TorrentReactor.net, listed among the ten most popular torrent sites on the Internet, has won a WIPO domain dispute against the owner of TorrentReactor.com. The latter domain was owned by Craig Pratka, a New York resident who used the domain to drive up revenues at a ‘dubious’ affiliate program. The decision ends a long domain name battle that started back in 2008.
In recent months most domain name issues related to torrent sites or other file-sharing portals usually involved the US Government. Where many sites lost their domains left and right in three waves of seizures, a major torrent site has now managed to add one to its collection through a WIPO complaint.
Alexey, the owner of TorrentReactor.net, informed TorrentFreak that his company has won its domain dispute against TorrentReactor.com. The complaint was filed at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) on October 26 of last year, with Alex stating that the .com domain is abusing the brand TorrentReactor has built over the years.
New York resident Craig Pratka, the (former) owner of TorrentReactor.com, was not operating a website under the name TorrentReactor but had simply forwarded the domain to the affiliate site allcontentaccess.com. In his complaint, Alex argued that the sole intent of the .com domain was to mislead users of the .net domain.
According to WIPO, Alex stated that Pratka was “intentionally attempting to attract Internet users to his web site for commercial gain, since the web site associated with the disputed domain name is redirected and urges visitors to pay money in order to access its database.”
The WIPO arbitration commission reviewed the case and finally concluded that the domain was indeed registered in bad faith. Alex told TorrentFreak that the domain was transferred to his company yesterday, and that the case is now officially closed.
This successful dispute follows a failed one against the previous owner of the .com domain, Jinsu Kim, who offered to sell it to TorrentReactor.net for $150,000 a few years ago. Alex declined and offered $30,000 instead, to which Kim replied with a new price tag: “The price is $50k and not negotiable.”
In 2008 Alex tried to go for the cheaper option and filed a WIPO dispute. This request was denied because at the time he had not yet registered the TorrentReactor trademark.
In the years that followed the .com domain was sold to Craig Pratka, who owns several torrent site typo domains, and is currently in the process of registering the Pirate Bay trademark. How much Pratka paid for the .com domain is unknown, but based on the previous quotes it can’t have been cheap.
Thankfully there are trademark and copyright laws to stop such abusive behavior.