MySpace has won a controversial decision forcing the owner of myspace.co.uk to hand over the domain name despite having registered it six years before MySpace was even born.
The ruling followed a complaint brought through Nominet's Dispute Resolution Service.
Myspace.co.uk was originally used for other purposes, but following the runaway success of MySpace.com as a social networking site, the owner began hosting adverts for MySpace itself.
The key finding of the independent Nominet expert was that, although myspace.co.uk was not originally an abusive registration, it became one through hosting lucrative ads.
The defence argued unsuccessfully that that MySpace would have been aware that myspace.co.uk was not available at its inception, and that any MySpace-related ads were generated by an algorithm due to the social network's popularity.
"It is amazing how, after so many years, domain disputes still cause such unpredictable outcomes and associated controversy," said Jonathan Robinson, chief operating officer at NetNames.
"This decision is counter-intuitive at first sight and serves as a warning that domain registrations are not guaranteed and need to be secured by proactive management as well as a clear understanding of the dynamic nature of the industry.
"But it also highlights how automated web content of any sort can get people into real difficulties."
Robinson told vnunet.com that, although myspace.co.uk was registered long before MySpace existed, it was the use of the domain in 'bad faith' and the abuse of the MySpace brand that ultimately swayed the ruling.
He added that, ironically, the site's owners could have made a lot more money as MySpace would probably have ended up buying the domain for a hefty sum.
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