Dot Extension Dotty

26 03 2014

Fresh from the Facebook, it’s time for an episode of “What?!?”

Here’s the post:

So I get this e-mail from that some company in China wants to register my name – (Insert well known and respected artist here) – as their domain name. They want to buy up all the extensions I don’t have. . . this is weird. . . any suggestions?

Well, the responses were almost all variations on the theme:

“Call an attorney . . . must protect your name . . . it’s your brand . . .”

Just what I’d expect – and WRONG. Boys and girls, there are a number of problems with this approach. Let’s dispense with the obvious ones, first:

  1. Copyright, trademark, and patent lawyers are a very specialized bunch, because intellectual property law is an extraordinarily complex body of laws; which means they are EXPENSIVE. Unless you’re Coca Cola or Nike, the retainer might be a problem . . .
  2. Even if you are Coca Cola or Nike, you can’t keep (insert nefarious evil-doer here) from stealing your stuff. Seriously, ask Spielberg or Hermes or Rolex, if you don’t believe me. They can’t stop pirates – do you think you’d fare better?
  3. If some company offers to “protect” your domain name by selling you all the available extensions, tell them to bill it to the Nigerian  prince, who handles all your finances . . .

Now, let’s get to the important issue.

One of the things we seem to forget, in the internet age, is that we are more than domain names and avatars. Regardless of what organization might call itself, there is only one of you and that’s not for sale. No patent or copyright necessary – you’re unique.

Yes, artists, you are your brand. Okay, let’s read that again: YOU – not your name – are your brand. Your clients, customers, students, and collectors value your work because it is something of YOU. Yes, it’s frustrating to think that someone might unfairly use your great name to their advantage; but imagine how frustrating it must be to be the pretender, not able to pull of the genuine article, to be the cheap knock-off.

That old Charles Caleb quote, “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery”, is true. Take it as a compliment, dive happily back into your life, and keep being the Original YOU.



3 responses

27 03 2014


Sent from my iPad


19 07 2014
Aftermarket domain name

A fascinating discussion is definitely worth comment.
I do think that you need to write more on this issue, it might not be a taboo matter but
generally people don’t speak about such subjects.
To the next! Many thanks!!

19 07 2014

Thanks for the comment. If you don’t follow her, artist Gwenn Seemel has some brilliant and thought-provoking ideas about this topic. Here’s where to find her.

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