Wired Sussex wins cybersquatting case

A non-profit organisation has won its dispute with cybersquatters who just kept coming back and asking for more - but only after it lost money

A Sussex-based not-for-profit organisation has won its dispute with cybersquatters after the UK domain name registry Nominet ruled in its favour and awarded it two domains.

Wired Sussex, a new media business development agency, registered the wiredsussex.com domain and launched its Web site in 1997. Five years later, cyber quatters had registered wiredsussex.co.uk and wired-sussex.co.uk and offered to sell the domains to the agency. Wired Sussex negotiated with the cybersquatters and agreed to pay them £130 for both domains. However, after their cheque was cashed, the domains' ownership was never transferred.

Wired Sussex sought legal advice and eventually brought the case before Nominet's Dispute Resolution Service. Nominet's DRS is used to mediate disputes which, if they cannot be resolved, are referred to an expert to make a binding decision.

According to Wired Sussex, the cybersquatters had no legitimate connection with the domain names and it did, so the ruling went in its favour. However, the £130 paid to the cybersquatters was not recovered.

Emily Aitken, executive director of Wired Sussex, said this was a positive step forward for the business community as a whole because there are an increasing number of small firms that could find themselves in a similar position: "By publicising the successful outcome of this dispute, we hope to show that it is possible to fight such cases and win," she said in a statement.