Shame on Vancouver’s Stanley Park board of directors for trying to use a local entrepreneur’s domain name as a negotiation tactic in a license renegotiation. According to an article in the Vancouver Sun, the Stanley Park board of directors seems to be using carriage entrepreneur Gerry O’Neil’s StanleyPark.com domain name as a leverage in their negotiations. O’Neil’s carriage company calls Vancouver’s famous Stanley Park it’s home, and they offer carriage rides in the park, as they’ve done since 1985.
An excerpt from a 2005 letter sent to O’Neil asking him to relinquish his domain name reveals the underlying negotiation tactic:
“We are aware that your current licence [sp] agreement with the board expires on April 30, 2008, and that you will likely wish to negotiate a renewal term in the near future.”
To me, this looks like they are trying to tell O’Neil that they will not look favorably upon his renewal application should he not turn over the domain name to them. Not only does O’Neil have every right to his domain name, he is also an advocate for the park. In fact, in his current license renegotiation, he has indicated that he is willing to pay $200,000 towards improvements in the park over 10 years, while the park only wants a 5 year deal with $100,000 in improvements.
If the Stanley Park board of directors wants the domain name badly enough, they should pay him a fair price. Perhaps they should commit to the $200,000 in park improvements in exchange for the domain name to save O’Neil’s company a considerable amount of money. Had they had the foresight to register the domain name before O’Neil, they wouldn’t be in this predicament.
It’s a shame that another group believes they have the right to a privately held domain name owned by someone else. They are lucky that a park supporter such as O’Neil owns the domain name rather than someone else who could use it for other purposes that might not be in the park’s interest.
Special thanks to DomainReport.ca for spotting this.