Just bought celebrety exact match domain. What to do?

22 replies
So I noticed that my favorite music artist's domain name was for sale. He is well known and still active.

What can I legally do with this domain to monetize it?
#bought #celebrety #domain #exact #match
  • Profile picture of the author JC Web
    Originally Posted by BobbyBoucher View Post

    So I noticed that my favorite music artist's domain name was for sale. He is well known and still active.

    What can I legally do with this domain to monetize it?
    You can't legally monetize it. That was a bad move you made.
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    • Profile picture of the author BobbyBoucher
      Originally Posted by JC Web View Post

      You can't legally monetize it. That was a bad move you made.
      Even with affiliate links to his albums or something like that? What about selling it to him?
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      • Profile picture of the author JC Web
        Originally Posted by BobbyBoucher View Post

        Even with affiliate links to his albums or something like that? What about selling it to him?
        No, to both. You can both be heavily fined and have a lawsuit brought against you. And he has a right to take the domain without paying you a cent.
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        • Profile picture of the author BobbyBoucher
          Originally Posted by JC Web View Post

          No, to both. You can both be heavily fined and have a lawsuit brought against you. And he has a right to take the domain without paying you a cent.

          Can I do anything with the domain? Fan forum? I guess I should probably cancel it.
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  • Profile picture of the author BobbyBoucher
    Just canceled it.
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    • Profile picture of the author FarNext
      Originally Posted by BobbyBoucher View Post

      Just canceled it.


      You could silently contact the celebrity asking him directly if he was interested in acquiring the domain name. It's not illegal at all. If you purchase a domain on the name of celebrity and the celebrity did not buy it before you (whatever were his reasons) then you are not guilty. If the celebrity had trademarks reserved, all he could do was to cancel your domain (unless you caused any harm to his reputation).
      In many cases, celebrities simply purchase such domains. Now you have closed this chapter,
      so no worries
      Some companies/celebs allow it and some does not. It depends.
      They have the right to take your domain, but where it is written in the law that he will necessarily take
      it from you and without paying you a cent? I have seen many cases where the celebrities offer some
      agreeable price and purchase the domain.
      Regarding your question about being affiliate, you should contact the celebrity and also inform him about the advertizing network through which you'll be promoting his music. He will allow you, since it will be a win-win
      situation for both of you. Who doesn't like to see more sales! If the celebrity is happy, what is the need
      to drag everything into the law suits?



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      • Profile picture of the author JC Web
        Originally Posted by FarNext View Post

        You could silently contact the celebrity asking him directly if he was interested in acquiring the domain name. It's not illegal at all. If you purchase a domain on the name of celebrity and the celebrity did not buy it before you (whatever were his reasons) then you are not guilty. If the celebrity had trademarks reserved, all he could do was to cancel your domain (unless you caused any harm to his reputation).
        In many cases, celebrities simply purchase such domains. Now you have closed this chapter,
        so no worries
        What you just described is called cybersquatting and is illegal.
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        • Profile picture of the author FarNext
          Originally Posted by JC Web View Post

          What you just described is called cybersquatting and is illegal.

          Please get your facts right. If it is illegal, why do the domain registrars allow registering such domains at the first place? If a celebrity did not register such a domain because of his/her laziness or whatever was the reason, then how could it be illegal for others to go and register it?
          Once I saw a domain at some domain registrar company XYZ. It had "Adw**ds" in it. I tried to register it and their staff said they locked the domain because they didn't allow such keywords due to the possibility of infringement. If I had to register it, it would be at my own risk and they would unlock it for me.
          Anyhow, I asked them to unlock it. I obtained it and contacted the big G. They said that I could use it provided that on each and every page, in the footer I mention that I only give tips on my blog related to Adw**ds and in no way I was related to them and their partners. I came to know that the big companies
          and domain registrars encounter such cases on daily basis and they are not quick to open the law suits.
          Things are mostly settled without taking matters into the court(s) of justice.
          You could fall into trouble if you registered some domain that was against registered trademarks.
          Even in such a case, the domain registrar simply cancels such domains. The company(ies) can ask your domain registrar to cancel your domain name and they take it's ownership. Any activity that has caused harm to a celebrity or a corporation (with the registered brand names/trademarks) is illegal and they can file a law suit against you.

          In this forum thread, the OP did not setup his website/blog on the domain and he did not claim any copyrights of music or other work of the celebrity on his website etc.etc. that could cause harm to the celebrity in any way. He was asking for our suggestions before he could start. It is not good to scare people beforehand. All we can do is give our advice. People who are unsure, should always consult some legal adviser. It is not the case that if you registered such a domain, you would necessarily be sent behind the bars. Even if you would contact the legal department of some company like the big G, they don't mind it and they clarify to you their stance about the matter.


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          • Profile picture of the author salegurus
            Originally Posted by BobbyBoucher View Post

            Even with affiliate links to his albums or something like that? What about selling it to him?
            Dear Lord....

            Originally Posted by FarNext View Post

            You could silently contact the celebrity asking him directly if he was interested in acquiring the domain name. It's not illegal at all. If you purchase a domain on the name of celebrity and the celebrity did not buy it before you (whatever were his reasons) then you are not guilty. If the celebrity had trademarks reserved, all he could do was to cancel your domain (unless you caused any harm to his reputation).
            In many cases, celebrities simply purchase such domains. Now you have closed this chapter,
            so no worries
            You are talking absolute BS..... Please stop giving bad advice.
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          • Profile picture of the author Jill Carpenter
            Originally Posted by FarNext View Post

            Please get your facts right. If it is illegal, why do the domain registrars allow registering such domains at the first place? If a celebrity did not register such a domain because of his/her laziness or whatever was the reason, then how could it be illegal for others to go and register it?

            You can always register it. You just can't do anything with it.

            The celebrity might hire a web person to go register it for them and build the site. That person could do something with it as they are hired to do so.

            Any one can register any domain. But that could be as far as it goes. And it can be forced to be just handed over if the person whose name it is is a known brand.

            The only way one might get around it would be if you happened to have the exact same name as the celeb.
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            • Profile picture of the author discrat
              Originally Posted by Jill Carpenter View Post

              You can always register it. You just can't do anything with it.

              The celebrity might hire a web person to go register it for them and build the site. That person could do something with it as they are hired to do so.

              Any one can register any domain. But that could be as far as it goes. And it can be forced to be just handed over if the person whose name it is is a known brand.

              The only way one might get around it would be if you happened to have the exact same name as the celeb.
              Finally, a voice of Reason !!

              Thank you Jill.

              You can buy any domain that is available. There is no laws against this. Its just a matter of what you try to do with it afterwards is what matters and what can get you in trouble

              There is no such thing as cyber squatting if you just buy it and that is all you do with it i.e no attempt to contact person with name, no attempt to develop etc..etc..

              P.S. To OP... really could have been a bad move to cancel it. Paying $10 a year just to have it would have been worth the expense just to see if someone contacted you if it was a decent domain, imo
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              • Profile picture of the author webmarketer
                Originally Posted by discrat View Post

                Finally, a voice of Reason !!

                Thank you Jill.

                You can buy any domain that is available. There is no laws against this. Its just a matter of what you try to do with it afterwards is what matters and what can get you in trouble

                There is no such thing as cyber squatting if you just buy it and that is all you do with it i.e no attempt to contact person with name, no attempt to develop etc..etc..

                P.S. To OP... really could have been a bad move to cancel it. Paying $10 a year just to have it would have been worth the expense just to see if someone contacted you if it was a decent domain, imo
                Lol. Really? You'd buy a domain, squat on it, don't do jack, and waste $10 "just to see if someone contacted you if it was a decent domain"?

                What kind of pointless masturbatory social experiment is this? Lol.
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      • Profile picture of the author wolfmmiii
        Originally Posted by FarNext View Post

        You could silently contact the celebrity asking him directly if he was interested in acquiring the domain name. It's not illegal at all. If you purchase a domain on the name of celebrity and the celebrity did not buy it before you (whatever were his reasons) then you are not guilty. If the celebrity had trademarks reserved, all he could do was to cancel your domain (unless you caused any harm to his reputation).
        In many cases, celebrities simply purchase such domains. Now you have closed this chapter,
        so no worries
        Please stop giving out advice.
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        • Profile picture of the author FarNext
          Originally Posted by wolfmmiii View Post

          Please stop giving out advice.

          I think this is the core purpose of any forum.

          If you don't like my advice it is another thing.

          I am not forcing anybody. Those who have any doubt about
          any matter, are always free to seek advice from somewhere else.


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          • Profile picture of the author Kay King
            Giving incorrect advice is not the purpose of the forum. What we THINK should be allowed under the law is often not the ways things work in real life. If in doubt, check with a lawyer.

            Cybersquatting: What It Is and What Can Be Done About It | Nolo.com

            The OP posted he just cancelled the domain - smart thing to do.
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  • Profile picture of the author Miguelito203
    Originally Posted by BobbyBoucher View Post

    So I noticed that my favorite music artist's domain name was for sale. He is well known and still active.

    What can I legally do with this domain to monetize it?
    You can't use brand names/copyrighted/ trademarks when you are purchasing a domain name. If you want to promote stuff like that, you have to get a generic, broad name that relates to the niche you're in. For instance, if you wanted to sell something like One Direction stuff. you've have to get a domain name like "myfavoriteboybands" or something like that. You could then add a page to your site that includes One Direction stuff. Do you see the difference?

    Joey
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  • Profile picture of the author Tom Addams
    Bobby, you live and learn.

    You did the right thing by cancelling it. The term is "domain squatting." Whenever you purchase a domain always be mindful of potential trademark issues. You can learn more about domain trademark issues over here: Domains & Trademarks.

    - Tom
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    I Coach: Learn More | My Latest WF Thread: Dead Domains/ Passive Traffic

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  • Profile picture of the author THK
    Nothing. I was going to say hire a lawyer and go to war, just for the fun of it :p but I can see you already made the right move.
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  • Profile picture of the author JC Web
    Farnext, I didn't say registering the domain was illegal. Trying to profit from it is and that is the specific question the OP asked. Also, the exact thing you described, about registering the domain and then trying to sell it to the celebrity, is cybersquatting and is illegal. So you are the one that needs to get your facts straight.
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    • Profile picture of the author FarNext
      Originally Posted by JC Web View Post

      Farnext, I didn't say registering the domain was illegal. Trying to profit from it is and that is the specific question the OP asked. Also, the exact thing you described, about registering the domain and then trying to sell it to the celebrity, is cybersquatting and is illegal. So you are the one that needs to get your facts straight.

      Yes, I agree; and I apologize for any misunderstanding on my behalf.
      What I meant was this:
      We don't force any celebrity to buy from us. We contact the celebrity and he says, "I am interested in the domain. Will you sell it? " and in reply we humbly say yes. We negotiate the price. He agrees to pay us more than for what we purchased it (The price could be lower than our expectations. We are not stupid to ask
      him for Millions.) . So, we sell the domain.
      (Keeping in mind that the celebrity may not give us anything or even he could exercise his rights and
      acquire that domain.) I was not saying in anyway to force the celebrity. It's perfectly fine that we contact people/companies involved to know about their reservations before we begin any such venture.



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  • Profile picture of the author Tom Addams
    Just to add.

    Cybersquatting is regulated in many countries. In the U.S it's regulated by the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA) of 1999 and many high-profile cases have established strong legal precedent against registering a domain with the intent to profit from the goodwill of a brand or well-known name.

    You can learn more here:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cybersquatting

    You cannot register or purchase such a domain and hope to profit when someone relevant (a celeb, say) contacts you and hopes to purchase it. You will simply receive a legal order to hand it over. You can register or purchase it, certainly. But why bother? You can't ever reclaim your investment.

    So. You did indeed do the right thing, Bobby. In the end. LOL

    - Tom
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  • Profile picture of the author iVlog
    What to do? Get a good lawyer ;-)
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