Recent Case Notes & Commentary

CRITICISM SITES - WHEN ARE THEY NOT CRITICISM?

It is sometimes claimed that a site is a criticism site, or in other cases a fan or tribute site so that the registrant can claim that it has a right or legitimate interest in the domain name.


There have been quite a few circumstances that have been said to give rise to, or alternatively not to give rise to, a site being held to be criticism site.


However, a more basic principle is often overlooked, which is; is the site substantially or essentially being used for criticism or is it really a commercial site under the guise of a criticism site. That principle was not overlooked in the recent decision in Dukascopy Bank SA v. Domain Admin, Whois Privacy Corp. (WIPO Case No. D2018-0478).


In fact it was pivotal to the decision. The site in this case was masquerading as a criticism site because it was in reality promoting competitors of the Complainant.


The panellist, Olga Zalomiy, had no trouble finding that this was not a criticism site. The Respondent also lost on the issue of bad faith for the same reason .A good decision to read- and use.


See our other case notes on criticism here