Operator of LizTaylor.xxx Ordered to Give Up Domain Name

Rhett Pardon

AUCKLAND — She may not be alive, but Academy award-winning actress Elizabeth Taylor apparently is still kicking.

An arbitration panel this month has awarded the .XXX domain name LizTaylor.xxx to the Elizabeth Taylor Trust and related commercial entities, ruling that the domain name is confusingly similar to the dead actress' name and trademark, which is used by the Elizabeth Taylor Cosmetics Co.

Patrick Fitzgerald, who registered the .XXX domain name in December 2011 and responded to the recent UDRP claims, said he was considering building a website devoted to a porn star who calls herself “Liz Taylor” or “Lizz Taylor.”

But the panel said that disputed domain name links to a website that incorporates a generic search engine with links to other third-party websites selling cosmetics competing with those sold by the complainant, as well as links to information relating to the life and career of the actress.

“Some Internet viewers might be confused into thinking that the domain name LizTaylor.xxx related to the late Elizabeth Taylor," the panel said. "Some may be surprised that she might have been associated with pornography. Others may be merely curious to see whether she indeed dabbled in that particular predilection.”

“One can take judicial notice of the fact that the name 'Elizabeth Taylor' or its shortening of 'Liz Taylor' would be well-known universally.  It would be certainly better known than the name 'Liz Taylor' assumed by an actress in pornographic videos or downloads.  Hence there is a likelihood of confusion to Internet users. ”

The panel noted that Fitzgerald was not a member of the .XXX-sponsored community, strengthening the inference of bad-faith registration.