GoDaddy user reviews : Great idea to use GoDaddy?? City Wants Retired Police Officer To Give Up Domain Names

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This is an interesting one. I think there are 2 different plays going on here.

1- It appears he was in charge of the police website and domains while employed at the police department. Even though it is in his name, it could be concidered it was done on the behalf of the police department. And if he did work on teh site during working hours for which he was paid, then they could have a claim of /img/avatar4.jpgship.

2- The other domains which were not directly function as a police departmetn website or associated with that site could be public domain. They cannot claim TMs status as a geographical or government owned entity. Remember was a porn site until the domain /img/avatar4.jpg realized it could be bad for his daughter who turned 14 or something like that.

The big mistake was doing the knee jerk reaction and and posting them for sale and offer the domains back to them at a "discounted price". In a UDRP, they could be concidered TM status for the sake of the proceedings (which is easier to do than obtaining real TM status). Then maybe a panelist could think the names were registered with the understanding there would be a payoff at some point. He would have been better off just leaving the domain point to the forum site. The retired officer should prevail given what I read. I could also see the domains split, the 2 for the police website given to the police and the others staying with the officer...

Comments (17)


Respondent registered the three top-level domain names: <> on April 29, 1999; <> on April 27, 1999; and <> on April 27, 1999. Respondent has been using one or more of the domains names to link to a web site offering criticism of the government of the City of Salinas...

Comment #1

Thanks .. JB.... That pretty much tells the story, the person is using the names in bad faith, Not a smart thing to do...

Comment #2

WTF? Did you read what I posted? Did you notice who won?.

I represented the domain registrant in the case (and in the case as well). While the decision stopped short on the lack of TM in a geographical term issue, the fact of the matter is that Mr. Baughn was criticizing hiring and promotion practices within the Salinas Police Department.

At least scroll to the end: In light of the Panels findings, we find in favor of Respondent. Complainants request to transfer the domain names <>, <>, and <> is hereby DENIED...

Comment #3

<< should have read the whole thing, Sorry ..JB..... I should have read it and understood it better...

Comment #4

That was back in 2001 though. Do you think panels today will still respond in the same manner?..

Comment #5

The law is the same.

I'm not familiar with all of the facts and circumstances about this guy in New Jersey. Part of the allegations seems to be that he had registered these domain names for the city, while employed by the city. That's not a TM issue...

Comment #6

That is what I understand it to be too, that is what I tried to explain earlier. So there may be a split of the domains. He gets some, the city gets some.....

Comment #7

I don't think they have a very good shot at a cybersquatting charge. There is no TM for geo names, and free speech protects him from harm for maintaining a site criticizing the city.

He may have a chance to lose them if they can prove he originally registered them on behalf of the city, was reimbursed by the city, or by long term use pointing to the city they've gained some ownership by use similar to the term Adverse Possession which generally refers to gaining real property by use or by squatters rights. I think that would be a first for domains though...

Comment #8

Needless to say, the retired police officer is going to hold on those names 'til:.

A) they work out an amicable solution, or B) they duke it out in court or what.

Not. Apparently he's RAW (Ready, Able, Willing) to do B.

Hmm, maybe Paul Levy from Public Citizen can take this one...

Comment #9

S'okay... I'm having an extra cranky day here, for which the reasons will be apparent in 24-48 hours...

Comment #10

WIPO isn't really the law. They are a governing body over the internet domain names. You should know that.

I just don't see consistency with WIPO. And more and more they use any excuse to accept a complaintants Trademark on the slightest of evidence...

Comment #11

If one looks at the history of it was registered back in 2000 in the name of the "Bridgeton Police Department" and for years listed them as the registrant!.

But then sometime after 2004, the registrant information was changed on the Whois ... in my view, the city has a pretty good case if they play it right, but they will likely need to have an attorney who knows something about domain names and related issues.

On an aside, sometimes in such situations, it's easier to privately negotiate a settlement than duke it out, but perhaps the city has already tried ... anyways, it will be interesting to see how this one plays out.


Comment #12

Was thinking the same type of response last night when I read it, then decided to not respond because I don't want to be on John's bad side... Remember John, it was Jesse who said it......

Comment #13

JB do tell, the interest has now been set in motion...

Comment #14

An update: Sometimes one person can make a difference ... after some back and forth emails, it appears the matter has been amicably resolved - the police department / city has their domains back, plus got some extra ones too.


Comment #15

Somehow in all of this, I just know that donuts changed hands.....

Comment #16

Oh thanks for throwing me under the bus my friend...

Comment #17

This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.


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