Activision wins ModernWarfare3.com dispute

Arbitration panel sides with publisher, grants it control of unaffiliated site that forwarded traffic to Battlefield 3's official site.

In July, the website ModernWarfare3.com drew the attention of military shooter fans when it began forwarding all traffic to the official website of Electronic Arts' competing military shooter, Battlefield 3. It also drew the attention of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 publisher Activision, which filed a complaint with the National Arbitration Forum.

Target down.

That complaint has been resolved, as domain-tracking blog Fusible is reporting today that a three-member panel has sided with Activision in the matter and ordered control of the URL transferred to the publisher. As of press time, the site was down.

Among the key issues in the case was that the site was forwarding traffic to a direct competitor of Modern Warfare 3, something that the former ModernWarfare3.com registrant described as a temporary mistake, and not evidence that he was running the site in bad faith. In issuing its order, the panel called the claims of the unofficial site's former operator "uncompelling" and "not credible."

Originally registered in March 2009, ModernWarfare3.com billed itself as "a 100 percent unofficial fan site dedicated to the Modern Warfare series," as well as "a parody of Modern Warfare 3." The site had for some time openly criticized the Activision shooter as a retread of the series, prompting Activision to send it a takedown notice related to copyrighted content that had previously appeared on the site.

For more on Activision's shooter, check out GameSpot's previous coverage of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

Did you enjoy this article?

Sign In to Upvote

194 comments
Cloud-Zehro
Cloud-Zehro

@DanteKilla I wouldn't mind racing for 2 hours on a single race... Just saying.

DanteKilla
DanteKilla

@RAD_RADIO No no no, there's a huge difference in doing something in real life and doing it in a game. What is fun in real life, may not be as fun in a game, as your point suggests. For example take a racing game or a sport game. I wouldn't enjoy playing a single race for 2 hours on a game, whereas in real life I bet it's thrilling. I wouldn't like to play a 90min game of football on a game (maybe just me), but in real life I could play for hours on end. The 'FUN!!', as you put it, in the majority of games, is because they are not like real life, but an arcade version of said thing. For example I enjoy being a sniper on mw, this is because I can get kill after kill on the small maps. Now, I would hate waiting hours upon hours on end to get a single kill in real life, put forward with the fact that I wouldn't like to kill another person, in real life.

nevryn
nevryn

@RAD_RADIO What in blazes are you talking about? They are following the law by returning the domain to AV. What the guy was doing was referred to as cybersquatting. "Cybersquatting was made illegal by the passage of a federal law in 1999 known as the Anti-Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act." Cybersquatting can be defined either by trying to sell the domain back to the parent company at an absorbent price, or utilizing the domain to maliciously attack the company. Forwarding to a primary competitor's site would be a malicious attack. The guy was an idiot and just asking to be sued.

kenmanius
kenmanius

@kabaro I agree. The internet is a storage space of mostly people's thoughts and ideas. How does Activison hold sway over that? The only argument against it is if the site was making ad money while displaying copyrighted material.

RAD_RADIO
RAD_RADIO

Also, this is an outrage! If the law doesn't support it's own written words, it might as well be scribbles! What a whiney brat move by activision, wiping their arses with our legal system.

RAD_RADIO
RAD_RADIO

@chuckytiffany Have you ever fired a gun in real life? It's FUN! Have you ever gone riding in a buggy (on the back) down a bumpy path while skeet shooting? ITS FUN! Have you ever played red orchestra? ITS FUN! and it's realistic. The more realistic a first person shooter like MW3 or BF3 gets, the better. That's ultimately what a lot of games are going for actually, "what can we do to make this game seem as realistic as possible". Please, go fire a 12 g shotgun. The closer games can get to real the more satisfying it will be.

shadow580
shadow580

@chuckytiffany finally someone who tells it how it is. Also, I hate it when people expect Activision to pull a rabbit out of it's hat and upgrade the engine to add all sorts of effects and dynamic lighting and still maintain 60 fps on consoles, not gonna happen! Who has time to look at the pretty sunset when your pulling off headshots left and right?

chuckytiffany
chuckytiffany

I have to admit that was a d*ck move on the owner. He purposely grabbed that domain name with hopes that Modern Warfare 3 was really in production. That may not be legally wrong, but it is morally wrong. It's false advertising in my opinion. I don't care about "real time lighting" or whatever they call it. I care about butter smooth controls, 60 fps, and fast paced games. Not that slow paced, 25fps, Fuel x8 nonsense. BF may be more realistic, but let me tell you: REAL LIFE IS NOT FUN. other than that, yeah, activision is a money grubbing whore....but who cares honestly

Rottenwood
Rottenwood

@Kabaro Blaming Obama for 'corporatism' is like blaming him for the War of 1812. It was fully entrenched well before he bumbled onto the scene.

BlackSquare
BlackSquare

Fascists. How is this legal? No one owns the internet. Modernwarfare3.com is a URL. First come first serve. And isn't there innocent until proven guilty? How does the owner of Modernwarfare3.com have to prove anything? He owns it. If Activision wants it they can go and buy it from him. First I have to buy health insurance and now I have to give up what I buy to companies? Gj Obama... Corporatism...

Max_Payne
Max_Payne

Haha, there goes our sixty dollar.

xerxes5678
xerxes5678

Great, Activision and EA are also drinking the fanboy kool aid!

Henninger
Henninger

Wow i cant believe they won that. This is digusting. Bobby Kotick u need to go.

xgalacticax
xgalacticax

'EA Origin installs hit 3.9 million'. Now the EA monster is growing thanks to the anti-COD people. In a year or two, they'd be moaning about EA and Battlefield for the same reasons that they moan at Activision and COD.

dcrabiddog
dcrabiddog

so i hope all these bf3 guys here are getting moderated, i know every time i express my self about my love for call of duty and my absolute disdain for dice i get nailed for points so i won't be involving myself in these rants any longer. please don,t send me hate mail or i will report you and gamespot, take it easy on me, i am old and grumpy! lol! grrrrr!

bd2387
bd2387

COD was made for a younger generation of gamers who don't care for strategy when BF3 is targeting the old and younger people who love to be strategical its as simple as that. i'm buying COD yes cause its a bit of fun to just get on and shoot people and i'm buying BF3 for the strategic game play. at the end of the day they are both good games that will end up selling millions of copy's to consumers.

Unholy123
Unholy123

Lol wow the power a sack of cash has over the legal system is blatent and sad, though it is telling about a company that feels so threatened by a web site that they go through the process of killing it like this.. . I mean honestly if you felt that your product was good enough to stand on its own couldn't it take abit of a joke like this? Guess the house of MW3 is made of glass so don't dare throw rocks at it or else it might crash and we'll see its MW2 under the dress?

Andycreep1
Andycreep1

BF3 is the best game ever made just wait and see.

saltyplatapus
saltyplatapus

I am excited for BF3. I am excited for MW3. I preordered both. I already paid for both fully. Nuff Said.

x_hunter00
x_hunter00

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

chaoslead
chaoslead

c'mon we all know that mw3 gonna sale a lot of money more than bf3 by millions

DarkBox360
DarkBox360

Activision is just stupid as all get out. This court case is wrong in every way possible. Corporations can't just beat down the little guy because he "hurts their marketing". This is why unions were invented. BF3 will set the groundwork for CoD's downfall, and then Respawn will get their sweet revenge when they beat down the very franchise they created.

conkerton
conkerton

C'mon Activision its like you don't want people to know Call of Duty has competition or has gone stale. It's almost like you are trying to hide the fact you are getting ready to manufacture sh!t in a box. As a CoD fan I'm questioning getting MW3.

tachsniper
tachsniper

millions of dollars in court for a domain name, gg Activision

N07H1NG
N07H1NG

I don't see what the big deal is. All they were trying to do was lead the Call of Duty fans to a better game. What's wrong with that?

PoKeZeMuNKyZ
PoKeZeMuNKyZ

why does every article about MW3 or BF3 turn in to a BF3 v MW3 debate

ad1x2
ad1x2

I plan on buying both games. I'm buying BF3 because from what I know so far it's going to be great but I'm buying MW3 because most of my buddies are getting it. I'll play whichever one I like the most more. Anyway, it's just hilarious that BF fans are thumbing down comments that are statements of fact. I could see them thumb down comments saying BF3 sucks but thumbing down somebody simply saying the guy lost the case? Thumbs down aren't going to magically cause the guy to get his site back.

Joedgabe
Joedgabe

This is humorous. God bless the person that came up with the idea to steal the site's name. I imagine somewhere along the line Activizion probably banked www.modernwarfare4.com.

blackace
blackace

The kid can easily get another MW3.com site and continue to bash MW3 as much as he wants. Activision's action really did nothing but give them a domain name. What a waste of time.

Phazevariance
Phazevariance

Battlefield 3 is better than COD MW3. Now you have the facts.

nastyhotpocket
nastyhotpocket

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

nastyhotpocket
nastyhotpocket

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

varunvikram1
varunvikram1

@nastyhotpocket u r one ignorant gamer arent u.

nastyhotpocket
nastyhotpocket

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

AvnKnight
AvnKnight

I bet activision first tried to buy this off the guy and he wanted more money for the site and to try and get it he started forwarding ppl to Bf3, Only problem was he wasnt too smart and now like that kid at thie end of Willy Wonka and the Choclate factory He gets nothing, he loses. Good day to this sir.

med12
med12

not really surprising, thats what i knew would happen. MW3 will probably fail anyway

Vangaurdius
Vangaurdius

Well, it makes sense that they won. I'm surprised it wasn't resolved sooner though. Anyways, both CoD and BF suck now. *prepares for millions of thumbs down*

controlfreak25
controlfreak25

Aw, I wanted to laugh at activi$ion. Anyway, CoD still sucks. I would make a awesome BF3 comment but i take it the CoD fanboys would give me a thumbs down anyway....8 year olds.

COLDFIRE25
COLDFIRE25

@ElevenHandMan I used Gears as an exanple. Like I said, most shooter have a few DLC packs and Gears is one of the few that is now giving us a deal. CoD rips people off with not only their coat of paint games, but their re-made maps and they charge the most for DLC then anyone else.

lonewolf1044
lonewolf1044

I am going with BF3 and not COD:MW3. I find their games boring after COD 4.

QOSMSTR
QOSMSTR

@gameking5000 yeah but since i dont care about BF or CoD I think its hilarious that it happened.

MrHatnClogs
MrHatnClogs

Hey Activision, check out the sidekick tournament going on on Gamespot, whose got the last laugh now :)

Slim_Lyrics
Slim_Lyrics

GOOD. This should be a lesson to anyone who thinks they can do whatever they want and hide behind the protected parody laws.

demonic_85
demonic_85

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

Jedilink109
Jedilink109

Of course Activision won! They have gobs and gobs of money! Quite frankly I don't know why they didn't just try to get MW3.com since THAT'S WHAT IT SAYS ON THE FRICKIN BOX!!!

bdixon76
bdixon76

@nastyhotpocket The sheer stupidity of your statement speaks volumes about you and many COD players.