SFX Baseball Group v. MarianoRivera.com

NOTE: The information and commentary contained in this database entry are based on court filings and other informational sources that may contain unproven allegations made by the parties. The truthfulness and accuracy of such information is likely to be in dispute. Information contained in this entry is current as of the last event mentioned in the "Description" section below; additional proceedings might have taken place in this matter since this event.

Summary

Threat Type: 

Correspondence

Date: 

07/20/2007

Status: 

Concluded

Location: 

North Carolina

Disposition: 

Withdrawn

Verdict or Settlement Amount: 

N/A
On July 20, 2007, Patrick O'Keefe, the operator of the fan site MarianoRivera.com received a letter from SFX Baseball Group, which represents Yankees baseball player, Mariano Rivera. The letter asserted that the site's use of the domain name, marianorivera.com, violates the... read full description
Parties

Party Issuing Legal Threat: 

SFX Baseball Group

Party Receiving Legal Threat: 

MarianoRivera.com; Patrick O'Keefe

Type of Party: 

Organization

Type of Party: 

Individual
Organization

Location of Party: 

  • Illinois

Location of Party: 

  • North Carolina
Description

On July 20, 2007, Patrick O'Keefe, the operator of the fan site MarianoRivera.com received a letter from SFX Baseball Group, which represents Yankees baseball player, Mariano Rivera. The letter asserted that the site's use of the domain name, marianorivera.com, violates the Cybersquatting provisions of federal trademark law and Rivera's right of publicity in his name and likeness. It demanded that the site cease using the domain name and transfer ownership of it to SFX.

O'Keefe wrote about the threat on his site:

What strikes me most about this is the accusations of unethical behavior here. I registered the domain name because I wanted to create a Mariano Rivera fan site and it was the best domain available. End of story. Our intentions are good. Our intent was never, at any point in time, to trick people into thinking this was Mariano Rivera's official website. At the top of every page, it says "Unofficial Mariano Rivera Fan Site." In the subject line of the home page, it says "Unofficial Mariano Rivera Fan Site." It says it in other locations, as well. We have never said, in any way, shape or form that we are otherwise. We've worked hard on this site and we've put many hours in. Why? Because we're Mariano Rivera fans and Yankees fans.

On August 1, 2007, O'Keefe spoke with a representative of SFX. The representative told him that he could continue to operate the website, but refused to give any assurances about the future.

The matter appears resolved, at least for the present.

Details

Publication Medium: 

Website

Subject Area: 

  • Trademark
  • Right of Publicity
Court Information & Documents

Jurisdiction: 

  • North Carolina

Source of Law: 

  • United States