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Friday, April 10, 2009

J-Lo Wins Cybersquatting Case

Jenny from the block (aka, Jennifer Lopez) won her lawsuit against a cybersquatter from Phoenix who had acquired ownership of jenniferlopez.net and jenniferlopez.org. The World Intellectual Property Organization found that cybersquatter, Jeremiah Tieman, used the domain names to fool fans into landing on a site which turns a profit. In laymans' terms, he profited off Jennifer Lopez' name and that's a crime. Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman, Julia Roberts, Madonna, and Scarlett Johansson have all dealt with similar issues.

Cybersquatters are a form of parasitic extortionists who purchase domain names to which they have no legal right. They do this specifically to turn a profit and that's illegal. Amy Grant settled a lawsuit with Marvel Comics in the early 1990s over an issue of Doctor Strange which bore her likeness. Grant brought the lawsuit on the grounds that the company banked on her image, misleading fans who might have thought Grant had anything to do with the comic book. The same concepts are in play with cybersquatting, therefore it should be handled the same way.

© C Harris Lynn, 2009

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