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Hey All-Pros,.

Sedo just e-mailed me that they "unparked" my domain name AmandaByrnes.com because someone complained of copyright infringement.

I bought the name because it's a one-letter-misspelling of Amanda Bynes, currently co-starring in "Hairspray," a very popular movie amongst the young and the young-at-heart. And I have been getting a fair amount of views.

When I received the Sedo e-mail, I googled "Amanda Byrnes" and discovered there's another youthful actress named Amanda Byrnesnot nearly as well known as Amanda Bynes. Plus, there are tons of other people named Amanda Byrnes according to Google. It seems to be a fairly common name.

Should I expect a legal demand from Amanda Byrnes' people demanding that I forfeit my domain name, and if so, do I have any legal standing?.

Any help you offer will be much appreciated.

Lew Riley..

Comments (21)

Dabbling in company / brand / TM typos is risky business - expect more challenges, etc down the pike.

If you are not risk adverse, then, in my view, you would do better to dump your domain typo portifolio (buyers for typos are around, but most keep a low profile), and seek out generics, etc instead.

In answer to your question - if challenged on that domain, you likely will lose ... and potentially more than just the domain.

Ron..

Comment #1

Makes you think about sedo's double standards though... unparking that domain (rightfully so - IMHO) while putting visacards.co.uk to auction without any prior bid... perhaps they will just want to make a buck until someone complains..

Comment #2

You realize this sentence makes you the run of the mill cybersquatter right? I think they should have unparked it since you are gaining commercially from a TMed name.

It would seem you have a pretty big uphill battle if there is a challenge. So it doesn't look good...

Comment #3

You realize, of course, that many posts on NamePros.com are devoted to slight misspellings to generate profits. In truth, Amanda Bynes (not Byrnes) would be helped by my domain name because yo-yos who can't spell her name and throw in the "r" would be shown her correct name and provided links to domains featuring her and "Hairspray.".

I teach writing in college, and I know that most people can't spell these days, and I help these folks to a fault, and I figure since I'm one of the few relatively swell spellers these days, I should profit a bit from my skillthough, in fact, if I've made more than a dollar off of the clicks, I'd be surprised.

In truth, I looked up cybersquatting, and one tenet of the definition is that the so-called squatter buys a domain name with the idea of registering, selling or using that domain name with the intent of profiting from the goodwill of someone else's trademark.

I registered the name "Amanda Byrnes" with no idea that a third- or fourth-rate actress existed with that nameif in fact her people are the ones complaining. And according to Google she's been around a few yearsso why didn't she register her own name if it's so valuable?.

I typed the name "Amanda Byrnes" into My Space and there are, as I suspected, a large number of people with that name. I can see Angelina Jolie or Tiger Woods being upset if someone registered their name, but when you register fairly common names like Will Smith or Dave Matthews or Amanda Byrnes, I doubt whether such people, however famous, can declare they have sole rights to their name.

I'm not really interested in an uphill battle, but there is a principle involved, I do believe. I love domaining, and I really appreciate all the feedback from NamePros.com, but to get on a high horse and imply that domainers who are clever, forward-thinking and, yes, even calculating on occasion, are acting improperly is, as Mike and Mike would say in the morningridonculous.

I would never register CalRipken.com and then ask him for $100,000which he did not pay, or register www.gateway2000.com, put porn on the domain and then ask Gateway for $200,000, which it did pay. But when it comes to common, almost generic nameshey, it's a free world, and I'm willing to take any and all consequences for asserting my freedom of speech...

Comment #4

I know I shouldn't respond to anyone who uses the pubescent "eek" in a post, but what the hey. ".... Can't spell these days...." What part of this sentence are you trying to make fun of? Of course, people who hone in on misspellings to blaspheme someone can't see the forest for the trees, but perhaps I'm missing the "joke.".

Hey, dude, not only do I teach writing, I write professionally. Check out "Game Show" on DramaticPublishing.com. And your credentials are?..

Comment #5

Easy lewstar, you asked for peoples opinion, they gave it to you.

Most domainers here have the view about regging personal names that are not your own (and brands for that matter), for whatever reason, is cybersquatting.

You have the option of taking the risk and making the profit, though if you've not even made a buck, you're better off passing it on.

You also have the legal option of changing your name to amanda whatever.

(I haven't heard of either of the two in any case).

I don't think that you can ask anyone for credentials irrespective of what you do outside of NP. On it, you're a noob and verbster (who's English is a LOT better than most of the people here) least of all.

He was just making a joke and is not one of your students to admonish. Take the advice, move on, with your skills you should/could be making a killing on generic options, what with knowing the difference between synonyms and similes. Instead of hanging onto a domain with tm issues...

Comment #6

I think what verbster was appertaining to was the irony of you pointing out you teach writing in a paragraph riddled with bad grammar. Jeez man, even David Blaine would have suffocated trying to read it out loud...

Sry, couldnt resist....

Comment #7

Collieri, iz dat ewe?.

Welcome back... we have missed you.

Kid5150..

Comment #8

Registering Typos and typo squatting are 2 different things. Typos squatting which is what you are doing is view exectly the same as cybersquatting. Also in truth, it does not matter if it helps them are not, you are illegally and freely infringing on a TM> It does not matter if it is 1 dollar or 1000 dollars, your intent is to profit from a TMed domain which is deemed cybersquatting There is no "so-called" aobut it, it is the definaition of cybersquatting. And that is the practice you have admitted to freely. Cybersquatting addresses the act in the parapraph you mentioined above. It does not matter why they did not, and in honest truth, nobody really cares.

By my count 3 of 3 criterea of cybersquatting has been proven. I had to laugh here.. the common names of America... Smith. Matthews...

Veru ignorant statement. This has been addresses over the years. You are not forward thinking, you are breaking the law. As a teacher, you should research, you obviously did not. Look up ACPA and read.

Your thinking is exactly the same as every other domainer when they started out. Your thinking is not original, as a matter of fact, laws have been passed BECAUSE of that type of thinking. Generic names. again, research what that actually means in TM law. Is, Windows, Apple, Champion, Cheer generic? In TM, they are not.

In all honesty, you really do not know the business, and that's ok. All of us were like that. You have not presented any now arguement or angle to domaining that has not already been done a bizillion times. Normally, you would get the "Read my Sig" response in hopes that you actually follow the advice and research (I had done that becuase I was tired of repeating the same thing over and over to the new domainers). There are many ifs, ands, and buts about TMs and domaining it is not even funny. But you research here and you will answer aobut 98% of the questons you may have. Good Luck...

Comment #9

Hey, Badger, to declare that my writing is riddled with bad grammar is like calling Maria Sharapova ugly.

Back to the point, however: I take it from you and the other "posters" on this board that I should get rid of such domain names as Davri.com, RyanSeecrest.com and JessicaBeel.comeven though they perform a positive function (and generate a goodly number of views). And that function is to direct people to the locations they are looking for but can't find because 1) they are poor spellers and/or 2) English spellings often don't make sense.

I would add that these creative misspellings come to me while I'm either writing for pay or teaching writing classes. I'm not a flunky-cybersquatter who has no other source of income.

In closing, I would thank the first two respondents to my query for offering their opinions, but I can see that I should save legal questions for legal expertsif I can't find the answers after performing my own thorough research. Moreover, the help I've received on other NamePros.com boards more than makes up for the less-than-authoritative advice I received on this board...

Comment #10

You kill me Lew... Tis just in jest friend, lest ye take no issue.. (I responded to your PM also btw).

DNQuest is one of the most authoritive posters about domaining legal matters on this board, I would read and digest what he says closely. Oh, and make sure you do so solely for the content, try not to get too distracted by examining the grammar...

Comment #11

Biggest problem with educationists, can't take criticism. Must be an interesting job/class. :shudder: Never seen this breed Zigackly.

Good Luck. //unsubscribe..

Comment #12

Looks like I'm late to the party!.

Checked out dramaticpublishing. Looks like you have a play on sale for $6.50. (I see I can also download free sound effects.) Guess if you've sold any copies, you really are a professional writer. Can't tell you how impressed I am by this.

My apologies for sounding infantile⁢ was either "eek" or "yikes," but I didnt know you well enough for the latter.

With that in mind, I appreciate your dramatic use of "dude" as a sophisticated rhetorical tool. Not many professionals could pull that off.

That said, if you're going to brag about being a writing instructor, make sure your own writing wows us with subtle clarity and seamless cohesion. The excerpt I highlighted demonstrated neither. It's a good teaching tool, though; I'll use it as one.

My credentials? For starters, I'm a professor of English. I just dont dwell on it...

Comment #13

Makes one wonder.... What constitutes a celebrity... Because someone is famous in the USA does that also constitute the same fame and notoriaty elsewhere?.

I have a friend you could say is famous and has been for 20 some odd years he is a well known singer for a rock band from the 80's however his stage name is what was famous and his real name is well just his real name. He used to own the dot com with his stage name but that was back in the early 90's and he is the first to admit he knows nothing about computers/domains ect , his management team originally registered the stage name .com and let it lapse after a 5 yr reg , He knew nothing about this and just recently has asked me about helping him inquire about recovering the name. The person that now has the name ( Notice that I did not write Cybersquatter here) has the name and has requested 1500.00 for it. Wheres the justice 1500.00 to the person that has it regged or 1500.00 to WIPO / UDRP...

I personally think that if a persons fame does not reach worldwide status then any name should be free to reg. For example Cant I be considered Famous in my hometown? Should I own a COMMON TM on my name heck Should'nt I also own a common TM on my stage name TT? Unless a name is a registered TM in one or more countries COMMON TM means nothing. Should johnberryhill.com belong to our fellow NP member John Berryhill or should he only be entitled to DrJohnBerryhill.com or should he be entitled to own everything from JB.com - JohnathanBerryhill.com ( Sorry John for using your name as a example ).

Any one of us could be a regular joe today and famous the next for 15 minutes. When does the fame everyone talks about expire? My friend still performs in front of thousands of people so far this summer he has performed 28 live shows but what would be considered his Famous TM his stage name or his full given name?.

I also own a Registered TM for my business and I am just playing devils advocate because I see so many comments from other members that tell people they are doing wrong when a common TM can be used by many people & businesses until such a time as someone registers the mark alao there is many instances where 2 or more people have and use the same name that are famous and the one that gets it REGISTERED first lays claim to the mark until that time it's considered a common TM this is when the insanity stops. All of the above is My opinion only and may or may not be correct..

Comment #14

If your primary reasons to registering typos of TMs is for "views" which translates into PPC. TM laws states it is illegal, not me or anyone else. You "Positive sites" are PPC protals. Teh only positive is you hope you make money. Did you research ACPA at all? It makes you a cybersquatter WITH other sources of income. At this point, I will get a little on the testy side.

So if you meant to insult us you did it wrong. But it is not a grammar mistake, so I will let it slide. Two- conclusions made here are made from reading the laws, precedence of court cases and UDRPs. It comes from years and years of research and discusions, it comes from IP Attorneys who pass along knowlege to better educate us. I am glad you found other places where they condone cybersquatting, because that is what you are doing.

Though personally, I am hoping ACPA, then you WILL realize how much we really did try to help you.

We all have our risk/reward tolerances. It is up to you to decide that. But actually learn the business too. It will help you.

In conclusion:.

READ MY SIG...

TT.

First, you need to seperate TM laws and courts from UDRPs. That is many peoples first mistake. There are no "laws" which panelists adhere to in determining criterea, just "guidelines". In UDRPs, all that needs to be proven is there is some sort of common lkw TM. It does not have to be worldwide, just show that secondary meaning was obtained somewhere. Many times, a panleist will rule, for the sake of these proceedings xxxx has obtained a TM.

Celebs should be able to protect thier names, regardless of how big or small they are. That is thier livelyhood. On the flip side, I do believe fansites should be protected, as long as it is a true fansite and not a sham. It all boils down to usage...

Comment #15

/me Falls down laughing..

//subscribe.

This is getting interesting.

Hey verbster, knew you were good, didn't know about the pro status!.

Should have guessed it though. Isn't that what everyone else is saying... it's wrong to cybersquat.

You're missing the whole point. The minute John Doofus books WillSmith.com (or even WollSmith.com, WpllSmith.com, ad nauseam) and parks it with links to the next Will Smith movie ads, it's bad faith AND cybersquatting. John Doofus is trying to make money of the celebrity of this person. How much celebrity does it take, none at all, it's bad faith.

Lets come down to the local level, would you book the .com of the name of the mayor of your town? Why not? Now if you were to book it anyway, Would you be within your rights to charge him for putting 'his ads' on 'your site' for the next election?..

Comment #16

Lewster just two questions friend.

You asked for opinions which always comes in different sizes and colors. (If they don't then moderators will delete that posts for posting the exact thing the above person posted ) So there is no chance of seeing "WOW Lewster" in all posts.

You yourself know why you registered this domain name. Right.

It is 100% for getting some clicks on that name. Which you could argue that you are in fact doing good by driving the typed in traffic to their right place. But still why celebrity names are always snapped. Why isn't someone registering my name or your name and try to help us to drive that lost traffic back to our sites Why are you doing this charity. Please tell me why would we bother if some kid doesn't knows how to type URL's properly. Why should we even bother to help him to reach the original page.

In fact you are not helping that kind of kids but making some money from it.

Personally I don't own any typos but if I owned one I would be wishing people to make more typing mistakes then ever so I can earn. I would not take a typo just to help some people who are not able to type properly.

Second question is why do you keep forgetting what you tell yourself. WOW Nice news YAY you are so smart WOW very popular WOW. Oh no. She is not that popular I just like to hear good things about me and my domains. Now she is fourth-rate actress. She was co-starring in a very popular movie amongst the young and the young-at-heart. But Now she is not that good...

Comment #17

Phil this person isn't worth your words. Obviously they just want someone to agree with them.

Lewstar- You are in the wrong plain and simple. Deny it all you want...doesn't matter...

Comment #18

I haven't ranted in a while... wanted to stay in practice. But it more for the others who read this and hope at least they will learn...

Comment #19

No problem. John Berryhill is a well-known caterer in Idaho, and berryhill.com belongs to a Jon Berryhill in California. There is a Dr. John Berryhill who is a school administrator in Oklahoma, and a John Berryhill who is a preacher in Texas. There is a Professor Wade Berryhill, who teaches law in Virginia, and so on...

No, I don't feel like registering every variation of my name as a domain name. However, if you were to register some variation of my name, and unlike other people using various domains, (a) you are NOT one of the many John Berryhill's and (b) your registration and use of the domain name appears to be an effort to make money off of my reputation then, yes, I'll probably have a problem with you.

Nobody is saying you can't register variations of your name as a domain name. When you register variations of other people's names, though, then certain questions about your motivation and intent arise.

Or, let's change the facts, if you registered some variation of "John Berryhill" and started using it for catering services, then I'd probably contact John Berryhill the caterer in Idaho (we know each other, but are no relation) and let him know about it.

Conversely, it is true that there are parties in various countries that have trademarks comprising or consisting of "Berryhill", such as the Berryhill Baja Restaurant franchise out of Austin, Texas. No, they don't have a claim against my use of my name for legal services, but they would definitely have a legitimate claim if I started using my surname to open up a chain of Tex-Mex restaurants...and if I walk into your house, decide that your walls need some painting, and commence to providing the positive service of painting your walls, I'm sure at some point you are going to wonder where I get off thinking I have a right to just wander onto your property and start doing you favors. If you are going to define "expert" as "people who say things I agree with", then that's something of a cramped definition.

I don't know if I'm an "expert", but I know a thing or two about domain disputes. Having looked at "Jessicabeel.com" and seen the link stating "Log-on Now for Jessica Biel! Naked Photos of Jessica Biel", I can say without reservation that the actress is not going to agree with your contention that you are doing her a favor of some kind...

Comment #20

Your profession has no bearing on the legality of your actions... Crime isn't exclusive to socio-economic classes, nor is it permissible or justifiable by one over the other. Even given our justice system, where money is the best defense, I assure you that their wallet is fatter than thou.

Either way, you registered these domains for the explicit reason of profiting off of someone else's TM or brand. This action makes you a flunky cybersquatter, regardless of your other attributes...

Personally I don't care if you're a squatter or not, but if you are, don't try to justify it and pretend that you aren't...

Comment #21


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

 

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