NY Law To Prohibit Registering Domain of Living Person

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

Elliot Silver
Elliot Silver
About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of DomainInvesting.com. Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has closed eight figures in deals. Please read the DomainInvesting.com Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest. Reach out to Elliot: Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn


  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.


  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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