Last week I wrote about what I think will go down as one of the worst UDRP decisions in history. In case you missed this one, here’s a quick recap. Well-known Domain Name Investor and publisher of the incredibly popular website Domaining.com lost ADO.com via UDRP.
What made this so ridiculous (to me at least) is that one of the reasons stated in the UDRP proceedings was that the asking price of $500,000 for the three letter .COM was “way too much.” It just so happens that the same day this UDRP was announced, a three letter .COM, DAX.com sold for $500,000 – how’s that for irony.
This particular UDRP decision really made me angry for two reasons:
- Every time a company wins a UDRP for a short, generic word like this, it becomes harder for investors to feel confident in investing and holding names like this as a real asset. In short, I think it’s bad decisions like these that threaten domain names as asset classes, and I wrote a post related to this yesterday about the risks of owning six-figure domain names.
- Francois is a really good guy who has done a ton for the domain industry. There’s no doubt in my mind that this is a $500,000 asset – and to watch a friend (okay we’ve never met but heck I’ve known Francois for 10 years!) lose a $500,000 asset is painful.
So I was very excited to read today on Domain Name Wire that Francois is fighting back and suing the company who in my mind stole a $500,000 asset from him.
Francois Carrillo, the owner of domain blog aggregator Domaining.com, has sued (pdf) Mexican bus company Autobuses dr Oriente ADO, S.A. de C.V. after a UDRP panel ordered his domain Ado.com transferred. He is seeking the UDRP to be overturned and is asking for a penalty for reverse domain name hijacking. (Source – DomainNameWire.com)
I’m looking forward to seeing justice served here and hopefully this case will be used in the future as a warning to other thieves who are thinking about abusing the UDRP system to steal domain names like this. Still, it’s going to cost Francois a pretty penny to defend himself here, and in the end he could spend all this additional money and still lose the domain name.
Your average domain investor doesn’t have the funds to defend a bad UDRP decision which is why, like I said in my post yesterday, I think there are real risks that come with owning six-figure domain names. While I hope Francois wins this one and it goes on to become an example for future cases, I still think there is a big issue that we just can’t ignore as an industry – UDRP is a broken process, it’s 2018, let’s fix it.
Go get em’ Francois, let’s use this decision as a solid foundation to build on. Let’s get the ICA more involved, let’s get individual investors more involved, otherwise – let’s be honest, domains are going to be an increasingly scary “asset class” for your average investor to feel safe parking their hard earned money in.