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GoDaddy customer service : Suggest I try GoDaddy?? Class Action TM and Anti Cybersquatting against Google, Sedo, IREIT and more

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Google couldn't fend this one off - looks like the parking party might be over soon.

"The recent ruling paves the way for trademark holders to sue companies who provide advertising services, but neither own or register the offending domain name, to be held liable for trademark infringement and cybersquatting.".

"The defendants are the most interesting part of the case. In a typical anti-domaining case, the defendants are the guys who own the offending domains. In this case, the plaintiffs are following the money and suing the domain parking agencies and Google. It's like taking down the crack dealer instead of the addict. The named domain parking companies are Sedo, Oversee.net, Dotster, Revenue Direct, and IREIT. And of course, you're all familiar with Google's Adsense program for Domains.".

Read that list again: Sedo, Oversee.net, Dotster, Revenue Direct, IREIT, and Google's Adsense Program for Domains. http://www.seomoz.org/blog/class-act...s-gets-the-gre..

Comments (37)

Awesome! Someone needs to tell them about the other 5 major parking companies. It's time the industry accept that parking companies are complicit in their profiteering with TM domains and domain holders...

Comment #1

Indeed, someone needs to clear out all of that namespace so that the ISP's can monetize it...

Comment #2

I`m going to buy a TRUCK filled with POPCORNS..

Comment #3

I thought back on the day, mid 90's, "Search engines" and "registrars" created a law that allowed them to profit off TMs and typos..

I am not sure what deal the parking companies struck, most were not around then...

Comment #4

Yeah I wouldn't rejoice in all this.

When the shit hits the fan get ready for some spattering..

Comment #5

So yeah, why not take it a step further and sue isp's for providing internet service to the infringers.

While they're at it, find out what type of servers and hardware the infringers were using and go after them also! rolleyes..

Comment #6

Next thing you know, they'll go after abstract TMs. Gotta make those quarterly revenue targets even during a recession, so litigation starts to be seen as the answer. Long live the United Suers of America.

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Comment #7

At least it's not the United Sewers of America!..

Comment #8

There's a video floating around here somewhere in the forum with someone who runs a parking company saying that this day was coming. If this happens and the whip is cracked against parking companies this will unfortunately be the straw that broke the camels back and I believe many more law suits against parking companies will follow...

Comment #9

I don't know what sort of margin parking companies operate at, but if they allow millions of domains into their system then they would need a team of people just checking domain names for TMs. And the problem gets even worse when you consider multiple languages in ASCII and multiple scripts in IDN.

And if they do start checking, then I think it would be even easier to sue them in the case that they accidentally missed something. If a web hosting provider can't be held responsible for a customer's content, then IMO a parking company shouldn't be held responsible for a customer's content. The difference here, though, is that the parking company makes an active commission and controls the passing of parameters such as traffic quality which affect click pricing, instead of simply charging a flat rate fee to host parked domains.

I don't think parking will disappear, but the parking companies may be forced to change their business model and that would probably only serve to force the lower-end domainers out of parking.

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Comment #10

I think it's quite right that parking companies should be responsible for TM infringement. They move the keywords around and put the ads on so they should have a look first.

I have raised this loads of times w my Sedo rep who essentially has sent me link to reassure me- the page reiterates the DN owners responsibility for TM infringements...

Comment #11

I think the ad providers are the worst culprits, followed by the parking companies, followed by the domain owners, followed by the registrars. In that order..

Comment #12

Yes, the blame is shared, especially for domain names that look like a TM infringement in themselves...

Comment #13

The parking companies are the enabler in this fiasco.

They SHOULD have tools for TM companies to have domains deleted. They SHOULD be manually approving domains. They SHOULD be adding tools to block certain ads or content. They SHOULDN'T be making revenue from TM domains and infringment and then claiming it's the domain owners problem.

Another main difference between ISPs and Parking companies is that the Parking companies actually CREATE the content while ISPs do not. I could forsee a time when Parking companies force ALL it's members to create their own pages and approve EACH ad placed..which imho would fix the problem instantly and truly place them away from blame here. Of course anything that forces domainers to do a little work to earn their money is going to cause a problem. Domainers often have lazy habits and want the most automatted parking company they can find.

Anyways...gonna be great to watch this one...

Comment #14

I wonder what'll happen if, say, Verizon gets sued for TM infringement by yet.

Another mark holder like Microsoft for monetizing typos. (yeah, as if that will.

Happen...)..

Comment #15

It takes too much resources to manually approve or reject all the domain names. I believe domain parking companies will just call it quits, or provide a lower payout ratio so that the additional revenue will cover the costs of vetting the domains...

Comment #16

I think the problems come in where noone want to take responsibility.

It's not the parking company's fault, it's not the registrars fault, it's not my fault. It's your fault for registering a trademark.

This lawsuit seems all kinds of stupid to me.

I'll get shit for it, but I disagree with most of the posts in this thread.

Stop passing blame. Buck up. Stop being stupid.

I do agree with Labrocca, but only when he said "Domainers are lazy and won't work hard to monetize domains". I think he hit the nail on the head here. I've seen people literally handed maps to gold, and they decided it was too much effort!.

Oh, and my ISP just started monetizing and names that aren't registered, ie. gooooosdrfggle.com, they have also started to do the same for .xom's and .vom's. To be honest, it irritates me. They shouldn't be getting that money, especially if parking companies, ect are getting sued...

Comment #17

I agree and I believe that this will initially decrease domain values overall but not for good generic ones, where the value was never derived from some sort of price/earnings ratio...

Comment #18

This will definitely put pressure on the domain prices as parking will become more expensive (due to additional time and energy involved in TM checking).

It is fairly easy for google to check TM. They approve ad's in few minutes.. Now it can take few hrs.. All they need to do is have additional trademark check filters.

Parking domains I believe is the WORST thing to the internet. The same garbage links/content is recycled. Google doens't like MFA sites, but approves parking? Doesn't make sense.

IMHO, parking should be taken off the internet searches as it reduces the quality of the search results.

Can ONE PERSON here tell me that a parked page provides a decent service?.

It is only a matter of time before this practise will be gone.. For now it is lucrative and so everyone does it... Infact, I am sure there is tons of click fraud too on parked pages....

Comment #19

Oh well some people are happy with the relevant sponsored links when they look for something so yes parking works.

If the ads did not convert then parking would not last for long. Yes there is..

There is adsense fraud too, yet that does not mean online advertising has no future..

No doubt things will continue to evolve and we clearly need more ethics in our industry...

Comment #20

Actually, they don't convert as well.. We stopped advertising on parked pages couple of months ago ACROSS ALL NICHES and our ROI shot up 17.63% - 22.8%.

Infact, you can see number of sellers here that sell "revenue domains" that have insane CTR's..

Nobody here is saying online advertising has no future.. That would be a dumb extrapolation. But domain parking is surely going to be reformed over the years.. It cannot sustain itself in the current form....

Comment #21

The domain owner doesn't count. Surfers are unaware normally that parked pages are earning revenue from those links. When I tell people they are generally dismayed and confused at the same time. Parking isn't about pointing people to where they are trying to get...parking is about monetizing a domain by CAPTURING the traffic and earning money for redirecting it. Laziness is NOT a reason to TM infringe. The "oh I can't be bothered to follow the law" is pure BS.

Parking companies need to create the tools. Domainers need to take the time to be lawful and compliant with TM law.

Could that lessen some income..absolutely. Will it go a LONG way toward legitimizing domaining...100% absolutely. IMHO it's the parking companies that have created this sense that domainers are for the most part cybersquatters. Let's look at reality shall we? http://yootube.com http://yotube.com http://yuutube.com http://youtute.com http://yuotube.com.

Now...would ANY of those be registered if youtube wasn't big? Now based on the theory that parking pages "help" consumers let's take a hard look at some facts. These domains are TM obviously similarly confusing to youtube. The domain owners can't realistically use the domains to redirect it's viewers to Youtube or competing video sites without breaking TM law. So to stay lawful these domains are SUPPOSE to direct to non video sites...how does that help viewers? HOW?.

Some of the above examples do have video site links which means they just don't give a crap breaking the law because the reward is greater than the risk.

The state of domaining is a shame in my view. It's getting worse every year.

[Caveat: I don't claim to be an innocent person but my arguments are sound]..

Comment #22

Ok, currently, I just read the first post and wanted to respond before I became tainted by reading the responses (I will do that after I post this.).

Do you know how many big companies are sued or have class action lawsuits filed against them everyday? Let's take a company like Dell. They have been filed against numerous times and they still sell computers...

Comment #23

WELL SAID... I really pray google does the right thing by de-indexing ALL parked pages and MFA pages. Utter garbage on the internet....

Comment #24

Do you know why these big companies are still in business? Because they have the deep pockets to fight (aka drag) the lawsuits or pay a lumpsum to settle out of court. Still being in business doesn't mean that they are innocent.

I remember a case whereby a huge company is willing to pay thousands of dollars a day for choosing not to obey the EU court. Anyone remembers the name of this company?..

Comment #25

It was 3 million euros per day, btw, not just "thousands".

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Comment #26

Well, what if Google considers your domain name's site a parking page but you.

Consider it a developed one? Sure they might be able to figure it out, but they.

Might also get it wrong...

Comment #27

This would take a ton of work, but it seems to me that this is headed in the same direction as permission-based email. There are plenty of companies who appreciate any exposure and don't care how people get to their sites. If there were some sort of double opt-in database of companies who don't mind parked pages, everyone would be happy...

Comment #28

Labrocca: Very well said and I agree 100%.

While I am absolutely passionate about domaining, it doesn't take a lot of effort to see all the greed and corruption within the industry. The truly sad part is that we have created these behemoth companies by continuing to support their unethical practices and making them cash over fist.

It's one thing to take advantage of a situation for personal gain. We're all probably guilty of that within our lives. However, at some point, things are going to change or become obviously wrong and we can either accept that what we've been doing was wrong and that we had a good, profitable run... Or we can complain about it and fight it all the way to the bitter end as if our sense of entitlement trumps common sense and ethics.

Honestly, the correct course of action would probably be proactive reform and self-regulation, but I don't really expect a lot of people to jump on board that ship...

We're part of an industry where money can come relatively easily for the amount of risk involved... So sometimes it can be hard to stand around and do the right thing while others are making fistfuls of cash by doing the wrong thing.

However, as I said, I am very passionate about domaining, about the industry and the community. This is something that I can definitely see myself being a part of for a very long time. I think this is something that can be said about a lot of us. And when we identify with something so greatly... When we find a passion in our lives, which in the case of domaining, usually takes precedence over most everything else... We definitely need to put the health of industry and community ahead of our own personal greed, otherwise we'll all just aid in the destruction of the one thing we love so much...

Comment #29

There's your answer...Cut the snake off at the head before it has a chance to cause any problems. Make the registrar responsible, If these names are not supposed to be registered then they should not be allowed to be registered. Why put it on the domainer and the parking company when enforced from the beginning as it should be would never exist?..

Comment #30

Well, there you have it. You want to turn abstract trademarks into exclusive trademarks.

Imagine if an apple farm wanted to register apple.com before Apple Computers got a chance to register it. Do you prevent the farm from registering apple.com simply because Apple Computers has an abstract trademark for the word apple? Of course not, that would be ridiculous.

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Comment #31

Asking registrars to implement a system of checking trademarks would result in astronomical legal costs to the registrars and then passed on to us. I don't think that's the way to go on this one...

Comment #32

There's a huge problem with overbroad trademarks, and large companies claiming trademark infringement on generic terms. I registered a generic 2 word financial services industry name, and now have a billion dollar company's lawyers telling me to give it to them, that it conflicts with their trademark on one of the generic words (I'm not going to name the name here).

My point is there's plenty of abuse on both sides of this game...

Comment #33

Well said back at ya sir. I am all for changes that need to be made within OUR industry that will help to legitimize the business of domaining...

Comment #34

Unlikely an abstract trademarked name like Apple will ever be unregistered but if it were available the farmer may have to apply for the name and pay a small processing fee.

Situations like BingoBoy (Quoted Below) are far too common and often end up in the domainer losing a seemingly generic term/domain.

I'm in no way at all saying I'm right, I'm just making a suggestion to a possible better way.

The way I'm suggesting would just have a governing body over the registrars that was responsible for giving the registrars the information needed on what names could not be registered without an approval process. The application fee would ensure no undue rising costs to the average domainer purchasing generic non TM'D names. It's not going to be easy but no more difficult than helping the current fiasco...

Comment #35

I thought ICANN was the governing body?.

....joke..

Comment #36

Back in the early 90s, there used to be a similar situation to this. Dot NET was supposed to be THE extension, so there were all sorts of rules and such regarding them. Dot COM was pretty much unregulated and considered as a second-rate extension by the powers that be. And today we see the result of the freedom which dot COM registrants enjoy(ed).

My 2 cents.

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Comment #37


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

 

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