For years and years I have been preaching to adult webmasters to be careful about doing things like using trademarked words in their names and websites such as porn stars who call themselves <something> Barbie or calling their site the Facebook of Porn or the MySpace of Porn, or sites like Booble playing off of the Google trademark.
Well much to nobody’s surprise Facebook has started a series of lawsuits for sites trying to infringe off of their trademark.
AVN.com ran a story day about Faceporn. Read the story carefully because if you are trying to profit off of someone else’s clearly established trademark, it will eventually come back and bite you in the butt. Not only does Facebook want this guys domain name but also any and all money he ever made from running the site. That guy is so screwed and all because he didn’t think.
So before you go out and do anything, think carefully about each and every action you take. Do you own that photo you are about to post? Are you picking a name someone else may be using or have previously used? Is a word in your name trademarked by some mega fortune 100 company? Are you using someone else’s name, site, logo or content to promote your site in any way shape or form? If you can answer yes to any of these then it is just a matter of time before you too will face legal troubles.
AVN STORY—So much for riding on the fortunes of face. Faceporn, an X-rated social network, has been sued by Facebook for blatantly copying “the Facebook logo, site and Wall trademark.” The site is currently offline even though the case is ongoing.
The lawsuit, Facebook v. Pederson, was filed Oct. 15 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. According to court documents the parties are scheduled to appear Jan. 21, 2011, in a San Francisco courtroom for a case management hearing.
Facebook wants the court to order Faceporn owner Thomas Pederson to relinquish the domain and all revenue derived from it.
“We don’t believe Faceporn should be able to trade on our name and dilute and tarnish our brand while doing so,” spokesman Simon Axten told Computerworld Friday. “Where there is brand tarnishment, dilution, or confusion as there is with Faceporn and Facebook, we must enforce our rights to protect the integrity of our trademark.”
This is hardly new litigation territory for Facebook. According to the Computerworld article, “In August, the company sued a startup called TeachBook, claiming that its use of the word ‘book’ violated Facebook’s trademark. Teachbook doesn’t look much like Facebook, but it does give teachers a way to network online.”
The site may be down, but Faceporn vows to return. A message on a landing page reads, “Due to unforeseen circumstances, faceporn is down until further notice. We are doing our best to come back better than ever. We’re currently working to launch a completely new version of the site, and it will be the best porn site the world has ever seen.”
They probably shouldn’t rename it Bookporn, though.