Lawsuit targets people and companies allegedly sending spam and saying they are associated with GoDaddy.
GoDaddy has filed a lawsuit (pdf) in an effort to take down one of the groups that it alleges is spamming offers to domain name owners and pretending to be affiliated with the registrar.
If you’ve ever registered a domain name without Whois privacy, you are probably a victim of the defendants or a similar group.
The lawsuit was filed in U.S. Federal District Court in Northern California against Usman Ghaznavi a/k/a Usman Anis, Salman Ghaznavi a/k/a Salman Anis, Silicon Valley Graphic, LLC d/b/a Silicon Valley Graphics (“SVG”), and Does 1 through 50.
It alleges that the defendants undertook a long and sophisticated scheme to spam domain name registrants to offer them logo services, web animations and more. Many of these spam messages pretended to be affiliated with GoDaddy.
This led to many complaints to GoDaddy. GoDaddy even received a letter from a lawyer threatening to file a class action lawsuit against the registrar for its unsolicited emails.
The defendants allegedly used domain names like g0daddydesigns.com, godaddydesignagency.com and godaddyanimations.com to run the scheme. They also used non-branded domains like route66d.com. (I recall receiving multiple text messages linking to route66d.com.)
GoDaddy was able to uncover the possible identities of the perpetrators by working with WhoisGuard to reveal ownership data of one domain. It looks like the defendants got a little sloppy, too; Godaddy alleges that they registered six of their infringing domain names at GoDaddy.
There are many groups spamming owners of newly registered domain names and pretending to have an affiliation with GoDaddy. This hurts GoDaddy and the recipients of these messages.
While this lawsuit is aimed at just one group, a big success could lead to a reduction in these scams.