Greek Belly Dancer Cybersquatter Faces $10,000 Default Judgment

May 28th, 2010

The controversy centers on a Greek belly dancer and her former employment, Greek Restaurant Taverna Opa and its owner Peter Tsialiamanis.

The Argentinian belly dancer, Aisha Ismail was the first belly dancer at the Hollywood Greek restaurant. Interestingly though, Ismail was also a part-time computer programmer. She purchased the domain name ‘tavernaopa.com’ and when approached; she refused to sell it to the restaurant, even when offered $5,000 she rejected the offer, instead demanding $25,000.

Turning down the $5,000 turned out to be a poor choice for Ismail because in 2008, Taverna Opa sued Ismail for cybersquatting on its stolen domain name. After rejecting Tsialiamanis’s offer, she began to advertise for her new place of employment, the Greek Seafood Restaurant Milos, on tavernaopa.com.;

I will like to invite you to the new restaurant ‘Milos’ best and freshest seafood.”

Tsialiamanis demanded $100,000 in damages for Ismail’s bad faith cybersquatting on tavernaopa.com. After all, Ismail had been using tavernaopa.com to divert commercial traffic and business to the competitor Greek Restaurant Milo. In the suit, Ismail was never served with process but this didn’t deter the court, through Judge William Hoeveler, awarding Taverna Opa $10,000 in a default judgment.

MiamiNewTimes was able to track down Ismail, who said that she didn’t hear of the lawsuit until after it was decided, and claims that she had advertised for Milos only on her own personal website, aishaismail.com;

“But anyway,” she adds, “Tavernaopa.com was mine so I could do whatever I wanted.”

Ismail went on to express that she doesn’t have the funds to be able to pay the judgment;

“I’m a simple village woman. I don’t want problem,” Ismail adds, before asking for the number of a cheap lawyer.

If you are faced with a cybersquatting case under the UDRP or the ACPA, contact one of our cybersquatting attorneys today.  You may be entitled to recover your domain name through a cybersquatting case under the UDRP or the ACPA.