UDRP “not designed as a remedy for poor management”

UDRP “not designed as a remedy for poor management”

You shouldn’t file a UDRP just because you’ve lost the keys to your domain name.

Screenshot of moanapacific.org from 2016 showing a picture of the condos and a log in box

Moana Pacific condos lost the keys to its domain and tried to get them back through UDRP. This screenshot is of the site in 2016, courtesy of Wayback Machine. The site currently resolves to a parked page.

Companies try to shoehorn many domain name issues into UDRP, which was created to handle clear-cut cybersquatting cases. A recent example is a dispute over a Hawaiian condo website.

Association of Apartment Owners of Moana Pacific filed a UDRP to try to get control of moanapacific .org, a website that has been used by the condo association in the past. As recounted in the complaint, the association hasn’t done a good job of managing access to the domain name:

The Complainant explains that the Domain Name was registered by its “former general manager”, the Respondent Mr. Allman, and then by another “employee” and “successor manager”, Eric Lau (who was initially named as the Respondent in this proceeding). According to the Complaint, “Complainant has been locked out of the domain account and unable to access many of its important documents and emails. Complainant has attempted to work with Respondent and Eric Lau but both either forgotten [sic] the information, have been uncooperative, unresponsive, and/or claims they do not have the information to assist.” Mr. Lau said in an email that he provided the login information to “Jerrie” when he left employment with the Complainant, but the Complainant has not found that helpful.

In other words, the association hasn’t done a good job of managing the keys to its domain name. Now it’s locked out, the domain is parked, and the condo association turned to the UDRP to try to recover access to the domain.

It’s clear that the domain was never registered in bad faith, so UDRP is not an appropriate way to get the domain. Panelist W. Scott Blackmer summed this up:

The Complainant may well wish it had insisted on keeping the login credentials and updating the registration details, but the facts here do not support a conclusion of bad faith, especially going back to the time of the original registration. The Policy was not designed as a remedy for poor management.

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