Lady Gaga Tries To Seize Fan Domain... But Fails

from the you-don't-get-everything dept

While we've noted that Lady Gaga seems to be really on top of things when it comes to copyright issues on her music, in other areas of her operations, she's pretty aggressive in pushing intellectual property claims. We've noted, for example, her attempts to aggressively use trademark claims to stop "Baby Gaga" ice cream and copyright claims to control her image by photographers. As we noted, to Lady Gaga, intellectual property seems to have nothing to do with her music, but everything to do with her image.

It's too bad she recognizes the benefits of being open in one aspect of her business, but not in other areas. Of course, the constant overreaches aren't always successful. Take, for example, her recent attempt to gain control over a fan site at LadyGaga.org. Rather than embrace the fan site and be happy for the support, Gaga and/or her management, went to the National Arbitration Forum and argued that this fan had registered the domain in bad faith:
The owner of the site then responded that it was merely a non-commercial, unofficial fan site for Gaga that "does not have any sponsored links or links to third-party websites which market and sell merchandise bearing Complainant’s trademark.”

The owner added that her fan site supported Gaga's fame and was giving the singer free publicity. In other words, the site owner (identified as "Miranda") loves Lady Gaga so much that she's willing to erect a digital shrine to her, and lawyers shouldn't interfere.
Of course, it's quite a fan who's willing to still erect a digital shrine to an artist who goes legal to try to seize their domain. However, the NAF wasted little time in siding with the woman who owned the domain and against Lady Gaga. The ruling made clear that such a fan site is a perfectly legitimate purpose for the domain name.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Ninja (profile), Sep 28th, 2011 @ 10:19am

    Well, here's a good example of what not to do with your fans.

    I'm not really sure if it's her or her manager(s) that go that aggressive. I'm inclined to believe Gaga herself wouldn't be that stupid. Stupidity concerning real life aspects usually come from lawyers and managers out of touch with reality.

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 28th, 2011 @ 10:20am

    Lady Gaga fans have more balls than I thought.
    Maybe they are the ones that will start changing copyright laws.

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 28th, 2011 @ 10:39am

    Not all her fault

    Blame trademark law for things like the Baby Gaga ice cream issue. She has no choice but to put up a fight over that kind of stuff. Otherwise her brand could become essentially community property.

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 28th, 2011 @ 10:45am

    Re: Not all her fault

    "Blame trademark law for the problems caused by trademark law"

    Thank you captain obvious.

     

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  5.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 28th, 2011 @ 10:48am

    I'm sure Lady Gaga will release a song about this whole ordeal and come up with a new outfit and everything for the video.

     

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  6.  
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    Glen, Sep 28th, 2011 @ 10:53am

    I wonder now...

    if after having to waste time and possible fees to lawyers, this fan just takes down the site. I would.

     

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  7.  
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    out_of_the_blue, Sep 28th, 2011 @ 10:55am

    "Lady Gaga" sells occult sex goddess schtick.

    Not music. It's the image that brings in cash, not the canned performances. Hence the focus on controlling "secondary" markets.

    Pretty much doing as you advise, and this proves that your notions don't necessarily lead to dropping copyright, just to ignoring music.

     

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  8.  
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    DCX2, Sep 28th, 2011 @ 11:00am

    Re: Not all her fault

    Unless Lady Gaga is selling ice cream, there never was a trademark issue. Saying that she had no choice but to defend her music brand from an ice cream seller is a red herring.

     

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  9.  
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    Ninja (profile), Sep 28th, 2011 @ 11:01am

    Re: Not all her fault

    Except that I can't see how one would confuse Lady Gaga with Baby Gaga ice creams....

     

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  10.  
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    MrWilson, Sep 28th, 2011 @ 11:02am

    Re:

    Yeah, it might be like the Weird Al parody issue where the manager made a decision without Gaga's notice.

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20110421/10431413988/weird-al-denied-permission-to-parod y-lady-gaga-releases-new-song-free-anyway.shtml

     

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  11.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 28th, 2011 @ 11:05am

    "The Complainant cannot have fame without fans and fans cannot have fan sites without referring to the objects of their adoration."

    I thought common sense had no place in trademark disputes.

     

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  12.  
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    Ninja (profile), Sep 28th, 2011 @ 11:15am

    Re: "Lady Gaga" sells occult sex goddess schtick.

    Let us assume the premise that I am a fan. In this hypothetical scenario, I'm sure I'd throw my money at her if she never made any songs, just because she's some pretty face with weird clothes.

    But then again, I might pay her depending on my intents and her "profession" (again, please assume that I actually think she's hot and pretty for this to work).

     

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  13.  
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    Ninja (profile), Sep 28th, 2011 @ 11:22am

    Re: Re:

    Now I'm not merely inclined. She needs to pull her staff back under control heh.

     

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  14.  
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    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Sep 28th, 2011 @ 11:51am

    Re: "Lady Gaga" sells occult sex goddess schtick.

    She is not doing as Techdirt advised. What Techdirt encourages is embracing fans and what they do with your work, not suing them.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
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    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Sep 28th, 2011 @ 11:54am

    Re: Not all her fault

    All I can think of is:

    "All we hear is Radio ga ga
    Radio blah blah
    Radio what's new?
    Radio, someone still loves you!" - Queen 1984.

     

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  16.  
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    Chris Rhodes (profile), Sep 28th, 2011 @ 11:54am

    Re:

    Lady Gaga fans have more balls than I thought.
    Lady Gaga might too . . .

     

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  17.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 28th, 2011 @ 12:18pm

    The question is if there were comercial intents would they have decided differently? I feel that the fact that you make or do not make money from said site shouldn't matter in this case.

     

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  18.  
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    PaulT (profile), Sep 28th, 2011 @ 12:21pm

    Re: Re: Not all her fault

    Indeed... if Lady needs to sue Baby over something that sounds similar, there's prior examples...

    That's not to say that the Baby thing wasn't clearly making a reference, of course, but there's a big difference between that and infringement.

     

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  19.  
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    PaulT (profile), Sep 28th, 2011 @ 12:23pm

    Re: "Lady Gaga" sells occult sex goddess schtick.

    There's a big difference between capitalising on secondary/non-infinite markets and attacking your own fans. But, you knew that...

     

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  20.  
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    New Mexico Mark, Sep 28th, 2011 @ 12:29pm

    Re:

    No... from now on they have to refer to her only as the "Alleged Lady Gaga", and leave it to others to decide which part is alleged.

     

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  21.  
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    Rick, Sep 28th, 2011 @ 1:07pm

    Those poor fans on that site...I mean having to listen to her music and all

     

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  22.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 28th, 2011 @ 2:20pm

    Reverse Domain Name Squatting hasn't worked since Deutsche Welle vs. DiamondWare...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 28th, 2011 @ 4:06pm

    I want your good domain.

    Or failing that, your bad romance.

     

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  24.  
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    Tom Landry (profile), Sep 28th, 2011 @ 4:34pm

    I doubt she has made a conscious decision to do this, you know its her army of attorneys who insist on going down this road.

     

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  25.  
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    The Devil's Coachman (profile), Sep 28th, 2011 @ 6:44pm

    Re: Re:

    You betcha! The first time I saw of pic of that skank, my immediate thought was, "Truckdriver Trannie!". Haven't had cause to change my mind since then.

     

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  26.  
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    The Devil's Coachman (profile), Sep 28th, 2011 @ 6:48pm

    Re:

    Unfortunately for you, what you feel does not influence the course or the outcome of the legal process.

     

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  27.  
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    The Devil's Coachman (profile), Sep 28th, 2011 @ 6:49pm

    Re:

    I would like to correct you. It's her army of attorneys who insist on going down.........on dobermans.

     

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  28.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 29th, 2011 @ 1:20am

    Rings Faint Bells

    Wasn't there a Lady Gaga in the 1960s? Mentioned in a song sometime? All this came and went long before the present Lady Gaga was even born. Anybody know?

     

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  29.  
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    Strawbear (profile), Sep 29th, 2011 @ 6:20am

    Domain names must have relevance to site content? That's just petty.

     

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  30.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 29th, 2011 @ 10:00am

    Ohhhhhh Lady Gargle gets a smack down.

     

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  31.  
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    nasch (profile), Sep 29th, 2011 @ 8:16pm

    Re: I wonder now...

    I wouldn't take it down. I would either leave it up as is, or have it redirect to something like www.ladygagaisabitch.org, depending on how I felt about the whole thing.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
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    Butcherer79 (profile), Sep 30th, 2011 @ 6:51am

    Goes for make-up company now!

    err, are GaGa's lawyers bored and have nothing better to do - the latest offering:
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/15106553

     

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  33.  
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    nasch (profile), Sep 30th, 2011 @ 7:31am

    Re: Goes for make-up company now!

    That one sounds like a reasonable trademark claim. I can definitely see liklihood of confusion there.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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