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October 15, 2007

Comments

Danno

John Berryhill is the man! Make sure you have him on your 'speed dial'.

Peace!
Dan

doolally

I find this bit shocking.

"Accordingly, it is not
inconceivable that a sole panelist might have decided the case without
looking at the Respondent's website and might have come to a different
conclusion."

To me it IS inconceivable that a decision would be made on who gets a domain name with out someone looking at where that domain points to.

There could be 101 million uses for FCC.com

AssociatedDomains

Congrats to fcc.com. Wonder if there is a penalty for a company found guilty of reverse domain hi-jacking. If not, the $1500 fee to file a UDRP surely isn't enough.

Domain Name News Portal

I wonder if the complainant files a trademark infringement lawsuit instead of a UDRP, then how will the defendant protect his domain. Trademark infringement lawsuits are very expensive for the "small timers" so oftentime s, the domain is just handed over to the complainant.

This is the case with Swapnames.com.
http://www.namepros.com/legal-issues-and-disputes/380695-swapnames-com-lawsuit.html?highlight=swapnames

Associated Domains

The trademark infringement lawsuit filed by Snapnames against Swapnames is pure bullying. I am very surprised the elder domainers in the industry are mum about this story.

passing by

In response to AssociatedDomains comment, even though findings of Reverse Domain Name Hijacking (RDNH) are rarer than Blue Iguanas, and panelists are very reluctant to return that finding, there is NO penalty associated with a RDNH finding. This is one of the many flaws with the UDRP process.

We've been waiting a long time for companies to appreciate the value of domain names. The downside is that now that companies realize the value of domains, they don't want to pay for the domains - they want to take them at no cost.

If I was a ruthless company, and a domain owner had a domain I wanted, I would probably file a UDRP also. It would cost me a few thousand dollars. I could make whatever allegations I wanted without having to back it up with any evidence. It's a roll of the dice, but I could get lucky. I could benefit from an absurd decision, like MADD did against MADD HATT Enterprises. Or maybe the domain owner won't even file a response so my allegations would go unchallenged.

If I get lucky, I win a domain that could be worth $100,000+ to me. If I'm unlucky, then I'm out a few thousand dollars.

There is nothing in the UDRP to prevent companies from filing abusive complaints. And there are no procedures to remove Panelists who substitute their own personal opinions for the UDRP guidelines.

As a domain owner, you have to be prepared to file a federal suit within 10 days of losing a UDRP in order to protect your domain.

(This is a long post, but I'm going to keep going...)

One of the best things that the ICA can do is find cases that will make good legal precedent and support those cases. The law advances incrementally. And it is a bit like a stack of dominoes. A set of overbroad unfavorable decisions, like the Zaccharini (sp?) cases, can set a precedent that can lead to more bad decisions. That's what we are fighting against now. We need good cases that will result in positive decisions that can be built on with further cases, until we have a solid set of cases that protect our domain assets, and that we can cite in our UDRP filings.

Frank - I spoke with Michael Collins at TRAFFIC about having ICA make an impact by identifying cases that will set good legal precedent and supporting them. Berryhill and the other domain attorneys are willing to donate their time to vet possible cases. Would you throw your support behind this as well?

--

I've filed two court cases already to overturn bad UDRP decisions, and I'm know I'm going to have to budget a lot of money in legal fees to protect my generic domains from covetous companies.

It is very common now when I'm in negotiations with a company over a generic domain that they've picked for their brand or company name, that they'll tell me - "Sell me the domain for the price I want to offer for it or we'll file a UDRP". If the UDRP rules are followed correctly they will lose, but there are many rogue panelists and no policing of them, so that any UDRP is a crap shoot.

If we reopen the UDRP and rely on ICANN to come up with new rules, we could wind up with something even worse. Our best bet is to set good legal precedent through the US court system.

Associated Domains

Thanks 'passing by' for the insightful comment and feedback. Appreciate your efforts to rally support and traction on this important issue as it will affect all domainers, larger and small. I am of the latter and if I may help in anyway, please let me know. Thanks.

passing by

Thanks 'AssociatedDomains' for the positive feedback. I think the best thing we can all do is support the ICA. These are battles we can't fight on our own, but collectively we can make an impact. The ICA has tiered, affordable membership levels.

Persuade your friends. A lot of domainers don't want anything to do with lobbying or legal battles, but we need to fight to protect what we have.

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