Christian College Wins 'Cybersquatting' Fight with Graduate's Critical Website
After more than 10 years of legal dueling, an unhappy Pensacola Christian College (PCC) graduate has agreed to hand over control of the website domain he used to critique the school–but only because the school started to sue him for 'cybersquatting.'
Last week, PCC filed suit against Peter Gage, a former PCC student, claiming that he "was cybersquatting and willfully abusing the college's trademark and namesake" and alleging $100,000 in damages. As a result, Gage agreed to hand over control of the site, which now redirects to the school's main website.
Gage, who attended PCC in the mid 1990s, had purchased a web domain, www.pensacolachristiancollege.com, in 2001 and used the website to "dissuade potential students from attending the college, explaining that the Christian values the school espouses are not values people should emulate."
The school has been attempting to stop Gage since 2001, taking the case to the National Arbitration Forum, which ruled that Gage "had a legitimate use for the website."
CT has reported on similar lawsuits, including one filed by National Public Radio (NPR) against a creationist pastor over the name of his radio show. In 2006, CT also reported on a lawsuit filed by Jews for Jesus (JFJ), which alleged that Google had "willfully ignored" trademark rights in the case of a Google-hosted blog that criticized JFJ.