Outing Buyers Of Trademarked Domains

Last week we wrote about two domains that were at auction at TDNAM.

Both of which were obvious trademark infringing domains, and both of which had high reserve prices, due to the fact that they had a lot of traffic, and were generating substantial PPC earnings.

Last week we attacked GoDaddy.com for this practice, bascially selling trademarked domains for their anticiated earnings and then sticking the money in its pocket.

Now its time to out the buyers of those 2 domains.

EdHardyClothing.com (bought with a bid of $6,880)

Edmond Dantes
   Rosellon, 121 4o B
   BARCELONA,  E-08008
   Spain

Administrative Contact:
      Dantes, Edmond  ed-dantes@hotmail.com
      Rosellon, 121 4o B
      BARCELONA,  E-08008
      Spain
      932672402 

Buyer of DishNetwork.net (with a bid of $2,880)

Registrant:
   Daniel Salvaterra
   81 Division Street
   Kingston, PA 18704
   United States

 Administrative Contact:
      Salvaterra, Daniel  finonzo@gmail.com
      81 Division Street
      Kingston, PA 18704
      United States
      5702833128

Comments

  1. says

    Never been a fan of trademark infriging scum. Good on you to let the world know what a piece of work these two are. I really see no difference between kiting and this — they’re both profiting from what’s not rightfully theirs.

  2. jblack says

    Well done Mike. Its very clear trademark infringement, these clowns are profitting from someone else’s intellectual property. A good start toward policing our own.

  3. Ricardo says

    “Should we start TrademarkOffenders.com? ”

    I’m against the obvious TM infringements.
    However, who should be the judge?

    But, couldn’t “dish network” be used by a recipe club?
    Or, for a service to find unique, antique or out of production dishes and cups?

    The domain by itself is not infringing. It is what they do with it. That is why I’m against “someone” judging a domain without seeing its use.

    Unfortunately, in this case dishnetwork.net is displaying a landing page by Godaddy pointing towards satellite links.

  4. says

    MHB –

    I’m curious about your position on trademark names:

    1. Opposed to any/all TM-related names, if you’re not the TM registrant.

    2. OK to own TM names, but opposed to inappropriate use of that name, such as parking. (specifically thinking about the recent WIPO case involving ITT-related names…….ITT didn’t get their names back)

    Thanks.

  5. says

    MHB,

    I do not think this was a classy move by listing these individuals IMO.

    Lets put things into perspective if we really want to discuss this topic openly with transparency.

    If you were to list violators of this action, it would contain 98% of domainers on it, to include all registrars who have an auction platform and portfolio.

    What has protected many from being “outed” is the launch of private whois years ago. If you really had nothing to hide, then why would you go above and beyond to hide ownership details.

    All of the major corporations and businesses who are legit and have nothing to hide remain transparent and do not use private whois. But many domainers who are doing the right thing “supposedly” use the hell out of private whois.

    Kudos to Frank Schilling for keeping holdings transparent. I can’t tell you how many times I have come across a domain he owns in the whois. As for many other domainers, we have a good idea why they remain non-transparent with private whois.

    Though the key reasons these domainers use an excuse for Private Whois are:

    -My names are not for sale
    -Had a WIPO bad faith decision against them and lost
    -I do not want to become a crime victim
    -I do not want email spam
    -I do not want my personal information displayed publicly

    It is easy to point out small fish violators who are doing it who are not willing to pay for private whois or who do not own their own registry. However, we all know many domainers contain these in their portfolios in one way or another.

    We should not only stop at trademarked rights, but also include typos to popular sites consumers trust as well. This in itself is unethical as well to earn additional revenue off of established online businesses.

    Very few will touch on that subject. If we took away all the private whois and used DomainTools.com service to list what a person owns, you would find thousands of violations by many of the top players in the industry.

    This industry was built on these characteristics. Squatting on popular marks was the standard before Nov 1999 when the cybersquatting law was passed. Unfortunately, it will continue so long as there is money to made from it. OR until the owners get sued by these Corporations and businesses consistently.

    If you really want to out violaters and change the DNA of the industry, Demand transparency from large and medium portfolio owners. The truth will be revealed then and only then. There are many skeletons in the closet that would be revealed, so it may not be a good idea to do so.

    Should we continue to blame the small fish for this trend that “We All collectively” created years ago? Can we honestly hold them accountable for all the laws being proposed against Domainers, and for WIPO doing business?

    Lets keep things real and find a solution. This may be impossible for leaders in the domain industry to do without new laws enforced by the Government and ICANN.

    In the end, Corporate America will change the domain industry and perhaps eliminate it. If Verisign is able to charge what they want for a .com domain based on its value for renewal, it will be gameover for the industry IMO.

  6. says

    I’m all for fighting cybersquatting. But I’m not sure if outing individual domain registrants is the right way to do this.

    I think, for example, that DishNetwork.net isn’t necessarily a TM domain. Now the owner’s information has been posted on your blog and will be indexed by search engines. That guy has officially been named a cybersquatter now without having had the chance to defend himself.

    Investigative journalism is one thing, denouncing alleged cybersquatters is something entirely different as long as it is no obvious TM infrigement and there is no evidence of bad faith.

    And yes, if you start posting the identities of registrants who have bought possible TM domains, you should also publish the names of the well-known domain investors and companies who have made so much money from trademark domains and extension typos in the recent years. Anything else would not be fair.

  7. says

    LOL, the first guy listed is definitely a fake name and a Count of Montecristo fan no doubt. I would echo Tim and Steve’s comments about looking more towards the medium/large portfolio owners out there taking advantage of TMs under the radar being the bigger problem.

  8. says

    Maybe it’s just me but I feel pretty bad for these guys much like I do for the one who bought Toyota.me for $90k. There are people new to this business that don’t know any better. And there are some that do and still do it. For me, if someone is willing to shell out big $ for a TM’ed name, I’d assume they belong to the former. I mean, if you know what you’re doing, you can easily get a $20/day generic domain name from Rick Latona for $90,000. It’s not like these guys are reg’ing these TM’s for reg fees and making a killing or the ones keeping the proceeds from the sales and parking. I don’t think they will ever make their investment back (at least before the domain is seized from them).

    These big registrars/auction houses are selling these names and that does produce the appearance of legitimacy to the buying of a TM’ed name.

  9. MHB says

    To all

    These 2 domains were parked at Godaddy.

    When they were parked a couple of weeks ago they had trademark infringing ads on them.

    Godaddy reported stats and earnings on these domains, based on the infringing ads, and the buyers bought the domains on that basis, and paid the reserve price based on the earings of the infringing ads.

    They know what they were buying.

  10. MHB says

    Dominik

    Keep in mind the dishnetwork.com is the official site for the company.

    If Godaddy is wrong for selling trademarked domains, the buyers are wrong for buying them.

  11. MHB says

    Empedocles

    It was not written in haste.

    I have been waiting for the whois to update to see who the buyers were ever since reporting on these two domains from the TDNAM side

  12. says

    I agree with some of the posters,

    You shouldn’t post names of ‘immoral people’.
    Who are you, the moral police?

    ‘Out’ them only if they have been actually convicted through the legal system.

  13. MHB says

    Lawerence

    I never used the word moral or immoral, nor did I call the buyer any name.

    All I said is that these were trademark infringing domains, full of trademark infringing ads and these are the people who bought them.

  14. says

    Michael,

    I completely understand your motives behind your post and it’s good to see a domainer publicly step up against cybersquatters.

    I also have to agree that there are related ads on the DishNetwork.net domain name and that, at that price, it’s likely it has been bought because of the more popular DishNetwork.com and with the typo traffic in mind.

    But I still think this is a controverse topic that needs discussion.

    By saying DishNetwork.net doesn’t necessarily have to be a trademark domain I was not only referring to this particular domain name. There are thousands of domains that include a trademarked term but have been bought in good faith, possibily by a buyer who doesn’t know a lot about domain names and trademarks. Think about the following case:

    What if the buyer of DishNetwork.net in fact bought the domain for a new shop to sell dishes or for a recipes website. Let us assume the buyer is a developer or shop owner who is not into domain names, so he does not know a lot about domain parking and cybersquatting. I am sure there are a lot of such “uneducated” domain buyers out there. Now, if the domain is automatically parked via GoDaddy because the buyer purchased the domain from GoDaddy.com but hasn’t put content on it, yet, then the domain is optimized by GD’s parking system which begins serving PPC links for DishNetwork.COM. Then you could say the domain was used in bad faith, but the buyer might not have known about that and still he gets labelled as a cybersquatter only because he left the domain parked for a few days or weeks until the completion of the upcoming website.

    I guess it’s not that unlikely to have a case like the one I just constructed.

    Again, it’s good to see you say NO to cybersquatting and I’m sure every ethical domain investor will agree that cybersquatting is a serious problem that must be addressed. But publicly posting the identities of TM domain buyers is just wrong with regards to the possibility of mistakenly labelling a buyer as a cybersquatter.

    It is worth outing 99 cybersquatters only to get it wrong one time, hence ruining the reputation of that honest person?

  15. says

    MHB,

    I did not aim the privacy whois at you. You know who they are and am sure you know many who own several of popular site typos and TM type names.

    The bottom line is “WE” can not put the small guys in our gun sights, when the larger targets are standing right next to us, or are the ones we are doing business with daily who are the biggest violators.

    This happens all the time in this industry. When domainers(major players) were taking advantage of domain tasting, no one said anything. Until the lawsuit occured that changed everything. And of course NetworkSolutions.com locking in searched domains on their site.

    It starts from the top down. ICANN, Registrars, Domainers, business owners.

    If it can not be resolved in this fashion, legislation will be the only answer. And the Super Big Fish will prevail.

    It seems we focus on micro issues rather than facing the macro issues with those who can make the biggest difference.

    However, I do commend you and DNW.com for doing an outstanding job in presenting these sensitive issues in a public forum. Keep up the good work, but keep in mind, change will never happen if you focus on the small fish violators.

    Off topic, but as an analogy;

    This is why the drug war will never be won. Small fish all over being taken down weekly, while the smart guys, the Cartels, continue doing business with no impact. The focus should have always been on the Cartels and then filter down.

  16. MHB says

    Dominik

    I appreciate your comments, however this post outed the buyers of 2 very particular domains, the same domains that I and other blogs roasted Godaddy last week for selling.

    If its wrong for the domains to be sold for their traffic value based on PPC ads full of trademarks, it wrong for them to be bought.

    In concept you make many valid points, but in regard to these specific domains and the circumstances surrounding them, I believe my post was appropriate

  17. MHB says

    Steve

    Just to be clear, I planned to write about this as soon as the whois updated, regardless of whom bought the domain.

    The buyer could have been a big guy or a little guy, didn’t matter, it was getting published.

  18. Ricardo says

    MHB quote –
    “Ricardo
    Go to http://dishnetwork.net/
    You see any dinnerware for sale on the page?
    No
    You see ads for DishNetwork and satellite TV services”

    In post #5, I clearly agreed that the website was being used as an TM infringement.

    My comments were directed towards using a website called TrademarkOffenders.com. (or anything like that) In which someone makes a decision what is an infringement and publish it.

    Do you know how many TM’s contain the word “domain”?
    And, the publisher of TrademarkOffenders.com (who is hiding behind a private whois) decides that domain – TheDomains.com – is infringing on someone elses TM.

    As you know being a JD, being a judge and doing it properly is a difficult job. And, requires a strong knowledge of the law.

    Do we want to put the reputation of a domain owner in the hands of a website owner who hides behind a private whois?

  19. MHB says

    Ricardo

    I know nothing about TrademarkOffenders.com or any such type of site, nor I’m I interested in starting one.

    My point is limited to these clearly trademark infringing domains.

    If we are going to attack registrars and auction houses for selling the domains, we have to hold the buyers equally responsible.

  20. says

    You need to out the big boys who are hiding behind off shore corporations.

    Start with register.com’s house portfolio hiding behind their Madiera corporation. Domain tools DNS search on BNMQ.com nameservers would be a start.

    They have done nothing to clean their portfolio and instead put WHOIS privacy and multiple shell corps to sheild themselves.

    I wonder what their PR person or CEO would say in response to this since they know exactly what they are doing.

  21. says

    @Phil – “They have done nothing to clean their portfolio and instead put WHOIS privacy and multiple shell corps to sheild themselves.”

    Yes, this is the most deliberate and insidious type of activity. Would like for this to get exposed … and stopped in its tracks.

    Very good points raised in these posts. One thing is for certain, and unacceptable –> Law abiding domainers have been smeared by TM infringers.

    This is wrong, and it has to stop. Yes, big fish and little fish need to be held to account. I support MHB in speaking out. If domainers do not take a stand, and educate the public on the distinction between legit domaining and cybersquatting, then domainers will suffer unjustifiably for the sins of the exploiters and the cheaters.

    Many of today’s domainers actively avoid infringing domains. We are obligated to contrast our appropriate domaining activities from those who continue to steal brand owners’ hard work and years of established gains. Infringers, especially the most egregious ones, are thieves, cheats, and liars. They operate with zero regard for the companies they infringe upon or the reputation of the legitimate domaining world. We are not a hoard of cybersquatters … though you can thank the TM infringers for that terrible universal perception.

    I agree that one must be cautious in labeling someone as a cybersquatter. There does exist a gray area in which one might come close to infringing without crossing the line. On the other hand, there are the blatant, undeniable infringers and their activities need to stop! Before over-reaching legislation cripples the domain industry. Infringers are going to find themselves in the cross hairs … just like other criminals. Like all people, they make a conscious choice to live within the law … or to break it. Their actions have direct negative effects on others. The infringers are not victims, but they are experts at rationalizing their behavior. Enough said.

  22. says

    So it looks like http://www.dishnetwork.com is powered by WhyPark

    and the edhardy domain is still parked over at godaddy

    The parking services/companies should be held accountable as well — they have staff that should be overseeing this type of things and maintain the quality of their services. Turning your shoulder on this issues speaks in volume about this companies.

    Unfortunately, once again, this has turned into another debate and 50% are for something being done 50% are playing devils advocate and would own the domain dishnetwork.net or edhardyclothing.com if it was available for $50 or $500 — domainers have multiple-personality problems and the core values and morals are at all time lows… not that they were anything to brag about 5 yrs ago but it’s just the way it is folks.

    What is the solution? There isn’t one solution… There will have to be a series of events to occur… In order to straighten things out in the industry.

    My 2c worth…but what do I know ;)

    Regards,
    Mike

    http://www.wannadevelop.com/

  23. MHB says

    Mr. Menus

    Well said and all should remember that these domains were purchased for almost $3K and $7K.

    No one spends that kind of money without knowing what they got and why they bought it

  24. says

    @Empedocles – ““just like other criminals” Once it is made a criminal law in the USA all will potentially be held to account.”

    True, U.S. anti-cybersquatting legislation imposes “civil” penalties, not criminal. Culpability exists however, in full force, particularly for the mass infringers. What bothers many people is the indignance of infringers and complete disregard for others’ rights.

    When a company has invested millions of dollars and years of hard work/innovation cultivating a brand, and then a cybersquatter comes along and tries to siphon off the good will and profit that was built upon the backs of others.

    That being said, it is also disgusting when you see Reverse Domain Name Hijacking in which someone tries to steal a domain by claiming trademark rights that don’t exist. This is also damaging to domainers. Those found guilt of Reverse Hijacking should be subject to civil penalties as well.

  25. MHB says

    Mr. Menius

    “””True, U.S. anti-cybersquatting legislation imposes “civil” penalties, not criminal”””

    I expect legislation to be introduced this year in congress adding criminal penalties for this conduct.

    Unfortunately, all of this abuse will lead congress to act, which is what I have been saying since starting this blog.

    If we don’t clean it up quick, the laws are coming that will place all of us in jeopardy.

  26. Mark says

    As we all know, some of the most well known people in this business are involved in this and also to some extent porn sleaze. I have to laugh (or puke) take your pick when they are virtually worshiped in many forums. Amazing.

  27. MHB says

    Mark

    Porn is legal.

    Dealing in well known obvious trademark infringing domains is not.

    I’m sure there are forums where stealing credit card information is worshiped as well.

    Doesn’t make it right.

    Doesn’t help the situation.

  28. trademarks and typos says

    not to pick on anyone but this situation is one of the most troubling. sorry Kevin. clean it up. :)

    http://Ford.cm
    http://GM.cm
    http://GeneralMotors.cm
    http://Chrysler.cm
    http://CocaCola.cm
    http://Microsoft.cm
    http://AppleComputer.cm
    http://Ipod.cm

    seems every trademark and trademark typo I make with the .cm extension is still being monetized by someone other than the trademark holder?!?!?!

    this CRAP is what is making problems for all of us smaller investors. While the above move was a brilliant idea (at the time) and made him(the owner) filthy rich.
    Great. now shut it down and give the traffic to the trademark holders.
    Focus on your generic domains and we will all be better off. I mean Dr. Ham has always has been described as a religious guy, God.com ???? Stealing traffic and the resulting revenue’s from trademarked names and trademark typo’s?
    I don’t think the BIG MAN upstairs would like that :)
    Cheers from the white north!!

  29. says

    “just like other criminals” Once it is made a criminal law in the USA all will potentially be held to account.”

    and this is the scary thing if you are for it because if you give my a list of any 100 domains I can make the case that 5 have trademarks. We will all become criminals overnight should any corporation want to push the issue even on domains that are grey area.

  30. MHB says

    Eric

    Exactly

    We are all going to be at risk because of this nonsense, new laws will be passed and we will all be threatened, not only with reverse high jacking but jail time unless we had over domains.

  31. says

    @Gigs – “It is really up to the companies to tackle this, why should we bother.”

    Gigs, they are tackling it … at needless financial expense to their companies and their consumers. The blatant infringers are the crack dealers of the neighborhood. TM infringement is not a victimless crime. You suggest looking the other way and let someone else deal with it. You’ll feel differently when your business is compromised by people who steal from you.

    If domainers do not actively separate themselves from blatant infringers, then the general public will continue to misperceive domainers as cybersquatters. In fact, it’s an uphill battle already. And the infringers want to hide among legit domainers. I’ve actually read TM infringers in the forums disseminate lies like “Everyone deals in TM’s, no one is innocent”. Ethics are increasingly important in this corrupt world. Honest domainers and businessmen do not deserve to be mislabeled as cybersquatters.

    We need some system within the community of domainers, registrars, and registries that is able (and willing) to identify high risk domains. If we don’t police ourselves and demonstrate internal accountability, then higher authorities will impose potentially damaging regulation that limits our rights and opportunities. The domain industry has already been damaged and compromised by the activities of TM infringers.

  32. says

    The USPTO TM categories are quite specific. An independent authority already exists, use the existing coffers to pay for high profile civil justice prosecutions now whilst the threat of new criminal laws are real.
    The so called Domain “community” cannot be poacher & gamekeeper.

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