January 17, 2005 12:00am
Lexington Steele Wins LexingtonSteele.com From Cyber-Squatter
Source: Wayne Hentai PR
by: Company Press Release
(SAN FRANCISCO, CA) -- Mercenary Pictures owner and unprecedented three-time AVN Male Performer of the Year, Lexington Steele, announced legal victory in the fight to regain LexingtonSteele.com from Russian Communications, a cyber-squatter, through the efforts of attorney Holly Pranger of the Pranger Law Group.
Lexington Steele said, "I am pleased with this result. I have been trying to get the domain back for years. Russian Communications used my name and my picture on the website, and was using it to sell anything and everything. I am sure people mistook this for my official website."
Prior to the settlement, Steele operated and continues to operate LexSteele.com and LexonBlondes.com, both being his official presence on the Internet. BrainCash and SteeleCash administers Steele's sites, which are doing exceptionally well, he said.
Pranger, principal of the Pranger Law Group and an attorney specializing in intellectual property, said Steele regained control of the domain by filing a domain dispute through the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers' (ICANN) rules and submitted to arbitration through the National Arbitration Forum.
"I know from research that Russian Communications, as well as other cyber-squatters, are currently sitting on and profiting from the domain names of famous adult entertainers," she said. "Adult entertainment is a billion-dollar industry and these domain names are worth a great deal of money. The entertainers who have worked hard to create the recognition and goodwill associated with their performer names should have the right to control how those names and trademarks are used. It is an atrocity that these porn squatters wrongfully profit from them and they should be stopped."
The process took about two months, Pranger added, and Steele's registering his name as a trademark contributed to the judgment in his favor. She contrasted the ICANN arbitration process, which takes just a few months and costs under $15,000 to complete, against suing in federal court, which can easily run over $50,000 to $500,000 in legal fees and sometimes take years to resolve. Winning in a federal court allows for recovery of fees and costs associated with the lawsuit, however, while resolution through ICANN does not.
"The beauty of the ICANN process is that you can go through it and quickly get the domain name back, but still bring a federal action to recover your damages,"
She added: "These porn squatters typically use adult performers' names, like LexingtonSteele.com, to drive traffic to commercial Web sites, where they usually sell advertising and adult entertainment. The porn squatters rarely, if ever, have legitimate rights to use the names and we are usually successful in getting the domain names back to the owners through the domain dispute process."
For more information, visit LexSteele.com or LexingtonSteele.com. Distributors may contact Hank at (818) 340-6806 or (866) 289-1414, or email him at MercenaryPictures@MSN.com. For foreign sales, contact Dani at Dani@CalVista.com.
For more information regarding the Pranger Law Group, visit PrangerLaw.com or Holly Pranger at (415) 441-5943 or HPranger@PrangerLaw.com.
About Lexington Steele, Mercenary Pictures and the Pranger Law Group:
Lexington Steele is the owner of Mercenary Pictures. The company's titles include ManHammer, Lex Steele XXX, SuperWhores, Black Reign, Pole Position: Lex POV and IronHead, all of which have met with critical acclaim. Steele directed over 35 videos, which generated universal praise from adult video critics. His work in front of the camera has brought him countless accolades, including four Venus Awards and an unprecedented record of three AVN Male Performer of the Year Awards. He continues to perform exclusively for Mercenary.
Mercenary Pictures is one of the premier producers of gonzo, interracial and ethnic adult entertainment and is the only place to find titles directed by and starring the company's owner, AVN and Venus award-winner Lexington Steele.
Pranger Law Group is a California law practice that specializes in intellectual property. The law group handles the enforcement of rights and the protection of domain names, trademarks, copyrights, trade dress and trade secrets. The Pranger Law Group, while based in California, can take matters involving intellectual property from anywhere in the United States. Attorney Holly Pranger, who in addition to handling the Lexington Steele domain dispute has worked on other domain disputes involving famous names, heads the practice. Pranger spent her legal career protecting intellectual property rights on behalf of entertainers, individuals, and companies in a variety of industries including food and wine, technology, apparel, home furnishings, fitness and entertainment.