Viacom has filed a lawsuit in California against the website Nick-Reboot.com for trademark infringement, copyright infringement, unfair competition and cybersquatting. The website is claiming fair use as a defense.
The website Nick-Reboot.com streams Nickelodeon TV shows from the 1990s and 2000s. The service is free for users willing to watch the programs in a random order; however, a subscription allows users more control over when they can watch specific shows.
Viacom owns content that airs on Nickelodeon networks and the company argues that it never allowed the website use of its copyrighted content.
Furthermore, Viacom believes that the domain name, Nick-Reboot.com, was created deliberately to direct Nickelodeon fans to the website, because of its use of the similar “Nick” word mark. Viacom alleges that this is an example of cybersquatting.
What is Cybersquatting?
Cybersquatting is sometimes known as domain squatting. It is defined as using an internet domain with the intent of profiting off a trademark that belongs to another person or company.
Recently, cybersquatting has also reached social media. People had been creating fake accounts for celebrities with the hope of selling the username. Twitter accounts of celebrities now have a “verified account” insignia to help combat cybersquatting.
Laws governing the internet are still relatively new in legal history. However, regulations regarding unfair internet business practices are in place already to help business owners.
What Federal Laws Combat Cybersquatting?
The federal law that was established to combat cybersquatters is the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA), which was enacted in 1999. This law allows a lawsuit for cybersquatting if the creator of a domain name is:
- Using the website in bad faith to profit from another person or business’s mark
- Creating a domain name that is similar or identical to a distinctive or famous mark.
A Business Litigation Attorney Can Help Defend Your Rights
Cybersquatting is a serious crime for any individual or business trying to make a living from their honest, hard work. A business litigation attorney with experience in taking on cybersquatters can increase your odds at protecting your business.
[Did You Know? The White House was involved in a cybersquatting case against Whitehouse.com and Whitehouse.org.]
Klein Trial Lawyers — Business Litigation Attorney