Start haggling and hope you get it back for a fair amount. Other options are nill, good luck with it...
Thanks for that ...
Do you not think the band has some rights to the use of the name?.
My thinking is that they have been trading under that name for some years. Would they not have built a up some kind of trademark in the name?.
Possibly... depends how famous they are... like Cher... is trademarked and she has the money to go after .com's that are infringing. A small band may not have the funds to fight it, and may be best to try to haggle a price than to spend several $k to get it through legal/courts...
Trying to purchase the name should be your first point of call. You may well have the rights over the name but remember a UDRP will cost you a few thousand...
Food for thought.
As I said, the band name is distinctive and unique. They have what might be described as a cult following - a small but committed bunch of fans - worldwide. The don't have much money - from what I can gather barely enough to produce their latest CD.
How do I handle the registration privacy issue.
The domain is registered with snapnames - should I contact them about this?.
I know I sound not very positive about the problem, but I dont think you will find they can have "built a up some kind of trademark in the name". You either have one or you dont.
I cannot imagine trying to prove that you built up a TM, even though you dont have one, and the person who has your domain should have known this, and they are now infringing your trademark, which you do not have.
This argument would be a total waste of a UDRP IMO.
Your going to have to buy it again, I cannot see any way around it...
However, I'm not sure you're right about the trademark issue. My understanding is that in principle it is not necessary to register a trademark (which you seem to be suggesting) in order to have a trademark. The mark and the ownership of it comes by way of trade and history of trading with the mark.
Please correct me if I'm wrong (or confirm if I'm right).
So, applying that principle to this case I would suggest that this is a clear case.
Correct, you don't have to register a trademark to be able to claim one... being able to show that you have tm rights is another story, and could potentially be difficult.
Winnable? Possible. Clear cut? Not necessarily. There are a lot of factors that will play into it.
Again money sounds like it will be the biggest factor. As far as privacy goes, typically if you send an email to the email in the whois, it will get forwarded to the owner, who may or may not reply...
If you have legal authority to act on behalf of the band, you can contact ICANN and ask them to turn the domain over to the rightful owner if someone is indeed just squatting. Do note though that if the band name is really generic, or if it's a name that some other company may be using in another field, you may have a slightly harder time proving you have more right to it than the current owner. But if it's a squatter it should be easy to win against them...