Is this a Cyber Squatter or a Domain Investor?

In 2021, there are still some business owners who don’t understand the difference between a Cyber Squatter and a Domain Investor.

Today, Domainer gives two easy-to-follow real-life examples.

We will use the following domain names as examples today;

MagicMillions.com

RobertKaay.com (my own personal and unique name)

Can you guess which one is being held by a legitimate domain investor, and which one is being held by a cyber squatter?

Let’s begin.

Nicole Murdoch from EagleGate Lawyers recently wrote an article about the generic domain name MagicMillions.com;

Jeff Geaney purchased the domain name magicmillions.com and was wrongfully accused of Cyber Squatting.

Cyber squatting only occurs where a person reserves or uses a domain name in bad faith for the intent to profit on the goodwill of, or a trade mark belonging to, someone else.

The term Magic Millions is somewhat descriptive and can be used for any multitude of legitimate reasons around the world.

Nicole addressed this issue in more detail in her article on cybersquatting and reverse domain hijacking(.) As she notes; sometimes trying to reserve a domain name late, is a case of “the horse has already bolted”, as in the case of MagicMillions.com(,) but in other times, it can be a clear case of cyber squatting, like in the following example…

Take my own personal name, Robert Kaay, where the “.com” domain name was recently registered by Frank Meester.

By registering my personal unique name, (admitted in the following written conversation below) Frank Meester has now admitted to the international domainer community, that he, Frank Meester, is an undisputed cyber squatter.

I chose not to register my own name as a “.com” in the past because I’m the only person in the world with this name and I haven’t needed to use it as a brand up to this point. It’s certainly not generic like “John Smith”, for example. It is unique and can only possibly be used by me.

As you will see from the following conversation, Frank Meester proves in writing that he registered my personal unique name as a “.com” domain name to reserve or use the domain name in bad faith for the intent to profit on the goodwill of my unique name.

The story of Frank Meester, the cyber squatter goes as follows;

Frank Meester started following me on LinkedIn in September 2020.

One month later, he decided to hand-register my own unique name as a domain name; RobertKaay.com for himself (as proven below), using domain privacy.

Last week, he then publicly initiated contact with me (by commenting on one of my LinkedIn articles) to alert me to the fact that “someone” had “registered my name as a domain name”.

As mentioned above, I hadn’t bothered registering it over the years, as I don’t trade under that brand and know there is no one else in the world with this name.

At the time, there was no “Buy It Now” price on the domain name parking site for RobertKaay.com(.)

To put it very simply, Frank Meester registered my domain name RobertKaay.com for around $10 for the sole intention to sell it back to me for around $35,000 USD, as documented below.

Out of interest, I wanted to see what sort of a “mindset” an actual cyber squatter goes through when trying to extort someone out of a bunch of money for their own name.

So, I contacted Frank through LinkedIn messenger, and this is how the conversation went…

As you can clearly read above, Frank Meester is a verified cyber squatter.

He admits to registering around 1000 domain names, where the domain names are simply First Name, Last Name .com domain names and his intent seems to be solely to sell these unique names.

We’re not talking about “domain investing” or “domainer” activity here. These aren’t generic names or acronyms.

This is clearly cyber squatting and domainers and the domain investor community is AGAINST THIS FORM OF EXTORTION.

If you, or anyone else has had their First Name, Last Name .com domain name registered, and your name is unique and one of a kind, don’t pay a cyber squatter scumbag any money for it. All you need to do is file a UDRP or an auDRP complaint or commence legal action against the cyber squatter, especially if you know who they are and they’ve ADMITTED DOING IT.

Update:

Frank Meester; the cyber squatter has just recently figured out if he prices my name as a “.com” at around the same price as a UDRP (Wipo Domain Name Dispute), I might pay him that amount of money instead of initiating a UDRP or engaging my lawyers…

How silly of him.

30 thoughts on “Is this a Cyber Squatter or a Domain Investor?

  • Avatar
    January 20, 2021 at 11:42 am
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    Your article perfectly sums up the difference between investing in, or squatting on, a domain name.

    The test is not solely whether the domain corresponds to a trade mark but other factors apply such as the domain name itself and its generic nature.

    As you have discovered sometimes squatting motives are blindingly obvious but in other times it is not straight forward and people jump to a conclusion of squatting merely because they are aware of a trade mark by that name.

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  • Neddy
    January 20, 2021 at 3:11 pm
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    On the face of it, it is people like Mr Meester engaging in conduct like this that give genuine domain investors and domainers a “bad name”.

    The fact that he has seemed to have targeted you via LinkedIn is also very disappointing. No professional courtesy from a supposed fellow domain professional.

    Good on you for exposing this Robert. Great screenshots.

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  • Avatar
    January 20, 2021 at 3:41 pm
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    “A cybersquatter, or domain squatter, is someone who registers domain names that are trademarked with the intent to profit from the domain. Usually, the goal is either to profit from traffic that goes to the domain or by selling the domain to the trademark owner for an inflated price.”

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    • Avatar
      January 20, 2021 at 5:40 pm
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      Funny how you left out other keywords from your “quote”, Darryl, including “personal brand” and “name”.

      A UDRP requires a Complainant to establish that:

      the domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a name or trade mark in which it has rights (whether registered or unregistered); and
      the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name; and
      the domain name was registered and is being or subsequently used in bad faith.

      TICK – it is my unique first name and surname. Doesn’t exist to ANYONE ELSE.
      TICK – The Respondent has NO RIGHTS and NO LEGITIMATE INTERESTS in domain.
      TICK – The domain was registered in BAD FAITH, as proven above.

      And you’re defending this guy on Twitter, Darryl. I wonder why?

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      • Avatar
        January 20, 2021 at 7:49 pm
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        You cannot compare the registration of the words magic and millions with the registration of domains containing the word Lego. That is a completely different test given the vast fame and uniqueness of the word Lego. Magic Millions racing carnival is not at that reputational level. Lego does not have an obvious generic application.

        The world does not revolve around Australia or racing. Aristocrate has a trademark for MagicMillions in Australia. Clearly other traders want to use the name. The name is simply not unique which was the point Robert was making.

        As others have said the debate should assess that domain registration/entitlement on its own merits. Whether the registrant has “form”, pardon the pun, is not part of the test.

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        • Avatar
          January 20, 2021 at 8:12 pm
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          True. I 100% agree with this.

          As I said on LinkedIn, “MagicMillions.com” as a domain name, is as generic as it comes. Simple.

        • Avatar
          January 21, 2021 at 8:11 am
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          Try reading my post again Nick. At no point have I said that his registration of Lego domains has a bearing on magicmillions.com. It is a mere footnote to my post.

          You can argue til you’re blue in the face that “magic” and “millions” are ‘generic’ terms and that they should be assessed “on their merits” but you can’t simply divorce the registration from its context. If that were the case, I could just register australiapost.com, facebook.net, underarmour.net, then cross my arms and say they are generic terms and my registrations shouldn’t be challenged.

          Just as Rob’s screenshots of his discussion with a domain registrant are relevant evidence on the question of bad faith, so is the surrounding context in this case.

          The world may not revolve around racing but the fact is that the registrant clearly does take a very keen interest in that industry. A 10 second visit to http://worldinternetauthority.com/ makes that clear. Given the registrant’s location, keen interest in racing and registration of a number of related domains, it is reasonable to draw inferences about why they registered those domains and what they intend to do with them.

          You can always make a farfetched argument that a registrant has a legitimate purpose. Maybe this registrant wants to start a lottery (magicmillions.com), lawn supplies cooperative (goldcoastturfclub.com), an amateur athletics race in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne (doncastermile.com), an outdoor trekking company (theeverest.com), a women’s shoe store (goldenslipper.com) and is creating a fan site for his employer Glen (glenboss.com). In this case, I wouldn’t bet on it.

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  • Avatar
    January 20, 2021 at 7:13 pm
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    I can’t agree with your conclusion on magicmillions.com. You’ve suggested on LinkedIn that the domain name is generic (because it contains two dictionary words) and therefore it is legitimate domaining activity.

    If a UDRP were filed in relation to magicmillions.com, the first limb under UDRP would be made out. The domain name is identical to a trade mark in which the complainant has rights. The complainant uses that trade mark for a very well known race day and yearling sales in Queensland. That leaves two questions: whether the registrant, worldinternetauthority.com, has no rights or legitimate interests in the domain name, and whether it was registered and is being used in bad faith.

    In this case, the registrant ‘worldinternetauthority.com’ has a “coming soon” page with some lotto balls, with the clear representation that they intend to open a lottery business. This would be the registrant’s asserted defence on the issues of legitimate interests and bad faith registration: they registered the domain name in good faith because they intend to start a lottery business. However, that’s not the full story.

    This registrant has registered (among many others), the domain names: theeverest.com, goldenslipper.com, doncastermile.com, goldcoastturfclub.com.au (which runs the Magic Millions raceday in Gold Coast), australianguineas.com, glenboss.com – there is a very clear pattern of registering prominent racing brands and the names of well known jockeys as domain names for no explicable purpose. Most of these are very well known brands that have existed for many decades and many are registered trade marks. It also happens that the registrant is based in Queensland, where the Magic Millions is operated and is very well known. This is all relevant to assessing the bona fides of the registrant’s defence about whether they really registered magicmillions.com to use for a lottery business.

    By analogy – If I register facebook.net, you’d probably raise an eyebrow about my motives, but you couldn’t say for certain that I didn’t have a legitimate purpose in writing a textbook on physiognomy or a fiction novel on Jaqen H’ghar. After all, ‘face’ and ‘book’ are just dictionary words (albeit they happen to also be used by a brand owner). However, if you then looked at my portfolio and saw that I had registered instagram.net, whatsapp.net and snapchat.net, you’d probably infer something about my motivations in registering facebook.net and the credibility of my explanation.

    While I agree with the underlying point that a registrant can have bona fide reasons to own a domain name that also corresponds to a trade mark. I don’t think this is a good example.

    If that’s not sufficient to convince you, the same registrant owns the domains adamgoodes.com, cadelevans.com, derrynhinch.com and fifibox.com (as well as glenboss.com). On your analysis above, this is not legitimate domaining activity – these are not ‘johnsmith.com’ names and you could draw inferences about why the registrant holds them.

    Perhaps the last word should go to Panelist Richard Lyon in his UDRP decision against this registrant in LEGO Juris A/S v. World Internet Authority Case No. D2009-1467 “Complainant has alleged and proven a textbook instance of cybersquatting” (https://www.wipo.int/amc/en/domains/decisions/html/2009/d2009-1467.html)

    Best of luck with recovering your domain name Rob, the registration looks like it was quite brazen.

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    • Avatar
      January 20, 2021 at 7:37 pm
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      Hi Tim,

      Thanks for taking the time to comment.

      I wasn’t aware of all the other domains the Registrant has registered to do with the “racing” industry. This could indeed add some complexity to the issue if it goes to UDRP. However, if we are merely considering the domain name “MagicMillions.com” – you’ve got to admit, on its OWN MERRIT, it’s a very generic domain name. I know there are a multitude of facts the panelists take into account when there’s a UDRP… It will be interesting to watch if this case eventuates into a UDRP.

      Your “cyber squatting” WIPO link to do with the “LEGO Trademark domain UDRP” is interesting, especially the part that states; “Complainant has alleged and proven a textbook instance of cybersquatting” and it was proven to be true in this “LEGO TRADEMARK” case you quote. “World Internet Authority” and the owners of that company will forever be remembered as proven cybersquatters, in this case.

      Perhaps this is what’s going to happen to Frank Meester?

      Perhaps Mr Meester registering my actual name and initiating contact with me to buy my own unique name is soon going to be proven as bad faith and a “textbook instance of cybersquatting”?

      Forever!

      There are generic domains that domain investors and entrepreneurs can register… But then… there are just plain cybersquatter extortionists who give legitimate domain investors and entrepreneurs and the whole domain name space a bad name.

      This article, and hopefully all the comments on this page, hopefully can help people tell the difference.

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  • Avatar
    January 21, 2021 at 4:48 am
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    1. when you could have registered the domain 10 years back, but didn’t. why want it now ?
    2. if you cared so much of your unique name, why did you miss to get it in first place?
    3. just because he approached you, you’re getting mad?
    4. just because you’re a prominent domainer, you can’t threaten him.

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    • Avatar
      January 21, 2021 at 11:17 am
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      1. I don’t want it. Which is why I didn’t register it. You miss the point of what happened here.
      2. He linked to me on LinkedIn and Twitter in September 2020. Then the next month he registered my exact name in .com, then he initiated contact with me to buy my own name. You either understand what’s morally wrong with this, or you don’t.

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      • Avatar
        January 21, 2021 at 8:40 pm
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        i see it like this.

        a start up register brandable domain in some extension, domainer sees its available in .com, he/she registers it, to sell it in future, tell me morally wrong in it?

        • Avatar
          January 22, 2021 at 8:35 am
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          The way you’ve worded this…

          This was not a “brandable domain”.

          No offence Pradeep, but if you can’t see what’s wrong with this…

    • Avatar
      January 21, 2021 at 11:22 am
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      Yes.

  • Avatar
    January 21, 2021 at 5:36 am
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    This sounds like a gripe thread to try and get the domain rather than a legitimate article Rob, RobKaay.com is a long way from being obvious squatting.

    I have doubts you would win a UDRP let alone in a court where the bar is generally higher.

    • Avatar
      January 21, 2021 at 11:19 am
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      As usual you don’t seem to know what you’re talking about Paul.
      I own RobKaay.com and have done for over a decade.
      We are talking about RobertKaay.com and it is the cleanest UDRP WIN I will ever have in my entire life, that will also publicly verify that this is cybersquatting.

  • Avatar
    January 21, 2021 at 6:57 am
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    What a fascinating story;

    to ‘follow’ someone on social media then register a domain name in the name of that person you follow; then try and make profit in an industry that both gentleman know well..

    Truly sad 😔

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    • Avatar
      January 21, 2021 at 11:20 am
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      Exactly Erwin, you get it.

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  • Avatar
    January 21, 2021 at 10:57 am
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    Hypothetically speaking, if they were available, I wonder if Frank Meester would register domains like rickschwartz.com, johnberryhill.com, frankschilling.com or other well know domain identities and try the same thing on? Doubt it.

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    • Avatar
      January 21, 2021 at 11:21 am
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      … or KateBuckley.com and try and sell it back to her…

      Exactly Alex, you get it.

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  • Avatar
    January 21, 2021 at 12:02 pm
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    NEWS UPDATE:

    Frank Meester, firstname lastname .com extortionist, drops price of my name as a domain name, first from $35k, to $2.5k and now available for $500.

    frank meester

  • Avatar
    January 21, 2021 at 12:12 pm
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    NEWS FLASH:

    Frank Meester just publicly tweeted that he “noticed fellow domainers did not own their name” so he “registered some” to “safeguard the domains for them”…

    He deleted the tweet one hour later.

    frank meester

  • Avatar
    January 21, 2021 at 1:14 pm
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    I hope this ‘safeguarding’ of domainers’ names not include any holders fee..

    • Avatar
      January 21, 2021 at 1:27 pm
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      It seems this “domainer angel” has reduced his holders fee from $35k, to $2.5k and now down to the bargain basement price of only $500!

  • Avatar
    January 21, 2021 at 1:40 pm
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    This domain name is worthless to every other human being on planet Earth, other than me. However, I never wanted it… but that’s not the point.

    There is a simple moral to this story, and the international domain name community is getting it.

    Scumbag Cybersquatter Extortionists are NOT Domainers or Domain Investors, and they’re certainly not entrepreneurs.

    They get NOTHING.

  • Avatar
    January 21, 2021 at 7:00 pm
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    According to his Twitter account it looks like Meester has now pretended to sell the domain name to one of his friends.

    Imagine what his family are going to think in the future when they search his name and find this whole trail of doggery?

    If Robert truly doesn’t want it, like he suggests, it looks like the new owner will be stuck paying the renewal fees forever.

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  • Avatar
    January 22, 2021 at 6:14 am
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    I think this guy owes you the domain name plus $1,200 for your time Rob.

    • Avatar
      January 22, 2021 at 8:37 am
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      Haha, you know I don’t run Domainer for the money, Mark 🙂

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