Ryanair in pot/kettle ambiguity regarding I Hate Ryanair
Ryanair had earned their crust from slagging off pretty much everyone, from competitors to governments to travel websites. The budget airline relies on generating massive amounts of PR by having a potty mouth and saying anything to make an impact in the media. And it works, obviously. Denouncing the Irish Prime Minister as a "gobshite"? Making fun of people who are overweight? Where's the harm in that?
It doesn't work the other way around, however. Ryanair has gained possession of the domain name IHateRyanair.co.uk, which had been used by irate passengers to complain about the airline and air their misgivings. Unhappy that anybody might dare to say a bad word against them, Ryanair complained to UK domain name regulators Nominet.
Nominet really couldn't see a problem with the site. According to The Guardian:
"[Nominet]... ruled "criticism websites are essential in a democratic society", and performed a useful service. The domain name, she added, made it "abundantly clear" the site was not connected to Ryanair and left internet users in no doubt what to expect."
So how did Ryanair win the ruling? Because I Hate Ryanair dared to make revenue from the site through advertising and affiliation, and Nominet decided that while criticising companies is fair game, you shouldn't be allowed to attempt to fund your efforts. What staggering riches had been clocked up by the site? A total of £322. Goodness.
So based on the slenderest of technicalities that were hardly objective, Ryanair gained possession of the domain name. Not to worry though, because the site is still up and running at IHateRyanair.org.