Madonna wants 'her' name back

Pop legend thinks porn site owner Don Parisi is cybersquatting on Madonna.com
Written by Ben Charny, Contributor

The Material Girl wants her name back. Pop star Madonna has filed a complaint with a United Nations organisation to wrest the domain name Madonna.com from the clutches of Whitehouse.com owner Dan Parisi.

In her complaint with the World Intellectual Property Organisation (Wipo), Madonna accuses Parisi of "holding the domain name hostage".

Wipo's arbitration and mediation centre, which last week forced a group of cybersquatters to give up 40 Internet sites containing the word Yahoo!, will decide who gets the Madonna domain name.

Parisi, who has been accused of cybersquatting in the past, bought the domain for $20,000 in 1998, according to the WHOIS database at Network Solutions. At first it was a porn site, but it has since served as a sounding board for his battle with the singer-songwriter.

Madonna maintains she has a right to the name, having trademarked the word "Madonna". A representative for Madonna did not return a phone call seeking commment on the complaint.

Parisi, who has offered to donate the domain to a Nebraska hospital, believes Madonna has no right to claim "exclusive ownership of common words in the English language".

"She's saying it's her name, which is hard to believe," Parisi said. "There are more than 275 companies that have trademarked Madonna in their names [75 federal and state trademarks in the United States and Canada alone]."

Parisi said there are 87 active Web sites that use "Madonna" in their Web address including madonna.net and madonna.org, which is operated by a hospital.

However, the artist's complaint with Wipo confirms that Parisi did try to transfer the name to the Lincoln, Nebraska hospital -- but only under the condition that the hospital not transfer the name back to Madonna.

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