On February 6, 2012 I wrote — David W. Boles is THE Script Professor — because some unsavory person in another country created a new domain based on my ScriptProfessor.com domain by merely adding a “the” before “ScriptProfessor.com” to create “TheScriptProfessor.com” and I was outraged:

Let there be NO DOUBT on the Internets that I, David W. Boles, am, are, and forever shall beTHE Script Professor!  I have been  THE Script Professor since November 28, 2005, so let there be no question to my authenticity as pale imitators and purposeful thieves step forward and try to wrangle in private and modify in public my mark to serve their selfish ends by fogging reality and futzing legal authority.

This week, I was able to reclaim that illegally registered domain and “TheScriptProfessor.com” now rightly redirects to “ScriptProfessor.com” and the world is right and good again as you can see in this partial screenshot of some of the domains I own and operate:

When I learned that someone had taken my domain and squatted on it, I contacted the person and told them what they were doing was illegal.  The infringer immediately took the domain offline, but refused to hand over the domain to me even though I said I’d reimburse the domain registration costs.

It became a waiting game.  I could have gone after the person, but I didn’t feel like creating an international domain squatting incident if the domain was, for all purposes, dead and offline.  If the site had been live, I would have had no choice but to fight.  If that person had been in the USA, I would have gone for pint of blood plus a pound of flesh no matter the online status of the domain.

In January of this year, the infringer sent me an email asking me if I wanted the domain.  I replied that, yes, I wanted it because my Trademark had been infringed:

The Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (also known as Truth in Domain Names Act), a United States federal law enacted in 1999, is part of A bill to amend the provisions of title 17, United States Code, and the Communications Act of 1934, relating to copyright licensing and carriage of broadcast signals by satellite (S. 1948). It makes people who register domain names that are either trademarks or individual’s names with the sole intent of selling the rights of the domain name to the trademark holder or individual for a profit liable to civil action. It was sponsored by Senator Trent Lott on November 17, 1999, and enacted on November 29 of the same year.

I knew the squatter wanted money and I refused, straight off, to entertain any monetary exchange.  The domain was clearly up for renewal — I’d been watching it all year, making sure it was still offline — and the infringer wanted a quick payday.

TheScriptProfessor.com ended up not being renewed by the squatter, and I was able to take control of the domain by registering it with PairNIC. I know there will always be other infringers and imitators, but I covered my most important domains after that incident with any necessary .COM variations and equivalents — so I feel content this sort of domain squatting won’t bother me again.

11 Comments

  1. Can United States federal law be enforced in other countries? I’m glad to hear that he finally gave up the domain — he probably realized he would never make any money off of it and would ultimately just lose money year after year waiting for you to “wise up”!

    1. In disputes arising from registrations allegedly made abusively (such as “cyber-squatting” and “cyber-piracy”), the uniform policy provides an expedited administrative procedure to allow the dispute to be resolved without the cost and delays often encountered in court litigation. In these cases, you can invoke the administrative procedure by filing a complaint with one of the dispute-resolution service providers.

      http://www.icann.org/en/about/learning/faqs

      1. That’s a lot of extremely technical talk, but what is to stop someone in the Ukraine from registering scriptprofessor.ua ? I am glad that there is an easy and fast way to fight it, but it is far too easy to create domains now from almost anywhere in the world.