Ubisoft Files UDRP on FarCry.com (Updated)
The Merriam-Website dictionary gives two definitions of what far cry means: “a long distance” or “something notably different.” According to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) website, Ubisoft Entertainment has filed a UDRP for the FarCry.com domain name. The case is WIPO Case D2016-0841.
Whois records show that FarCry.com was created all the way back in September of 1997 – nearly 19 years ago. Using the DomainTools Whois History tool, I am able to see that the oldest historical Whois record DomainTools has is from 2001, and it shows the registrant as Far Cry Stables, Inc. of Austin, Texas.
Interestingly, it looks like the email address is exactly the same today as it was back in 2001 (and perhaps earlier). In addition, the admin on the Whois record is still listed as Far Cry Stables. Based on this, it looks like the registrant has been the same entity for more than 15 years.
Ubisoft Entertainment is a video game developer. According to Wikipedia, Far Cry is a video game franchise developed by Ubisoft that was originally published in 2004. When I visited FarCry.com this afternoon, I saw what looks like a mostly blank page with a heading that says “no far cry game here…” Archive.org does show that there were links to other video games a while back, but those appear to be unpaid links from what I can tell.
Although I am obviously not privy to any private discussions that may or may not have taken place between the owner of this domain name and the gaming company, I am not sure how the company believes it can prevail in a UDRP proceeding. The domain name seems to have been registered by someone because it matches the name of his business, and the domain name also appears to have been registered long before the video game franchise was released.
In my opinion, this case should be a win for the domain name owner. Although the domain name does not look like it is being actively used for a website, the email address that is on record is and has been @farcry.com for as long as I can see, so it would appear that at the very least, the domain name is being used for email. Perhaps it is also being used in other ways that aren’t visible to outsiders, but I don’t know.
Unless there are mitigating circumstances that aren’t obvious to me, it is unfortunate that money may have to be spent to defend a domain name like this.
Update: According to UDRPSearch.com, the UDRP has been terminated. UbiSoft Entertainment is the new registrant. Since there is not a decision on this, we won’t know if UbiSoft paid to acquire the domain name or if the owner gave it up. My guess is that the company paid to acquire it, otherwise there wouldn’t be much incentive to terminate the UDRP.
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