Saga of Nissan.com

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The saga of the domain name Nissan.com is fascinating. For years, Uzi Nissan and the automaker Nissan have fought several court battles for Nissan.com. In December of 2002, a court ruled that Uzi keeps the name but he cannot use the domain name for the following purposes:

“1. Posting Commercial content at nissan.com and nissan.net;
2. Posting advertising or permitting advertising to be posted by third parties at
nissan.com and nissan.net;
3. Posting disparaging remarks or negative commentary regarding Nissan Motor
Co., Ltd. or Nissan North America, Inc. at nissan.com and nissan.net;
4. Placing, on nissan.com or nissan.net, links to other websites containing
commercial content, including advertising; and
5. Placing, on nissan.com or nissan.net, links to other websites containing
disparaging remarks or negative commentary regarding Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.
or Nissan North America.”
Source: Nissan.com website

These restrictions essentially prevent Uzi from generating revenue from Nissan.com, causing him to solicit financial support to fend of Nissan in future legal battles. Basically for Uzi, owning Nissan.com is like owning a giant piece of land right next to an active diamond mine, but not being permitted to mine for diamonds. If he would want to sell this piece of real estate, he could potentially open himself up to a UDRP case.

The end goal of most domain investors is to sell their domain names to end users. I can’t think of a better end user for Nissan.com than the automaker. In my opinion, instead of Uzi’s public fight where he is forced to ask for donations to continue to stave off the far wealthier automaker, Uzi should have someone reach out to Nissan on his behalf and sell the name for a hefty sum. He might give up the rights to his domain name, but at this point, the name is worth FAR more to the automaker. This has become a battle of principles, and I believe Uzi might be smart to sell the domain name.

Instead of having to ask for donations, he will be able to give tzedekah and represent his family name and heritage in other ways.

2 COMMENTS

  1. It is clear to me that Nissan (the car company) has attempted Reverse Domain Name Hijacking. In my opinion, that puts them in “good” company, along with virus writers, smut dealers, spammers, scammers and crooks.

    Since I’ve learned about the Nissan situation, years ago, I’ve decided never to even consider buying any Nissan vehicle. I would have otherwise been a likely Nissan customer, and I’m currently happy with my Toyota Tundra truck.

    If I were Uzi Nissan, and if the auto giant approached me now, wanting to proceed to make a deal for the domain, I’d demand to be compensated for all previous legal costs, in addition to an amount at least 5 to 10 times more than what I’d have accepted, in the first place, if they had approached me, acknowledging my rights of ownership and negotiating in good faith.

  2. Here’s another case of 2 parties that just don’t seem to get it. It’s worth far more to the auto maker, so they should be making a generous offer. On the other side, Uzi is not going to find a better end user, so do whatever it takes to get a deal done. There is absolutely no better domain the auto company could possibly own, and their is no better end user than them. Seems stupid by both parties not to find a price both can agree with.

    ***UPDATED BY ELLIOT***
    My point exactly. It seems very silly. Lots of money being spent/wasted battling this out.

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