'I'll put porn on Wal-Mart website' threat from cybersquatter, Wal-Mart claims

A cybersquatter who took control of the WalMart-USA website has said he will put pornographic movies on the site if Wal-Mart does not buy it from him, Wal-Mart's lawyers have claimed. US-based Wal-Mart is the world's largest retailer, with more than 6400 stores worldwide.

According to legal filings presented to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) by Wal-Mart, the alleged cybersquatter's legal counsel warned that he would use the website, WalMart-USA.com to sell pornographic DVDs, if Wal-Mart did not quickly purchase it.

The warning pointed out that paying for the domain would be much cheaper and easier than taking legal action, according to the filings. However, Wal-Mart ignored this and filed a dispute resolution request with the WIPO. The company's primary corporate website is at WalMart.com, and it does not appear to have previously registered or used WalMart-USA.com.

Not registered in bad faith, owner claims

The US man who controls the domain told WIPO investigators that he did not have any “bad faith intentions with the purchase of this (disputed) domain (name)”, and that he had made no money from it.

The WIPO administrative panel disagreed, and ordered that the domain be transferred to Wal-Mart's control last month. However, this has not yet happened (as of March 19, 2007).

According to records at registrar GoDaddy, the website remains registered to Fred Sacco of Nebraska, who appears to be the same individual named in the WIPO documents. The domain was originally registered in September 2006.

The website currently shows a standard GoDaddy domain parking page, with advertising placed by GoDaddy. GoDaddy offers to share parked domain advertising fees with domain owners, but we were unable determine if it is doing so in this case.

Wal-Mart has a policy of not selling pornographic or adult dvds, magazines or other materials, although the company has occasionally done so accidentally.

Wal-Mart squashes 99% of cybersquatters

Wal-Mart has aggressively pursued alleged cybersquatters who the company claims are infringing on its trademarks with domain names they have registered. The company has filed 125 domain resolution cases at the WIPO, winning all but two of them outright to date. The domains reclaimed include WalMartSucks, WalMartBlows, WalMartSexShop, and GirlsOfWalmart.

The only significant loss for the company has been the 'BoycottWalmart.com' domain, which remains in the hands of its original registrant, Traffic Yoon of Korea. The website at the domain is filled with links to advertising for home furnishings and similar items from firms that WalMart says are its competitors. Yoon did not reply to WIPO inquiries, and in the absence of evidence of bad intent, the organization decided that Wal-Mart had failed to prove that the domain would be confused with its own.

More details of the WIPO complaint

According to the complaint filed at the WIPO by lawyers acting for the complainant, Wal-Mart, “a person representing himself as counsel to the entity identified by the disputed trade name, when contacted by Complainant’s counsel stated that 'he was sure that Wal-Mart would purchase the domain name for some amount less than US$1500, as he knew that is what it would cost to file a UDRP Complaint (and) stated that under no circumstances would he transfer the domain name for free (as well as) indicated that if Complainant did not act quickly to purchase the domain name, Respondent would place pornographic content (DVDs for sale) on the website located at WALMART-USA.COM.'”

The UDRP mentioned in the claim is the Uniform Domain-Name Dispute Resolution Policy, which is the internationally-accepted procedure for resolving domain name ownership disputes. It costs at least $1500 to file, not including substantial legal fees.

The WIPO's one-man arbitration panel ordered the domain transferred to Wal-Mart because he determined that the domain was too similar to the registered trademark, Wal-Mart, which the domain's registrant had no right to use. In addition, the registrant had registered and used it in bad faith, the WIPO panel found.

WalMart Cybersquatter ?

How do they know what WalMart's lawyer said is true? They took a valuable asset away from that guy, and it sounds like just based on what Walmart told the judge (or should I say the "one man jury")?

The WIPO is not a real 'legal' court by the sound of it.

'I'll put porn on Wal-Mart website' threat from cybersquatter

It's a coroporate take over of the world. They've got money and they get their way

WalMart Cybersquatter

Regardless of anyone's ownership of the domain name in question, we have only the Walmart attorney's claim, and no reason to doubt it:

There was a THREAT made to corporate WalMart, which would have resulted in libel and deliberate damage to reputation .. and that, folks, is illegal.

Jail the bum for 6-months and fine him $6000. Maybe then, he will realize how foolish are threats in writing.

Can WalMart prove it?

In writing probably means in an email, how they can prove he sent it?

Or if it was by telephone, do they have a recording?

If he didn't make the threat, he would'nt lose the domain.

See the guy in Korea just kept quiet, and they had nothing on him. The right strategy if that was his plan. He still has his boycott walmart domain, and even put ads on it

i work for walmart and i

i work for walmart and i stil havent seen them girlsofwalmart

Post new comment

You can leave any field blank. Your email address is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

    We check anonymous comments before publication.
    To make your comments appear immediately, create an account, and login.

More information about formatting options