Chris Bosh: Internet Police
On September 24th Chris Bosh was awarded not only his own domain, chrisbosh.com, but the domain names of over 800 NBA stars, college and high school athletes as well as various celebrities. It was a landmark decision in that it was one of the first instances in which a plaintiff was awarded third party domain names in addition to his own, in a case of this nature.
Bosh, who is known to be an avid user of social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter, and has operated his own YouTube channel since 2007, was looking to expand his web presence with his own site. He then learned that someone had beaten him to the punch and had already registered his name, chrisbosh.com. He settled for chris-bosh.com, but chose to pursue legal action to retrieve his domain.
Bosh’s legal counsel, Winston & Strawn LLP, was able to track down the owner of chrisbosh.com, Luis Zavala. Zavala’s company, Hoopology.com was displaying ads using Bosh’s name to generate revenue without Bosh’s knowledge or consent. Zavala also had registered over 800 domain names of NBA players as well as international, college and high school athletes, with the intention of selling them back to the athletes at a premium, a practice known as “cybersquatting.” It was determined that Zavala was in violation of the Federal Anti-Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act, and as a result of Zavala failing to show in court, Judge Florence-Marie Cooper awarded Bosh the rights to chrisbosh.com as well as $120,000 in damages. As a means to recover some of the damages, Bosh was also awarded all of the domain names registered to Zavala.
Bosh is offering to return all the domain names to their rightful owners, free of charge, through his web media firm: Max Deal Technologies. Max Deal is a web design, marketing and consulting company that “offers web design and technology consulting to clients who demand to stay current with the fast paced world of online communication.”
Ever the entrepreneur, Bosh stated, “I am thrilled that I am able to offer the return of these domain names to a host of other athletes and celebrities whose names were cybersquatted. I will offer the return of the domain names free of charge, but I’d also love the opportunity to show their owners how Max Deal can help.”
Not only does Chris Bosh retrieve your domain name from individuals looking to illegally profit from it, but he returns it to you free of charge and then offers you advice on what to do with your newly rescued domain. However, we have to assume that Max Deal’s advice will not be free of charge.
You can view a list of all 800+ domain names turned over to Chris Bosh here.