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FreeCreditReport.com Wins 1,017 Domains By UDRP 184

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the not-even-a-finders-fee dept.
typosquatting writes to mention that the largest domain dispute case since the Uniform Domain-Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) was enacted ten years ago has been decided. The decision saw 1,017 cyber-squatting domains turned over to ConsumerInfo.com, owner of FreeCreditReport.com. The full decision can be read via the National Arbitration Forum website. "It would seem that this decision sets or reinforces a fairly strong precedent that trademark holders may be entitled to, not only to the domain name that exactly matches their trademark, but also to a wide swath of other domain names including nearly every possible misspelling or other variation of that trademark, potentially even if the trademark is comprised of generic words."
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FreeCreditReport.com Wins 1,017 Domains By UDRP

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  • by geekoid (135745) <dadinportland@ya ... m minus math_god> on Friday November 13, 2009 @07:14PM (#30093074) Homepage Journal

    to solve the important dilemma of people not wanting to be responsible for typing correctly.

    Jeez this is so stupid.

  • by Burdell (228580) on Friday November 13, 2009 @07:15PM (#30093084)

    It's funny that "free"creditreport.com is upset that someone else is profiting off their name, when their name is designed to profit off someone else's. I don't think they existed before the US government mandated the credit agencies give you a free copy of your credit report every year (via annualcreditreport.com). "free"creditreport.com doesn't actually give you a credit report for free; you have to enroll in a reporting service to get it.

  • Really horrible (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 13, 2009 @07:18PM (#30093102)

    There are millions of people in the world with the same name. If I want a web site in my name, and someone else has it, I have to wait for them to die before I can have a site with my name on it. Unlike license plates where I can put up -01 or -02 or whatever, I can't do that now (oh noes, its too close). This is really really dumb. If you've ever tried to find someone on Facebook and has to go through ten pages of people with the same name, you know what I mean.

  • Sets a precedant (Score:2, Insightful)

    by DeadDecoy (877617) on Friday November 13, 2009 @07:20PM (#30093122)

    It would seem that this decision sets or reinforces a fairly strong precedent that trademark holders may be entitled to, not only to the domain name that exactly matches their trademark, but also to a wide swath of other domain names including nearly every possible misspelling or other variation of that trademark, potentially even if the trademark is comprised of generic words.

    Does it? It strikes me that FreeCreditReport variants have more potential to defraud regular people than your regular news site. If slashdot tried to do the same thing, and pick up all of the .coms, .nets, etc on its variants, it would probably be shot down. It would be a bit nice if this precendent was viewed in context as an exception where the public would benefit from not having ambiguous urls over the corporate entity actually owning the urls.

  • Reasons FTA.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by HockeyPuck (141947) on Friday November 13, 2009 @07:25PM (#30093176)

    In one or more of the following ways
    (1) adding "ing," changing the tense of the mark to a present participle;
    (2) adding the letter "s," changing the mark from singular to plural;
    (3) adding a generic or descriptive word to the mark;
    (4) adding a generic or descriptive word to the mark that has an obvious association with Complainant's business;
    (5) adding an abbreviation of a geographic word to the mark; (6) adding a geographic word to the mark;
    (7) misspelling the mark by changing a letter in the mark to a different letter;
    (8) misspelling the mark by changing a letter in the mark to a number;
    (9) misspelling the mark by adding a letter within the mark;
    (10) adding a letter to the beginning or end of the mark;
    (11) misspelling the mark by adding a number within the mark;
    (12) adding a number to the beginning or end of the mark;
    (13) omitting the period between the first-level domain, "www," and the mark;
    (14) changing the generic top-level domain (gTLD) included in the mark from ".com" to ".org;" and/or
    (15) adding hyphens to the mark. Any individual disputed domain name typically contains Complainant's mark and one of these changes.

    I'm glad they won. The showed plenty of examples of other companies that also won b/c of squatters like Bank Of America vs wwwbankofamerica.com (squatter removed the ".").

  • by Dunbal (464142) on Friday November 13, 2009 @07:28PM (#30093202)

    Unless you're called "freecreditreport" I don't see how this affects you.

    IANAL but if your name is JohnSmith and you register JohnSmithsPage.com, and end up being sued by John Smith's Brewery [wikipedia.org], you'd have a fair crack at defending your page. Especially if you put "This page is not associated with John Smith's Brewery in any way" somewhere on your page.

    However if your page contains trash talk about John Smith's Brewery, or is obviously trying to fool people into thinking their at John Smith's Brewery's official site, you'd have a harder time convincing a judge. FOR example, check out this site [nissan.com], which still manages to hang on to its domain name despite having the force of a VERY LARGE company's legal army against it.

  • by OnlineAlias (828288) on Friday November 13, 2009 @08:02PM (#30093438)

    Let us not forget that the majority of these sites are owned by the credit reporting agencies themselves. They have set up a system of credit reporting that is so ridiculously flawed security wise that they can now sell the people "protection" from the very same system. Good business to be in...

  • by Mr. Freeman (933986) on Friday November 13, 2009 @08:11PM (#30093528)
    We should be given access on a completely unrestricted basis 24/7/365 including holidays, weekends, etc. This is data that is used to deny you bank loans, car loans, causes higher rates on many things, etc. No one should be allowed to keep this data without allowing the affected parties to view every single fucking record. Furthermore, there should be financial penalties for any inaccuracies. They accidentally show that you paid late once when you really didn't? That's a $20000 fine, paid to YOU. I don't know why we think that companies need to be allowed to keep records like this and use them in business dealings but keep them completely secret. (Access once per year is nonsense, that's as close to secret as humanly possible)
  • Credit is fascism (Score:4, Insightful)

    by AthleteMusicianNerd (1633805) on Friday November 13, 2009 @08:56PM (#30093864)
    Any company or government institution can put whatever they want on your credit report and you have no right to defend yourself. Serial killers even get a trial.
  • by ScrewMaster (602015) * on Friday November 13, 2009 @09:37PM (#30094174)

    ... and it be far more useful to check for credit card fraud.

    Precisely, and that's exactly what the Big Three don't want. If people started checking their credit record at will, and as a matter ordinary household economics, the credit bureaus would be under a lot more pressure to clean up their respective acts. That will cost them lots of money, and they're perfectly happy that 'x" number of us get screwed out of our savings and our credit every year. Otherwise, they would have to actually fix the broken system they've built. There's no incentive whatsoever for them to treat us decently in this respect, mainly because there's no downside to them if we get shafted. Congress, of course, could fix that very easily with effective regulation and enforcement, but it's unlikely that will ever come to pass ... too many billions (of our money) on the line.

    Furthermore, the corporations that depend upon the credit system (banks and credit-card issuers, for example) want millions of people who don't understand the system, don't understand how to improve their score, or what affects it. That way they can keep milking those people with high interest rates, late charges, and so forth. It's no small potatoes, my friend.

  • Re:Reasons FTA.. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by TheRealJFM (671978) on Friday November 13, 2009 @10:14PM (#30094378) Homepage Journal

    These domain names are usually used because they're easier to *say* than shorthand versions.

    I used to think exactly the same way as you, but then I worked at a radio station for a year. Some of those short names can be quite easily misunderstood - letters are notoriously confusable. That's why there's a radio phonetic alphabet.

  • by wickerprints (1094741) on Friday November 13, 2009 @10:28PM (#30094446)

    What, you think the purpose of a credit file is to serve the borrower?

    Credit scores and credit reports are for lenders. Why would they fine themselves for incorrectly reporting your credit history? The system is broken not because there is inadequate oversight or accountability regarding lending and reporting practices (though it is obviously grossly inadequate). The system is broken because it is designed from its very foundations to ensure that no matter what, lenders always come out on top. This is why fraud is not more aggressively pursued, and why incorrect reporting is shrugged off as a necessary part of doing business. The free-market mentality is that the only mechanism required to ensure correct reporting is the loss of revenue due to competitors valuation of lending risk being more accurate than one's own. And of course, the consumer is the one who always gets shafted under this system.

    Credit reports are a double-edged sword. On the one hand, they are a necessary aspect of determining credit risk. On the other hand, they are used these days to evaluate far more than one's creditworthiness--and they do so using very personal and specific data about you, information that you would think ought to be your right to know whether they are being used for or against you. The system is corrupt because it is being increasingly applied to aspects of one's life far beyond what was originally intended, yet the borrower is really the only party who truly cares about the accuracy of the data it contains.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 13, 2009 @11:12PM (#30094660)
    And yet all 3 have the incontestable power to destroy your life.
  • by pipingguy (566974) * on Saturday November 14, 2009 @08:05AM (#30096552) Homepage
    With a "6 figure" income you need to borrow money to buy basic transportation?
  • by drsmithy (35869) <drsmithy@nosPam.gmail.com> on Saturday November 14, 2009 @01:33PM (#30098882)

    We don't use cheques, we use checks. I don't particularly care that you need to re-enforce the differences our languages have developed over the years, most of us are aware that we spell somethings different just so its clear we are NOT YOU. Get over yourself.

    You're the only person here who feels the need to "re-enforce the differences". I write it that way because that's the way I've been writing it for thirty years.

    I bought my first car with a low interest rate and the car cost more than half my yearly salary, it was the first thing I bought on credit. Not really sure what your problem is, but until about a year ago having no credit wasn't really an issue for any one unless you were old enough that no credit meant you had probably had bad credit and waited for the bad stuff to disappear off your record.

    The problem is when you arrive in the USA, you have no credit. The ridiculous part is where this is inescapably equated with having bad credit.

    I can't believe you people still haven't gotten over yourselves. Keep it up, at least the rest of the world can see where we got our arrogance from that way. By the way, hows' that world power thing going for you now days?

    Apparently you think I'm British. I'm not.

"Just the facts, Ma'am" -- Joe Friday

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