Open source software and UDRP

An open source software maker just won a UDRP against a domain registrant, which contrasts with a previous case involving open source software.

Lines of code with the words "Open source software and UDRP" superimposed on top
Two recent UDRP cases show what’s required for open source software providers to win cybersquatting cases.

Get ODK Inc., maker of the open source data capture software ODK, has won (pdf) a cybersquatting challenge against a person who registered

The case shines a light on licensing terms and registering domains that contain trademarks of open source software.

A good comparison case is IBM company Red Hat filed a UDRP against that domain and was found guilty of reverse domain name hijacking. Compare this to the instant case in which Get ODK Inc. won.

The cases differ in two critical ways.

First, Red Hat initially consented to the registrant’s domain registration days after it got the domain. This compares to the ODK case, in which the company’s licensing terms expressly forbid registering domains matching its mark without meeting strict guidelines.

Second, the registrants of used the domain for a news site about Fedora software. It contained a prominent disclaimer and was not used for commercial gain. Compare this to, where the registrant used the domain specifically to drum up business for supporting the ODK software.

There are other differences, including that the Fedora domain containing “we make”, suggesting the site was owned by the project’s contributors.

When Get ODK reached out to the domain registrant asking for him to transfer the domain, he responded, “but [the] business that can be generated with our domain name makes it a high value domain. So selling it for less than USD 100k is not feasible at this point.” He also said he was going to list the domain on domain marketplaces.

John Berryhill represented the Complainant in this case. While he mainly helps Respondents, this is the 32nd case he’s filed on behalf of Complainants, winning all but one of them. He has represented Respondents in 285 decided cases and about another 100 or so that were settled or withdrawn without a decision.

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