If you want to create your website, you always need a proper name for your domain. This name should not only fit well to your product but should also make potential customers curious and perform well in the search engine ranking. When choosing a domain, however, website operators can also fall into some legal traps. Here you can read which mistakes are to be avoided when buying or registering domains and who is liable for domain right infringements.
Absolute No-Go – Brand names in the domain
Using brand names directly in the domain is especially interesting for online shops. For example, if you sell Adidas sports shoes, you can attract potential customers to your website faster and more safely if you can recognize this directly from a domain such as “adidas-schuhe-und-mehr.de.” It should be noted, however, that the use of a third-party brand name is only permitted with the permission of the copyright holder.
If you use the trademark in your domain without such permission, you risk a warning followed by an expensive court case. The amount in dispute is usually at least 50,000 euros. This mistake can ruin especially small companies at an early stage. Therefore, the names of celebrities, magazines, films, computer software, as well as authorities and government institutions, should not be mentioned.
Buying the right domain can be tricky – either the desired name is already registered, or there are problems with registration – domains from DeSight Studio are simple, uncomplicated, and secure.
Invalid trick – Typing error
A favorite method for attracting more visitors to your site is to intentionally insert typos in the name of a known and frequently searched domain. The owners of this “fake” web address hope that the customers who are looking for the other page will mistype and thus discover their homepage and find it interesting. However, even here, the domain owner can be threatened with warnings due to trademark infringements as soon as the trick is discovered.
You’ve committed a violation of the law – Who must be liable?
The most important thing first of all: In the event of an infringement of rights within the domain name, the domain holder is always liable. Anyone who buys a domain and registers it is registered as a new domain holder with DENIC. The responsible person can be contacted at DENIC to receive a warning for an infringement committed. If the domain holder is also the operator of the website, there is no discussion about liability.
However, there is a problem if, for example, the domain holder does not offer any content himself. This is the case, for instance, with the operators of a file host, i.e., an online data storage service. In individual cases, the court then decides on liability.
Shared responsibility for others – Liability for interference
It may also happen that the Domain Holder is liable for the infringement of the rights of others. This is known as “Stoererhaftung.” If it can be proved to the domain holder that he has neglected his duties of inspection and control, or that he was even aware of the infringement, he is referred to as the “Stoerer” and is also prosecuted.