back to article Claimed ignorance foils Economist domain case

Financial magazine The Economist has failed in its attempt to gain control of the internet address The address was not transferred to it because the owner claimed that he had never heard of the magazine when he registered the name. The site simply carries a picture of Alan Greenspan, the former chairman of …


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  1. Anonymous Coward


    Another frankly bizarre claim is for Greenspan to be "the economist of the century".

    Still, afaik, "" has been the site of The Economist since 1996 at least, so why does this come up now.

    Flame icon because The Economist has morphed from a rather good rag in the 80/90's to something in the grip of Bush apologists and neocon opinionators. Bletch. Or is it just me?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    all 3 poiints must be made??????

    'Under WIPO rules a domain name can only be transferred if the name is identical or confusingly similar to a trade or service mark owned by the body trying to gain control of the address; if the person holding the address has no rights in it, and if the address was registered and used in bad faith.

    Anyone hoping to gain control of a domain must prove all three of these elements in order to be handed the address.'

    Really? What about the guy who registered before apple had even created, he got it taken away from him, even though he could of used, and proved your 3rd point, he couldn't of heard of Apple itunes before it was created.

    WIPO loves industry, look at the leagal hoops you have to jump through just to argue a case in front of them, they are just empire building, and creaming off a little extra cash from businesses who have these arguments, there not about being fair, they are about making money for WIPO.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Economist who?

    I know not of this The Economist, that you speak of :)

    Isn't .com US, if this is a UK company why not show some pride and use the domain, which some newspaper appears to own but not put any content on.

    Google will allow those in the UK to find you better, if you use the domain.

    And hey, if they really want the domain just make an offer. It has been years, little late to come up with brand infringement. And they are using English words, not some made up brand name, so it muddies the waters even more. If you use a brand strategy that relies on English words, then be proactive and make sure you register the appropriate one's early, it is a double edged sword, sure you get free recognition by jumping on an existing word, but it is harder to keep the brand unique.

  4. Anonymous Coward

    Does this create a precedent?

    My question here has to be whether this creates a precedent. Can I register domains that Microhoo!, Google, or any of the other behemoth's want, and then when they try and steal them from me using the WIPO theft organisation, I can simply claim, Microsoft - who the f**k are they?

    Or is this just a result of The Economist not paying enough in back-handers to the arbitration panel in the hideously corrupt WIPO organisation and suffering as a result?

    Hmm - which one is it, I can't decide...

  5. Mark

    "all 3 poiints must be made??????"

    You forget that in the apple case, the owner of the domain name wasn't USian and apple is a corporation. In this case, both are USian. Clearly different.

  6. anarchic-teapot


    It being extremely unlikely that anybody with a passing interest in economics should never have heard of "The Economist", it shouldn't be too hard to assume bad faith.

    Presumably "The Economist" has realised that this site is hijacking searches for their site, no bloody wonder they're narked, but they really should have registered the domain earlier, if only to redirect to their main site.

  7. Joe

    Never heard of it?

    In 1996 I was a naïve skinny virgin failing his A-Levels, but I'm sure I'd seen The Economist in WH Smiths!

  8. Anonymous Coward

    I don't see the problem

    I had never heard of The Economist until about 3 years ago. I never did fancy magazines inasmuch as newspapers are typically more timely and cheaper. Oh, as for The Economist, why would I bother just to read what is little more than polished up versions of op-ed pieces from the Post?

    Flames because the best use of The Economist is kindling.

  9. Rob

    @ AC, first post.

    "Flame icon because The Economist has morphed from a rather good rag in the 80/90's to something in the grip of Bush apologists and neocon opinionators. Bletch. Or is it just me?"

    It's just you. IMHO, The Economist has gone downhill, but not for the reasons you state. Quite the opposite, in fact - it's now so lefty-enviro-hippy-statist that I've stopped reading it.

  10. Sam Sunshine
    Thumb Down

    A squatter's dream decision. Here's why...

    Combine this foolhardy ruling with the similarly bad one reached in the case involving ThePCProfessor.Com (in which PC Professor is a federal trademark) and you have a convincing argument to disband WIPO.

  11. DR

    @AC proud to be british and use

    "I know not of this The Economist, that you speak of :)

    Isn't .com US, if this is a UK company why not show some pride and use the domain, "


    .com stands for commercial

    com - Commercial

    .net - Networks

    .org - Organizations

    .info - information

    .biz - Business

    .edu - Educational

    .gov - Government

    .int - International Organizations

    .mil - Militry (US Dept of Defense) - UK Companies

    .uk UK

    .de - Germany

    .us USA

    .fr - france

    .nl - netherlands etc...

    since the economist is a world distributed rag and a commercial organisations brand name a .com name would be fine.

    surely the web site creator, should have been proud to be American and used a .us name...

    re: the itunes case, yes, I'd forgotten about that, I wonder if the economist could use this to form an appeal of some kind, usually past law can be use as test cases in stuff like this. is there even an appeals process for this or is all of this decided on the flip of a coin/biggest handouts or something?

  12. John Saunders

    Conspicuous (to some) by absence

    Nothing on the negotiations that surely must have preceded this laughable outcome? Ah, yes. Economists. That explains it. I feel better already about having missed the opportunity to get a subscription.

  13. Spleen

    Re: 12:09

    Partly you, partly them. The Economist is still a good rag, but for reasons best known to itself supported the Iraq War and has been stubborn about admitting that it's an unmitigated disaster. It has also bought into the Al-Qaeda/S.P.E.C.T.R.E. fantasy, although admittedly, like Christianity until recently, anyone wanting to be taken seriously in the West has to buy into it. Other than that it remains a consistent supporter of economic and personal freedom and is an excellent newspaper on any subject that isn't Iraq.

    And this decision seems ridiculous. How on earth can you "prove" that someone's mind contained a connection between the words 'the economist' and 'libertarian-leaning worldwide current affairs journal with economic focus', given that mind-reading equipment of that precision is several decades away at best? If that's a necessary step then it should be impossible to succeed in any such case (and examples have been given above to the contrary).

    Points should also have been deducted for the stupidity of the website itself as well. I couldn't tell you who is the economist of the century, but it's not Professor Subprime.

  14. Steve

    Re: Re: 12:09

    "The Economist is still a good rag, but for reasons best known to itself supported the Iraq War and has been stubborn about admitting that it's an unmitigated disaster. It has also bought into the Al-Qaeda/S.P.E.C.T.R.E. fantasy,"

    Economists think that we can have exponential expansion forever when this planet clearly has a finite size and therefore finite resources.

    It's hardly surprising that they do other insane stuff.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @all 3 poiints must be made??????

    That was handled by the Nominet dispute process, which IMHO (and many others), is completely unfit for purpose and regularly comes out with bizarre decisions.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Reg banned word list:


    USian? That doesn't even make syntactic sense. Yes, yes, I know you want to belittle citizens of the United States, and to harp on the fact that (North and South) America are continents, not nationalities, but, c'mon, you're not even trying.

    For example-- have you ever encountered a Canadian who identifies themselves as American, because they share a continent with the USA? For that matter, have you ever encountered a German who identifies himself as European?

    If you want something derogatory with which to reference US citizens, how about "Crazy ass yank" or "renegade colonials" or "right-wing continent squatting hillbillies"?

    Personally, I don't particularly care; My interest is in the lameness being foisted upon the English language.

    If you expand the abbreviation 'USian' to its logical interpretation, you're calling them "United Statesians," which I think we can all agree is just silly. It doesn't make you look witty, edgy, or urbane, it makes you look like you failed not only geography, but English, as well.

    Basically, people who use stupid abbreviations such as this one are the intellectual equivalent to those who spell Microsoft with a dollar sign, "fanboi" as a contraction with the wrong vowel, and always use the hideously inoffensive "*nix" when talking about Linux in particular, and not the general class of UNIX based operating systems.

    If you have a point to make, make it with the power of your own wit and intellect, not by flippant memes that only look cute to other morons.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ DR .com is a USA domain

    .com is controlled by the yanks.

    ".mil - Militry[sic] (US Dept of Defense)" as is this one :)

    It is not international, though some would like it to be.

  18. Stephen nominet was handled through nominet with a DRS ( so not the same as WIPO.

  19. Anonymous Coward

    Re: Reg banned word list

    "have you ever encountered a Canadian who identifies themselves as American"

    Actually, being as they're less arrogant than the USAians and not so prone to mistaking their own country for the entire world, you'll find most Canadians refer to themselves as *North* Americans. Because America is bigger even than Canada + USA.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The ever popular

    Oliver North defence.

  21. Trix
    Black Helicopters

    Re Reg banned word list:

    Get over yourself, AC. How on earth do you construe something "derogatory" out of "USian" (or "USAian")? It's a common casual rendering for those citizens of the US we're referencing - used by plenty of said citizens themselves in the the online places I hang out.

    I know of plenty more Canadians/South Americans who get pissed off by people who sloppily refer to "Americans" when they're only referring to people from the US. Sure, Canadians don't call themselves "Americans", but then again, they're generally not arrogant enough to label themselves with a reference to the entire continent.

  22. SImon Hobson Bronze badge

    RE: The Economist who?

    No, .com isn't American - it's for "commercial" interests. It's just that (some) Americans think they invented and own the whole of the Internet ! The USoA does in fact have it's own country code, so many .coms should really be using .us - hah, fat chance !

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Maybe plausible after all...

    not that we have any pity for the economist but if the owner of is lauding greedspam as "economist of the century", his claims of ignorance may well be plausible ...

  24. Anonymous Coward


    There do seem to be double-standards when it comes to domain ownership disputes - I'm sure I was recently reading on here about Facebook pinching a domain from a company who registered it when the social networking site was still just a daft idea in some students beer-filled mind.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ @ DR .com is a USA domain

    It may be US controlled but it is not a US domain. It's just a fair few Americans seem to think it is.

    Take, for example, It's a long established newspaper based in Edinburgh.

    Well, actually, given the case, please don't take it. It would be kind of rude.

  26. Andy Dingley

    Just what do you need to demonstrate Bad Faith

    "The panel cannot find bad faith registration proved on the balance of probabilities,"

    When did Wikipedia become a court?

  27. Gareth

    Why I like the Economist (magazine)

    Anonymous (1st post): "Too right wing"

    Rob: "Too left wing"

    I like the Economist as it's one of the few news organisations which regularly attracts criticism from both sides as being biased in the other direction.

    They're also one of the few who has a full staff of overseas correspondents rather than ripping stuff off the news wires (or worse, blogs) and tacking on an editorial, which alone makes them worthy of support.

    Personally I don't think it's critical enough of globalization, but it usually provides enough facts about a situation for a reader of an opposing political viewpoint to still have a good overview of what's going on and to formulate their own opinion - how many other news sources can make that claim?

    It has it's flaws, but it's a lifebelt in the vast ocean of stupid, ignorant news coverage over here in the US to which I shall continue to cling.

    PS. Anyone else find it ironic that a rag so feverishly in love with transparency and free markets is reverting to a quasi-autonomous kangaroo court to get their domain back rather than just offering a large sum of money?

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