Sovereign Domain Names UDRP
A while ago I read an article in a newsletter I am subscribed to about Saudi Aramco which is majority-owned by Saudi Royal Family who tried to take a dead man’s domain name.
The domain was originally registered in 1997 by Orizon Multimedia Inc. The owner of the company used the domain for his business and later shut it down. The owner then passed away last year.
So Saudi Aramco which happens to be owned by The Saudi Royal Family and is a state-owned oil giant that reached a record-high valuation of $2 trillion after going public in December 2019, meaning it has outside public shareholders but the Royal Family has the highest stakes, decided to file a cybersquatting complaint under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) to try to get the domain.
Now from reading more about NEOM which is a planned futuristic city on the coast of Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea owned by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, I decided that there could be a sovereignty issue, going by how they acquired orizon.com.
I decided that although I would still support my NEOM Domain Sellers, I personally would drop all my NEOM-related domain names for one simple reason and that is ‘Sovereignty’ if the Saudi Royal Family wants full control to include digital assets all they have to do is just insist on taking them, after all these domain names have been registered after NEOM City came to light.
I wrote a while back about Iceland the country suing Iceland UK’s grocery store for having the .co.uk counterpart of the dot com. So reading that Saudi Aramco was given Orizon.com as a gesture of goodwill makes me think that whoever was on the board should have stuck to their guns and compensated the family of the deceased man but that did not happen, which I think is unfair.
Now I have had interactions with the Royal Family in the past and I have reached out to them directly and have had no response back relating to the domain names. This tells me they have no intention of buying them and when the time is right they will most probably just acquire them by whatever means they can.
So my gut feeling is they know that they could have these domain names if they so wished, hence they are not interacting until the time is right.
Further reading has highlighted there are problems with the NEOM project.
In my own professional opinion, the powers that be who have their own advisers could have taken the decision to hand register all the domains to secure global positioning before all the domains got out of hand when they first went to build on the project and made it public.
Instead, this has not happened, and if looking at the footage of bricks-and-mortar real estate and what happened to Abdul Rahim Al Huwaiti is anything to go by, what hope is there for NEOM digital assets? I shudder to think.
The advisors are to blame for not managing the digital properties properly as when you build anything to do with the business you have to secure your brand including digital assets.
So if anything the marketing advisers are at fault for not securing these domains when they had a chance.
Now it is going to cost them an arm and a leg (no pun intended) to start a UDRP and get the domain names back. Legal fees are (between $1500 & $4000 for 1-5 domain names).
So if each domain was settled out of UDRP through my services at a cost of $1200 with $1000 going to the domain owner and $200 per 1 -5 domain acquisitions there would be a saving of between $200 and $2800. Or in the case of 6 -10 domains, the cost would be $1500 with $1200 going to the domain owner and $300 as part of my services, which would be a total saving of between £500 & $3, 500. I am confident that the domain owners would much prefer to settle rather than pay to defend themselves. Either way, it is a very uncertain situation and we will have to see how this pans out.
Therefore what it will cost them to go through a Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy the Domain Name Consultants for NEOM, might as well pay the domainers a fraction of the cost of a UDRP and avoid all the time and money dragging it through courts.
I am now available for Domain Acquisitions Service and will help acquire the domain names for a fee and would hope that all NEOM Domain Investors are compensated some monetary value as a gesture of goodwill.
I am now personally concentrating closer to home and supporting local businesses and one day hope to visit Neom when it’s built.
We all need to work together not against one another. By offering gestures of goodwill to compensate for people’s troubles, you too will also be rewarded by God.