What Happens When Lady Gaga Takes One Of Her Own Fansites To Court?
The Mother Monster filed a claim against that website through the National Arbitration Forum, alleging that the site’s founders “intentionally registered the domain name to capitalize on Lady Gaga’s fame” as “an internationally renowned recording artist and performer, as well as a fashion icon.” As such, Gaga’s camp complained that founding the site constituted an infringement of her trademark. Plus, with such a large site carrying on and on about her, she can’t fully control her own image.
But the person who founded the site, named in arbitration as oranges arecool XD (we know, we know), said that they’d founded and runs the site since 2008 (before she released her name-making album The Fame) as a “non-commercial, unofficial fan site” which doesn’t make any money. It’s full service Lady Gaga, all the time.
And because of that, the arbitrators decided to allow the site to continue unfettered, so long as it didn’t ever turn a profit.
If the Respondent were to change her use in the future in a manner that indicated an intent to profit, such as by selling items, offering any commerce, or offering or accepting the sale of the disputed domain name such facts might justify a refilling and, depending on the circumstances, could lead a Panel to a different outcome than the one reached by this Panel in the present matter.
Ouch. Sorry, Gaga, but if you’re going to love your fans, you have to let them love you back.