Monday, August 25, 2008

Noted Christian writer lets his domain lapse, has domain based on his name squatted


A well known Christian author and speaker Ed Gray had his domain name stolen by a “cybersquatter” when he failed to renew it on time. Gray is the author of “40 Days to a Life of G.O.L.D. (God Ordained Life Development) .” You can visit the parked domain now and see that the domain name is held “hostage” for sale.

Gray quotes Shakespeare: “He who steals my purse steals trash … but he who robs me of my good name – robs me of that which – makes me poor indeed.” I hadn't thought about this, but it seems that "online reputation defense" could apply to tarnishment with domain names, too.

Fortunately, Ed Gray has an alternate domain, here.

I’m not sure if ICANN regards a situation like this as registration in “bad faith.” If your domain processes commerce, than it is likely you can register it as a trademark with the US Patent and Trademark Office. If might be considered a trademark if it had become “famous” in commerce even without registration, and it’s conceivable that the “prospective” aspect of trademark dilution expressed in the 2006 might become an applicable concept in this sort of situation. It’s important to pay attention to WHOIS information and re-register on time. One of my favorite “domain information” sites right now is Domain Tools which used to be “whois.sc.”

To review (I think I've post this before, but I can't find it now), the URL for ICANN's administrative domain name dispute resolution policy is here. ICANN has a new Policy Information page here, which I will have to spend some time navigating.

Picture: Brownie Hawkeye shapshot from around 1972 in West Virginia (Tygart Dam).

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