Why Celebrities Are Buying Their Own Porn Websites
Nasir Pasha & Matt Staub

Why Celebrities Are Buying Their Own Porn Websites [e172]

Nasir and Matt end their week together in San Diego by discussing Taylor Swift and other celebrities purchasing their own top level domains related to porn.  Also, check out the new pizza site for Pasha Law!

Transcript:

NASIR: All right. Welcome to our podcast where we cover business in the news and add our legal twist. My name is Nasir Pasha.
MATT: And I’m Matt Staub.
NASIR: Recording live in San Diego, California.
MATT: Still here. You’re still here.
NASIR: We’re all still here. Perfect. So, we had to cover this next topic because Matt was searching Taylor Swift in porn and it just came up. Since you were looking at it, why won’t you tell us what we’re covering today?
MATT: Well, it’s only funny because I’m using the communal iPad at the university club so whoever gets this next, this search is going to be hilarious. But it’s not just that, there’s that, dot-porn, dot-xxx. I like the one that’s dot-sucks because you can actually have some fun with that one with competitors. It’s these – I always forget the name of these – specialized domain?
NASIR: They’re called TLDs – top level domains.
MATT: Top level domains, that’s what it is.
NASIR: Yeah. Yeah, speaking of pashalaw.pizza.
MATT: Still can’t believe that’s an actual thing. It’s hilarious.
NASIR: Well, remember I said, it was last year we found out that dot-pizza was coming out and I think was – I don’t know, I don’t remember the date it actually came out – February of this year or something like that and I almost forgot about it and I was worried that someone was going to take it, but I was okay. But, in June first, there’s all these other ones coming out, right?
MATT: Yeah, and I don’t have the full list of ones that are coming out but the ones that people are having problems with are the ones we mentioned that were, you know, not putting these individuals in the best light, I guess. The dot-sucks one I think is kind of funny. People could have some fun with that.
NASIR: Yeah, it seems like all the bad ones or all the negative ones are coming out on the first of June. I wonder why they did it together like that – sucks, porn, and adult.
MATT: So, how does that work? I mean, is it just hit a certain time and then it’s open? Like, first come, first served?
NASIR: On June first, it’s starting but – I don’t know – it’s basically there’s this nonprofit organization called the ICANN – Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers – and there’s a whole history of ICANN and how the internet started. That’s kind of geeky and you can look it up. But, now, when it comes to these top level domains, some of the organizations that are associated with this are giving… the registration office is giving these celebrities an early bite at the apple. I’m not sure what their basis and reasoning is. Well, I understand the reasoning is because, like, for example, the dot-sucks domain for Taylor Swift is still available and the reason it’s available is because it’s operated by another company and it costs up to $2,500 to buy this out. Right now, they’re selling at a premium. Even dot-pizza I think was not a regular cost. It was like $50.00 for a year or something like that and I paid for probably 90 years.
MATT: Money well-spent for 90 years. Yeah, so it’s interesting that – and my internet’s not cooperating but I believe – Taylor Swift bought some of these websites.
NASIR: So, she bought dot-porn, dot-adult, and probably others, I’m sure.
MATT: Dot-pizza.
NASIR: And dot-pizza.
MATT: We should buyer taylorswift.pizza.
NASIR: We’ve got to buy it before this episode comes out.
MATT: This reminds me of when – it was a thing on ESPN, actually, or SportsCenter – when the internet started really becoming popular and some of – for whatever reason – I remember Warren Sapp who’s recently been in the news for not great things. At the time, he was playing…
NASIR: I have no idea what you’re talking about.
MATT: Well, you can look it up.
NASIR: Is it porn-related?
MATT: No. He tried to buy warrensapp.com.
NASIR: He plead not guilty, by the way.
MATT: Well, of course. Warrensapp.com and it was already taken so he went with, like, warrensapp99 – which is his number – dot-com. I don’t know why I remember this specific story but this reminds me of this. That was obviously the first thing and this is, you know, these top level domains, it’s the next step you would think, but we also have someone like Ted Cruz who is going to apparently run for president – or at least try to at least become the Republican nominee.
NASIR: Yeah.
MATT: The problem is he doesn’t own tedcruz.com. He owns…
NASIR: It’s dot-org.
MATT: Dot-org is his official site.
NASIR: You know, if you’re going to choose a domain, I would rather have, like, tedcruz2016 or whatever.
MATT: Yeah, just put tedcruz and the year, doesn’t that make the most sense?
NASIR: Yeah, dot-com.
MATT: Wasn’t Obama’s like that?
NASIR: Yeah. I mean, he probably has obama.com. I don’t know. Let’s see. And he does.
MATT: I would think, once you become president, you can probably get any domain you want.
NASIR: Yeah, you just send a missile otherwise. If that happens, there is legal recourse to a certain extent. There’s something called cybersquatting, okay? You could pursue this in a court of law but also you can actually go through ICANN, they have a dispute resolution program there. Basically, if you can show that the person that is using a domain name of your business or your name or whatever, registered it and is using it and trafficking it using bad faith to profit on the good will of your trademark or the name belonging to somebody else, okay? Then you can not only get the domain name, get some damages possibly, but also get the domain name actually transferred back to you.
MATT: Yeah.
NASIR: It’s a hard thing to do, by the way. It’s not easy.
MATT: I would think that, when you were saying that, I mean, that seems like a difficult process.
NASIR: Yeah, because, for example, the tedcruz.com, I mean, if you go to it, they probably spent as much time as they did on pashalaw.pizza.
MATT: I would say less time, probably.
NASIR: You would say less time, right? Yeah, looks like it’s powered by Website Builder. This is probably not the best endorsement of Website Builder but it’s just text that says, “SUPPORT PRESIDENT OBAMA IMMIGRATION REFORM NOW!!!” and exclamation points and in capital letters. The point is that there’s nothing infringing on any trademark here. In fact, this is a clear expression of freedom of speech and, if anything, they could make a satirical page and it’d be fine, you know?
MATT: The person that actually owns this is an attorney in Arizona whose name is Ted Cruz.
NASIR: Oh, is that right?
MATT: Yeah.
NASIR: Oh, okay. So, even better – more the reason.
MATT: Yeah.
NASIR: And I mentioned satire because that’s one of the exceptions of trademark infringement, right? It’s like fair use.
MATT: Have you ever wondered how South Park can make episodes?
NASIR: Yeah, there you go, good example. The same thing with Taylor Swift, someone could easily put a taylorswift.porn or whatever and use it in a way that skirts the law, so to speak. And so, it’s just easier and less expensive for her just to grab the domain names and that’s why I’m grabbing pashalaw.porn, for sure, just in case.
MATT: Just in case.
NASIR: I don’t want to be a victim either.
MATT: Yeah. You’ve actually got every single top level domain that’s been out for some reason.
NASIR: I’m just so excited about all of them that are coming out. I got dot-green, dot-love.
MATT: You didn’t even got the dot-law one which I thought was weird.
NASIR: Is there a dot-law one? Oh.
MATT: There’s probably some sort of…
NASIR: I knew there was a dot-law one – pashalaw.law? That seems really weird.
MATT: Yeah, I guess that’s kind of weird.
NASIR: Yeah, I should get that, too. All right, next week, remind me. Okay. It looks like it’s coming in Quarter 2 2015 so it’s not out yet. In fact, that’s the only reason I didn’t get it.
MATT: Do you think these are going to catch on?
NASIR: I think so, actually. We went to the March Mingle last night in San Diego which was pretty cool.
MATT: Well, over a week ago now.
NASIR: Over a week ago, yeah, it’s a little old but March Mingle in San Diego, organized by our good pal, Phelan.
MATT: Friend of the podcast.
NASIR: Yeah, I think he was a guest too, right? I should probably be fair. He’s probably a co-organizer in case there’s other organizers, too. But I think he’s definitely a big part of it. I was just looking around at a lot of tech companies and, you know, a lot of them don’t use dot-coms. I mean, I’ve seen dot-io. What was the one that we saw that one night? I talked to him, too.
MATT: Well, we have clients that are not dot-coms.
NASIR: Well, that’s true, yeah. And so, I think it’ll catch on. I mean, obviously, dot-coms, I mean, in ten years even, it’s going to be just nonexistent anymore. It’s just going to be taken up. There’s only so much that you can be unique, you know, as far as the name goes.
MATT: And dot-coms are going to be, like, VHS tapes.
NASIR: But I think there’s truth to that
MATT: It’s possible.
NASIR: I really do because, for me, you know, I should get pasha.law, right? I mean, it makes more sense than to get…
MATT: Well, that’s the thing. I mean, if you look at it that way, you know, what’s the difference between pashalaw.com and pasha.law?
NASIR: Yeah. In fact, it’s shorter.
MATT: Yeah, if anything, it’s possibly even better.
NASIR: It’s even better.
MATT: Well, that’s the thing. I believe – I don’t know if this is true…
NASIR: By the way, I have a feeling I’m going to be filing a cybersquatting lawsuit after this episode coming out.
MATT: I believe this is true from what I’ve heard. You have a Gmail? Yeah, you have a Gmail address.
NASIR: I do.
MATT: Some people put the dot-s in there. Apparently, those don’t mean anything.
NASIR: No, yeah, they’re meaningless.
MATT: Yeah, I guess it separates a name but you can type in whatever name.
NASIR: I think you could even add, I don’t know if Gmail still does this but you can actually add a plus symbol after your username and put anything and it’ll still go to your email but you can use it as different tags and stuff. I don’t know. Anyway, again, that’s another geeky thing. but what’s interesting about this Taylor Swift thing and not only trademark infringement but also the use of likeness of a name or person, especially a celebrity, this is usually a state law and, if, for example, we took Taylor Swift photos and put it on another website – you know, one of these top level domain – she would also have other recourse in that in filing a lawsuit for the misappropriation of her likeness and violation of the right of publicity and, you know, different states call it different things, especially if it’s used in the commercial purposes and you actually make money off of it, then the courts allow some recourse to that.
MATT: I’m actually looking at these top level domains right now and a lot of them don’t have any restrictions on it. But the one for dot-porn says for sites providing sexually explicit content such as pornography.
NASIR: Oh, it’s limited. Yeah.
MATT: Maybe there is a requirement.
NASIR: ICANN is free to do that. For example, obviously, dot-gov is highly restricted, dot-edu, dot-org I think used to be?
MATT: Like, dot-biz is one and I’m just looking through, like, dot-green.
NASIR: Unrestricted, right?
MATT: No, dot-green says there’s restrictions on it.
NASIR: Oh, really?
MATT: Oh, dot-esq, restricted to verified lawyers and attorneys.
NASIR: Interesting! I wonder when that’s coming out. I wouldn’t want esq. I want law. What do you think?
MATT: Yeah, I feel like…
NASIR: Not everyone knows what esq is. It’s kind of old.
MATT: Not everyone knows and then, also, it’s a little bit…
NASIR: Pretentious?
MATT: Yeah.
NASIR: Yeah. Actually, now that you said it’s pretentious, I kind of want that now.
MATT: Is there even a dot-law? There’s dot-lawyer.
NASIR: No, there’s a dot-law coming out in the second quarter of this year.
MATT: Dot-pasha?
NASIR: Dot-pasha, that’d be nice.
MATT: Not yet. Dot-organic, registrants must be verified as a member of the organic community.
NASIR: Honestly, I really like the idea of having these more top level domain names. It’s a long time coming, actually.
MATT: Why even have extensions? It should just be a word – no W’s, no dots.
NASIR: That’s true.
MATT: So, you just type in “pashalaw” and it takes you to this site.
NASIR: Now, that’s fair.
MATT: I guess then you’d run into issues with…
NASIR: Oh, yeah, it’d be actually less…
MATT: It’d be like, pashalaw1123.
NASIR: Well, yeah, there would be even less of choices than there is now. At least now, you know, you kind of categorize it and I think it’s a great idea so I’m supportive of it. I’m not against it.
MATT: Oh, yeah, I don’t have a problem with it. I’m just curious.
NASIR: No, well, tell everyone what your problem is.
MATT: Just curious whether it’s going to…
NASIR: Going to catch on?
MATT: Yeah.
NASIR: No, I think it will. But these old laws are still going to come up – the cybersquatting issue and, you know, trademark infringement because already dot-net is already experienced these issues already, dot-org, et cetera. By the way, it’s not just exact domains because I remember it was very common early internet was, for example, instead of yahoo.com, it would be like tahoo.com, you know, with the Y and T next to each other on the keyboard. Even that actually is not permitted, too, again, if they’re able to show bad faith.
MATT: Isn’t that the… Someone told me – this is just the second time I’ve told something I haven’t verified dealing with Google but – there’s a woman that owns Gail.com which apparently gets a ton of traffic because people are trying to type Gmail and her name’s Gail and I think Google’s even tried to buy it off of her and she’s just like, “No, I like this site.”
NASIR: Yeah, and I looked it up, it’s called typosquatting, also called URL jacking or hijacking or fake URL is a form of cybersquatting. I remember, again, early internet, one of my friends that used to work for Yahoo, I don’t know if it was him or somebody else that owned a similar domain name and they just put up some ads and, you know, they made some money off of it. I think it was at a time where it was, you know, still – again, early internet, not a lot of enforcement on that area.
MATT: Yeah, if you go to Gail.com, it’s just a…
NASIR: It’s Gail, right?
MATT: Yeah, just an FAQ page.
NASIR: Join.
MATT: Basically her saying, “I don’t want to sell this or put advertising on.”
NASIR: All personal web content is hidden on back pages to conserve bandwidth. Interested in selling Gail.com? Sorry, no. Sorry, I feel like I’m just reading… read the whole web page for the podcast.
MATT: So, what’s our takeaway?
NASIR: Takeaway is I think it’s going to become important as this catches on to register your domain names that you want in your industry. Like, for us, I mean, honestly, there are other attorneys that have the name Pasha that I have to consider. I have to catch that pasha.law, you know?
MATT: The thing is you can always have it forward to you site, too – like, the main site, too.
NASIR: Yeah. You just register the domain name or you can create a pizza site like I did.
MATT: Still funny.
NASIR: Yeah. All right. I think that’s it. Well, thanks for joining us and don’t forget to leave a review on iTunes and wish me farewell on my trip back to Houston, Texas.
MATT: By this time, you’ll already have been back for the week, basically.
NASIR: Ah, that’s true. All right. Thanks for joining us.
MATT: Yeah, keep it sound and keep it smart.

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