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UDRP decision: Randazza Legal Group to receive all domains squatted by Reverend Crystal Cox

Attorney Marc Randazza.

IP attorney Marc Randazza of the Randazza Legal Group has prevailed at the WIPO, today.

In a case involving several personal domain names registered by blogger and marketing/SEO specialist, Reverend Crystal Cox, the decision comes as a bold statement about squatting domains of famous or important people for profit.

The UDRP ends thus:

“[…] the Panel grants the relief sought by the Complainant. The disputed domain names <marcjohnrandazza.com>, <marcjrandazza.com>, <marcrandazza.com>, <marcrandazza.biz>, <marcrandazza.info> and <marcrandazza.mobi> are all ordered to be transferred to the Complainant.”

The case attracted a lot of interest in the free speech circles, because it was obvious that extortion does not equal free speech.

The language of the UDRP describes it as follows:

“In any event, for purposes of the Policy the Panel finds the Respondent’s intention, as reflected by the record, was never to solely provide, through her websites, speech critical of the Complainant. Rather, her objective in both registering and using the disputed names was apparently to engage in a rather sinister and tenacious scheme to extort money from the Complainant. Specifically, the Respondent first posted negative and false commentary on her websites that was intentionally calculated to injure the Complainant’s on-line reputation and disrupt the Complainant’s business conducted through his law firm. Thereafter, the Respondent used those sites in a manner that apparently optimized their ranking  on the Google search engine in order to increase their visibility and prominence on search results yielded through a Google search of the Complainant, thus likely exacerbating the injury caused to the Complainant.

Once all this occurred, the Respondent then offered her reputational management services to the Complainant through which, for a considerable fee, she would remediate the Complainant’s on-line reputation by eliminating all the negative and false commentary of her own making and presumably also ceasing her use of the disputed domain names. Basically, for a price, she would undo the injury to the Complainant for which she was responsible for having created in the first place. This egregious conduct clearly constitutes bad faith under the Policy.

Further, the Respondent, in registering multiple domain names which each incorporated the Complainant’s personal name or surname – all of which are identical to corresponding ones of the Complainant’s RANDAZZA Marks, certainly denied the Complainant the right to reflect any of those marks in a domain name and exhibited a pattern of conduct in doing so.”

In April we wrote about the case that is now being settled in favor of Marc Randazza.

Note: While we are linking to Marc Randazza’s professional services from within DomainGang, this publication is purely an announcement of industry-related news and is not a paid placement.

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