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Randazza v. Cox Arbitration Decision

Those of you who recall this post about Crystal Cox will find the following document of interest.

Randazza v. Cox – Decision D2012-1525

Naturally, I would find the opinion to be a good one, as the Panel found in my favor. However, the Panelist seems to have really gotten the whole point of Crystal Cox’s extortion scheme — something that prior panels dealing with her failed to do. See Joseph Leccese v. Crystal Cox, WIPO Case No. D2011-0679 and Allen Fagin v. Crystal Cox, WIPO Case No. D2011-0678. In those cases, either the Complainant didn’t communicate the facts adequately to the Panels, or the Panels were just lazy in their analysis.

In this case, the Panelist got right to the heart of the matter.

Highlights from the opinion:

In this passage, the Panel lays out in pretty clean terms, Cox’s extortion scam.

Respondent’s actions in registering and using the disputed domain names may appear, at a first glance, to simply be a vehicle through which she provides advertising through pay-per-click sites, but on slightly closer examination are actually components of an artifice intended to extort funds from the Complainant and thus a pretext for a rather egregious variant of cybersquatting. As such, none of those actions can or will serve as a predicate upon which the Respondent can lawfully develop any rights or legitimate interests in any of the disputed domain names.

For you who still lap up the donkey urine that Crystal Cox is any kind of proxy for greater free speech principles, we have this for you:

the Panel flatly rejects any claim, which the Respondent may inferentially be making that her speech and hence her use of the disputed domain names somehow enjoys Constitutional protection, as utterly misguided

And this:

the Respondent’s intention, as reflected by the record, was never to solely provide, through her websites, speech critical of the Complainant. Rather, her objective in both registering and using the disputed names was apparently to engage in a rather sinister and tenacious scheme to extort money from the Complainant. Specifically, the Respondent first posted negative and false commentary on her websites that was intentionally calculated to injure the Complainant’s on-line reputation and disrupt the Complainant’s business conducted through his law firm. Thereafter, the Respondent used those sites in a manner that apparently optimized their ranking on the Google search engine in order to increase their visibility and prominence on search results yielded through a Google search of the Complainant, thus likely exacerbating the injury caused to the Complainant. Once all this occurred, the Respondent then offered her reputational management services to the Complainant through which, for a considerable fee, she would remediate the Complainant’s on-line reputation by eliminating all the negative and false commentary of her own making and presumably also ceasing her use of the disputed domain names. Basically, for a price, she would undo the injury to the Complainant for which she was responsible for having created in the first place. This egregious conduct clearly constitutes bad faith under the Policy.

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