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Celebrity cybersquatting to feature in Super Bowl commercial [video]

Kevin Murphy, January 25, 2017, 17:05:55 (UTC), Domain Registrars

Actor turned fashion designer John Malkovich is to feature in a Super Bowl commercial themed on cybersquatting.

The ad, for web host Squarespace, sees Malkovich complaining about the domain johnmalkovich.com belonging to some other guy by the same name.

In a roundabout way, this is also a commercial for Tucows, the newly-crowned second-largest domain registrar, which Squarespace acts as a reseller for.

Here’s the ad:

In reality, Malkovich owns the the .com of his full name. He sells clothes there.

However, he’s reportedly currently suing the owner of malkovich.com in France.

Clarification: a reader has asked me to clarify that using a domain in good faith isn’t strictly “cybersquatting”. Every DI reader already knows this, but apparently unless you spell it out every single time you risk incurring the anger of cretins.

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Comments (18)

  1. MM says:

    I hope they didn’t pay to produce this one. Ouch.

  2. James says:

    “I know where you live. You will find me in your yard.”

    Sounds like an ad for WHOIS privacy.

  3. Adrian Kinderis says:

    It always pains me to see domain names promoted in a negative way (i.e. get one before someone else does). I prefer to see advertising that highlights the possibilities and opportunities. Why couldn’t this advertisement been pitched as “Well he has that .com name I have a thousand other options to choose like johnmalkovich.fashion”. This is antiquated old fashioned domain name marketing and a blight on the industry.

  4. Robert says:

    If another person with the same name uses the domain name for personal use, it’s not cybersquatting you ignorant moron. See: Nissan.com.

    • Kevin Murphy says:

      Nissan.com was a commercial site, not a personal site.

      • Robert says:

        The example in the commercial is a guy who used it for personal use. That is not cybersquatting. Oh, and Nissan is the domain owner’s personal last name which enables him to also use it as a commercial site and not be deemed a cybersquatter. Educate yourself.

        • Kevin Murphy says:

          I don’t think ACPA applies to fictional cases Robert, but thanks anyway.

          • Robert says:

            We’re not talking about a decision being decided over a fictional case. We’re talking about a commercial based on this scenario. This scenario would not be deemed cybersquatting. You clearly do not understand the difference.

            For someone who claims to be a “journalist and analyst with 16 years of experience covering the domain name industry”, you must use the terms “journalist” and “analyst” loosely.

            • Kevin Murphy says:

              I understand perfectly what is and isn’t cybersquatting, thanks.

              If you would like to point out an error or request a correction, you’re welcome to do so.

              Try to avoid using the term “ignorant moron” though. It’s in violation of the DI comments policy (which you seem to have already read and ignored) and not very polite.

  5. Robert says:

    You’ve covered the domain name industry for 16 years and do not see the error in your own headline? If you did understand perfectly what cybersquatting is and what it isn’t, you would not have used the term the way you did in the article.

    The “ignorant moron” reference was on point. Labeling the scenario as cybersquatting was “ignorant” and since you claim to understand what cybersquatting is and still chose to use the term makes you a “moron”.

    I see you will use the “policy” to hide from the facts, but it doesn’t change anything.

    You’re not a journalist or an analyst, you’re a blogger. Good luck with it!

    • Kevin Murphy says:

      John Malkovich is suing the owner of malkovich.com for cybersquatting.

      The ad is a reference to that.

      If you misunderstood my meaning, that’s certainly unfortunate. Perhaps I could have been more clear.

      I will note that headlines are meant to be read in conjunction with the article itself — even when they’re written by overweight, middle-aged, neck-bearded, 40-year-old virgin bloggers who live in their mom’s basement.

      I will also note that, because you were a first-time commenter, I had to read your original, basically anonymous comment calling me an “ignorant moron” and then consciously click a button to approve it. I did that, even though I suspected your subsequent, pre-approved comments could be equally abusive.

      Am I not a nice guy? I gave you freedom of speech to talk shit about me on my own web site 🙂

      • Robert says:

        Actually, the fictional case, as you refer to it, does not indicate that he’s suing him for cybersquatting. He’s wondering why someone already has the domain name. Not a cybersquatter, a person with the same name uses it for his personal website. He specifically says, “John Malcovich hung up.”

        While a person in his position could in this litigious world, he’d lose (again, see Nissan.com).

        You “gave me freedom of speech”? How kind of you lol! I did nothing other than call you out on your inaccurate headline. It comes down to this. Not being aware of genuine cybersquatting implies ignorance. Being aware of genuine cybersquatting, but still using the term incorrectly is a perfect example of “fake news”.

        You can dance around it, but the fact remains, you misused a term, were called out on it, but have too much pride to own it.

        Don’t pat yourself on the back too much. I’m sure my comments will miraculously disappear, which will only reinforce my observation.

        • Kevin Murphy says:

          Are you ready to own your comments “Robert”?

          What’s your real name?

          Is it Robert? What’s your last name?

          Are you willing to call me an “ignorant moron” to my face?

          Are you willing to call me an “ignorant moron” using your real name?

          • Robert says:

            Dodge and deflect. I expected that, but what took so long? Would I say it to your face? ABSOLUTELY! Sounds like I hit a nerve 🙂 Real name? Yes. Last name, Campbell.

            Now, where were we? Ah, care to enlighten me with how the Super Bowl commercial is themed on cybersquatting? It clearly shows that another person with the same name already owns the domain and is using it for personal use which is the obvious scenario of fair use.

            Don’t stress yourself, I know you will be unable to explain how it is themed on cybersquatting because you can’t make an apple an orange, although I’m sure you will try.

            • Kevin Murphy says:

              Mate, I already explained what I wrote.

              I don’t know what more you need.

              If you need me to correct a specific thing, please tell me what specific thing you need me to correct.

              Otherwise, please just go away.

  6. Robert says:

    If that’s your explanation…wow. I already informed you that the title of your article is inaccurate because the commercial is not themed on cybersquatting, period.

    If you still don’t see the error in your writing, you never will. You simply have too much pride to admit the false narrative or you have a specific agenda to label good faith domain owners as cybersquatters.

    If you don’t like honest criticism, remove the comments feature. This way, you won’t have to beg readers to go away when they challenge you.

  7. Robert says:

    “Clarification: a reader has asked me to clarify that using a domain in good faith isn’t strictly “cybersquatting”. Every DI reader already knows this, but apparently unless you spell it out every single time you risk incurring the anger of cretins.”

    LOL You’re oblivious! Your readers may know what it means, but you don’t. Your clickbait, I mean “headline” says it all, “Celebrity cybersquatting to feature in Super Bowl commercial”.

    Still waiting to see the cybersquatting commercial you are referring to.

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