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08/25/2008

Domains Are Stolen Each and Every Day: What Would Happen to your Company if You Lost Control Of Your Domain Name Tomorrow?

Interview With trendicator: YXL.COM Stolen and Recovered | Domain Magnate

- What is your advice to other domainers to prevent having they names stolen

   1. update your whois info if you don’t want to lose your domains…
   2. Keep your computer secure…if something looks wrong with your computer, it probably is; so reinstall your computer, believe you me, it’s worth it. that’s the only way that you can be sure that you’ve rid of the viruses.
   3. keep your email accounts secure; my emails were compromised, and i subsequently lost my domains; i’m just glad that i got my email accounts back in the end….if you use gmail.com, read this: http://mail.google.com/support/bin/answer.py?ctx=gmail&answer=45938
   4. set up different accounts at godaddy…using different passwords…so even if one of your accounts is compromised, you wouldn’t lose them all
   5. keep a log of your domains just in case…godaddy wouldn’t give me a list of my lost domains for security reasons…so even though i know the number of domains i lost, i don’t know exactly what they are….even if you’ve got receipts of them, it takes a long time to compile the list (if you’ve got many domains, that is)

Domain name theft is a common occurrence. Yet, most people take their domain name for granted, even when they are generating substantial revenue through their web site.  Don't wait until a domain thief steals your domain name.  Protect yourself from becoming the victim of a stolen domain name. Contact domain name dispute attorney for more information.

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03/04/2007

Is ICANN Liable for Failing to Rescind Registerfly's Accreditation?

There is a lot of commentary among registrants and watchers that ICANN is also responsible for the losses being incurred by those victimized by Registerfly.  The issue of whether class action litigation can be brought against Registerfly, eNom and/or ICANN is also being hotly debated. 

Traverse Legal attorneys are analyzing these issues on behalf of its clients.  These issues are complicated and this web site is not meant to provide legal advise or create an attorney-client relationship.  If you have a claim against Registerfly, you should contact and retain an attorney so that your specific situation can be analyzed.

ICANN Responsibility: ICANN is responsible for accreditation of registrars.  Registerfly reports on its web site that it is an ICANN accredited registrar, although it appears that for part of its existence, it resold domain registrations through another accredited registrar, eNom.

The Registrar Accreditation Agreement between ICANN and Registerfly provides as follows:
.........

5.3 Termination of Agreement by ICANN. This Agreement may be terminated before its expiration by ICANN in any of the following circumstances:        

5.3.1 There was a material misrepresentation, material inaccuracy, or materially misleading statement in Registrar's  application for accreditation or any material accompanying the application.  

5.3.2 Registrar:

5.3.2.1 is convicted by a court of competent jurisdiction of a felony or other serious offense related to financial  activities, or is judged by a court of competent jurisdiction to have committed fraud or breach of fiduciary duty, or is the subject  of a judicial determination that ICANN reasonably deems as the substantive  equivalent of those offenses; or

5.3.2.2 is disciplined by the government  of its domicile for conduct involving dishonesty or misuse of funds of others.  

5.3.3 Any officer or director of Registrar is convicted of a felony or of a misdemeanor related to financial activities, or is judged by a court to have committed fraud or breach of fiduciary duty, or is the subject of a judicial determination that ICANN deems  as the substantive equivalent of any of these; provided, such officer or director is not removed in such circumstances.

5.3.4 Registrar fails to cure any breach of this Agreement (other than a failure to comply with a policy adopted by  ICANN during the term of this Agreement as to which Registrar is seeking,  or still has time to seek, review under Subsection 4.3.2 of whether  a consensus is present) within fifteen working days after ICANN gives Registrar notice of the breach.

5.3.5 Registrar fails to comply with a ruling  granting specific performance under Subsections 5.1 and 5.6.

5.3.6 Registrar continues acting in a manner  that ICANN has reasonably determined endangers the stability or operational integrity of the Internet after receiving three days notice of that determination.

5.3.7 Registrar becomes bankrupt or insolvent.

This Agreement may be terminated in circumstances described in Subsections  5.3.1 - 5.3.6 above only upon fifteen days written notice to Registrar  (in the case of Subsection 5.3.4 occurring after Registrar's failure to cure), with Registrar being given an opportunity during that time to initiate arbitration under Subsection 5.6 to determine the appropriateness of termination under this Agreement. In the event Registrar initiates litigation or arbitration concerning the appropriateness of termination         by ICANN, the termination shall be stayed an additional thirty days to allow Registrar to obtain a stay of termination under Subsection 5.6 below. If Registrar acts in a manner that ICANN reasonably determines endangers the stability or operational integrity of the Internet and upon notice does not immediately cure, ICANN may suspend this Agreement for five working days pending ICANN's application for more extended specific performance or injunctive relief under Subsection 5.6. This           Agreement may be terminated immediately upon notice to Registrar in circumstance described in Subsection 5.3.7 above.

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5.10 No Third-Party Beneficiaries. This Agreement shall not be construed to create any obligation by either ICANN or Registrar to any non-party to this Agreement, including any Registered Name Holder. 

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THE FULL Registrar Accreditation Agreement  CAN BE FOUND HERE.

What does this mean?  It means that ICANN took potentially took responsibility for monitoring whether Registerfly was meeting its accreditation requirements.  However, there is a provision in this particular agreement which limits ICANN's liability to consumers for its own failures to ensure compliance.  It has already been reported that the ICANN has known for a long time that Registerfly was not complying with its accreditation requirements.  While the accreditation obligations imposed on ICANN  create potential liability for ICANN, the third-party liability disclaimer may limit the ability of registrants to include ICANN in a complaint for relief or damages. Of course, if liability can be imposed outside the contract terms (for instance negligence), then it may be possible to get around 5.10.

Logoregisterflies_2

If you’ve been bitten by the RegisterFly bug, there is a gripe site which has become the source of information about longstanding registerfly problems found at Registerflies.com

03/03/2007

RegisterFly Meltdown

If you are a victim of the Registerfly meltdown and your domain names are currently at risk, you should contact one of our domain name lawyers by emailing us here. Or you can retain Traverse Legal now by clicking here We can assist you in obtaining control of your domain names. 

[Form Registerflies.com]:  By now you may have received the formal notice to owners of domains which have been registered by eNom via its reseller, RegisterFly.com. Although you purchased your name at RegisterFly, eNom is the actual registrar of record for your domains.

As an eNom reseller, RegisterFly was contractually bound to adhere to certain standards of customer service in a speedy and diligent manner. Effective March 9th, RegisterFly will be terminated as an eNom reseller.

The Domain Tools Blog has reported this update from ICANN:

ICANN has posted a public update on the RegisterFly situation we reported about earlier and it doesn’t look good. On February 21st, 2007, ICANN issued a letter to RegisterFly [PDF, 101K] indicating a Notice of Breach of its Registrar Accreditation Agreement (RAA) and demanding that RegisterFly act within 15 working days to cure the breaches outlined in the letter. Also on February 21st, ICANN sent a Notice of Audit [PDF, 60K] that required RegisterFly to allow ICANN to inspect and copy its records. In addition they were given notice to submit data to ICANN or a reputable escrow agent regarding registration applications and Registered name holders. Five days later on February 27th, 2007, ICANN sent two employees to RegisterFly’s offices in New Jersey to audit them and obtain the registrant information. RegisterFly did not compile and refused to give ICANN the Information. Two days later on March 1st, 2007 RegisterFly’s lawyers forwarded a Pissflysmall not be construed as my client’s unwillingness to cooperate with ICANN but as evidence of their continuing efforts to service their customers.” In response ICANN has issued a second letter [PDF, 288K] dated March 2nd, 2007 setting out additional breaches of the Registrar Agreement and in that letter ICANN describes RegisterFly’s refusal to comply which was based on their “continuing efforts to service their customers” as “preposterous“. 

Here is a copy of the February 21, 2007 Download ICANN's notice of breach letter putting Registerfly's accreditation at risk. If Registerfly loses accreditation, it will no longer be able to sell or resell domain name registrations.

Logoregisterflies_2

If you’ve been bitten by the RegisterFly bug, there is a gripe site which has become the source of information about longstanding registerfly problems found at Registerflies.com

For those domain registrants with sufficient money at stake because of the number of domains they have registered or the value of their domains, there are legal remedies available.  Initially, a lawsuit against Registerfly for emergency declaratory and injunctive relief is critical.  A court order must be obtained immediately precluding the domain from being transferred to a new owner.   If the domain is lost to an innocent third party, recovery of the domain may still be possible. Contact a domain name attorney if you have any further questions.

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Cybersquatting: 'How To' Resources

  • Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act - Wikipedia
    The Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (also known as Truth in Domain Names Act), a United States federal law enacted in 1999, is part of A bill to amend the provisions of title 17, United States Code, and the Communications Act of 1934, relating to copyright licensing and carriage of broadcast signals by satellite (S. 1948). It makes people who register domain names that are either trademarks or individual's names with the sole intent of selling the rights of the domain name to the trademark holder or individual for a profit liable to civil action.
  • Typosquatting - Wikipedia
    Typosquatting, also called URL hijacking, is a form of cybersquatting which relies on mistakes such as typographical errors made by Internet users when inputting a website address into a web browser. Should a user accidentally enter an incorrect website address, they may be led to an alternative website owned by a cybersquatter.
  • Reverse Domain Hijacking - Wikipedia
    The term reverse domain hijacking refers to the practice of inequitably unseating domain name registrants by accusing them of violating weak or non-existent trademarks related to the domain name.
  • Uniform DomainName DisputeResolution Policy - Wikipedia
    The Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy (UDRP) is a process established by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) for the resolution of disputes regarding the registration of internet domain names. The UDRP policy currently applies to all .biz, .com, .info, .name, .net, and .org top-level domains, and some country code top-level domains.
  • Cybersquatting - Wikipedia
    Cybersquatting, according to the United States federal law known as the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act, is registering, trafficking in, or using a domain name with bad-faith intent to profit from the goodwill of a trademark belonging to someone else.

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