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Tag : UDRP

Jennifer Lopez fights cybersquatting case

Singer Jennifer Lopez has filed papers against the owner of jenniferlopez.org and jenniferlopez.net, accusing him of cybersquatting.

The two sites are owned by one Jeremiah Tieman who lives in Arizona and uses the sites to display news, pictures and videos of and about the singer and includes a disclaimer at the bottom stating that the sites are fan sites and are not endorsed by Lopez. However, both sites also include prominent ads and links through to affiliate sites.

Case D2009-0057 was filed last week with the World Intellectual Property by Lopez’s charitable foundation – which support women and children on low incomes – rather than the hard-hitting IP lawyers Fross, Zelnick, Lehrman and Zissu that are the registered owners of Lopez’s dotcom website.

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Wayne Rooney wins dotcom namessake

England and Man United footballer Wayne Rooney has won his domain namessake WayneRooney.com at WIPO, although the decision is yet another dodgy one in terms of the domain name rules.

Welsh actor and Everton fan Huw Marshall registered the name back in April 2002 when he saw Rooney in the youth team but never got around to building a website. When Rooney then did the unforgiveable and moved from Everton to archrivals Manchester United in August 2004, Marshall decided the treachery was such that he would sit on the domain and do nothing with it.

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TomCruise.com and the system that just has to change

Tom Cruise has, unsurprisingly, won TomCruise.com from WIPO. And, unsurprisingly, he won it off Jeff Burgar who is notorious for having registered hundreds of celebrities names back in 1996 and used them to redirect to his Celebrity1000.com website.

Jeff sometimes fights these cases, sometimes not. This time he did and he exposed, yet again, how flawed the UDRP system is and why, with domain names again worth millions of dollars, this is an extremely important system to sort out.

ICANN has, for one reason of another, delayed a review of UDRP for at least five years, despite dozens of people arguing – and pointing out in clear terms – why it has to be done. It is vital that that review is now carried out as soon as possible.

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Tom Cruise wins TomCruise.com

Tom Cruise has won his domain namesake, TomCruise.com, from notorious cybersquatter Jeff Burgar.

Burgar contested the complaint and paid for a three-person panel at domain name arbirtrator WIPO to decide the issue. In the end though, they decided for the movie star and against Burgar – who is a regular at WIPO judgments, having registered hundreds of famous peoples’ name which he redirects to his Celebrity1000.com website.

The decision comes as no surprise to anyone who follows the uniform domain resolution policy (UDRP). But Burgar, – indisputably the most infamous domain name registrant – once again highlights flaws and inconsistencies in the UDRP model.

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Whois data: winning back the Net

I’ve written a piece for The Register which went up this morning about Nominet having to deal with a US company surreptiously data-mining the Whois details for .uk domains to use in their products.

It’s an interesting story in that it highlights something that most people are really very unaware of, plus helps outline the risks we face in not building sufficient privacy laws with digital technology. Nominet is a rare example of a main Net registry that provides a minimum of Whois information about domain owners and also has an opt-in to remove all information except your name.

This system about thanks to two Australian con-men a few years ago taking the entire Whois for .uk domains and then using it to send people letters telling them they had to pay extension fees to keep their domains. It was a scam, but one that 50,000 Nominet customers were fooled by.

That isn’t my main point however. My main point is that while under European law, the Whois data is copyright and therefore protected, under ICANN rules, all global top-level domains – which means all dotcoms, dotnets, dotorgs etc – have to make all people’s contact details publicly available, and that means home address and telephone number and email address.

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Kevin Spacey loses pivotal cybersquatting court case

Movie actor Kevin Spacey has lost a landmark court battle over ownership of www.kevinspacey.com.

Judge Gary A Feess, of the United States District Court of the Central District of California, ruled on 14 November that if Mr Spacey wished to take ownership of the domain to court he would have to file in a Canadian court, where its current owner – the notorious “cybersquatter” Jeffrey Burgar resides.

The decision, in which Mr Burgar and his lawyer Mr EC Grimm “raise a novel threshold question regarding the exercise of personal jurisdiction where the Defendants’ ‘contact’ with the forum have taken place in cyberspace”, should at least allow a more level playing field in relation to future domain disputes. From now, complainants are unlikely to be able to chose where a case is heard, removing any incentive for law courts in certain areas to advertise their stronger approach to large companies and rich individuals.

This decision (case CV-3848) effectively ruins any hopes Mr Spacey had of taking over the domain, without buying it.

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