TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Cybersquatter Update

Re: Cybersquatter Update

Miikka Kiprusoff (
Wed, 27 Oct 2004 15:42:39 -0600

-----Original Message-----

> From: Klassen@UVic.CA (Melvin Klassen)
> Subject: Re: Cybersquatter Update
> Date: Wed, 27 Oct 2004 18:06:20 UTC
> Organization: University of Victoria

Original text snipped, leaving Patrick's reply:

> I had thought that a few months ago one of the registrars had tried
> that same stunt, redirecting unused URLs to some sort of 'helpful
> page' offering suggestions for where you might find what you wanted
> instead. I had thought when that happened and became obvious there
> were several people on the net who put much pressure on that registrar
> to make them quit doing it. Or maybe I am mistaken; I usually am
> these days.

Not at all the same thing, though I see how you might have thought so.

The registry operator you're talking about is Verisign, who operates the
top level .com and .net domains. Their little scheme worked like this:
if somebody typed in a domain name that did NOT resolve -- that was not
registered by anybody -- the old practice was for DNS to return a no such
domain error message. After they implemented the scheme, it returned a
VALID result -- pointing to Verisign's servers. So if you
mistyped "" as "", you got Verisign's website.
That was deemed to be unfair competition, and rightly so.

What has happened in your case is that the registry operator, in this
case PIR, threw your domain name back into the pool of available names
due to non-payment. Once this happened, a whole 'nother company, Bealo
whatevertheheck, PAID TO REGISTER the domain name. They forked out the
cash and registered it, as is their right -- as was your right when YOU
first registered it (do you recall being asked to prove YOUR right to the
name when you first registered it? Why should they have been asked to
prove such?) They then arranged to have this domain name point to their
(pornographic) servers.

Shady and slimy, yes. Illegal and against the rules, no -- unless
you've got a trademark in the name or otherwise can prove superior
interest in the name -- hard to do without that trademark.

> Now this is just an ugly thought of my own, but suppose -- just
> suppose -- the Public Interest Registry people had cut some sort of
> deal with the Bealo Group SA in Switzerland: We will fork over to
> you all the .org names where the owner unwittingly did not pay our
> ransom to keep the page alive. You fill the page with offensive ads,
> and when the real owner comes back and gets on his knees, begging
> and pleading for his page to be released back to him and offering to
> pay some outrageous sum of money, you give him (real owner) back the
> page and split the profits with us at PIR.

> Considering how quickly the cybersquatter moved in and took over
> (the day it was taken back by PIR for whatever
> reason) I feel there *must have been some collusion between the
> registrar PIR and the Bealo Group, SA.* How else would the cyber-
> squatter have know to act on it that quickly?

Sir, you should have been a writer for the X-Files -- with your bent
towards conspiracy theories, the show might still be on the air.

There's a much, much simpler explanation for this, Mr. Townson. It's
called "WHOIS". You're a long time 'netter, so I won't explain what
WHOIS is. But I will remind you that, among other information, WHOIS
will tell when the domain is set to expire. For a sleazy operator,
that's all the information he needs. He just watches all domains and
sees which ones are coming up for renewal. Those that don't renew, he
grabs. Most of them, he's probably wasting his money. But a few
people do want their domain names back -- and that's when you're asked
to pay through the nose. After all, somebody's got to pay for all
those domain names he snapped up that nobody actually wants back. :-)

> So if the cybersquatter collects several hundred dollars in ransom
> money on a site, and he splits (or even gives some percentage of the
> money to PIR) that's a better deal for PIR than simply trying to
> make do with the pitiful little 'registration fees' ICANN otherwise
> authorizes them to rip off from netizens.

You're getting perilously close to libel here. Prove that PIR has done
this, or retract it.

> That, along with the fact that no registrar who
> supposedly acts in the public interest (such as the traditional
> meaning of the .org domain) -- unless he was totally insane and
> lacked any due diligence -- would have given away an internet history
> site to the penis enlargement company. I think it might be a good
> case for an attorney who likes doing pro-bono things on behalf of
> the net.

I don't know how many times you need to be told this before it sinks into
your diseased brain. PIR "gave" the domain to nobody. They offered you
the EXCLUSIVE right to renew the domain name at any time prior to
expiration. Your failure to renew it ended your contract with them. At
that point, they were free -- and, indeed, *REQUIRED* by their charter --
to sell the name to the first person who asked for it and who was
prepared to pay the standard fee. That's what Bealo did.

> But by all means, anyone who feels like trying w-get as per the
> earlier instructions in this message go right ahead, and don't forget
> when you sign up your favorite companies in the or the
> domains to be sure to not put down Bealo Group SA and
> as the administrative contacts when asked to
> list a contact name. Just as a reminder also, the contact phone number
> you should avoid using is +41.227347.210 at Post Office Box 138 in
> Geneva Switzerland. PAT]

Now this ... I say go for it. :-) These people are slimy sharks, out to
boot the screws to people such as yourself and that 9/11 widow and they
don't care who they piss off to do it. So by all means, let's give them
a taste of their own medicine. But let's just make sure we're putting
the blame in the right place. PIR is, as near as I can tell, *ENTIRELY*
without blame here. The blame goes 80% to Bealo and 20% to you for not
renewing on time.

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