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Let's say there is a niche forum called HowToChopOnionWithoutCrying.com (I'm making it up, of course) and it's in English.

And I want to create a similar forum in Romanian, registering HowToChopOnionWithoutCrying.ro Would it be wrong?

Are there legal issues in doing so?

I understood that domain names cannot be copyrighted therefore HowToChopOnionWithoutCrying is probably not copyrighted. However the forum that I would build could infringe copyright laws?

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4 Answers 4

up vote 3 down vote accepted

In order for the domain to be illegal (in the eyes of ICANN), 3 rules must be met:

  1. a domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the complainant has rights
  2. the domain name owner has no rights or legitimate interests in the domain name
  3. the domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.

All 3 must be proven in order for ICANN to seize your .ro domain.

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Basically if your intention in registering such a domain is to take advantage of the existing site's good name and traffic then if it ever came to a legal case you would lose the domain.

That said there is nothing stopping you, it's not illegal, but it's not right either.

It's also worth noting that domains in themselves to not come under copyright laws. Domains would infringe Trademark law. Copyright laws cover content only.

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What if I would build stackoverflow.ro (you know Stackoverflow.com, right?) and create a Q&A site there for programmers ? Jeff would come and hunt me down, right? –  Andrei Rinea Jan 24 '12 at 14:32
    
@AndreiRinea Depends on how big of a problem it was for him - if you were to create a localised language version with links back to the English version then that might be helpful. If it was a competitor site the turned out to be popular then quite likely! –  toomanyairmiles Jan 24 '12 at 14:57

If it's not a copyright name then you are probably fine. If you try to buy microsoft.ro (if it didn't exist) then you might get into troubles.

I don't understand how a forum infringe copyright laws.

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2  
It wouldn't be a copyright problem, the issue would be Trademark from the legal system's point of view, possibly malicious trade practice and a simple dispute resolution from the registrar's point of view. –  toomanyairmiles Jan 24 '12 at 14:31

take it.

Even it will involve legal thing, you can still sell back to claimer on a lower price which lower than them legal cost.

if it's just a normal name (.eg 12345.ro) or English or Romania word (something.ro), you will be fine, the .comer will be very hard to get it back

You never try, you never know

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