IT Vibe reports that last week the Federal Court of Australia awarded Nominet, the .uk domain name registrar, substantial damages after Chesley Rafferty and Bradley Norrish, and 3 of their companies mined data from the Nominet database. The defendants took data about registrants from Nominet’s database and sent them notices purporting to be from the “UK Domain Name Registry” which looked like invoices and offered to sell the registrants .com domain names. The court found that the defendants had infringed Nominet’s copyright in the information in the database and had infringed Australia’s fair trade laws. The award of $1.3 million AUS includes a substantial award of additional damages.
The IPKat welcomes this decision. To write to registrants pretending to be from a quasi-official organisation plays on people’s vulnerabilities and is not very nice.