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02|12|2010 01:56 pm EDT

FaceBook Humor Site Sues Owner of Better Domain Name For Framing Their Content

by Adam Strong in Categories: Legal Issues

TechDirt covered a unique twist in domain name disputes last week.  Pet Holdings, Inc, the company behind wildly popular websites such as, and, sued the owner of the domain name because the owner framed PHI’s site on his domain and put a for sale banner on the top of the page. owner Cristian Castillo claims that he made a mistake framing the content but was using it to demonstrate what the domain could be used for while attempting to sell it. Based on statistics sent to us by Castillo the domain seems to be generating around 10,000 unique visitors a day. Castillo is still offering the domain name for sale for $50,000.

As a result of  the domain owners actions of framing the content of, Pet Holdings is claiming cybersquatting, trademark infringement, copyright infringement, unfair competition, and breach of contract.  Castillo clearly has the better domain and one that predates by 3 years, a domain that PHI likely covets but is unwilling to pay $50,000 to acquire.

It’s unclear why PHI sued first and didn’t file a UDRP or simply send Castillo a cease and desist to stop his actions.  Posts on TechDirt and the current Failbook site indicate Castillo believes that suing and not sending a cease and desist was over the top.   We wonder why they didn’t just go with a UDRP instead. Based on several recent bad UDRP decisions, DNN believes Castillo might be lucky that PHI didn’t go that route.  Actions like this seem to be readily pinned as bad faith in a UDRP proceeding, so he’d have lost the domain.  As far as we know, PHI still has the option to file a UDRP.

Techdirt makes the argument that PHI shouldn’t be bothered and that in fact benefited from the traffic from the framing of their site, but others clearly don’t see it the same pointing out that the action could confuse users in to thinking one site was the other.  The legal battle seems to have continued in the comments section with both sides making additional arguments. Arm-chairing techies also seem to be chiming in on the issue. Debate centers over whether Castillo’s actions were or were not harming PHI and if the actions were more of a defrauding on potential buyers of the domain.

The case is ongoing and will be interesting to follow and see where this leads.  PHI has offered a settlement which calls for Castillo to pay PHI around $8,000, but it doesn’t appear that he is going to accept that any time soon.

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February 12, 2010 @ 5:25 pm EDT

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February 12, 2010 @ 6:52 pm EDT

You can’t file a UDRP when legal action is going on. He is lucky they started a alwsuit it will be more expensive for t hem then $50k he is asking.

all he has to do is hang in there.


February 16, 2010 @ 3:38 pm EDT


What do you mean by “legal action going on”? The lawsuit is typed up only, it hasn’t been filed with the clerk’s office in AZ. Furthermore, if the lawyer feels this is a slam dunk case, they’ll work on a contingent fee and take a percentage of what settlement happens to be or by what the judge awards.

When you say “all he has to do is hang in there” that would be the worst thing to do. This situation will end with the owner of having to pay something. If he fights it in court, he have to hire a trial attorney. If he hides out and does nothing, then he gets a default judgment for any amount the judge decides plus opposing counsel’s attorney fees.

The sad thing is that the owner of thinks this is a game and he has a shot on taking on intellectual property attorneys who specialize in this realm of the law. So far the owner seems to be working Pro Se which has increasingly made his situation worse.

Ed Muller

February 17, 2010 @ 9:05 am EDT

Chris recently posted an update claiming he and Ben were “in the process of getting to a sweet deal for both sides”

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