Hillary Potter and the Deathly Howler
A Bernie supporter bought ClintonKaine.com for $8 in 2011. Now he wants $90,000 for it.
by Zachary Crockett on July 29, 2016 | Source: VOX | Illustration: Jeremy Pegg
A few months into the 2012 presidential primaries, a New York–licensed attorney named Jeremy "Pegg" Green made a strange, fortuitous decision: He purchasedClintonKaine.com.
"It just made sense to me at the time," he says. "Hillary Clinton was in contention for the nomination, and Tim Kaine was on the vice presidential shortlist."
It cost him $8.
Five years later, Green — a 28-year-old "lefty socialist" and ardent Bernie Sanders supporter — is demanding $90,000 for the domain name. Until "someone from the Hillary team" forks over the cash, the website will feature a series of comic strips made by Green, about a young witch named "Hillary Potter."
Accompanying the comics is some pretty epic fan fiction prose:
"Trump had to be stopped. He had won many followers already with his promise to erect a massive wall to keep muggles out, not to mention his advocacy for the surveillance and persecution of wizards who came from 'impure' wizarding backgrounds. Now Hillary Potter and [definitive Hufflepuff] Timotonous Kaine were the only thing that stood between him and absolute dominance of the wizarding world."
Under federal law, it is illegal to register, and seek profit from, a domain name that contains another entity’s "prominent trademarks." In 2014, Donald Trump sued a Brooklyn man over a series of parody sites (TrumpMumbai.com, TrumpIndia.com, TrumpBeijing.com, and TrumpAbuDhabi.com), which he claimed infringed on his brand, and was awarded $32,000 in damages.
But Green says his ownership of ClintonKaine.com is immune to such laws. "I made the site long before Clinton announced Kaine as her running mate," he says. "Besides, they’d spend so much on lawyers to sue me, they might as well just buy the site."
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