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Bodog.com Name Frozen
Name dispute causes disruption of services by Bodog.com
pageoneresults

WebmasterWorld Senior Member pageoneresults us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3434936 posted 11:30 pm on Aug 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

Online gaming and entertainment giant Bodog has had it's business interrupted overnight on Monday due to an ownership dispute involving the compay's brand name.

[thespread.com...]

From the New Bodog [newbodog.com]...

This is the result of a legal dispute over the ownership of the Bodog.com domain name. We are fighting this dispute. We are confident that we will win, but until all is settled, I do not want our battle to interrupt your play.

What authority can shut down an operation as large as Bodog. Is it possible that this is an eNom intervention? And, if you were responsible for the marketing of site like Bodog and this happened, what would you be doing at this very moment?

 

Brett_Tabke

WebmasterWorld Administrator brett_tabke us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3434936 posted 12:39 am on Aug 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

[pokerlistings.com...]

According to a press release from Bodog Poker, the company is encountering DNS issues related to several of its Web sites. The problems stem from a dispute over the ownership of the Bodog.com domain name.

To temporarily solve the issue, customers will have to go to NewBodog.com instead where they can log in and play like they normally would.

"We hare having difficulties related to our DNS registration, but in little more than 12 hours, nearly all aspects of the Web site have been updated to reflect the environment our clients are accustomed to," said Calvin Ayre, Bodog founder and CEO.


WebGuerrilla

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3434936 posted 1:21 am on Aug 29, 2007 (gmt 0)


The moral of this story is that it is important to have your attorney show up in court when someone is suing you.

The company claiming patent infringement took control of over 3000 domains simply by providing a summary judgment issued by the judge at the hearing Bodog didn't attend.

AhmedF

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3434936 posted 5:31 am on Aug 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

No why should they WG? They aren't a US based company. Why should they be concerned with US laws?

piatkow

WebmasterWorld Senior Member piatkow us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3434936 posted 10:05 am on Aug 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

>>Why should they be concerned with US laws?

possibly because they are using a .com domain name? Going for a US registered name suggests an acceptance of US jurisdiction.

JS_Harris

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3434936 posted 10:15 am on Aug 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

The choice of a new domain name is interesting. "new" bodog. Should the current owners lose the fight they'll face another suit on the new name instantly just like you would if you open a restaurant called "newMcdonalds". A different domain name would have been prudent. If they lose the bodog domain the visitors could have remained loyal to the new domain.

This seems like it involves lack of planning in several areas. Jumbodogs is for sale ....

vincevincevince

WebmasterWorld Senior Member vincevincevince us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3434936 posted 10:44 am on Aug 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

The choice of a new domain name is interesting. "new" bodog.

From what I can make out, the reason the original domain was down was not a loss of the domain itself but of the ability to resolve DNS to it (?) It does seem a bit confusing to me (deliberatly so, I suspect)

They seem to be basing their continued use of the trademark upon them not being a US company and not having only had their use of the trademark disputed in the US.

pageoneresults

WebmasterWorld Senior Member pageoneresults us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3434936 posted 1:28 pm on Aug 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

The moral of this story is that it is important to have your attorney show up in court when someone is suing you.

I believe you hit the nail on the head as they say. All of this was the result of not showing up in a U.S. Court for a hearing that had to deal with the infringement of a newly awarded patent (at the time). An anonymous source tells me that the patent has to do with "taking bets online".

Since Bodog's legal team didn't show up for that court appearance, a judgement was handed down in the amount of millions. That judgement was presented to eNom at which time all of the Bodog properties were shut down.

The company claiming patent infringement took control of over 3000 domains simply by providing a summary judgment issued by the judge at the hearing Bodog didn't attend.

You cannot ignore anything when it comes to the legal system here in the United States, nothing! Not showing up for a court appearance is almost the same as "admitting guilt" in most instances. And, the judge is going to slam your arse for not being there. In this case, its a multi-million dollar slam.

bcolflesh

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3434936 posted 2:17 pm on Aug 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

1. US patent laws = corrupt joke.

2. Ayre has a huge number of powerful enemies in the current administration - "getting him" on any front has been made a personal vendetta that is being paid for with US tax dollars.

webdoctor

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3434936 posted 2:49 pm on Aug 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

possibly because they are using a .com domain name? Going for a US registered name suggests an acceptance of US jurisdiction.

From a legal point of view, does ".COM" = "US registered name"?

...or is it actually a problem because they used a US-based REGISTRAR, rather than a .COM domain name?

If I register a .COM domain name through e.g. a Swiss registrar, and host it in e.g. Russia, can a US-based judge shut me down?

zafile



 
Msg#: 3434936 posted 4:34 pm on Aug 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

I'm anxious to see the new domain name showing in Google results while searching for bodog.

So far, a few URLs from the disputed domain name show in the results plus a description in Wikipedia.

Does Google have restrictions for online gambling AdWords? If yes, then the new domain name is at the mercy of the engines.

What a mess for bodog!

WebGuerrilla

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3434936 posted 4:36 pm on Aug 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

No why should they WG? They aren't a US based company. Why should they be concerned with US laws?

They don't need to be concerned about US laws as long as they have no attachable assets in the US. What they didn't foresee is the fact that domains registered by US companies can be treated as assets.

The choice of a new domain name is interesting. "new" bodog. Should the current owners lose the fight they'll face another suit on the new name instantly just like you would if you open a restaurant called "newMcdonalds". A different domain name would have been prudent. If they lose the bodog domain the visitors could have remained loyal to the new domain.

I think it's important to understand that Bodog is more than a domain name. It's the company name and a trademarked brand. I don't think the fact that the domains were considered an asset and seized as payment for a debt automatically means Bodog looses their trademark protection. And I'm sure that the trademark angle is a part of what the Bodog legal team will be pursuing.

AhmedF

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3434936 posted 4:41 pm on Aug 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

.COM isn't suppoused to be 'US' - that is why we have .us

I can understand the legalese behind it (broken patent system, abuse of patent system, idiotic gambling laws, etc) - but it is still bull#*$!. US laws should only apply to US companies.

bcolfesh nailed it - just going after online gambling at the expense of taxpayer money.

bwnbwn

WebmasterWorld Senior Member bwnbwn us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3434936 posted 7:19 pm on Aug 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

I think a .com is a universal domain that is why they are so valuable why drugs.com is considered the top dog over drugs.us one can be anywere in the world the other is a US based website only.

simey

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3434936 posted 8:31 pm on Aug 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

Update Today (mostly a rehash)
[canada.com...]

pageoneresults

WebmasterWorld Senior Member pageoneresults us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3434936 posted 8:35 pm on Aug 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the link simey, that's not really a rehash and gives a bit more detail into what is going on.

"The Bodog entities infringing activities are responsible for over $65 billion in cumulative transactions to date, with approximately two-thirds of this revenue currently being derived from infringing United States activities," he said.

$65 Billion Dollars. I can't count that high...

ceestand

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3434936 posted 9:01 pm on Aug 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

If they were sued in the US then they must have been served with papers. Who would be served with papers for Bodog in the US? The registrar? Either the summary judgement can either easily be thrown out or Bodog must have some nexus in the US.

My amateur legal opinion...

Murdoch

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3434936 posted 9:02 pm on Aug 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

Is this going to be another Neteller fiasco?

JS_Harris

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3434936 posted 9:36 pm on Aug 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

Its shaping up to be. I'm surprised the bodog lawyers haven't filed a countersuit yet. They're losing money before having been found summarily "guilty" of anything and the company has already taken financial damage by having lost access to its domain. Even a summary judgment doesn't wave the right to appeal, or an appeals statute of limitations, and until an appeal is heard the original judgment can't usually be acted on.

The bodog lawyers don't even have to file the appeal yet, just the "intent" to appeal.

There are far too few details available still but at face value someone has apparently dropped the ball. Face value in court though, how often is that the real value anyway?

davezan

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3434936 posted 1:53 am on Aug 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

US laws should only apply to US companies.

In this case, it so happens the .com was managed by a registrar that's bound
under US laws. And even if the registrar didn't respond, the complainant can
still approach the .com Registry in Virginia.

As a few have pointed out, this whole thing shouldn't have happened if Bodog
only responded to the dispute at the appropriate time. But if they were not at
all notified during the whole time, that's their issue to deal with.

David

Balle

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3434936 posted 7:34 am on Aug 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

[online-casinos.com...]


1st Technology was left with no alternative but to note that Bodog had failed to respond to the default judgment and ask that all Bodog domains be confiscated and transferred to them. This was so ordered by Judge John Erlick on August 21, requiring registrars to transfer Bodog related domains to the control of 1st Technology.

"The Court makes it clear that the intent of this order is to allow the Plaintiff to liquidate or otherwise monetize the Domain Names without incurring any expense," said Judge Erlick in his ruling. "Plaintiff may decide not to auction the domain names, and instead may operate the Domain Names in any manner it sees fit, including exploiting any traffic to the sites accessible via the domain names."

Balasubramani, who is expert in commercial litigation involving the Internet and technology explained that the purpose behind the order was to satisfy as far as possible the apparently ignored 1st Technology judgment.

I really don't get this. How can they sue in the united states when this company is located on Antigua?

What if I sued Webmasterworld for something in say russia.
I am sure Webmasterworld have customers/members from russia right?
Would Webmasterworld now have to show up in russia for defending themselves? This is madness in my opinion and opens up a can of worms.

If I should lose the case in russia I think I will try in Albania next, you better pack your suitecase Brett ;-)

I really hope this won't become a widespread thing as I don't see how anyone can defende themselves against such things. I for one don't have the finansial strength to defend myself all over the world.

vincevincevince

WebmasterWorld Senior Member vincevincevince us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3434936 posted 9:52 am on Aug 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

Implication is that a .com domain name is an asset held in the United States. I wonder how that affects the tax status of the millions of .com domain holders who have no other connection to the country? Also, the taxability of capital gains from the domain name aftermarket must be called into question as these now seem to be United States based assets which are being traded.

kapow

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3434936 posted 5:31 pm on Aug 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

Implication is that a .com domain name is an asset held in the United States

That can't be right. I have lots of .com domains with a UK Registrar. Nothing gives the US the right to mess with them.

Unless I use them to insult the US perhaps ;)

Webwork

WebmasterWorld Administrator webwork us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3434936 posted 7:46 pm on Aug 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

In order to sustain a judgment there must have been sufficient contact with the forum State/nation for the court to exercise jurisdiction. Despite its status as a foreign corporation if that corporation chooses to enjoy the benefits of another nation it may not thereafter pick and choose "only benefits" without also facing other" consequences. In this case I might imagine that a great deal of money flowed from the U.S. to the foreign company, through the U.S. banking and credit card systems. I wouldn't be surprised if there were other business contacts. There may be other basis of jurisdiction, including the (alleged) fact that the "patented technology" was U.S. property. In theory, to "use the technology" the company would have to take property or damage U.S. property (rights).

U.S. patent -> U.S. property -> U.S. patent law granting jurisdiction to enforce U.S. patents in U.S courts -> likely some form of additional contact between the foreign corporation and the forum jurisdiction, though "the taking of U.S. property" may be enough to exercise jurisdiction in this case -> Civil money judgment, by default; no in court challenge to anything, including jurisdiction -> domains, like patents, are also a form of property + the "property exists" within the U.S. -> levy on "the property".

So far as the domains go, the central registry for .Com and .Net is situated in the U.S. Therefore the defendant's property is within the border.

It's not at all that unfair, irrational, wrong, misguided, etc. if the few assumptions that I've made (above) hold true. I rather suspect that they do hold true.

The defendants likely chose to allow the default thinking either that they might be subject to personal attachment (body warrant, capias ad satisfaciendum) if they appeared in court OR that they might be subject to even greater personal financial liability (internationally enforcable money judgment?) if they appeared or entered an appearance through legal counsel.

So far as I can tell, based upon only the most cursory review and consideration, the act of levying / attaching the domains may be the only measure of relief the plaintiffs will ever secure.

Antigua may have been chosen as the home base for reasons that might include a policy to the effect "Don't worry, be happy, U.S. enforcement mechanisms are not welcome here."

[edited by: Webwork at 7:57 pm (utc) on Aug. 30, 2007]

gpmgroup

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3434936 posted 7:59 pm on Aug 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

So far as the domains go, the central registry for .Com and .Net is situated in the U.S. Therefore the defendant's property is within the border.

Interesting....

Does the location of the registrar [and/or their parent company] come in to play?
[And supposing there was also a reseller would the location of the reseller come into play?]

Webwork

WebmasterWorld Administrator webwork us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3434936 posted 9:33 pm on Aug 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

My guess: The domain property "resides in" the central registry for .Com and .Net, which I believe is headquartered in Virginia, and not "in" the registrar's system.

The registrar simply provides an interface that allows registrants to update records in the central registry, likely pursuant to an agreement that the registrar is actually "doing business in Virginia" - since that's where the authoritative record resides.

[edited by: Webwork at 9:36 pm (utc) on Aug. 30, 2007]

davezan

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3434936 posted 1:16 am on Aug 31, 2007 (gmt 0)

Let's put it this way, folks.

If you're going to ignore a party's court action against you, make sure you do
not
have any form of assets or what not in their jurisdiction. What happened
to Bodog is something we can all learn from.

We don't have to agree or even like what occurred here. But the reality is not
one of us is immune to this sort of thing if we have something that's possibly
within another party's reach.

If someone chooses to dispute this matter in court, then be ready to take the
risks of disproving their claims. And that's if they have any and if you feel it's
worthwhile to do so.

Other than that, don't worry...be happy...don't worry, be happy now...

potentialgeek

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3434936 posted 5:19 pm on Sep 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

Since Bodog's legal team didn't show up for that court appearance, a judgement was handed down in the amount of millions. That judgement was presented to eNom at which time all of the Bodog properties were shut down.

I'm very disappointed with enom. It could have stalled, and at the very least contacted Bodog, saying what it was about to do and why.

Don't tell me it couldn't do this, because I was in a similar situation once, and there was a lot of back and forth over days between me and eNom's counsel.

Enom must have known Bodog could and would lose a lot of money given the nature and size of its business. It's just very bad and I've lost a lot of respect for the registrar.

p/g

Calculus

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3434936 posted 3:21 pm on Sep 5, 2007 (gmt 0)

Most probably politically motivated. If he was selling shoes or books and making millions I bet this wouldn't have happened.

But as he's a target (mainly for 'flaunting' I would suspect) and as the US government doesn't like online gambling YET because a) it can't tax it, and b) US firms aren't allowed to make $ from it you can almost bet that the judge was knobbled in some form.

That's how US business works isn't it :)

Amazing though how these businessmen who get lauded in the press often hit rock bottom (not saying the bodog guy has but he must be losing millions over this) a few years later.

All last year I saw the bodog guy everywhere, in magazines and the general media with his girls, helicopters and bodyguards. Now look.

Same with Lord Brown ex boss of BP (British Petroleum). 3 years ago there were plenty of 'is this the best CEO EVER?' type articles. Now, he's licking his wounds, got busted out of the firm for a gay sex scandal with no pension.

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