10/18/2010

The relevance of copyrights and internet domain names

Just a hypothetical question. Supposing someone could register a domain name like MacDonald.com.sg, and MacDonald writes a polite letter to ask him not to use it, change it, does he need to comply? This is only a hypothetical situation. It can apply to any domain name. Or would MacDonald call the owner of such a domain name and negotiate to buy it over as a business transaction? If I am not mistaken, the trademark of MacDonald, or any other brand name, is a different matter from a domain name. And every country can have their own MacDonald.com.xx. So MacDonald would either have to register it first or have to buy it over from the first registered owner? Anyone can fill in on this?

2 comments:

Matilah_Singapura said...

> and MacDonald writes a polite letter to ask him not to use it, change it, does he need to comply?

Of course not. McD has no claim on someone elses property. Domain names ARE private property.

McD can make an offer -- but you can only buy what the other party is willing to sell. Anything less is theft or extortion.

So MacDonald would either have to register it first or have to buy it over from the first registered owner

Yes. The idea of being a good business person is to protect your own trademarks, copyright and patents. If you are sleeping and someone else gets the better of your sloppiness -- your loss.

You might want to google "cyber squatting" -- which many find obnoxious.

However in the case of TR -- they were not cyber squatting -- but leave it to a PAP lawyer to twist the story around to make TR look like "bad guys". You can count on it if TR had stood their ground.

So IMO "cyber squatting" does not apply to TR and even if it did, it is perfectly legal.

To find out who owns what domain, use "WhoIs" lookup.

Here is the whois lookup for LeeKuanYew.com, as you can see some smart-arse has "chuped" the domain and the best MM Lee can do is offer the guy money if he wants the domain name for himself.

You can try whois on leekuanye dot org, dot net etc.

Moral of story: protect your own name by registering your domain name. Very cheap insurance (about 10 bux)

If you don't very bad things can happen to you especially if you are an asshole and the people who hate you SEEK REVENGE

:-)))))

Matilah_Singapura said...

As you can see on the whois lookup fo the TR, that the "registrant" of the domain is in Holland, not S'pore.

If the TR outrightly REFUSED to change their name, there is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TH can do (legally) to acquire the domain name -- even if TH had the balls and stupidity to fight this in Dutch or International courts.

The use of a "cloaked" proxy registrant is common practice on the net so the identity of the TRUE owner is not revealed under anything but the most extreme of circumstances -- e.g. crime against humanity which the accusers must PROVE to the court the server is based in.

For e.g. look at this whois lookup and notice the "proxy" registrant. You won't know who is the TRUE owner of the domain. Is it The #1 Son or is it some online kid?