WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center


RapidShare AG and Christian Schmid v. PrivacyProtect.org / Bashkov Andrey Olegovish (bashkov1980@list.ru)

Case No. D2010-0571

1. The Parties

The Complainants are RapidShare AG and Christian Schmid of Switzerland, represented by Greenberg Traurig, LLP, United States of America.

The Respondents are PrivacyProtect.org of the Netherlands / Bashkov Andrey Olegovish (bashkov1980@list.ru) of Ukraine.

2. The Domain Name and Registrar

The disputed domain name <full-rapidshare.com> is registered with Directi Internet Solutions Pvt. Ltd. d/b/a PublicDomainRegistry.com.

3. Procedural History

3.1 The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on April 15, 2010. On April 15, 2010, the Center transmitted by email to Directi Internet Solutions Pvt. Ltd. d/b/a PublicDomainRegistry.com. a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On April 16, 2010, the Registrar transmitted by email to the Center its verification response disclosing registrant and contact information for the disputed domain name which differed from the named Respondent and contact information in the Complaint. The Center sent an email communication to the Complainants on April 21, 2010 providing the registrant and contact information disclosed by the Registrar, and inviting the Complainants to submit an amendment to the Complaint. The Complainants, by an email received by the Center on April 26, 2010, indicated its refusal to amend. The Center also received on that date an email communication from the Respondent. The Center verified that the Complaint satisfied the formal requirements of the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (the “Policy” or “UDRP”), the Rules for Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (the “Rules”), and the WIPO Supplemental Rules for Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (the “Supplemental Rules”).

3.2 In accordance with the Rules, paragraphs 2(a) and 4(a), the Center formally notified the Respondent of the Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on April 29, 2010. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was May 19, 2010. On May 18, 2010, the Center sent an email communication to the Respondent, referring to the Respondent's email communication of April 26, 2010, and requesting for a confirmation that such communication may be regarded as his complete Response. The Respondent did not respond. Thus, the Center informed the parties on May 20, 2010 that it was proceeding with the Panel Appointment.

3.3 The Center appointed David Perkins as the sole panelist in this matter on May 25, 2010. The Panel finds that it was properly constituted. The Panel has submitted the Statement of Acceptance and Declaration of Impartiality and Independence, as required by the Center to ensure compliance with the Rules, paragraph 7.

The identity of the Registrant of the disputed domain name and the role of the Respondent Privacy Protection Service.

3.4 The Respondent Privacy Protect.org is a privacy protection service, which was the registrant of the disputed domain name at the time when the Complainants carried out a database search on April 12, 2010.

3.5 In response to the Center's request for registrar verification, the Registrar disclosed the identity of the Registrant as Bashkov Andrey Olegovish (bashkov1980@list.ru) of 31 ap. 128 St. Bela Kuha, Simferopol, Republic of Crimea 95024, Ukraine (hereinafter “Bashkov”﴿. Mr. Bashkov is also the administrative, technical and billing contact for the disputed domain name, which was created on August 6, 2009.

3.6 This was notified to the Complainants, who – as stated in paragraph 3.1 above - chose not to amend the Complaint. Consequently, Mr. Bashkov was not added as a Respondent by the Complainants. However, the Notification of Complaint and Commencement of Administrative Proceeding and the Complaint were transmitted by the Center by email to both the Respondent and to Mr. Bashkov. Written Notice of the Complaint was sent to both the Respondent and Mr. Bashkov by courier pursuant to paragraph 4(a) of the Rules.

3.7 As noted in paragraph 3.2 above, on April 26, 1010, Mr. Bashkov emailed the Center. That email read as follows:

“Dear Mr […] Zhou!

Properly speaking we don't understand the meaning of the abuse we got. First of all, we didn't plan to break copyrights of Rapidshare A.G. choosing the mentioned domain name <full-rapidshare.com>, we just used the popular keywords found in the requests stats in Google Keyword Tools. Moreover we didn't want neither make sites identical to Rapidshare.com (clones) nor do cyber squatting.

But if nevertheless we have really broken copyrights of Rapidshare A.G. owners, we are ready to delete domain from the ICANN registry if we'll be given 180 days for site transfer to another domain.

Best regards,

Andrey Bashkov”

3.8. A preliminary issue is whether, following notification that Mr. Bashkov is the underlying registrant of the disputed domain name, the Complaint can proceed against only the privacy protection service as the named Respondent. This issue was carefully examined by the panelist in Research in Motion Limited v. Privacy Locked LLC/Nat Collicott, WIPO Case No. D2009-0320.

3.9 That case concerned a domain name <blackberry.com> which was registered in the name of a privacy protection service, Privacy Locked LLC. In response to the Center's request for registrar verification, the registrar disclosed that the registrant was an individual named Nat Collicott. The complainant declined to amend its complaint to add or substitute Mr. Collicott as respondent. The panel proceeded to treat the complaint as addressed to both Privacy Locked LLC and Mr. Collicott and addressed the questions of who was the proper respondent. Was it the privacy service named on the registrar's Whois database as the registrant at the date of filing the Complaint, or was it the underlying registrant subsequently identified by the registrar? If the latter, was it necessary to amend the complaint to name the underlying registrant?

3.10 The panelist reviewed previous decisions under the Policy dealing with this issue and decided to adopt the pragmatic approach of treating both the privacy service and the underlying registrant as one. He also decided that the complaint had been properly brought against the privacy service and that there was no necessity for the complainant to amend its complaint to render it compliant with the Policy and the Rules. For the reasons given by the panelist in Research in Motion Limited v. Privacy Locked LLC/Nat Collicott , supra, this Panelist agrees that there is no need to amend the Complaint in such circumstances but that the Center should – as it has done in this administrative proceeding – provide notice of the formal commencement of the administrative proceeding to the underlying registrant. If the named Respondent or the underlying registrant file a Response then such Response will be treated as being made on behalf of that Respondent. In that way, a fair and effective resolution of the dispute is enabled.

3.11 In the circumstances, the Panel proceeds on the basis that both Privacy Protect.org and Bashkov are Respondents in this administrative proceeding and references hereinafter to “the Respondent” are to be understood accordingly.

4. Factual Background

4.A The Complainants

4.A.1 The First Complainant, RapidShare AG, is a Swiss company which was founded in 2006. It provides one-click hosting of data and is currently the twelfth most visited homepage in the world. It has a storage capacity of several petabytes (a petabyte is a million gigabytes) and an Internet connection that transfers hundreds of gigabytes simultaneously.

4.A.2 The First Complainant operates a file sharing service. It operates as a pay service, allowing any member to upload files of up to 100 megabytes. The user is then supplied with a unique download URL, which locates the file and enables anyone with whom the uploader shares it to download the file.

4.A.3 The First Complainant also provides a reporting system for copyright owners to notify the Company if it believes that a user is violating his copyrights or is using RapidShare to publish illegal contents.

4.A.4 The Second Complainant is the registrant of the United States (US) registered trademarks RAPID SHARE (detailed below), which he has licensed to the First Complainant. He was also the founder of the First Complainant.

4.A.5 The RAPID SHARE trademarks

The Complainants are the owners of the following registered trademarks.


Reg. No.



Dates of Application and Registration

United States of America




Filed: September 21, 2005

Registered: October 16, 2007

First Used in commerce: November 1, 2006

European Union CTM


Rapid Share


25 & 35

Filed: November 21, 2005

Registered: September 25, 2008

European Union CTM



25 & 35

Filed: November 21, 2005

Registered: September 25, 2008

4.A.6 Both CTM registrations were opposed on August 14, 2006 by RAPIDware Gesellschaft fur Informationsverarbeitung mbH but, as noted above, proceeded to registration on September 25, 2008.

4.B. The Respondent

4.B.1 In the absence of a response from either the Respondent or Mr. Bashkov, all that is known about Mr. Bashkov is what is set out in the Complaint and Mr. Bashkov's email dated April 26, 2010 the full text of which is set out in paragraph 3.7 above. Annexed to the Complaint is a print out of the webpages to which the disputed domain name resolves. That website directs the user to a search engine software entitled “Regitry Mechanics”; a music album entitled “Charts pur Euro Dance”; television programs such as “NYC Inside Out” and “In the Womb”, a National Geographic production; and DVDs of movies including “Star Trek”, “Bruno”, “Neowolf”, “Surviving Crooked Lake” and others. The Complainants characterise this as being

“... designed to assist web users who wish to violate the copyrights of others by locating and sharing copyright protected documents online.”

5. Parties Contentions

5.A Complainants

Identical or Confusingly Similar

5.A.1 The Complainants say that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to their RAPID SHARE trademarks for three reasons. First, the trademark has been used in its entirety with the addition of the generic descriptive word “full”. Second, the disputed domain name combines the words RAPID and SHARE into a single word “rapidshare” in the same way as CTM Registration No. 00473828 “RapidShare”. Third, the addition of a hyphen does not operate to distinguish the disputed domain name from the RAPID SHARE trademark. See Tata Tea Ltd v. Gem Lifts Ltd, WIPO Case No. D2000-1823.

Rights or Legitimate Interests

5.A.2 The Complainants say that the Respondent cannot demonstrate that any of the circumstances set out in paragraph 4(c) of the Policy applies in this case. This is because the Respondent has never operated any bona fide or legitimate business under the disputed domain name and is not making a non-commercial or fair use of that domain name.

5.A.3 The Complainants say that, because they have neither licensed nor otherwise authorised the Respondent to use the RAPID SHARE trademark, use of the trademark by the Respondent cannot be considered a bona fide or fair use. The Complainants cite in support of that contention, the decision in Viacom International, Inc., Paramount Pictures Corporation, and Blockbuster Inc. v. TVdot.net, Inc. f/k/a Affinity Multimedia, WIPO Case No. D2000-1253.

Registered and Used in Bad Faith

5.A.4 As to registration in bad faith, the Complainants put their case as follows. First, the Complainants' RAPID SHARE mark has been used since 2006 and registered in both the United States and Europe since, respectively, October 2007 and September 2008, well before the disputed domain name was created in August 2009. Second, the First Complainant's RAPID SHARE hosting / file sharing business was very well known by August 2009, the disputed domain name is to all intents and purposes identical to the RAPID SHARE trademark and it is being used for a website that provides identical and related services to those provided under the Complainant's trademark. In the circumstances, the Complainants say there is clear evidence of registration in bad faith. The Complainants cite in support of the Decision in Realtime Forex S.A. v. Rhone Consultants SA, WIPO Case No. D2006-0089.

5.A.5 As to use in bad faith, the Complainants points to the use made of the disputed domain name, which – as noted in paragraph 4.B.1 above – is to offer services some of which are identical to those protected by the RAPID SHARE trademarks and which are provided by the First Complainant under that trademark.

5.A.6 Furthermore, the Complainants say that the Respondent's use of the disputed domain name enables infringement of third party copyright material, which cannot constitute a bona fide activity. It is, the Complainants say, contrary to public policy to encourage users to commit copyright infringement. In support of that contention the Complainants cite the decision in Hoffmann-La Roche Inc v. Domain Ownership Limited, WIPO Case No. D2007-0891. In that case, the respondent was offering generic “Accutane” – a dermatological preparation for treatment of acne – online without prescription contrary to legislation in the United States of America.

5.A.7 Finally, the website to which the disputed domain name resolves contains advertisements with links to other websites and, the Complainants say, it is only logical to infer that the Respondent thereby derives income. Consequently, the Respondent is using the disputed domain name for “commercial gain” and, given that the content of the website mirrors offerings provided by the First Complainant's hosting business, the circumstances in this case fall within paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy. The Complainant cites the Decision in Playboy Enterprises International, Inc v. Tonya Flynt Foundation, WIPO Case No. D2001-1002.

6. Discussions and Findings

6.1 The Policy, paragraph 4(a) provides that the Complainants must prove each of the following in order to succeed in this administrative proceeding

(i) that the Respondent's domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the Complainants have rights; and

(ii) that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name; and

(iii) that the domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.

6.2 The Policy, paragraph 4(c) sets out circumstances which, in particular but without limitation, if found by the Panel to be proved shall demonstrate the Respondent's rights or legitimate interest in the domain name in issue.

6.3 The Policy, paragraph 4(b) sets out circumstances which, again in particular but without limitation, if found by the Panel to be present shall be evidence of the registration and use of a domain name in bad faith.

6.4 As stated, the circumstances set out in paragraph 4(b) and 4(c) of the Policy are not exclusionary. They are without limitation. That is, the Policy expressly recognizes that other circumstances can be evidence relevant to the requirements of paragraphs 4(a)(ii) and (iii) of the Policy.

Identical or Confusingly Similar

6.5 The Complainants have demonstrated that they have rights in the registered trademark RAPID SHARE.

6.6. The disputed domain name incorporates that trademark in its entirety. Addition of the generic descriptive prefix “full” followed by a hyphen does not avoid confusing similarity with the Complainants' trademark.

6.7 Accordingly, the Panel finds that the Complainants have satisfied the requirements of paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy.

Rights or Legitimate Interest

6.8 In the absence of a Response other than Mr. Bashkov's email of April 26, 2010 (paragraph 3.7 above﴿ and on the facts as presented, there is nothing to indicate to the Panel that the Respondent could establish any of the circumstances set out in paragraph 4(c) of the Policy. Nor are there any other circumstances disclosed which could demonstrate the Respondent's rights to and legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. Certainly, it is neither a bona fide or fair use to make unauthorised use of the RAPID SHARE trademark for the purpose of offering a file sharing service comparable in certain respect to the very widely used website operated by the First Complainant. Accordingly, the Panel finds that the Complainants have satisfied paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy.

Registration and Use in Bad Faith

6.9 Given the very established use of the First Complainant's hosting / file sharing business and the use to which the disputed domain name is being put, it is inconceivable that the disputed domain name could have been registered in good faith. Ignorance of the Complainants' trademark rights in RAPID SHARE – see, Mr. Bashkov's said April 26, 2010 email – does not establish good faith registration of the disputed domain name. Indeed, Mr. Bashkov refers to the Complainants' trademark as “the popular key words”, which indicates a prior knowledge of the First Complainant such that Mr. Bashkov must be deemed to have been “on notice” of the Complainants' rights, which Mr. Bashkov mistakenly refers to “copyrights of Radipshare AG”. Moreover, the disputed domain name is being used to mimic the services provided by the First Complainant under its RAPID SHARE trademark and such use, which is not authorised by the Complainants, is plainly a bad faith use.

6.10 As to the suggestion that the Respondent's use is encouraging illegal activities which are contrary to public policy – namely, infringement of copyright – the Panel merely notes that the legality of file sharing has produced litigation in both Europe and the United States. The Complainants themselves have not been immune from litigation in that area.

6.11 However, a finding as to the legality, or otherwise, of the Respondent's operations is not necessary for the determination of this administrative proceeding. Bad faith registration and use are found for the reasons set out in paragraphs 6.9 and 6.10 above and, consequently, the Panel holds that the Complainants have satisfied the dual requirements of paragraph 4(a)(iii) of the Policy.

7. Decision

For all the foregoing reasons, in accordance with paragraphs 4(i) of the Policy and 15 of the Rules, the Panel orders that the domain name <full-rapidshare.com> be transferred to the Complainant.

David Perkins
Sole Panelist

Dated: June 8, 2010