As if her dress that she wore to the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards spoiling because of a lack of refrigeration wasn’t enough, Lady Gaga is having to deal with unruly fans stealing the goodwill of her trademark. Recently, a three panel committee of the National Arbitration Forum decided that the fan was not unruly enough to constitute the shutdown of www.ladygaga.org.
According to the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy of ICANN, if a domain name dispute arises, a complaint must meet three elements:
(i) the domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the complainant has rights; and
(ii) the domain name Registrar has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name; and
(iii) the domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
By looking at the first two elements, Lady Gaga has a legitimate complaint against the domain name holder. There is always a kicker though. To cap her complaint, the Gaga had to show that the domain was registered in bad faith. This element, she did not prove.
In the panel’s opinion, they found that the owner of ladygaga.org is providing the star with free publicity, the domain was registered in 2008, shortly before her release of her first single “The Fame”, and the domain’s owner also doesn’t use the site for profitable reasons. Ergo, no bad faith was found.
With all that, the panel decided against the bouffant singer and has allowed the super fan to keep the site. Cheers.