Lawyer wins UDRP over his personal names, but battle still looms over family domain names.
Last week I wrote about how first amendment attorney Marc J. Randazza had filed a lawsuit against detractor Crystal Cox over a number of domain names she registered.
In addition to registering domain names including Marc Randazza’s name, she also registered domain names referring to Randazza’s wife and three-year-old child.
Randazza alleges that Cox registered the domain names and then tried to extort him, going so far as to offer search engine reputation management services to clean up his name in search results.
Prior to the lawsuit, on July 27, Randazza filed a UDRP with WIPO covering a handful of domain names including marcrandazza.com and other versions of his name.
A decision in that case was just handed down by WIPO in Randazza’s favor (pdf).
Cox tried to argue that she was just exercising free speech by registering the domains to criticize Randazza. But the panel didn’t buy it:
In any event, for purposes of the Policy the Panel finds the Respondent’s intention, as reflected by the record, was never to solely provide, through her websites, speech critical of the complainant. Rather, her objective in both registering and using the disputed names was apparently to engage in a rather sinister and tenacious scheme to extort money from the Complainant. specifically, the Respondent first posted negative and false commentary on her websites that was intentionally calculated to injure the Complainant’s on-line reputation and disrupt the Complainant’s business conducted through his law firm. Thereafter, the Respondent used those sites in a manner that apparently optimized their ranking on the Google search engine in order to increase their visibility and prominence on search results yielded through a Google search of the Complainant, thus likely exacerbating the injury caused to the Complainant. Once all this occurred, the Respondent then offered her reputational management services to the Complainant through which, for a considerable fee, she would remediate the Complainant’s on-line reputation by eliminating all the negative and false commentary of her own making and presumably also ceasing her use of the disputed domain names. Basically, for a price, she would undo the injury to the Complainant for which she was responsible for having created in the first place. This egregious conduct clearly constitutes bad faith under the Policy.
How about some fresh news, Andrew? DomainGang broke it on Friday 😛