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Receiver Fail: Network Solutions Responds to Expired Domains Sold on NameJet

Company says it sent 54 reminders to receiver to renew domain names.

New details have emerged in the case of a court-appointed receiver failing to renew domain names that were subject to a lengthy court case.

OK, so it’s not the exciting. We all knew what happened: the receiver failed to renew the domain names, they expired, and then they were auctioned off at NameJet.

But a letter from Network Solutions shows that the receiver at least knew how to renew a domain name. As it turns out, he renewed the subject domain names at least twice. But for some reason he only renewed them for a year at a time (save money in case everything wrapped up?), and then he just dropped the ball this year.

Network Solutions Director of Legal and Business affairs wrote:

In establishing his account with Network Solutions, the Receiver agreed to the terms and conditions of the Service Agreement, and all services were then provided to the Receiver as the account holder…

From the initial transfer of the Domain Names into his account, the Receiver had full control of the Domain Names, including the ability to decide whether to renew the services for any or all of the Domain Names, and he obviously was well-aware of the steps that he needed to take to ensure any such renewal of services.

For the domain names that expired, Network Solutions sent four separate renewal notices — meaning Network Solutions sent 54 reminders to renew the subject domain names.

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  1. John Berryhill says

    It seems then that Netsol’s responsibility revolves around this idea that the domain names were ordered to be controlled by the receiver. The notion of “control” would appear to include the receiver’s decision to renew, or not renew, any of the names. If the receiver had simply decided not to renew certain names, then someone would be here complaining that Netsol had violated the receiver’s “control” by NOT following the normal post-expiration process set forth in its terms.

    The names were supposed to be under the control of the receiver. That does not provide Netsol with any discretion in the treatment of names the receiver does not renew, after having received expiration warnings from Netsol.

    As far as getting the names back, I don’t see the point. The entire objective of the plaintiff here is to obtain control of the domain names for the purpose of auctioning them off. The names were auctioned off, at a definite auction value. Hence, in contrast to real estate transactions in which sometimes the application of principles of equity will deem a pile of money representing the sale price of the real estate not to be a substitute for the real estate itself, the loss here is not irreparable by monetary damages. In other words, the situation would be different if it was the plaintiff’s ultimate intention to actually use the domain names. In that situation, a monetary remedy would be inadequate.

    Here, however, the plaintiff’s intention was to conduct an auction to obtain a sum of money for the domains. That is exactly what NameJet did, which reduces the remedy here to a legal remedy (i.e. the money), and not an equitable remedy (i.e. transfer of the domains). In other words, the quarrel here is about “who got the money for auctioning the domains”, not “who got the domains”.

  2. Howard says

    I agree with John that this indeed lets Netsol off the hook with the court and that the Receiver is liable for the value of the domains sold at auction by Namejet.

  3. Jamie says

    Maybe the receiver was happy with the 20% of “Net Proceeds” of the “Direct Transfer”? That is if he gets the “direct transfer email” from NSI to agree.

    “” NSI’s terms, not mine!

  4. Jay says

    Not sure if network solutions shares revenue with the domain owner but when you let names expire at Fabulous they go to NameJet and you receive 60% of the auction price. I just let a batch expire intentionally at Fabulous and a few got picked up and 60% was credited to my Fabulous account. More registrars should do this as I would probably drop more of them.

  5. trash says

    this thrills me
    glad to see a receiver screw up lol
    theyre goona have to put their hands up to this cock up

  6. John Berryhill says

    Whether to accept the 20% is a delicious dilemma for the Receiver.

    Does he take the money in accordance with the terms by which he “controlled” the domain name?

    Or does he double-down and go for all-or-nothing?

    Tune in next week, space rangers, for another exciting episode of malpractice roulette.

    • Andrew Allemann says

      Also making this case interesting is that the high bidder on govermentgrants.com apparently hasn’t paid because of the legal issues. Or is it maybe because they didn’t realize they were bidding on a typo?

  7. trash says

    can anyone else confirm fabulous give 60% to owners who drop domains thta go on to sell?

    • Andrew Allemann says

      @ trash – Fabulous has an opt-in program, I believe. But keep in mind if it drops and doesn’t sell you don’t get anything.

      But rather than get my facts wrong, I’ll see Fabulous in Vancouver tomorrow and will ask them to comment.

  8. trash says

    thankyou Andrew
    if fab do and netsol do as mentioned to alesser extent it begs the question how on earth moniker can keep every penny and share nothing
    especialy as snapnames and moniker are all part of oversee and have a free inhouse agreement to keep he lot
    outrageous really
    i have asked my roker what they plan to do o make amends and change and to give dropping owners something bk
    if they dont do it, i will transfer hundreds away and encourage everyone i know to do same
    this could be the perfect ‘cashback’ way to balance against dropped domains. wish i had transferred acrosss years ago

  9. Jay says

    @ Jamie
    Thanks for the info
    @ John Berryhill
    funny stuff
    @incredible domains and @trash
    I used a bitly link just because the original link was huge so not sure if it would have posted correctly on the blog.

  10. tricolorro says

    “Fabulous has an opt-in program, I believe”

    Andrew, you are 100% correct.

    You do have to sign into the program and here is certainly no reason not to.

  11. John Berryhill says

    It figures that domainers would find the interesting part of this story to be the percentage that registrars kick back from expiring name auctions…

  12. NootkaBear says

    My question is this… If Zuccarini was prosecuted for using these particular domain names, are they not illegal?
    The govt. prosecuted Zuccarini claiming the use of them is illegal. How can they be used by anyone?
    The reason for the appt. of the reciever, was because under CA law, you cannot put a levy on domain names. Period, no exceptions. The court could not levy the names because of the third party.
    The Federal Court could not make the third party give up the names. So they appointed a reciever so that they could take over the domain names? CA said they are intangible and therefore can’t be levied.
    How can someone make money on something that one person has been charged with using because they are illegal to use?
    Hell, the IRS was told they couldn’t do the same thing, but Office Depot can?

    There are a lot of things about the whole situation that stinks!

  13. Mike "Fabulous" Robertson says

    I can confirm, we have an Expiring Domains program, which is available as an opt in program. More details can be found here:


    Only those that sign up to the program will have their domains listed (and potentially sold) through NameJet. Those that don’t opt in, their domains will go through the normal drop/delete process.

    If anyone has any questions, feel free to contact me directly, mike at fabulous dot com.


  14. John Berryhill says

    “My question is this… If Zuccarini was prosecuted for using these particular domain names, are they not illegal?”

    There are several legal actions involving what might be termed “Zuccarini domains”.

    The basic lay of the land in THIS case is that an attorney in California bought uncollected civil judgments against Zuccarini and used those judgments to levy against his *other* domain names. In that view, *these* domain names were not the ones which triggered the civil judgments (which I believe also transferred the infringing domains). It is something like my putting a lien against your house because I obtained a judgment against you for hitting me with your car.

    Now, there is another shoe to drop here, because the US government also has some outstanding issues, and has filed to intervene in the case. The US issues relate, IMHO, to back taxes and to a judgment with the FTC obtained against Zuccarini at some time in the murky past. Interestingly, the FTC order prevented him from engaging in a laundry list of activities involving trafficking in the entire set of his domain names.

    Apart from all of that, there was a criminal conviction of Mr. Zuccarini resulting from an alleged violation of the Truth in Domain Names Act (or whatever it was called). Oddly, the indictment in that case relied on acts committed prior to the effective date of the statute, but Mr. Z took a plea deal for reasons unknown. US Attorneys can be very persuasive.

    While the US has not completely dropped its shoe yet (the last time I checked the docket), it is not outside of the range of possibilities for the US to see things your way – i.e. that the collection of domains itself (cybersquatted or not) is somehow tainted as “instruments of crime” or some other theory that will snatch defeat from that clever California attorney’s hands.

    Needless to say, the US government has large shoes.

    The decade-long sweep of this story is epic.

  15. NootkaBear says

    “Needless to say, the US government has large shoes.”

    I agree with that…
    Do you have any thoughts on what the US might do in the case? It appears that
    both Zuccarini and DS Holdings have
    mutually agreed to the US intervening into the case.

    Also, there has been a ruling in the CA courts that goes against what the 9th Cir.
    Court held in the Zuccarini Appeal.
    CA doesn’t seem too pleased with the 9th Cir. and domain name issue. I wonder what will come of that?

  16. NootkaBear says

    The CA Supreme Court has stated, and upheld that domain names are intangible and cannot be levied upon. The 9th Circuit went against CA law.

  17. John Berryhill says

    “Do you have any thoughts on what the US might do in the case?”

    My guesses would be that they dropped in to (a) pick up on outstanding liens, if any, against Zuccarini, and/or (b) to maintain a prior FTC injunction relating to the Zuccarini names. But those are simply be wild guesses.

  18. NootkaBear says

    The hearing for TRO Zuccarini filed, of course was denied, and Network Solutions got what they wanted so they won’t be joining the matter at this point.

    Still haven’t heard the US’s 2 cents worth yet…

    Most interested to see what they pull out of their hat.

  19. Paul says

    After 12 years with NetSol, my domain renewal notice did not reach m because my email changed. When the site went offline, I called them but they needed a fax update to correct the email but I paid for renewal at this time. During the two weeks it took for them to update my records they sold my domain name to a reseller who just quoted me $500 to get it back. Netsol screws it clients.

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