Attention Domain owners: Emails from “DomainNotice”!

Author: admin  |  Category: Consumer, Domains, Internet, Security  |  Comments (0)  |  Add Comment

It seems that there is a huger harvesting of domains going on right now and a company called “DomainNotice” is sending out email. Plain and simple – this is a scam.

They offer to keep your site indexed by “search engine” (what, they don’t even know Google?) and if you do not pay them $75 for 1 year, it will not be searchable by search engines.

This is completely FALSE. Unless your site is black flagged by Google (or any search engine), you do not need to resubmit your site to them. It will remain indexed for as long as your site is indexable. You can re-submit your sites to Google, and that is FREE.

These emails are a scam – do not respond to them, do not fax the paper to them. Just flag the email as spam.

Here are the links to where you can do this for free, one time:
Google
Yahoo
MSN

Selling things you don’t own should be illegal, right?

Author: admin  |  Category: Domains, Internet, Scams  |  Comments (0)  |  Add Comment

Think about this:  A sales person contacts you about a product.  They offer to sell you the product for a price. You pay for the product then you find out that not only do they not own what you are paying for, there is no guarantee that you’ll get it. I am sure that most people would cry fraud, a scam, or theft with this, which technically it is.

Well, apparently in the domaining world this practices is not illegal, in fact it is not uncommon for people to solicit sales for something that they not only don’t own, but do not have the right to sell. One such entity I am calling out in this post.

Last year, I “won” a domain though a drop catch service (a service that “catches” names as they expire and become available). I paid my fee for the domain and was awaiting the domain to be transferred into the registrar where I could retrieve it. The next day, (over 24 hours later) I receive an email from “Webname Solution” (info@webnamesolution.com) offering to sell me this domain for $199.95 (screenshot of the email) In a panic, I quickly contacted the drop catch service and confirmed that I did legally own the domain and it was in the process of being transferred to the registrar. Luckily, a few days later the domain was in my account, where it should be.

I didn’t think anything of it until the other day when I saw this old email in my folder. I thought “Nah, they wouldn’t still be selling the domain, would they?”. Guess what? I was wrong. They are STILL selling it for $199.95.

(Click for a full sized image)

Yes, this company is still selling the domain that I own that they do not have the right to sell. Last I checked, this is illegal. “But Draggar, they could be anywhere!” while this is true, a quick WhoIs check shows who owns the domain:
WhoIs result
The results are:
Registrant:
Webname Solution
1256 Guy Street
Montreal, Qc H3H 2L3
CA
646-964-6515
Domain Name: WEBNAMESOLUTION.COM

I checked it on Google maps and it is a legitimate address (but who knows if it is the accurate one).

The sad part of al this is that this is not the first, the second, or even the third time this has happened to me. This company has done this a few other times in the past with me but I haven’t noticed it this long. I’ve own the domain for several months now and they are still selling the domain. I’m debating if I should send them a C&D letter and CC my local FBI office since they are fraudulently trying to sell assets owned in the USA?

School House Rock (style) presents Tyrannosaurus Debt

Author: admin  |  Category: Business, Internet, News, Politics  |  Comments (0)  |  Add Comment

I watched this this morning and found it to be interesting while entertaining. I really wish these guys would come back, they were great to watch back in the day.

(10-02-2008 new link since the old one went dead)

Blogger / Google is NOT letting me take my domain with me!

Author: admin  |  Category: Internet, Rant  |  Comments (0)  |  Add Comment

I’ve been trying to transfer my domain from Blogger’s / Google’s control into my own GoDaddy account (so it’s only $7 per year as opposed to $10) but they’ve locked “private registration” and seems to have set up a no-transfer policy with my domain. In essence, it seems that they are holding *my* domain hostage which is a violation of ICANN policies.

Obviously with all the advertising and other revenue streams Google feels that it is important to hold these domains hostage.

Beware other blogger subscribers, they are probabaly doing this to you too.

I am working on alternative means of hosting my blog now because of this.

We are Google, resistance is futile.

Author: admin  |  Category: Internet, News  |  Comments (0)  |  Add Comment

First a US court ruled that Google must release the viewing habits of everyone who has ever visited YouTube (Story here). Now, this month’s Discover magazine has an article appropriately titled “Google’s Eyes are Watching You” with a secondary title “No Place To Hide”. It’s quite scary actually. Google has become a modern day juggernaut of information many of which we (the population) thinks is safely tucked away somewhere or not even kept. Just imagine what a company like Google could learn about you just from your searching habits (who doesn’t use Google now?).

Guess what, anonymity went out the door the second you logged onto your PC and went onto the internet. Google is watching. Google is in your PC, in your home, and in your mind. You think I’m lying or paranoid, don’t you. Just imagine, how much do you search every day? Do you have that little Google toolbar that is packaged in with just about every game you buy on the internet now? It’s all keeping records of you, what you watch, and now, thanks to Google Earth and Google’s acquired company, Keyhole (yes, the same company that headed up spy technology for the CIA though the 80s) can now even watch you.

Go ahead, go to maps.google.com I just typed in my address and I saw my car. I know it is recent because we had some landscape changes after hurricane Wilma that is there. You can even see the debris piles and tarps on our roofs, so I guess this shot is from between fall of 2005 and summer of 2006. You can look up anything, your house, your ex’s house, military bases; I just saw the Kremlin, the Pyramids, and Tower Bridge all within a few minutes of each other.

It’s not scary to see these images now, most are not too recent (between 1-3 years old) but what about as this technology advances? Hell, I just now went onto Google Streets and I just saw myself walking my dog and my parents cooking (this picture I know is recent since they only got rid of a fence a month ago and it is not in the picture). Luckily, my sister’s street isn’t part of Google Streets yet.

Google is everywhere and is in everything. While I agree this technology can be helpful it can also be very dangerous and has a large amount to be abused. Imagine this in the hands of stalkers? Terrorists? Just enter “Earle Ammunition Depot” and you can actually see the trains that are parked in this “highly secret” (not anymore) base. You can see the planes at Offutt AFB, even.

I’m sure it is just a matter of time (I think less than a year) that Google imagery and records will be “credible evidence” on a regular bases in our courtrooms.

Google is the Borg. Google is Skynet. Google is everywhere, resistance is futile.

Phishing is on the rise: The basics on how to protect yourself?

Author: admin  |  Category: Internet, Security  |  Comments (0)  |  Add Comment

On several forums that I’m a member of there have been a drastic increase in the number of phishing attempts. People pretending to be someone they aren’t, banks are a big target but also escrow services, PayPal, eBay, various registrars, credit card companies. These people are tricky, they make the email seem urgent (on the lines of “we need to verify your information or else your account will be deleted”).

First and most importantly, DO NOT GO TO THESE SITES IN THE EMAIL. Usually these sites will have malicious scripts in them that will copy logins and passwords. Don’t worry, if you did go to one site, quickly close out the window and get yourself a copy of “Spybot: Search & Destroy” or LavaSoft’s Ad-Aware (both are free). Install and completely can your system with both (one at a time, though). And for kicks, if you do not have any virus protection, get Grisoft’s AVG, it is also free (and favored amongst my techie friends, better than a lot of the competition that costs more). Clean up that system! It is also a very good idea to clean out your cache (temporary internet files), cookies, and history.

Next, go to the web site that you normally go to and find their fraud department, normally most will have an email for this, abuse@(institution).com for example, abuse@paypal.com is PayPal’s. Forward the email to that email address. Close out the browser’s window if you had one open.

Go back into your browser and go back to the site in question. Log into your account like you normally do and make sure everything is OK. If you are ever unsure, CALL THEM. It is your money and reputation. Don’t assume they will do everything for you; most do not have the manpower to monitor every account.

Also, change your passwords often and make them secure (see previous blog from this month). Do not make them easy for anyone to guess!

Most phishing attempts can be stopped right from the beginning. Even if an email seems legitimate, protect yourself and do not click on any links in any email like these. Go directly to the site in question and log in that way.

The EFF Speaks out against the Snowe Bill

Author: admin  |  Category: Business, Domains, Internet, Politics  |  Comments (0)  |  Add Comment

The EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation) has issued a statement on the Snowe Bill, calling it a “free speech double-whammy”.
Read it here

Posted by Corynne McSherry

Congress is contemplating a so-called “Anti-Phishing Consumer Protection Act” (APCPA) that takes an odd view of consumer protection. In the name of stopping phishing schemes, Senator Olympia Snowe has introduced S. 2661, a bill that would expand trademark law, limit consumer access to information about competitive products, and eviscerate key protections for anonymous speech. Co-sponsors are Senators Bill Nelson and Ted Stevens (yes, THAT Ted Stevens).

The bill starts off relatively inoffensively by prohibiting the use of false information to solicit identifying data from a computer (this was already illegal, but we’ll let that go for now). But then it goes on to forbid the use of brand names in domain names, and the use of another’s domain name in emails, on websites, or in web ads. This prohibition is unnecessary: if the use of a brand name in a domain name is confusing, it is already actionable under trademark law. And it is dangerous because, unlike current federal trademark law, the APCPA does little to protect noncommercial and comparative advertising uses of trademarks. For example, U.S. trademark dilution law excludes noncommercial, parodic and comparative uses. Under the APCPA, however, noncommercial use is merely a factor to be “considered,” not a clear exclusion, and comparative use is not explicitly protected at all. Given that trademark law simply doesn’t apply to noncommercial uses of marks, such meager “protection” for noncommercial use is unacceptable. Moreover, it appears that the bill would give a new weapon to folks like Sanofi-Aventis, the pharmaceutical giant that tried to use trademark law to shut down a news site about a new and controversial drug, Acomplia, because the site (www.acompliareport.com) included the name of the drug.

To make matters worse, another provision allows any Tom, Dick or Harry to force domain name registrars to reveal a customer’s personally identifying information by simply sending an email alleging that the customer has violated the new law. No need to comply with the traditional legal niceties of, say, an actual filed lawsuit or a subpoena that might permit the customer to go to court to protect her anonymity. A mere allegation is enough.

Sure, phishing is a problem. But you don’t solve it by rewriting trademark law and depriving lawful speakers of the chance to keep their identities private. This ill-conceived legislation should be

SEDO Takes on the Snowe Bill!!

Author: admin  |  Category: Business, Domains, Internet, Politics  |  Comments (0)  |  Add Comment

This was posted on a forum (a domainer’s forum) today. It seems that SEDO is taking action with the ICA to lobby against the Snowe Bill or the falsely advertised “Anti-Phishing Consumer Protection Act of 2008″. Feel free to read and enjoy.

The post can be read here:
DNForum.com

Added 3-11-08:
Sedo has posted on the same forum:
Sdeo’s Post

Dear (),

As a founding member of the Internet Commerce Association, Sedo believes that it is important to invest our resources in ensuring the long term health and viability of the domain name market and the business of traffic monetization. Whether you buy and sell domains for your business, maintain a portfolio of domain properties, or simply enjoy the use of domain names for personal websites or blogs, a threat has emerged to domain ownership and it is time for interested individuals and businesses to protect our rights.

As you may have already read in the news or on a forum, a bill was recently introduced in the United States Senate by Senator Olympia Snowe (R-ME) that aims to drastically and needlessly expand the scope of rights associated with a trademark outside the realm of traditional trademark law. The Anti-Phishing Consumer Protection Act of 2008, or the Snowe bill as it is referred to, appears on its face to be directed to fighting the practice of “phishing”, which is a worthwhile cause, but contains many elements completely unrelated to this purpose, such as creating a cause of action for displaying advertising on a generic or descriptive domain name simply because another company has registered rights to a similar word or phrase.

If this bill is passed by Congress and signed by the President, it would immediately arm large businesses and government agencies with the ability to claim countless valuable and legitimate domains from their current owners. Supported by the Coalition Against Domain Name Abuse (CADNA), a coalition of companies that include Verizon, AIG, Dell, and several large hotel chains, the Snowe bill is attempting to confuse the issue of malicious phishing scams with the lawful and legitimate business of buying, selling and monetizing domain names.

By removing many of the intended checks and balances of traditional trademark law, designed to ensure that trademark rights are limited by geography and class of goods and services, the Snowe bill is attempting to eliminate many of the roadblocks large companies have faced in their attempt to gain de facto monopoly rights on words that rightfully belong to the public domain. Furthermore, the absence of due process principles make it likely that valuable domain properties could be taken from their rightful owner due only to a vague resemblance to another’s mark.

I encourage all Sedo users and domain owners anywhere to help fight the Snowe bill by joining the Internet Commerce Association, a non-profit industry organization founded to help represent domain name investors and developers and the direct search industry. The Internet Commerce Association is comprised of responsible businesses and individuals who have joined together to improve public confidence in internet commerce. Based in Washington D.C., their mission is to promote and share best practices among participants in the domain name industry and to educate consumers, policy makers, law makers and the media about the value and benefits of direct navigation traffic and the domain name industry.

Please visit www.internetcommerce.org to learn more about the Snowe bill and how you can support the ICA in our effort to fight its passage.

Best Regards,

Your Sedo Team

Projected winners and losers of the Snowe Bill

Author: admin  |  Category: Business, Domains, Internet, Politics  |  Comments (0)  |  Add Comment

A list is being compiled of the winners and losers of the Snowe bill and so far:

The winners are any corporation who is aggressive against cyber-squatting and domains:

* Dell
* Microsoft
* Adidas
* Walmart
* Mariott
* Verizon
* Several other large corporations

* Plus WIPO (more claim fees)
* ICANN (more registrations changing hands = more revenue)
* Cyber Squatters outside of the US since they’ll be outside of US jurisdiction
* Phishers outside of the US (like most of them) for the same reason

And the losers:

* Small businesses (they’ll lose their web presence)
* Domainers (internet real estate investors)
* Web masters / programmers – they’ll also lose their sites
* Parking companies such as Sedo, Parked.com, NameDrive, etc..
* Registrars such as GoDaddy, Moniker, TuCows, etc..
* Ad supplying companies such as Yahoo, Google, and Microsoft (yes, they’re a winner and a loser)
* Web hosting companies, more people won’t want to have websites or domains in fear of them being taken away

This has already been tested when a senator named Sam Adams used SamAdams.com as his campaign page and Sam Adams (the beer) sued him for copyright infringement.

Even generics are not safe, like cars.com, laptops.com, pictures.com etc..!!!

Before I go, here’s a list of companies who support this bill, as you can see, some of these are going to benefit from this new law. Companies are part of an organization that is trying to pass a law that will benefit them and hurt others. What’s wrong with this picture?

American International Group, Inc.
Bacardi & Company Limited
Compagnie Financière Richemont SA
Dell Inc.
Eli Lilly and Company
Hilton Hotels Corporation
HSBC Holdings plc
Marriott International, Inc.
Verizon Communications Inc.
Wyndham Worldwide Corporation

(Source: http://domainnamewire.com/2008/03/03/senate-anti-phishing-bill-or-reverse-cybersquatting-in-disguise/ )

Stop the Snowe Bill – petition

Author: admin  |  Category: Domains, Internet, Politics  |  Comments (0)  |  Add Comment

Wow, 3 posts in one day!

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/snowe-bill-threatens-domain-name-registrants-and-internet-commerce

Sign the petition!