John Dilks represented by John Berryhill, just won control of the domain name EHT.com in a UDRP, which was stolen from Mr. Dilks account at Tucows.
The UDRP panel of Houston Putnam Lowry, ordered the domain returned to the owner finding that “A domain holder cannot have legitimate interests in a domain name acquired by theft.”
However the panel gives some disturbing language for those that use privacy on their domain name registrations and I’m not sure where the panelist gets the authority for his opinion regarding privacy:
“”Respondent registered the domain name using a privacy service. In the commercial context, this raises a rebuttable presumption of bad faith registration and use.””
“For this reason alone, the Panel will find bad faith registration and use.”
The domain name traveled around the world changing registrars several times all along keeping the owner nameserver active to avoid detection.
The panel went on to find that the:
Respondent has illegally hijacked the domain name and listed itself as the registrant, rather than Complainant.
Respondent continues to transfer the domain name to different registrars in an effort to conceal Respondent’s true identity and to prevent easy recovery of the domain name.
In an effort to conceal the hijacking, the disputed domain name has resolved to Complainant’s own website at all times.
Where the complainant was the former owner of the domain name, this raises a rebuttable presumption of bad faith registration and use even when the domain name still resolves to Complainant’s web site.
Respondent registered the domain name using a privacy service.
In the commercial context, this raises a rebuttable presumption of bad faith registration and use.
Respondent has done nothing to rebut this presumption.
For this reason alone, the Panel will find bad faith registration and use.
Frankly, this Panel has never seen this set of facts before.
Respondent’s hijacking of a domain name in this manner should constitute per se bad faith registration and use of the domain name, even if the nameservers remain the same.
The Panel cannot conceive how such actions would ever constitute anything but bad faith.
Domain name owners should be vigilant to avoid such hijackings in the future.””