Luis Zavala and his company, Hoopology.com, had a great business plan: He’d register Internet domains using the names of star basketball players, as well as potential star basketball players, and then display ads on those pages to generate revenue. Maybe one of them would even offer to buy the domain name from him, earning him an easy payday. And why stop at basketball players? They’re not the only ones on the Internet! Unfortunately for him, Raptors star Chris Bosh has a lawyer, and that lawyer is familiar with the U.S. Federal Anti-Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act. And in a court decision carried out this week, Bosh won control of ChrisBosh.com, along with nearly 800 other domains named after athletes, celebrities, and even mobsters.
Among those eligible to gain control of their domain names: dozens of NBA players, including current and former Knicks like Jared Jeffries, Eddy Curry, and Jamal Crawford; scores of high-school recruits (such as then–Christ the King guard Erving Walker); and lots of college standouts (as a Fordham grad, we’re proud Zavala thought enough of the once-promising forward to register BryantDunston.com).
Non-athletes who can now build a proper web presence include one of the sons of Britney Spears and Kevin Federline (who, if he can get past the fact that wasn’t actually named Preston Michael, can gain control of both PrestonMichaelSpears.com and PrestonMichaelFederline.com, then decide later which of his parents he least wants to associate with), several members of the Gotti family (it’s already been pointed out that trying to extort Mafiosos is always good business), and the Foo Fighters, who, should they embark on another acoustic tour, can now advertise it on Afoostic.com.
Bosh says he’ll transfer the names to their rightful owners for free, though we’re unsure what that means for domains such as October24.com (described as the date of the last commercial Concorde flight) and Cockblocks.com (helpfully described as “one who prevents another from scoring sexually”).
Raptors’ Chris Bosh wins court battle for domain names [Toronto Star]
Chris Bosh, Cyber Hero [TrueHoop/ESPN]