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Owner of DataMiner.co nailed for reverse domain name hijacking over DataMiner.com

Company filed UDRP after failing to negotiate a purchase of DataMiner.com.

Skyline Communications NV, which operates a business at DataMiner.co, have been found to have engaged in reverse domain name hijacking over the domain name DataMiner.com.

The company filed a cyberquatting complaint with the World Intellectual Property Organization against WebMagic, a company that registered the .com domain name in 1996. That’s well before Skyline started using the DataMiner name.

Skyline then tried the buy the domain name multiple times starting in 2005. It failed to strike a deal. It filed the UDRP shortly after obtaining a trademark for the term DataMiner.

The three-person panel said the case should have never been filed:

n the view of the Panel this is a complaint which should never have been launched. The Complainant and its lawyer should have appreciated that establishing registration and use in bad faith in respect of a domain name which had first been registered nearly two decades ago was likely to involve difficult considerations. The Complainant appears to have ignored any such considerations. The Complainant should have known that there was no case under the third requirement of the Policy, due to the lack of any use in bad faith of the disputed domain name. In the Complaint, no attempt was made to demonstrate the existence of bad faith registration or bad faith use. In addition, the Complainant contacted the Respondent several times in the years 2005, 2010 and 2014 to try to buy the disputed domain name with no success. After its trademark was registered, the Complainant decided to launch this complaint under the Policy. Finally there are several of the Complainant’s factual and legal contentions that border on the misleading. As an example the Panel mentions the incomplete quote of the holding in the Torus case, as pointed out by the Respondent; mischaracterizing the Respondent’s business (see Response, Annexes 5 and 6); referring to the Respondent’s activities as “cybersquatting” on no more authority than its own judgment (a search by the Panel found no case in which the Respondent was a respondent on the WIPO data base and only two cases on the National Arbitration Forum data base, in both of which the complaint was denied); and calling its mark “not descriptive”.

It’s worth noting that one of the panelists was Andrew Christie, a panelist known to occasionally go out of his way to find in favor of complainants.

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    • William says

      Yeah right… or wait, an alternative might be to do something about companies like WebMagic that register close to a thousand domains, and hold on to them for decades, without using them, for no other purpose but trying to cash in big time on some of those at some point of time (and it will only take you five minutes searching the internet to figure out that this is a fact). Where I live, there’s penalties on people that buy houses for the sole purpose of speculation, and have those decay for years, and there’s very good reasons for that kind of regulation.

      • Gunther says

        William, you say that “Where I live, there’s penalties on people that buy houses for the sole purpose of speculation”.

        Some people might be disbelieving, so I would ask you “Where do you live?” and also “ What penalties are there on people that buy houses for the sole purpose of speculation?” So please elucidate.

        Mark Twain said “Buy land, they ain’t making any more of it”. Am not aware of anyone being struck down by thunderbolts for buying land and not developing it.

        • Nick says

          He’s most likely one of the reverse domain hijackers who is again lying and can’t support what he said with an example

          • William says

            Wow, talking about judgment Nic…

            Anyway, let me respond to that. Firstly: I’m both against “reverse domain name hijacking in bath faith” as well as against “cybersquatting in bath faith”.

            In fact, note that reverse domain name hijacking is also known as reverse cybersquatting, they are both sides of a coin, and none of these should be tolerated, especially if they are in explicit bad faith.

            To explain the concept more practical (in exaggerated terms though to make it clear):

            A) it is unacceptable that a big multi-national uses reverse domain hijacking to go after the domain name currently already used by a small company or private individual, who are using it since many years for their own legitimate purpose (read: multinational X launches brand Y, and goes after the domain name Y.com which is owned by Mister Y for many years already to host his personal blog). Unacceptable, Y.com is the property of Mister Y, and if he does not want to sell it to multinational X, too bad for them. Mister Y needs to be protected against being bullied into transferring his domain to multinational X.

            B) equally it is unacceptable that a company registers thousands of top level domains (which is an incoherent collection of random domains), does not use those for any legitimate purpose whatsoever (they all point to the same pointless bogus website) and holds on to those for a decade, and prevents legitimate businesses or individuals to use those, unless they pay them an absurd amount of money (i.e. these domains are only accessible now for the top rich companies or individuals who can play along with this game). (read: small shop owner X should be entitled to use X.com if X.com is currently owned by company Y, who owns thousands of domains while using none of them for any legitimate purpose since a decade, and small shop owner X should be able to purchase X.com from company Y at a reasonable justifiable price).

            Both are unacceptable to me, if they are done in bad faith. And I only pointed out that WebMagic referenced above effectively owns a massive amount of domains, which are not used for any legitimate purpose, and all point to the same bogus website (with no relation between those domains and what is displayed on that bogus website). That’s by definition a cybersquatter.

            Secondly, now for the lying part from Nic (Nic, just some advice: don’t judge too quickly on people and don’t start accusing them off being a lier immediately, take an example to Gunther who doesn’t agree and simply responds politely and challenges the statement that I made).

            Gunther: you may have misread this or I did not explain it clearly enough. What I said is that there are penalties not simply on speculation by itself (of course one can buy and sell houses or land and speculate on that), but I said “speculation and while doing that letting the property decay”. In other words, while speculating disturbing the further normal economic development in that area. The kind of regulations I’m referring to include penalty taxes on houses that are not being used and left empty (buying a house and taking it off the market just for speculation or to drive up the prices), or for example an obligation to build something on a certain piece of land within 3 years from purchasing it (used to ensure that for example a new designated business district in a city can freely develop, so that the land is available for legitimate business owners and that a big speculator cannot simply purchase half of the area to let it sit there for half a decade to speculate and drive up the prices). And this kind of regulations can be found in pretty much any developed western country, and for very good reasons. I would love to see anybody living in an area, without this kind of regulation, and where suddenly a big real estate developer shows up and acquires half of the neighborhood, and let’s it decay for a decade purely for speculation, and have the value of your property go down in no time.

            Again, there’s very good reasons for this kind of regulation, i.e. making sure that a market can develop and flourish, and making sure that the extreme rich and powerful don’t abuse their power, going against the general interest of the overall community. For that reason also acquisitions between major corporations need to be approved by a regulator.

            And it’s the same for this subject matter, i.e. domain names. You don’t want the big real estate developer to take over everything and rule like a dictator at his will and against the interest and development of the overall community (the cybersquatter in bad faith), and you don’t want the big real estate developer to bully the small individual home owner out of his house (the reverse domain hijacker in bad faith).

            In other words: yes, people/businesses should be able to buy and sell domain names (i.e. speculate), but there should be regulation in the sense for example that if the domain names are not used for legitimate purposes within a reasonable time frame (3 years for example) they should be offered for sale again to the market and it should go to the highest bidder (allowing the speculator to cash in on his investment, or maybe loose money, because that’s the nature of the game), and maybe there should be a limit to how many domain names one company can own at any given point in time for pure speculation. This would prevent domain names from being locked in for indefinite time frames, and to be only accessible to the most wealthy corporations or individuals.

            And sometimes you really need to do a little more than just accept what you read in a headline or what you see on the news. One person yells ‘burn the witch’, and in no time a hundred people yell the same, without any clue why they are yelling it. And it might be funny to yell along, until the day that somebody yells at you that you are a witch.

            But nevertheless, I do respect your opinions, and you are fully entitled to it. But my opinion is that there’s more to this if you look at the facts behind WebMagic, and that there should be more specific regulations to ensure the free unobstructed trading of domain names.

          • Nick says

            I stand by what I said. Your statement does not prove otherwise. You simply twisted what you originally said. There are many investors that buy land and never develop it and just wait for a buyer to come along. Nothing wrong with that. There are tons of investors that buy classic cars, never drive them and just wait for a buyer to come along.There are many people that buy domain names, never use them and just wait for a buyer to come along. Then there are reverse domain name hijackers, like Skyline Communications with an obnoxious sense of entitlement, and zero ethics, that try to STEAL domains. Many companies before them used the word DataMiner , but their obnoxious sense of entitlement has no bounds and so Skyline Communications tries to rob people.

  1. Hans says

    Reverse Domain Name Hijacking company Skyline Communications based in Belgium chose to build its brand on the Colombian country code domain name DataMiner.co.

    Probably like so many other companies that start out with a Colombian suffix .co domain name, they ultimately realized they had to have the .com. They didn’t want to pay the price and thought that UDRP would be the cheap route to grab the domain name. As the panelists pointed out, it wasn’t clever to try to mislead the panel.

    Anyway they will now forever be known as Reverse Domain Name Hijackers.

    • Khalid says

      Trying to mislead the UDRP panel, says something about Skyline Communications Belgium’s business ethics.

  2. Delvaux says

    Another day, another Belgian Reverse Domain Name Hijacker.

    Today it’s Skyline Communications NV in Belgium, but it was only a month or so ago that Circus Belgium was found guilty of Reverse Domain Name Hijacking too.
    RDNH in Circus.com case

    It is correct that the UDRP process does not levy penalties for Reverse Domain Name Hijacking.

    Perhaps aggrieved respondents should sue the Reverse Domain Name Hijackers for damages as in the SDT.com case coincidentally involving another Belgian complainant, SDT International.
    $50,000 penalty for filing a frivolous UDRP!

  3. Delvaux says

    In the SDT.com case Telepathy Inc. was represented by attorneys Wiley Rein who successfully got them $50,000 damages for filing a frivolous UDRP.

    And now in the ParametricPortfolio.com UDRP case:
    Telepathy sues for reverse domain name hijacking seeking damages of $100,000.
    Again, Telepathy is represented by Wiley Rein https://domainnamewire.com/2016/11/07/nat-cohens-telepathy-sues-reverse-domain-name-hijacking/

    It is also Wiley Rein that is representing Granny Heidi Powell in the Granny versus the Heidi Powell the Celebrity case involving the domain name HeidiPowell.com seeking $100,000 damages
    Reverse domain name hijacking alleged in HeidiPowell.com lawsuit.

    Should be interesting to see how that turns out and will serve as a deterrent from any other opportunistic Reverse Domain Name Hijackers that think that they can steal a domain name for the price of a UDRP filing fee.

  4. Delvaux says

    Will ICANN change anything. Yawnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn! Too busy making preparations for their next international conference in an exotic destination with the subject matter: “Revenue producing new gtlds”.

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