Cybersquatting

As we explain in the ‘sticky’ post (the first one you will see if you come to the home page of this site), one of the reasons we use flyingtwigs dot wordpress dot com is to protect our brand at flyingtwigs dot com which you can reach via this link: Flying Twigs.

It is well known that people snap up website names in order to divert people from what they are looking for. Then, if someone searches for the name of the person or brand, they can get diverted onto some other unrelated site.

Another reason people buy domain names for which they have no real use, is in order to sell the name at a profit to the person or brand that might want it.

If you are not familiar with the term, it is called cybersquatting or domain squatting.

There have been some high profile cases of people registering a domain name precisely because it is the name of a person in the public eye. There are laws governing cybersquatting, but it’s a messy business as you can read if you google the term. For a taste of this area of law, The Independent newspaper reported in the year 2000 on the cases of the band Jethro Tull and the singer Sting.

Jethro Tull won the dispute against Denny Hammerton of Minneola, Florida. Mr Hammerton had offered the Web addresses to the band for $13,000 (£8,700). But the World Intellectual Property Organisation ruled that he had set up the addresses in bad faith and failed to show a legitimate interest in them. Jethro Tull was judged to have a more meaningful trademark interest.

Sting failed on the grounds that his name is in common usage. The WIPO ruled that the word “sting” was in common usage and not a trademark or service mark that had been registered by the singer.


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