GoDaddy user reviews : Good idea to order GoDaddy?? infringement of copyright and TM rights

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Do I have a leg to stand on or should I just give it away? I regged westgate dot info as the term is used by thousands of companies and even a city in Britian.

I DONT even have it parked (although it forwards to the registers parking) and have received a letter to hand it over to westgate resorts in 5 days or be served. Since it's so generic should I stand up for myself or is it not worth the trouble.

Thanks in advance for people's help, GAry...

Comments (16)

Seems as though your registrar screwed you by putting up links to westgate resorts and condos...

Comment #1

Yes, I am afraid I did get "screwed" by their forwarding practices. Although if I can prove they parked it and not me as I assumed a "just coming" page would be displayed would that make a difference? I reality I was thinking of developing it thats why it wasnt parked! And 99% of my domains are parked.

Thanks for your thoughts, more "legal" views needed (and very much appreciated).


Comment #2

What are your intentions with the domain name.

If you reply back to them ensure that you think it through 100% before you send the response, do not send it back on a whim as they will use anything you say against you.

In your response (if you wish to keep a hold of the domain) you should state that you have no intentions of infringing on their copyright and that (as long as it is true) tell them that the domain is to be used in an entirely different industry. Most of what you will or can say depends upon your intentions for the domain name.

I would be wary of suddenly changing the where the domain points too as the company will try and use this against you possibly suggesting you were trying to hide your tracks. If the matter is brought up simply state that the parking page is 1 that the registrar automatically places on newly registered domain names...

Comment #3

To disclose everything, I have had this listed in my generic .info's for sale list. Does having this listed for sale change anything?.

To answer above, I had in mind developing later- but has been very low on my list. With that being said if a good offer came along I would sell it.

I didn't park as I knew A LOT of businesses are named westgate. I did learn something out of this though whatever the outcome- if concerned about a TM issue, forward to a "coming soon" and not rely on the register.

Thanks, Gary.

-looking forward to other responses. I do have (edited) 72 hours from today to respond...

Comment #4

Did a judge set that deadline? ie did you receive an actual summons, or was it just a letter from their lawyer?.

Legal actions have to follow due process and a letter from a lawyer is just a letter to which you are not required to respond. If you choose to respond you are just handing them lots of free information about who you are, where you are, and documenting your thoughts & motivations.

Anyone with $100 and an issue can have a lawyer write a letter. When you get a summons with the judges signature on it then it's time to take it seriously.

My experience is with USA contract law & and I'm not a lawyer. I have gotten a couple of letters threatening legal action to which I did not respond and they went away...

Comment #5

I am sorry, aren't YOU the one who controls nameservers for the domain YOU own??? Seems you screwed yourself.

Sorry to be blunt, seems you want to play the ingorance card. If you did not know they place ads on thier parking site, that is your fault. Then agian, doesn't every parking page place ads on the landing page. Anyone in this business knows that, so if you didn't know, you just learn a hard lesson. If you did know, then read the first paragraph...

Comment #6

More being forgetful I guess than anything. I use 1and1 and godaddy and I know 1and1 uses a coming soon- but it doesnt matter as I park all other domains. I have this one reg'd there as I won it at snap and that is where it was registered so I was not familiar.

Thanks for being blunt as I just want to be sure before moving ahead. I did know there was possible TM issues and I should have been more careful (lesson learned). At least it was a cheap lesson.

Thanks to all, not worth the fight for such low value domain, Gary...

Comment #7

The sad part is the name is nice. When parking, you have to be extremely careful on how it is done. Something like that should be "developed" into something, it doesn't have to be anything big or fancy, but something. Many of us have all made the same mistakes, the best we can do is learn from them, and it seems you have...

Comment #8

For what exactly?.

It isn't a question of whether a domain name is generic or not, but what it is.

Intended to be used for. Given the inherent difficulty in determining the intent.

Behind it, though, a complaining party will at least see what's currently there.

And figure out, "hmm, this is probably what he's up to.".

Something like that. But I'm sure you get the drift, and at least you seem to.

Have gotten off lightly...

Comment #9

Thats what makes me angry is that 1000's of things are named westgate and it wasnt being parked by me.

Is there precedent about if a register has parked/made money off of a domain and that has caused a TM issue?.

I guess I will hear back from them on Monday.

Thanks, GAry...

Comment #10

You mean the registrar's sued for that? None that I know of.

Another clue to this sort of thing is to read your registrar's contract...

Comment #11

I think he means if a registrar uses a default parking page which inadvertently shows ads that cause trademark problems, is there a precedence of it being used for/against the domain owner...

Comment #12

But realize, it is your decision to use that parking page knowing it may happen..

Comment #13

True, but not everyone knows that it will get automatically parked. Some people just register domains and then forget about them for awhile until they get around to developing (if ever). Also I think it would be hard to prove bad faith on the part of an owner who didn't know about the infringement, did not directly participate in it, and in no way profited from it.

I'm not saying it wouldn't happen, I'll believe anything when it comes to panelist decisions, but I think he was asking for just that. Previous cases where a default registrar parking page was found to be bad faith on the part of the owner.

I'd like to know this as well. I often register domains and forget to switch it from the registrar parking. Mostly at GoDaddy on domains that I win from TDNAM, because it takes 7 days to get in your account. Sometimes I forget I even won them..

Comment #14

Then they need to learn the business. They need to tend to their business.

As domainers, you have to realize the perception is that we register in bad faith to steal traffic from TMs for our our monetary gain, we are evil and unscrupolous.... sometimes perception is reality and it hurts us as a community. I always say we have a bad rap because of squatters and we are looked down upon as an industry. So it is up to each and every one of us to make sure we are doing things poperly and to make sure we protect our domains from any possible link to bad faith. If you get into this business, you need to learn it. That is why I tell people to read the forum and learn, I don;t do it to be an ass, I do it so people will actually learn and hopefully create better domianers (or at least informed ones)...

Comment #15

Lesson learned-started transfer today. Here is their response as I just asked to be compensated for what I payed snap (they said to try) Oh well, lost a small name and sedo just contacted me to broker one of my others so I guess it all works out.


Thanks to everyone who replied.

I understand that you claim to not be personally responsible for the advertising space on the website, yet you are ultimately responsible as the owner of the domain name for the violation of various Federal and State laws as well as infringement on Westgate's trademark rights. From looking at the registration information, I noticed that your domain name will expire in November 2007, and at that point you will have to pay money to renew the name anyway. Please comply with the instructions in the request, as per the letter you received. Your compliance with the request will stop the firm from pursuing any legal remedies against you. Thank you in advance for your participation...

Comment #16

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


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