Guy takes third stab at MySchool.com with lawsuit

Owner of MySchool411.com really wants MySchool.com, preferably without paying for it.

If at first you don’t succeed, try try again.

That’s apparently Joseph Carpenter’s belief.

Carpenter runs the site MySchool411.com. He filed a UDRP against MySchool.com in 2010 and lost. He filed another one last year and lost again.

Now he has filed an in rem lawsuit (pdf) against the domain name in a third attempt to get the domain name without buying it.

The lawsuit uses the Uniregistry whois privacy on the domain name to suggest that the “registrant” is based in Cayman, and thus justify the in rem lawsuit.

MySchool.com is certainly a valuable domain name. Original Web Ventures paid $42,000 to acquire the domain name in 2013. I don’t think it’s going to let this in rem action slip through, which means Carpenter may have bit off a bit more than he can chew.

(Thanks Mike for the tip.)

.Top domain apparently using spam to get to the Top

New TLD registry sends spam to people who have registered other new TLDs.

How do you get attention for your new top level domain name in a crowded field? One new top level domain name company has apparently resorted to sending lots of unsolicited email — and likely scraping Whois to do it.

.Top is currently ranked #9 in terms of registrations, surely helped by a 99 cent price tag at some registrars. The company behind it, Jiangsu Bangning Science & Technology Co., Ltd., is also raising awareness by sending spam to people who own other domain names.

Check your spam folder, and you might see what I mean. Click to continue reading…

.Email domain name owner YoYo sues three Banks over UDRP

YoYo.email asks UK court to reverse UDRP decision.

YoYoYoYo.email has sued RBS Bank (Royal Bank of Scotland), Natwest Bank and Coutts & Co in the United Kingdom in an effort to overturn an adverse UDRP decision.

YoYo registered about 4,000 .email domain names when they came out, almost all of them reflecting brand names. The company plans to use the domain names for a certified email service.

But the registration of these brand names has drawn the ire of trademark holders, and YoYo has the distinction of being on the receiving end of the most URS/UDRP cases filed against a company over new top level domain names. Click to continue reading…

Domain registrars should add security check for transfers to eName

Registrar has become a haven for stolen domain names.

Over the weekend I received an email from the (former) owner of ShadesDaddy.com, an online sunglasses seller. He said his domain name had been stolen.

I didn’t have to read on to make a prediction: the domain name was transferred to domain name registrar eName.

Indeed, it was.

How did I make this prediction? Well, a couple months ago someone in Austin was connected to me after their domain name was stolen. It was stolen from their eNom account and transferred to eName, which is the exact same case with ShadesDaddy.

If you do a site search on DomainGang.com for ename.com, you’ll quickly discover stories about a couple dozen domain names allegedly stolen and transferred to eName. Most of them were transferred from GoDaddy, but lately eNom has also become the losing registrar.

In the case of the Austin man who lost his domain from eNom, the domain was unlocked and completely transferred within a day.

Here’s a simple suggestion: registrars should add an internal security check for transfers to eName. At a minimum, they should enforce the five day transfer waiting period to inspect any transfers of potentially valuable domain names.

True, domain thieves could just change their registrar of record. But for now, domain registrars might prevent some unfortunate customer problems by paying a little extra attention to domain transfers heading to eName.

ICA responds to ICANN CEO Fadi Chehadé’s “Hogging” remarks

ICANN boss made questionable comments in Davos last month.

Internet Commerce Association has sent a letter (pdf) to ICANN CEO Fadi Chehadé, following remarks Chehadé made at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos.

In a video interview with Huffington Post, Chehadé said:

The reality is, the more there are names, the less people will actually be hogging names in order to charge a lot for them. Because if somebody took your name on dot-x, you can go get another name on dot-y now.” and “We went from twenty-something top-level domains … to hundreds now… We think it will actually reduce cybersquatting eventually.

The remarks were widely rebuked. On this week’s Domain Sherpa Discussion, I noted that it seemed Chehadé went off message while trying to say that new TLDs deliver more consumer choice while not contributing to a meaningful increase in trademark infringing domain names.

ICA’s letter, penned by President Jeremiah Johnston, notes that people investing in domain names (i.e., hogging domains) are the ones footing the bill for ICANN’s massive growth and budget. ICA’s members represent about 10% of all registered domain names, and Johnston points out that this means they paid for about 20 of Chehadé’s 197 trips last year.

The notes that there is nothing wrong with domain name investing, and investors are merely setting a market price. Furthermore, new TLD companies are playing the same role as domain name investors in legacy TLDs, reserving thousands of domain names and setting high prices on the better ones. For the most part, it’s not the case that, if your desired domain is taken in .com, you can acquire it cheaply on a new TLD.

In fact, new TLD operators’ ability to charge whatever they want for new TLDs is probably why contention set auctions are going so high, further lining ICANN’s pockets.

The absence of pricing controls in new gTLDs has in fact shifted pricing discretion away from portfolio registrants and toward registry operators. In .com and other legacy gTLDs with low annual registration fees, domain investors price domains they offer for resale based upon their perceived market value. In the new gTLD program, the registries are pricing annual domain registration based upon on their perception of market value. In both instances, the marketplace is working.

The letter also questions Chehadé’s use of the word “cybersquatting” in the same breathe of “hogging” domain names, and seeks clarification on if he was tying domain name investing together with trademark infringement.