Derby

Derby Arena web domain name win for council

Inside Derby Arena
Image caption The ruling said it was "inconceivable" Ranmeet Ghuman was unaware of the plans when he had registered the name

A businessman has been ordered to hand over the rights to a Derby Arena internet domain name to a council.

Ranmeet Ghuman registered the name derbyarena.co.uk in January 2012, just days after Derby City Council unveiled plans for a sports venue.

Mr Ghuman, of Inglewood Avenue, Mickleover, said he was willing to work with the council but officials said the row had disrupted the project.

Online dispute service Nominet decided the rights lay with the council.

The 5,000 capacity arena, which opened in March, houses a 250 metre cycle track, 12-court sports hall, a gym, group exercise space and a cafe.

'Abusive registration'

Mr Ghuman denied council claims that "the domain name was registered for the purposes of selling it to the council".

He said he had offered to maintain and run the website at no cost to the council - in return for a fair cut of revenues.

The authority argued derbyarena.co.uk was "the logical domain to host its website" and its unavailability had forced it to put its online deployment on hold.

Nominet expert, Ravi Mohindra, said, in his opinion, it was "inconceivable" that Mr Ghuman was unaware of the council's Derby Arena plans when he registered the domain name.

He concluded the domain name amounted to an "abusive registration".

Mr Ghuman said he was "devastated" at the decision: "There has been no mention of any compensation of any kind and Nominet have been told me if I wish to dispute the case I have to pay £3,600 up front."

The council welcomed the outcome, saying it had tried to mediate with Mr Ghuman but could not reach a "reasonable" outcome.

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