The recent domain name decision, Hydentra, LP. v. Xedoc Holding SA, WIPO Case No. D2008-0454 is of interest for a few reasons:
The Best Part – Cybersqatter Busted and PWNED
The Complainant alleged that the domain in question, metart.com, was owned and controlled by a man by the name of Slavik Viner. The Complaint further alleged that given Viner’s standing in the adult entertainment community, he must have known about the Complainant’s trademark and website (www.met-art.com) when he registered the domain in question, http://www.metart.com.
The Respondent claimed that Mr. Viner was not the owner of the domain name.
In support of its position, the Respondent also files a declaration in the name of Paul Raynor Keating that is said to be given “under the penalty of perjury”. Mr. Keating asserts:
(i) That he is an attorney licensed to practice by the State of California.
(ii) That he is a director of the Respondent and familiar with the ownership of the corporation and that “Mr. Viner is not listed in the records of the corporation as a shareholder”. (source at 5.22)
Perhaps Mr. Viner was “not listed in the records of the corporation as a shareholder,” but does that make the statement honest? Let’s keep exploring:
The respondent then continued to deny any involvement by Mr. Viner:
“Mr Viner does not control all or any part of Xedoc. Xedoc is a duly registered Luxembourg corporation. None of its shareholders are US citizens or residents. Its directors are publically listed. They include Mr. Keating who is a director of a number of corporations”. (source at 5.26)
The Panel was provided with various emails between the Respondent and the domain broker.
Some of these are redacted but an explanation of this is given in a footnote. In particular, the Respondent states: “Some documents may have been partially redacted so as to preclude the inadvertent disclosure of highly confidential information such as bank account numbers, user names, passwords and the like.”(source at 5.17)
However, it seems that more than this “highly confidential” information was redacted.
Complainant’s Response to the Respondent’s Supplemental Submissions
5.29 The Complainant contends in this particular submission that notwithstanding the Respondent redaction of certain emails appended to its submissions, it was possible for the Complainant to see what was behind those redactions. In particular, some text was not fully obscured and when the pdf text was copied by it to a Microsoft Word file, the redactions disappeared in their entirety.
5.30 Once these redactions are removed, the Complainant contends that it is apparent that Mr. Slavik Viner was the individual who conducted the negotiations with Sedo in relation to the purchase of the domain name. (source at 5.29-5.30)
Oh SNAP! It is bad enough to be PWNED for lying to a tribunal — it is even worse when you get caught by being so utterly stupid as to not know how to properly obscure text in a PDF document! However, stupid and unethical frequently walk hand-in-hand.
5.31 As a consequence the Complainant contends that the Respondent has sought to deliberately hide Mr. Viner’s connection with the Respondent. Further, since the material discloses Mr. Viner’s email address, the Complainant has been able to discover further evidence to show that Mr. Viner frequently frequents and posts on various “adult webmaster forums” and it is “not conceivable that he would not be aware of one of the most well-known adult nude photography sites in existence”. (source at 5.31)
Although this is the most interesting part of this decision, there are other issues of interest: Read the rest of this entry »