimate for even one second. "...we are discussing trademarks here, not copyrights. You seem to habitually confuse these two...".

Not really, yet YOU and certain others seem to act as if celebs, copyrights and trademarks should all be considered as the same thing, anyway. I claim the opposite. Even after the copyright of a work expires, a trademark on the title of the work, the characters in the work, the author of the work, the performer of the work, etc. can still exist.

Wrong again. Trademarks vanish, unless they are kept under continuous use. Try again. I feel it's my moral duty as a member of this forum to fight the good fight and call such BS when I see it.

The main BS I see going around the net regarding this subject is this recent nonsense that celebs are now also TMs. Sorry to see that you fell for such rubbish...

Comment #36

Re: Comments by Slipx: Slipx: If you do a search for the Lanham Act, 15 USC 1129.

Cyberpiracy protections for individuals - It states "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. " So essentially they are afforded TM status for domains, IF and ONLY/IF the person who registers it tries to SELL the domain and doesn't have legitimate claim to it...".

No, TM status regarding a name does not hinge on whether or not some unrelated person wants to sell it in another form. A trademarked product already exists from the first day it goes to market, and preparation for it was done even before that (as was any required R&D plus any needed filed invention patents, etc.). Instead, anti-piracy provisions affect the person(s) dealing in names that are confusingly similar to those TMs. And someone using the term "Kleenex" in their name, for instance, would still not escape a C&D from Kimberly-Clarke merely because he was making money off it from Google Adsense instead of actively trying to sell the name. It actually doesn't state that you can't use it for financial gain, just that you can't sell it for such. And obviously, as long as you aren't stating that the person is endorsing or promotes your site or products, you aren't violating any rights that are afforded under proper name TMs.

I'm forced to agree that Lanham doesn't specifically say a private domain owner "cannot profit in any way, shape or form" (at least in the part you excerpted from it), however, various other rules and regs regarding cybersquatting would cover that ground well enough. That's why it's so very important for a domainer to make sure that he has regged the names he wants long BEFORE any lawyers or agents come crawling out of the woodwork later and try to resurrect their fame. But the fact is, you can't just broadly say that all celeb names are TM...

True, technically. But as I implied, one would never want to put all his eggs in one basket banking on such a technicality, especially when they are knocked down a moment later by the next restrictive little "cyber statute" that comes along. Buying currently popular names (celeb or otherwise) is indeed dangerous, and I never advise anyone to do so. (Although I see many out there ignoring such advice.).

It's far better (and much safer) to invest in a good solid "old classic" property (think fixer-upper houses or abandoned mines that still have some gold) which you can work on and restore back into mint condition...

Comment #37

"Just because celeb names have never been automatically considered the same as TMs in the eyes of the law, that doesn't mean their agents don't still want to see their clients' names kept in a positive light, which has always been a major part of all fair use rules. As to the "continuous" stipulation, that of course regards TMs as related to branded and marketed products as manufactured and sold by companies, which celebs are not.

And do older (or partially forgotten) celebs not have people looking out for their interests? That's exactly right - which is the huge loophole where WE celeb domainers have always come in. In fact, it must be said that most of the time we do a far BETTER job than any of their official "agents" have ever done for them! And we did it for FREE!".

Wrong, it has been proven in the eyes of the law (via precedence) that a celebrities name is their TM. WIPO and NAF also also use the legal precedence in determining rights to a domain. Why do you keep saying the law does not recognize names as a TM? You are wrong on this. Celebs have "common law" TM due to the fact they make a living off of their name.

Now, as far as your arguement of products being marketed and sold while celebs are not.... Have you ever gone to the movies????? In the trailers, do the extras or B line actors get mentioned when they are promoting a move??? The answer is "no", it is the star (you know, the drawing power, the name recognition) that is emphasized. THAT is the marketing of the Celeb. Or how about commercials for the weekend movie? These "old" celebs no one cares about, they are still marketed on commercials when a movie is being advertised. They are also in the credits. Don't you think this is a part of the marketing of a celeb?.

Regardless if you like it or not, but a celeb name in their TM, it has been supported in court many times over. Your weak arguements to the opposite are just wrong. I know you want to believe you can use the names (which you can under "fair usage"), but saying they are not TMs is completely wrong.

As far and as promoting the "forgotten" celebs batter and for free, you are such a good samaritan... so how much money you make from that?..

Comment #38

Absolute baloney. You can show me exactly ZERO cases where there was an official decision proclaiming that ALL celebs are also the same as TMs. Why? Because no such case has ever come to court yet. Instead you seem content to listen to "sub-comments" - off-point remarks made by arb panelists during various cases - which, sadly for your argument vary widely (and have no force in law anyway).

As to your lame old cliche that celebs "make a living off their name," they do not - they make their living off their MOVIES. That's what they signed their contracts for, and therefore that's what they are paid through. (Remember that not every actor in a movie has a "big name," anyway.) Then you contradict yourself with this: Now, as far as your arguement of products being marketed and sold while celebs are not.... Have you ever gone to the movies?...

Oh, so you DO recognize the movies, instead of mere names, huh? Ha! Ha! But then you again lose sight of the truth with this: THAT is the marketing of the Celeb.

No, that is the marketing of the MOVIE. Many movies make tons of money that feature no big star names. Regardless if you like it or not, but a celeb name in their TM, it has been supported in court many times over.

No it hasn't - again, I ask that you show us all where this mysterious landmark TM decision (stating once and for all that every name used in connection with business is also a TM) can be found in any court records. It does not exist. And as I've so often said, people including doctors, lawyers, plumbers and carpet-layers also all "use their names" prominently in their businesses, and THEY'RE certainly not TMs! As far and as promoting the "forgotten" celebs better and for free, you are such a good samaritan... so how much money you make from that?.

Got a problem understanding the word "free," sir? (The same way you can't understand that there is no such court case stating that all names used in any business are also TMs.) Free means free. I make more than enough profit from my OTHER various (non-internet) business concerns, thank you very much...

Comment #39

You know what, you will never get it. You don't read AND interpret properly. It is obvious you have never read decisions from WIPO or NAF that deals in celeb names. If you did, you will see the celebs are ARE recognized as thier TM. Another fact, a COMMON LAW TM must be proven. If you can prove you are afforded protection under "common law TM", you will get it.

You are clueless.

As far as marketing a movie, if the same movie came out with 2 different stars (Say Angilina Jolie stars in one and the other stars Cindy Homes (she is a girl iI grew up with), which one would you want to see? You realize that stars command huge paychecks becuase of thier names and that is how movies are promoted. Why do you think they harp on the stars in trailers and commercials.

Show me several sites you have, let me check them out...

EDIT TO ADD: btw- I did 3 minutes of reasearch and I found this.... maybe you should research from now on too... http://arbiter.wipo.int/domains/deci...2006-0399.html.

6. Discussion and Findings.

A. Rights in a trademark which is Identical or Confusingly Similar to the domain name.

Complainant relies on the common law trade mark rights which she claims in her stage name Silvia Saint and it's derivative Sylvia Saint. The Complainant refers to various WIPO Panel decisions in support of the assertion that registered rights are not required in order to fall within Paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy.

In fact, it is undoubtedly the case that numerous UDRP decisions can be identified in which the panel held that unregistered or common law trade mark rights in a jurisdiction that recognises such rights were sufficient for the purposes of bringing a complaint under the Policy and that such rights can extend to a personal name. Examples include Patricia Ford and Online Creations Inc. v. Damir Kruzicevic WIPO Case No. D2001-0059; Serena Williams and Venus Williams v. Eileen White Byrne and Allgolf consultancy WIPO Case No.D2000-1673; Bob Avila v.

D2004-0013; Monty and Pat Roberts, Inc. v. Bill Keith WIPO Case No. D2000-0299.

These decisions show that UDRP panels have accepted a complainants claim that the names were protected as common law trademarks in the United States if complainant commercially exploited the name and provided sufficient evidence that shows that complainants name has received a certain degree of recognition and has come to be associated in the minds of the public with complainants commercial activities.

Now move on with life Blues...

EDIT TO ADD (part deux):.

This is from the Springsteen decision...

7. Decision.

In light of the foregoing, the Panel decides that although the domain name at issue is identical to the un-registered trade mark of the Complainant, the Registrant has demonstrated that he has some rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name, and the Complainant has failed to demonstrate that the domain name was registered and has been used in bad faith.

Accordingly, the Panel orders that the registration of the domain name be left as it stands. http://arbiter.wipo.int/domains/deci...2000-1532.html..

Comment #40

The Complainant does not rely upon any registered trade marks but on her common law rights in her real name....

For all the forgoing reasons, the Panel decides that the Complainant has proved each of the three elements of para. 4 of the Policy http://arbiter.wipo.int/domains/deci...2000-0235.html.

Stated simply, a celebritys name can serve as a trademark when used to identify the celebritys performance services http://www.arbforum.com/domains/decisions/114437.htm.

To establish common law rights in a personal name, it is necessary to show use of that name as an indication of the source of goods or services supplied in trade or commerce and that, as a result of such use, the name has become distinctive of that source. Upon such proof, a celebritys name can serve as a trademark when used to identify the celebritys performance services http://arbiter.wipo.int/domains/deci...2002-0872.html.

Paragraph 4(a) of the Policy does not require the Complainant to demonstrate rights in a registered mark; it can be enough to demonstrate the existence of unregistered common law rights or sufficient rights to ground an action for passing off http://arbiter.wipo.int/domains/deci...2003-0852.html.

Complainant, Kevin Garnett, is a world-famous professional basketball player who currently plays with the National Basketball Associations (NBA) Minnesota Timberwolves. Complainants trademark rights in the name KEVIN GARNETT can be traced back to at least as early as 1994 when he was named South Carolinas high-school Mr. Basketball.  http://www.arbforum.com/domains/decisions/128073.htm.

And the list goes on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on...

As we can see, it doesn't require much to obtain trademark protection for your name. Winning a highschool award can do it for you.

I hope this, and the copious other references that are cited in each of these decision, provides enough evidence to convince anyone that celebrity names are in fact trademarks...

Comment #41


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

 

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