We're currently working on an official website for a very high profile athlete. We have been sourcing out domain possiblities for the past few weeks and happened to stumble upon:
www.athletename##.com (the ## represents the jersey number)
Which would be perfect - except - it has been purchased already and is pointing towards an "adult pleasures" website and a very large one at that.
From a legal standpoint, is there any action that could be taken? I understand in most cases we just have move on, but I figure since this particular athlete has a complete line-up of lawyers, perhaps we could work something out.
Does the athlete have certain rights to this domain? Is there anyway to defeat this cybersquatter?
I haven't ever posted here, but I do sort of hang out and watch. I think the rules say there is no giving of legal advice, but perhaps you would learn all you need to by reviewing recent decisions published by NAF and WIPO.
Sly, we don't do legal opinions or specific legal guidance, per WW's TOS and this forum's Charter.
Regarding celebrity rights to domain names you would do well to read a number of WIPO decisions. They come down on both sides and often it's a matter of how the domain was historically used: Pure fan site with no monetization? Traffic site that is monetized?
The cleanest solution is to work directly with the person whose rights or interests are "in play". Money talks. Show me the money. Etc.
Walking away is always an option, especially for anyone with enough creative juices: "If not this deal then I've got a thousand others I'm prepared to work on."