22 Aug If your domain name stolen.
There is nothing worse for an owner of the business than finding out that your domain name with your company name has been copied. Unfortunately, the only way to fight this within the legal system is with Civil Litigation.
You should know that the US Government has written a law, the United States Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DCMA), the content of which you can find on the U.S. Copyright Office‘s Web Site (http://www.copyright.gov). This law protects, amongst other things, intellectual property online.
If you have trademarked the word “(insert here domain name stolen)”, then you file suit against them and try to get a court injunction to shut down the name. The bad guy will (rightly) point out to you that it would actually be cheaper to BUY the name from him than it would be to pay your lawyers to take it from him.
This is what Domain Squatting is all about. Fortunately there are things besides the law on your side.
It would be easier if they had copied the content of your site (they haven’t) or were using your graphics (they aren’t). Unfortunately, there is no phishing here. The easier, quicker way (although with substantially less penalties imposed) is to use the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy. The proper way to fight this OUTSIDE the courts, is to file a “Uniform Domain Name Dispute” with ICANN. ICANN is the governing body for all registrars who service .com, .net, and .org domain names. (Insert Registrar name here) is an “accredited ICANN Registrar”, which means it MUST abide by the ICANN Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy.
According to the Policy, to reclaim your domain name, if your domain name stolen all you must do is show:
1) Evidence of Registratrion and Use in Bad Faith.
2) Legitimate Interest in the Domain Name .
The ICANN Policy is here: http://www.icann.org/udrp/udrp-policy-24oct99.htm
Point your lawyers at that, and then decide what you want to do, but it was no a precedent which would consider a
“crime” to have been committed here if domain name stolen. Though again, you may have a legitimate grievance if you have trademarked “(domain name stolen)”.
For domain name stolen use one of three companies:
There are three companies who handle these disputes on behalf of ICANN for domain name stolen. All specialize in “Domain Name Dispute Resolution Services”, if your
lawyers would rather use these than trying their luck with Civil Litigation against an unknown party in an unknown country.
World Intellectual Property Organization -WIPO
http://arbiter.wipo.int/domains/ – they handled around 80 cases a month of this sort of thing in 2004.
The National Arbitration Forum – NAF
http://www.arbforum.com/domains/ – they handle around 1,000 cases per year, including several recent “celebrity” cases – such as “willsmith.tv” and “pearljams.com”
International Institute for Conflict Prevention & Resolution CPR–
http://new.cpradr.org/ICANN_Menu.asp (Allen Glover)
Before you get to the Arbitration point, you might try a simple letter to the Registrar from your lawyer, pointing out the reasons (if your domain name stolen) that this violates the above policy. They most likely would rather delete the domain than go to arbitration too.
What to do when someone copies all of the site content?
The Search Engines (Google, Yahoo, etc.) are very helpful when it all comes down. They have the ability to remove a site from their results if it is breaking the law.
Request their de-indexing from the SERPS:
Send DMCA to Google.
TO: COPYRIGHT VIOLATOR
CC. YOUR ATTORNEY, THEIR HOST & REGISTRAR’s Legal department
SUBJECT: Copyright Claim DOMAIN NAME OF COPYRIGHT VIOLATOR Is Violating YOUR DOMAIN’s Copyright
Dear DOMAIN NAME OF COPYRIGHT VIOLATOR Owners, (or put their name here)
It has come to my attention that you, DOMAIN NAME OF COPYRIGHT VIOLATOR.COM, have made unauthorized use of copyright protected material owned by BiggerPockets.com.
Your page, located at: URL OF THEIR PAGE , blatantly copied our page located at: URL OF THE PAGE THEY COPIED
I have reserved all rights to the domain and registered the copyright. You are in violation of your host HOST’s NAME, your registrar, REGISTRAR’s NAME’s Terms of Service, and of The Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 (DMCA)
You neither asked for nor received permission to use the work nor to make or distribute copies of it. Therefore, I believe you have willfully infringed my rights under 17 USC § 101, et seq. and could be liable for statutory damages as high as $100,000.
You are asked to immediately cease the use and distribution of all infringing works derived from YOURDOMAIN.com, and all copies of it, and destroy such copies immediately, and that you desist from this or any other infringement of my rights in the future.
If I have not received an affirmative response from you within 72 hours indicating that you have fully complied with these requirements, I shall consider taking the full legal remedies available to rectify this situation. Please note, your registrar information is noted in the message below.
Your prompt reply is appreciated.
Domain Owner of “domain name stolen”.