Mastodon : What about cybersquatting ?

Mastodon : What about cybersquatting

 

Communication on social media is the subject of many justified concerns from trademarks owners. As a matter of fact, user’s names creation, called “username”, are not legally protected beforehand. Specifically, the owner has to register or retrieve the username corresponding to their brand or demonstrate to the social media that the use of their brand is used with ill intent. In short, it’s a time consuming activity…

Mastodon, a few months old social network, trendy since a few days, is the subject of some articles regarding its nature, process and goal. But what about the associated brands protection?

Mastodon is a social network, created by Eugen Rochko, a 24 years old German developer. Twitter’s clone where characters are limited to 500, Mastodon is free, open source and not centralized. We will be interested in this last term. It’s possible to access Mastodon with its “basic official” website mastodon.social.

However mastodon.social is only an instance, you can use others like mastodon.fun developed in Angers. You choose a username for an instance and your complete username will be @username@instance. Keep in mind that instances are associable with each other, giving them a federal term.

Anyone can create an instance, so you have two cumulative possibilities:

  • Either you register your brand for all existing instances (today there are more than 2000 of them and it’s only the beginning).
  • Or you create your instance, closed, corresponding to your brand.

As you might have guessed, I will advise you the second choice: as it doesn’t exist any certification on Mastodon, anyone can be anybody. But by creating an instance corresponding to your principal domain name, you create this certification!

Of course .BRAND owners should create social.BRAND so they have a dedicated instance which allows them to highlight their TLD, like @pierre.dupont@social.brand.

If you need more information on Mastodon, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Clément Genty

Author: Clément Genty

PhD Student Research Engineer - Nameshield group

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