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Man with broken shift key sues ICANN and GoDaddy over Bitcoin domain

Kevin Murphy, October 13, 2021, Domain Policy

Sometimes I wonder if all they teach you at American law schools is how to correctly use upper-case letters.

A Georgia man who lost a cybersquatting case with Sotheby’s, concerning his registration of, has taken the auction house, along with ICANN, GoDaddy, and ADR Forum to court.

Harris’ case is filed pro se, which is Latin for “he doesn’t have a lawyer, his complaint makes no sense, and the case is going to get thrown out of court”.

He claims a UDRP decision that went against him recently was incorrect, that ADR Forum is corrupt and biased, and that the UDRP itself is flawed.

The domain was registered with GoDaddy, and ADR Forum was the UDRP provider.

He wants his domain back, along with root-and-branch reform of the UDRP and “self-regulating lumbering Monopolistic Behemoth” ICANN, which is apparently still working under the auspices of the US Department of Commerce.

Here’s a flavor of the filing (pdf), which was filed in a Georgia District Court yesterday:

We are ASKING THE Court to find the UDRP (Uniform Dispute Resolution Procedure) #FA2108001961598 (Sotheby’s and SPTC v Harris) Arbitration process and resulting ruling was Fatally Flawed; whereas ICANN failed to properly parse the “Provider” and we believe allowed Sotheby’s Counsel of Record in those proceeding to have specifically chosen ADR Form ADR FORUM whose history is tainted by a Consent Decree in their previous corporate iteration as an arbitration Provider for bad behavior and is also known to be a pro Claimant Provider.

In the version published to PACER, the complaint ends abruptly mid-sentence and seems to have one or more pages missing.

The decision in the original UDRP case is equally enlightening. Harris apparently sent nine responses to the complaint, many of which seemed to argue that Sotheby’s should have made an offer for the domain instead of “intimidating and bullying” him.

Harris apparently argued that the registration was a “legitimate investment”, thereby conferring rights to the domain.

Sole panelist Neil Anthony Brown seems to have taken pity on Harris, who had declared that Sotheby’s citation of previous UDRP cases was “irrelevant”, by deciding the case (against him, of course) without direct reference to prior precedent.

It was basically a slam-dunk decision, as I expect this lawsuit will also be.