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  • Panel won’t find Reverse Domain Name Hijacking due to whois privacy

    1. BY - Mar 18, 2014
    2. Policy & Law
    3. 5 Comments

    UDRP panelist cites whois privacy as reason for not finding RDNH.

    A single member National Arbitration Forum panel has found in favor of the owner of Finell.com, but declined to find reverse domain name hijacking because the owner used a whois privacy service.

    The UDRP complaint was brought by Finell Co., LLC, which has its origins around 2011. Architect Filip Finell registered Finell.com in 2000 and started using it to promote his architecture firm. He later took his site down and the hosting company added a parked page to the site.

    These facts alone were enough to find in favor of the domain name owner.

    Yet panelist Kendall C. Reed declined to find Finell Co. guilty of reverse domain name hijacking. Reed noted that Filip Finell added whois privacy to the domain name in recent years and this would make it difficult for the complainant to understand the ownership of the domain name.

    Reed might be right here. If the complainant filed the case and knew that the domain was owned by someone with the last name Finell that had owned the domain since 2000, it would certainly be reverse domain name hijacking. But if the complainant didn’t know these facts because of the privacy, it’s more difficult to find the complainant at fault.

    The complainant did try to contact the domain owner through the privacy email prior to filing the complaint.

5 Comments
  • John Berryhill says:

    March 18, 2014 at 9:52 am

    The website corresponding to the domain name is clearly used by an architect named Filip Finell. It even links to his LinkedIn page.

    How blitheringly stupid does one need to be not to immediately grasp who is the beneficial owner of the domain name under those circumstances?

  • John Berryhill says:

    March 18, 2014 at 9:53 am

    (hit submit too soon)

    “The complainant did try to contact the domain owner through the privacy email prior to filing the complaint.”

    Did the complainant use the email link ON THE WEBSITE?

    Because the UDRP rules require the complainant to send the complaint to all contact information known to the complainant.

    • Based on the screenshot history at whois tools, I suspect there was only a parking page full of unrelated links at the time the complainant originally filed the complaint, so there was no contact or identifying information on the website at that time. The latest screenshot from Feb 20, 2014 shows his current website, but sometime prior to that it was just a parking page for at least a year or more. As you say though, the current website certainly does identify the current owner and provides contact details.

    • The case says it was a parked page at the time, unless I misunderstood it.

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