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[registrars] An Opportunity to Prove A Point - Hi-Jacked Name At GoDaddy

  • To: "'Tim Ruiz'" <tim@xxxxxxxxxxx>, "'Christine Jones'" <cjones@xxxxxxxxxxx>, "'Adam Dicker'" <amd@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>, <registrars@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Subject: [registrars] An Opportunity to Prove A Point - Hi-Jacked Name At GoDaddy
  • From: "John Berryhill" <john@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 21 Feb 2008 12:14:49 -0500
  • Cc: "'elliot noss'" <enoss@xxxxxxxxxx>, "'Bruce Tonkin'" <Bruce.Tonkin@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • List-id: registrars@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Organization: John Berryhill, Ph.d., Esq.
  • Reply-to: <john@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Sender: owner-registrars@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Thread-index: Ach0rUEMwHFb0xKbQuqNwAlag2UlXA==

For those that enjoyed the Delhi fireworks show between myself and Elliot on
the subject of Godaddy's interpretation of the transfer policy, a unique
opportunity has arisen to provide an acid test of whether Godaddy is
sincere, or whether the Transfer Policy is broken.

As you know, Elliot Noss and others have expressed eloquent and enthusiastic
skepticism concerning the "anti-hi-jacking" rationale of Godaddy's 60 day

Here's what landed in my lap this morning.

Married.com has been registered since 1995 to Marriage Ministries
International through Melbourne IT as follows:

Domain Name.......... married.com
  Creation Date........ 1995-05-31
  Registration Date.... 2002-11-23
  Expiry Date.......... 2008-05-30
  Organisation Name.... Marriage Ministries International
  Organisation Address. 9132 W. Bowles Avenue
  Organisation Address. _
  Organisation Address. Littleton
  Organisation Address. 80123
  Organisation Address. CO
  Organisation Address. UNITED STATES

Admin Name........... Jason Phillipps
  Admin Address........ 9132 W. Bowles Avenue
  Admin Address........ _
  Admin Address........ Littleton
  Admin Address........ 80123
  Admin Address........ CO
  Admin Address........ UNITED STATES
  Admin Email.......... jasonphillipps@[xxxx]

On or about February 5, 2008, it was hi-jacked and transferred to GoDaddy,
most likely by compromise of the admin contact email address.

   Domain Manager DomainManager2006@xxxxxxxxx
   Sattarkhan Blvd.
   Copenhagen,  2400

The hi-jacker entered into a deal to sell the domain name through escrow.com
for $100,000.

I was contacted by the prospective buyer, who had contacted the former
registrant in the course of his due diligence.  The former registrant had no
idea how the domain name was transferred to GoDaddy, and when they contacted
GoDaddy support, he was told to "use the UDRP" and that there was nothing
else GoDaddy could do.

Of course, the UDRP is useless here, since "married" wasn't being used as a
trade or service mark for marriage counseling, and GoDaddy support's advice
is typical of the useless things that are told to parties in this instance.

So, as the situation stands, and as I tried to convey to Elliot, it is in
circumstances such as this one that I am GLAD the name is at GoDaddy, since
it is at least not going anywhere for another 45 days.

The remaining questions are these:

1.  Is GoDaddy actually going to look into the situation and USE the 60 day
period to resolve a domain hi-jacking?  The initial indication from GoDaddy
support is "no". 

2.  What is the mechanism by which a registrant may request his/her
registrar to institute a Transfer Dispute Resolution Proceeding?  This ball
is in Bruce's court.  Melbourne IT provides no information to registrants
that is readily accessible which, as I have long argued, is the fundamental
flaw of the TDRS - there is no coupling between the people who've had their
names transferred without authorization, and the people who are in a
position to invoke the policy.

Now it may be that the registrant's admin email address was compromised.
Still, both Melbourne IT and GoDaddy will be able to determine whether the
originating IP address of the authorization is localizable to Colorado or to
somewhere else.

So, Elliot, let's fire up the oven, put on some crow, and find out who gets
to eat it.  Either (a) GoDaddy does nothing to investigate or remedy this
hi-jacking, and their justification for the 60 day hold is a farce; (b)
Melbourne IT does nothing, and the Transfer Policy dispute mechanism is a
farce; or (c) the situation is appropriately resolved, and it turns out that
GoDaddy's policy actually does help address hi-jackings.

But, as it stands, the only hopeful point in the situation is that since the
name is at GoDaddy, it is going to stay there for a while.

The point is GoDaddy's to prove, or not.

John Berryhill, Ph.d., Esq.
4 West Front St. 
Media, PA  19063
(610) 565-5601
(267) 386-8115 fax

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