Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Dot-Com: The Real Thing

Tonight on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, one of the questions referenced the 2007 domain-name dispute over the website, keithurban.com. In that suit, Keith Urban, the Australian country singer/artist sued Keith Urban, a New Jersey artist/painter, over the domain name. It seems that the artist had registered his dot-com long before the musician became famous in the U.S. Although the musician claimed that the painter was trying to misrepresent himself, the painter did not claim to be a musician, did not use photographs of the musician, did not sell music. There seemed to be no cause for confusion, except that both men shared the same name. Certainly, in my opinion, the musician didn't have a leg to stand on, and I hoped that the law saw it the same way. I was curious to see how the case came out. I decided to Google-search the final decision, but could not find it (though I found multiple references to the original case and a followup countersuit). Finally, it occurred to me just to visit the website and see whether it touted art or music. As of June 29, 2010, it still belongs to the painter, Keith Urban ~ not the musician. As a matter of fact, the lawsuit has probably brought the painter some success. The current site design is more professional and polished than the original site. It is obvious at first glance that the site belongs to an artist. It's not even necessary to read the text. The lack of any reference to a legal conclusion of this case makes me think that it might still be in arbitration. Or maybe no reporter ever dug deeper than the original AP release. Obviously, I hope that the website remains as it is: registered to the painter, Keith Urban of New Jersey. Keith Urban, the musician, simply lost out. I guess he should've claimed fame before 1999 (when the dot-com was registered). It all goes to show how important the choice of a domain name can be.