Would you be interested in buying DeadMau5.co and Mau5Trap.co ? I can provide proof of ownership. @deadmau5
— ToodyNoodlez (@McQuakenbake)
There are several reasons that I can come up with right off the top of my head why you shouldn’t try to sell a celebrity a domain name on Twitter. Especially if that domain name is their brand or their name. And especially if you’re a cyber squatter, looking to profit by selling the domain name. If you didn’t know, cybersquatting is illegal in the United States. And you could end up having to pay $1,000 to $100,000 per domain name as a penalty. if you’re found guilty of cybersquatting.
Chad McFatridge, who goes by the Twitter handle @McQuakenbake, posted on Twitter that he owns the domain names deadmau5.co and mau5trap.co. He sent a tweet to the famous celebrity @deadmau5:
Would you be interested in buying http://deadmau5.co and http://mau5trap.co ? I can provide proof of ownership. @deadmau5
To which he replied:
.@McQuakenbake not nearly as interested as we are calling you out on domain squatting like a b*#&@*.
Well, it turns out that cybersquatting in the United States is illegal. You cannot own, acquire, or register a domain name of someone else’s name or brand and then try to sell it to them. According to the United States Federal law, the Anti-Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act, cybersquatting is “registering, trafficking in, or using a domain name confusingly similar to, or dilutive of, a trademark or personal name”. And in this case, not only did Chad McFatridge try to sell the domain name, he did it in a huge public way.
In this case, it’s such an open-and shut case when it comes to cybersquatting that Joel Thomas Zimmerman, better known by his stage name deadmau5, could bring a suit in the United States against @McQuakenbake, Chad McFatridge. The damages in such a case could reach $200,000 for both domain names. The Anti-Cybersquatting Protection Act allows for damages from $1,000 to $100,000 per domain name.
So, if you’re thinking of buying a domain name of a celebrity or brand, especially a trademarked domain name, I recommend that you don’t do it. And don’t offer to sell it to the celebrity or brand or you’re end up violating the ACPA.
And oh yeah.
If you’re going to do that, whatever you do, don’t offer to sell that domain name to a celebrity on Twitter.
Update: I got a tweet from Chad, the seller, and he claims that he’s already given those domain names to @deadmau5. Based on the whois data for those names, I’m not seeing confirmation of that, but I’ll take his word for it.