Can I use this domain, or am I going to get ****ed over?

18 replies
Hey guys.
Wasted money on a domain I had plans with, now, I found out I might not be able to use it.

URL: facebook-secret.com

Am I allowed to use the word facebook like that in a domain?
#domain
  • Profile picture of the author AnniePot
    Absolutely not. You will be violating a trademark. Actually, it won't be a case of getting ****ed over as you put it. It will be a company quite correctly upholding its legal rights.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kay King
    Am I allowed to use the word facebook like that in a domain?
    I don't care for the title of this thread - YOU are the one taking advantage by using a trademarked name.

    The idea of "registered trademark" is to protect a BRAND NAME from people who want to jump in and capitalize on someone else's business.

    Before you register more domains - take a few minutes to learn about trademark protection. It's part of doing business.
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  • Profile picture of the author Sitestomp
    Facebook is a registered trademark, so they can send you a C&D. Will they? Who knows... depends on what your site content is. If you are selling something and using their brand, they will most likely have you shut down.
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  • Profile picture of the author badboy_Nick
    Originally Posted by goalsettler View Post

    Am I allowed to use the word facebook like that in a domain?
    In the domain - No. You will most likely receive a letter from one of their law firms asking you to take down the website due to trademark infringement.

    You might be able to use the term facebook in your PPC headline, as bidding on the keyword is allowed - unless Google has put a restriction on it, which means you can't use it in anywhere in their PPC ads but can still bid on it.

    A better domain would be socialmedia-secrets.com instead

    Hope that helps,
    Nick
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  • Profile picture of the author PPG19
    I had a client who bought a domain name containing the Facebook name.
    Just 1 week later he received an email from Facebook, that he forwarded to me, saying that if he was to use that domain name they would have sued him into the stone age.

    If i find the email i will post it here...

    So i guess not, is not a good idea...
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  • Profile picture of the author ED1190
    Instead of Facebook, try FB.
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    • Profile picture of the author Nochek
      I had the domain paidtofb.com, developed it using facebook app, had it verified by facebook engineers, and still got a C&D from a legal firm representing facebook who cares not one bit that facebook already approved it's usage.

      Don't even get close to a trademark, you can't afford to fight it if you can't figure out if it's usage is okay.
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  • Profile picture of the author Steve B
    I think what most people are referring to here is actually tradename infringement, which is different than trademark infringement.

    But be assured, every business owner should understand what both these terms refer to before choosing a business name, a domain name, and other ways to identify your business and your web sites.

    Here is a helpful SBA article everyone should read:

    "The Difference Between a Trade Name and a Trademark – And Why You Can’t Overlook Either"

    The details of what both these terms mean is found at the USPTO (United States Patent and Trademark Office.

    Here is the link for basic trademark information. And by the way, if you are not a U.S. resident, you still need to be concerned about U.S. law - many countries uphold U.S. laws if you are wronging U.S. companies.

    Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author jinmin
    Originally Posted by goalsettler View Post

    Hey guys.
    Wasted money on a domain I had plans with, now, I found out I might not be able to use it.

    URL: facebook-secret.com

    Am I allowed to use the word facebook like that in a domain?
    You might have wasted ten bucks for the domain but saving a lot of trouble for not using it. Look at it positively
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  • Profile picture of the author dcbeckster
    I wouldn't recommend it first because there would be legal issues to start. Secondly, it is misleading because it gives the impression that this website or domain, is somehow associated with Facebook. And lastly, it's just simply unethical. You can try to sell the domain name though I don't think you would get too many buyers.
    Hope it works out for you.

    Dana
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  • Profile picture of the author jazbo
    I cant quite believe you thought it would not be an issue when you bought the domain!
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  • Profile picture of the author Brent Stangel
    Before you register more domains - take a few minutes to learn about trademark protection. It's part of doing business.
    Sadly, most people don't see "Make Money Online" as doing business.

    Quote from someone on The People's Court, being sued for copy/pasting a CL ad:

    "It's like the wild West."

    I cant quite believe you thought it would not be an issue when you bought the domain!
    Me either.

    Posts like these are actually good for people who are actually concerned about setting up and running a business in a proper manner. So, thanks for that.
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  • Profile picture of the author PPG19
    [DELETED]
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    • Profile picture of the author PPG19
      You can go ahead and use the domain but this is what's going to happen:

      This is the email a client of mine received from the Facebook legal dept. because he bough a domain name containing the word "Facebook".:

      Originally Posted by PPG19 View Post

      To Whom It May Concern:

      We write regarding your registration and use of the domain name xxx.com, which contains the famous Facebook trademark.

      As you know, Facebook is the leading online social network, available at www.facebook.com and on mobile devices. Facebook has used the Facebook trademark in connection with its social networking services since 2004. The Facebook trademark is registered in the United States and internationally, and is one of the most famous trademarks on the Internet. As we hope you can appreciate, protection of its trademarks is very important to Facebook.

      We were concerned when we learned of your registration and use of xxx.com. Specifically, your unauthorized use of the Facebook name is likely to cause confusion as to whether you or your company’s activities are authorized, endorsed, or sponsored by Facebook when, in fact, they are not. While Facebook respects your right of expression and your desire to conduct business on the Internet, Facebook must enforce its own rights in order to protect its valuable and famous trademark.

      We recognize that you may not be aware of the laws that apply to trademarks and domain names. Registration and use of domains can violate the Lanham Act (15 U.S.C. 1051 and the following sections) if they infringe or are likely to dilute a trademark. Infringement occurs when a third party’s use of a company’s trademark (or a confusingly similar variation thereof) is likely to confuse consumers as to the affiliation, sponsorship or endorsement of the third party’s services. Trademark dilution occurs when a third party’s use of a variation of a company’s trademark is likely to lessen the distinctiveness of the company’s famous trademark. Registration and use of a domain name containing another’s trademark can also violate the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act, and may be subject to transfer under the Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy.

      As a responsible trademark owner, where necessary we have filed proceedings in the relevant courts and also before the United Nation's World Intellectual Property Organization's arbitration panel to prevent the unauthorized use of our trademarks in domains. In these proceedings, the Facebook trademark has been found to be famous and to be entitled to broad protection.

      To avoid consumer confusion and harm to the Facebook brand, we must insist that you stop using the name and domain xxx.com and disable any site available at that address. You should not sell, offer to sell, or transfer the domain name to a third party and should let the domain registration expire.

      You are of course welcome to explain on a replacement website that your product works with the Facebook Platform, or relates to the Facebook service, so long as that statement is fair and accurate, and does not falsely suggest that Facebook endorses you or your product. For more information on how to properly refer to Facebook, please visit our brand resource center at Facebook Brand Resources. For specific guidelines for developers, see https://developers.facebook.com/docs...ions/branding/.

      Please confirm in writing that you will agree to resolve this matter as requested. We appreciate your cooperation.

      Sincerely,
      XXX

      Legal Dept.
      Facebook, Inc.
      Btw am i going to get in trouble for posting this?!?
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      • Profile picture of the author zdebx
        Originally Posted by PPG19 View Post

        You can go ahead and use the domain but this is what's going to happen:

        This is the email a client of mine received from the Facebook legal dept. because he bough a domain name containing the word "Facebook".:



        Btw am i going to get in trouble for posting this?!?
        You'll be fine, nothing special in that email.

        A perfect answer to the OP's question of what's going to happen
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        • Profile picture of the author PPG19
          Originally Posted by zdebx View Post

          You'll be fine, nothing special in that email.

          A perfect answer to the OP's question of what's going to happen
          Better not to mess with Facebook

          And the email was sent just 1 week after the domain registration. They were pretty quick!
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  • Profile picture of the author Vedmak
    I have several hundred domains using brands in domain name. In over 20 years of doing it, I have never, not even once, got legal notice regarding it.

    Prior to someone discussing trademarks, they should look up actual laws regarding trademarks OUTSIDE USA. I used to live in USA. Now I live in Canada. Laws are drastically different. Especially regarding internet, gambling, loans, trademarks and copyrights. Small preview can be seen by checking out Fair Use vs Fair Dealing differences.

    Some countries will bend to USA requests when they are about a major issue. But most will simply ignore them unless its about huge amounts of money. That is why you'll see people who hack huge sites, or distribute copyrighted content on mass scale extradited to USA. A country does not want to risk losing all the revenue USA products bring it. Think Cuba and embargo.

    But calling your website something like "Facebook Tips And Tricks" is perfectly kosher. Issue only comes if your website is scammy, or is selling some kind of software which Facebook would not want used. Then they can claim its using Facebook Trademark in bad faith, and thats entirely different from simply using it in your domain name.

    Not to mention that I can open up a bakery, selling delicious croissants, and call my bakery "The Facebook Bakery" and use facebookbakery.com, and since its not a social media site, Facebook's Trademarks do not apply.

    So answer is YES YOU CAN. And the ONLY way to know if Facebook will push the issue is to wait and see wording of email they send you, if any. Even if they HATE your existence, their legal department still needs to decide whether its worth suing you, and answer is usually no, especially for businesses owned outside of USA.

    Oh, and I can prove that with very simple example. Paypal.com and PaypalSucks.Com.
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  • Profile picture of the author aizaku
    man dont use it.

    you've paid for this lesson now move on and get another domain.

    -Ike Paz
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  • Profile picture of the author neiliusmaximus
    If you were going to use someone else's brand, you probably should have chosen someone a little less powerful than Facebook!
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