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Domain name victory for Ryanair (but with hidden extras)

14 October 2010

Nominet has ordered the transfer of the domain name ihateryanair.co.uk from Robert Tyler to Ryanair.

Robert Tyler registered the domain name and used it for his anti-Ryanair website, which was devoted to criticism of the airline.

Nominet ordered the transfer not because the domain name pointed to a protest site, but because Mr Tyler derived advertising revenue from that site totalling £322 – hardly a fortune.

But maybe Mr Tyler has had the last laugh – he has moved his website to here and has removed the commercial advertisements. Interestingly, at the time of this posting, the domain name ihateryanair.co.uk still points to Mr Tyler’s website.

Conversely a victory for free speech then! Brand owners should beware of the limitations of the Nominet dispute resolution process in relation to criticism websites. If you are looking to manage online content about your brand consider also whether the content is defamatory, or whether your trade mark has been infringed.

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Mark Daniels

Mark Daniels

Partner and Head of Business Services

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