Celebrity Name Domain Squatting

 

A domain that features Melanie Griffith’s first and last names combined in the URL was recently purchased by a supposed fan to sell back to her after they noticed that the site went up for auction said AnastasiaDate. The “fan,” John Schultz, claims in a full page note on the site’s home screen that he paid $699.00 for the domain and that Griffith’s authorized agent can contact him using his WHOIS contact information to set up a transfer of funds to buy back the domain. Shultz then finished his note with words of praise and a statement that the actress should run for President.

Whether this is a legitimate case of a zealous fan who merely wants to help protect the name of the celebrity he loves or an instance of celebrity domain squatting is unknown. Schultz also claims in his note that he is not a cybersquatter, but his note seems to indicate that he is not merely a dedicated fan.

Either way, this would not be the first attempt of a so-called “fan” of a celebrity trying to get a payday by cheaply buying a domain that feature the celebrity’s name and then attempting to sell it to the celebrity who wants to maintain a brand presence including a particular domain.

Under the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act, celebrities can fight back when someone tries to profit off their name by suing in civil court.

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