French company files UDRP after offering to buy a domain name for $500,000.
Plug “buy followers” into Google and you’ll get 624,000 results. In a rush to look important online, companies spend lots of money buying low-quality social media followers.
A French firm that uses the domain name BuyFollowers.fr to sell followers has failed in its attempt to steal the generic domain name BuyFollowers.com through a UDRP, and it appears it may have been a bit dirty in its tactics.
By my reading of the UDRP decision, complainant Conseil NR told the domain name owner that it would buy BuyFollowers.com for $500,000. When the domain name owner suggested he would accept the offer, Conseil NR filed the UDRP. It used the $500,000 number against the domain name owner, trying to prove that the respondent would sell the domain name for a high price.
As panelist Luca Barbero pointed out, “Respondent’s indication that it would have accepted the Complainant’s unsolicited offer of USD 500,000 for the disputed domain name consisting of generic terms does not prove bad faith directed to the Complainant.”
Had the domain name owner responded to the accusations, the panel might well have found Conseil guilty of Reverse Domain Name Hijacking. It only has a figurative mark for “Buy Followers”, and the respondent registered the .com before any trademarks were filed for the mark.
Owning a generic ccTLD does not give you rights to a generic .com domain name.