Movie titles domains

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    Movie titles domains

    I'm a little puzzled about something. Maybe you can clarify it for me...

    Is it legal to register domains consisting of the titles of upcoming movies? For example, someone goes to IMDb (or any other similar sites) and looks at the movies that are in the pre-production stage. Then the person goes to eUKhost and registers the domain (e.g.: before the producing company had the time to register it.

    Can the producers sue the person to get the domain from him/her?

    This act of grabbing the domain names of upcoming movies (include celebrities, companies) is infamous in the internet world as Domain Squatting (also called as Cybersquatting). Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act of United States federal law explains Domain Squatting as acquiring, registering or using a domain name to impersonate an individual, establishment etc. You play a foul act in case tries to profit/encash the popularity, goodwill of a company, movie or a celebrity.

    Additonally, ICANN adopted the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) after the dispute of domain name

    According to this policy, the registration of a domain name is considered abusive when all the following conditions are met:

    (i) the domain name is identical or perplexingly similar to a trade or service mark in which the complainant has rights;
    (ii) the holder of the domain name/registrant has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name
    (iii) the registrant has registered domain name in bad faith

    I would personally suggest you not to fall into such activities as it might harm you if the company/individual decides to take legal action against you for gaining popularity and using their goodwill for personal benefits.


      What you've explained is, broadly, logical and legally correct. But things are not as simple as they seem.

      As far as I know, it is not illegal to register domain names containing the names of celebrities, as there are countless fan-made websites to praise various famous people, without said celebrities' consent.

      Now, regarding movies. Everyone knows there are a lot of movies having the same name. I'm not talking about famous copyrighted flicks such as "The Lord of The Rings", "Star Wars", "Edward Scissorhands" etc.. But do a search on "The Fly" on any movie website and you'll see there are over five movies having this title, so one could hardly call registering the domain a domain squatting. It was just an example. There are hundreds of other cases like this.

      Also, what if a person makes an independent film and gives it the same title as an upcoming Hollywood movie? I'm going to refer to the example given by BritishFlag: "Magic Trip". You have to admit that "Magic Trip" is hardly an original title for a movie. Not even Hollywood is allowed to copyright a phrase consisting of an association of two words that are so common in everyday use. Anyone could just take a camera and film his trip to MagicLand (in Italy) with his family, and then, after returning home and editing the video, have an idea: Hey, this editing job turned out awesome. I have here 4 hours of great movie material from our trip. What if I made a website to upload this video for all my friends to see? And then he goes and registers the domain, gets a hosting package and builds a site to upload his movie. Now, in this scenario, I don't think it would be fair for Hollywood to come and say, Hey, Mister, we came up with the Magic Trip name. Give us the domain!...

      Just my two cents...
      Last edited by HostSeeker; 03-08-2011, 15:10.


        I am not an expert in copyright or trademark law, but I don't think you can copyright titles. Domain names are probably registered every day that are the same as a movie or book title at some point in the future. Have you ever noticd in ads for movies that the website is usually the name of the movie followed by ""? They probably try to secure the name well in advance, but common titles are usually already taken.


          I definitely agree with HostSeeker. I don't think that you can infringe copyright laws just for using a domain name that's similar to a movie name. Also, you can't register as being yours. Maybe a movie called "asdahdasdahgf" can get a trademark on this word, as it's unique and may not exist. :P