Is this domain legal?

31 replies
I know the are a lot of fine lines when using company or product names in domains...

Would something like

UnfriendedOnFacebook.com

be illegal?
#domain #legal
  • Profile picture of the author TCrosby
    Alternatively would it be legal to have the domain

    UnfriendedOn

    but have the title, header, and such things all say "Unfriended on Facebook"

    (this is not the domain I am interested in buying, but something similar)
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  • Profile picture of the author Dapplecreek
    Dunno about legal, but expect a letter from Facebook (or, in your case, whoever the big guy is). As I recall, Facebook was going after anyone using Face___ or ___book. Remember that anyone can sue you for anything, and it's your problem to try and defend yourself. The reason folks don't get sued more often is that it's a pain (and expensive) to get a lawyer to file the suit: if you have lots of lawyers on staff already, it's lots easier.
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  • Profile picture of the author frlane
    I can't imagine it's illegal, or why would it be available for sale. I guess I'd better be careful, as I own GooglePlacesMagic.com
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    • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
      Banned
      Originally Posted by frlane View Post

      I can't imagine it's illegal, or why would it be available for sale. I guess I'd better be careful, as I own GooglePlacesMagic.com
      The registrars do not take responsibility for people registering trademarks. It's up to the buyer to see that the domains that they are registering are not trademarked. Google can, of course, come after you at any time.

      @OP
      Facebook aggressively pursues anyone using their trademark, as do many companies, so I would avoid the legal headaches.
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      • Profile picture of the author theimdude
        Originally Posted by sbucciarel View Post

        The registrars do not take responsibility for people registering trademarks. It's up to the buyer to see that the domains that they are registering are not trademarked. Google can, of course, come after you at any time.

        @OP
        Facebook aggressively pursues anyone using their trademark, as do many companies, so I would avoid the legal headaches.
        I had a few search domain with "google" in it blackgoogle.biz etc when blackgoogle made news and google never bothered me. Seem they not to worried about it. Dropped them as I was not getting the expected traffic

        One registrar that protects itself is godaddy. Try and register anything with the words "godaddy" @ godaddy and you won't get anywhere

        ...........then again who would want to register a domain with godaddy as part of it except BoB :rolleyes:
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        • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
          Banned
          Originally Posted by theimdude View Post

          I had a few search domain with "google" in it blackgoogle.biz etc when blackgoogle made news and google never bothered me. Seem they not to worried about it. Dropped them as I was not getting the expected traffic
          Getting away with it for a time does not mean that there is no risk. Google has defended it's trademark in many cases, including a lot of IM'ers who launched "Google" courses/ebooks.

          In addition, Amazon will ban your account if you send traffic from a domain with a trademark in it when they discover it.

          Adwords and Adsense take all trademark complaints from trademark owners quite seriously and will ban your accounts if you use them and a complaint is made.

          A lot of ad networks do not allow use of trademarks in domains when promoting their ads.
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  • Profile picture of the author Sillysoft
    Facebook I believe sued TeachBook.com for having book in the title.
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    No more...
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  • Profile picture of the author frambles
    You would be using a trademark in your domain (Facebook) which they obviously protect so if registered, I'd say expect a dispute on it!
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  • Profile picture of the author Eduard Stinga
    There's probably a reason why you don't really see any big and successful sites having the words Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, etc. in their domain name. But I might be wrong, I've no real idea about this legal issue, I'm just basing my argument on what I see around me.
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  • Profile picture of the author problog
    I used to own a domain with Facebook in it and I got an email from them stating that it's not allowed. The domain was already expired when i got the email so I didn't have to do anything other than replying that I no longer owned it. I would definitely steer clear of trademarks, company names, etc.
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  • Profile picture of the author GarrieWilson
    One registrar that protects itself is godaddy. Try and register anything with the words "godaddy" @ godaddy and you won't get anywhere
    I own two GoDaddy domains. LeaveGodaddy.com and GodaddyWatch.com (might be .orgs I forget)

    I had them parked and GD asked they not be parked so they got unparked. They never asked for them. I plan(ed) making a site telling GD horror stories but never got around to it.
    ...........then again who would want to register a domain with godaddy as part of it except BoB
    Me.

    OP: Try something like "unfriendthem" or use FB instead of Facebook, maybe.


    Garrie
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  • Profile picture of the author MortgageLender
    Facebook legal sent me an email for the domain MarketingonFacebook.net - if you have Facebook in the domain then you'll have issues
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  • Profile picture of the author TCrosby
    So I'll ask this again...

    What if it is not used in the domain, but used in your website title, and header tags?
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    • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
      Banned
      Originally Posted by TCrosby View Post

      So I'll ask this again...

      What if it is not used in the domain, but used in your website title, and header tags?
      If you're worried about the legality, go to the company and ask them. You'll get the best answer directly from the horse's mouth.
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      • Profile picture of the author Black Hat Cat
        Banned
        Originally Posted by sbucciarel View Post

        If you're worried about the legality, go to the company and ask them. You'll get the best answer directly from the horse's mouth.
        Say whaaaaaaat?
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  • Profile picture of the author RalphManer
    I dont see why it would be illegal. You are not pretending to be Facebook. How is it any different from having a website "alternatives to adwords"? But, I might be wrong.
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    • Profile picture of the author davezan
      Originally Posted by RalphManer View Post

      I dont see why it would be illegal. You are not pretending to be Facebook. How is it any different from having a website "alternatives to adwords"?
      Three words: likelihood of confusion. That's what trademarks aim to prevent from
      happening, especially if those domain names are arguably to make money off their
      trademark namesakes without their holders' permission.

      To the OP: why would you even consider registering that? You might pull it off if
      there are no hints of commercial use whatsoever, but you sure that's worthwhile?

      As sbucciarel said, though, you can always ask them. Oh, and disclaimers don't
      necessarily shield you against infringement claims.
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      David

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  • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
    Banned
    Read the whole page. It might give you a better understanding of trademarks. It's not a good idea to try to get legal advice from a forum of Internet Marketers rather than from an attorney, but there's plenty of trademark information available via Google.

    Domain Name Disputes & Domain Name Law

    6th Circuit OKs Trademark in URL

    The presence of a trademark in a web page's URL post-domain path does not violate federal trademark law.
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  • Profile picture of the author GarrieWilson
    Not legal advise....

    You would need to make it clear that you aren't associated with in any form, endorsed by, etc.

    An attorney can write you a disclaimer.

    BUT...

    Why limit it to a specific site?

    Call it "tothecrub" and then it can work for multiple sites.


    Garrie
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  • Profile picture of the author Robert Bridgen
    do not use it save yourself a lot of trouble I used ebay in my domain name and got a nasty letter from ebay. Also if you change your name to facebook then you can use it. Wedgwood went after a little girl and her father but found out that her name was Wedgwood so they come up with a agreement to use the site and she get paid a commission.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jordan Kovats
    Hey if your pockets are deep enough and you have all the free time in the world, then sure, go ahead, do whatever.

    If not, talk to a lawyer, probably not worth the risk.
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    • Profile picture of the author danfac2012
      Why waste your time & money to create something that you know it will probably create trouble for you if those big boys decide to take action againts you.

      I wouldn't do it if I were you coz I want to sleep peacefully at night.
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  • Profile picture of the author Woodward82
    Yep, we are not lawyer. Just hop in the yellow pages most lawyers offer a free consultation. Good luck
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  • Profile picture of the author FNHPWR11
    I would stay away from that one myself.. I envision nasty letters.
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  • Profile picture of the author TMercT
    I do not think it is a good idea at all, for what its worth, definitely not. Facebook is a huge company, and if you register that domain, not long from now you will feel a multi billionaire's backhand, in terms of lawyers etc.
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    • Profile picture of the author Horny Devil
      Banned
      The words 'face' and 'book' are two of the most common words in the dictionary and as such cannot be protected by copyright in the context of being used to describe what they refer to.

      In other words, if they are used in conjunction to describe your service or products which are specific to you, then Facebook can sue all they like. Their case would be thrown out and you would receive costs and compo (compensation, for the yanks )

      As an example, if you published books in the shapes of faces (which is a good idea in principle but horrendously expensive in practise), then you can legally incorporate the words 'face' and 'book' in your business name, although you would need to differentiate from Zuckerberg's Facebook by possibly inserting a hyphen . . Face-Book, or Face-books, or even Faces Books.

      Here is an example, although it would be equally relevant if you penned a normal shaped book entitled 'All About Faces', which incidentally has been published.




      Likewise, lets assume you were a sculptor, or even a papier-mache artist, whatever, then provided the words are directly related to your work or business, common words cannot be held up as a copyright infringement. Always remember though that some slight deviation in punctuation is recommended, and necessary.

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      • Profile picture of the author davezan
        Originally Posted by Horny Devil View Post

        In other words, if they are used in conjunction to describe your service or products which are specific to you
        And not likely to be confused with its trademark namesake, more so unique and/
        or famous ones like Facebook. If you utilize face or book in the context of social
        networks, which is what Facebook takes action against for now, expect trouble.

        They may have recently lost one against FacePorn, but that's not stopping their
        efforts.
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  • Profile picture of the author MaggieDavid
    I would ALWAYS err on the side of caution, Large companies, small companies do not like you using their name, Most are registered and have trade names.

    Find some thing else. there are other ways you can get around your concept I am sure.
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  • Profile picture of the author bacardi
    Best to stay away from this unless willing to fight it out when they come knocking. Otherwise will be a waste of hard work for you.

    I remember about 10 years ago, maybe more. A company called perfumebay were challenged by ebay simply cause the last 4 letters spell ebay, pretty crazy.
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  • Profile picture of the author Simon Ashari
    Perhaps use 'fb' instead of facebook.

    It may or may not be right that they pursue you if you register 'facebook' in a domain. But having said that, they sure as hell have more money than you do if this goes to court.
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  • Profile picture of the author zerofill
    There was a CPA offer that had issues with unfriending on Facebook type domain name. So needless to say... The cash they were pulling in, and they still quit, makes me think don't bother. Pick a different domain name without Facebook in it.

    I have had domain names that had company names in them before. Companies I never heard of. They would send me a letter and I would tell them to get bent or buy it from me. Because I wasn't causing confusion in the market place. Seeing as how my sites were nothing even remotely similar.

    However, I am guessing the domain you want is specifically targeting Facebook users. Thus they can always claim confusion in the marketplace.
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