Guy Who Runs Anti-Ryanair Website Forced To Hand Over The Domain Because He Made A Little Money

from the nominetsucks.co.uk? dept

For many years, we've discussed the legality of so-called "sucks sites." These are, generally speaking, sites that people put up about a brand that they've had a bad experience with, that goes by something along the lines of brandsucks.com. While there has been some back and forth, for the most part, people and domain dispute boards have recognized that such "sucks sites" should be allowed. They're not infringing on trademarks, in that they don't, for the most part, lead to any confusion over who is running the domain, or if the company in question actually endorses the site (unlikely in most cases).

So it was interesting to see the news that a guy who ran IHateRyanair.co.uk was forced to turn over the domain name to the company. It was double surprising, because four years ago, we had written about another sucks site, called RyanairCampaign.org that was allowed to keep its domain. So what gives here? Well, it turns out that it wasn't a normal domain resolution process that is normally used over domain trademark disputes. Instead, Ryanair went straight to the registry -- which, in this case, was Nominet, and apparently Nominet's policies are much more stringent. The company even admits this, saying that the traditional UDRP domain resolution process probably would have let him keep the domain, but they decided it offends their stricter policies. Why? Because on the page he had some affiliate links that earned him £322. And, even though he took down the links, and agreed to sign documents that he wouldn't put them back, they still felt it violated their policies.

This is, frankly, ridiculous. Earning a little bit of cash from a website does not automatically make it such that it's just being done "for the money," as is implied by this ruling. Besides with the amount made, it probably didn't do much more than covering hosting fees. This is really an unfortunate decision, and could certainly chill some forms of speech in making it much more difficult to cover your costs in hosting a public advocacy website against a company. Perhaps someone needs to set up Nominetsucks.co.uk. Of course, all is not lost for the original domain holder, who has simply moved his site to IHateRyanair.org, and hopefully to a less ridiculous registrar.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    icon
    Crosbie Fitch (profile), Oct 18th, 2010 @ 5:03am

    TechDirt sucks?

    How about creating a sister site: techdirtsucks.com

    This is filled to the brim with affiliate advertising, etc.

    Visitors to the site can register.

    Each month the entire ad revenue is directed to a random registrant.

    It could also publish comments from people (corporate shills) who hate TechDirt.

    I think TechDirt could withstand this, eh? ;-)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    Ryan Diederich, Oct 18th, 2010 @ 5:22am

    Yes

    Yes, they would withstand this, because TechDirt understands what free speech means. You can do all the badmouthing you want, the Streisand effect will send more business this way anyways.

    /pwnd

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    icon
    Daniel (profile), Oct 18th, 2010 @ 5:32am

    .com?

    Surely it would be "nominetsucks.com" or they could just take it down on their own.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Claus Dahl, Oct 18th, 2010 @ 5:39am

    Clearing up some confusion in this post

    There's a few misunderstandings in the article. Nominet is not the registrar for the domain but the registry. Co.uk domains aren't .com domains - but the TLD for the UK, the managing body of which is Nominet. co.uk names simply aren't governed by the UDRP proces but by the policies enforced by Nominet. Different countries aren't bound to follow the rules ICANN set up for the generic TLDs (.com etc).

    Not agreeing with the terms Nominet use, but your description of the case is wrong.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    Tech Dirt Suck, Oct 18th, 2010 @ 5:43am

    Great idea!

    That's a great idea! Put it up... it would drive more people to the ACTUAL techdirt site, where the intelligent people could read it and decide for themselves and the idiots - well, who really cares what the stupid sheep think...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    icon
    Overcast (profile), Oct 18th, 2010 @ 6:21am

    Well, one thing is established either way - we all know that coming and going - Ryanair SUCKS!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    bob, Oct 18th, 2010 @ 6:21am

    Hit Em Where It Hurts

    Start a boycott of Nominet, by all practical means.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 18th, 2010 @ 6:24am

    The Brits are assholes. Now that the empire is dead. Thank God they can only be assholes in the UK now. I wouldn't even waste my tourist dollars there. The UK sucks. Why do you think terrorists are always attacking it. Only now do all the countries they screwed get the balls to fight back. The Irish wouldn't take their shit. We wouldn't take their shit. So why even waste time with them.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 18th, 2010 @ 6:59am

    Re: TechDirt sucks?

    This site already sucks enough. What would be the point? :)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 18th, 2010 @ 7:01am

    Re: Clearing up some confusion in this post

    There's a few misunderstandings in the article. Nominet is not the registrar for the domain but the registry. Co.uk domains aren't .com domains - but the TLD for the UK, the managing body of which is Nominet. co.uk names simply aren't governed by the UDRP proces but by the policies enforced by Nominet. Different countries aren't bound to follow the rules ICANN set up for the generic TLDs (.com etc).

    Not agreeing with the terms Nominet use, but your description of the case is wrong.


    Mike doesn't let facts get in the way when he's whining about censorship, but I thank you for the information.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    icon
    Hephaestus (profile), Oct 18th, 2010 @ 7:35am

    Re: Re: TechDirt sucks?

    "What would be the point? :)"

    Funny thing from a lottery perspective it might draw in more users. Crosbie Fitchs idea "Each month the entire ad revenue is directed to a random registrant." would give people an RtR (Reason to Register).

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    NullOp, Oct 18th, 2010 @ 7:44am

    Sucks Sites

    Sucks Sites, SS, should be allowed to exist. Companies/Corporations hide behind their advertising and the law all the time. When I shop for something I always make note of what I have seen on the TV as you can be sure the product with the most airtime is a real POS!

    Think about it, should it be illegal for someone to say your product or service is not what it claims to be? Of course the answer is "Hell no!" We should actually have more SS rather than fewer. If companies/corps knew their product/service would be subject to real review they would, perhaps, behave differently. Of course, those simply bashing a product/service to bash it spoil it for everyone. And just because a product didn't live up to your "expectations' doesn't mean it should be bashed. Some folks simply can't be satisfied.

    Lastly, the case is about Ryan Air, for God's sake. They do what they do. All they promise is a ride from A to B!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 18th, 2010 @ 7:53am

    Re: Sucks Sites

    Sucks Sites, SS, should be allowed to exist. Companies/Corporations hide behind their advertising and the law all the time.

    I've only ever heard them called "gripe sites," and in the U.S. they are allowed to exist. There were a lot of challenges early on, but the caselaw is now pretty settled that they're OK. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gripe_site

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    identicon
    Eric Goldman, Oct 18th, 2010 @ 8:44am

    More on this subject

    I did a fairly extensive survey of this issue in http://ssrn.com/abstract=1020695 Eric.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    icon
    Chargone (profile), Oct 18th, 2010 @ 3:53pm

    Re:

    please do remember that, when the empire existed, generally speaking those places that were part of it had a choice between Britain, France, Spain, the Dutch, Portugal, Russia (not all of these at once, mind you, but some combination of the above.) one or another was going to take them over. (Ireland was an exception.)
    of those empires, every single one was a worse deal than Britain.
    at it's height, and for all it's screw ups (which were usually individuals doing dumb things rather than institutional issues), the British Empire was described as 'the largest system or organised liberty in the history of the world'. quite accurately. (please note that this was After lessons learned from the debacle that lead to the independence of the USA)

    in more modern times they have had issues, it's true, though these have come about After they lost the empire, and those having to do with international incidents have a lot more to do with being a major US ally than anything.
    ... they do, of course, have bizarre legacy legal issues, and the standard 'politicians suck' problems.

    also, news flash: said terrorists put a lot more effort into attacks on the US than the UK. the UK gets hit more, if it does, which i do not have information to back up one way or the other, it's because it's Closer and more readily accessible by way of Europe.

    but Anonymous Coward's rant is, at best, ill informed.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    identicon
    abc gum, Oct 18th, 2010 @ 5:31pm

    Is Ryan Air charging for toilet usage yet ?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Oct 18th, 2010 @ 5:39pm

    Re: Clearing up some confusion in this post

    There's a few misunderstandings in the article. Nominet is not the registrar for the domain but the registry.

    Always get the two mixed up, honestly. Registars/registries always seem the same to me. Thanks for clarifying.

    Co.uk domains aren't .com domains - but the TLD for the UK, the managing body of which is Nominet. co.uk names simply aren't governed by the UDRP proces but by the policies enforced by Nominet. Different countries aren't bound to follow the rules ICANN set up for the generic TLDs (.com etc).

    Never meant to imply otherwise and don't believe I did. Thought I was clear that Nominet wasn't using UDRP. I just was pointing out that they were different (and not very smart).

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    icon
    Ronald J Riley (profile), Oct 18th, 2010 @ 7:44pm

    Nominet Deal??

    I wonder if Nominet had any sort of deal in place to profit from this?

    Ronald J. Riley,

    Speaking only on my own behalf.
    President - www.PIAUSA.org - RJR at PIAUSA.org
    Executive Director - www.InventorEd.org - RJR at InvEd.org
    Senior Fellow - www.PatentPolicy.org
    President - Alliance for American Innovation
    Caretaker of Intellectual Property Creators on behalf of deceased founder Paul Heckel
    Washington, DC
    Direct (810) 597-0194 - (202) 318-1595 - 9 am to 8 pm EST.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    icon
    Ronald J Riley (profile), Oct 18th, 2010 @ 8:01pm

    Re: TechDirt sucks?

    If someone were going to do this they should use Name-SUCKS.com because search engines treat the hyphen as a space and parse on it.

    Incidentally, there is no way to suppress this form of criticism because other forms such as Name-1-Sucks or any other of endless possibilities will yield the same results.

    While I think that TechDIRT is an incredibly biased forum I do not think they deserve their own SUCKS site. Such should be saved for the dredges of our society.

    Ronald J. Riley,

    Speaking only on my own behalf.
    President - www.PIAUSA.org - RJR at PIAUSA.org
    Executive Director - www.InventorEd.org - RJR at InvEd.org
    Senior Fellow - www.PatentPolicy.org
    President - Alliance for American Innovation
    Caretaker of Intellectual Property Creators on behalf of deceased founder Paul Heckel
    Washington, DC
    Direct (810) 597-0194 - (202) 318-1595 - 9 am to 8 pm EST.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    icon
    Jay (profile), Oct 18th, 2010 @ 8:59pm

    Re: Re: TechDirt sucks?

    Even you have a bias or slant towards a position. Trying to make it sound as if others are bigoted really says a lot about your own attitude.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 19th, 2010 @ 4:23am

    I wonder....

    ... His site got taken down for making money for a contrary opinion? Do you think CNN for example might get taken down for the same reason? They and many other news sites write bad press on many companies (whoever is in the firing line this month.... probably still bp) and they make STACKS of money from it.

    Oh I forgot such things only ever apply when a big wealthy company with lots of lawyers goes after an individual or the little guy. Freedom of speech is great... if you have the money for it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    identicon
    Joe, Oct 21st, 2010 @ 8:57am

    Blocked?

    A little late to this conversation but I just checked with my brother over in Dublin and he can't pull up the blog. I'm wondering if Eircom has blocked it?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    identicon
    Moncler, Jul 13th, 2011 @ 8:29am

    wonder

    i like your article very much.thanks for you share with us

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
    identicon
    plombier paris, Aug 8th, 2011 @ 3:21pm

    thx for shar

    Merci pour ce partage.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This