Celebrity Justice - The FindLaw Celebrities and The Law Blog

Taylor Swift Buys .Porn Domain Name. Should You?

Taylor Swift is once again making sure nobody profits from her name.

The singer bought up TaylorSwift.porn and TaylorSwift.adult domain names before the new internet address suffixes become available to the general public in June. It's not that the singer will be expanding her business into the adult entertainment business -- it is just a savvy business move if she doesn't want Internet trolls profiting from her name and likeness. Plus, who wants to have their name associated with a porn site? Other than porn stars, of course.

With each domain name costing as much as $2,500, is it a good idea for you to start buying your own domain names?

Common Names

Most of us, OK, pretty much all of us will never be as famous as Ms. Swift. However, that doesn't mean we won't one day build a professional persona. You might start a business. You might become a politician. If you have a common name or well known name, it might be a good idea to buy up your domain name as soon as possible.

Take Ted Cruz for example. If you haven't heard of him, he's a Republican senator from Texas. Cruz is pro life, pro gun rights, anti same-sex marriage, adamantly opposes the Affordable Care Act, and is a vocal opponent of President Obama's immigration policy. And oh yeah, he just announced his bid for the presidency.

Have you visited tedcruz.com lately? Try it. It has six large words, "Support President Obama. Immigration Reform Now!" Somehow, it doesn't seem to reflect Cruz's politics. This is because tedcruz.com is not Senator Cruz's website. Cruz's website is tedcruz.org. The .com domain was bought long before by another man named Ted Cruz, who did not agree with the senator's political views.

However, it is easy to see how people might go to tedcruz.com instead of tedcruz.org and be confused.

Misspelled Names

Have you ever heard of typosquatting or cybersquatting? This is when people buy up common misspelling of other people's domain name. When a user accidentally misspells a legitimate domain name in his search bar, the user is redirected to the wrong website.

Ironically, a law firm specializing in counterfeiting and cybersquatting cases was one of many victims of cybersquatting. The firm's website was giocondalaw.com. A Canadian man bought the domain name giocondolaw.com. When the firm's clients typed in the wrong address, Gionconda Law's web and email traffic were intercepted by the Canadian man's website.

If this happens to you, you could lose business traffic and miss important emails. If you deal with confidential information, your business security could also be threatened.

The Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA) allows victims of cybersquatting to file civil suits against cybersquatters. If you believe that you are a victim of cybersquatting, an experienced litigation attorney may be able to help. Or, be like Taylor Swift, and don't leave a blank space (ahem) where your online name should be. Think about buying your domain names before someone else does.

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