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 Wednesday, 22nd February 2012, 16:35:28

Domain name dispute ends in victory for Virgin boss

Domain name dispute ends in victory for Virgin boss

Sir Richard Branson has won a legal case to prevent his name being used in a .xxx web address.

Australian 'cybersquatter' Sean Truman had bought the domain named 'richardbranson.xxx four days before the .xxx registry went live.

He claimed that Sir Richard had "ample opportunity" to register the name if he believed his rights to be under threat from a third party.

Unfortunately for Mr Truman, it was judged that he purchased the name "in bad faith" and the Virgin boss's complaint was upheld.

The .xxx registry is in fact largely used for domain names in the adult entertainment industry.

Following Sir Richard's successfully resolved complaint with the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP), the web address richardbranson.xxx will become the property of the Virgin empire.

However, because Virgin is not involved in that particular industry, the website will most likely be set as a "non-resolver", meaning that it will not work when the domain name is typed into the browser bar.

The .xxx registry has resulted in a number of cases being filed against cybersquatters – 13 in total since December 2011 – according to the UDRP.

Other disputed addresses included foxstudios.ccc and keyjewelers.xxx.

Another, lesser-known firm also deals with these complaints and on a much quicker scale.

The Rapid Evaluation Service (RES) is able to take down an "obviously cybersquatted" domain in just two days, it was reported on The Register.

It has been used 15 times so far, according to the National Arbitration Forum (NAF) which handles the cases.

The NAF has handled 12 cases similar to Sir Richard's since last December.

There are some differences however between the RES and the UDRP.

While the latter will transfer the domain name to the aggrieved party (as in the case of richardbranson.xxx), domains seized by the RES will be turned off completely.

The only problem is that the RES decisions are not published and it is unclear which domain names were cybersquatted or under what reasons the NAF chose to suspend the domains.

Posted by Kevin Jenson

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