back to article Ryanair wins because of £322 ad revenue

A website criticising airline Ryanair must surrender its domain name to the Irish carrier because it broke the policies governing the use of others' trademarks in addresses by earning money from commercial links on the site. An appointed expert for Nominet, which is responsible for .uk domain names, has ruled that …


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  1. JakeyC

    Streisand Effect?

    Well done on publicising your critics' site, Ryanair!

    I'd never heard of this site until now, but I've just visited and have bookmarked it to read when I get home.


    1. Annihilator
      Paris Hilton

      No need

      Turns out that is just redirecting to .org for the moment. Nicely done!

      I assume that ryanair get to claim the address at some point though. It begs the question though, what are they going to do with it??

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        Good question, presumably they are going to have to pay the registrar for the domain in perpetuity, as if they let it lapse, someone else can grab the name. Not an issue for a single domain, but heaven forbid anyone starts registering lots of variations on this name - would Ryanair then grab all of these and end up paying silly money to Nominet?

  2. Lockwood

    Great website idea!

    1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge


      Ping ... Pong

  3. Jacqui

    irish muppet

    probably thinks ths is cheap good advertising - but them since it cost him so little he probably thinks it is worth it.

    There are much, much worse than RAir - being able to cancel other airlines flights an major UK arports then call people the day before and sugegst they re-book with them is seriously scummy.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So, Eire O'Flot Strikes Again

    So you want to tell us how crap we are? There's a one pound charge for that.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      what?! that cheap?!

      ffs, 1£??! you're joking??! :)

      ring their call centre and that'll prob set you back at least 10-20£. same goes for postmail. £5 or so for a registered letter, i think they redirect everything else to the bin without looking.

      and there's not email. as if the eu online trading regulations don't apply to them...


  5. bill 36


    I thought i was reading the BBC web page for a second,

    "tell me Mr Expert, just what impact will this have on peoples daily lives........"

    Get a grip!

  6. Anonymous Coward

    Is free... Just don't put any google ads on there!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I'm not surprised is free

      It's gramatically awful! is the correct version!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @"gramatically" nazi

        Not so awful in the UK:

        Also, you may want to use a spell-checker. (Correct American spellings will be tolerated.)

  7. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

    A tad harsh, me thinks

    It's not like he was making bucket loads of money from the links. I suspect he was just trying to cover his costs. He seems to have taken down the links fairly quickly. So I feel that stripping him of the domain is an unfair punishment.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      By the book unfortunately

      Though as Nominet basically said - pick a different top level domain and you can criticize and generate some small income to boot.

      And now there's some incentive/a precedent to adjust Nominet's rules.

  8. David 66
    Thumb Down

    So.., we're not allowed to profit from hate, now?

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Disparaging comments or the simple fact?

    Quote: "The editorial content of the website contains 'vitriolic and highly disparaging' comments about [Ryanair]," said the ruling's summary...

    But these comments seem to be stating facts about the company? Is if offensive/illegal to publish the truth? It's just a plain fact that Ryanair is dishonest with its pricing and conditions.

    1. Intractable Potsherd
      Thumb Up


      I wouldn't fly with that band of sky-conmen if the option was swimming to my destination! Truly, truly awful business that the EU should come down on like a ton(ne) of bricks.

      RyanAir's motto: Never tell the truth when a lie will do (sadly my Latin doesn't stretch far enough to make that classy).

  10. LinkOfHyrule

    "and leave you stranded when the cr*p hits the fan"

    "and leave you stranded when the cr*p hits the fan"

    Shouldn't that be "When the crap hits the jet engine spinny roundy thingys"?

    1. KjetilS


      Aren't those actually called fans? :)

      1. LinkOfHyrule
        Paris Hilton


        I don't know, but if indeed they are that's pretty funny - duh!

        Paris, cos I may of just had a dumb Paris moment!

        1. Richard 12 Silver badge

          Yes, it's a fan.

          The bit at the front of a high-bypass jet engine is a Fan - this is why they are called turbofan engines.

          - See Rolls-Royce for more details.

  11. Peter Hewitt

    Break even

    One thing i'm not clear on, is the £322 the total ad money or is it "profit" ?

    If I was to put the usual set of contextual google text ads at the bottom of the page and earn say the £80 or so it costs to host a website, would that disqualify me for letting my hobby site offset its own costs?

    Or does it only kick in if I'm getting direct kickbacks from airlines for profit over and above running costs?

    Both this article and the one on the Graun are distinctly low on info regarding the exact nature of the ads involved.

    1. Stuart 18

      there is text here shut up and look

      Ok as I'm doing Miss Bee's work for her I'd appreciate a backhander or some kind of handjob;-) In regards to above comment I don't believe El Reg or even the Groaniad are responsive or even advised to provide technical legal proclamations.

      It seems apparent that even Nominet's arbiter had second/third/nineteenth thoughts about this ruling and was most likely swayed by assessing who had the funds to lodge unlimited appeals. I don't think 322 quid was enough to sway the decision.

      You're welcome Miss Bee. Love Stu x x x

      1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

        Re: there is text here shut up and look

        Excuse me?

        1. Stuart 18

          I know. They need to create a vulture WTF icon, but hey!?

          You are excused, Sarah.

          I read that first post as a comparison of this fair site, that is almost as beautiful as it's moderatrix, to the Grauniad. A most unfitting comparison and I immediately looked for Miss Bee's incisive witty comment below. I was heartbroken to find her out on beer break (just like a ciggie break but less cancerous :-) I decided I could provide no better service than to muster my meager wit; stating that finding all the legal loopholes was not a requirement for either the Register's great news article or even moreso for the Graun's lesser standards.

          I'm certain, though, that three centuries one score and maybe three quid would find someone willing to give all the advertisers another plug. In the meantime I'll just work my magic for improving my moderation pass rates. I do avidly read all Miss Bee's comments and oft debate compiling a scrapbook of them; but that's way too creepy and a lot of work.

    2. David Evans

      It doesn't matter

      The "offence" is earning revenue from someone else's trademark, not making a profit. It doesn't matter whether he earned a penny or a million quid. Nominet were perfectly correct in their judgement tbh, but it hardly matters in the long run.

  12. Avatar of They
    Thumb Up


    Whole thing could have been avoided, if ryanair were not indeed, sh*t.

    I am off to look at the new website.

  13. deadlockvictim

    moan, moan, moan

    I don't like Ryanair either. As with Facebook, I have the right not to use it. And I use neither.

    BTW, if you really want to piss off Michael O'Leary, make comparisons between Ryanair and CIE[1]. There aren't too many that can be made, but user-experience is high up there.

    [1] CIE = Coras Iompair Eireann []: A company run for the benefit of its employees. Theoretically a transport company.

    1. sT0rNG b4R3 duRiD

      I flew Ryanair once... Glasgow but I ended up in some f@#$ed up airport in the middle of nowhere... Took me ages to actually get to where I wanted to go. "Ryanair flies to Glasgow", me arse.

      One other time, I had my flight cancelled and because it was an urgent, important trip I was making, had to buy a fare on another carrier.

      Bugger Ryanair, I'll fly Aer Lingus... They got me there when you couldn't (And that is saying a LOT).

      In fairness to CIE, they aren't as bad as Ryanair.

      1. PirateSlayer


        Technically Glasgow Prestwick Airport IS in Glasgow, the same way that Heathrow is in London.

        Fear not, the other Glasgow airport is also miles away from the city.

        Mine's the one with the BMI Baby logo on the back.

  14. James Dunmore

    Off to buy.....

    see you later ;)

    1. TeeCee Gold badge

      Re: Off to buy......

      You are actually Michael O'Leary and ICMFP!

  15. Anonymous Coward

    Cowardly ruling

    So the bloke was using Ryanair's "good name" to generate revenue from his site by willing, cash-thrusting punters? I think not. The brave decision would have been to tell O'Reilly [*], erm, O'Leary to improve his business's service and thus reduce any inclination for people to visit a site where they can share their experiences describing how his business sucks.

    [*] See Fawlty Towers, "The Builders".

  16. Winkypop Silver badge

    I hate them too

    Please, don't send money...

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Don't like it, don't use it, stop whinging

    Just what is the point of whinging about a company you don't like? I used RyanAir because you get what you pay for, low cost service. When will people realize that no one is ENTITLED to more than you pay for. You get what you pay for, it's that simple. You're paying to go from A to B, that's it. If you need to be pampered along the way, fly with another airline and pay the higher prices. Service with a smile comes at a price. The proof is that RyanAir is still making a profit despite what people think of them.

    Personally I'd prefer to see inflight service operate on a tips basis, like the food service industry.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up


      Just this last weekend, I flew with RA from Bristol to Dublin and back again for the princely sum of £30 (although £10 of that was actually a charge levied for, errrm, paying for the flights). For this amount of money, I was hardly expecting a great service but I got what I paid for, the staff were polite and, honestly, I can't find a reason to complain. Obviously, I had to fly at silly-o'clock and could only take hand luggage and their charges for anything else are somewhat hefty but they are a company and they have to make a profit somewhere.

      AC because if I posted with my real user name, my boss would be able to figure out when I'm posting on here rather than working, not because I'm a shill for RA or anything.

    2. vincent himpe

      and the ward for using

      'low cost' and 'service' in one sentence goes to Bugs R Us

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      caveat emptor

      Actually, you don't get what you pay for quite often. Cattle get treated more humanely on the way to the abattoir than paying customers do from the airlines. I say more power to people who name and shame shoddy service.

    4. Charlie Clark Silver badge


      Ryanair's business model and thus profit is largely down to tax subsidies from governments desperate to see jobs in the province. As soon as an aiport loses the subsidy and they actually have to pay for using it they are off- Screwing customers and staff are just, er, added boni. So, yes good for their shareholders and arguably good for those who manage to get cheap flights close enough to where they want to go but generally shit for the economy as a whole.

  18. Paul 5


    So Nominet think that "RyanAir" and "IHateRyanAir" are similar? Really?

    Similar in the same way that "Walk" and "Don't Walk" are similar, I suppose.

  19. Anonymous Coward


    So, can't make a profit using a commercial ( domain, but it's OK to go ahead using the .org domain for non-profit making organisations.

  20. TeeCee Gold badge

    A damned good thing too.

    "...the website contains 'vitriolic and highly disparaging' comments about [Ryanair],"

    Nice to see that Nominet ruled that this was irrelevent. Ryanair would be able to take possession of just about every* fucking domain that allows user comments otherwise.

    If they don't like the hate, maybe they should try not deliberately pissing off everyone stupid enough to fly on their crappy airline as an approach to the problem?

    *i.e. all of them except their own.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Big Bill?

    Lets hope Nominet charge RyanAir zillions for bringing the case/dispute and an extra £5 for paying by credit card, £30 for checking in their luggage and £1 to use the loo ..... gits! .... nah f@!k it - what's the point?

  22. Steve Evans

    Is that all?

    £322 from affiliate links to services including travel insurance that appeared on the site... He should take a leaf out of Ryan Air's books. I've never seen them offer a special or bundle during ticket booking that I couldn't get at least 25% cheaper with 3 clicks and going direct to the company concerned.

  23. Andrew Moore

    A collective noun for Ryanair passengers...

    I was at Dublin Airport waiting to board a decent carriers flight when a message came over the PA advising LyingAir passengers that the flight that was boarding at Gate 20 was now boarding at Gate 28.

    There followed a resultant rush of what could only be called humanity's lowest common denominator, each elbowing and pushing in order to be the first in line.

    I asked my friend what he thought the collective noun for this herd was. He pointed out the (drunk at 7am) hen party and suggested "Trampede". My suggestion was "chavalanche".

    1. James Hughes 1

      Or just maybe

      It's a collection of people who don't earn as much as you and therefor could not afford to fly using anyone but RyanAir?

      1. It wasnt me

        No, not really.

        Its a collection of people who think they cant afford anyone but ryanair. If they did the maths, and included the cost of getting to a ryanair airport, then getting from a mis-advertised airport in the middle of nowhere to where they wanted to go, as well as ryanairs hidden charges, they wouold realise that most other airlines are, in fact cheaper. Ryanair are not just a shitty service run by a bunch of wa^&ers, they're also a false economy.

        1. Intractable Potsherd

          Spot on, "It wasnt me" ...

          ...however, I'd rather that the lowest common denominator (with the emphasis on "common") keep travelling with RyanAir so that my choice of budget airline keeps a better standard of passenger.

  24. Colin Morris

    How is this different..?

    <quote>In the Expert's opinion commercial links have no place on a criticism website</quote>

    How can Nominet make that argument? Aren't and mainly criticism websites thinly disguised as news websites?

    One rule for one.......

  25. zenkaon

    watch this

    1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

      Re: watch this that was funny. Can't think of which airline they were basing their skit on?

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    my comment title

    Seems fair enough, the silly sausage should not have stuck adsence up there. Not really a problem though, just needs to register a similar domain name and transfer the content over minus the advertisements. Ryanair then have a new problem as it has now been ruled that the content was just fine n dandy.

    I'll even offer him free hosting :-)

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Surely this i just word blindness from Ryan Air?

    Because I read the domain name as I hatery an air - the domain name doesn't even mention a particular airline!

  28. David Martin

    Good luck to him

    but he seems just a bit obsessed. What happened to him? It must have been terrible!! Some of the airports are out of town, well, check on google maps etc. and make your own mind up whether its worth the saving. You get what you pay for with ryanair, they've never been late in my experience. Why? They don't hang around for stragglers, they just close the gate at the stated time and that's it! Fair enough! Don't want to subsidise other people's luggage? Fine, me neither!

  29. Z80

    Hate? Really?

    I've only flown with Ryanair on a single occasion one-way. I've no idea whether the delay which threw a major spanner into our plans actually was due to the French ATC industrial action as they claimed (seems eminently probable though) or whether the already drunk and disruptive group of idiots were allowed on the flight due to spineless Ryanair staff or spineless Stansted staff or both but as soon as the whole shitty ordeal was over I got over it and enjoyed the rest of my trip - no doubt buoyed by the knowledge that I wouldn't be returning to Blighty with Ryanair.

    I don't know what Ryanair have done to this guy to make him hate them - I took a quick look at the site to try to find out but it was a bit too depressing to stay there for long. I feel a bit sorry for him. I hope he can turn his hatred into something positive in future.

    Maybe he could donate that £322 to Amnesty International and spare a thought for those elsewhere in the world who aren't free to speak out on things that actually fucking matter.

    1. Intractable Potsherd

      Free speech

      "... spare a thought for those elsewhere in the world who aren't free to speak out on things that, in my opinion, actually fucking matter." There, fixed that for you.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I don't need to look at an inflammatory website....

    to know that Ryanair are ****.

  31. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart


    to swineair and michael o'dreary, I now have the site bookmarked.

  32. Chris Young

    @ James Hughes 1

    Just because you haven't got much money doesn't mean you need to behave (and look) like a retard, so he has a valid point.

    I've seen the same kind of thing as Andrew, and it's not pleasant. The EasyJet queue is often much the same ( I know, because I'm frequently standing in it), but not quite like the RyanAir rabble.

    Personally, I subscribe to the "if you don't like 'em, don't use 'em" school of thought. I will NEVER fly Ryan Air, a bit like I never buy fuel in a supermarket. Principles.

    It's why I haven't seen my brother who lives in Sweden for years - I can't afford to pay what BA charge, and I won't use RyanAir. SqueezyJet are about to start flying the route though :-)

    1. Intractable Potsherd


      ... it's off-topic, but what's the problem with buying fuel in supermarkets (I'm assuming you mean supermarket petrol-stations, otherwise I agree entirely).

  33. fLaMePrOoF

    Defence team dropped the ball...

    Surely this amount of revenue could be entirely off-set against resonable running costs for the site; hosting and the developers time & effort?

    The rules state that it's not permissable to profit from another's trade mark, but even a nominal amount of effort and cheap hosting for such a long running site would more than account for this small figure.

    It looks like the owner defended himself..? I wonder if there's any sort of appeal because this argument shoould be tested.

  34. PirateSlayer

    Bros before Jumbos

    Terminator, because he has a face and no nose too.

  35. Anonymous Coward

    What about a redirect

    Let's say his site redirects to

    Let's say he puts a TON of advertising on

    Would he still have to surrender Technically the site does NOT host any revenue.

    Okay, let's say you argue that an automatic redirect will always result in revenue and is therefore a breach of trademark. How about you make the site contain a clickable link to! Now the USER has to voluntarily visit a revenue-generating website. Of itself cannot be accused of directly generating revenue.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    does Michael O'Leary know about Ryan Hair

  37. Craigyboy

    @Bugs R Us

    Yes, they are low cost, yes they are provide a certain level of service for that, however that's not my concern. My main concern is where else they are penny pinching to the same degree as their charging structure.

    Staff training?




    Aircraft servicing?

    Pilot training?!?!

    I'm sure there are regulations for some of this stuff, but as has already been pointed out, RA do there best to ensure they are caught by the minimum regulation possible. You can guarantee that where there isn't regulation,. or where it can be interpreted in a way that saves money, RA will be doing just that.

    People absolutely are entitled to the items above, but who knows if you are getting them with this bunch of jerks. It's not about wanting to be pampered.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    what a lot of rubbish

    the DRS system is. Look, if you set up a shop selling burgers called McDonalds (tm) then I would

    fully accept that you deserve to be closed down, but the DRS is a totally unfair system that has been established because big business wants to crush small business. The fact is that the

    Nominet operated DRS allows a complainant to utilise Trade Mark law to invoke a DRS complaint, but the Respondent (defendant) is not then allowed to use Trade Mark laws to refute that claim. That cannot be right or fair. The claim regarding this RyanAir (TM) complaint could be easily defeated using just 2 cases, one regarding Intel (tm) and one regarding Google (tm) both of which got to the European Court. The DRS adjudicators see that their bread is buttered on the side of the Complainant because usually they are large business and the adjudicator is a solicitor.

  39. Antti Roppola


    I recall about 10 years ago some guy created a web site called something like "". After a lengthy legal battle, he was forced to relinquish the domain registration to Brandname. Pretty much the next day, a new domain appeared,"". So how about "" anyone?

  40. neverSteady

    Oh Nominet

    I'm sure I mentioned Nominet and their propensity for caviar and champagne lunches before somewhere in this place. Now they can have truffles too.

  41. Neil Barnes Silver badge

    As of seven this morning, appears to be no more...

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