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Hilarious! Charles Esten domain cybersquatted by ‘elderly couple’


This is one for the UDRP books.

American actor, comedian and musician Charles Esten is famous for his participation in the successful TV series, Nashville.

In 2011, someone from China registered CharlesEsten.com and set up a web site on it, displaying the photo of an elderly couple and the note:

“Welcome to the homepage of Me & Ramis!!! We are so happy that we finally managed to include this photo of us. Just click here to write us an email. We are looking forward to finding many new friends so please write us.”

The domain registrant appears to have used a photo of Buck and Yvonne Hemenway, from the Cactus Blog.


A photo of an elderly couple appears on CharlesEsten.com.

A UDRP at the WIPO was filed by Charles Esten against the registrant, Tian Yi Tong Investment, Ltd. of Hong Kong, China.

The argument was also focused on the Respondent’s activity with other famous people’s names:

“The Complainant has discovered some 28 domain names registered by the Respondent consisting of the names of actors and the extension “.com” through a cursory Internet search. Like the Domain Name all these domain names point to the same spurious web page purporting to be the web site of an older couple on which none of the links work. The Respondent is not making a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the Domain Name without intent for commercial gain. It has not been commonly known by the Domain Name. It has not been used for a bona fide offering of goods and services (even after registration for three years). The Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name.”

Some of these cybersquatted domains we could find, include the following:

arielwinter.com, barbarafleck.com, danbraverman.com, gracebannon.com, jeffkober.com, jerryhauck.com, lindakerns.com, maggiesiff.com, rebeccabaxter.com, scottkraft.com, vincevieluf.com

With that in mind, Dawn Osborne, sole panelist, ordered the domain to be released to the Complainant.

You can read the full text of the UDRP against CharlesEsten.com here.

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