Madonna has won a four month fight to evict a cybersquatter from the madonna.com domain name.
In Geneva yesterday (October 16), the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), the United Nations’ copyright intellectual property agency, ruled that New York web developer Dan Parisi had no trademark right to the name and failed to provide legitimate interest in the domain name.
Madonna successfully argued that she has used the Madonna name and trademark since 1979.
Parisi, who had previously used madonna.com as a porn site, was ordered to immediately hand it over to the star.
However, a clearly annoyed Parisi has posted a message on the site, scorning the decision and making it clear he intended to hold to the name for the time being. “Our attorneys have asked us to keep quiet in regards to the decision until we figure what if anything we are going to do,” he said. “This case was about whether big business has the right to claim exclusive ownership of common words in the English Language and to take them out of the public domain and they ruled that big business has that right.”
Parisi also denied he tried to profit from the sale of the site, a normal procedure for cybersquatters, claiming he was about to donate the domain name to charity.
He said: “We have steadfastly stated that the domain name is not for sale. We were in the process of donating the domain name madonna.com to Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital who owns madonna.org when the WIPO domain name challenge was initiated. We had finalised an agreement in June of 2000 to transfer the domain name to Madonna Hospital.
“We have never offered to sell this domain to Madonna Louise Ciccone the singer and have rebuffed all offers from her to purchase the domain name madonna.com.”