CraziesCash Wins Cybersquatting Case Over 6 Domains
LAS VEGAS — The domain names of six "mature"-themed adult websites used by a Belgium firm have been ordered transferred to the company that operates the CraziesCash.com affiliate program, according to an arbitrator's ruling released today.
The decision over the six websites is the second such cybersquatting ruling between CraziesCash's owner and the Belgium firm JDS Learning, purportedly operated by Patrick Van Wynsberghe, who also goes under the name Ann Decock.
eTech Marketing Inc., which owns CraziesCash, filed a cybersquatting claim against JDS Learning, an affiliate that acquired a handful of domains that used similar descriptive terms as its cornerstone website, AllOver30.com.
AllOver30.com, offering "gorgeous older women who have experienced a little bit of life," has been in operation under a registered trademark since 2005.
eTech Marketing claimed in the UDRP filing, and an arbitrator agreed, that JDS Learning had registered and used in bad faith the domains AllOver30FreePictures.com, Over30FreePorn.com, Over30FreePics.com, Over30Pics.com, Over30PornPics.com and AllOver40FreePics.com.
eTech Marketing submitted to the arbitration panel that the disputed domain names were identical or confusingly similar to its trademark.
eTech Marketing also said that JDS Learning's principal, Van Wynsberghe, broke terms of an affiliate agreement that provided penalties with registering similar domains, including URLs already transferred over to the company in a previous UDRP decision in January.
In the prior ruling against, an arbitrator ordered JDS Learning's AllOver30Matures.com, FreeAllOver30Pics.com and AllOver30FreePics.com transferred to eTech Marketing.
eTech Marketing said that once contact with Van Wynsberghe was made, the company owner kept on registering similar domains that featured or linked to its competitors’ content.
"The complainant asserts that the respondent undoubtedly had actual knowledge of the complainant’s rights in the trademark AllOver30 before it registered the disputed domain names," eTech Marketing said in its complaint. "The disputed domain names were registered eight years after the mark accrued common law rights, six years after registration of the mark and more than five years after the date of the affiliate agreement with Mr. Van Wynsberghe. Alternatively, the respondent had constructive knowledge of the complainant’s trademark."
JDS Learning, however, said the disputed domain names in the latest case are “totally different” and have nothing to do with eTech, its domain names or its trademarks.
The arbitrator disagreed with JDS Learning over all of the names, with the exception of one — All30Plus.com — which wasn't considered to be confusingly similar to the eTech Marketing’s trademark.
Attorney Marc Randazza of Randazza Legal Group, who represented eTech Marketing over the claims, said the case was bookended by CraziesCash solid affiliate agreement in place.
"A bit of this decision turned on the fact that we had a strong affiliate agreement that prohibited cybersquatting," Randazza told XBIZ. " While I believe we would have won without it, that agreement made things a lot more certain in this case."
eTech Marketing for years has included enforceable language within its CraziesCash program’s terms of service that prohibit cybersquatting practices and other methods that tromp on its intellectual property rights. In many cases, terms provide for a forfeiture of payouts in case of detection and a transfer of domains.
Four years ago, eTech Marketing officials discovered that some affiliates had been purchasing AdWords or other keyword advertising containing our trademarks. At the time, the company placed a notice in front of affiliates, saying that it wouldn't put up with it anymore.
Its admin team said: “If you purchase our AllOver30 trademark as a keyword, you are essentially buying traffic that our already-established trademark should garner. When you attract a customer through that keyword, and then sell that customer back to us, it is like you are earning a commission on a sale that we should have made without you.”
As part of the crackdown in 2010, eTech Marketing asked CraziesCash affiliates that had been doing this to report their actions to the company in a "total amnesty" and to cease the keyword buys within 30 days.
"The real lesson here is that if you have an affiliate program, inevitably some affiliate will think that since he was in your program, he gets to rip off your intellectual property rights," Randazza noted. "Getting your affiliate agreement reviewed and revised to protect against this kind of thing is imperative."