We’ve written about Paris, France before but this is the first time we’re blogging about the heiress. Paris Hilton recently won a WIPO complaint against the owner of ParisHiltonPornVideos.com. The domain name is now registered in her name and that of her attorneys, according to Whois.net.
While the former reality-star (who’s now pursuing a career as a D.J.) has won cases and continues to enforce her brand rights against websites that contain her name in relation to her perfume and sunglass lines, this case takes us back to what brought Ms. Hilton a great deal of publicity over ten years ago: X-rated content.
As the Complainant, Paris Hilton’s stable of attorneys claimed her right to the domain name with respect to her trademarks for PARIS HILTON and argued that the domain name is “confusingly similar” to her trademarks.
The Respondent, John Daizy of Slovenia, defaulted. But he could have at least put up an interesting defense claiming that the domain is merely descriptive and only uses the Paris Hilton name to identify the nature of the website’s content. Had he put up such a defense, the Respondent might have defeated the claim since there are no obvious ads on the site.
However, the fact that video clips on the site contain links to another site, hotelheiress.com, where the full pornographic video can be seen for a fee, might have doomed his fair use defense since he’s clearly using the Paris Hilton name for commercial purposes.
If his own site merely showed the video, was not trying to sell anything, and had no links to other commercial sites, the Respondent might have won claiming that he only made a “fair use” of the domain as a fan page (aligning with the descriptiveness issue above). Although Paris Hilton is reportedly drawing “massive crowds” as a D.J., my guess is that she’s not looking to expand this particular fan base.
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