Wargames.Com UDRP Dispute Goes to Arbitrators

MGM's effort to grab Wargames.Com is now in the hands of a three-member panel of arbitrators for the National Arbitration Forum, who will read the filings of both sides and decide the matter in the next two weeks.

Under the forum's rules, each side got two chances to make its case:

  • Dec. 19, 2006: MGM challenged my ownership of the domain in its original complaint, paying a $2,600 fee and requesting a three-member panel of arbitrators.
  • Jan. 8, 2007: I made my response, which attorney Wade Duchene filed at the 20-day deadline. Because MGM requested a three-member panel, no fee was required. If MGM had selected a one-member panel for $1,300, I could've paid $1,300 for two more arbitrators.
  • Jan. 16, 2007: MGM made an additional complaint, a response to my response that cost the studio $400. MGM only had five days to do this, but the last day can't fall on a weekend or holiday, so it got three additional days.
  • Jan. 22, 2007: I offered a response to their response to my response, which was filed by Duchene and Brett E. Lewis, a former attorney for Register.Com who's won more than 20 UDRP disputes. This response also cost $400 and had a five-day deadline.

Lewis, an attorney whose bio claims he can "hypnotize opposing counsel with his brightly polished, gleaming bald head," wrote an article for the domain industry site DNJournal on how to protect your domain names. My favorite tip is that you should not pretend to be a cat.

The timing of this dispute worked out well for MGM, putting most of our work time in the Christmas holidays and giving the studio extra time for its additional complaint.

MGM's intellectual property firm Loeb & Loeb has become one of my weblog's most avid readers. Its second complaint includes screen captures of several weblog posts here on Workbench to pursue its claim that everything I've done on Wargames.Com is an attempt to hide a long-unrealized desire to profit from MGM's 1983 film:

When Respondent "launched" the <wargames.com> website on September 14, 2006, it did not even merit a mention on any of his websites. A printout from Respondent's blog showing entries from the days surrounding September 14, 2006, is attached as Annex E. In fact, during the three (3) months that elapsed between Respondent's first use of the <wargames.com> domain name and MGM's filing of this dispute, Respondent did not publicize, announce, or mention the activation of the <wargames.com> website. Indeed, the first public announcement of new <wargames.com> website was in connection with Respondent's blog post announcing that MGM filed the complaint in this proceeding (see Annex D). Thus, if Respondent is to be believed, after spending more than two (or eight) years and 1,000 hours developing the <wargames.com> website, he did not so much as mention when it finally went active. That Respondent only began to publicize his website after MGM initiated the instant proceeding betrays his claims regarding his efforts to develop an active website using the Domain, and further suggests opportunistic bad faith in attempting to capitalize on the dispute for his own financial benefit.

They overlooked the links to Wargames.Com in the "Working On" sidebar of this blog -- even in their own screen captures -- and wargame ads I've run on other sites I publish. Google has indexed more than 13,000 pages where I've linked to my store, an effort that takes 3-6 months to improve its standing in search results.

Both of MGM's documents are filled with stuff like this, where its attorneys take a thin inference from something I've written -- or in this case not written -- and stretch it into a Perry Mason moment where I break down on the stand and admit I killed kindly Miss McGillicutty for the $13 in her Little Sisters of the Poor donation bucket.


You evil domain squatter -- taking advantage of poor, defenseless multi-billion dollar corporations.

Man, I hate messing with corporate lawyers. Good luck!

Lemme get this straight.

These soul-dead, devils advocate types is saying that just cos Rogers didn't advertise the advent of Wargames.com with a banner headline at Drudge or Workbench or CSOTD that he wasn't serious about the site as a business?

That it was all some Rube Goldberg typa convoluted scheme to domainsquat the name until you could bring MGM to their knees financially or sommat?

Wow! Why can't they make movies with THAT amount of imagination?!

Do these reality-impaired ass-clowns realise, btw, wot the likely results of such an announcement woulda been on those sites?

Spud can't speak fer Workbench and Cruel but the folk at Drudge woulda had a field day with that. Jokes about Rogers becoming an evil industrialist robber baron typa fella woulda been rife alongside inferences that tooting ones own horn is only possible if ya get a coupla ribs surgically removed first and could Rogers show us the scars and so on and so forth.

Spud can only imagine the likely response from Cruel.

Note to MGM from Spud.

Just because somebody aint the biggest self aggrandising corporate whore they can be don't mean they aint a real businessman.

Spud reads this as the MGM suits being pissed that Rogers provided more publicity (the bad kind) fer them (courtesy of their own steamroller tactics) than he provided fer his own site.

Spud is hope the arbitrators do the right thing here.

Thanx fer the update. Good Luck.

Be Well.

"I killed kindly Miss McGillicutty for the $13 in her Little Sisters of the Poor donation bucket."

In a sad, pathetic, misguided attempt to impress Della Street?


Be Well.

Leopold and Loeb are your biggest fans?

Your Orphan Cruel Children Want To Know Why You Neglect Them, Rcade...
Can't You Hear The Screams?


Reminds me of my friend Chris. When the Northridge quake damaged his home, he called 20th Century Insurance to get an inspector out to the house. They never came. In court, 20th's attorneys showed Chris' phone records to try to prove he'd never called them. Only - they showed home phone records. In fact, Chris didn't call them from home - he called them from work. Even though they knew this, 20th's lawyers left that part out. Chris' lawyers didn't leave that part out. Chris won a multi-million-dollar judgement against the big corporation.

MGM's attorneys should be smart enough to know that three retired judges aren't going to be snowed by the sins of omission.

You spent all day making the dough: you cracked the eggs, you measured the flour, you kneaded the dough. But you hadn't put it in the oven yet. Hole is your wife - the person who bugged you about the dough sitting on the counter, so you finally stuck it in the oven. But Hole wants the judges to be dumb enough to believe he was the one who gave you the idea to make bread in the first place, and there's simply too much evidence to the contrary. Damn - now I'm hungry.

Spud can only imagine the likely response from Cruel.

Think Tubgirl, Goatse and Cthulu have a Lemon Party.

What asses.

I truly hope you win this case.

Damn, Cadenhead - I gotta say, you are a powerbroker! I hope you kick some ass, baby! Now, how about Cruel.com? When will that site of yours be back in swing - or should I sue your ass to get you interested?


We are all Horseonovich

Google Horseonovich!


Jan. 22, 2007: I offered a response to their response to my response, which was filed by Duchene and Brett E. Lewis, a former attorney for Register.Com who's won more than 20 UDRP disputes. This response also cost $400 and had a five-day deadline.

$400? Intersting. I would think that that was a Supp. Rule 7(c) filing, which is without fee. (see www.domainstatute.com )

You may be right. Looking at the National Arbitration Forum's supplemental UDRP rules, it appears the second party to file additional material does not owe $400.

MGM is idiot man! The policies really need an amendment.

Make sure you also make a response regarding Reverse Domain Name Hijacking and try to convince a panel to decide on this issue. I hope your case in a hand of a clean panel because, from a record, a complainant tends to win more in three-member panel.

Good luck

Congratulation! you won.

(Unless they bring the case to a national court.)

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