Can a domain name be defamatory? When that domain name is GlennBeckRapedandMurderedaYoungGirlin1990.com, maybe it can be, Ars Technica reports. Beck’s lawyers were on the case within 2 days. They’ve both pressured its host to give up the name of the site’s anonymous proprietor, and filed a trademark complaint with the World Intellectual Property Organization. The site’s a joke, based on a Gilbert Gottfried bit during a roast of Bob Saget (see video).
“Why won’t Glenn Beck deny these allegations?” the site asks, poking fun at the “birther” controversy. But one lawyer tells Ars Technica that although the trademark claims are “preposterous,” a defamation or libel suit could hold water. The domain name itself could be seen as a separate piece of information, coming up on search engines without any disclaimer. “I don’t think ‘Ha ha, it’s a joke’ at the end gets you off.”