The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), best known for its annual Academy Awards, is embroiled in a legal dispute with GoDaddy.com. The dispute is about Oscar related domains that are hosted and parked with GoDaddy under the “Parked Pages” program..
However, the Big-G in this case is not GoDaddy but Google.
Both AMPAS and GoDaddy wanted more information from the search giant about how Google’s Adsense advertising was being implemented on the parked domain pages.
Google had already provided AMPAS with 4,600 pages worth of documentation. Plaintiff and defendant were not satisfied and wanted more.
So they filed a motion with the federal judge in the U.S. District Court in San Jose, CA. The motion sought to compel Google to appear for a deposition and produce more documents.
It is not often that one sees both parties in a lawsuit put aside their differences to team up and pursue a third party not named in the suit. AMPAS claims that in order to prove that GoDaddy engaged in cybersquatting, it must show GoDaddy’s “bad faith intent to profit.”
AMPAS alleges that GoDaddy did this by allowing AMPAS trademarked domains such 2011oscars.com and oscarlist.com on its Parked Pages program to be monetized. Parked pages on these domains were monetized via pay-per-click advertisements supplied by Google’s “Adsense for Domain Partners” program.
So now AMPAS wants to find out everything about the arrangement between GoDaddy and Google. They want to know about the revenue sharing arrangement. They want to know who came up with the idea of implementing Adsense in the parked Pages program. They want details about the methods and processes Google used to prevent trademark infringement when serving ads under the Parked Pages program.
To make a long story short, the judge refused to drag Google into this mess and denied the motion that was filed. He said it would be an unfair burden upon Google. He also agreed with Google’s response to the filing that assessing a cybersquatting claim is based not on what is contained on a website but on whether the domain name itself is identical and confusingly similar to the complainant’s mark.
The legal dispute between AMPAS and GoDaddy continues, but Google need not be bothered over it anymore.