Disputes National Arbitration Forum News Video Games

Microsoft files complaint over another fake Halo 4 Beta site [UPDATED]

Halo 4 Beta scam

[Update 2 on March 7, 2012:. Microsoft Corporation won the rights to 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 (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 (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 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 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.”

Discussion: GameSpot, Kotaku, Joystiq, GameSpotHard OCP, Game Informer, Eurogamer.netVentureBeat, Blue’s News, ITProPortal, Game Rant, VG24/7, Digital Spy, Piki Geek, Strategy Informer, The, WebProNews and 411mania

Disputes National Arbitration Forum News domain name ordered transferred to Rose McGowan

Rose McGowan in Scream

Actress Rose McGowan filed a complaint (Case Number: 1419570) over the domain name <> with the National Arbitration Forum back in December 2011.

Now a three-member panel has ordered the name transferred to Rose McGowan, after finding the domain identical to the common law service mark in her name, that the respondent had no rights or legitimate interests in the domain, and that the domain had been registered and is being used in bad faith.

Respondent is using the website . . . to redirect Internet users to a website that contains information and advertisements . . . . Respondent presumably profits from this use of the confusingly similar disputed domain name in the form of click-through fees.  Additionally, Respondent’s use of Complainant’s mark creates a likelihood of confusion regarding the source of the content resolving from the disputed domain name.  The Panel finds this is an attempt by Respondent to profit from the goodwill associated with Complainant’s mark.  Therefore, the Panel finds Respondent’s attempt to profit from its use of the confusingly similar disputed domain name constitutes registration and use in bad faith pursuant to Policy ¶4(b)(iv).

The full details of the ruling have been released and can be read online here.

Disputes National Arbitration Forum News

Academy Award nominated actor Ryan O’Neal wins domain

Ryan O'Neal MugshotA single-member panel with the National Arbitration Forum has ordered the domain name be transferred to Academy Award and Golden Globe Award nominated actor Ryan O’Neal.

Ryan O’Neal was represented by Howard H. Weller of Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP,  who filed the dispute (Claim Number: FA1112001419531) against Ronald Garcia in early December 2011.

Ronald Garcia had owned the domain name since 2003 and recently had begun redirecting the web address to

Sandra J. Franklin, Panelist,  found that all three elements required under the ICANN Policy to transfer the domains were satisfied, including registration and use in bad faith, stating that the offer to sell the domain name was evidence of bad faith registration.

Full details of the ruling, which was issued on January 5, have been posted online.

(Mugshot image of Ryan O’Neal via The Smoking Gun)

Disputes News WIPO

Columbia Pictures files dispute over [UPDATED]

Fantasy Island

Last summer DotWeekly wrote about the domain name selling in a Go Daddy expired domain auction for $22,005 USD. 

The first comment made by a reader of the article was that the purchase was a waste of money.

“What a waste of money IMO.  That purchase makes no sense unless you own the rights to the show Fantasy Island. If not, what the hell can one do with it? A titty bar? “Boss boss, de UDRP, de UDRP,”” wrote Mike.

Well, now Columbia Pictures Industries, which has owned the Fantasy Island trademark since the early 1980s, has filed a domain dispute (Case Number: D2012-0043) over with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and the current owner is going to have to think about what to do.

What makes this case interesting is that the current owner Howard Guessner, has owned the domain name dating back to 2004 all the way up through today, according to Whois historical records.  So it appears Guessner may have renewed the domain in time and never paid $22K to Go Daddy to purchase it in an expiring auction.  

I’ve reached out to Guessner via e-mail to learn more and will update this post if I hear back.

[Updated on February 29, 2012:. The name has been ordered transferred to Columbia Pictures Industries.  The decision was issued on February 19, 2012.  Full details of the decision can be read here.]

Disputes News WIPO

UPDATED: Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder wants

Eddie Vedder

Eddie Vedder, the lead singer of the alternative rock band Pearl Jam, wants the web address

A complaint (WIPO Case Number: D2012-0035) was filed this week with the World Intellectual Property Organization over the domain name.

What’s interesting about this case is that according to WHOIS records, Pearl Jam owned the domain name back in the mid-2000s up through late 2010, when the name switched over to Whois privacy.

EV Touring, Inc., which also owns the trademark on Eddie Vedder, is the complainant in the domain dispute. 

At the time of this posting, the domain does not resolve to a web page.

A user who goes by the name hobeyb on the website Aftermarket, an online marketplace for domains, has the web address listed for sale for $18,400.

While this type of filing might seem like an open-and-shut case in favor of the complainant, it doesn’t always end up that way.  In September, Lady Gaga lost her dispute over

Given the circumstances of the Eddie Vedder trademark and that the current domain owner is apparently trying to benefit from the sale of the name, in a few short weeks, this name could be in the possession of the Pearl Jam lead singer. 

Stay tuned here for updates on how it all goes.  I will update this post when a decision is issued by the WIPO Panel.

[Update 1 on January 19, 2012:.  The case was terminated before a ruling was issued.  According to the Whois records, the domain was handed over to EV Touring, Inc.]

Discussion: Pearl Jam – Ten Club Community, antiMusic.comAudio Ink Radio and Red Mosquito

(Image of Eddie Vedder in Calgary, Canada via