A Thing With Famous Names
September 26, 2003 8:49 PM   Subscribe

The Anti-Squatter... A web-based sidebar to the recent passing of WKRP Manager and Maytag Repairman Gordon Jump: the 'dot-com' address with his name (as well as those for living and dead celebrities including Jack Palance, Bob "Captain Kangaroo" Keeshan and Flip Wilson) are owned by Richard Shumaker of "Wilmerding World Wide", who, on each homepage, editorializes against "Celebrity Name Cybersquatting", declares he has "captured" the names for "safekeeping", and promises "At no charge, I will be more than honored to transfer domain name ownership." [more inside]
posted by wendell (12 comments total)
Worth noting:

On JaySilverheels.com, "In cooperation with his family, we are providing a safe haven for his name ... forever", with a bio page.

The home site for "Wilmerding World Wide" and for the borough of Wilmerding, PA, is managed by Schumaker under the domain name of the founder of the town: GeorgeWestinghouse.com, and at the bottom of its home page: "Also, please visit our star sites:", including at least one, RobertDuval.com, he seems to have lost to a cybersquatter...

Maytag currently has a tribute to Gordon Jump on its home page. He had already retired from his commercial role and recently been replaced by Hardy Rawls, best known as "Pete and Pete's" Dad. (Nobody's registered HardyRawls.com yet...)

And within minutes (Eastern; 3 hours, Pacific), cable channel TVLand will begin airing a WKRP mini-marathon tribute to Gordon Jump. Ladies and gentlemen, start your TiVos and look out for falling turkeys.
posted by wendell at 8:50 PM on September 26, 2003

that reminds me...I had been planning to register wilfordbrimley.com but apparently I forgot about it for a couple years and now someone's snapped it up. too bad it wasn't this Shumaker guy...who knows what sort of nefarious plans the dastardly Orion Smith has for Mr. Brimley (well, apart from the default "yay, apache is running!" page, the villain...)

don't even get me started on that Brocktoon guy.
posted by dorian at 9:07 PM on September 26, 2003

"We mourn the tragic loss of Gordon Jump...."

Uh, he was in his 70s, right? Sad, yes, but tragic?
posted by PrinceValium at 9:19 PM on September 26, 2003

He was the company's human mascot. A lot of people at the company probably consider him "family". His predecessor, Jesse White, retired at about the same age and lived almost a decade longer. The new guy's commercials haven't debuted yet; corporate PR-wise, even if you don't believe it, they had to say it...
posted by wendell at 9:40 PM on September 26, 2003

Nevermind cybersquatting on celebrities' names, he seems to have cybersquatted Gary Shandling's face. (Scroll to the bottom.)
posted by George_Spiggott at 10:38 PM on September 26, 2003

Squat on my face
And tell me that you love me...[/python]
posted by arto at 2:11 AM on September 27, 2003

He didn't even mention "in the booth, in the back, in the corner, in the dark."
posted by alumshubby at 7:16 AM on September 27, 2003

Hey, isn't that the guy who molested Dudley on Diff'rent Strokes?
posted by Fofer at 7:18 AM on September 27, 2003

"operates the Wilmerding Internet Think Tank (WITT), a progressive analytical group consisting of retired engineers from the combined Westinghouse companies."

Can anyone find any trace of this illustrious outfit and its good deeds?
posted by billsaysthis at 12:16 PM on September 27, 2003

If he's the noble and benificent antisquatter, out to protect celebs' names from evil commercial exploitation, and he furthermore says "Aw, pshaw, I don't count the cost, it's negligable", then answer me this:

Why do the pages have banner ads?
posted by George_Spiggott at 12:34 PM on September 27, 2003

Also, why has he not bothered to register richardshumaker.com?
posted by PrinceValium at 1:10 PM on September 27, 2003

George_Spiggott: Probably because he hosts these web sites at freeservers.com, where he can host for free as long as he displays their banner ads.

He's not going to charge anyone for the domains, but I'm guessing he also doesn't want to continue sinking money into it out of his own pocket...

posted by jeddings at 3:07 PM on September 27, 2003

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