Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Consumers United 1 - Ryanair 0

Ryanair has never been one to shirk away from having a fight with its rivals, the government, the press, and on some occasions even its customers.

But the low cost carrier appears, for the time being, to have lost a battle with Ryanaircampaign.org, a consumer website that assists those who want to make complaints against the airline.

Ryanair lodged a complaint with the World Intellectual Property Organisation in September 2006, claiming the site - created in 2003 after a passenger had a bad experience on a flight to Italy – infringed on its copyright.

The airline also alleged the website “registered the domain name primarily for the purpose of unfairly disrupting the business of the complainant [Ryanair] and causing it unfair loss and damage”.

A fair amount of legal jockeying has been going on to establish whether Ryanaircampaign has been created unfairly and whether its strong presence on search engine results impinges on Ryanair’s brand identity and ability to do business.

However the WIPO's Abritration and Mediation Center panel has ruled against Ryanair, deeming the registration and use of the domain name was not in “bad faith”.

A victory for consumers? Or another step on the road to discovering how far the web can be pushed into issues of freedom of information?

The document outlining the complaint, the legalese involved in the case, and the result, has been posted on the Ryanaircampaign website.

Kevin May, editor, Travolution


Anonymous said...

V interesting. The consumer website might look a bit amateur in terms of design but it certainly does a good job.

Obviously Ryanair see the site as a significant threat to its internet marketing, because of the search engine issue, for it to make a complaint and employ - I suspect - an army of lawyers for the case.

Anyone heard of any other sites like this?

Anonymous said...

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