Author sues to recover domain pointing to adult content – Domain Name Wire

A 75-year-old grandmother was shocked to see what her old estate was showing.

A 75-year-old novelist who was shocked to find adult content on her old domain has sued to get the domain name back.

Nelma Jean Bryson has authored numerous books over the past two decades, including an autobiography, a murder mystery, and a fairy tale.

She used a domain name matching her full name to promote her books. But it looks like the domain expired last year and someone registered the domain when it expired. This person is using the domain to promote adult graphic content.

Local North Carolina media covered the story, at which point David Weslow, an attorney for Wiley Rein, asked if he could help. Wiley Rein is now representing Bryson pro bono to try and get the estate back.

The firm helped her file a in rem lawsuit (pdf) against the domain name in the US District Court of Virginia.

The cybersquatting lawsuit is based on the common law rights to his full name as author.

Bryson hopes the experience and subsequent trial will help raise awareness of what happened and prevent it from happening to others. She said:

Losing my domain name was devastating, and I never could have foreseen or even known it might happen. Many authors use their name as a domain name to promote their books, and it’s more than just a loss of a domain name that could be replaced when something like this happens. It’s a nightmare when the ripple effect takes this loss in his personal and literary life.