Master of his domain

Cosby wins cybersquatting dispute

Bill Cosby has won control of an internet domain name from a cybersquatter who was directing traffic to a porn site.

He successfully claimed that infringed his intellectual rights to the Fat Albert cartoon character he created in the Sixties.

The comedian had complained to the World Intellectual Property Organization that the name was being used to divert internet traffic to a commercial search engine and a website selling sexually explicit products.

Arbitrators ruled in his favour, and demanded the domain be handed over to Cosby.

The name had been registered by Sterling Davenport of Tennessee – whose website boasts that he has more than 800 domains for sale, many related to breast and penis enhancement and sex drugs.

However no longer diverts users to explicit sites, instead carrying only a news story from a year ago headlined:  ‘Bear ransacks kitchen, steals chocolate.’

Cosby created the Fat Albert character as part of his stand-up  routine about his childhood before it became an animated TV series  in 1972. A live action Fat Albert movie was released in the States last year.

Arbitrator John Kidd said he had no response from Davenport, but ruled that "the respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the domain name."

Kidd also concluded that the domain name was "identical or confusingly similar to the complainant's Fat Albert marks" and “that on its own is sufficient to constitute bad faith registration and use”.


Published: 12 Sep 2005

We see you are using AdBlocker software. Chortle relies on advertisers to fund this website so it’s free for you, so we would ask that you disable it for this site. Our ads are non-intrusive and relevant. Help keep Chortle viable.