Ville de Paris

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Website: Paris.fr

Ville de Paris is French for the "City of Paris"; it has applied for .paris as a new GeoTLD through ICANN's new gTLD expansion program.[1] It has also had numerous disputes with owners of domain names related to Paris.

UDRP & Domain Name Disputes

As early as 2006, the city of Paris sent out a number of cease and desist letters to domain owners of Paris.com, Paris.tv, Paris.info, and the registrar, Register.com, threatening legal action if the domain names were not transferred to Paris within fifteen days.[2]

Both the owners of Paris.com and Paris.tv filed suits against Paris. Paris, in turn, failed to respond to numerous correspondences and argued that it was not subject to U.S. jurisdiction.[3]

In 2009, the city of Paris filed UDRPs against three domain names: WifiParis.com, Wifi-Paris.com, and Parvi.org. It was determined in December that Paris lost in the case of WifiParis.com, with a panel finding that Paris proved none of the three elements required to win a UDRP. An attorney for WifiParis.com explained Paris' pattern of threatening U.S. domain owners, saying "The Complainant has demonstrated, through its larger campaign, of which this dispute is a minor part that, like all bullies, the Complainant is a coward. The Complainant expresses pique that the Respondent did not respond to its correspondence. The Respondent was in fact specifically advised not to respond to that correspondence, and that advice was given for a reason."[3]

However, in a decision critized by some, WIPO arbitrator Andrew Christie decided to give Parvi.org to the city of Paris by expanding upon former precedents. Under the header "Reconsideration of the bad faith requirement", Christie determined that even though the domain name was unlikely to have been "registered in bad faith", it can still be handed over to the city of Paris based on the idea that it would later be used in bad faith.[4]

Parvi.org's owner, Jeffrey Walter, sued to stop the transfer, stating that Paris was attempting reverse domain name hijacking. In July 2012, a U.S. federal district court entered a default judgment against Ville de Paris, of $100,000 for reverse domain name hijacking and tortious interference. It was also ordered to pay an additional $26,830 in attorney's fees and costs.[5]

References

  1. The .Paris A Real Project. DomainesInfo.
  2. Is Paris a Model for New Internet Governance? Let’s Hope Not. Domain Name Wire. Published 2009 September 29. Retrieved 2012 November 15.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Paris’ War on U.S. Domain Owners Coming to a Head. Domain Name Wire. Published 2009 December 14. Retrieved 2012 November 15.
  4. Paris Wins Parvi.org in Disturbing Domain Name Arbitration Decision. Domain Name Wire. Published 2009 November 30. Retrieved 2012 November 15.
  5. City of Paris ordered to pay $100k for reverse domain name hijacking. Published 2012 September 17. Retrieved 2012 November 15.