Today, when the world has literally gone digital, our presence in the virtual platform has become our identity! Your name is the connecting bond with millions of viewers in the online world. However, like real world, this virtual world too is not spared from crimes and transgression of rules. Picture this’¦ if you have a website and you happen to be a popular personality, chances are likely that an unknown hacker, with a huge appetite for making some easy money, may hijack your website and start selling lewd stuff that pulls maximum eye balls like a magnet. This new crime in this unbelievably eclectic age of cyber is termed as cyber squatting. It is unfortunate that the transgressor easily makes easy money by selling the good will of a popular person, with minimal chances of getting nabbed.
Here are some popular examples of celebrities who have faced the odds of cyber squatting, fought and resurrected their clean image in front of the world.
1. Jennifer Lopez
This American singer who stormed the world with her vivacious tracks like If You Had My Love, Get Right et al took a break from her on-going reality show American Idol, only to bring the imposter website jenniferlopez.org and its owner to books. In 2009, this media glam doll filed a law suit against Jeremiah Tieman of Arizona for illegally using the website to post indecent photos, videos and fake news about her. The case was filed with the World Intellectual Property Organization by the celebrity’s charitable trust.
2. Paris Hilton
When this blonde socialite registered for her official website parishilton.com, little did she know that she had already become the talk of the town in the online world with illegal websites operating under her name. The fraudster had been making a living, and we mean an illustrious living with an illegitimate website Paris.org in the year 2005. He had been posting personal pictures and videos of this controversial star and glued the world to his posts. Ever since the face-off, the star had been on the roll to expose the man.
This multi-million corporate venture too faced the flak of the crime committed by a Canadian teenager named Mike Rowe. This techy wizard was running a duplicate website to Microsoft.com, by the name MikeRoweSoft.com. “Since my name is Mike Rowe, I thought it would be funny to add ‘soft’ to the end of it’, were the words in justification of his crime, when he was caught red-handed by the giant company. He was prosecuted with desist and cease order by WIPO.
Way back in 2007 this huge Unites Sates headquartered, computer technology company, filed a case against spurious online ventures- CapitolDomains, BelgiumDomains and DomainDoorman for cyber squatting. These online companies had professed in the sale and purchase of web site domains using unacceptable norms. These fake entities had earned huge bucks from their illegal endeavors. They were finally banned and ceased by the unrelenting efforts of Dell.
This international online venture, vouching more humanely treatment of animals, is better known by its tag line, ‘Turn your back towards fur’. The company head was in furor over a fake website, operating under its domain name, PETA.org. The site owner played evil on the good will of the company with its outrageous tag line, ‘People Eating Tasty Animals’, and linked the tag with websites putting animal meat on sale. The owner of the spurious website was indicted for tagline infringement and cyber squatting.
Madonna, the queen of pop and one of the most searched artistes on World Wide Web, got on roll ever since she discovered an unregistered website Madonna.com, posting her objectionable images. World Intellectual Property Organization recently nailed New York based Dan Parisi for operating the website for the intent of selling adult content related to the star on web. Even though her videos are rather overtly doting, she believed that the porn star image promoted by the website was rather marring her artistic reputation in the world.
7. Career Agents Network
This international recruitment firm got a blow when it learned about a spurious site, created intentionally to sabotage the image of the firm world-over. Any online viewer with a prospect of reaching the website to learn about his recruitment options, mistakenly substituted .com with .biz was taken to the dummy site which promoted offensive messages against the actual website. The fake website was created by a dissatisfied customer of CAN and wanted to spread hatred against the company owners.
8. Spike Lee
Lee, a sought-after American film producer, actor and writer had never imagined that his venture to promote his movies online would take such a notorious turn. WIPO, in the year 2004, indicted a fraudster who was running a deceptive website by the producer’s domain name to direct his fans to some obnoxious porn site. The producer got respite when the criminal was caught and prosecuted by WIPO.
9. Donald Trump
Donald, America’s business mogul, an established investor and a coveted media personality fought and won a lawsuit against J. Taikwok Yung, accused of illegally procuring his official website to carry-forward offensive endeavors. Donald also sought a remuneration of $ 400,000 as a compensation amount against the damages done to his clean image in the online world.
Finally, this rapper and the winner of Grammy Awards, faced the brunt of cyber squatting with a fake website running under his name, eminemmobile.com. The website owner was clearly exploiting the name of the popular singer to sell his products, essentially ring tones, mobiles and mobile accessories to his fans across the world. The case was registered with WIPO, which after meticulous investigations declared that the star’s title had been misused for profit motive by the executer.
These were examples of ten most famous cyber squatting cases that have come under the media’s glare. The perpetrator, in all the above cases, was brought to legal books for playing nasty games at the expense of popular celebrities.