Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Dare a 'threesome' with Scarlett Johansson?

Actress wins domain name at WIPO.

Actress Scarlett Johansson has won rights to the domain name in an arbitration decision at World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). Johansson has starred in numerous movies including Lost in Translation, Match Point, and The Ghost Whisperer and been nominated for several Golden Globe Awards.

The details (Dec 16, 2008) of the domain name arbitration case are rather interesting. Apparently the owner of the domain, Tristan Dare, set up a contest on the site that invited people to win a shot at a “threesome” with Johansson. However, the threesome was actually just the chance to go to Johansson’s movie Vicky, Cristina, Barcelona with two other people. Contestants had to send an e-mail explaining why they should be the winner.

As an indication of how much traffic the domain received, Dare said the site had 100,000 visits over 4 days and 10,000 people entered the contest. It also received media attention.

Johansson had nothing to do with the contest, but Dare said an “anonymous” person e-mailed him offering $10,000 to run a campaign promoting the movie. When Dare declined, he claims the person offered $20,000. He said he wouldn’t take money because he’s an artist, but created the site as a parody for non-commercial gain. Dare didn’t provide the e-mails to the WIPO panel.

Dare is certainly a creative artist if his explanation to the panel is any indication. Among his claims were that “The “contest” reflected the Respondent’s “nihilistic” approach, and was intended to question, examine, and highlight the nature of corporate greed, whereby an “anything goes” attitude trumps anything else as long as it serves a bottom-line agenda”. He also registered the domain name with an address of “900 Pound Guerrilla Way”.

The panel didn’t buy it and handed the domain over to Johansson.

Photo from Wikimedia Commons. Article "Scarlett Johansson Wins Domain Name" from Domain Name Wire.

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