Is the name of a sitcom copy right protected for a domain name?

ips_doug

Enthusiast
Joined
Feb 28, 2018
Messages
128
I want to start a new forum about one of my favorite sitcoms. Can I use its name a domain or is that copyright protected? For example seinfeldfans.com or seinfeldforums.com etc.

Does anyone know if that is allowed, or it is considered as a copyright infringement? Thanks.
 

TLChris

Administrator
Joined
Jan 2, 2020
Messages
158
They could always request that you change the domain, so I would recommend having a backup on hand for it.
 

Nabix

127.0.0.1
Joined
May 20, 2010
Messages
415
In the copyright area at the bottom of your site, I would state that you have not affiliation with said company/work. For example, I own a domain called kodakcourage.com which is a dropshiping site. Has nothing to do with Kodak Film. But, they sent me an email request that I simply say that I have no affiliation with Kodak Film in my copyright area... So, they were cool about it atleast...
 

we_are_borg

Administrator
Joined
Jan 25, 2011
Messages
5,470
It can be copyrighted and you do not want the legal trouble. What you can do is as example seinfeldfans.com to sffans.com and then to make sure that you put in a disclaimer you are not affiliated with seinfield.com or any of the copyright holders.
 

ips_doug

Enthusiast
Joined
Feb 28, 2018
Messages
128
Thank you all for your answers and tips. Hopefully a disclaimer will be enough. I do not know if the forum will even take off and be noticeable, but better safe than sorry.
 

LeadCrow

Apocalypse Admin
Joined
Jun 29, 2008
Messages
6,562
It's actually a trademark issue, but as long as theyre free or hardly monetized they'd be fine.
In the case of fan forums, communities tend to get away with just stating somewhere prominent that its not affiliated with the related companies. Communities may ask for approval of their name or to be blessed as the official community but usually do only after some minimum success.

Sample
[website] is an unofficial [serie] discussion forum. [website] is not affiliated with [companies]. All characters are registered trademarks of their respective owners. The [serie name/logo] is a copyright of [company]
 

zappaDPJ

Administrator
Joined
Aug 26, 2010
Messages
7,227
You should be OK so long as you do not profit from it and you have an easily seen, non-affiliation disclaimer (as above).

Something I would avoid is 'fan fiction' where members take well known characters and create their own narrative. This could attract a cease and desist or worse.
 

ips_doug

Enthusiast
Joined
Feb 28, 2018
Messages
128
Thanks LeadCrow and zappaDPJ. It looks like using the name of the sitcom in a domain name could cause hassle down the line. I think it would be better if I used a general name for the domain, like thebestsitcoms.com for ex and then discuss the shows in there.
 

sbjsbj

Fan
Joined
Feb 9, 2015
Messages
660
The shelf life of such forums is only as long as the sitcom is airing. Usually before it gains traction, the show is over already. Not sure what you expect people to talk about.
 

Nabix

127.0.0.1
Joined
May 20, 2010
Messages
415
The shelf life of such forums is only as long as the sitcom is airing. Usually before it gains traction, the show is over already. Not sure what you expect people to talk about.
I disagree. Take a look at gateworld.net for example. Still pretty active and still making podcasts. Stargate is the beez kneez. . .
 

Klaatu

Fan
Joined
Mar 1, 2010
Messages
602
If you use the name "Seinfeld" you may not be master of your domain eventually. ;) You could use some famous line from the show instead (assuming it's not copyrighted too,) something like "serenitynow.com", "nosoupforyou.com", etc.
 

MagicalAzareal

Magical Developer
Joined
Apr 25, 2019
Messages
711
If you use the name "Seinfeld" you may not be master of your domain eventually. ;) You could use some famous line from the show instead (assuming it's not copyrighted too,) something like "serenitynow.com", "nosoupforyou.com", etc.
Vandalay Industries, how may I help you.
 

KimmiKat

Adherent
Joined
Mar 21, 2005
Messages
344
I remember a mboard (named after a popular game in PIR) dedicated to the US game show Price is Right having a disclaimer on the bottom saying "All logos and trademarks in this site are property of their respective owner. All photos used here within are not intended as a challenge to the ownership of Fremantle International or Goodson/Price Productions."
 
Top