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Whacky lawsuit targets ICANN, eNom, CentralNic, NetSol, Verisign

Kevin Murphy, September 18, 2012, 15:45:35 (UTC), Domain Registrars

ICANN and several domain name companies have been slapped with a bizarre, virtually incomprehensible anti-cybersquattng lawsuit in Virginia.

Canadian Graham Schreiber, registrant of landcruise.com, has beef primarily with CentralNic — the UK-based company that sells third-levels domains under us.com, uk.com and the like — and one of its customers.

As far as I can tell, the complainant, who’s representing himself pro se, has issues with CentralNic’s entire business model. Here’s his complaint (pdf).

He discovered that a British individual named Lorraine Dunabin — who has a UK trademark on the word Landcruise — had registered both landcruise.co.uk and landcruise.uk.com.

Having failed to take the .co.uk using Nominet’s Dispute Resolution Service (repeatedly referred to in the complaint as UDRP), Schreiber has instead filed this lawsuit to accuse Dunabin of “Dilution, Infringement [and] Passing off” by registering the .uk.com.

CentralNic is named because it owns .uk.com and various other geographic pseudo-gTLDs, which Schreiber says “dilute the integrity of .com” and amount to a “shakedown”.

Verisign is named as a contributory infringer because it runs .com. Network Solutions and eNom are named because they manage uk.com and landcruise.uk.com respectively as registrars.

ICANN is named because… I don’t know. I think it’s because all of the other companies are ICANN contractors.

ICANN, which has a web page for the litigation here, has already filed a motion to dismiss (pdf).

Schreiber is seeking monetary damages from all of the defendants, most of which he wants donated to the Rotary Club.

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Comments (19)

  1. theo says:

    That PDF was a rather entertaining piece, a lil long but yet entertaining.

    • Hi Theo:

      Looking up CentralNic in your connected blog, I see a published opinion.

      See website http://cctld.dk! ccTLD Country Code Top Level Domain News and Info

      “Not sure if this will affect the sunrise that started yesterday. ~

      Personally i do not care much about these fantasy TLD’s. The GB.COM disaster shows why i don’t care much about them.
      After all we are talking sub domains here.”

      This being so, you should be pleased to see that somebody’s getting off their duff and doing something about it!

      Cheers, Graham.

  2. Acro says:

    I would not call these ‘geographic pseudo-gTLDs’; they are subdomains.

  3. Louise says:

    Great lawsuit – more power to you, Graham Schreiber!

  4. Hi Kevin: and Thanks Louise!

    Instead of maligning me, why don’t you exercise your Journalism skills, unless your an owned journalist; and look at the facts presented, CentralNic are Registered Domain Name Holders.

    As such, they are subject to the Terms of Use, issued by ICANN, which I’ll link here > http://www.icann.org/en/resources/registrars/registrant-rights-responsibilities

    Supplementarity to this at:

    http://www.icann.org/en/resources/registrars/raa/ra-agreement-21may09-en.htm

    You’ll see published this rule, which has been ignored & not exercised, by the ICANN people.

    “3.7.7.3 Any Registered Name Holder that intends to license use of a domain name to a third party is nonetheless the Registered Name Holder of record and is responsible for providing its own full contact information and for providing and updating accurate technical and administrative contact information adequate to facilitate timely resolution of any problems that arise in connection with the Registered Name. A Registered Name Holder licensing use of a Registered Name according to this provision shall accept liability for harm caused by wrongful use of the Registered Name, unless it promptly discloses the current contact information provided by the licensee and the identity of the licensee to a party providing the Registered Name Holder reasonable evidence of actionable harm.”

    Followed by …

    “3.7.7.9 The Registered Name Holder shall represent that, to the best of the Registered Name Holder’s knowledge and belief, neither the registration of the Registered Name nor the manner in which it is directly or indirectly used infringes the legal rights of any third party.”

    It was only recently in the grand scale of things, that CentralNic became ‘accredited’. If you bother to look it up, you’ll see that they’re not accredited for their ‘product’ nor listed in IANA.

    CentralNic capitalize on this ‘accreditation’ and further blur the distinction to a point were even the supposedly learned are defending them.

    They have a Whois for … UK.com!

    Their clients Whois data is manipulated and shows the following, which in essence is the code putting them into the 3rd Level.

    Domain ID:CNIC-DO659590
    Domain Name:LANDCRUISE.UK.COM
    >>
    Registrant ID:65d8cb76c60415c0
    Registrant Name:Lorraine Dunabin

    Now that I’ve shown you this, I’ll have Cornell University explain Contributory Infringement. > http://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/contributory_infringement

    My challenge to you Kevin, is have a thoughtful review of the facts presented, accepting that I’ve compacted the full spectrum of details into a tiny court document, as required by VaED, were they only want a summary.

    Summary mean’s, not the compilation of supporting evidence. That’s for our Court date!

    For your reading, here’s an article written 12 YEARS AGO informing consumers about CentralNic enterprise > http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2000/sep/10/money.efinance

    I look forward to reading your update.

    Cheers, Graham.

    • Rubens Kuhl says:

      Graham,

      I fully support the merits of your lawsuit and naming CentralNic as a defendant, but why do you think the other ones deserve defendant status ?

      • Hi Rubens:

        Thank you for your endorsement.

        I’ve had to include the others on the basis that they are supporting CentralNic in various ways.

        ICANN – Write the rules, which all must abide, but none followed, including ICANN. CentralNic’s program dates back to mid-1990’s and it was not until the 2009 registry expansion, that they became ‘accredited’. In this breath, accredited for ‘legal’ products, as identified in the IANA Root.

        VeriSign – Guardian of “.com” to ensure “safety & stability” of Internet. Consumers need to be guarded against frauds, masquerading as another business, on a ‘local’ level, in a ‘global’ internet.

        Network Solutions – Sold the “Domain Name” to Centralnic as a retail user. I bought my domain name from them, and inside “.com” a business is a “Registered” to conduct business on the internet, which ultimately is under (thankfully) United States Department of Commerce.

        America, is the worlds open playground for commerce!

        Anybody, from anywhere in the World, who owns their business name, inside a “.com” has the luxury & privilege of being a United States “Registered” mark in Commerce.

        So if Your in China, and a Russian, or Nigerian infringes or maligns your business, you have the rights & privileges to file a suit against them, in Virginia. (Eastern District) as that’s the proverbial “Hub” of the wheel.

        Here, or there in Virginia, as the case is, is the point where once proven in a good Court, you can have the offending parties infringing ~ sub-domain ~ of .com terminated.

        eNom ~ Profit from the system. At first i considered them as simple sales agents, guilty of selling an unlicensed product.

        Having investigated and read the website, of eNom, you can tell they’re actively enticing Infringement, for profit and very well informed. Therefore, Contributory Infringement!

        I want and will get my revenge! However, many, many more have been screwed by WIPO, as CentralNic’s legal protectorate; and since I’m to ill equipped to launch a real Class Action Suite, I’m advising the Courts that the settlement will be predominantly & generously given to Rotary, to invest in the community.

        Hopefully that cast a little more light on the issue.

        Cheers, Graham.

        • Rubens Kuhl says:

          There is an old tradition of not making the intermediaries liable, like a telephony operator not being liable for some using a phone call to make a threat, that enlisting those actors go against.

          And from a strategic standpoint, you are asking for more well-paid lawyers to come in your way to real perpetrator here, and all they can think of will either be neutral or bad to your claim, never good to your claim.

          In this way, ICANN, Verisign and Network Solutions continue on my list of defendants that shouldn’t be there.

          On the other hand, fake-ccTLD accredited registrars like eNom are not just sales agents, they know that uk.com is not a TLD. I got your point on these.

          • Hi Rubens:

            Lucky for me … the Law Firm for two of the Defendants, is the same firm! So, I’m not sure who the bigger idiot is!

            Network Solutions running cover for a client CentralNic, or the less than sharp, dopy Lawyer who can’t identify a legacy problem, (liability) from a current business relationship. LoL !! 🙂

            Having presented the complete ~ history, blue print’s & architectural drawings ~ to the Federal Court, illustrating the system, along with detailing how the ‘cogs’ rotate, I have faith that the American’s and the “Rocket Docket” will recognize all this and be immediately aware.

            There is already friction between the US Congress, US Gov’t and ICANN and others, for the unstopped abuse of Rights Protections and intellectual Property problems, from the internet, so I know I’ve got “Uncle Sam” looking in on this one!

            As I’m Canadian; and all the internet free loaders to the property rights of others, seem to have major hate-issues with the USA, this case will be suitable for the US Gov’t to proclaim, that it’s not just BIG AMERICAN CORPORATIONS who benefit, from good IP rights laws.

            Tiny, little businesses, outside of the USA benefit too; and for what it’s worth, my Landcruise is … a home based business, with big ambitions.

            But I can’t be the big global entity, with thorn’s in my shoes, that’s why I’m going at this, with such tenacity … and I’ll win!

            Cheers, Graham.

  5. The test of Courts, is PROVING KNOWLEDGE.

    The internet and ICANN’s gloriously well equipped archive files, public access, via internet are rich with proof, that they and the others KNEW of CentralNic and their use of DOMAIN NAMES, outside the issued rules.

    It just takes an absurd amount of time to figure it out, and make patterns of names, committees, companies, board members, etc and fit them together.

    Now, that’s done & compiled!

    Cheers, Graham.

  6. Graham Schreiber says:

    Hi Kevin:

    Further to above, You might want to look at SCOTUS Docket # 14-1480.

    Cheers, Graham.

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