$20,000 agreement falls through.
A settlement to resolve a dispute over the domain name Scratch.org has fallen apart.
Scratch Foundation, a non-profit created at MIT, filed a cybersquatting lawsuit against the domain name Scratch.org in January.
It was an in rem case against the domain, but Ravi Lahoti responded to the dispute saying that he was the owner of the domain. He also said that he was the original registrant of the domain dating to 1998. (Historical Whois records seem to bear out.)
This was before Scratch Foundation existed, but the group continued with its case. It even issued a subpoena to a domain registrar asking for information on more of Lahoti’s domains. Scratch Foundation is trying to paint a picture of Lahoti as a serial cybersquatter and wants information about his other domains and revenue generated from them.
The catch, as I see it, is that it would be impossible for Scratch Foundation to show that Scratch.org was registered in bad faith since Lahoti registered it well before the non-profit existed. Even if Lahoti has registered other domains in bad faith, it seems a stretch to say that about Scratch.org.
The two parties entered into settlement negotiations in which Lahoti would transfer the domain to Scratch Foundation for $20,000. As part of this, Scratch Foundation dropped discovery related to Lahoti’s other domains.
Now it gets to a he said, she said after the settlement apparently broke down.
Scratch Foundation says the settlement was agreed to and Lahoti broke it. Lahoti says that it was agreed to in principle, but he wasn’t happy with some of the final language and provisions in the agreement.
Following the breakdown, Scratch Foundation is moving forward with its demand for the data about Lahoti’s other domains.