You might be familiar with NotSportscenter.com. It’s a parody website that shows the humorous side of sports. Not only does it have a website, but also various social media sites. The site was recently the subject of what’s known as a URDP or Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy complaint.
ESPN filed one against the owner of NotSportscenter.com in hopes of getting the domain name passed to the Worldwide Leader. Well, the decision has come down and it did not go in ESPN’s favor.
For the hearing, ESPN brought in a high-powered law firm, Greenberg Traurig of Georgia, which employs over 2,000 lawyers across the country. The owner of NotSportscenter.com was represented by the domain owner, Will Applebee and no one else.
In its decision, the three member arbitration panel said even though “SportsCenter” is part of the domain name, it noted that NotSportscenter.com is a parody site and its name does not constitute any confusion with ESPN and SportsCenter:
Respondent does not attempt to disrupt Complainant’s business, as it offers parody material regarding sports, and does not purport to keep users from visiting Complainant’s website.
Appleby noted that since NotSportscenter.com had been up for six years, the site was able to establish itself to its followers and on social media. In addition, he said ESPN had plenty of time to file a complaint and didn’t:
Finally, Complainant’s ‘cease-and-desist’ communication with Respondent was initiated too late for its legal arguments against Respondent to have merit in light of the doctrine of laches; if Complainant had legitimate concerns about Respondent’s registration and use of the disputed domain name, it should have expressed those concerns sooner than six years after NOTSportsCenter’s inception.
So ESPN’s attempt to rein in NotSportscenter.com was unsuccessful and the site will remain in operation for as long as the owner wishes.