Do you “own” your domain?

In the IT community of fellow geeks and nerds, if there is one thing we can all appreciate, it’s a good domain name. More often than not, we have one that personally represents us. My story, which is still in progress, is an interesting one.
Two years ago I registered from my personal AWS account. My intention was to use it for family email, and maybe eventually use it for a family photos/blog purpose. I had wanted to have a domain name with my, fairly unique, last name for a long time, so when I saw was available, I jumped at the opportunity. Well, life happens and I hadn’t made time to get it setup with my email or a website yet.
On March 5th I was cleaning up my personal email box and noticed that in my Spam folder I had essentially been served legal documents stating that Hallmark Licensing LLC (Hallmark cards) had filed an arbitration to take my domain away from me by force using UDRP. Stating basically that because I am not using it as a website, I am not known as “” or “hallmarktv”, and that they are “Hallmark” and should own this domain.

If I had been looking to make a buck off this I wouldn’t have sat on it for two years, I would have offered it to Hallmark or at a minimum posted it for sale. SO this wasn’t a case of cybersquatting. Here is an article that I appreciate was published about our situation with a little more detail:

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