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Important notice to DVD & Home Theater site owners!


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25 replies to this topic

#1 of 26 OFFLINE   Joshua Clinard

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Posted March 31 2003 - 06:48 AM

All links to widescreenadvocate dot com should be changed to http://www.widescreenadvocate.org ASAP. I'll explain.

Several months ago, the co-owner of Widescreen Advocate let the domain widescreenadvocate dot com expire, because of a career change. He was so busy with his new career, that he had no time to transfer the domain to me. I was planning on re-registering the domain in my name after the 75 day grace period. After 75 days, I began to check hourly during the day, waiting for the domain to become available again. It takes several days for a domain to be deleted from the central registry, and I did not know the exact hour and minute that it was going to be deleted. It was finally deleted last Friday morning, but by the time I was able to log on, I found that, to my dismay, the domain had been taken by a cybersqatter! It now points to ultimatesearch.com. They register hundreds, or probably thousands of expiring domains, that have nothing to do with their web site, just so they can have links pointing to their site from search engines, and other web sites, which increases their traffic.

The only way for me to get the domain back that I know of, would be to pay fifteen-hundred dollars in arbitration fees! Since I'm running this site with the money from my own pocket, and I make no revenue from the site, that is not possible.

If you have any links on your site to widescreenadvocate dot com, please change them to http://www.widescreenadvocate.org. I found 120 pages that are linked to widescreenadvocate dot com on all the web! So every link helps! Please also remember to change the links in your signature. If you don't have a link on your site, please add one. The traffic to Widescreen Advocate has gone down considerably since the domain expired almost 80 days ago, so if you are at all interested in helping spread the word about the benefits of Widescreen/OAR, please add a link, or a button to your site.

I have learned a vaulable lesson from this. If you want to register an expiring domain, use snapnames.com. They may charge 75 dollars, but in the end it's worth it.

Sorry for the inconvenience.

#2 of 26 OFFLINE   John Berggren

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Posted March 31 2003 - 07:54 AM

They really ought to prosecute cybersquatters federally. I wonder if you could organize class action Posted Image.
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#3 of 26 OFFLINE   Joshua Clinard

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Posted March 31 2003 - 08:42 AM

I would definately be willing to do that. I have done some research already, and found a number of websites that have posted articles about this company taking their domains.

#4 of 26 OFFLINE   Damin J Toell

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Posted March 31 2003 - 09:25 AM

[quote] I wonder if you could organize class action [quote]

Who would be the class? Widescreen lovers who type in domain name guesses when searching for information? What would the harm to them have been? Not getting the website they guessed they would? What would the rememdy be? 3 seconds restored to their lives? I would hope that such a case would not make it very far, as our judicial system is already overly clogged with frivolous claims.

DJ

#5 of 26 OFFLINE   Joshua Clinard

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Posted March 31 2003 - 11:55 AM

[quote] Who would be the class? Widescreen lovers who type in domain name guesses when searching for information? What would the harm to them have been? Not getting the website they guessed they would? What would the rememdy be? 3 seconds restored to their lives? I would hope that such a case would not make it very far, as our judicial system is already overly clogged with frivolous claims. [quote]
No, the numerous other site owners that have had domains stolen from this company.

#6 of 26 OFFLINE   David Lambert

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Posted March 31 2003 - 12:03 PM

Same thing happened to http://www.powerrangersonline.com/, one of my son's favorite Power Rangers websites. Ultimate Search got that one, too. Posted Image
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#7 of 26 OFFLINE   GlennH

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Posted March 31 2003 - 01:19 PM

I sympathize with the problem, and it's your decision, but at this point it may not be worth fighting or worrying about. Why not just go with .org and move on? And since the website is not a commercial venture (at least I don't think so), wouldn't .org be more appropriate than .com anyway? (Although I realize that .com is much more common, so it may be desirable for that reason alone.)

#8 of 26 OFFLINE   Joshua Clinard

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Posted March 31 2003 - 03:33 PM

I'd like to do that. That's why I am posting this. There are many more links to the .com domain than the .org domain, and it's hard persuading people to change their links. It's not really that much trouble folks, just takes a few minutes. Please do it.

#9 of 26 OFFLINE   Damin J Toell

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Posted March 31 2003 - 06:03 PM

[quote] It's like you didn't even read the original post. [quote]

I did read it, and what I said still stands, given your apparent misconceptions concerning ICANN and federal litigation. Still, I apologize again for attempting to provide you (and others in the thread) with information.

DJ

#10 of 26 OFFLINE   Patrick Larkin

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Posted April 01 2003 - 01:58 AM

Damin - is there copyright or trademark protection for the name "Widescreen Advocate" considering it was in use for a period of time with a Copyright disclaimer? Is there no protection for a small operation? Just wondering...I have no idea. There was an issue with MacSlash.com where somebody stole the domain name out from under them and they were given the name back. I don't know what the circumstances were and I'm sure MacSlash isn't very large.

#11 of 26 OFFLINE   Joshua Clinard

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Posted April 01 2003 - 03:03 AM

Sorry about that, it should have read March 28th, 2002, a year ago. And were talking about class action here. I have seen class action suits resloved in less than 6 months. There is a way to get them expedited you know. I'm not all that familliar with the process, but I've heard it happens all the time. And I also, have heard of small sites getting there names back as well.

#12 of 26 OFFLINE   Dmitry

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Posted April 01 2003 - 06:13 AM

Joshua, can we (HTF members) help you out? If you have a Paypal account and enough people chip in a couple of bucks, you'll have enough to pay for arbitration. —Dmitry
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#13 of 26 OFFLINE   Joshua Clinard

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Posted April 01 2003 - 06:59 AM

I suppose I would be willing to consider that, if enough people were willing to chip in, but I don't know if it would really be worth it in the long run. If you really want to support the site, it would probably be better to add a link on your web site to the new domain! (For those of you that have sites.) If you have changed your link, or added a link on your web site since the start of this thread, please post here, so I can keep track of the number of sites to the new domain.

#14 of 26 OFFLINE   Damin J Toell

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Posted April 01 2003 - 07:07 AM

[quote] There was an issue with MacSlash.com where somebody stole the domain name out from under them and they were given the name back. I don't know what the circumstances were and I'm sure MacSlash isn't very large. [quote]

There are many instances where small operations were able to recover domain names in ICANN dispute resolution procedures. In his first post, Joshua expressed that he did not wish to pursue that avenue of protection.

DJ

#15 of 26 OFFLINE   Damin J Toell

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Posted April 01 2003 - 07:15 AM

[quote] And I also, have heard of small sites getting there names back as well [quote]

I presume you're not talking about class action suits here, unless you've actually heard of sites regaining domain names through class action suits, which would be pretty odd. Class action suits are intended to deal with a large number of plaintiffs who are in similar situations with a similar set of facts. In a trademark dispute, the situations usually differ wildly given the fact-specific nature of trademarks. Each trademark would have to be considered on its own, for example, for distinctiveness. I doubt that a court would even certify website operators who have "lost" lapsed domains as a class, as the proper method of resolution would most likely be for each individual plaintiff to pursue an individual dispute.

DJ

#16 of 26 OFFLINE   Joshua Clinard

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Posted April 01 2003 - 12:39 PM

I never said that I didn't wish to persure arbitration. I would love to do that, if it would enable me to get my domain back. I did however, say that it is simply too expensive an option for me. I never said that the sites that got their domains back got it through class action suits. They most likely did it through Arbitration. I also had no idea that conrgress passed any such law. The only thing I know about is the ICANN rules of trademark dispute. However, I do think if enough people filed class action status against a single company that is registering domains in "bad faith", it would be possible to reach a settlement. Not that I, or anyone else would be willing to go through all the trouble to do so. Thanks for the information though.

#17 of 26 OFFLINE   Joshua Clinard

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Posted April 07 2003 - 05:57 AM

It's been a while, and I haven't noticed any sites that have changed the URL yet. Actually, according to alltheweb, the number of links to widescreenadvocate dot com has increased, not decreased.

If you know any sites linking to widescreenadvocate dot com, PLEASE get them to change it to www.widescreenadvocate.org

#18 of 26 OFFLINE   nolesrule

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Posted April 07 2003 - 08:06 AM

You won't be able to get the domain back, because by letting it expire, it was willfully decided by the Registrant of the domain that he did not want it anymore.

In order to be successful in arbitration, he, not you, as the original Registrant of the domain would have to prove otherwise.

And it was negligent to let the domain expire. All Registrars send out renewal notices prior to expiration and then give at least a 30 day suspended period after the expiration date to allow the owner renew the domain before they drop it from the system. Yes, he could have renewed it even after the expiration date. All the original owner had to do, if he knew you wanted it and was planning to hand it over to you, was drop the $9-$35 to renew it for another year and then do what was required to initiate the Ownership Transfer. Being too busy is no excuse for the 5 minutes it takes to renew the domain.

NOTE: The usual "I Am Not A Lawyer" disclaimer applies here, however I used to work for a company that owns nearly 1000 domains and has gone through the ICANN UDRP Arbitration process a dozen times and as of this date has never lost. It was always someone trying to take a domain away from them. And they can't be accused of trademark infraction because most domains are dictionary words. They take advantage of type-in traffic of common words (rather than search engine traffic like the people who snagged widescreenadvocate.com).

#19 of 26 OFFLINE   Eric M Jones

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Posted April 07 2003 - 11:32 AM

[quote] And it was negligent to let the domain expire.
[quote]

I'm the person who owned the name originally. I feel the need to defend myself here.

I didn't know I could transfer the name to Joshua. I thought that my only option was to let it expireso that Joshua could simply buy it. I never thought of one of those crappy squatter companies scooping it up.

So Call me a bone-head I guess. I'd like to publicly apologize to Joshua for that headache this has caused him.

The Advocate is a good cause especially if you care about films and the director's true vision.

Best wishes to you Joshua,

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#20 of 26 OFFLINE   Joshua Clinard

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Posted April 07 2003 - 01:21 PM

It's okay Eric. I realized you had more important things going on with your life. Best of luck to you too. Drop me an e-mail if you get the chance. I did happen to get whywidescreen.com though!




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