When you think SSX, mountains, fresh powder and Run-D.M.C. come to mind, not this. And if you’ve got an ad blocker activated, all you see is a pixely header graced by three letters. Even though EA’s reboot of the popular snowboarding franchise hits store shelves next month, the ssx.com domain is owned by Abstract Holdings International, LTD., which bought this and a slew of other domain names for $200,000 in October.
EA protested the move, saying Abstract was using the SSX brand name in bad faith. But the Nationwide Arbitration Forum denied that claim, saying it was invalid because the domain had first been registered in 2000, 11 years before EA had even thought to register it. Because Abstract also claimed its business is to buy up three-letter domains and proved this was the case, the litigation went its way.
So it looks like Abstract Holdings gets to avoid the label “cybersquatter,” but just barely. There hasn’t been any indication of the company asking EA for a large sum of money in return for the ssx.com domain name. I guess EA’s creative teams will just have to be more proactive when developing properties and pounce on those domains earlier. After all, it’s not unusual for companies to nab a ton of these once they come up with a codename for a project and want to 1) claim it and 2) keep others off the trail by registering fake domains.
You’ve probably also heard of American colleges and universities buying up .xxx domain names that resemble their institutions’ names for fear of third parties doing so. The Internet: It’s a tricky place.