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  • Standard Tactics, LLC: How GoDaddy Profits from Expired Domains

    1. BY - Dec 03, 2008
    2. Domain Registrars
    3. 182 Comments

    GoDaddy goes to great lengths to hide its expired domain warehousing operations.

    UPDATE 12/17/08: GoDaddy is shutting down Standard Tactics.

    Scottsdale, Arizona based The Go Daddy Group, which runs the world’s largest domain name registrar GoDaddy.com, is warehousing its customers’ expired domain names and profiting from them. The company has taken a number of steps to hide this practice from public view. This article covers the results of a Domain Name Wire investigation into GoDaddy’s domain warehousing activities.

    Profiting from Expired Domain Names
    When domain names expire, most large domain name registrars try to make money from them. Network Solutions and eNom auction expired domains at NameJet. Register.com auctions domains through SnapNames.

    GoDaddy.com and other registrars that are part of The Go Daddy Group don’t use a partner to sell customers’ expired domain names. Instead it auctions them on the company’s own platform originally called The Domain Name Aftermarket (TDNAM). It’s a fairly transparent system. But when a valuable domain doesn’t sell, something not-so-transparent goes on in the background, as described in detail below.

    It’s not unique that GoDaddy profits from expired domains. What’s unique are the steps GoDaddy takes to cover up its tracks, that it holds on to some domains that aren’t sold at auction, and its apparent hypocrisy between domains it owns and some of its activities such as combating online pharmacy fraud.

    Go Daddy’s Domain Name Warehouse
    I first discovered GoDaddy’s domain warehousing efforts in 2005. I noticed a typo domain name that didn’t sell at TDNAM and wasn’t released. It was subsequently monetized by GoDaddy using a domain parking page. At the same time I purchased several domains on TDNAM that had expired but hadn’t sold in the initial auction, much like the typo. Interestingly, I received notification from an email address at StandardTactics.com offering to transfer all of the domains I purchased into my account.

    Standard Tactics, LLC, is a The Go Daddy Group subsidiary that takes ownership of valuable expired domains that don’t sell at TDNAM. It then monetizes the domain names using parked domain pages and lists the domains for resale on TDNAM.

    The Formation and Structure
    When GoDaddy launched TDNAM back in 2005, it finally started cashing in on its customers’ expiring domain names. By auctioning off the domains it was able to generate revenue even when its customers didn’t pay to renew their domains. But GoDaddy understood it could also make money by keeping some of the domain names that didn’t sell at auction for itself.

    On August 16, 2005, GoDaddy formed a subsidiary called Standard Tactics, LLC in New Mexico. Before founding Standard Tactics, all of GoDaddy’s subsidiaries were incorporated in Arizona where the company is headquartered. There are a couple reasons GoDaddy may have chosen to form the company as a New Mexico limited liability company rather than an Arizona corporation. First, by creating the company in New Mexico it could distance itself from it. Second, by filing as a limited liability company instead of a corporation, it didn’t have to list directors of the corporation. It only had to list an organizer — Scottsdale, Arizona lawyer Robert J. Rosepink. Rosepink filed the papers in New Mexico and listed the company’s principal address outside the state at 7373 North Scottsdale Rd, Suite E-200 in Scottsdale. That’s the address for Rosepink’s law firm.

    GoDaddy says Rosepink is outside counsel for the company.

    He may have run in the same circles as GoDaddy CEO Bob Parsons in Scottsdale. Both Rosepink and Parsons donated to Jon Kyl’s campaign for U.S. senate.

    Earlier this year, Rosepink was indicted on 102 counts by the Arizona Attorney General office for his part in a concert promotion investment scheme. Rosepink allegedly earned nearly $1 million in fees for recruiting investors in what The Arizona Republic labeled a Ponzi scheme. [UPDATE: 12/17/08: In an interview with Parsons on his internet radio show today, Parsons told me that Rosepink was exonerated on all charges. Additionally, he says that Rosepink was merely outside counsel for the company.] [UPDATE 4/3/09: Apparently Rosepink was not exonerated on all charges as Parson said. The Arizona Republic reports today that Rosepink struck a plea bargain with prosecutors and plead guilty to four counts of solicitation or sale of unregistered securities.]

    Although GoDaddy did a good job distancing itself from Standard Tactics as a separate company (one source said Standard Tactics was commonly called “a client” of GoDaddy’s even inside the company), GoDaddy’s filing to go public in 2006 provides a definitive link between the two companies. It showed that Standard Tactics, LLC is indeed a subsidiary of GoDaddy. It’s distanced even further from the parent company as a subsidiary of a subsidiary. Special Domain Services, Inc., is a subsidiary of The Go Daddy Group. Standard Tactics, LLC is a wholly owned subsidiary of Special Domain Services, Inc. Special Domain Services, Inc. is also the parent company of GoDaddy’s Domains By Proxy, a whois privacy service that helps people shield their information from the whois database.


    GoDaddy’s S-1 filing lists subsidiaries including Standard Tactics, LLC.

    Because GoDaddy.com is itself a subsidiary of The Go Daddy Group, the domain registrar could technically say it did not warehouse domain names.

    How it Works
    GoDaddy is able to determine potential traffic to its customers’ expired domains. When a domain expires, GoDaddy places a parking page with paid advertising on the domain to count traffic. This also gives the company the ability to measure potential revenue. If a domain gets lots of traffic, GoDaddy places a higher starting bid on the domain when it is subsequently auctioned on TDNAM. GoDaddy also discloses estimated traffic to potential buyers. If a high traffic domain doesn’t sell at TDNAM, it is often transferred to Standard Tactics.

    Standard Tactics makes money from the domains by placing parked pages on them. It sometimes lists the domains for sale on TDNAM at fixed prices, creating another opportunity to profit.

    When Standard Tactics takes over a domain, it typically uses Domains By Proxy’s whois privacy service to hide its identity. There are a couple reasons Standard Tactics may do this. First, it hides the fact that a Go Daddy company owns domains its customers originally registered. This comes in handy when a customer merely forgets to renew a domain and later wants to re-acquire it. It also allows GoDaddy to tell customers that it doesn’t own the domains. Second, and perhaps more importantly, it hides that Standard Tactics’ portfolio includes a number of unsavory domain names including trademarks.

    One way to uncover the name of a domain owner that uses whois privacy is to file for arbitration under ICANN’s Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP). Whois privacy services are required to disclose the owner’s name when an arbitration is filed. Standard Tactics has been on the losing end of a number of arbitration cases, including for the domains Ambian.org, buy-ambien-now.com, cheapest-ambien.net, JunoDSL.com, and PorschePartSite. It’s especially ironic that Standard Tactics owns prescription drug names since GoDaddy touts its lobbying efforts at the U.S. Congress to stomp out online prescription drug fraud. When I asked Camille Ede, Director of Domain Services at GoDaddy, about the company’s ownership of pharmacy and trademark domains, she said the accusation that the company owned such domains was false. Records at the arbitration companies prove otherwise. In fact, in one UDRP case a Standard Tactics representative asked complainant Sanofi-aventis, a pharmaceutical company in France, to close the arbitration request and that it would transfer the domain automatically:

    “Hello

    We are aware of the domain dispute that has been filed on this domain. This domain was purchased in a bulk backorder. We do not support trademark infringement. We would like to transfer this domain to you at no cost you.

    You will have to contact WIPO to close the dispute before I will be allowed to transfer the domain to you.

    Please feel free to contact me with any questions.

    Regards

    Administrator

    Standard Tactics”

    In a follow up to my questioning, Ede wrote:

    We by no means meant to mislead you about trademarks. We are NOT saying Standard Tactics doesn’t own a variety of names in a variety of different contexts, but disagreed with your characterization. Go Daddy treats all parked pages in the same way. If the trademark holder contacts DBP, asking us to remove…we remove it.

    Standard Tactics Today
    It’s clear that GoDaddy has taken a number of steps, including setting up a subsidiary in a different state, to cover its tracks warehousing domain names. GoDaddy has over 30 million domains registered, and a quick look at TDNAM shows a number of high traffic domains being auctioned off every day. One source said the company receives millions of hits a week on its Standard Tactics domains.

    Ede calls Standard Tactics a “research” subsidiary:

    For a number of years, traffic aggregation, monetization and advertising has become an increasingly prevalent aspect of the domain name industry.

    As the world’s largest registrar, we felt it was important for us to understand trends and developments in this industry. As a result, we created Standard Tactics as a research group.

    All names in Standard Tactics are presented to the public for purchase in TDNAM. We do not withhold these names from TDNAM. There are relatively few names with Standard Tactics and there is randomness built in to the process in order to provide sample types representing all domain characteristics. By comparison, domain aggregators have 100’s of 1000’s of domain names.

    This is an interesting response given the multitude of evidence that Standard Tactics acquires domains that don’t sell on TDNAM, including the statement in the above mentioned UDRP that Standard Tactics acquires domains in “bulk backorders”. Whether Standard Tactics technically acquires the domains before or after the auction is irrelevant, although expired domains are in a grace period until after the auction and should not be transferred to a new owner.

    Furthermore, Standard Tactic’s web page states that the company buys and sells domain names, that it may own trademarks as a result of bulk purchases, and refers interested buyers to TDNAM.

    A phone number for Standard Tactics, found on the whois record for a .us domain name owned by the company (.us domains cannot use whois privacy), has a New Mexico phone number. A Call to the number is answered by a recording that asks you to wait for a representative, and then sends you straight to voicemail. A fax number on the same record is in the Phoenix/Scottsdale area.

    Getting former GoDaddy employees to talk about Standard Tactics is a challenge. I contacted former employees who were happy to talk about GoDaddy in general. When I brought up Standard Tactics, a common response was for a brief pause followed by, “I can’t talk about that”.

    Perhaps Standard Tactics answers another question: why Bob Parsons is so adamant that customers need whois privacy.

    [This story was edited at 2:18 PM CDT on Wednesday, 12/3/08 to include Ede's response to denying that the company owns trademark and pharmaceutical names.]

182 Comments
  • [...] この話を公けにしたのは、DomainNameWireのAndrewが最初だった。すかさずこちらも後追いをかけ、記事はこう結んだ。「GoDaddyがその過去と手口を隠そうとすることには、何の不思議もない。しかしAndrewのおかげで、今やすべてが言葉として公になった」 [...]

  • [...] that he has taken the entire portfolio of 33,000 names owned under the Standard Tactics company (see the original story on DNW) and has listed these for sale on TDNAM with a starting price of $10 and a valuation [...]

  • Here they can hide the domains again LOL..

    Domain Name: proxyking.us

    Status: clientDeleteProhibited, clientRenewProhibited, clientTransferProhibited, clientUpdateProhibited

    Registrar: GODADDY.COM, INC.

    Expiration Date: 2009-03-30 23:59:59
    Creation Date: 2007-03-31 20:32:58
    Last Update Date: 2008-05-12 14:58:18

    Name Servers:
    ns13.domaincontrol.com
    ns14.domaincontrol.com

    Created by Registrar: GODADDY.COM, INC.
    Last Updated by Registrar: GODADDY.COM, INC.

    Registrant Contact Information:
    Name: Standard Tactics, LLC
    Organization: Standard Tactics LLC
    Address 1: 433 Paseo de Peralta
    City: Santa Fe
    State: NM
    Zip: 87501
    Country: US
    Phone: +1.5052160704
    Fax: +1.4802474081
    Email:

    Administrative Contact Information:
    Name: Standard Tactics, LLC
    Organization: Standard Tactics LLC
    Address 1: 433 Paseo de Peralta
    City: Santa Fe
    State: NM
    Zip: 87501
    Country: US
    Phone: +1.5052160704
    Fax: +1.4802474081
    Email:

    Technical Contact Information:
    Name: Standard Tactics, LLC
    Organization: Standard Tactics LLC
    Address 1: 433 Paseo de Peralta
    City: Santa Fe
    State: NM
    Zip: 87501
    Country: US
    Phone: +1.5052160704
    Fax: +1.4802474081
    Email:

    Billing Contact Information:
    Name: Standard Tactics, LLC
    Organization: Standard Tactics LLC
    Address 1: 433 Paseo de Peralta
    City: Santa Fe
    State: NM
    Zip: 87501
    Country: US
    Phone: +1.5052160704
    Fax: +1.4802474081
    Email:

  • GODADDY.CA really??? at tucows address and faxnumber and domaindirect ???

    WHOIS search results
    Domain name: godaddy.ca
    Domain name status: EXIST
    Domain number: 2285422
    Approval date: 2008/04/18
    Renewal date: 2010/04/18

    Registrar name: Go Daddy Domains Canada, Inc
    Registrar number: 2316042

    Registrant name: GoDaddy.com – TMA663703
    Registrant number: 1580399
    Registrant description:

    Administrative contact
    Name: Pam Bunn
    Job title:
    Postal address: GoDaddy.com
    14455 N. Hayden Road, Suite 219
    Scottsdale AZ 85260 United States
    Phone: +1.4805058800
    Fax:
    Email: dns@jomax.net

    Technical contact
    Name: Domain Direct
    Job title:
    Postal address: Domain Direct
    96 Mowat Avenue
    Toronto ON M6K 3M1 Canada
    Phone: +1.4165312084
    Fax: +1.4165315584 *********
    Email: dnstech@domaindirect.com

    Name servers last changed: 2008/08/13

    Name servers:

    DNS 1 hostname: cns1.secureserver.net
    DNS 2 hostname: cns2.secureserver.net
    DNS 3 hostname: cns3.secureserver.net
    DNS 4 hostname:
    DNS 5 hostname:
    DNS 6 hostname:

    WHOIS search results
    Domain name: domaindirect.ca
    Domain name status: EXIST
    Domain number: 885899
    Approval date: 2003/12/31
    Renewal date: 2009/12/31

    Registrar name: Tucows.com Co.
    Registrar number: 156

    Registrant name: TUCOWS International Inc.
    Registrant number: 27673
    Registrant description: Internet Services Wholesaler

    Administrative contact
    Name: Edward Gray
    Job title: Manager Central Services
    Postal address: TUCOWS International Inc.
    TUCOWS International Inc.
    96 Mowat Avenue
    Toronto ON M6K 3M1 Canada
    Phone: +1 (416) 535-0123
    Fax: +1 (416) 531-5584
    Email: dnsadmin@tucows.com

    Technical contact
    Name: Edward Gray
    Job title: Manager Central Services
    Postal address: TUCOWS International Inc.
    TUCOWS International Inc.
    96 Mowat Avenue
    Toronto ON M6K 3M1 Canada
    Phone: +1 (416) 535-0123
    Fax: +1 (416) 531-5584 ********
    Email: dnsadmin@tucows.com

    Name servers last changed: 2008/12/02

  • Another Godaddy Domain Warehouse or Research ???

    Global Research Network, LLC

    Global Research Network, LLC
    0 reviews Rate & Review
    14455 N Hayden Road, Suite 219, Scottsdale, AZ 85260
    Phone: (481) 624-2500

    Web Link http://www.grnwebs.com

    Caught Scumbob again….

  • @ Dirtdaddy – just looks like a reseller account to me. Address on whois shows Colorado.

  • I recently found that I am no longer the owner of my domain name even though payment was made to GoDaddy until 2010. Communications with them have resulted in them advising me that they can not respond to me as I am not the owner of the domain name. They have advised I must contact the owner to sort the situation out. I have no idea who to contact as they will not give me the information. At this point I have lost my domain name which will have a severly detrimental effect on my small company and unless they respond positively, it appears I have been ripped off regarding the payment made to GoDaddy which is insignificant compared to the business I will loose.

  • [...] But over the weekend I had a chance to watch the video, and was delighted to see Parsons included GoDaddy employees bidding at TDNAM auctions and Standard Tactics in his [...]

  • Patrick McDermott says:

    January 12, 2009 at 5:11 pm

    “I recently found that I am no longer the owner of my domain name even though payment was made to GoDaddy until 2010.”

    Ian,

    GoDaddy gives you the opportunity to print out a receipt of any transaction once concluded.

    Did you print out a receipt?
    Do you have it?

    GoDaddy also sends a couple of emails after
    you register a domain including an Order Confirmation.

    Do you have either of those emails?

    Do a Search of your email archives for any emails from @godaddy.com.

    The GD confirmation email will show the Receipt #, domain name, price paid & # of years paid for.

    The receipt # will help prove your
    claim.

    Did you have the domain locked?

    Was it on auto-renew?

    Was your credit card info correct and current including the Expiration Date?

    Is the registration date in the WhoIs continuous from the date you registered it?

    Or does it show a newer registration date?

    This would mean the domain expired and was released.

    Although you say registration was thru 2010,
    maybe it wasn’t and the domain expired and was sold on TDNAM.

    This would allow a continuous domain registration date

    You need the receipt or some other proof to help prove your claim.

    How long has the domain been under new ownership?

    What is the domain?

    How long has it been under the new ownership?

  • good article…keep it up.

  • For the latest dirt on Godaddy go http://www.nodaddy.com lets put some pressure on them scums.

  • [...] DomainNameWire.com revealed what YOU would of told me and others not that long into using my revealed trick. That it [...]

  • [...] from Domain Name Wire I just came across:  Also, here’s a link to the complete article:  Article How it Works GoDaddy is able to determine potential traffic to its customers’ expired domains. [...]

  • Standard Tactics, LLC and ***Robert Rosenpink pleads guilty ***

    Robert Rosenpink together with, GoDaddy formed a subsidiary called Standard Tactics, LLC in New Mexico. … (headed by) … Scottsdale, Arizona lawyer Robert J. Rosepink.

    http://www.azag.gov/press_releases/may/2008/galyon%20et%20al%20indictment%20release.pdf.

  • Standard Tactics, LLC and ***Robert Rosenpink pleads guilty ***

    Robert Rosenpink together with, GoDaddy formed a subsidiary called Standard Tactics, LLC in New Mexico. … (headed by) … Scottsdale, Arizona lawyer Robert J. Rosepink.

    http://www.azag.gov/press_releases/may/2008/galyon%20et%20al%20indictment%20release.pdf.

    The Arizone Republic reports today that Robert Rosenpink pleaded guilty to 4 counts acording to the Arizona Attorney Genera’ls Office Robert Rosenpink is scheduled to be sentenced on May 4th 2009 in Maricopa Superior Court the plea deal is that he must pay up to 10 million restitution.

    All I can say Robert Parsons and Robet Rosenpink seems like birds of a feather LOL I wonder if Scumbob is next with all the SKELETONS he has in his closet

  • Want to transfer 43000 + domain names from GoDaddy to……
    Reply with quote
    Hello…

    I’m part of a online club who collects domain names. We have together more than 43.000 domain names with GoDaddy.
    Part of the reason to do it with GoDaddy was all the benefits with “Go Daddy Hosting Connection”

    Now that they changed 3 weeks ago, without notice the benefits which comes with the free credits and therefor the “Go Daddy Hosting Connection” we want to change from registrar.

    Anybody aware of a free transfer from Go Daddy to….Huh without upgrading all your domain names with an extra year of registration?

    We have currently 76 accounts with GoDaddy. The largest hold around 3000 domain names. Anybody else want to joy our re listing action and make a bold fist to godaddy???
    Let me know…
    read also my post from this morning….
    Report to moderator Logged

    Reply #1

    « on: Today at 07:19:28 pm »
    Rohan Offline
    NoDaddy.com Forums Administrator
    Administrator
    Full Member
    *****
    Posts: 208
    RohanRNS
    View Profile WWW Email Personal Message (Offline)

    Re: Want to transfer 43000 + domain names from GoDaddy to……
    Reply with quote
    You will need to contact registrars to negotiate some bulk pricing.

    I do not believe it is possible to transfer a domain WITHOUT adding an additional year to it. However again some registrar may be able to to make an exception to this.

    Please browse our “alternatives” section of the forum and contact as many registrars as possible with your situation…hopefully someone will be able to help you run away from GoDaddy.

    http://forums.nodaddy.com/index.php?topic=558

  • GoDaddy crashed a 10 years old website
    Reply with quote
    Alright, here is my story.

    A good friend of mine runs http://www.LockPickersMall.com which used to be hosted on GoDaddy.

    This is a locksmith website selling LockPicking Tools. As you may know, it is perfectly legal to buy, possess or sell Lock Pick and LockSmith Tools in every US state. There is no law against that and in fact my friend sells it through paypal.

    Well, I guess you can guess the rest of the story, huh? LockPickersMall had been up with GoDaddy for 2 years until they finally decided they didn’t want to host a perfectly legal – and legit – lockpicking shop. Hundreds of satisfied customers and they cut the plug.

    First, they cut the hosting. My friend lost THOUSANDS of dollars in sales. Like this wasn’t enough, THEY ALSO SUSPENDED THE DOMAIN. Why? Why would they need to suspend the domain??? What’s the point.

    At first, they didn’t even want to let my friend transfer the domain. It took many calls just to get the DOMAINS and the files on the server were NEVER recovered no matter what they told.

    Oh, he had to pay their “fines” too. Thanksfully he had copies of the pages at home, but not of the database. 2 years of transactions lost for NO reasons. ONE e-mail, ONE representative and the website was gone – POOFED!

    Godaddy never gave my friend a reason, only “according to TOS bla bla bla”. This is utter crap. Not only did my friend lose sales, he had to PAY these scammers!!!!

    GODADDY IS ABSOLUTE CRAP. GO WITH A REAL HOST!

    LockPickersMall.com has been with its current host for 7 years without any problem. I ±£¤@£¤hate Godaddy

    Stay away from GoDaddy
    http://forums.nodaddy.com/index.php?topic=556.0;topicseen

  • I am in the process of building my website and was going to let GoDaddy host it. After your post, I think I have changed my mind.But, who would you recommend? Please advise. How about Homestead?
    Thanks for your help

  • Wow. I knew GoDaddy was a sleazy outfit but this confirms it on a whole new level.

  • @michael – look into 1and1.com. They’re reasonably priced and even their most basic package includes a lot of things many hosts make you pay extra for.

  • GoDaddy is an extremely corrupt company. Checkout http://www.nodaddy.com .

    I think that a lot of what these big companies do to the consumers is total BS!

  • I started like everyone does. Saw a nice ad at the super bowl. Now … too late for some things i have done… I find out go daddy is a blood sucking parasite piece of camel crap that stinks worse than rotting eggs. They should rot. I well boycott them with all my energy. No Daddy!!!

  • Peter Crawley says:

    June 11, 2010 at 8:37 pm

    Hi,

    Nothing has really changed Go Daddy Group Steal from customers.

    See

    http://www.ecosolarheating.net

    http://www.ecosolarheat.net

    The fact is th Go Daddy Group are supposed to be Service Providers, their ICANN Accrediated Status suggests they can be trusted to provide services.

    It appears that ICANN are happy to sit back and allow questionable trading standards by Registrars.

    Perhaps it is time for Government regulation because the Registrars cannot be trusted and the watchdog (ICANN) has gone to sleep.

  • @ Peter

    GO BUY YOUR DOMAINS:
    http://www.ecosolarheat.net
    http://www.ecosolarheating.net

    They’re unregistered. Buy them from the registrar of your choice. (Not bad domains, either!)

  • Peter Crawley says:

    June 13, 2010 at 5:55 pm

    Hi Stephen,

    I do own the domains

    http://www.ecosolarheat.net

    http://www.ecosolarheating.net

    They are working web sites not for Solar Systems at the moment the content is building the story on how the .com domains were effectively stolen by the Go Daddy Group.

    When I buy a domain for business purposes I buy the .com and .net purely for marketing purposes.

    When building a brand the last thing any of us need is to find that a working .com web site is competing with the .net domain.

    Many people do not see what happened to me with the Go Daddy Group can happen to anyone who is using the services of a Wild West Domains Reseller.

    Very few of the general public know there is a difference between a Registrar and Reseller.

    The Go Daddy Group use Wild West Domains Registry to manage the Resellers, of course many of the Resellers do not know their biggest competitor Go Daddy .com is the big Sister / Brother of Wild West Domains.

  • [...] Berkens are asking very interesting questions today, based on earlier investigative reporting by DomainNameWire, about whether Go Daddy would or should be barred from owning a registry on cybersquatting [...]

  • [...] A simple search on Google will reveal story after story of how domain owners lost control of their domain, weren’t notified of an impending expiry (Yahoo! did this to me) and charged extra to “reactivate” it, among cybersquatting and other incredibly shady practices. [...]

  • [...] Country Originally Posted by Onward Do not want them to start warehousing names. They would never do such a thing. http://domainnamewire.com/2008/12/03…pired-domains/ [...]

  • [...] readers that wresting control of your own domain from the scared, tightfisted, egocentric, sexist, criminal

  • Well, I can tell you that they are doing it all again. Just using wildwestdomains.com instead of standardtactics.com.

  • When So many people have talked bad on he illegal practices of Godaddy, why not anyone takes Godaddy to Court?

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