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Top 10 Stories of 2011: #2 Activision battles for domain

Modern Warfare 3

Activision won rights to the domain in early September, bringing a saga that dragged on for months to a close.

My coverage of the whole affair from beginning to end drew thousands of thousands of page views, along with mentions from nearly every major video gaming news site and blog.

It was Activision’s decision to file a domain dispute over that earned the number two spot in the Top 10 stories of 2011.

The coverage began in January 2011, when I wrote about Activision missing out on several Modern Warfare domain names, including 

In May, information and dates were leaked on Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 to Kotaku

Shortly after the online buzz started, the owner of put up a website and literally gained thousands of fans on Facebook overnight.  Then the website abruptly went offline for days, in what appeared to be a response by the owner to Activision’s lawyers. 

When the site came back online however, the same owner launched a revamped website that lashed out at Activision, in a series of statements and videos, throwing support instead to Call of Duty’s biggest competitor – Electronic Arts’ Battlefield 3.

Still, at this point, no one else was covering it.

It was my story on re-directing to EA’s Battlefield 3 website in July that started drawing attention by sites like Kotaku.  The move to forward the domain proved embarrassing for Activision.

What followed were a series of breaking stories that continued to draw massive traffic.

In mid July, Activision officially filed a complaint with the National Arbitration Forum that I got my hands on. 

After the complaint was filed, Go Daddy removed the privacy service on the domain, revealing the identity of the owner.

In September, Activision triumphed and the domain was ordered transferred.

By October, the domain resolved to

If Activision decides to release a Modern Warfare 4, it may want to handle things a little differently.  As of today, doesn’t belong to Activision.

News Video Games to re-direct to official MW3 web site, any day now

Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 website

It’s good news for all the fans of the Call of Duty franchise. 

The domain name has transferred over to Activision’s domain server that hosts other names like, which likely means only one thing: will finally resolve to the official MW3 website any day now.

Earlier in the week, Activision’s trademark attorneys at Millen, White, Zelano & Branigan, P.C, took official control of from Anthony Abraham following a dispute over the web address.

The transfer of the domain to Activision’s domain server occurred on Saturday, September 24, 2011.

Disputes National Arbitration Forum News Video Games Activision’s attorneys take official control of domain Whois

In what has been one of the most highly publicized struggles for a domain name, Activision’s trademark attorneys at Millen, White, Zelano & Branigan, P.C, have officially taken control of from Anthony Abraham as of September 21, 2011, after winning the dispute over the web addresss earlier in the month.

Now all that’s left to do is to transfer the domain to Activision’s Mary Tuck, who serves as the company’s senior litigation counsel (and is the registrant for most of Activision’s properties), then re-direct the domain to the official ‘Modern Warfare 3’ website at doesn’t resolve to a web page at the time of this story, but lets hope that Activision puts it to good use shortly.

Type in into any of the major search engines, and EA’s Battlefield 3 is still the first result.  A temporary effect of Anthony Abraham’s redirection of to back in July.

Disputes National Arbitration Forum News Trademarks Video Games domain name battle ends with an Activision triumph

Modern Warfare 3

The domain battle between Anthony Abraham and Activision over has come to an end.

A three-member panel of the National Arbitration Forum has ordered the domain name transferred.

Earlier this year Anthony Abraham launched an unofficial fan site for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, attracting thousands of Facebook fans in a matter of days.

In late June, Abraham began lashing out at Activision, the publisher of Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3, in a series of statements and videos that appeared on the website, and throwing support instead to Electronic Arts’ Battlefield 3.

Activision eventually filed a complaint (read here) which revealed the identity of the Battlefield 3 fanboy.

According to the decision posted online, Abraham argued that the term “modern warfare” is generic and is not monopolized by Activision.

Activision was required to prove that is identical or confusingly similar to its trademark, that Abraham has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain; and the domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.

The three-member panel ruled in Activision’s favor today, having established all three elements required under the ICANN Policy.

Here is a copy of the decision by the National Arbitration Forum so you can read all the details.

Discussion: Game InformerJoystiqNeoGAF, CVG,, MCV, Ubergizmo, The Escapist,, 1UP, Tiscali, Gamespot, FZ, Kotaku and Gaming Union

Disputes National Arbitration Forum News Video Games owner revealed, Go Daddy’s Privacy removed during UDRP

Modern Warfare 3 reveal trailer

The Battlefield 3 fanboy who has fueled the drama between Electronic Arts and Activision by re-directing to has been officially revealed.

Originally hidden behind Go Daddy’s Domains By Proxy (DBP) service, it appears the registrar giant doesn’t want to get involved in the domain dispute recently filed under the UDRP by Activision against the owner of

Today, Go Daddy’s DBP has removed the privacy service on the domain, revealing the identity of the owner who has entertained Call of Duty and Battlefield fans with his online antics for weeks.

So who is this person who got the attention of gaming publications, fans and of course, Activision?

The registrant is Anthony Abraham of Florida according to the latest Whois records furnished by DomainTools. 

Anthony, who has been hush hush since the beginning, will likely be receiving calls and e-mails from reporters over the next few days.

Now, if you’re wondering why the privacy service was removed all of the sudden, according to the Domains by Proxy website, cancelling the privacy service is just how it handles UDRP matters.

“DBP routinely receives notices from its affiliated registrars informing it of the filing of various administrative proceedings under the Policy.  Upon receipt of such notices, DBP cancels its privacy service for the domain name that is the subject of the Policy dispute and notifies its customer about the cancellation of service.”

Discussion: Kotaku, JoystiqGame Rant and Machinima