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question UDRP question. Is it legal to...

Dynadot

whatever

Established Member
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Let' suppose I own the domain (example) coachella.com, the name of a huge production / festival. Obviously in my case its a different name.

They use a .org domain presently. I have approached the festival and they laughed me off with a max offer of $100, then they threatened to sue me for registering the domain name, which belongs to them, they said.

Is it legal for me to use said domain as a fan page about their very festival? Or would that constitute a breach of good faith in my use of the domain? In earnest, I would like to make a fan community about their event.
 

jberryhill

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John Berryhill, Ph.d., Esq.
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Let' suppose I own the domain (example) coachella.com, the name of a huge production / festival. Obviously in my case its a different name.

Well it makes a huge difference what your name might be.

First off, "Coachella" is primarily a geographic term. It is the name of a place. So, if you registered and used the domain name coachella.com for information about the place itself, then there is no trademark implicated in that use. Same would go for Glastonbury which is the name of a town, etc..

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coachella,_California

Coachella (/koʊˈtʃɛlə/, /koʊ.əˈtʃɛlə/)[6] is a city in Riverside County, California; it is the easternmost city in the region collectively known as the Coachella Valley (or the Palm Springs area). It is located 28 miles (45 km) east of Palm Springs, 80 miles (130 km) east of Riverside, and 130 miles (210 km) east of Los Angeles.

Known as the "City of Eternal Sunshine", Coachella is largely a rural and agricultural community in the desert and one of the state's fastest growing cities in the late 20th century. When it first incorporated back in 1946, it had 1,000 residents, but the population was 40,704 at the 2010 census.

So, there are all sorts of legitimate uses for a domain name consisting of "Coachella".

Same would be true of Glastonbury, Monterrey, Montrose, etc., which would be comparable "place names which are also known for a music festival".

Are you trying to say that your name is like that as well?
 

jberryhill

Top Member
John Berryhill, Ph.d., Esq.
Impact
5,292
I have approached the festival and they laughed me off with a max offer of $100,

...

In earnest, I would like to make a fan community about their event.

Here's the thing about being an actual fan. Actual fans don't try to extort the thing/person/whatever they admire.

For example, I follow pro cycling and I really admire Alejandro Valverde. I like his style and the excitement he can bring to a long, uphill battle. So, would I register a domain name and expect him to pay me money? Well, heck no. Why would I do that to someone of whom I was a fan?

The sequence here is that you registered the name, tried to sell it to them, they said no, and now you are looking for a plan B to justify having registered the domain name. If "in earnest" you wanted to make a fan community site, then that's what you would have done. It sounds a lot more like the first thing you wanted was money. That initial action of yours is not going to be magically forgotten if, later on, you find yourself in the position of arguing, "What I really wanted to do was build a fan site" because that's certainly not the first thing you actually did, now is it?
 
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