American Girl Attempts to Shut Down AmercanGirl.com Porno Site

by Lee Gesmer on November 21, 2005

Trademark. What do you do when someone sets up a web site almost identical to yours, but you can’t find the owner of the site in order to sue them?

This was the problem faced by American Girl , which sells wholesome girls dolls, clothing and books targeted at pre-adolescent girls, when it discovered that someone was publishing pornography on www.amercangirl.com. (Note the missing letter).

American Girl sued the registrar and “John Doe” (legalese for, “I’ll name you when I identify you”) but was rebuffed by a Federal District Court Judge in Wisconsin, who held that a John Doe suit was inappropriate in these circumstances. However, this judge really did his homework, and the decision is an excellent road map on how to go about obtaining an injunction under these circumstances, including remedies such as an in rem action against Verisign under the ACPA or arbitration under the UDRP. The decision also provides an excellent summary of the domain name system and the laws that regulate it.

Read the full decision here.

p.s. Rest easy parents. www.amercangirl.com now links to the American Girl site.

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