Question about a Fan Page and a URL

So…I recently came up with an idea for a blog and a name/url for the blog…but before I purchased the url, I noticed someone had a fan page with the same name I wanted to buy for my url…the person who started the fan page did not buy the url.

I would still like to buy the URL, but what are the implications or are there any? They have 21000 fans on Facebook…at this point, I almost feel like its an ethical issue if I buy the url…but is there any legal issue with purchasing the url when someone else already has a fan page?

Would you buy the url anyway? I would think with that many fans, people will start googling the fan page name to see if there is anything online about it…the fan page they started will require a ton of maintenance…as in they will have to post something every day. They acquired all these fans in about 10 days…so I’m wondering how long they will actually continue the fan page. I feel like there is so much more to do with a website and it could actually make money…

Any advice you can give me I’d appreciate it…from a moral/ethical point of view on down to the legal issues if there are any.

Thanks!

Great question… I guess this is a future name issue we will all have to consider. If all they have is a url for a fan page, no trademark, no domain, no similar domain, no common law mark, nothing else registered or used, I can’t see a huge issue except in you confusing your own users if you use facebook as a major tactic.

There’s many ways to work around this, especially if the word is fairly generic (like ‘applefans’ instead of ‘apple’) but it’s not the same, just like a .net isn’t going to work the same.

What you should really do is some additional research on who is using this, how similar their business is, where else they are, and if they may have a bigger stake in the name than just a random page name they liked. And if there’s anything filled, dive deeper and consider reaching out to a lawyer.