ICANN’t Always Get What You Want
Our lawyer explains:
Tell me again why I do this shit…
Basically, Bob and Nick wanted to go into business together. Bob ‘s company was called “Muscular Young Intellectuals Singing”; Nick’s was called “Young Models Serenading Serenely.” Together they would form “Young Models Singing.” Bob registered the domain, and Nick trademarked the words. Bob spent money putting this merger together. Then it fell apart. Nick wanted the domain, since he had the trademark. Bob said, “pay me.” Nick said, “Fuck that. Eat a
Nick filed an ICANN action to take the domain without paying for it. Bob was kind of fucked, because YoungModelsSinging.com went to a placeholder page, and has for pretty much its entire existence. (The best way you beat a claim to take away your domain is by actually using the thing.) However, Bob didn’t use it because of the trademark. Or at least that was the argument. Seems like something worth fighting about.
Then, the phone call out of the blue.
Out of State lawyer: My swampland client Bob lost a UDRP proceeding in some frozen tundra arbitration, and wants to appeal in your barren wastelands.
Our lawyer: Of course.
Out of State: All you have to do is file the stuff and cash the checks.
Our lawyer: Of course.
So, it’s our turn. Suit is filed to appeal the UDRP loss and to address the incompatible trademark vs domain name issue.
Other lawyers: This is dumb. We’re all spending thousands of dollars over a $1.99 domain name that nobody is using.
Our lawyer: Write bob a check and it goes away.
Other lawyers: OK.
Out of State: But don’t you be dicks about it.
Other lawyers: Now that you’ve said that, we will be complete dicks about it.
Bob: Just wait until I weigh in.
We’ve all agreed on price and terms. Out of State goes on vacation for two weeks, without notice. Client has it for eight days before it needs to be agreed to signed, according to the other lawyers, in full dick mode.
Other lawyers: Bob needs to give us every domain he has that uses “Young Models” including “YoungModelsSinging.”
Our guy: Of course, because why would he want to keep something he doesn’t have in the first place, only to get sued by Nick the asshole down the road?
Bob: fuck that. They don’t own “Young Models.”
Our guy: Neither do you. What’s the problem? You want to keep something you don’t have in the first place, only to get sued by Nick the asshole down the road?
Bob: (hours before deadline) OK, I didn’t want to tell you, but I own YoungModelsSingers too. Anonymously. Plus, I want “Muscular Young Models” and a few other variations of “Young Models,” because: fuck them.
Our Guy: Of course, because nothing makes you lovable like being a dick and hiding it. You’re just buying more trouble. Lots more.
Bob: Take out everything except the one thing we’re fighting for, or else they will have to pay me more.
OG: Yeah, that will totally not tip them off.
Other Lawyers: Yeah, we’re totally not tipped off. Except we are.
Bob’s no longer the guy who got screwed out of his investment in a deal that went south – he’s a cybersquatter, and I can’t win his case anymore. It’s not impossible, but I can’t lie about the other domains, and wouldn’t if I could. Also, I haven’t been paid for all the work i have already done. So, I told Bob, take the deal or I am off the case. He has until EOB Monday.
(Ed.: So far, no word.)
This would be a totally different situation, if we represented the local guy with the porn empire, and the Veyron, the MP4 and the SLR McLaren. He can pay his bill. I would even barter some if it with loaners – pussy, cars, whatever. (After consulting with the bosses and Lurlene, of course.)