The National Arbitration Forum has decided in favor of Rogers Cadenhead, and against Metro Goldwyn Mayer Studios and agreed that the author of computer books has a legal right to ownership of the Wargames.com Web domain on which he sells computer games. Last September, MGM accused him of "unauthorized use and registration" of the Web address.
MGM (NYSE:SNE) trademarked War Games in 2001. Cadenhead, a fan of the movie, registered the domain in 1998.
Even though he didn't open the online gaming store until eight years later, and one week after he received MGM's formal complaint, the arbitrators ruled in his favor. They found Cadenhead had been preparing to open, pointing out that in 2004, he got a sales tax license and lined up a shipping agent.
"This battle has been four months of stress-induced, take the whole gallon of ice cream out the fridge (experience)," Cadenhead wrote on his blog. He is now thinking of writing a book about his experience, titled, "How I went to battle with a ginormous corporation and saved my domain."
The decision was posted online for the first time around 4 p.m. yesterday, which is how he found out. Cadenhead said, "I was checking the site like mad for days, knowing it was due to come down. My carpal tunnel's going to snap like dry kindling."
In an e-mail, Cadenhead also wrote he has never talked with anyone from MGM, other than the outside counsel who asked him to give up the domain.
While it is possible, MGM might offer to now buy the URL, Cadenhead said he's already turned offers because, "I wanted to sell wargames."