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Guy mad about CentralNic domains sues ICANN and Network Solutions

Fun Friday reading.

I read a lot of lawsuits involving domain name companies. Occasionally I come across a “pro se” suit, in which the plaintiff doesn’t have legal representation.

Nine times out of ten these pro se cases I read involve a plantiff who’s a bit crazy. Like the “nude artist” who’s mad at NameMedia about a domain name.

Here’s another one (pdf), just filed in United States District Court against CentralNic, Network Solutions, VeriSign, ICANN, eNom, and the registrant of a third level .com domain.

The case was filed by Graham Schreiber, the owner of Landcruise.com. It’s a doozy, complete with a cover letter, colored fonts, all sorts of {brackets}, ~ symbols, and way to many commas per sentence.

Basically, Schreiber is mad that a company in the United Kingdom registered Landcruise.uk.com. uk.com domains are actually third level domain names offered by CentralNic.

The owner of Landcruise.uk.com, Lorraine Dunabin, also owns Landcruise.co.uk.

Back in 2011 Schreiber filed a Nominet dispute over Landcruise.co.uk. He subsequently withdrew the complaint because he thought Nominet could actually handle .uk.com disputes. For some reason Schreiber is more concerned with .uk.com than .co.uk, because he thinks it creates more confusion with his .com. He later refiled the Nominet case and lost.

He could just file a WIPO complaint over the CentralNic domain name, but he has some hard-to-decipher beef with WIPO about them not providing him with enough statistics.

He’s peeved at ICANN for not responding to his complaints other than with “form letters”.

He’s mad at Network Solutions for two reasons. First, they are the registrar for CentralNic’s uk.com domain name. Second, he put so much faith in Network Solutions that he felt compelled to register a bunch of other CentralNic domains there to protect his brand.

> Network Solutions, based on their significant history, within the Internet, give credibility to the products they sell. As such, their selling the “diluted” ~ “.com’s” of CentralNic, compelled me to buy many of the outstanding domains, as I’ve been a client of theirs since the beginning, I felt obliged to purchase the remaining “dilutive” .com ~ name spaces, so that no other individuals, such as Lorraine, would create problems for my business.

> Now, with a greater understanding of CentralNIC; and reading/understanding their Terms and Condition, at a deeper level > (link to terms) “11. Domain names are registered on a first come, first served basis.” < it become quite clear that there is a GENTLE SHAKEDOWN happening; and that I must therefore buy again my business name, with the left side of the .com, or risk dilution...

Just imagine how this guy will feel when he finds out that anyone can create a third level domain “landcruise.” under their second level .com domain!

Schreiber wants the damages awarded from this suit to go to his rotary club.

As silly as the suit is, Schreiber does have a point: I think a lot of consumers are confused about just what CentralNic third level domain names are.

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  1. help

    One beef he has with WIPO is that he wants to know how an entity outside the USA decides disputes between 2 entities located within the USA. I would like to know that too. WIPO could be liable for intentional misconduct according to the UDRP yet they are outside the juridictions of the US courts. Maybe the providers should have to agree to the jurisdictions of the parties in the disputes so they can be sued easily.

    ENOM is a defendant too. ENOM’s Seattle counsel doesn’t seem to like dealing with pro se litigants so maybe they will default?

      • Graham

        @help and Andrew, CentralNic’s racket is currently being done to USA citizens and enterprise in the US of A.

    • Graham Schreiber

      Hi “Help”:

      Here’s an update to your observation, regarding “WIPO”.

      All parties are “in the United States” and what Andrew is unaware of, is that anybody employing a “.com” including Sub-domain name’s like UK.com have “an effect on United States consumers” which therefore allows the Federal Government to cease Domain Names, if they don’t meet their expectations.

      CentralNic have offices in the United States & I have “continuous & systematic contact” business activities in the US, some with Network Solutions, which in part, is how I secured a REGISTERED USPTO Trademark.

      THIS IS FUNNY: What Network Solutions didn’t figure on, is when they Host a website, that does business beyond advertising, that business via “continuous & systematic contact” with both Network Solutions and US Consumers, becomes {{ slightly }} more eligible for a USPTO Trademark.

      The Lanham Act can’t cover them, when they re-sell a clients Domain Name, at Sub Domain levels !! Those activities are “Red Flags” in the Lanham Act.

      The employment of a “.com” in any fashion, exposes the owner / user of the .com to US Law, either In Rem or In Personam; and it make no difference, at all, if it’s a Third Level Sub Domain.

      Herein, CentralNic – the Liable ones – under the RAA, are the Domain Name Holder, of the Sub Domain at issue.

      Lorraine, having bought and transacted her funds with US based eNom / Demand Media makes her both a Consumer of a US Service / Product [uk.com] and a “User” of a US regulated product, in three ways.

      1) Buying from eNom.

      2) Being a “licensee” of CentralNic’s UK.com domain name, under eNom.

      3) Marketing a US Protected & branded service mark, as her own [Infringement] in union with a .com under the Licence of contributory-infringer.UK.com.

      See US Law: 15 USC § 1125 – False designations of origin, false descriptions, and dilution forbidden. You’ll see that this Law covers FRAUDULENT ccTLD’s.

      WIPO have profited from CentralNic’s Contributory Infringement; and their reputation is now fading, for acting in this way.

      This will be shown at the Fourth Circuit Court, in Richmond, Virginia shortly.

      Look at the ICANN page for Litigation and you’ll see the current status.

      Cheers, Graham. Pro Se.

  2. George Kirikos

    If you go to http://cipo.gc.ca/ and so a TM search for “landcruise” in Canada, Mr. Schreiber filed for one (pro se) in 2011, claiming a first use in 1998.

    However, that mark is apparently being opposed by Toyota (their full statement of opposition is due September 18, 2012). Toyota owns Canadian TM TMA166625 for “Land Cruiser” with wares of “Automotive vehicles used for the transportation of passengers and merchandise over land” with claim of use since 1965. They filed for that Canadian TM in 1967!

    • Graham Schreiber

      Hi George:

      Update on CentralNic:

      You’re going to be named as an Accessory Party to CentralNic’s Racketing, given you’re long established silence has consequentially let “ICANN Et Al” harm other .COM Enterprises, at both WIPO & ADR Forum, between the date of this original interaction and today!

      Being a “Registration Service Provider ~ Reseller” means You’re knowledgable of the Rules, with a deeper complexity than just the RAA’s as a Domain Name Registrant.

      Sorry! … Being an ICANN funded, .COM Globetrotter, has it’s drawbacks!

      Wisely, with a long view on personal liability mitigation, ICANN’s IPC’s Marc Trachtenberg said in conversation “.COMs including CentralNic’s Domain Names, are Subject to VaED”.

      If … HERE AND NOW: You confirm CentralNic’s “pseudo domain names” as Andrew calls them, or WTO TRIPS Misleading GI’s / = cc.COMs as they are, are Subject to VaED, along with Canadian Court, I’ll not bother including you as an added “Accessory” in an expanded Canadian Filing.

      Cheers, Graham.

  3. Orangelo

    Watch out for the crazy ones as sometimes they are the smartest, it’s just not apparent always.

  4. KD

    I’ve been lucky enough to work with a few crazies. The one thing these people all have is TIME. It is sometimes amusing being on the other side of the crazy people, but they really are a time sucker and all tend to have no real job or nothing better to do. You typically get into arguing with them, and it takes you 3 or 4 emails before you realize this person just does not understand the basics…

  5. Volker

    Well, the guy has studied the system and made the connections! So he must have. Point. On the other hand he points out that he is damaged, which should be considered as well? Since Nominet may now take an oath from its registrants, there may be something there as well. He may also just be on the ripe, and not be made fun of…

    • Graham Schreiber

      Hi Volker:

      Update on CentralNic:

      In the event that I file an expanded “ICANN Et Al” here in Canada, please be advised that … You’re going to be named as an Accessory Party to CentralNic’s Racketing!

      Given you’re long established Aiding, Abetting & Colluding with CentralNic / ICANN Et Al, has consequentially let “ICANN Et Al” harm other .COM Enterprises, at both WIPO & ADR Forum, between the date of this original interaction and today!

      Sorry! … Being an ICANN funded, .COM Globetrotter, has it’s drawbacks!

      Unlike George, You’ve not getting an exit option; because of You’re published remarks, that are logged inside ICANN’s Meeting Transcripts.

      Cheers, Graham.

  6. Graham Schreiber

    Hi Andrew:

    Quick work … I’ve not even received my ‘official’ AO440 forms, that need mailing to the above mentioned; and here thank’s to your effective journalistic efforts, they now know that my aggrieved plodding is moving forward.

    FYI ~ I DID NOT withdraw from the UDRP “Expert” services of Nominet!

    Nominet … DID NOT … do the work contracted, ample documents were presented to Visa for a charge back; and they conceded, now I’m moving forward, then back.

    I’m well aware that people can use the word Landcruise in various ways, on the internet; and that businesses need to protect their brand. Tiny as my brand maybe, it’s still my brand and this is a fight that I never anticipated consuming me, but a fight I’m undertaking, as it has a greater principle trailing along.

    With regard to “Just imagine how this guy will feel when he finds out that anyone can create a third level domain “landcruise.” under their second level .com domain!”.

    Well, that guy now knows! This is newer information to me, within the last 18 months, thanks to this mess, most certainly!

    However; rather than just accepting it, I’m going to fight it … and not in CentralNic’s desired land of mamby-pamby UDRP, where they may continue, case-after-case and yes, somewhat protected by WIPO, who from my perspective, appear to be more like a legal defence system for CentralNic, than a dutiful World Court, who should have told ICANN, VeriSign & Network Solutions to enforce their rules, back in 2001. > http://www.wipo.int/amc/en/processes/process2/rfc/rfc3/comments/msg00060.html

    In my quest, I’ve learned a business using a brand name inside a “.com” is “Infringing” unless of course it was authorized, by say a master franchise holder, or similar. Plus, if the person slandering a .com related business can be grasped, they can be obliged to the Court in Virginia.

    Further, those who create an environment for infringement; and entice infringers, are providing the services of “Contributory Infringement”. Please read the definition published by Cornell, at http://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/contributory_infringement .

    Regarding the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) there are safety outlets built-in, for businesses in the internet industry, which is very fair.

    There are also “Red Flags” and the other’s mentioned must have confused the “red flags” as a spinning pin-wheel, falling into a trance, thereby allowing the conjuror to perform tricks of magic.

    There is a ccNSO for a purpose, similarly, there are domain names, for an alternative purpose; and a domain name, is not equal to a ccNSO.

    Just imagine how CentralNic are going to feel, when they discover the long arm of American Law, tug their US Governed, domain name of uk.com (registered with Network Solutions) out of Holland, on the RIPE system, look behind the IP#’s > http://www.robtex.com/dns/uk.com.html#records < back in the United States, for a chat with Uncle Sam !!!!!

    Network Solutions are involved because, they've used the language & actions, of the USPTO and long ago, sent a formal welcome letter, confirming my "Registration" and issued a “Nic Handle” which I regard as a an identifier equal to a “Registration Number” and curiously, Nic Handles are no longer around !?.

    Now VeriSign are the registry, thus accountable to Registered Name Holders; and must protect the integrity of names Registered, inside or left of, the .com.

    In fairness to Enom, they were the only firm to recognize a problem, when I contacted them and replied to me … with a form letter, quickly … saying that they needed to be listed, for the Court order to release the name, subject to Judgement.

    It was not until after the Nominet file closing; and research of CentralNic, began that I learned how involved they are, with CentralNic & ICANN.

    As for the damages, I've been impeded from entering the UK, my primary market so those costs will be recovered from Lorraine, as for the balance, I want the Rotary Club to benefit.

    While the damages in a one-off Pro Se suit maybe small, compared with a class action suit, securing the portfolio of contributory infringing domain names, EACH with a tiny retail value of $20.00 or less, per year, used honourably, will raise loads & loads of money, for Rotary, (NOT ME) thereby costing CentralNic as much as the class action suite would, but accomplished in a way I can muddle through.

    For the others, ICANN, VeriSign, Network Solution & Enom, on a sliding scale of general involvement, the Courts have a better ability to appraise damages than I, so whatever they establish is 'ok' with me, so long at the the recipient is Rotary.

    Glad I stumbled upon this chatroom!

    Cheers, Graham.

  7. Gordon

    I think where this case falls over is that you would need to prove that this registration prevented you entering the UK market and that you had intended or planned to do so. You would then need to quantify those losses. As you do not own a registered trade mark for Landcruise (and probably never could as Toyota would blow it out of the water) then your case is severely diminished. A business name is not unique and can’t be protected between countries except via trade marks. You chose not to, or were unable, to get a trade mark in the UK and that is the root of the problem.

    Bringing Rotary into it seems to dilute the argument somewhat. If this really had hit you hard then you would want punitive damages.

    None of this really makes sense. I couldn’t see it standing in a UK court, but maybe the Americans have even lower burdens of proof in civil courts.

  8. Graham Schreiber

    Hi Andrew:

    To your point of “I think a lot of consumers are confused about just what CentralNic third level domain names are.”

    With such eloquent penmanship from CentralNic, wed with no doubt copious amounts of verbal direer, at cocktail parties, I think it’s more profoundly the Internet Industry that needs clarification!

    FYI … CentralNic party pic’s are online, from …. in year …. it’s a veritable who’s who, of allies.

    Plus, interesting reading …. http://archive.icann.org/en/topics/new-gtlds/transcript-pddrp-raa-processes-13apr10-en.pdf

    Learning from mistakes of the past & current, designing the TMC.

    Cheers, Graham.

    “So yes, I think ICANN could work – if it doesn’t have the expertise now, could hire, you know, someone to do it. Could hire a trademark attorney, after all, that’s what most WIPO panelists are. They’re trademark attorneys.”
    And I don’t know, but my reading, at least, from the PDDRP, the way it’s written right now, it seems to be repitating (sic) the same notions as the PDDRP. We will end up having WIPO panelist that will be biased, (the system) will be open to abuse, and as ??? said in the beginning of this discussion, (rates) will be forced governing names without (evaluation) because they just don’t want to be subjected to this process.
    (As for) ICANN’s involvement, ICANN (unintelligible), but I cannot really understand how (unintelligible) an entity or – and how is ICANN able to say to an entity, okay, just go out there and become a registry. And suddenly when this whole process becomes a real thing, just stay out of it. Thanks.

    “A party that’s truly abusing shouldn’t get away with that. But, you know, we are talking about serious things, and it should be that if this is done properly and if you
    know, we have registries that are serious, you know, as we expect, you know, (players) here that are doing things that (we won’t) (unintelligible).
    This is meant to deal with the rare occurrence, we all hope, you know. And to deal with the problems – settle the fears of many trademark holders that, you know, there will be a rogue registry out there. And we don’t want that. None of us want that. But on the other hand it can’t be turned into a tool, you know, to be used for all sorts of other purposes.”

    And actually I want to give kind of kudos to ????. I think he said it best in his comments where he said that, you know, the way the UDRP was designed, the way the URS was designed, even the way that the independent review process was designed was to deter future conduct. It was not a way to punish past behaviour.

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