02 July 2008

Non-Profit Cyber Squatting Legal

Activity that would otherwise be cybersquatting is legal if carried out for the purpose of executing a parody not involving financial gain to the domain name registrant according to the United States Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit in a May 29, 2008 ruling.

The 10th Circuit also held that a mere link to a for profit blog does not constitute commercial use, and that a claim of parody is part of the analysis of the prima facie case for trademark infringement, rather than an affirmative defense that must be raised at trial to be preserved.

This continues of trend of 10th Circuit hostility to attempts to use business torts to chill free speech. The case in question involved a suit by a Mormon apologist website directed at a website that questions mainstream Mormon doctrine through parody.

Hat Tip to Eric Goldman's blog.

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