Bosh's victory returns Internet names to celebs
Think you can exploit Chris Bosh to make an easy buck?
Well, you don't know squat.
The Toronto Raptors forward won a final legal victory this week and claimed custody of approximately 800 Internet domain names that had been grabbed from athletes and celebrities.
Bosh accused a cybersquatter of wrongfully using the names of celebrities as domain names. One of the biggest stars on the list is singer Britney Spears.
The Detroit Free Press reported that seven Detroit Pistons players were among those affected. Other NBA standouts whose names were taken include Steve Nash of the Phoenix Suns, Carmelo Anthony of the Denver Nuggets, Hedo Turkoglu of the Toronto Raptors, J.J. Redick of the Orlando Magic and Eddy Curry of the New York Knicks.
Among college basketball players on the list include Devin Ebanks of West Virginia and Kemba Walker of UConn.
Bosh is offering to return the names free of charge to the appropriate stars.
Charlie Villanueva had been reduced to using CV31.com as the URL for his site because charlievillanueva.com had already been taken. Other affected Pistons include Tayshaun Prince, Kwame Brown and Chucky Atkins.
"Great job, Chris," Villanueva told the newspaper.
Cybersquatters often reserve names of promising athletes on speculation, sometimes getting the wheels moving while highly recruited football and basketball players are still in high school. Some try to charge large sums in order for the celebrity to get the name back, or the cybersquatter will actually set up a Web site that treads on the athlete's name to make money.
"Right now with people looking to make money off something, especially in tough times, you can expect one way or another people will try to use your likeness or your name, whatever it may be, in order to try to get something from it," Prince told the paper.
Bosh's lawyers used a provision of the Federal Anti-Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act to move against Luis Zavala and his company Hoopology.com, which
had registered chrisbosh.com. Bosh won a preliminary victory earlier this year.