Cybersquatting is becoming an ever increasing problem for professional athletes. Cybersquatters are people who register internet domain names associated with celebrities in the hopes that they will profit from the association. And there are companies out there that will shield the identity of the cybersquatter and allow them to remain anonymous in cyberspace. Fortunately, the law does allow pro athletes and other celebrities the opportunity to go after cybersquatters.
A lawsuit brought in federal court under the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act can lead to a judgment in favor of the celebrity which at the very least transfers the domain name in dispute to them. Monetary damages and a permanent injunction against the cybersquatter are also available as remedies. Such lawsuits almost invariably end quickly since a cybersquatter facing a damages award in the neighborhood of $100,000 is likely to surrender rather than engage in a high stakes battle.
Miami Heat Center Chris Bosh successfully took on a cybersquatter earlier this year and prevailed.
The Michael Phelps Foundation was also able to obtain a judgment against a cybersquatter and get the domain name www.michaelphelpsfoundation.com transferred to it earlier this year in a lawsuit successfully brought by Preti's Sports Law Group on behalf of the Foundation.