Ronald Butters ronbutters at AOL.COM
Thu Nov 4 16:42:34 UTC 2010

As I hope I made clear, I am not a legal expert when it comes to domain name rights.  I do know that there are laws involving what is technically known as "cybersquatting." I have seen cases in which someone did something like register the trademark CROMULENT (lets say, for some kind of nose-hair clipper) and then register the domain name <>. In such cases, there seems to sometimes be a way of bumping you off of <> if it appears you are not actively using it (or worse, using it to direct people who are looking for CROMULENT nose-hair clippers to your web site for a cream that removes nose hair by dissolving it). I know for instance  that Mike Rowe got a cease-and-desist letter from Microsoft when he opened a web site called <MIKEROWESFT>COM>. He gave in quite quickly (I think they paid him off).

so, granted that I'm no lawyer, and I don't know how far someone can go to wrest control of the domain name that you have paid for, but I do know that it is sometimes possible. 

And aside from my suggestion that  paying for a domain name is not an iron-clad guarantee that you might not (at least in theory) be forced to abandon it, the thrust of my posting was (as I know Steve knows) that no one can own individual words (except for the limited property rights bestowed by trademark use). And of course that I'm not at all sure that the word belongs in the OED et al.

I was On Nov 4, 2010, at 11:40 AM, Steve Kl. wrote:

> Of course I can. I've paid for the domain. I *do* have content there, just
> nothing much at the moment. It's not like I'm parked on it. I moved off
> Peter's material and at some point I'll put up stuff of my own.
> On Thu, Nov 4, 2010 at 11:29 AM, Ronald Butters <ronbutters at> wrote:
>> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
>> -----------------------
>> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>> Poster:       Ronald Butters <ronbutters at AOL.COM>
>> Subject:      Re: cromulent
>> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>> You can't keep rights to a website if you don't use it, isn't that =
>> right?

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