Domain question
June 18, 2005 2:13 AM   Subscribe

Our band has been using a .cc domain name since 1999 in hopes that we could snap up to .com version. The .com version has been purchased by a domain registrar...

This domain registrar is moniker.com. They own it but are only accepting bids of $400.00 and higher. We've bid on it at least three times with no response. Is this normal? What recourse would we have? The band name is a registered trademark so I'm wondering if we have any legal ground to stand on. Desired outcome would be to 1- get the domain name and 2 - not pay $400.00 plus for it.
posted by KevinSkomsvold to Technology (18 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
What Must a Trademark Owner Prove to Win a UDRP Arbitration? See also What is Bad Faith? Also the fees for arbitration.
posted by grouse at 2:20 AM on June 18, 2005


Thanks grouse. I googled this last night but didn't find anything as concise. On all points, I think we'd have a good case.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 7:52 AM on June 18, 2005


Except for the fees point. I was hoping someone with some experience in this process would step in, but the arbitration fees are so high that $400 seems like a bargain.
posted by grouse at 9:12 AM on June 18, 2005


$400 sounds fairly cheap to me. Hell, nowadays $400 is pocket change in the .com biz. Perhaps they have ignored you because you haven't offered enough. You will spend many times that $400 to get this arbitrated properly.
posted by mischief at 9:18 AM on June 18, 2005


We'd pay the $400 and even higher if necessary. The problem is we've bid higher on many occasions and its the same story. No response, no yay or nay, nothing. Its been sitting there for over a year now so I can't understand why they'd be doing this.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 9:28 AM on June 18, 2005


Incomptence? There's no rational reason for it. In that case, hopefully they will not reply when you serve them with notice of the arbitration.
posted by grouse at 10:08 AM on June 18, 2005


Are you trying to get the moniker.com domain itself? Or, is the domain name you want owned by moniker? If the latter, what domain are you trying to get?
posted by mischief at 10:08 AM on June 18, 2005


btw, these guys are way ahead of you in terms of UDRP: http://www.moniker.com/news/vol4/articles/anticybersquatting.html
posted by mischief at 10:11 AM on June 18, 2005


i don't see how you have a case against them. look at their about page. their name is 'Moniker Online Services, LLC'
posted by puke & cry at 11:00 AM on June 18, 2005


puke & cry: 'moniker.com' doesn't appear to be the domain in question (check the nonexistent status of 'moniker.cc' to confirm this). Rather, moniker.com has, in typical shady registrar fashion, snapped up a bunch of potentially-useful domains and hopes to sell them off to the highest bidder. Which is pretty much the definition of bad-faith cybersquatting. Take 'em into arbitration, I say.
posted by ubernostrum at 11:17 AM on June 18, 2005


The domain is "antje.com". The trademark info is located here.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 12:04 PM on June 18, 2005


On postview: Sorry about that P&C and mischief. I didn't mention the domain in question. Moniker is the one holding it.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 2:03 PM on June 18, 2005


Hmm, well, Antje certainly isn't a widely used american word, but I wonder about europe. Is it possible you all have some competition overseas?
posted by mischief at 2:17 PM on June 18, 2005


Antje is a Dutch girls name. Girls in traditional Dutch costumes nicknamed 'Frau Antje' are commercially used to promote cheese in Germany/German speaking countries
posted by ijsbrand at 4:39 PM on June 18, 2005


After googling "frau antje", I think ijsbrand found your competition for the domain name, Kevin.
posted by mischief at 5:34 PM on June 18, 2005


I dunno, under US law you don't have a strong case; the 1999 Anticybersquatting Act mainly delineates protection for "distinctive" and "famous" marks (e.g. Nestlé).

Lots of bands go with names that would be, e.g. "bandnameband.com" or "bandnamemusic.com", e.g. eelstheband.com (eels.com is taken by a name vendor, similar to your case). And the Contagious Media experiment showed that you don't really need a short domain name to get spread around.
posted by dhartung at 10:22 PM on June 18, 2005


Thanks everyone for your answers. Gives us something to chew on before we pursue this. I really appreciate your expertise.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 10:50 PM on June 18, 2005


My Dutch-speaking partner says antje means "little ant". He's Flemish, so maybe they don't use it for a girl's name. He has seen the cheese use. I think I have seen it too. Wonder if its used here in South Africa.
posted by Goofyy at 6:18 AM on June 19, 2005


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