Don't Make My Dumb Mistake!

42 replies
Now, before I even start, let me just say that I KNOW FOR A FACT that a lot of you out there are going to shake your heads at me and say "Poor dumb newbie..." But my post is not for you. Sorry.

Most days, I don't consider myself exactly a newbie; more like an advanced beginner. (Thanks Tiffany) But today, I felt like a newbie.

My internet business is taking off rather slowly. I tend to over-analyze, over-research.. etc. But I have had some great ideas lately, purchased some great products, and then on Sunday, went to my trusty registrar, namecheap.com and registered a few new domains.

One of the domains I registered, I felt extremely lucky to get. In fact, I was a bit shocked that it was available, and rushed to register it in case someone else was online at the exact same time trying to get it. (I am not going to tell you exactly what this domain was, but in a minute, I will give you the general idea.)

I was happily planning my future with this domain, and all of the money I was going to make from it, when first thing this morning, I got an email. From AWeber.

"It has come to my recent attention that you registered the
domain aweberxxxxxxxxx.com. I realize you are using it to
promote AWeber but we can't allow other people to use our
trademarked name when registering domain names. This is a direct
infringement on our trademark and also a violation of our terms of
service.

I am going to have to ask you to respectfully cancel out
that domain name as soon as possible."


Well, a lightbulb went off in my head! No wonder the domain was available! No one else can use it! I must admit I freaked out a little bit. I am an AWeber customer and an affiliate, and I didn't want to jeopardize that. But I also didn't know how to "cancel out" of registering a domain name.

I know this story is getting long, so I will cut to the results. I contacted namecheap.com and the domain has been deleted from my account, BUT I couldn't get a refund for it.

So for you newbies out there: check your Terms of Service on all of your affiliate programs, especially if they have a very recognizable name.

Luckily, I hadn't built my site around this domain yet, and only lost the cost of the domain. It could have been worse.

Thanks for listening, and I hope this helps someone. __________________
#dumb #make #mistake
  • Profile picture of the author thunderbird
    Don't beat yourself up. It's too easy to slip into murky copyright and trademark areas. In one of my threads, I asked about Wordpress's stance towards websites that use "wordpress" in the domain name, and quickly learned that it is indeed trademarked.
    Signature

    Project HERE.

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1253692].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author tjmiller
      Thanks thunderbird. I felt dumb about it, but also wanted to let other people know about my experience. It is so easy to fall into the "anything goes" mindset with the internet, because the rules aren't always clear. They are there, however!

      Originally Posted by thunderbird View Post

      Don't beat yourself up. It's too easy to slip into murky copyright and trademark areas. In one of my threads, I asked about Wordpress's stance towards websites that use "wordpress" in the domain name, and quickly learned that it is indeed trademarked.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1253710].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author patje72
        Trademarks are a silly thing. For instance. I am from the Netherlands and Weber is a common last name. And If you firstname is Antony? Why am I not allowed to claim (for instance) aweberpage.com?

        Sure Aweber will not accept you as an affiliate. But if you use the domain in a normal and honest way. I am not really sure they can do anything about it.
        Signature
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1253720].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author tjmiller
          Originally Posted by patje72 View Post

          Trademarks are a silly thing. For instance. I am from the Netherlands and Weber is a common last name. And If you firstname is Antony? Why am I not allowed to claim (for instance) aweberpage.com?

          Sure Aweber will not accept you as an affiliate. But if you use the domain in a normal and honest way. I am not really sure they can do anything about it.
          Well, it is probably true that they couldn't keep me from hanging onto the domain, but they could have thrown me out as an affiliate, and also as a customer. And I really don't want either one of those things to happen. I think in the long run, the $9 I lost over the domain is small compared to what I stand to lose if AWeber cuts me off.

          Those were my thoughts about it anyway. Does anyone else feel differently? I would be curious to know what the general consensus is.

          Thanks!
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1253743].message }}
          • Profile picture of the author mark z
            Originally Posted by tjmiller View Post

            Well, it is probably true that they couldn't keep me from hanging onto the domain, but they could have thrown me out as an affiliate, and also as a customer. And I really don't want either one of those things to happen. I think in the long run, the $9 I lost over the domain is small compared to what I stand to lose if AWeber cuts me off.

            Those were my thoughts about it anyway. Does anyone else feel differently? I would be curious to know what the general consensus is.

            Thanks!
            First at all, thanks for sharing this with us. I find it very useful.
            Personally, I think every problem/issue shared with others (no matter how small it might seems to be) will surely help someone. So, thanks again for sharing this.

            I also think you`re reasoning whole situation on same way I would do.
            So, it is better to play safe and calmly consider this as small cost comparing to long-term relationship with them.
            At least, same as @thenextlevel said, fortunate there was no serious investment (in money and time) so far.
            So, keep on good spirit and keep on going with other domain names.
            Results will come.

            Good luck!
            {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1255219].message }}
          • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
            Banned
            Originally Posted by tjmiller View Post

            Well, it is probably true that they couldn't keep me from hanging onto the domain, but they could have thrown me out as an affiliate, and also as a customer. And I really don't want either one of those things to happen. I think in the long run, the $9 I lost over the domain is small compared to what I stand to lose if AWeber cuts me off.

            Those were my thoughts about it anyway. Does anyone else feel differently? I would be curious to know what the general consensus is.

            Thanks!

            They absolutely can prevent you from holding on to the domain. They can, in fact, take it away from you if you refuse to delete it. This isn't a matter of TOS of affiliate programs ... this is a matter of any trademarked name or brand. There are a few companys that don't defend their trademarks so some get away with using them in a domain name, but many do defend them. It is never wise to register a trademarked name, unless you are going to make a non-profit fan site or a non-profit review site. For instance, I just fired HughesNet and would love to tell the world about my miserable experience with them and I could in fact, register hughesnetsucks.com if available and do just that, as long as my review were the truth.

            But most people want to use the sites commercially and benefit from a name or brand that is trademarked. That is cybersquatting and will just get you into trouble.
            {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1255607].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author TTran
    Thank you for the helpful tip. I have yet to make any websites on my own domain yet, so I found it quite helpful. =)
    Signature
    Trying to get ahead by starting young, mind helping a kid out? :D
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1253693].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author tjmiller
      TTran,

      If my humiliating experience can help someone else avoid the same... well that is exactly why I posted it here! I am glad you found it useful.


      Originally Posted by TTran View Post

      Thank you for the helpful tip. I have yet to make any websites on my own domain yet, so I found it quite helpful. =)
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1253713].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author Francois du_Toit
        Originally Posted by tjmiller View Post

        If my humiliating experience can help someone else avoid the same...
        Don't be too hard on yourself.

        I know that Aweber does not allow affiliates to include / mention "Aweber" in a domain name. It's clearly mentioned in their TOS.

        But, it's a simple mistake... You were only trying to promote them. Don't let it bother you.

        Btw, there are many companies out there that you can promote as an affiliate and that will allow you to include their trademark name in your domain. First of all, check their Affiliate TOS and if it's not 100% clear then send them an email / support ticket and remember to save a copy of their reply. (Some will require you to transfer the domain to them if you no longer want to use it to promote them and do not want to reniew it, etc.)

        Good luck!

        All the best,

        Francois
        Signature
        Destiny is not a matter of chance, it's a matter of choice.
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1253832].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author patje72
          True! About every major clickbank product has a <productname>review.com.

          I know for instance Nintendo doesn't mind if you use their name is a normal way. Ipod had no problems with it. But for instance Logitech does not allow it!
          Signature
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1253839].message }}
          • Profile picture of the author Francois du_Toit
            One last thing Teresa...

            With Aweber you can customize your affiliate link such as keyword.aweber.com where you select your own "keyword" (see your affiliate control panel for details). It looks a lot more professional than their normal affiliate links. In fact, it does not really look like an affiliate link at all.

            All the best,

            Francois
            Signature
            Destiny is not a matter of chance, it's a matter of choice.
            {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1253869].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author SirLucius
    Thanks for the heads up.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1253740].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Aussie777
    It happens to the best of us....

    I feel your pain.

    Better luck next time.

    Brett.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1253810].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author mfleisch
    Hey TJ... these things happen. At least you're out there trying things. It's a lot better than doing nothing. Besides, at some point you'll find domains for lesser known sites that allow you to have a very similar domains without making an issue of it.
    Signature

    ==>Marketing Services and Consulting from Big Fin Solutions - Marketing Services with Bite!

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1254975].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author DAS_Matt
    Mistakes happen. No big deal. At least it was caught early. Could have been a LOT worse.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1255003].message }}
  • {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1255075].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author thenextlevel
    I did the same thing about a month ago, luckily I caught before I had invested any serious time or money in it. Like you I rushed to register it because I couldn't believe it was available. Oh well we all learn from our mistakes!
    Signature

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1255146].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Anup Mahajan
    Thanks for sharing your experience..

    The learning curve in IM is steep so making mistakes is a part of learning.. Now you are wiser and I'm sure you will read the fineprint from now on...

    Cheers
    Signature

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1255216].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author ascauri
    Hi tjmiller! No need to feel ashamed. I bet lots of people make this kind of mistake. I know I did, with my very first site. I realized right away and luckily I had registered with godaddy. They give you a full refund if you contact them within 5 days of the purchase date. =)
    Signature

    "Anyone who believes what a cat tells him deserves all he gets..."

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1255717].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author tjmiller
      Originally Posted by anup.mahajan View Post

      Thanks for sharing your experience..

      The learning curve in IM is steep so making mistakes is a part of learning.. Now you are wiser and I'm sure you will read the fineprint from now on...

      Cheers
      I most certainly will!

      Originally Posted by sbucciarel View Post

      They absolutely can prevent you from holding on to the domain. They can, in fact, take it away from you if you refuse to delete it. This isn't a matter of TOS of affiliate programs ... this is a matter of any trademarked name or brand. ...

      But most people want to use the sites commercially and benefit from a name or brand that is trademarked. That is cybersquatting and will just get you into trouble.
      I not only don't want to get in trouble, I don't want to do anything that even appears unethical. My intentions with the domain were not shady in the least, but I was very negligent in not reading their TOS more closely.

      (And a little naive to think that the domain would just be sitting there available if it were allowed.)

      In the future, I will not only do that, but will also actually ask first if there is any question in my mind.

      Thanks for reading and responding to this thread everybody. I appreciate the insight from more experienced individuals than I, and I hope that I am keeping at least a few people from making the same mistake.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1256645].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author TheRichJerksNet
    It is only a trademark violation if you are using the domain name for the same purpose of what aweber does...

    I can register aweberpage.com and run a site about free webpages or something and not a thing aweber could do. Heck my last name may be "weber" so I create a site around A - Weber - Page .com

    Sorry but that is not a copyright violation...

    James
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1256669].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author mattlaclear
      Originally Posted by TheRichJerksNet View Post

      It is only a trademark violation if you are using the domain name for the same purpose of what aweber does...

      I can register aweberpage.com and run a site about free webpages or something and not a thing aweber could do. Heck my last name may be "weber" so I create a site around A - Weber - Page .com

      Sorry but that is not a copyright violation...

      James
      James I used to get in trouble with the National Association of Realtors for using hwww.realtortip.com/. I told them I did so because it was an acronym and they could kiss my a$$. Hell I wasn't taking it down because I just gotten it mentioned in a feature article in the Business 2.0 December 06 issue and had huge traffic coming in as a result. Which prompted more phone calls and more threatening letters. But they never did anything.
      Eventually some domain broker purchased it from me for something like $1300 b/c of all the traffic it had generated at one time.

      But when Aweber came after me for doing the same thing I just deleted the domain as I get over a thousand bucks a month residual from them. Wasn't going to mess with that man!
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1256845].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author TheRichJerksNet
        This is the problem we allow big companies to push us around and they do not have a leg to stand on most of the time. If I registered aweberpage.com you better bet your bottom dollar I would run the site and ignore their emails.

        This is why google is doing what they are doing with sidewiki, because we sit down and suck out thumbs and allow them to do it. As long as we back down and show fear, they will continue to do what they do.

        Aweber may own a copyright on aweber but they certainly do not "OWN" the name aweber as it can have other meanings as I described above.

        AdamAndEve used to send me their smut mag every month in the mail, I have no idea why as I do not go for that stuff. But I paid attention and noticed they used AdamAndEveOnline on their ads but did not own the name. So I went and registered it and contacted their office and offered it to them for $10,000.. They got their lawyers and sent me letters and I ignored them. I finally called the laywer and told them exactly what the laws was about domain names and I offered again $10,000 for the domain or I keep it. Finally ended up they paid me $5,000 for it.

        Point is just because a company owns a copyright or trademark does not mean they own the freaking name.

        James

        Originally Posted by mattlaclear View Post

        James I used to get in trouble with the National Association of Realtors for using hwww.realtortip.com/. I told them I did so because it was an acronym and they could kiss my a$$. Hell I wasn't taking it down because I just gotten it mentioned in a feature article in the Business 2.0 December 06 issue and had huge traffic coming in as a result. Which prompted more phone calls and more threatening letters. But they never did anything.
        Eventually some domain broker purchased it from me for something like $1300 b/c of all the traffic it had generated at one time.

        But when Aweber came after me for doing the same thing I just deleted the domain as I get over a thousand bucks a month residual from them. Wasn't going to mess with that man!
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1258503].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author mattlaclear
          James I agree with you 100%. I have learned to choose my battles wisely the older I get though. Given the fact I make good residual with Aweber and didn't have any traffic hitting the domain I took it down. Had I not had the residual I would of probably held my ground.
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1258575].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author jrmnlitt
    Don't feel bad it was a simple mistake. We all get so focused on building the business that we can over look somethings.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1256693].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author tjmiller
    Originally Posted by Traffic-Bug View Post

    I dont understand how this could happen. I have a domain name like this: etsyxxxxxxxx.com. So I am interested to know how it went like.

    I dont understand how the domain can be just 'deleted' from your account because you paid for it. I think you stand a claim for a product that you didnt get the value for, so if the company deleted it, then they should have to refund your money.
    The domain was deleted from my account at MY request, with the understanding that domain name registrations are non-refundable. I did this because I didn't want to lose the affiliation with AWeber.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1256821].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author mattlaclear
    Haha Teresa...I did the same thing with a domain using Aweber's name in the domain too last month and got the same notice you did. I make pretty good coin as an affiliate with them so I panicked too! I was going to use it to sell a pretty decent little eBook teaching Newbies how to use Aweber. So I grabbed the domain and didn't even think about it.

    Only problem is I have been doing this online thing for over a decade now so I should of known better!
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1256834].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author tjmiller
      Originally Posted by mattlaclear View Post

      Haha Teresa...I did the same thing with a domain using Aweber's name in the domain too last month and got the same notice you did. I make pretty good coin as an affiliate with them so I panicked too! I was going to use it to sell a pretty decent little eBook teaching Newbies how to use Aweber. So I grabbed the domain and didn't even think about it.

      Only problem is I have been doing this online thing for over a decade now so I should of known better!
      That's funny, Matt! I wonder if we both registered the same domain?
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1257068].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author mattlaclear
        Originally Posted by tjmiller View Post

        That's funny, Matt! I wonder if we both registered the same domain?
        I think I used a .info in the domain. I have grown cheap with my domain registration over the years. Especially for resale rights products I'm just going to send solo ads to my opt-in list.

        I ended up setting the sales page on a sub domain and made like 15 sales and haven't done anything else with it since.

        Were you getting the domain just to use as a redirect for your affiliate link?
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1258094].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
    Originally Posted by tjmiller View Post

    One of the domains I registered, I felt extremely lucky to get. In fact, I was a bit shocked that it was available, and rushed to register it in case someone else was online at the exact same time trying to get it.
    Been there, done that!

    On May 22, 2009, I registered... google______.com!

    I don't know what I was thinking. Got carried away with my product plans. Cancelled it within the hour.
    Signature
    "The Golden Town is the Golden Town no longer. They have sold their pillars for brass and their temples for money, they have made coins out of their golden doors. It is become a dark town full of trouble, there is no ease in its streets, beauty has left it and the old songs are gone." - Lord Dunsany, The Messengers
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1256841].message }}
  • {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1257343].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author vagabondette
    If it makes you feel better, I discovered at midnight last night, after 2 days of link building, that I had a typo in my keyword phrase. :rolleyes:

    I'm consoling myself with the fact that, while it won't help for that specific keyword (unless people make that typo) the links will still be useful.

    Part of doing things is making mistakes and learning from them. As long as you learn from it, every mistake can be useful for the future.

    Good luck to you.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1257704].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Scott Ames
    What's it like to make a mistake? I've been wondering since I've never made one.

    Sometimes you can get away with using a trade name in a domain. It all depends on how aggressive the trademark owner is in protecting it. Aweber must really watch closely.

    I had a trademarked domain name for years with no problem until I started using it to get a bit too close to their niche. I then got a letter from an attorney. Many letters actually because I wanted to see how far they would take it.
    Signature

    Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm. -Winston Churchill

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1257773].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author John Romaine
      Originally Posted by Scott Ames View Post

      What's it like to make a mistake? I've been wondering since I've never made one.
      Hilarious!

      Reminds me of an ebay related domain I once registered and a nice little "letter" I received in the mail about a week later.

      Also, I remember a good friend once, registering over $350 worth of domain names. He thought he'd made an overnight fortune til I pointed out how it was mispelt.

      Or is it "mispelled" ???
      Signature

      BS free SEO services, training and advice - SEO Point

      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1257986].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author mattlaclear
        Originally Posted by ramone_johnny View Post

        ... Also, I remember a good friend once, registering over $350 worth of domain names. He thought he'd made an overnight fortune til I pointed out how it was mispelt.

        Or is it "mispelled" ???
        Hahaha I did the same thing with a domain I was sure was golden. I called my partner up and was raving like a mad man about how much traffic it was going to bring in. But had misspelled it.

        So your friend isn't the only one Johnny.
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1258074].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author kevinfar
    don't worry too much about it.

    Don't see it as a mistake, rather as an opportunity to learn something new for the future.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1258103].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Spinethetic
    Originally Posted by tjmiller View Post

    Now, before I even start, let me just say that I KNOW FOR A FACT that a lot of you out there are going to shake your heads at me and say "Poor dumb newbie..." But my post is not for you. Sorry.

    Most days, I don't consider myself exactly a newbie; more like an advanced beginner. (Thanks Tiffany) But today, I felt like a newbie.

    My internet business is taking off rather slowly. I tend to over-analyze, over-research.. etc. But I have had some great ideas lately, purchased some great products, and then on Sunday, went to my trusty registrar, namecheap.com and registered a few new domains.

    One of the domains I registered, I felt extremely lucky to get. In fact, I was a bit shocked that it was available, and rushed to register it in case someone else was online at the exact same time trying to get it. (I am not going to tell you exactly what this domain was, but in a minute, I will give you the general idea.)

    I was happily planning my future with this domain, and all of the money I was going to make from it, when first thing this morning, I got an email. From AWeber.

    "It has come to my recent attention that you registered the
    domain aweberxxxxxxxxx.com. I realize you are using it to
    promote AWeber but we can't allow other people to use our
    trademarked name when registering domain names. This is a direct
    infringement on our trademark and also a violation of our terms of
    service.

    I am going to have to ask you to respectfully cancel out
    that domain name as soon as possible."



    Well, a lightbulb went off in my head! No wonder the domain was available! No one else can use it! I must admit I freaked out a little bit. I am an AWeber customer and an affiliate, and I didn't want to jeopardize that. But I also didn't know how to "cancel out" of registering a domain name.

    I know this story is getting long, so I will cut to the results. I contacted namecheap.com and the domain has been deleted from my account, BUT I couldn't get a refund for it.

    So for you newbies out there: check your Terms of Service on all of your affiliate programs, especially if they have a very recognizable name.

    Luckily, I hadn't built my site around this domain yet, and only lost the cost of the domain. It could have been worse.

    Thanks for listening, and I hope this helps someone. __________________
    Hey thanks for sharing this!

    I've been rolling around an idea for a membership site based around building my Aweber commissions and I had branstormed pages and pages of SEO and keyword strategies for a domain containing the word 'aweber'.

    I shall have do start all over again...
    Thanks though!

    ~Ross
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1258570].message }}

Trending Topics