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Simple copyright question about domain names

Discussion in 'White Hat SEO' started by gorang, Apr 16, 2010.

  1. gorang

    gorang Elite Member

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    Would a domain with the word "facebook" in be copyright?
     
  2. meathead1234

    meathead1234 Moderator Staff Member Moderator Premium Member

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    Yes...
     
  3. gorang

    gorang Elite Member

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    what if it was simply "fb"
     
  4. CEPI

    CEPI Power Member

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    The word "facebook" is listed as registered with the USPTO as Trademarked. So actually in your case this is WORSE than if it fell under copyright law.

    The Trademark acts as protection of a brand name but not the concepts therein so the NAME facebook is "theoretically" not to be used by anyone else. Now if it were just a copyright you could use the name but not the concepts.

    TM = Brand Names
    Copyright = Ideas and Concepts

    But as you know there are several sites out there that sell items related to facebook, twitter, myspace, wordpress, etc... all of those are TM names. I think as long as you are not impersonating that you are acting AS Facebook and you place a disclaimer stain you have no affiliation and are not offering something similar you should be OK.

    Of course you may want to contact legal counsel if this is going to be a large scale project that could be in jeopardy of a lawsuit because Facebook uses a great firm and will drop the beard of Zeus on you whenever they feel like it.
     
  5. meathead1234

    meathead1234 Moderator Staff Member Moderator Premium Member

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    EDIT: Per the umm I wasn't really sure as pointed out!
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2010
  6. hpv222

    hpv222 Power Member

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    I don't think they can go after you for fb, but then it depends on the perspective

    if you register fbaccounts.com or something of the sort and if they really want to go after you, you'll end up giving up the domain ...
     
  7. loclhero

    loclhero Supreme Member

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    This is such a wrong answer it actually makes wrong seem right.
    You are wrong
     
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  8. gorang

    gorang Elite Member

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    I think I can deal with "fb". I've yet to decide on a domain name. The other gray area is that I want to brand my website which will likely be the same as the domain name.

    Does any wizard of law know if I can own my own brand of website which includes "fb" in the logo, the domain name and the brandname?
     
  9. CEPI

    CEPI Power Member

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    Not if the site has ANYTHING to do with fbook at all. The FB would have to stand for like "Fresh Bacon" or "Fuzzy Bunkbeds" the second you place any product related to the actual facebook you are making implication that the fb stands for facebook and would have a hell of a battle explaining that to the US Patent and Trademark Office.

    Also the backup for TM, Registered TM, and Copyright is near a year long so by the time you get it in and approved and a couple grand later through a reputable law firm you might still get denied. By the way i would say about 80% of people who use the (c) logo and the (tm) and (R) logos have never even filed for them in their life... they use them as a scare tactic to keep people from theft.
     
  10. TheLoser

    TheLoser Registered Member

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    I disagree. How can they attack for having "fbaccounts"? fb is generic. Football, foxy b*tch, etc. Please back up your claims before saying someone is going to go after you (geesh).
     
  11. gorang

    gorang Elite Member

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    I basically want to write about facebook. For SEO reason and relevancy i'd like to stick some reference to facebook in the domain.

    I'm not clued up on copyright infringement or anything of that nature.

    How should I go about this?

    Thanks for the help by the way it's appreciated.
     
  12. CEPI

    CEPI Power Member

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    Here ya go right from the "FB" terms (emphasis #4 I see the term FB plain as day)...

    Facebook's Feature and Functionality Terms and Trademarks
    1. You must not express or imply any affiliation or relationship with or endorsement by us.
    2. You must not use or make derivative use of Facebook icons.
    3. You must not use terms for Facebook features and functionality (e.g., fan, feed, status, tag, like) in the name of your application, any corresponding URL, or your application's features and functionality, if such use could confuse users into thinking that the reference is to Facebook features or functionality of the same name.
    4. You must not make use of Facebook trademarks, including but not limited to FACEBOOK, FACEBOOK LOGO, F LOGO, FB, WALL, POKE and 32665, or any trademarks or terms confusingly similar to Facebook trademarks, in any way that may suggest that we are affiliated with, endorse, or sponsor you.


    Also you may want to note that "FB" is trademarked in association with facebook related use and facebook has its own venture capital fund named "fbFund".... just thought I'd point those out but again you can do as you please and see what happens. =)
     
  13. gorang

    gorang Elite Member

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    What if it was groupsonfacebook.com would that be ok?
     
  14. CEPI

    CEPI Power Member

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    as a note too I have seen some sites with the full name facebook in the domain and they are still running strong sites such as "allfacebook" and "facebookgames(dot)net"

    so there are some out there that have the full name that havent seen any bad treatment
     
  15. TheLoser

    TheLoser Registered Member

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    I stand corrected, thank you.
     
  16. CEPI

    CEPI Power Member

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    Possibly not because I just realized that is in a category for "app developers" not outside marketers so you may actually still be correct, LOL
     
  17. gorang

    gorang Elite Member

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    Wouldn't like to build my empire on shaky foundations. Going to have to consider this.
     
  18. aftershock2020

    aftershock2020 Senior Member

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    There is an acception to the rule though...

    @ Loser - Call your book " Mastering the Social..." or whatever and list a sub-title, like " An expert look into how to market from Facebook.com "

    You can leagally do that. It is done all the time, because it is called a ' description title ' in professional publishing. It is allowed, as you aren't mislieading anyone to believe you are directly associated with FB.
     
  19. CEPI

    CEPI Power Member

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    You may want to do a search for things like "facebook accounts" or "facebook tips and tricks" and look for the names that have FB or facebook in their domain names , then do a WHOIS and try to contact the owner via email and ask politely if they have encountered any legal issues with their domain. It will also give you an idea of how long they have been around and the content that is out there using those terms in their domain.

    Worth a shot... the worst that could happen is a cease and desist letter from the FB law firm (worth framing) and losing 10 bucks on a domain. They won't take legal action unless you are rolling in dough and/or ignoring their cease and desist demand.

    :cool:
     
  20. gorang

    gorang Elite Member

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    I think i'm definitely going to have to add an extra word into the domain which shows that i'm about a subject and not impersonating facebook directly.