Not So Fast, Keith Olbermann

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Photo: Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images

Yesterday we spoke to an attorney with expertise in domain-name law who thinks that the Daily Caller would probably be forced to turn over control of KeithOlbermann.com to its namesake target, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann. But another attorney, similarly steeped in such matters, tells us that Olbermann's case is "definitely not a slam dunk." First of all, says Karl Kronenberger of Kronenberger Burgoyne in San Francisco, "it's an open question" as to whether Olbermann even has a trademark on his own name, even though it's included in the name of his television show. And even if a judge or arbitrator decides that he does, the Daily Caller's use of the name may be protected by the First Amendment because it seems the website is more focused on "engaging in critical comment about Keith Olbermann" than making money off his name. It's not entirely clear! "This is an example of how complicated this area is," Kronenberger says. "This is something that they [the Daily Caller] obviously sought counsel on, and I think it'll be difficult for Olbermann to get this domain."