Why we all need to support Donald Trump . . .

. . . at least this once.

See, Trump sued someone last week.

And no, it wasn’t about a birth certificate.  And it wasn’t his hair stylist.

It was a cyber squatter.

Mr. Celebrity Apprentice himself sued one J. Taikwok Yung for $400k.  Why?

Well, Mr. Yung bought a few domains back in 2007, including  trumpmumbai.com and trumpindia.com . . . shortly after The Donald announced plans to build condominiums there.

And this wasn’t just a whim . . . Mr. Yung calls himself a “domainer,” and buying domains like Trump’s is what he does . . . he buys domains using other people’s names, titles, products, etc. and then tries to profit by selling them.  You can read about it here.

Whether you know it or not, this happens to shows all the time.  That’s why I suggest to anyone and everyone out there who is thinking of writing or producing a show . . . Buy the domain first thing.  Even if you’ve got nothing but an idea!

Because you can bet your ISP that as soon as your show is announced, one of the many Broadway cybersquatters (oh, and they are out there), will snatch up your domain faster and hold it hostage until you need it most.  The owner of AFewGoodMen.com pretty much told me to go FewGoodMen myself when I offered him a reasonable payment for it.

And when they get it, you’ve got very little recourse.  Sure, you can make a claim with the Governing Body of the Internet (guess how long that takes) or yes, you can sue (guess how much money that takes), but at the end of the day, each time I’ve encountered it, I’ve had to pay . . . like a bribe.  You hate doing it, but what choice do you have?

And that’s why the D-Man deserves a little support on his suit.  By going public with this action, and by hopefully costing Mr. Yung a ton of money and time (although apparently he’s repping himself so far), other people may get the idea that this might not be a business worthy of getting into.

So win Donald.  Win.

Just don’t ever dream of running for President.

 

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Comments
  • Ashley P says:

    I don’t agree. Trump knows more than anyone how the game is played, and unfortunately he lost this time. This post harkens back to one of the posts listed on your Most Popular Blog Posts: “Got An Idea for A Show? Here’s the first thing you should do.” Maybe Trump should’ve taken your advice.

  • Liberty says:

    Donald has no cause for action in this case. Your advice is good advice but Yung should sue Trump for damages of time and legal expense. If a commodity is for sale anyone should have the right to buy it. By your logic, if someone comes up with the bright idea that they want to buy gold, announces publicly his intent to buy gold and someone else buys it before he can then he has a right to sue and win? I know you’re going to think that your trademark is protected, and it is to a practical degree. Domain is the only free market left and its supply and demand are quantifiable. My non-celebrity domain is worth about $10 bucks or the set cost for some third party with servers the time to broker the registration. If I become famous then that same domain name is going to go up because the demand is greater than just the time of registration.

    I understand why Trump thinks he has a right to sue this entrepreneur. Trump was born into his money, used that money to lever investments from other people, which he lost (twice). Then protected his personal money and property under the protections of the old bankruptcy laws. (twice) So its reasonable to assume that when Trump doesn’t get his way that others should pay.

    By all means heed this warning and buy your domain first thing. I gave this same advice to a company that held a dot net domain. They had not yet done an awareness campaign so I was able to advise them before they did so to buy all the surrounding domains as well.

    But domain is not the real issue and Trump should’t be crying over this as the metadata, SEO, and advertising should be driving people to the site. We see this with Theatre all the time. ie. NameOfShoetheplayDotCom or NameOfShowBroadwayDotCom If we let t Trumps of the world re-define the market after they mistakenly set the price we are saying that entrepreneurs shouldnt waste their time coming up with new products because someone else with more many can say “I thought of that already”. If Trump saw value in the domain of trump mumbai or Trump dubai he would have bought it. He didnt. Good for the guy who saw the value and invested.

  • Catherine says:

    Very informative and hugely important
    piece on protecting one’s work.
    Thx. for sharing this about Mr. Trump and the domain name. It’s is so important that he responded !This raised much needed awareness!

  • Jim says:

    The question of the day is . . . Why the heck did he not buy them before his announcment?

  • Zanne Hall says:

    WHY does Trump’s photos always look like he’s having a hard time on the pot? (Toilet, that is)

  • Rob says:

    Liberty is simply wrong that Trump does not have a cause of action. He/she should familiarize him/herself with the U.S. Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA) of 1999. This extends protections beyond trademark violations, which may also come into play. Procuring a domain with the intent to sell it to a trademark owner is considered “bad faith” and generates civil liability. There are also protections conferred to individuals whose actual names are co-opted by cybersquatters. Maybe Liberty doesn’t like the law, but that’s not the point. And this law is hardly anti-market as most government action admittedly tends to be. It is protecting property rights, in this case, a commercial idea. Consider copyright law. The very moment you write something original, it is considered copyrighted, which maximizes protection of that intellectual property. It does not take an act of government registration to have a valid copyright. Instant recognition of ownership in the intellectual property of a domain name is not as feasible, but if it were, it would afford greater protection of property rights… which is exactly the intent of an anti-cybersquatting law.

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