Thursday, June 4, 2009

Bill Clinton loses cybersquatting claim (unlike his wife)

Former president Bill Clinton has lost an arbitration proceeding to wrest control over the,, and domain names away from an alleged cybersquatter. As my McCain Legal colleague Matt Sanderson explains in a guest post at Election Law Blog:
Nearly a decade ago, President Bill Clinton signed into law the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act and took aim at the practices of "cybersquatters"--individuals who buy-up web domains that evoke others' famous or trademarked names. Now the cybersquatters appear to be exacting some revenge on Mr. Clinton.

Joseph Culligan, a man who reportedly owns over 500 candidate-related domain names and who once offered to U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch for $45,000, purchased,, and He then linked each of the sites to the Republican National Committee's webpage. In an opinion issued earlier this week, a National Arbitration Forum ("NAF") panelist rebuffed Mr. Clinton's attempt to claim the domains. The opinion and result are notable for three reasons.

What are those "three reasons"? You'll have to read the original post to find out.

Matt, an attorney with Caplin & Drysdale in Washington, has written an article about the issue of political cybersquatting: Candidates, Squatters, and Gripers: A Primer on Political Cybersquatting and a Proposal for Reform.

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