I've just learnt that Tom Cruise – you know, the Scientologist nut what does movies – has gone to WIPO to win back TomCruise.com.
The complaint – D2006-0560 – was put in yesterday and is pending a compliance review. Tom Cruise – or more likely his minions – have been very, very slow in noticing this Internet thing. The domain was registered in November 1996 – nearly ten years ago!
And there have been dozens of famous people going to WIPO or the courts to get back their namesake domains. The most Net-savvy was doing it back in 1999. I know because I've been following domain disputes closely for years.
I have little doubt that this sudden interest in the Net is because Tom Cruise is increasingly becoming a figure of ridicule on the Net. There's my favourite – TomCruise is nuts.com – and then the video of him killing Oprah Winfrey. And then FreeKatie.net. And then all the sites that go on about him being gay. And the South Park episode thing… It goes on and on, and no doubt Mr Cruise had just noticed that people aren't being as respectful as they should be. Just wait for those lawsuits online friends.
What is also interesting is that, surprise, surprise, it is Jeff Burgar, this time under his dba Alberta Hot Rods that owns the domain. Mr Burgar has to be the most notorious cybersquatter in the history of the Net. He also isn't scared of fighting his corner and often hires a lawyer to push his point. He's had some notable success, including beating Bruce Springsteen to BruceSpringsteen.com and Kevin Spacey in court for KevinSpacey.com (although he lost KevinSpacy.com).
More interesting from a UK perspective , Jeffrey Archer – yes, the shamed Tory peer, liar, perjurer, prostitute user and briber, ego-maniac and author – has also gone to WIPO, again against Burgar to get hold of JeffreyArcher.com. Archer filed his complaint on 18 April. We'll see what happens.
I've done a story for The Register, complete with links to previous stories I've done on this area.
And as a quick update, the man who noticed the WIPO request first – George Kirikos – has been looking about and discovered that Cruise has also gone for – and won – TomCruise.net. It's now in the hands of domain specialists Trout & Zimmer.
Interestingly, Trout & Zimmer's own site is dead: “Account for domain troutzimmer.com has been suspended.”
The site as it was previously can be seen on the Wayback Machine – it has basically always been a placeholder, most recently – and for at least two years – stating simply: “If you are interested in purchasing this domain name, please email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.”
Mr Cruise is on a mission. And this one isn't impossible.