Domain Name Wire

Domain Name Wire

  • CitizenHawk: Pulling the Sheets Off a “Typosquatting Recovery Firm”

    1. BY - Apr 07, 2010
    2. Policy & Law
    3. 19 Comments

    New site watches a watchdog.

    One of the more controversial domain name companies is CitizenHawk. The company was founded in 2007 to help brands recover typos of their domain names.

    On behalf of clients, the company sends demand letters to registrants of typos and files UDRPs as well. When it recovers a domain, it has an agreement with the client that CitizenHawk may monetize the domain for a period of time. This is usually done through the client’s affiliate program. According to several sources, CitizenHawk typically gets to monetize domains for two years before control of the domain is supposed to be handed back over to its client.

    But does the company have some of its own dirt to hide, much like the typosquatters it goes after? I wrote previously about how it used trademarks in its meta tags, which didn’t look good for a trademark-defending company. A new site sheds even more light on the company’s operations.

    At HawkNest, you can peer into the company’s activities. Using publicly available information, the site shows CitizenHawk’s biggest clients, newest clients, and number of domains under management. But there are a lot of other surprising facts.

    First, most of the domains the company has “recovered” for clients recently have been new registrations. Instead of sending out a cease & desist letters, the company is registering expired domain names that include clients’ typos. Sometimes it even registers typos that have never been registered before. That’s a great business model — speculatively register typos for two years with the blessing of the trademark holder. Take a look at many of the hand registrations for one of its newest clients, LawDepot.com. If CitizenHawk’s agreement with LawDepot lets it monetize the domains for two years, that’s a good deal for an $8 registration.

    Second, if the typical duration that CitizenHawk is allowed to monetize a domain name after obtaining it is 2 years, it isn’t always handing control of the domains over after that period. Many of them are still being monetized by CitizenHawk well after two years. Someone is dropping the ball.

19 Comments
  • More slime attracted to the domain name cosmos.

  • average domainer says:

    April 7, 2010 at 4:33 pm

    Isn’t this similar to when the police arrest a drug dealer and the police officer keeps some or all of the drugs?

  • I like the way Average Domainer thinks

  • They are pretty smart. They found a way to make cybersquatting legal.

  • wankers

  • They recently sent me a CD email threatening me with all kind of stuff for a perfectly generic word.

    I just lost my mind and replied them back along these lines:

    STOP the THREATS and HARASSMENT IMMEDIATELY.
    This is you final warning.

    If the harassment continued, we will take you and your client to the court and even try to get their TM cancelled.

    Go to HELL, you morons.

    I have not heard back in over 2 months.

  • Tim Davids says:

    April 7, 2010 at 7:46 pm

    “Isn’t this similar to when the police arrest a drug dealer and the police officer keeps some or all of the drugs?”

    yes but here its for medicinal purposes only.

  • Next WIPO/UDRP any of us get, we should explain how we’re just setting up an operation like Citizen Crock runs.

    Nothtin’ wrong wit dat!

  • Now this is a great post … thanks !

  • citizen hawk is smart for operating this way, but it also makes you say “wtf” and do a double take. Yeah it is like a cop selling drugs he confiscated on the streets. But who is going to bust the cop? His cop friends? Doubt it, they are scum as well.

    Nice post, good to stick it to these prats. I have loathed their tactics for quite some time, and TBH it’s nice we can all agree on something :)

  • Aliasencore.com does the same thing. They tried to take a mis spell on a generic of mime the same way, in a nutshell they have not come back, nor filed for the domain. I don’t know who created Hawknest but they are deserve a big hand!

    someone should forward that info to their clients.

  • What kind of moronic clients would allow CH to register and monetize typos of their tms for a 2 year period? Thats the 1st thing that comes to mind. The 2nd thing that comes to mind is why didn’t the people behind hawknest.org didn’t have the balls to put their names behind thier work? Easy to hide and throw stones. I have a STRONG FIOLING that the guy behind the site is a DOMAINCONSULTANT but don’t know em from ADAM…come on guys step up to the MIKE and reveal yourselves

  • hawknest.org is run by AliasEncore founder, ex-partner at CitizenHawk. Obviously a disgruntled ex-employee trying to mudsling.

  • Hacks, while that might be true your comment doesn’t dispute the accuracy of the site. As a former CitizenHawk client I can say for a fact that the information is completely accurate.

    This site has been invaluable in assuring CitizenHawk transfered domains back to our company on time.

    I can only assume “Hacks” is a current CitizenHawk employee not too happy about a site making them accountable to their partners.

  • Another former Citizenhawk client says:

    October 26, 2011 at 11:28 am

    If a person is anonymously redirecting traffic from a brand on the internet – its called typo squatting.

    Why don’t the people who is doing this ask permission from the brand?

    Why don’t these people investigate to see if their using a trademark or infringing on a Brand.

    Criminal intent refers to an unlawful guiding motive. When someone commits an act that is driven by unlawful motives ( unauthorized use of a trademark or copyright), he is usually guilty of a crime. Today these people are not locked up they just loose the domain name. I think these people are getting off easy.

    Citizenhawk provided the best service at ZERO cost to me. It would cost me a lot of $$$$$$ to have my legal team handle this.

    If people still want to use creative means to divert internet traffic from a brand – then the industry needs companies like Citizenhawk.

  • Former Affiliate partner says:

    October 26, 2011 at 11:33 am

    hawknest.org is run by Alias Encore he is a disgruntled employee. He using this name to cause confusion. He’s not a good guy. Several of his customer have left Alias Encore.

  • Domainer Extraordinaire says:

    October 26, 2011 at 11:37 am

    Slimeball spammer.

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