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OK, here’s the thing: Kathy Griffin has filed a cybersquatting lawsuit against the owners of KathyGriffin.com, claiming they are making money off her name and image.
In a lawsuit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court Sept. 16, the comedian, who just won another Emmy for her reality show, “My Life on the D-List,” was contacted in July by the owner offering the domain for sale for $3,500. Griffin currently does not know the name of the owner and lists the defendant as “Doe 1” in the lawsuit.
Since then, Griffin claims the site is composed entirely of commercial content and is operated through a portal that generates revenue through click-through advertisements.
The site featured the words “Kathy Griffin standup comedian” and “My Life on the D-List,” according to the lawsuit.
Griffin seeks to enjoin the defendants from further using her name, pictures and likeness for the Web site. The site, however, has already been changed. Pulling it up now, it reads, “Are you looking for Kathy’s official website? It’s located at KathyGriffin.net.”
The defendants are registered through a privacy protection agency and cannot be reached for comment. Also named as a defendant is domain management company Trafficz.com and its parent company Thought Convergence.
“The harm to plaintiff is direct and palpable,” the lawsuit, filed by attorney Marty Singer, states. “When consumers encounter defendants’ unauthorized Web site, they are likely to be confused into believing that plaintiff authorizes, sponsors or somehow is affiliated with the domain name, the defendants and with their Web site, which is not the case.
“Defendants are also trading on plaintiff’s good reputation and recognizable name for a commercial purpose, converting the potential economic value in plaintiff’s identity to their advantage and reaping the uncompensated benefit from the unauthorized use of plaintiff’s name and identity,” the lawsuit adds.
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