Domain Name Wire

Domain Name Wire

  • Original Registrant of CamRoulette.com Sued

    1. BY - May 31, 2010
    2. Policy & Law
    3. 53 Comments

    CamRoulette.com subject to lawsuit.

    It’s the deal that keeps on giving.

    The domain name world was shocked when CamRoulette.com sold for $151,000. The original registrant of the domain name was kicking himself for selling it for only $1,400. But now he has bigger problems: another person says he had an agreement to buy the domain name for $700. He’s suing for $150,300, the difference between what he offered to buy the domain for and what it sold for at auction.

    The original registrant, Craig Snyder of Florida, posted his story about being sued on DNForum [Update: DNForum deleted the thread], saying he’s just a self-employed high school grad with very little money to his name. The company that filed the lawsuit claiming it had agreed to buy the domain, FRASER DB, Inc. (owned by Fraser Brown) apparently thinks that he’s actually another Craig Snyder with more money to his name. You can read the complaint here.

    In addition to suing for the difference in sale price, the plaintiff is asking for specific performance of the sales agreement. The plaintiff apparently wanted CamRoulette.com so he could start a competitor to ChatRoulette.com.

    A couple thoughts about this lawsuit:

    1. I suspect that the plaintiff will rethink the strategy when they realize the defendant has very little money.

    2. If this case moves forward, it could be a reminder to many domainers of what constitutes and offer and agreement.

53 Comments
  • Jonty Williams says:

    May 31, 2010 at 8:58 am

    Unless it was a written agreement, I doubt they have much of a case.

  • I wonder what parallels there are to the more common buyer who backs out of a sales agreement like Michael Norris & Brendt Munro out of Austrilia who are notorious for backing out of agreements to buy domain names.

    btw, avoid ANY deals with Michael Norris & Brendt Munro buying or selling, they are not to be trusted.

  • jack ford says:

    May 31, 2010 at 10:18 am

    2 words, John Berryhill

  • IMO, in the unlikely event the case goes to trial, don’t see how plaintiff can win on the basis of hypothetical damages since he may not have been able to sell the domain himself for that same high price, i.e. he may have said no to the 151k offer as he was looking for more and the deal could have fallen apart; maybe he set a reserve price higher than 151k; or he may not haver even listed it for sale at the same lucky venue and tried selling elsewhere but not as fortunate there.

    As far as emails go I know they are admissable in court as evidence however it’s always possible they may not carry sufficient weight with the judge (vs a signed contract), possibly depending on how the emaiis are worded.

  • I had a contract with Michael Norris who Phil mentions above. He pulled out of the contract on me but I did get the first payment out of him which was free money (several thousand dollars).

  • i’m not a lawyer but i think Fraser DB has a good chance of winning. This is different than someone in a forum just saying they will sell you the name and then backing out. he agreed several times by email that he would sell it to him and then he sent a invoice for the name and Fraser DB paid the invoice and Craig accepted the payment. Later he refunded the payment through paypal and sold it to someone else. I would say once he actually accepted that payment from the invoice that would be equal to an agreement right there. even if he doesnt have much money they could still take his car, his house and take part of his wages for life. Craig better get a good lawyer.

  • Stupid Common law in US. Bad decisions made by judges in past made people try to squeez money from everyone for no reason.

    Just like morons trying to sue Honda to get money they don’t deserve.

  • Wow. Especially since DomainGang broke the news 17+ hours ago :D

  • After reading the lawsuit, it seems there were agreements to buy/sell the domain through email. This is confirmed by creating a Paypal invoice which was supposedly paid. This looks like an agreed upon sale with an invoice sent and paid.

    However, the value of the domain is clearly based on a registered trademark which means the lawsuit is filed under questionable terms. The case states “The Domain Name cannot be replaced. It is one of a kind. Its value to FraserDB for its use in a chatroulette-style Website far exceeds the value paid by FCI, Inc. at auction.” This shows the value of the CamRoulette domain name to FraiserDB was based off of the popular ChatRoulette website.

    If anything the lawsuit should be thrown out if it goes forward. The value is based on a trademark I do not believe FraiserDB are the rightful owners of.

  • Emails count. Skip Hoagland has taken a seller to court (more than once) who’s agreed to sell a name in an email and than changed his mind. And Skip’s won every time.

  • Jonty Williams says:

    May 31, 2010 at 4:07 pm

    Thanks David. Now we all now not to do biz with Skip Hoagland.

    Who else should we watch out for David?

  • I guess from now on everyone put in email a word “I will think about it for selling “___”

    Putting stress on “think about it ” . This is so stupid. I think may be the suer is so pissed off , or may be he has so much time and energy to waste on something he knows he wont get money from.

    Go sue honda and toyota. I think this is totaallly Bullshit case, and sad to hear that, whoever is suing is the member of the domaining community.

    I read on the dnf that this seller is 20 year old kid, I think the rich supposdly buyer needs to think about it ruining the Future of the kid.

    Just my 2 cents.

  • and additionally, I guess now we can SUE THE BUYERS TOO, for not Buying the domain Names when they make offer and Do not Respond!!!

  • @Jonty
    The only people you should “watch out for” are those who accept your offer and then jerk you around. Yes, Skip is a tough businessman, but if he makes you an offer he will stand behind it.

  • In this case, a verbal agreement shouldn’t be binding, but if there are emails and the domain was billed and paid, plaintiff and defendant should split the profit of the sale. That is, after escrow or commission fees are paid. They should split it, and the defendant shouldn’t get off scott free.

  • Jonty Williams says:

    May 31, 2010 at 5:40 pm

    “Yes, Skip is a tough businessman.”

    I stay far far away from anyone who has a history of suing other domainers. If Skip has sued multiple people like you say, it is highly suspicious.

    I guess everyone should put a footnote at the bottom of all their emails that reads “I reserve the right to pull out of any deal at anytime for any reason”

  • @Jonty:
    If someone is in the habit of agreeing to an offer and then reneging it may be a good idea to add that footnote, but it would make the seller look extremely unprofessional and I would never trust doing business with them. If I agree to an offer I will 100% stand by it. I would n-e-v-e-r agree to an offer and then renege. In this business your word is your bond and those who habitually break their word will eventually learn a hard lesson.

  • If deal is broken, you can only demand what you’ve paid, or penalties if they are written in contract or defined by law.

    No “might be value” counts. But Common law is complete junk, especially in US so we’ll see.

  • Jonty Williams says:

    May 31, 2010 at 7:43 pm

    “I would n-e-v-e-r agree to an offer and then renege.”

    That is admirable. I for one would N-E-V-E-R sue someone who did renege. And I’ll certainly skip doing biz with Skip.

  • David I do not know who Jonty Williams is, seems he is very misinformed and to make a statement about someone who he has never met , shows perhaps why he will have a very hard time succeeding in business. Actually at 62 yrs old, I am looking to get out of business, not do more. So his false statements and rumors will fall on deaf ears.

  • Jonty Williams says:

    May 31, 2010 at 10:21 pm

    Skip, I was simply responding to what David said. He said that you have sued multiple domainers for reneging on a deal. If that is the case, most of the domainers I know won’t ever do biz with you. If you know anything about domainers, you know that’s true.

  • Jonty Williams says:

    May 31, 2010 at 10:32 pm

    “So his false statements and rumors will fall on deaf ears.”

    I made no false statements about you. If you can’t read and comprehend anymore it is probably a good thing that you are retiring.
    Using this kind of demagoguery says more about you than David’s comment about your litigious nature.

  • @Jonty:
    I know most of the major players in this business and I have no idea which “domainers” you’re referring to. None of the domainers I know would ever consider reneging on a sales price. None. The only domainers I’ve ever heard of doing that are either beginners, amateurs or dishonest. I’ve never sued anyone, but I know some of the details of Skip’s situations and I’m glad he took them out to the woodshed. The industry is better off because of it and I guarantee you that they’ll never pull that garbage on another domainer – including you :)

  • Jonty Williams = troll

  • Jonty, where do you get you info on not doing business with me. Name one thing or one person I have ever violated. By the way what are you accomplishements ??? Perhaps you just like and enjoy taking shots at others who have been able to accomplish more than you. Honestly you are not worth responding to and any one of intelligence can see what you represent. We have all seen angry guys like you who are perhaps jealous of others success and find it enjoyable spreading negitive info. Until you can give a good reason and prove why you would make such statements against anyone with no proof of wrong doing and that you have never met., I will just let you hang yourself. My suggestion to you is go get a real job and spend your time doing somethig constructive versus attacking people in forums you have never met. I have completed my career, lots of luck with yours. I also only do business with those I chose to do business with, guys like you will not make my list and I assume many others. Again tell us all about who you are and your accomplishments, other than using forums to attack people to build your own ego.

  • I think it is time that people understand domaining is a serious business and not a playground for wannabes. If you buy a car at a great price and when you want to pick it up the dealer tells you sorry, sold it for more money, here is your money back, most people you consider to sue.

    If you enter into a contract you have to honor the contract or face the consequences.

  • Snicksnack: Every contract can be broken by any side. Way it’s defined by law or contract itself.
    If it’s broken against rules, side that takes damage can usually request only penalties that are defined in law or in that contract.

    But once again, Common law is complete junk, especially in US. Common law in US is reason, why have microwave ovens statements like this “Don’t dry cats in microwave oven”.

  • There is a case here but certainly not for more than high $$$.
    No one can predict the future so if FRASER DB owned this domain they may never ever get a single offer, they cant prove anything that this would lead to a sale of low $$$$$$.

  • If he backed out of a contract and there is proof of this I think he could be liable for up to the $1400 he sold the domain for. I don’t think he would be liable for up to $151,000 though as there is no guarantee that him selling the domain would achieve the same result unless we are 100% sure he would have placed it in the same auction and had the same buyer present.

  • Lol! This is nonsense.
    Fraser can not do anything!
    Because he refunded and he accept PayPal refund.
    Domain market is so flexible, you can sell a domain 1 million or $10 just it depends..
    After that domain sold over $150k
    Fraser wants this money, lol!
    If this domain value is over $150 why they paid $700 for it?
    They are not this domain original owner also.
    How come they want $150k from original owner?
    Nonsense! Not logical!
    If they got a proper selling contract with original owner of this domain, I can understand and they should have a right.
    But they have not any thing but they have money and they think they can do anything!
    Nonsense!!!

  • Jonty Williams says:

    June 1, 2010 at 7:34 am

    Skip, you are confused or you didn’t actually read the comments. I was simply responding to David Castello assertion that you are in the habit of suing domainers. David said it, not me.

    In all types of business, overly litigious people are to be avoided. I’m sure you’d agree with that statement.

    Your attempts to attack me personally are childish.

  • Skip Hoagland is one of the most honest and straight shooting guys I have met in this business or any other I’ve been in. He is one of the few guys in this business that every one of us should be looking to as a role model for our own success – few can say they have or ever will accomplish what he has. He is not a “Domainer” he is a business man, and domains are his medium for doing business.

    I can assure anyone here with any doubt, that Skip has forgotten more about this business than most of us will ever know.

    Skip – Our network of Panama websites is coming along great / albeit slower than I would like. We just completed our 3rd site and I’ll be getting back to you soon.

  • Adrian Agapios says:

    June 1, 2010 at 7:54 am

    I don’t see how FRASER DB can recover theoretical damages. If anything they might have $700 coming to them; the difference between $1400 and $700

    Also, Maybe Skip should ask David not to discuss his legal issues in public forums.
    It seems like Skip’s anger is misdirected.

  • @ Dub-A

    “@ Acro – isn’t domaingang a satire site?”

    This question to the magician of concept and satire has gone unanswered by the manipulator of domain reality… but it must be pointed out and you did it perfectly.

    No answer from the hypocrite of “what’s news, and what’s satire”. Strange. Or maybe not.

    Thanks Dub-A.

  • I don’t think what Skip does could be called overly litigious. It is very annoying to spend the time and energy getting a deal done with somebody only to have them back out.

    It sounds to me like he does what everybody else should do. If someone agrees to a contract and then backs out, you have at the very least lost time and very potentially money as well.

  • Contract is statement of 2 or multiple sides that they agree on some acts.
    In this case acts is transfer of domain in exchange for financial transaction.

    Contract is prefered to be written, but might be spoken or arranged by mimics (agreement by handshake or head nod), or even by e-mail.
    E-mail is method, where you can later verify 100% what was agreed.

    Contracts containts ways they can be broken and penalties.

    In this case, breaking contract by one side but there were no set penalties or ways to break contract.
    There’s not mentioned if contract can be broken by decision of one side, or common decision, or by running time, or other circumstances.

    So it isn’t that easy to null effect of broken contract.
    So buyer can claim ownership but in the end he have no right, he can claim damage (like in this case) but what one can sell for 150,000$ others might not.
    Usually, buyer will get back his money and expences he had (for example appraisal for 30$).

    But in Common law, especially in US, judge decisions are in contrast with law or common sense. What matters is advoacate that can manipulate 20 morons in jury.

  • Agree with that Adrian. I see no way plaintiff could possibly be awarded more than the $700 difference in price. Suing over a completely hypothetical loss is absurd.

    Fairly certain the case will be transferred away from NY if defendant files a motion to do that, and if transferred to Florida will likely not go to trial. If it does the award can not be based on hypothetical damages in my non-attorney opinion.

    With that said, I also think the seller should have honored the purchase agreement so am not defending him in that regards but nevertheless the lawsuit is absurd. A small claims court lawsuit for $700 would have been more appropraite.

  • Just dawned in me that if you read paragraphs 50, 51 & 52 in the lawsuit you will see plaintiff wants specific performance relief granted. That is the sale to Adam Stong being declared void and the domain awarded instead to plaintiff.

    IMO, that may in fcat be the primary reason for the lawsuit. With a goal of getting the domain name and not necessarily the money aspect, which financial compensation would be extremely unlikely to ever happen, especially with the option of bankruptcy.

    • @ David – yes. If that were to happen, all hell would break lose in the domain name industry. It would require a contract for even the smallest deals, and remove any assurance of right of title.

  • John Berryhill says:

    June 1, 2010 at 12:44 pm

    “Just dawned in me that if you read paragraphs 50, 51 & 52 in the lawsuit you will see plaintiff wants specific performance relief granted. That is the sale to Adam Stong being declared void and the domain awarded instead to plaintiff.”

    …and this court has jurisdiction to do that… how?

  • Court Jester says:

    June 1, 2010 at 1:05 pm

    “…and this court has jurisdiction to do that… how?”

    Courts never extend their jurisdiction do they, John?

  • Did plaintiff get the 20 year old kid mixed up with someone who I assume has deeper pockets but the same name?

    http://domainnamewire.com/2009/08/11/craig-snyder-joins-oversee-net/

  • The original owner won’t have to pay out anything. Waste of time to go into court. The company suing are greedy, and just trying to pocket money on a domain which is overrated.

    It doesn’t make sense to determine a value based on a sale, especially when this domain was only worth $800 before the sale. However, the company would never been able to duplicate the success of chatrpulette.com. They better present a detailed plan to demonstrate its worth.

    The while ordeal is free press for cam roulette. There’s no way it will ever duplicate the same traffic ranking as chat roulette.

  • The court will throw this case out. This is no merit to it, especially when the domain has no real value. It does now because stupid domain appraisal sites value it at the price of the resale.

    The kid should get a website detailing his experience with the whole ordeal. He will generate heavy traffic. The NY millionaire is greedy and bitter about the record sale.

    To me, the website is worthless. It is just another copycat of every other sex portal. If the kid has to, he can just plead guilty and file bankruptcy. The case will be on his credit for 7 years. The bankruptcy will fall off in 10 years.

    When I won a domain in an auction, the owner had two weeks to reclaim the domain. Unless you’re e-signing paperwork, then I wouldn’t worry. Maybe the kid can go to New York to present his case. He can communicate he has nothing, and it is reckless for a greedy person to seek punitive damages off of something that was nothing to begin with.

    What better way than to get on a plane to visit New York. New York City is one of the most exciting places to visit. The kid should ask for donations so he can make the trip. Then, he can blog about his experience.

    This is similar to the case where a judge tried to sue a Chinese dry cleaner owner because they lost his pants. They offered to pay for the pants, but he filed a lawsuit for some outrageous amount, which caused the owner stress, attorney fees, and basically ruined his life.

    If the court allows this case, it will smear integrity of the judicial system. The case will be thrown out. It is ridiculous to even consider such a meaningless case into court.

    Waste of time and money for a pointless case, only showing how rich people are greedy leeches that don’t give a crap about anyone but themselves.

    The kid should write a book about the man who is suing him – that is if he goes to court. I’m sure the case will show how greed corrupts society. Cam Roulette is worthless. It should have never sold for 6 figure, let alone a $1400.

  • Talk about bad luck. Poor kid.

  • It doesn’t look like founder SpintheCam is greedy, it looks like they had a legally binding contract, which means that they own the domain, which means that no matter what any montary gain from that domain is legally theres. It’s an open and shut case.

  • Tim, we’re talking about a domain name being sold, not a company being sold. Assuming SpinTheCam would really be CamRoulette, these are two completely different businesses with different potential for profit. If this domain was parked and all of the traffic was type-in, I’d say he’s entitled to those profits. He’s not.

  • If we have a contract where you buy my stereo and we exchange money, then I go and sell the stereo for 3x the amount, you are entitled to the money, that’s the law, that’s how it is.

  • TheKokHammer says:

    June 4, 2010 at 12:18 pm

    You guys are all f***ing geeks….get outside and do something productive.

  • @TheKokHammer

    How about we all go outside and hammer our Koks? Don’t hate yourself because you’re a geek, dude. Embrace your reality. You’re fighting it, and we’re all feeling your pain.

    Are you still a virgin? Never drank a beer too? We understand. Don’t be hating…

  • Did the guy get sued in the end?

    That sale is insane, seen a fer ‘roulette’ domains selling for quite a lot over last month or two but none for as much as camroulette.

    (edit)

    Would imagine that will do pretty well.

    I’ve regged a few roulette names but dont think they’re worth anything.

Leave a Reply