There’s been quite a lot of controversy over the non-affiliated ModernWarfare3.com, resulting in Activision filing a complaint against the website. The site first came to notoriety by re-directing Modern Warfare 3 fans to the Battlefield 3 website, and by issuing a rather comical video (shown below) to poke fun at Activision’s upcoming game release. Yet while being sent to Battlefield 3’s home turf may seem ultimately harmless, it’s resulted in a domain-name dispute, and as such things are about to get a little heavy.
Owner of the URL — a Mr. Anthony Abraham — has held the aforementioned registry for nearly three years, through its registrant is GoDaddy.com. Up until now, Abraham’s name and identity had been held in secret, courtesy of GoDaddy’s “Domain by Proxy” hiding service.
However, when things started going south for Abraham, and Activision filed the suit with the National Arbitration Forum claiming that the site owner violated the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy, GoDaddy released the information and washed their hands of the situation.
What this ultimately means is that Activision now can talk to Abraham directly (along with Activision’s lawyers) and the matter can be settled quickly and quietly: no more slanderous videos with their URL likeness, and no more unwanted redirection to the competition. Currently, the ModernWarfare3.com website loads with an error, as opposed to the weekend’s shenanigans. As of yet, neither Activision nor Abraham have made any comment on what has occurred, or the potential UDRP dispute.
Ultimately, it’s a sticky situation for Activision when they find that a third-party is handling their likeness in such a manner. When it’s broken down, slanderous comments or video (even if meant to be in good fun) can take away from months and years worth of hard work (and potential sales). Playing Devil’s Advocate, Activision is doing what they feel is required to protect the integrity of their IP, while also defending their name; the same as anyone else would do for their family or loved one.
More than likely, the end result will be that Abraham will revoke his rights to the domain registry and be given a very “stern talkin’ too” on the dangers of slander, and that will be that. But it will be a story to tell.
What’s your take on the ModernWarfare3.com situation?