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Holly Pranger wants the world to know that “porn squatting” is not okay. Not long ago, the San Francisco solo practitioner sent out a press release telling people why the practice — which generally involves registering a Web site name under a porn star’s name without authorization — should be avoided. The press announcement was prompted by Pranger’s recent legal victory in behalf of Lexington Steele, the “unprecedented three-time Adult Video News Male Performer of the Year,” according to the lawyer’s release. Steele’s name had been co-opted by a squatter who set up a Web site called lexingtonsteele.com. Pranger won back Steele’s domain name after submitting the matter to arbitration before the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, which oversees online domains. “Normally I wouldn’t put out a press release in connection with this, but Lexington Steele is a famous person,” says Pranger. “This is a common problem in the industry for adult performers.” The lawyer says adult-movie performers and would-be squatters alike should know that a famous name is intellectual property gained both through common law and good will. “You take all of your blood and sweat and tears and you sum that up and that’s your good will,” she says. Steele, it would seem, has plenty of good will thanks to a 700-film career that includes star turns in such movies as “Hoochipalooza” and “Ebony Does Ivory 3.” Pranger, an IP specialist, says Steele is the first adult film star she’s represented but likely not the last. “I really do think that they’re a targeted industry for squatting,” she says, largely because many actors aren’t aware of their rights. The process of retrieving a domain name, she adds, is relatively simple. Arbitrations are handled by mail, with lawyers like Pranger often charging a flat fee for the proceeding. Now that Steele has his name back, Pranger says her client is considering filing a lawsuit against the squatter, a company called Russian Communications. In the meantime, the lawyer will continue helping clients from all walks of life who are looking to protect their good names. Justin Scheck ( In the News) is a reporter for The Recorder in San Francisco.

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