Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Just because he's first, he gets the rights to the domain name?

Danah Boyd,

I found your article on trademark and personal reputation of the internet to be very informative. After reading a bit in, I came across the section on how the internet makes everything messy because people are building their own reputations (digital footprints), and “associating them with nicknames, handles, and pseudonyms.”

You later talk about how websites give out names on a first come first served approach, and if a company has their company name trademarked, that they should have a legitimate cause to use that name. But then again, a person owns their name and should have the right to fairly use it also, even if someone gets to the domain name first. After all, like you say, there are more than a few Joe Smiths in the world, and who has the right to say that one of them has the right to own the domain name JoeSmith.com, and the other can’t.

Your article also makes me think back to the case with Amy Winehouse. Following her death, a man named Martin McCann registered a company called Amy Winehouse Foundation Ltd, and purchased a domain under the same name. It seems that his sole purpose in doing this was that he knew people would be searching for a site under that name, and wanted to be the first to claim it, before her family did, just so McCann would get hits to his website. This makes me wonder, because she passed away, is her name affiliated with this cause still trademarked? And can her parents use it? McCann wasn’t authentic in what he was doing. In fact, his website probably had nothing to do with Amy herself. He was just using her name in an effort to bring an audience to his site. McCann himself has even said: “Detach yourself from emotions and think business. I’m not exploiting anything yet. I’ve just bought some domain names. Anybody can have one. It only takes the click of a mouse.”

James Gleick,

Your article was very interesting as well. You write that “the essence of the Web is the linking of individual “pages” on websites, one to another.” Yes, it only took a bit over a decade for Google to become huge, and people do need to realize that it’s not Google that’s giving them the answers, but instead, they’re being redirected to other sites which may be able to provide the answers.

Google had the right idea, giving both the users and advertisers what they wanted. Users could use Gmail, Docs, and so on, for free, as well as search for free, on a very clean, professional looking page. Advertisers could reach their target market by using “AdWords,” based on the keywords Google users were searching with. People think that they just pull up Google.com to find what they’re looking for, but don’t always realize that the way advertising is being done has completely revolutionized, these users are the subjects, and Google is bigger than ever because of it. 

Thank you for reading,


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