Around the year 2000, after the hoopla of the book against Monty Roberts was published and the lawsuit against him had to be dropped due to judicial misconduct, two domain names were registered using Monty Roberts’ name for the sole purpose of disseminating information about his lies and deceit (montyroberts.org / montyroberts.net), an action which the registrants had every right to do legally and morally.
They were registered on behalf of all parties who were victims of Monty Roberts and of course to report about the book his own relatives had written. The book was written by his aunt, a cousin and his own brother Larry Roberts contributed extensive information. It was a very well researched book. (visit home page for the Horse Whispers and Lies book review)
Monty Roberts didn’t like that so he used his wealth and celebrity to fight the domain registration and won. The case was decided by a single arbiter associated with WIPO by the name of Frederick M. Abbott (Sole Panelist) who charged that the domain names had been “abusive registrations”.
Abbott totally ignored the fact that Monty Roberts is a public figure and the registrants had legitimate uses for the domains to disseminate news and information related to his deceits, fraudulent business practices, horse abuse and the dispute with his family members. Of all the people in the world they could have chosen to make a decision, the arbitrator came from Monty Roberts’ neck of the woods. In his decision, the arbitrator who was too stupid to understand the concept of irony, satire and puns, accused the registrant of selling items and abusing the system, neither of which was true.
On the internet today, you can find thousands of domain disputes, some winners, some losers. You’ll also find many bloggers and legal information sites ripping at the WIPO stating that the organization is prone to stealing from legitimate domain name registrants and giving the domain names to celebrities or other people/organizations with money. That is precisely what happened in the Monty Roberts WIPO case.
The WIPO decision was NOT A COURT CASE as some would have you believe. NO ONE was on trial. The only losers were all of Monty Roberts victims and the public who are spoon fed Monty Roberts’ lies.
Why the WIPO Case Was Misruled
When Monty Roberts started the WIPO case, he was also claiming that his trademark was being infringed. Regardless of what particular aspect of trademark law you’re dealing with (trademark infringement, trademark dilution, unfair competition, etc.), there is a general requirement that must be present before trademark law will apply – the person who is [mis]using your mark must be a competitor of yours. See Procter & Gamble Company v. Amway Corporation, 242 F.3d 539, 560 (5th Cir. 2001). When someone is NOT your competitor, it is generally not a violation of trademark law for them to say disparaging things about you even if they use your name or other trademarks in the process.
Fake Extortion Claims
When Roberts first started his fraudulent claims that he was being extorted, he told the Santa Barbara District Attorney he was being extorted by people who were victims of his lies which nearly killed a woman. Monty later went on to claim that he was being extorted to have the legally registered domain names (in the WIPO case) sold to him.
Then he changed his story again and said he was being extorted to have his case removed from the Citizens for Justice website. This is what Monty Roberts does. He changes his story to suit his needs at any given time and truth matters not. When Monty was called a liar by his own family members in their book “Horse Whispers and Lies“, Monty had important details in his own book, “The Man Who Listens to Horses” changed for the European print version … as if no one would notice the fraud.