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.al cctld Albania Domain Dispute Issues

Located in Legal Discussion, started by -AR-, Dec 16, 2017

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  1. -AR-

    -AR- Established Member ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Hi,

    I wonder if you can guys can help with some advice. I registered a number of .al domains over the years and one of them turned out to be popular because it is the same name as a newspaper in Albania. The domain is very generic in the albanian language. So I was contacted by the a representative of the newspaper (they own the .com) and asked for the price, they offered 15usd for the domain and I refused and gave them my expected price. This was on Tuesday this week. By Friday AKEP (Albanian's domain governing body) had prepared a case and decided against me making a number of mistakes and false statements on their decision making document. The newspaper that wants the domain is owned by an ex Albanian Member of Parliament with a lot of influence in the country.

    The registrar simply sent me a message stating that AKEP have decided to take away the domain from your ownership. Their reason was that the newspaper was established as a Limited company since 1990s and had trademark since 2016. They have not contacted me nor asked for anything from me. My argument is the following:

    1. How can a decision be made within 2-3 working days?
    2. Why was I not even made aware and not asked for any input?
    3. Why was the registrar not made aware?
    4. I never contacted the newspaper about the domain, they contacted me and made an offer and I made a counter offer.
    5. The domain is generic, two albanian words
    6. The newspapers trademark is from 2016 yet the domain was registered in 2013
    7. One of the statements on the decision was that the domain was offered at "auction" which is not true. The domain was parked at bodis.com with an inquiry sales form.

    So my question is, how can this case be approached? Any advice at all as this is not a .com domain...?
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2017
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  2. mad409

    mad409 Always thinking outside the box! VIP

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    And yet another ccTLD issue, what up?
     
  3. jberryhill

    jberryhill Top Member John Berryhill, Ph.d., Esq. PRO VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    If you want your domain name back, you're going to have to go through these guys first:

     
  4. -AR-

    -AR- Established Member ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Thank you for your response but can anything be done at all?
     
  5. jberryhill

    jberryhill Top Member John Berryhill, Ph.d., Esq. PRO VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    I suppose that depends on how much you want to spend, and whether litigation in Albania is convenient for you. For example, do you live in Albania or speak Albanian? Personally, I'd have a better go at learning that dance than in trying to communicate productively with them.

    Absent from the OP is any hint of what, if anything, the domain name was doing. You state that the domain name is "very generic" with no clue of for what it might be generic. The word "time", for example, is generic for time. As the title of a magazine, it's not generic at all. The gap here appears to be the gulf between the domain name being "very generic" for something, and whether the domain name was being used for any purpose for which the word would be considered "very generic". That's all more or less academic, since there doesn't seem to be any clear domain dispute policy in .al.

    A good starting point would be to look at the terms of registration for .al domains and wherever the .al registry policies might be found. But, frankly, a lot of these dodgy ccTLDs do whatever hey want. I poked around the registry website using Google Translate, and have no clue where they've hidden it. But, at the end of the day, if the point here is that the Albanian registry operator breached some sort of agreement with you (and it is doubtful that their registry policies do anything other than to allow them to do whatever they want), then what you are looking at is filing a breach of contract suit in Albania.

    ....for which there is unlikely to be any significant distinction if, for example, whatever the .al registry policies might be on the subject of whether or not it is permitted to even sell .al domain names.

    Maybe someone with more familiarity in Albanian can dig out whatever the actual .al registry policies might happen to be, as a reference point for figuring out what it was you agreed to when you registered the domain.
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2017
  6. jberryhill

    jberryhill Top Member John Berryhill, Ph.d., Esq. PRO VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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  7. jberryhill

    jberryhill Top Member John Berryhill, Ph.d., Esq. PRO VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Ah, here it is....

    Nëse marrim ankim, marrim emrin tënd. Për të marrë emrin përsëri, duhet të luftosh gomarin.

    This seems to translate as: "If we get a complaint, we'll get your name. To get the name again, you have to fight the donkey."



    "If donkey like you, you keep donkey too."

    But, honestly, what do you really expect from the Albanian ccTLD?
     
  8. Kate

    Kate Domainosaurus Rex VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Some registries can make a decision in just one minute. For example if you buy names for the sole purpose of resale and are warehousing them, they may put an end to your registrations.
    Some registries will do nothing without a court order, a UDRP ruling or the local equivalent. Others are more interventionist and decide at their own discretion what is acceptable.

    The domain name is made up of two generic keywords, but the resulting string is most likely not generic. I mean, plain and dealer are both generic keywords. Plain Dealer isn't generic. There is a US newspaper that is just called that.

    The newspaper or the holding company apparently has a history that goes back to the 90s, based on information posted here. Accordingly I imagine Albanians were already familiar with the newspaper name before you registered the matching domain name ?

    AKEP thinking must be something like this:
    1. The registrant is somebody who is not Albanian and doesn't live in Albania (red flag)
    2. He has put up the domain name for sale (= bad faith).
    3. He doesn't know one word of Albanian but he somehow managed to register the name of a local newspaper in the correct spelling (squatter).
    4. Unless the name is truly generic, there may be only one 'obvious' end user
    I am actually not sure about #1 and #3.
     
  9. xynames

    xynames XYNames.com PRO VIP

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    You’re evidently on the wrong side of a well oiled political machine on this one.
     
  10. jberryhill

    jberryhill Top Member John Berryhill, Ph.d., Esq. PRO VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Oh, and just to be clear, I was kidding about the .al dispute policy. They won’t really let you keep the donkey.
     
  11. -EM-

    -EM- Top Contributor VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    What was the domain?
    Have you contacted the Registrar?
    Stop posting your stupidity here
     
  12. dordomai

    dordomai Top Contributor VIP

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    why did you register this (two word!).al domain in the first place?

    There are a lot of things that I would do but I would never think about registering .al domains
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2017
  13. Recons.Com

    Recons.Com Top Contributor VIP

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    Besides finding some awkward videos, why such a patronizing tone about Albania?
     
  14. -AR-

    -AR- Established Member ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Thank you for all your
    This is the first decision that has been taken by AKEP, there have been two previous disputes concerning two domain names and they were both dealt with by the Albanian courts, AKEP has refused to get involved in the past and simply remove a domain name.

    Correct, I agree with you here, but it is a lot more generic than "plain dealer" and a term used on a daily bases in the Albanian language


    Yes but the newspaper was simply a limited company until 2016. They got their trademark in 2016 yet the domain has been regged since 2013 surely they should not be allowed to simply pick and chose their domain address based on having been established as a limited company since the 1990s?


    1. Yes I am Albanian but do not currently live in the country.
    2. The domain was parked and was for sale that should not be considered such a major issue.
    3. I do speak the language so that is not an issue
    4. Well yes they could have been one possible end user but not the only one
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2017
  15. -AR-

    -AR- Established Member ★★★★★★★★★★

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    I am trying to resolve the issue before I make it public because the truth is it would mean that all Albanian domains become reg fee if AKEP can come along and simply take the domain away as they wish. The Registrar are saying that this is an unfair decision and they were not informed of this themselves until the decision was made.
     
  16. -AR-

    -AR- Established Member ★★★★★★★★★★

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    You might turn out to be right with decisions like this. Well I focused on registering many premium domains in the Albanian language such as tiles, car parts, vote, etc......simply because over time it will have to grow as a market. My intention was not to have any trademarks and over time I did try to develop some of these domains.
     
  17. -AR-

    -AR- Established Member ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Apparently they also want to bring out a sunrise period for Albanian businesses to be able to register their domains again.....so anything is on the table at the moment it seems.
     
  18. Vimal Kumar

    Vimal Kumar PotentNames.com

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    Just saw this text in Wikepedia...

    Registration restrictions Free for anyone, some restrictions apply only on second level domains (ex: .com.al) which are allowed only for Albanian Citizens and Businesses registered in Albania

    If the above is true, I sense you are not violating as you have .al and not .com.al
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2017
  19. -AR-

    -AR- Established Member ★★★★★★★★★★

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    I am an Albanian citizen......
     
  20. jberryhill

    jberryhill Top Member John Berryhill, Ph.d., Esq. PRO VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Because they apparently run their registry on an arbitrary basis, like some other squirrelly ccTLDs.

    ...but still no link to the actual registry agreement.
     
  21. Vimal Kumar

    Vimal Kumar PotentNames.com

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    Yes...and you also do not seem to violate Albanian registered business issue

    Find this text in the formal documentation and quote this to them in your response
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2017
  22. 1Darko

    1Darko Top Contributor VIP

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    How much is this domain worth? I doubt that it would make sense to start any legal activities to save this domain, imo.
     
  23. -AR-

    -AR- Established Member ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Yes you a probably right but what happens if they decide to this with every other domain and whenever they like?
     
  24. -AR-

    -AR- Established Member ★★★★★★★★★★

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    You can find the their dispute resolution policy in English here which is fair if they followed their own rules that is.
     
  25. jberryhill

    jberryhill Top Member John Berryhill, Ph.d., Esq. PRO VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Some ccTLDs do just that. Albania appears to be one of them. It's much the same situation with .in domains, and the joke of a dispute policy which are applied to them as well.

    The things that can go on under ICANN rules are bad enough, but the ccTLDs are free to do whatever suits them.
     

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