NY Law To Prohibit Registering Domain of Living Person

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Web address bill by Sen. Little will become law

In a couple of months, it will be illegal to register a domain name that is the same or similar to a living person:

“Approved by Gov. Eliot Spitzer Aug, 1, the law will prohibit a person or entity from registering a domain name that consists of the name of another living person, or a name substantially and confusingly similar thereto, without that person

7 COMMENTS

  1. I think this is dangerous area to tread. I have had a number of conversations over the years with people/companies claiming to have more rights to zoot.com ( which I registered in ’95 btw ) thank I do. So far I have just laughed about it as it’s my name and it will go to the grave with me. But being that Zoot is less common a name than Smith Brown, washington, Patel ect
    I can see those names becoming very problematic. I think the lawyers are going to have a field
    day with it but those legitimate owners of the names are going to be getting hassled big time … as you said … how is John Doe 1 more legitimate a registrant than John Doe 2?

  2. “I think this is dangerous area to tread. I have had a number of conversations over the years with people/companies claiming to have more rights to zoot.com ( which I registered in

  3. Your example of ElliotSilver.com vs. ElliottSilver.com is a good one – what if you buy both, to catch typos of your own name. I own several domain names that are typos of my own last name as, well, it gets misspelled a lot!

    Do I have the right to own a misspelling of my own name? Fortunately I do not live in New York but I do have clients there, and they have been warned.

    mp/m

  4. This is the type of law that will be passive, it’s only going to be enforced if a company goes after a domain owner. We may have a zillion John Smiths going for John Smith!

  5. The silly thing is that it would probably take much less time and legal expense to go the already established WIPO/UDRP route rather than the bureaucratic red tape involved in the judicial system. By the time a lawsuit is filed, argued, appealed…etc, the time and cost would surely outweigh the WIPO/UDRP process.

  6. State Senator Little’s law will only hurt the people of New York. For instance, bettylittle.com is registered to a guy in Missouri. I just might register bettylittle.name — fortunately I live in NJ, so I’ll be ok. For now.

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