Feeds

Optical Express 'ruined my life' gripe site lives on

Free speech rights trump cybersquatting charges

Boost IT visibility and business value

A gripe site for people who claim high street opticians Optical Express “ruined” their eyesight with botched LASIK surgery has been allowed to remain online, after a cybersquatting panel ruled that the owner has the right to free speech.

Nominet Dispute Resolution Service panelist Keith Gymer earlier this month ruled that the owner of the domain name opticalexpressruinedmylife.co.uk, Sasha Rodoy, was not a cybersquatter, following a formal complaint by Optical Express.

The site is used to host a small collection of horror stories collected from people allegedly suffering health problems after having eye surgery performed by the company's opticians.

Optical Express, in its cybersquatting complaint, claimed that the site hosted “defamatory and actionable content” and that the domain registration should be cancelled per Nominet's .uk anti-cybersquatting policy.

Rodoy claims her own eyesight was affected by surgery at rival chain Optimax. She also owns optimaxruinedmylife.co.uk and said she set up the Optical Express version after hearing from disgruntled customers of that company.

The Nominet cybersquatting panelist found in her favour, ruling: "If using a domain name conveying a critical message in association with a specific name or trade mark were automatically to be considered as inherently unfair, as the Complainant [Optical Express] appears to imply, that could have an undesirable and significantly chilling effect on free speech.”

Optical Express pointed to the precedent of Ryanair v Robert Tyler from 2010, in which ihateryanair.co.uk was determined to be cybersquatting.

However, the panelist in the opticalexpressruinedmylife.co.uk case noted that, unlike Tyler, Rodoy had not attempted to make any money from her site by hosting advertising.

Rodoy now gets to keep the domain name in question.

The full decision can be downloaded in PDF format from this page. The Register contacted Optical Express for comment, but it has yet to respond. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
EE accused of silencing customer gripes on social media pages
Hello. HELLO. Can EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE HEAR ME?!
Time Warner Cable customers SQUEAL as US network goes offline
A rude awakening: North Americans greeted with outage drama
Shoot-em-up: Sony Online Entertainment hit by 'large scale DDoS attack'
Games disrupted as firm struggles to control network
BT customers face broadband and landline price hikes
Poor punters won't be affected, telecoms giant claims
Netflix swallows yet another bitter pill, inks peering deal with TWC
Net neutrality crusader once again pays up for priority access
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.