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Copyright Infrigement - Domain Names

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kcroghan
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Joined: 26 Oct 09
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Copyright Infrigement - Domain Names

I have been doing a bit of reading about the above and wanted to get some advice.

As an example I noticed that both WOW and World of Warcraft are trademarked, and it appears from what I have read even having these terms in a domain name is a break of the trademark and it seems its just a matter of whether the trademark holder decides to go after you. Yet, I noticed that Mark has used wowblackbook.com - Mark, what are your thoughts - did you just decide to take a risk?

Rgds, Kate
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carlmasure
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Joined: 24 Nov 09
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I was notified by a Zynga attorney that I was infringing on copyright and trademark by using a game name in my domain name and posts. This is technically known as a Cease and Desist letter. My hosting company suspended my site and it was down for 3 days. Sad part is, I was making sales and they were really starting to ramp up.

To make a long story short, I researched everything I could find about internet copyright and trademark infringement. I composed a respectful, but forceful letter to the attorney and have not heard back, even though I requested further information about how to resolve the dispute. The same day the attorney received my letter, the hosting company put my site back up.

But, I made the original site private and created 301 redirects to a new identical site with a different domain name and slightly different layout. I notified google through webmaster tools, etc. etc. etc. Much of my SERP has been preserved and is growing. Unfortunately, the initial market excitement over this game has died down a bit and not as many people are buying based on cb gravity.

I caution you about doing online game sites - so, do a bit of research. The best way to find out if a game company is cracking down is to contact the seller. Ask the seller if they have received a C and D. If not, you are probably safe.
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gradyp
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Just my 2 cents, but if I were to ever create a site to do WoW stuff myself, I might actually go more towards something more general for a website name that can be expanded to include other things besides just WoW that might be related (or any similar niche).

As an example, the site I'm doing now is aimed at guitars, but the name I chose, I can easily expand to piano, singing, drums, or any other music form I choose.

The advantage to this way, besides the expansion idea, is you don't have the same problems with copywrite infringement. Not only that, if for some reason WoW (or whatever) drops in popularity or ceases to exist (sacrilege for me to say so, I know) you can easily switch to something that is more popular.

As I said, my 2 cents worth, so take it or leave it.

grady
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markling
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I didn't know that WOW was trademarked, I never usually put the trademark anywhere in the domain name. That said, I should have done more research into this. Also, there are hundreds of sites that have WOW and World of Warcraft in the domain name and as far as I know, World of Warcraft hasn't sent a cease and desist to anyone.

I'm not a lawyer and am unaware whether or not it is illegal to have a trademark within a domain name (e.g. www.paypalsucks.com has been there for years, unharmed by PayPal, yet I know PayPal hates that website), although it pays not to risk such things in any event.

I'm guessing that World of Warcraft probably don't mind people making websites about the game as they encourage more and more people to play world of warcraft. That said, I certainly don't intend to have trademarks or anything of the sort in my domain names for the rest of my sites including any new sites going forward, and if you know something is trademarked then it pays not to have that word in your domain name.
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wollowra
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Thanks Mark.
Good point on the fact that it does indeed encourage more people to play the game.
I suppose you are right in the fact that it probably best to not use a trademarked name in your domain.
Thanks for responding Mark.

Regards
Troy
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beldin
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Joined: 17 Sep 09
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I got one of these nasty-grams from Zynga too... what ever happened to being nice these days... they use mean words like "demand" and "immediately"... ;)

Oh well, it was my first site and, as noted, the initial excitement of the game has worn off. I guess this means that Zynga is going to go after all sites with their game names in the URL...

No matter, I leaned what I needed to from the site and that's all that really matters.
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Stephen
 
faradina
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Indeed, the games are not as popular as they once were. I myself was one of those who would stay up late just to play but I do not do that anymore. My youngest took over playing them on my profile several months ago but now he hardly even touches them at all. I hop in every now and then to give gifts to friends who sent gifts, just so they do not think I am neglecting them, but I do not really play now.
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michellerana
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Beldin wrote:I got one of these nasty-grams from Zynga too... what ever happened to being nice these days... they use mean words like "demand" and "immediately"... ;)

Oh well, it was my first site and, as noted, the initial excitement of the game has worn off. I guess this means that Zynga is going to go after all sites with their game names in the URL...


Yes, Zynga is shutting down sites that uses Zynga, Zynga logos, and all their game names.

One of the members wrote a letter to Zynga and his site was put back on: My Domain Has Been Suspended for Copyright Complaints


Beldin wrote:No matter, I leaned what I needed to from the site and that's all that really matters.


What a great attitude! :)
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This topic was started on Mar 05, 2010 and has been closed due to inactivity. If you want to discuss this topic further, please create a new forum topic.