There have been a number of UDRP filings and even court injunctions related to a celebrity wanting a domain name which matches their known Hollywood name.
The latest is Sigourney Weaver who has filed with the National Arbitration Forum in a quest to obtain the .com version of her name (as reported by Domain Name Wire).
My personal opinion is that in most cases a celebrity’s name is their trademark and should, within limits, enjoy the same protection as any other well-established trademark. When someone registers a celebrity’s domain name and then monetizes it in clear relation to the celebrity’s craft, then that points to deliberate exploitation.
In these types of cases, I believe the registrant should lose the domain because there is bad faith intent to profit from the good will of a trademark belonging to someone else.
In the case of Sigourney Weaver, one could understand another individual with the same name having a clear right to the domain. For example, maybe another Sigourney Weaver working as a realtor might want to have a real estate sales site on SigourneyWeaver.com. Nothing at all wrong with that.
Ultimately, a celebrity’s name is their brand, and it acquires value with time, hard work, and success. Their brand should receive some protection from obvious cybersquatting. Of course, I can think of many exceptions whereby untalented people have an extended 15 minutes of fame, or infamy. This is a slippery slope so the issue is anything but black & white.
Conversely, I am against supposed celebrities over-stepping the boundaries of trademark protection. Remember the director Spike Lee suing Viacom in an attempt to stop SpikeTV from using the word “Spike”. Please! And Donald Trump trying to trademark “You’re fired”. That’s probably going too far.
There are some fair use exceptions like pure fan sites. However, if you’re a true fan of someone who has spent a lifetime building a successful career around their name, it seems more fair to give them the domain name than to keep it for oneself. That’s my opinion only.