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Author Topic: domain names - what protections are there?  (Read 1099 times)

MarkGrieveson

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domain names - what protections are there?
« on: September 26, 2012, 09:59:49 am »

Hello.  I'm interested in what protections there are for purchasers of domain names, particularly if one chooses to use their own name as a domain name (IE, joeblow.com or janedoe.com).  Let's say Jane Doetzski buys a url (janedoetzski.com), runs a website on it for a while, and it becomes popular.  Then, she becomes busy and moves onto other things, and decides not to renew her url.  Could some undesirable business buy the domain name and post stuff that had nothing to do with the original site (IE, something that reflects poorly on her name, such as smut)?  Or is there a right of a person to not have his or her name (or even a unique domain name regardless of whether it's a person's name) used in such a way , even if he or she is no longer paying to use the domain name?

I had a url a while ago (opseu540.info) that I did not renew, and it's now an ad for a content management service.  That's not a big deal, but it's given me some pause for thought since  I'm considering getting another url for more personal use (IE, with the url being my name) but I'm concerned about possible misuse of it in the future if I decide not to renew it at some point.  So, does anyone know what protections there are as far as use of domain names goes?
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bigpaws

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Re: domain names - what protections are there?
« Reply #1 on: September 26, 2012, 10:12:08 am »

First ianal

I am not aware of any protections for a url. The laws in each country also vary.

There are a couple of options. Register and keep the URL forever, try
a dynamic service. Most offer a free url. Or register and take your
chances.

If someone were to buy the domain name and did nefarious things
against you. Then there maybe remedies, however it could be a long
drawn out process.

HTH

Bigpaws
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rbistolfi

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Re: domain names - what protections are there?
« Reply #2 on: September 26, 2012, 10:36:00 am »

Hi Mark,

I am not a lawyer but I have some experience with Internet domains.
In most countries there are laws protecting you and you can take court action if you have a good cause for claiming a domain (for example, a domain is using a trademark registered by you.) Keep in mind that there are people making a living from this, from buying and selling domains, from domain squatting, etc. You need to be careful. Never let a domain to expire. Even when you can claim it later if the law is with you, its painful and expensive, and you want to avoid conflicts. Something that often happens is that someone registers a name close or similar to yours, and use it either for getting your customers or for giving you a bad image etc. thats why some people also registers similar names. You can register your personal name as a trademark if you are going to use it as a domain name, since this is a strong argument in case of conflict.
In short, if the domain name is important to you, dont take it lightly, be careful, get informed, talk with a specialist if needed.

HTH
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MarkGrieveson

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Re: domain names - what protections are there?
« Reply #3 on: September 26, 2012, 01:35:00 pm »

Thanks rbistolfi and bigpaws, that does help.  From what you've said, I think the important thing is to not let a domain name that is important to one's identity expire.  In checking out domain registration services, I see that it's relatively cheap to pay for one long term.  So, I don't think there'd ever be a problem.  I may get a "name" domain to start with, and proceed from there.  Anyway, thanks for the responses.
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