Nissan spent years trying to swipe a domain name


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/03/25/nissan-spent-years-trying-to-s.html


#2

Their attitude shows in their cars also. Real junk.


#3

I believe that 25 years ago when Mr. Nissan registered his business, Nissan cars was actually called Datsun. No resemblance whatsoever. Surely that fact, in itself would have been enough to to have the case thrown out?


#4

And yet he had to spend $3 million of his own money to fight them.


#5

The American legal system is incredibly skewed in favor of deep pockets.

That said, the sensible outcome would be to sell the domain for a good price and register uzinissan.com instead.

His claim on the domain boils down to “I grabbed it first”. Which isn’t really something that automatically grants the moral high ground. The sympathy derives entirely from the David/Goliath optics of the struggle, the way this plays out across the ostensibly neutral dispute resolutions system and the implications for other instances where an individual finds themselves in conflict with a major economic player. But Nissan Motors getting nissan.com and Uzi Nissan getting compensation ($ 15 mil., if I understand the article correctly) would be a superior outcome all around.


#6

it frankly doesn’t. AND that non-fact doesn’t really back up the point you’re making with it.

let me guess, you are not a lawyer?


#7

I am a lawyer.

And yes, legally his case is entirely sound. But that doesn’t change the fact that it’s entirely based on him acquiring the relevant domain first (for legitimate purposes).


#8

For those who wish to support the little guy, Nissan.com offers the following services:

T1 internet connections, server colocation, Web hosting, web site development, computer repair, and programming services (ms access/excel, or Linux programming).

It’s a very sparse website, you’re supposed to call or write for more details.


#9

Nissan’s been Nissan for a very long time. Founded in the 30’s. And 25 years ago the Datsun name had been out of use for over a decade.


#10

I remember the name Datsun was dropped in the early 80s.


#11

The article doesn’t actually mention any numbers offered by Nissan to buy the domain. The guy says that when they initially asked how much to buy it, he said $15m. He claims this was a rhetorical way of saying “it’s not for sale”, though I suspect that’s partly bullshit.

But you’re right, if Nissan had actually paid him $15m at the start, it’d be a very different story, and not one that painted him as a hero in most people’s eyes, given that he’d be taking 30+ factory worker’s salaries for doing nothing. And of course, by hanging on to the domain he may have cost Nissan more than that in lost sales. But capitalism doesn’t have any good way to allocate unowned valuable resources (like domain names or ambergris); in that scenario it just works like a pure lottery.

Still, he won that lottery, and Nissan didn’t, and it couldn’t be more black and white, so it’s troubling that they could stretch it so far. And it’s very obvious that they sat down and had meetings and coldly decided that the cheapest way to get what they wanted was to methodically destroy a human life that stood in their way.


#12

And Nissan’s claim boils down to “We wants it, we does, my precious!”


#13

Myth: the number of workers and how much they’re paid is directly tied to how much money companies have.

Most of the money from tax breaks is being used for stock buybacks, for example. Demand for the product and amount of profit per unit is how companies decide to hire and how many people are desperate for work is how they decide how much to pay.


#14

I owned a 1992 Nissan Stanza, so 26 years ago. I know Nissan Stanzas were in America in 1982, and labeled as such. Datsun was a different badge that they killed off in the 80s. I believe they were Nissan Stanzas in Japan in the 70s.


#15

I remember Boston Business Computers used to be bbc.com and the Beeb was bbc.co.uk


#16

And? That excuses none of the acts of Nissan Automobiles in this case.


#17

He has the moral high ground because he registered his domain legitimately and with good purpose. He didn’t do so to snipe a domain that he knew a large business would want simply to turn an obscene profit. Nissan Motors gave him the high ground by taking the low ground and trying to get it by whatever means necessary.

You’re confusing sympathy with a desire for justice. There isn’t a dispute other than a bully trying to take something it wants. Mr. Nissan is neutral. If Nissan hadn’t pursued something it didn’t have an automatic right to, there wouldn’t have been a problem.

Sure, if money is the only thing that’s important in the world. [insert greedy lawyer joke here]


#18

Don’t forget that the TaTa Sons (the current owners of Jaguar and Land Rover) used WIPO to take the domain name bodacious-tatas.com, because, obviously, the porn site was trying to bank off the good name of the Indian conglomerate.


#19

“I mean, sure, he bought the house some years ago and we passed on it, but we’ve since decided that it would be a great location for us, so the only sensible outcome is for him to give up his home and let us have it at a price we want to pay him, not what he wants. It’s totally unfair that he grabbed it first, given that we’ve suddenly now decided it has value for us and we want it.”


#20

Well, “I grabbed it first” is pretty much the claim for all property (along with “there’s no one left alive to contest my ownership…”)

As for the moral high ground, in the absence of a clear ethical imperative (missing here), conformance with the laws of the state (which roughly match the accepted rules of society) is the moral high ground.

However, I would say that the moral compromise (at least before the attempt to “legally” steal it), would be to pay Mr. Nissan to put a large link right at the top of his site to the Nissan Motors web site, and for Mr. Nissan to accept that payment.