Advice On The Domain BackTrump.com...Sell Or Be Sued?

34 replies
I purchased the domain name BackTrump.com in August and have since made it into a Drudge Report type of website where I post links from articles pertaining to Trump, as well as a little blog section towards the bottom.

I got busy with my main business and forgot about it for a while, so it isn't up to date like it should be and it needs a lot of SEO work.

With that being said, I think I want to sell the domain now for two reasons:

1) He may not get the nomination, and if he doesn't, it becomes worthless.

2) Shortly after I purchased the domain I pondered the legality of owning it. The Trump name is trademarked and I know there have been people who have received letters from his organization threatening to take legal action if the domain is not transferred out of their name.

However, the website Trump.org is owned by someone against Trump and from what I've read, the owner has ignored requests to take it down and hasn't had issues.

Do you think I should start an auction on Sedo or Flippa and hope it goes for $500-1,000? I feel like to some, this domain is completely worthless, but to others it may be worth a lot.

Trump himself, spent thousands of dollars recently buying domains with his name attached, so obviously it means something to him. But I feel like a person or organization against Trump would be interested in owning a domain like this...is there a better way for me to get the word out on this?

Thanks!
#advice #backtrumpcomsell #domain #sued
  • Profile picture of the author standon23
    I have electdonaldjtrump.com yours isn't even close as valuable as mine
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    • Profile picture of the author JamesMetcalf
      Touché sir, touché.
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      • Profile picture of the author arrival7
        I would sell it, but it is up to you.
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    • Profile picture of the author allegandro
      Originally Posted by standon23 View Post

      I have electdonaldjtrump.com yours isn't even close as valuable as mine

      That is BS.

      I would pay more money for BackTrump then for yours.

      Why for the simple fact that I have much more options to play with.

      electdonaldjtrump.com is a one issue website, and when he get kicked out, it has no value at all.

      With BackTrump, I can do so much more, even in the next years.

      Like.

      1. To support him
      2. To make fun of him
      3. To use it for the other Trump
      4. Cartoon website
      5. And 1.000.000 more options.

      electdonaldjtrump.com has only a little value, the moment he will be in the race and then still you have to compete with 1.000 other websites.

      So in my opinion, you have a nice domain name, and you can do something with it. No worries about lawsuits, freedom of speech in the USA stands on a very high level.
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  • Trump is a trump card or trumping something so I think you are ok but if you worry get a lawyer to be sure. Good luck. Just my 2 cents I'm not expert in law plus I don't like Trump since I like republicans and his a tax kind a guy.
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    • Profile picture of the author Daniel Evans
      Originally Posted by HelpingYouBeAnExpert View Post

      Trump is a trump card or trumping something so I think you are ok but if you worry get a lawyer to be sure.
      This is something he could indeed claim if it weren't for the content which makes the association with Donald Trump.
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      • Profile picture of the author JamesMetcalf
        Originally Posted by onSubie View Post

        He can be aggressive at protecting his brand "Trump".

        This is from yesterday's Toronto Star:
        Hard to trump Trump in defending his brand | Toronto Star
        I was reading an article from 2010 where his lawyers went after someone that had four domains with the Trump name in them that focused on making him look bad. What ended up happening was they originally offered the guy $100 for each of the four domains. After he declined they proceeded with the lawsuit.

        Since my site is overly favorable towards him and I indicate that I'm not associated with him, his organization, or his Presidential campaign, but just a guy compiling positive articles about him, I haven't heard from anyone...yet. The moment it goes on the market will likely be a different story.

        Originally Posted by Daniel Evans View Post

        This is something he could indeed claim if it weren't for the content which makes the association with Donald Trump.
        Exactly. And there's no going back now, unfortunately.
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        • Profile picture of the author onSubie
          Originally Posted by JamesMetcalf View Post

          Since my site is overly favorable towards him and I indicate that I'm not associated with him, his organization, or his Presidential campaign, but just a guy compiling positive articles about him, I haven't heard from anyone...yet. The moment it goes on the market will likely be a different story.
          Actually a site critical of a brand or trademark could be allowed under fair use for criticism or parody. You can look up case history under "Walmart sucks lawsuit".

          So you could have sites like trumpsucks or donaldtrumpisablowhard dedicated to criticizing and parodying the things he says. Of course you need to steer away from libel or slander.

          But even if someone thinks their site falls under fair use, do they have the resources to defend that assertion in court?

          It's just not really worth the trouble to poke the bear.
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  • Profile picture of the author tyronne78
    If your domain isn't that important to you why not try to sell it? You could probably get a pretty penny for it.

    Another thing, I'm no lawyer but I'm pretty sure he doesn't have rights to that domain. You bought the damn thing for crying out loud...early bird gets the worm!
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      Originally Posted by tyronne78 View Post

      If your domain isn't that important to you why not try to sell it? You could probably get a pretty penny for it.
      This part I agree with.

      Originally Posted by tyronne78 View Post

      Another thing, I'm no lawyer but I'm pretty sure he doesn't have rights to that domain. You bought the damn thing for crying out loud...early bird gets the worm!
      This part, the only thing I agree with is that you're no lawyer. As a celebrity, he may indeed have rights to his name, early bird be damned. Given the OP's description of the site, it probably falls under "fair use", but I'm not a lawyer either, so take both of our answers with a huge handful of salt.
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      • Profile picture of the author discrat
        Remember ( and I'm not an attorney) in the long run even if he does not own rights to domain if you are using his 'Likeness' with 'Intention' to profit then you could potentially be sued !!

        Many cases in past have proven this to be true !!

        - Robert Andrew
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        • Profile picture of the author Steve B
          If I were you, I would take the site down immediately and get rid of the name as fast as you can.

          Go to the FTC web site and read all about trade name issues and problems. You can not take infringement lightly and the fact that "others" have done or are doing the same thing is no excuse and no defense.

          "backtrump" is not generic and has nothing to do with "fair use" doctrine. Most everyone knows what it means and who you are referring to. If you try to sell the domain, you have created substantial evidence that your intention is to profit from Donald Trump's name. Whether it is trademarked or not (and I would be very surprised if it's not) you have no right to profit from it.

          One of the problems the FTC has with trade name infringement is that it "confuses" the public. There is certainly every reason to believe that your domain fits into this confusing role.

          Since your site isn't making money . . . dump it and get rid of the name and move on with something that isn't so legally suspect. Even if you could make $500 from selling the domain (which is a very long shot), is it really worth the money to put yourself at risk for a lawsuit?

          Don't say nobody warned you.

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          • Profile picture of the author irawr
            Banned
            Originally Posted by Steve B View Post

            If I were you, I would take the site down immediately and get rid of the name as fast as you can.

            Steve
            I agree but my reasoning has absolutely nothing to do with the law. Sooner or later, people will realize he's just doing this all as a publicity stunt (because he can) and then your domain will be worthless.

            It's actually pretty genius, the RNC is paying to have his brand blasted all over the globe.
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            • Originally Posted by irawr View Post

              I agree but my reasoning has absolutely nothing to do with the law. Sooner or later, people will realize he's just doing this all as a publicity stunt (because he can) and then your domain will be worthless.

              It's actually pretty genius, the RNC is paying to have his brand blasted all over the globe.
              I hope that is not true if it is ti's so evil because people love this guy thing that he is real and will help get them out of their misery (which I know he can't but that is what people believe). If it's a stunt then he is a wicked evil person like some politicians are.
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              • Profile picture of the author irawr
                Banned
                Originally Posted by HelpingYouBeAnExpert View Post

                I hope that is not true if it is ti's so evil because people love this guy thing that he is real and will help get them out of their misery (which I know he can't but that is what people believe). If it's a stunt then he is a wicked evil person like some politicians are.
                He's not a politician. He's has a track record of being pretty evil, google "trump university." He was running a mis-branded training program as a "university" to people who were interested in "getting rich buying and selling real-estate." There's several court cases pending. For some reason, people think the fact that he is a successful businessman means that he's less evil then politicians. No, even the RNC was shocked when he said he was serious about running. He muscled his way in and there was nothing the party could really do about it, obviously the guy is a master at using the system to his personal advantage.
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  • Profile picture of the author PopeMarketing
    If I was in your shoes I'd sell the domain. Your time can be better spent elsewhere unless posting on the website is something you really enjoy.

    There's bound to be some looney out there willing to pay a pretty penny for it

    If Trump gets voted in to run the United States of America then selling that domain early will be the least of your concerns!
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  • Profile picture of the author onSubie
    It depends how you use the domain. The above advice about getting more authoritative information is good.

    From a trademark perspective, every variation of a celebrity name or trade name is not automatically protected.

    You may be protected under fair use for parody or news/analysis/criticism.

    For example, the Walmart Sucks, et al. case law that protected owners of walmartsucks.com from a trademark lawsuit from Walmart under the basis of parody and criticism.

    Also the trade dispute over Nissan.com that held the domain owner (a man with the last name Nissan) was protected from action by the motor company Nissan so long as he did not infringe on their corporate territory of automobiles. So no car review site, Nissan car site, etc.

    He currently uses the site to detail the years of legal wrangling over the domain.
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  • Profile picture of the author JamesMetcalf
    Thanks for the input everyone! I will take it all into consideration.
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  • Profile picture of the author violet0176
    I would think that a fan site would be legal, as long as you advertise it as such.
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  • Profile picture of the author onSubie
    He can be aggressive at protecting his brand "Trump".

    This is from yesterday's Toronto Star:
    Hard to trump Trump in defending his brand | Toronto Star
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  • Profile picture of the author boomboombenoit
    My advice, sell it while it's "hot". Legalities aside, you've already backburnered it. Add in Trump has already demonstrated he is willing to contest domain ownership if it has Trump in it, then look at your budget for lawyers compared to Donald's.

    I'd sell it and if I couldn't sell it, I might even let it expire. Lawsuits against domain names with trademarks have always been won by the trademark owner. The only exception I'm aware of is nissan.com - and that is because nissan is the dude's name and he's never tried to post or write about automobiles. His company was Nissan Computers. That being said, Nissan is still trying different ways of suing the dude; go to his site and you'll be able to read all about it.

    My vote? dump it.
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  • Finally looked at the site where I did not before. I remember when congressmen Paul ran for office thousands of people had his name in the domain as supporters this domain and sited doesn't look any different to me except it's not paul (his last name) but a new candidates last name which is Trump. So if BackPaul.com would be ok why would BackTrump.com not?

    Just saying and I could be wrong.

    Disclaimer: I don't like left people like Trump.
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    • Profile picture of the author JamesMetcalf
      Originally Posted by HelpingYouBeAnExpert View Post

      Finally looked at the site where I did not before. I remember when congressmen Paul ran for office thousands of people had his name in the domain as supporters this domain and sited doesn't look any different to me except it's not paul (his last name) but a new candidates last name which is Trump. So if BackPaul.com would be ok why would BackTrump.com not?
      Thanks for the response. If it was any other circumstance I would agree, but because the Trump name is trademarked it opens up a big can of worms for me. After starting this thread I have read a lot of articles of people with his name in their domain being threatened with lawsuits.

      The funny thing about all of this is that JebBush.com redirects to Trump's official website. I guess Jeb should have trademarked his name...
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      • Profile picture of the author chessmasterr
        Originally Posted by JamesMetcalf View Post

        The funny thing about all of this is that JebBush.com redirects to Trump's official website. I guess Jeb should have trademarked his name...
        That is friggin hilarious haha. Poor Jeb

        But seriously, if you plan on using that domain for anything he doesn't like, you will probably regret it. I can see him throwing money at some of his minions just to make it go away by coming after your website...and YOU!
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  • Profile picture of the author Sharpay
    How can you possibly compile positive articles about Trump?

    Get rid of it immediately.
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    • Originally Posted by Sharpay View Post

      How can you possibly compile positive articles about Trump?

      Get rid of it immediately.
      Again I don't like Trump but lets say I did and I wanted a site about him, I don't get it why I can't make one and not jut for trump for any candidate. But then again I'm not a attorney just talking from perspective of first speech freedom I should be free to make a site about him if I wanted. So this all sound weird that it's ok to do it to Jeb but not to Trump. Go figure.
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      soon people... Relax...
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      • Profile picture of the author Iteration
        You're opening yourself to a lot of hassle. The initial lawyer fees will trump any sales price you get for the website

        In a nutshell the Trump name is a brand as well as a person. If you harm that brand in any way you are liable and you could post something that turns out not to be true because you read it on a news website. That news website is liable but so are you and you will be dealt with separately as you can't make the argument you are only repeating what the original news website wrote.
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  • Profile picture of the author Randall Magwood
    Originally Posted by JamesMetcalf View Post

    Do you think I should start an auction on Sedo or Flippa and hope it goes for $500-1,000?
    Ask a lawyer. Ask Mike Singletary here on the forum.
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  • Profile picture of the author Van Dam
    Sell it, get some cash and let the other guy worry about it
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  • Profile picture of the author AlexSEv
    man, how about find a domain that is actually worthwhile?

    My honest advice?

    Quit wasting your time with silliness.

    You seem to be a competent person. Try something worthwhile.

    good luck.
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  • Profile picture of the author KenW3
    Originally Posted by JamesMetcalf View Post

    I purchased the domain name BackTrump.com in August and have since made it into a Drudge Report type of website where I post links from articles pertaining to Trump, as well as a little blog section towards the bottom.
    Originally Posted by standon23 View Post

    I have electdonaldjtrump.com yours isn't even close as valuable as mine
    Mr. Trump's attorneys filed a UDRP on the domain name TrumpCard.com and the decision is posted on WIPO.int under Donald J. Trump v. SD Dillon - See story: "The Donald" Goes After The Domain TrumpCard.com on TheDomains.com.

    The DomainInvesting.com website has a story titled: Donald J. Trump Files UDRP for Trump.nyc

    How could his attorneys win a domain name that refers to playing cards?!? because it had trump in it? ...because any given defendant cannot possibly have the resources going up against his attorneys.

    My opinion: The two URLs mentioned above are examples of domain names with negative value. The risk of owning those, should Mr Trump's attorneys do what is shown they are willing to do in the above stories, is much greater than any potential reward.
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  • Profile picture of the author enjamulahsan
    Banned
    The domain name looks good. Just use it.
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