The RegisterFly clusterf**ck took a major step towards resolution today with the official announcement by ICANN that GoDaddy will take control of the approximately 850,000 domain names still in the clutches of RegisterFly CEO Kevin Medina. The internet rumors of a GoDaddy takeover turned out to be true, and Medina now can devote …
Domains already established as tangible property ...
... by US, CAN, EU and most international law. No one could sue to recover a *stolen* name (like Sex.com), nor would TradeMark law be enforcible if indeed there was no *owner* and domains were considered to be *intangible* items or by thier nature only leased or licensed
I've had as many as 120 names at Registerfly but I was one of the lucky ones that at worse, had a few expire for only a few days early this year ( pain because they were webdesign customers' websites ), and was able to transfer all to GoDaddy before the end of March
My most valuable name was in another account, which got suspended when my partner paid for names not recieved / registered and complained .. but the Administration and Technical contact info was still in my name, and I've just confirmed with GoDaddy that in 2-3 days I'll be getting an e-mail with info to confirm, and the domain will be in my GoDaddy account ..
My Registerfly account still shows about 50 names, all long since transfered to GoDaddy .. so I doubt the 900,000 domains amount .. wouldn't surprize me if 100,000 or less *really* remain at Registerfly
Good result of this, is that ICAAN Accredited Registrars are being audited and have some new rules, an independant company will be set up to escrow and preserve accurate domain ownership data, and Accredited Registrars will be needing to watch thier Reseller accounts closer.
This is all over a year late in coming, alot of people lost valuable names and websites, names expired and bought up by squatters, 1000s can never be recovered, and losses will be in Million$ that Registerfly and Kevin Medina don't have to sue for ... quite a wake up call for the whole domain name industry ...
If ICANN's stance on domain names was correct, we wouldn't have this whole bunch of professional cybersquatters who sit on "obsolete" domain names and charge an arm and a leg for them.
I recently tried to acquire a domain name (as an individual) only to find that someone already "owned" it, had established the usual worthless "search portal" on it and was willing to grant it to me... for the measly sum of US$8000.
So if they don't own that domain name (accoring to ICANN), how came they can effectively hold people to ransom over a domain they are not using?
cybersquatters and "limbo" situation
I have around 25 domains still up the creek because of this fiasco.
It's not just cybersquatters that put those worthless search portal pages up - eNom (which RegisterFly was reselling, and with whom some of my domains are still listed) grabs anything which expires and changes the DNS, but leaves the registrant information untouched, so it looks like I'm the fool with the frigging search portal!
More recently, I've had domains grabbed by ZusCom, some bunch in London, with apparently no plans to auction / sell the domains, they presumably plan something else (eg building collections of links to give high page ranks for selected domains, perhaps), but in the meantime, they have their own blasted search portal page showing "This page is parked free, courtesy of Cheapnames.com" (ZusCom is a GoDaddy reseller, and Cheapnames.com is their own domain... .info domains are being sold cheap at present - .info costs US$ 1.22)
I own the trademarks for my domain names. Therefore, I effectively (according to ICANN and court decisions) own my domains.
We are not holding anyone to ransome because we are not selling our domains ergo we are not cybersquatters. We are simply registering lots of names which have been cancelled, presumably because they were not wanted. This is legal and not so different from buying land, advertising space or a fast food restaurant in every town. I agree that what many people do with them (made for adsense pages) are polluting the world wide web. This is in fact down to Google's greed - they could stop this overnight by not classing domain parking as adsense for search thereby allowing advertisers to opt out, or by not supporting domain parking period. Yahoo ditto.
We do not ever beat the 'snapnames' companies to names so in theory prevent no-one from reregistering any domain using these services. If anyone thinks they can save $40 by snapping names up themselves they are dreaming. This has not been possible for 8 years.
If any one has proof their domain was lost through RegisterFly's antics we will return it at cost ($7 com / $1 info). Of course we reserve the right to question why you registered the name yourself ...
No-one has a right to any name in 99% of cases - for example - who should own polo.co.uk ?
VW (polo car) ?
Trebor (Polo Mints)
M&S (polo neck sweaters)
Lacoste (polo shirts)
Ascot Polo Club (polo game)
For the record we do not register any trademarks (or at least intentionally) and regularly give any charity related ones away for free. We are currently pointing many of our domains to the Madeleine McCann appeal page (little UK girl kidnapped in Portugal)