RedTube Wins WIPO Fight Over Domain Name

Feb 18, 2010 12:30 PM PST
SAN JOSE, Calif. — Last month, RedTube’s parent company Bright Imperial Ltd. won a little-noticed WIPO decision — it was able to convince an arbitrator to order a transfer the domain HQRedTube.com from an Estonia man.

With the binding decision, RedTube is likely to exploit the site to its full potential, offering high-quality tube feeds or fueling traffic to its cornerstone website.

Senja Dumpin, a student who lives in Tallinn, Estonia, told arbitrator Desmond J. Ryan through an interpreter that he didn’t make any money on the site and that RedTube “didn’t lose any money not having the domain.”

Further, Dumpin said that it HQRedTube.com never had content but only pointed to another site. “Now it is not pointing anywhere,” he told the arbitrator. “There was no case of any infringement.”

RedTube said that when it first corresponded with Dumpin in May, he said that he’d take down the site and include software in the deal for $10,000.

RedTube replied that it was not interested in the software but sought transfer of the domain name in return for “reasonable out-of pocket expenses.”

After Dumpin said he’d transfer the domain name for $2,100, Red Tube cut off all communication and filed a case with WIPO, a Geneva Internet policymaking and arbitrating board.

“[RedTube] shows that the current price charged by registrar GoDaddy.com for registration of a name in the .com domain is $10.69,” said.

RedTube contended at WIPO that its brand is well known in Dumpin’s country. It even pointed to articles about its website in prominent international publications, including the Financial Times and Esquire.

RedTube also provided audit statistics from rating agency Alexa.com, showing that in Estonia as of September that its site was the most popular adult website and the 64th most-popular site overall.

It also included as evidence that Dumpin’s HQRedTube.com included “advertisements for adult videos in competition with complainant and which, complainant alleges, copies the look and feel of complainant’s website.”

Dumpin, through the interpreter, said that he “does not understand is it really ‘against the law’ to buy some domain name. As a student he knows that anybody is allowed to buy any domain name.”

With the case, Ryan, the arbitrator, ruled that RedTube satisfied the formal requirements of the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy, as well as other tenets.

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