While many people knew that Chris Bosh championed life online, very few knew that he was such a cyber activist. In a landmark legal case, the Raptors forward has won custody of nearly 800 domain names wrongfully appropriated from guys like Steve Nash, Carmelo Anthony and Deron Williams. But rather than try and sell these names on his own, Bosh is offering to return the domains for free to their rightful owners.
“I am thrilled that I am able to offer the return of these domain names to a host of other athletes and celebrities whose names were cybersquatted,” says Bosh. “I will offer the return of the domain names free of charge, but I’d also love the opportunity to show their owners how Max Deal can help.”
Through his social media firm, Max Deal Technologies, Bosh is now in control of domains of NBA, college and high school ballers, as well as well-known celebrities and product names. For example, if you’re Stavros Niarchos III (heir to a Greek shipping fortune and Paris Hilton‘s ex- boyfriend) and want stavrosniarchosiii.com, you gotta talk to Bosh.
Other crazy names on this list include Preston Michael Spears Federline (son of Britney Spears and Kevin Federline), Carmine Agnello (New York mobster from the Gambino family) and Mexican wrestler El OctagÃ³n. But of all the names on the list, none is crazier than the second one listed in the 23 page document which has been earmarked for Ruben Patterson: kopestopper.com.
Why Bosh was granted the 800 domain names owned by the company of cybersquatters he sued doesn’t entirely make sense to me, so I decided to give Bosh’s law firm a call to speak with Brian Heidelberger, the Winston & Strawn partner who represented Bosh in this matter.
“While Chris was granted his name back a while ago following a judgement of $120,000 in April, the domain names are a partial payment we sought to levy his property,” says Heidelberger. “We’re still seeking to retrieve the $120,000 and the domain names were his property which have some value. We sought to have the court give them to us.”
To truly grasp the expanse of this list, check out all 23 pages here. (Perhaps your name is even on there.) Originally drawn up in July 2008, some of the player affiliations are a little out of date, but you get the picture.
At the end of the day, Bosh appears to be doing something altruistically, but when you read the fine print, you better act fast.
“Chris Bosh and Max Deal offer the return of the domain name free of charge as a courtesy to the celebrity named herein, provided that such person promptly requests the return of such domain name in writing from Max Deal,” says the footnote on the “List of Domain Names Awarded to Chris Bosh in Cybersquatting Case.” But what does “promptly” mean?
“There’s no set timeframe,” says Heidelberger. “Some of these may expire and in which case we might not renew them. We certainly have heard from people on the list. A number of players have already got in contact.”
So while it’s yet to be seen if all the domain names on the list will be claimed and whether or not the sites will actually be produced, I can’t wait to see what’s on the homepage of kyrylofesenko.com.
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