Recent Case Notes & Commentary

Another Victory for Free Speech

Hot on the heels of Sutherland Institute v. Continuative LLC (WIPO case no. D2009-0693) comes another domain name decision that promotes the interests of free speech on the internet. The Mercury Case, decided recently and discussed here, has done this by means of a website claimed and accepted to be a parody.


In this case the Respondent registered a very provocative domain name; <glennbeckrapedandmurderedayounggirlin1990.com>, or, to separate the words to help you read it more clearly, GLENN BECK RAPED AND MURDERED A YOUNG GIRL IN 1990. Indeed, an alarming domain name.

Glenn Beck is a radio talk-back host and commentator who also sells promotional items from which he and his production company, the First Complainant, earn income.


He brought the claim to have the domain name transferred to him. Naturally he took great exception to the allegations contained in the terms of the domain name itself. In a nutshell the Respondent said that he registered the domain name in the terms used because he wanted to protest about the way that Beck operated on his talk back shows, i.e. by making claims and then demanding to know why his target refused to deny the allegation.


The domain name was linked to a website which carried on its home page the following:

GlennBeckRapedAndMurderedAYoungGirlIn1990.com

The Official Website About The Controversy

Did Glenn Beck Rape and Murder a Young Girl in 1990?


Important Information

This site is the official website about the controversy. We are, however, not the originators. Please see the “The Origin” link on the left to see how it all got started. The official forum can be found by using the “The Forum” link on the left. If you wish to contact the site operator, Name Withheld, click the “Email Us” link on the left. Alternatively, you can call (214) […] Please note that if we’re not around, and you leave us voicemail, we may post that somewhere (although any identifying information will be removed).


Tip: Check out the bottom of this page for a very important top secret piece Page 4 of information.


Notice: This site is parody/satire. We assume Glenn Beck did not rape and murder a young girl in 1990, although we haven’t yet seen proof that he didn’t. But we think Glenn Beck definitely uses tactics like this to spread lies and misinformation.


The site was quite specific and a further statement was as follows:

“Assorted Rumours”. An illustrative posting reads as follows: veritas aeternitas: I can’t believe evidence as to whether or not Glenn Beck raped a girl in 1990 … has not come to light! What are the law enforcement agencies doing? Every year hundreds of innocent girls go missing. How many of them have fallen prey to the murdering and raping hands of Glenn Beck? And how many more will have to suffer before we get to the bottom of this? /Never forget: Glenn Beck raped and murdered a girl in 1990 …


A further statement was added later:

Welcome This site exists to try and help examine the vicious rumour that Glenn Beck raped and murdered a young girl in 1990. We don’t claim to know the truth — only that the rumour floating around saying that Glenn Beck raped and murdered a young girl in 1990 should be discussed. So we’re going to do our part to try and help get to the bottom of this.


Why won’t Glenn Beck deny these allegations! We’re not accusing Glenn Beck of raping and murdering a young girl in 1990 – in fact, we think he didn’t! But we can’t help but wonder, since he has failed to deny these horrible allegations. Why won’t he deny that he raped and killed a young girl in 1990?


It also contains the following statement:

A reminder: I am not making any money off of this site, at all, in any way. I’m paying for everything – the domain, hosting, everything this costs, I’m paying. I’m not even accepting donations! Following discussion forums constituting the large part of the website, the following appears:


Notice: This site is parody/satire. We assume Glenn Beck did not rape and murder a young girl in 1990, although we haven’t yet seen proof that he didn’t. But we think Glenn Beck definitely uses tactics like this to spread lies and misinformation.


Read the last sentence again. That’s the point. Read it a third time and ignore the name of the site itself, because anyone who believes that we’re trying to actually get people to believe Glenn Beck raped and/or murdered is *whoosh* missing the entire point. So don’t be dumb like a lot of people are. I greatly expanded this text because so many people *read* it, and *still* didn’t understand.


Common Law Trademark 

Mr Beck had to make out a common law trademark as he did not have a registered trademark. He succeeded in doing this because of the commercial aspect of part of his activities and the fame that attached to his name through his broadcasts and other activities.


Confusingly Similar 

The Panel then found that the domain name was confusingly similar to the trademark GLENN BECK. That interesting result was arrived at by analogy to the “sucks” cases, as it was said that the internet user would be so struck by the character of the domain name and curious about what lay behind it, that he or she