TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Actor Morgan Freeman Wins Cybersquatting Case

Actor Morgan Freeman Wins Cybersquatting Case

Lisa Minter (
Tue, 10 May 2005 15:33:54 -0500

GENEVA (Reuters) - American actor Morgan Freeman, winner of this
year's best supporting actor Oscar for his performance in "Million
Dollar Baby," won a cybersquatting case in a ruling by an
international arbitrator Tuesday.

Freeman was found to have common law rights to the contested Internet
domain name (, which had been registered by a Saint
Kitts and Nevis-based web site operator.

The operator, identified as Mighty LLC, misused the celebrity's
trademark to lure surfers to its web site in "bad faith," independent
arbitrator Peter Nitter said in a ruling.

The ruling was announced by the World Intellectual Property
Organization (WIPO), a United Nations agency which promotes protection
of trademarks and patents, and whose arbitration center resolves
disputes over domain names.

Freeman, who has appeared in more than 50 films in a career spanning
four decades, joins the ranks of entertainers including Julia Roberts,
Spike Lee, Madonna and Eminem who have won their cases under WIPO's
fast-track, low-cost procedure.

Ownership of the domain name is transferred within 10 days unless the
loser launches a court case challenging the decision.

Freeman won his first Oscar in February for his supporting role in the
boxing drama "Million Dollar Baby," which also won Oscars for best
director, best picture and best actress.

Copyright 2005 Reuters Limited.

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[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: I only wish I had the financial
wherewithall to file suit against the guy who is cybersquatting on the
domain name I used for a several years ( The
_very day_ that that the domain name slipped away by accident the
fellow (in Geneva, CH of all places) grabbed it, knowing full well it
was in use. He knew what he was doing ... and I thought that the .org
domain was such that his porn and commercial stuff would not be
allowed (which is true if you look at the PIR charter). But it seems
the PIR charter, etc is subservient to the ICANN rules, and ICANN
could give a damn less about regular web sites; their whole thing is
the large, commercial sites. I wish I had the money to get a lawyer
who would dismantle the whole setup. Alternatly, the guy who is
cybersquatting on said he would 'gladly' release
it back to me if I would pay his blackmail rate of eight hundred
dollars (and of course the fees the ICANN pirates would charge in
addition.) PAT]

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