British businessman loses battle for gripe site domain name

“The figure behind controversial business schemes, Stephen Cleeve, has failed in his bid to gain control of the .com domain name consisting of his name. A site that criticises his activities has been allowed to keep the name. In arguments before the [WIPO] … arbitration panel, Australian body Consumer Protection described Cleeve as a con man.”

The website in question contains links to and excerpts from a number of articles from the BBC, News of the World, and others detailing Cleeve’s business exploits. says Cleeve argued the website using the domain name tarnished both his and his business’s reputation. Further, noted Consumer Protection said “Cleeve is free to take legal action over the content of the site, but that that should not alter its right to own the address.” goes on to say “‘The Panel finds that the Respondent’s use of the disputed domain is to establish a website for criticism and commentary about the Complainant’s business activities. This constitutes legitimate commercial use and fair use within the meaning of the policy,’ said the ruling.

“Cleeve also failed to prove that the domain was being used in bad faith, in part because his trade mark registrations took place more than a year after the domain name was registered by Consumer Protection.”

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And if you want to check out the scams Stephen Cleeve was involved in, see