An update – Web Extortion Part II

In an entry some three years ago, I mentioned that at the time my domain name, terranullius.com, had been stolen after a year of use by my own hosting provider, “hostonce”, which turned out to have registered my domain to a White Power group with the rather odd name of “White Crusaders of the Rahowa” (ref Fightdemback). On that site, you can see a pretty picture which any mum would love of the guy who ended up with my domain days after the year anniversary passed, Colin A. Campbell. Hostonce (who are still trading under the .com.au) refused to return correspondence or allow me to renew my domain name, but left it unattended for several years.

As an interesting relic of those days, one of my then-validated email addresses is still my MSN address today, as some of you would indeed have recognised.

From my entry at that time:

For non tech savvy people, this is like going to Fair Trading to register your business name, only to find a year later that the staff of the Department have opened a shop in that name next to the local train station that doesn’t actually sell anything, but its presence means that you can’t reregister the name.

Anyway, it seems he passed it onto a company called NameGiant, as can be seen here. After several failed attempts (including phoning the international number, which I understand is like the UK equivalent of a 1900 number, twice) to get in touch with these people, I made a generic inquiry on obtaining the domain name last week. Here’s what I got back today:

Hi Andrew,

Thank you for your enquiry.

[…]

If you consider that just recently Fish.com sold for $1,020,000, MyPremierCard.com for $135,250, JMM.com for $55,000 and HorseSupplies.com $52,500 etc there have been many other 5 figure sales – I’m sure that our asking price could be considered an investment for a domain of this quality.

The price of this domain is £7,000 Great British Pounds or US$13,280 (close offers may be considered). This is a one off payment for the rights to the domain, however you will be responsible for paying the yearly registration (approx $30).

The email then diverges into a range (nearly a page in fact) of payment options.

A$17,300 for a domain name from NameGiant seems a bit steep, especially when it is stolen property to begin with. Last I checked, trading in stolen property is an offence in most countries, including the United Kingdom, where the Theft Act 1968 s.22 and Criminal Attempts Act 1981 s.1(1) (as amended) refer in part to “obtaining property by deception and handling stolen goods”.

I have written to them with a somewhat more reasonable offer. I will keep you posted with any developments.

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4 Responses to An update – Web Extortion Part II

  1. ab_xq says:

    Danny Kontos is an absolute hottie, shame about the wankmobile. Before reading ur post I did think he was possibly 1 of the nicest guys I’ve met.

    The scenario doesn’t sound too good Interlogue – isn’t there some independent body like the ACCC who could help you with this? Jeremy Malcolm is a really good lawyer for internet stuff.

    Keep us updated.

  2. Duckmonster says:

    Hey, Its Don from Fightdemback. Interesting post and actually answers a few questions we had about the site.

    Hope you get your domain back!

    Also, yeah. Jeremy Malcolm is a really really good lawyer. Helped a friend out with some stuff , and the guy practically wrote the book on australian interent law.

  3. Steve says:

    These people are holding the name in bad faith, and you lost it through criminal action. You really ought to consider going to the domain dispute panel. Just search Google and see how many cases Namegiant have lost!

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