Letters you will be receiving if you the Snowe Bill Passes

Here is a e-mail we received a week ago:

“””I am the owner of a large web development company about to embark on a project for …………. and noticed you are inappropriately squatting on and selling their rightful domain name.  I am writing this on his behalf and at the moment offering you a settlement now of $50 to transfer ownership of ……………………………  to my client.  The other option is our pursuit of legal action down a long winded trial process which you will lose and end up paying all of our legal fees and will have to hand over the domain anyway.  Or we will go after you for cybersquatting and you will have to pay a fine of $100,000.  My client has been operating in this space for over 10 years under the business name …………….. .us and has full legal right to the .COM  Please contact me to discuss further. Thank you.””

Here was our answer:

 

“””We have been in business for over 15 years and have never lost a domain in a legal proceeding.

I have never heard of a case where the owner of a .us was awarded a .com based on the ownership of a .us domain.  If you have a reference in which this occurred we would like to see the citation.

To attempt to make a claim for a domain, you would have to had a federally registered trademark, dated prior to our registration, which you don’t, and you would also have to prove that the mark was famous, which yours is not.

We will not lose this name to you and will hold you responsible for all our legal fees if you bring this frivolous action.””

So after receiving our answer I received this e-mail back:

 

“””Worth trying. Thank you for the valuable info.

 What is a reasonable amount you would sell the domain name for?” “””

We get e-mails and letters like this every few weeks.  People having no claim or right to a domain, trying to get them to give it to them based on some ridiculous argument.  No trademark, no brand, no nothing.

If the Snowe bill passes these letters will increase 20 fold, but instead of threatening $100,000 fine, they are going to threaten, contacting the FTC, the Attorney General of the state they live in, the Attorney General of the state you live in, and threaten fines of up to 6 Million.

They are not going to have to show they have a federally registered trademark predating your domain registration.  they are not going to have to show any federal trademark registration.

They are not going to have to show any state trademark registration.

They are not going to have to show that their name is famous or even known to anyone.

All they are going to have to say is we have a business located somewhere in the U.S. which is similar to your domain and we want it.

healthstore.com, that’s our name, we own a health store in  Ocala Florida, called the “health store”.

Give me the name or else

eatout.com, we own a fast food joint in Boone, NC called eat out.  Yes i’s only been in business for 2 years and makes 10K a year, but give us the name or else.

The list will go on and on.

Lets not forget our friends and CADNA member Dell computer.   How long will it be before they go after computer.com after this law passes??

This law will create a nightmare for all domain owners, large and small, public companies that own domains and individuals and companies that only on 1 domain name that they use for their business.

Meantime, we will keep getting the Phishing e-mails every day with .ru extensions and from all the other Eastern Europe, former soviet republic countries.

Ball’s in your court.

Comments

  1. Robb says

    “Worth trying” was the response????

    It was “worth trying” to steal your valuable domain?

    It’s like someone walking up to you and saying “give me your house” or “give me your car”, and when you say No they say “Worth trying”.

    What a jerk.

  2. admin says

    Yes he’s a jerk, but I get e-mail’s like this all the time.

    And in a way the guy is right it’s worth a try.

    If this law passes, its really going to be worth a try for a lot of people, to come after you for your domains.

  3. says

    nice analogy…I see your car Is parked and your not using it so you should let me drive it…your right admin its worth trying…they only need a few to do it and they get a nice portfolio for free

  4. says

    Interesting post there.

    My advise would be to the owners of any .com domain name not to give in to those PARASITE Company’s which want to steal the domain name.

    No matter where the Company is located which want’s the .com they have NO right and NO ground to take the domain name from the owner since it is a .com (International – World Wide domain name).

    If their business location is in Australia and their business is called xyz then they can take legal action to get the domain name xyz.com.au and NOT xyz.com

    Domain name owners should stand strong and not let company’s like Google , Dell and other scumbags take the domain name away.

    Those EVIL Corpseration prey on domain name owner by installing FEAR and they they think they can get away with it – will you let them ?

    I WILL NOT

  5. admin says

    Nice thoughts, but how large is your legal budget?

    Right now if body comes after you for a domain they have no right to its going to cost you between 5-10K to defend.

    If The attorney general or the FTC comes after you on a domain, your talking 6 figures to defend, for each one.

    The problem is that this bill makes almost every domain subject to claim by someone, somewhere, remember they do not need a trademark, just a name similar to a business name (even if no one has heard of them). So you may have hundreds of these to defend.

    We would hire our own in house attorney to handle these it would be cheaper.

    But how many domainers or small business owners could afford to defend themselves??

    Don’t forget the law would also allow them to injoin your use of the domain immediately without a showing of anything, so your income going to be cut off and then your going to have to fight

  6. says

    conversely I sold a name last fall that I was making a site for and the guy wanted to pay me “more” because I had time invested in the site…I told him I couldn’t charge him for that since it was my problem that I was sellinga domain I had time into…wish everyone was like him…btw I made 250% on the name…owned it 11 months!

    whatta business…

  7. admin says

    Tim

    We are getting way off topic here which again is that people will take advantage of this law id it passes to try to take your names away.

    They do it now when the stakes are lower

  8. says

    In my opinion, search engines are the dictionary and domains are the entries. As Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary states “…each entryis based on a constantly updated file of actual English usage. Those entries known to be trademarks are so labeled and are treated in accordance with a formula approved by the United States Trademark Association.”
    Therefore, I am assuming that generic words, whether alone or grouped together, used as domains for the purpose of an entry, on an internet search, just as one would search in a dictionary or Encyclopedia, should be free to be used as such by the domain registrant.
    How can Dell computers justify owning computers.com when Toshiba, or Macintosh or whoever offer a similar generic product? A domain registrant and a company had equal opportunity to register the domain name when it was first offered to the public. Too bad for Dell that they were not insightful enough to register it.
    We must be vigilant and on guard to these abuses. We must help back up every honest domainer as these claims come up. Obviously, if someone is purposefully trying to infringe on a brand, it is another story. The domainer’s I know have been light years ahead of the marketing companies that these corporations employ. They need to fire their expensive marketing company and ask the domain holder of “their” generic search to replace them. that’s the way I see it.com

  9. admin says

    Gordon

    In the next few days the ICA should be ready to announce some guidance on writing letters to senators.

    You can go sign the petition we blogged about yesterday.

    You can send letters to the companies that are the founders of CADNA and tell them you are going to boycott their products unless they drop there support of an organization trying to take away your property

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