Microniche domain question - is it ok to use company/brand name?

Discussion in 'Black Hat SEO' started by u4icjaj, Jan 5, 2011.

  1. u4icjaj

    u4icjaj Newbie

    Nov 12, 2010
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    Hello, I was wondering if it is ok to use company or brand names for microniche sites? I'm new to all of this so I am just wondering. For example, if I wanted to start a microniche about iPod Docks, would it be ok to use the domain ipoddocks.xxx or should I worry about copyright issues? Thanks.
  2. thevil

    thevil Junior Member

    Aug 17, 2010
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    The questions you ask, is like asking if I commit a crime will I get caught?

    There are too many variables for anyone here to tell you if they're going to come after you but know that companies MUST protect their trademark if they want to hold onto them. The larger the company you are trying to use as a niche, the larger the chance that that company is willing to enforce their rights to protect the integrity of their trademark.

    There is facebook for example. They WILL come after the domain if they take notice it. Always put into consideration of what you're willing to lose when you put up a trademarked domain. That includes all future commisions, lawsuits, etc...

    You should know that it is not favorable towards your defense when you use a trademarked name for the sole purpose of monetary gain if you are ever in a lawsuit. To use it for that purpose you will need permission and/or license from the trademarks holder.

    There are several so called loopholes around this area (but loopholes are not that large nor loopholes at all). An example would be using a fair-use doctrine.
    Examples of fair use include commentary, criticism, news reporting, research, teaching, library archiving and scholarship. If your site fits into one of those categories, then you do have a chance of winning any domain dispute. But be clear that fair use must be presented very loudly.

    Another way around would be the use of domain registrars that are not governed by US trademark/copyright laws as well as hosting.
    The double edged sword is that using hosting that is outside your targeted audience (Offshore hosting) would be a little more decremental to your efforts in regards to SEO. (Because Google delivers search results using IP location. When your hosting is located in Switzerland, Germany, etc... Most of your SEO results will be directed towards the country of your hosting provider).
    Although this can be overcome, it will be much harder to rank for a term towards U.S. visitors (Guessing as your target audience). Doing this does not mean they will not come after you, though so be warned.

    In the end, it is what it is. Are you willing to risk for reward?
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