[Update 2 on March 7, 2012:. Microsoft Corporation won the rights to Halo4Beta.net. On March 6, 2012, a single-member panel ordered the domain name transferred from Edward Lee (the respondent) to Microsoft (the complainant).]
[Update 1 on March 5, 2012:. Microsoft is going after another phony Halo 4 Beta site. A complaint has now been filed (Case Number: 1432610) with the National Arbitration Forum over Halo4Beta.biz (screenshot) The domain name is owned by a resident of Illinois according to Whois records. I've reached out the owner for more information and will update this post if I hear back.]
Original story on January 28, 2012:. Nearly two weeks ago, David Ellis of 343 Industries, the company that is developing Halo 4, warned Halo fans through Twitter that if you see a site claiming to allow you to sign up for a Halo 4 beta it’s a fake.
The site in question was hosted at Halo4beta.net (pictured above), and now Microsoft’s legal team is taking action by going after the domain name.
A complaint (Case No. 1426106) has officially been filed with the National Arbitration Forum.
Apparently wanting to avoid legal troubles after gaming sites went abuzz with David Ellis’ warning, the operator of Halo4beta.net took the website down, but that’s not going to be enough for Microsoft.
Microsoft can fully expect to have the National Arbitration Panel order the name be transferred, in what should be an open-and-shut case.
Stay tuned as I’ll be posting the details of the decision as soon as they’re available, likely no more than a few weeks from now.
Halo 4 has a holiday season 2012 release date.
Last June, Microsoft acquired the domain name Halo4.com for an undisclosed amount of cash, rather than filing a domain dispute. When I asked the seller about the selling price/negotiations with Microsoft, the seller told me via e-mail, “The only term of the agreement that I can disclose is that I can’t disclose any terms of the agreement.”
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