Patterico's Pontifications

10/24/2008

1&1 Internet Has Allowed My Domain to Be Hijacked

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:41 am

The company “1&1″ has allowed my domain, patterico.com, to be hijacked.

Look up at the address bar. This is still the Patterico site — but I no longer have the patterico.com domain — even though I renewed it before the expiration date. My domain registrar has apparently seen fit to sell the domain out from under me despite my having taken timely steps to renew it.

If they can do this to me, they can do it to you. They can do it to anyone.

I have spent the past couple of days trying to give them the benefit of the doubt, but they’re now selling it off, so it’s clear they’ve been lying to me. I’ll spare you the full details. Here are the important facts:

  • I resolved a billing mixup more than two weeks before the expiration date and was assured everything would be fine.
  • I learned 4-5 days before the expiration date that the account was still mistakenly closed.
  • I was told I had to open a new account and “transfer” the domain from the old, closed account to the new, open one.
  • I initiated this transaction on the first possible business day after learning of the problem, requesting the “transfer” two days before the expiration date.
  • It is now two days after the expiration date and despite repeated assurances from the company that my renewal was on track, my domain is being auctioned off.

I have placed over a dozen phone calls, sent as many e-mails, and even sent a fax identifying myself and demanding that they do this renewal.

I am currently researching my options and would love to hear advice. In the meantime, let 1&1 know how you feel.

UPDATE: I am apparently not the first person 1&1 has done this to; see here for a similar story. The difference is that I put in for my renewal in a timely fashion.

UPDATE x2: If anyone wants to help monetarily, so I can pursue legal options, please don’t use the Paypal tip jar on the sidebar unless you’re paying with a credit card, because Paypal takes a percentage of credit card donations. Paypal any donations to patterico AT gmail DOT com; I’ll get 100% of any such donations.

I don’t have time to make a button; sorry. I have to get to work.

UPDATE x3: Don’t be misled by the fact that, for some ISPs and browsers, patterico.com is bouncing to patterico.net. That is the result of a caching that was put in place by my administrator days ago as a temporary Band-aid. It does not mean the problem has been solved. In fact, it has gotten worse: the auction has closed, which likely means that somebody has bought the domain. I need to take legal action immediately.

UPDATE x4: Until this is resolved, I can be reached at patterico.net. Please bookmark it now.

UPDATE x5: Here is a screenshot of the auction as it was in progress. Note that they were demanding thousands of dollars.

UPDATE x6: If you have been ripped off by 1&1, Sedo, and/or DomCollect in a similar fashion, e-mail me. patterico AT gmail and the usual ending: DOT com. I know it has happened to others. The only question is how many others.

99 Responses to “1&1 Internet Has Allowed My Domain to Be Hijacked”

  1. You’re a lawyer. Sue their ass!

    Official Internet Data Office (505433)

  2. Set up a tip jar so we can help.

    Old Coot (1ee5b7)

  3. All this time, I’ve never given you nothing. I’m in for $500.00.

    And whatever else I can do. I don’t know the law in this case, yet, but I’m good at presenting things. I’m licensed in the Northern District of Illinois.

    nk (5dcbab)

  4. You have all the evidence. Name names, hit them in the pocketbook. That’s all they understand. You are well know on the web so lots of others will follow you and dump them in the can and flush.

    Scrapiron (3fc29e)

  5. Id suggest always holding registration of your domain names seperate from your web host. This crap happens all the time, but if you, instead, go to godaddy (or whoever) and register the DOMAIN itself separate, you know you have full access and control of the domain. Never register a domain through your webhost. Always register for an extended period (it’s cheaper anyway!) and lock the freaking domain.

    Bad news is, chances of you recovering are slim to none without a lawsuit or some sort of legal recourse, and even if you do, it will likely take a long time to accomplish.

    Buddy (b01b4b)

  6. Too bad you can’t file a lien against your domain name to put all potential bidders on notice. Even if you successfully nail 1&1, it may be difficult to get the name back.

    tim maguire (72f509)

  7. When they told you to create the new account, was that in writing? I suspect they will claim that when you did that, you lost all your old rights and everything started fresh. Bullshit, of course, but that’ll be there story.

    I’d recommend sending very formal, threatening-litigation letters both to 1&1 and to the DomCollect.com company which is auctioning off your name.

    Also, look into filing a trademark protection claim with ICANN. The domain Patterico.com only has significant value because of the work that you put into it, and it’s your name, after all. I suspect you’d have a decent claim with them, and I think I’ve heard that those claims are fairly easy to process. Certainly it may slow down the auction process. There’s a contact e-mail for DomCollect on that nasty parking page, and I would warn them of the ICANN action you’ll be taking, and a civil suit against them for trademark infringement.

    PatHMV (290f46)

  8. arghhh… “their story,” not “there story.” I HATE it when my fingers do that.

    PatHMV (290f46)

  9. Id suggest always holding registration of your domain names seperate from your web host.

    I agree. This is the second domain-hijack story I’ve seen in the last two weeks involving a domain host arranging the domain registration. In fact I seem to recall GoDaddy was the registrar in the other, so it’s definitely as much a problem with letting the host deal with the registrar, as a problem with the registrar itself.

    I’ve always managed my registrar account separately from my hosting account, since before I ever saw a hosting outfit offer to handle registration. Currently my registrar is GoDaddy and I’m quite satisfied with them.

    McGehee (25adee)

  10. My domain *is* separate from my web host. I am not hosted at 1&1.

    Patterico (0aeaaa)

  11. FWIW, I’ve been using Network Solutions for domain name registration.

    I recently had a problem where I inadvertently let my name expire and, although not entirely PITA-free, I got it back up and running. It wasn’t a confidence booster when I typed in what I _thought_ was my user name and the screen said I was the owner of an Indian, shall we say, “male enhancement service” site. A customer service person later told me that when they bought Verisign, some customer data was missing or corrupt so they just filled those fields with random numbers. Joy.

    CW Desiato (614aa7)

  12. Wow, I’m so sorry to hear that Pat. This site is a worthy and valuable forum. It’s true that for whatever messed up bureaucrat reasoning, if one doesn’t renew one’s domain something like 30 days before the expiration it can be sold out from under them if it’s not “locked.” I got tired of worrying about that all the time and registered my domains for five years. It’s cheaper and much less of a hassle and you can think about more important things.

    I’m surprised 1×1 didn’t send you a reminder email of some sort to re-up, that’s just incredibly sleazy and I’m going to let people know that they’re not to be trusted and should not do business with them. (and I deal with a lot of website owners who’re constantly wondering where to register domain names and get hosting.)

    All these domain registrars are a bit shady when it comes to this stuff. If you want your blood pressure to really go up (this might not be a good time for that) read the fine print on any domain you register and you will learn that no one truly “owns” a domain name. The domain registrar sort of holds it in your name through Internic. It’s weird and confusing.

    On the upside you do have a claim to it, especially if you’ve registered Patterico’s Pontification’s as a brand or a trademark, although use of that name already gives you certain rights, but as someone mentioned above it will take time. My recommendation is you find a domain that’s a variation on your sites name, and be open to using an .Org, .Net or .us (there are lots of variations of those registrar suffix’s now). If you put the word out there to friendly sites that you have a new domain and submit it to a handful of search engines as possible, it won’t take long to seed them with the new address.

    Anyhow good luck with all this and don’t let it get you down.

    Peter (e70d1c)

  13. Good luck. I certainly enjoy the site and I hope you go back to excoriating the LA Times soon

    timb (a83d56)

  14. Hmmm … how about a 1&1 Google bomb? You know, like 1&1 hijacked my domain. For example.

    Kevin (0b2493)

  15. uh..du’h. Okay you’ve already taken Patterico.net. Ha ha. Nevermind.

    Peter (e70d1c)

  16. You know one other thing…you can buy as many domain names as you want and have them all resolve to patterico.net.

    Peter (e70d1c)

  17. I have a couple of unused domains, as well as a couple of web sites. I have registered several variations with .net and.org and a couple of others. I wasn’t anticipating this problem but it seems to be a good idea. I don’t know how many recall the story of the guy who got PETA.org. He used it for a site he called People Eating Tasty Animals and harassed the veggie people for a while. They finally managed to sue him and get the domain name away from him. That was a few years ago but the story might have some suggestions for your fight. They now have both the .org and .com domains.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  18. By the way, who else would buy the domain? I’m pretty sure the LA Times would stay away, so who? Stupid move by 1&1.

    Kevin (0b2493)

  19. Let’s see.

    The local paper says that linking Ayers to Obama isn’t helping McCain, but then they delete my mention of it in their comments forum.

    Pat digs out the only extant copy proving Obama’s launch happened in Bill “the terrorist” Ayers’ living room.

    Then a day later Pat’s domain is hijacked.

    Wouldn’t it be something if your legal case leads back to mybarackobama.org, or minions of same?

    Naw. Probably a coincidence.

    Papertiger (391c85)

  20. You might want to contact the Free Software Foundation. Though they deal with mainly with software and IP issues, they may still be able to lend assistance.

    sonicfrog (df72c1)

  21. I sent them (the US one I presume) a poison email. Hopefully enough people do it on their sales address for them to get the hint. Good luck.

    Craig Mc (675d40)

  22. Time to open the cans of Whoopass!

    Pat, have you contacted Hugh Hewitt and Generalissimo to get some air time for this problem. Nothing scatters the cockroaches like a little sunshine.

    Pat, tell Generalissimo some guy who used to work for him suggested you call. Mention Times Roman 14 point type. He’ll know who it is.

    PCD (7fe637)

  23. If they can take advantage of Patterico (who is a lawyer) like this, Heaven help the rest of us!

    dchamil (2bbdce)

  24. You need to contact this law firm as soon as you can.

    http://www.cybertriallawyer.com/

    They helped me with a similar issue. They were able to help get the domain “locked down” with the registrar (so that it couldn’t be resold or auctioned) for dispute reasons for an indefinite time while we presented our evidence. We got the domain back.

    Don’t give up. You can get the domain locked down for dispute reasons and then their are bodies that hear dispute resolution.

    Drex Davis (caa1a2)

  25. The new “owner” of the domain is listed in public records as:

    domain: PATTERICO.COM
    created: 22-Oct-2003
    last-changed: 23-Oct-2008
    registration-expiration: 22-Oct-2009

    registrant-firstname: Andre
    registrant-lastname: Schneider
    registrant-organization: DomCollect Worldwide Intellectual Property AG
    registrant-street1: Zeughausgasse 9a
    registrant-pcode: 6300
    registrant-city: Zug
    registrant-ccode: CH
    registrant-phone: +41.417109364
    registrant-fax: +41.448334449
    registrant-email: info@domcollect.com

    Current Registrar: 1 & 1 INTERNET AG
    IP Address: 66.254.94.229 (ARIN & RIPE IP search)
    IP Location: US(UNITED STATES)-CALIFORNIA-THOUSAND OAKS

    Retrieved from Network Solutions 24-Oct-2008

    Kevin (0b2493)

  26. You can email 1 and 1 at both of the following: sales@1and1.com or abuse@1and1.com. I sent to both. Basically told them that not only would I never use them, it will be my mission to tell others to not use them…unless they resolve the agreements they have with patterico.com in a timely and appropriate manner.

    Seems like they might respond to the knowledge that there will be a campaign against them…and that making less than $5,000 on the sale of the website domain will be pennies compared to what they will LOSE if they go through with this.

    Just a thought.

    yourlilsis (095089)

  27. Sorry “there are bodies” not “their are bodies”.

    PatHMV isn’t the only one having a there/their problem today . . . *sigh*

    Drex Davis (caa1a2)

  28. It is interesting to note that the FAQ at 1&1 says that all domains are automatically renewed by them and that the owner does not have to do anything for that to happen.

    If your domain is in our registry, then we will automatically renew the domain on
    your behalf just before the registration period is about to expire.

    If the domain or the package the domain is in has been canceled from our system
    prior to the domain expiration date, the domain will not be renewed.

    Good luck!

    Jeremy (9cda35)

  29. I told you, Patterico! From day f*cking one.

    I told you that 1&1 was tied up with these people as soon as I saw the name “sedo,” even though I didn’t know that you registered through 1&1.

    I told you that DomCollect was an infamous domain name thief, before DomCollect officially stole this domain name.

    I know what I’m talking about. 1&1 has not “allowed” your name to be hijacked. 1&1 HIJACKED YOUR DOMAIN. DomCollect, Sedo, and 1&1 are all part of the same Empire of Crime, “United Internet AG.” THEY’RE THE SAME F***ING COMPANY.

    (btw, do you know whether they would all be considered in contractual privity with you, or is it just 1&1 that’s in contractual privity with you, for purposes of fraud?)

    This is identical to what happened to friends of mine (except I don’t know who their registrar was–probably 1&1, but I need to ask them).

    Now that patterico.com is being auctioned by Mr. Scheider, you are the victim of an extortion attempt. Sedo is offering to sell you back your own domain–and Sedo is using the fear that they will sell it to a third party (and therefore, it would be much more difficult for you to recover it from ICANN) in order to force you to open your wallet.

    If you do try to buy your site back at “auction,” Patterico, keep a record of every step, because it has long been alleged that the entire “auction” process is a sham. (They will automatically raise the price as soon as you offer money).

    Remember that Sedo was using your site to advertise “Sedo Domain Parking,” the same service that Andre Schneider is now using to profit from your stolen site! Talk about adding insult to injury!

    Tim Schumacher is a criminal and he needs to be put in prison! You are the man to do it, Patterico! I can put you in contact with 1 other innocent victim of this criminal enterprise with a very similar story. If you put out a call for everyone who has been victimized by 1&1/DomCollect, you should be able to get a class action lawsuit rolling.

    Class action. That’s how you’re going to dismantle this f*cker. That’s the thing they’re most afraid of.

    Unfounded Speculation (4ecd4c)

  30. Shouldn’t be too hard to contact their existing customers and warn them of the shysters they’re dealing with.

    Molon Labe (640aad)

  31. I am a trial lawyer and it seems to me you may have a tort remedy available with the jawbreaking name of “tortious interference in prospective business advantage.”

    John (a8a520)

  32. File a complaint at http://www.icann.org/.
    Even if your registration had expired it is VERY odd that another company happened to be right there Johnny on the spot to buy it. It sounds to me like a scheme to bilk people out of some cash to buy back there own domain. Since you were in contact with the registrar at the time of the expiration they had no reason to believe the domain had been abandoned and was available for sale. In the future I would use networksolutions.com.

    Rocks (e1d29d)

  33. Some interesting results googling André Schneider. While there seem to be a number of men with that name, one that piqued my curiosity is the André Schneider who is/was COO of the World Economic Forum…and since DomCollect appears to be a Swiss outfit this seems at least a strong possibility. But why would the Davos folks want the patterico.com domain?

    Wallbanger (78dd1d)

  34. What’s 1&1′s phone number?

    Roy Mustang (2f688e)

  35. In the current issues of Macworld and MacLife 1&1 has major ads. Don’t know if it’s the same on the PC side. I wonder if those publications want to be associated with a company like this.

    Ken Hahn (884557)

  36. P.S.: spend as much as you have to spend to buy the site back, Patterico. As far as I can tell, that’s the only way you meet all of the elements of Extortion. (You have to show that you’re actually out of pocket as a result of their threats.)

    Then you’ll get it back, plus punitives, when you sue these animals.

    I want to see Tim Schumacher in prison. Don’t disappoint me, Patterico.

    These facts have played out many times before, identically–get a class action lawyer, and don’t let up even if you get your site back. See this litigation through, and bring down the entire United Internet AG Empire of Crime.

    You’re a prosecutor. It’s your job. Your calling.

    Unfounded Speculation (4ecd4c)

  37. I did call, but I have no idea whether the person I spoke to understood what I was talking about, because I didn’t understand what she was talking about.

    I did try to communicate the idea that this is a popular web site, and the domain name needs to get transferred back to Patrick Frey, but I have no idea whether the person got the point.

    Anyway, if 1&1 gets calls about this all day from many different people, all wanting to know what happened to Patterico.com, hopefully their operators will start putting this through to management to get the problem fixed.

    Joshua (9ede0e)

  38. From the DomCollect website:

    Company

    DomCollect Worldwide Intellectual Property AG was established in 2005 with a view to acquire and monetize qualitative premium and generic domain names.

    With a portfolio of a few hundred thousand domains, we have a visitor volume of more than a million of highly qualitative visitors per month available. We are in the market to enlarge our domain portfolio with premium domains and domain portfolios.

    Our domains cover areas ranging from ‘A’ like automobile to ‘Z’ like zoo. This also applies to their traffic origins. Our domain portfolio is comprised of traffic from more than 20 different countries and languages.

    Hmmm. So, they think your domain name has value…

    Ameryx (fb43d2)

  39. 1and1 is a joke. I used them a few years ago until I discovered how pathetic they are.

    sal (cb9e51)

  40. 1&1 is just spreading the intellectual wealth around. – ZerObama.

    Perfect Sense (9d1b08)

  41. But why would the Davos folks want the patterico.com domain?

    Dunno about Davos, but as for the known players, it’s what they – 1and1.com (or in germany, 1und1.com) along with schlund.de – do. They are a very large internet hosting co who apparently also squat on domain names by the bushel as a matter of course.

    I think 1and1 and schlund both fall under a generically-named holding co, so they’re all one big happy family. My understanding is that 1and1 does the retail side of things and schlund does the biz side, with schlund handling the domain names for both.

    All of this is based on a few minutes digging around. They have been involved in domain name disputes before, but with millions of the things, that might be inevitable.

    I would first try approaching them in a reasonable manner in case that might work. But I would also gently let them know that you are a lawyer, Patterico, in case it won’t. And I would move fast, cuz, per Kevin’s comment #25, I suspect you are dealing w/the Borg:

    DomCollect Worldwide Intellectual Property AG was established in 2005 with a view to acquire and monetize qualitative premium and generic domain names.

    With a portfolio of a few hundred thousand domains, we have a visitor volume of more than a million of highly qualitative visitors per month available. We are in the market to enlarge our domain portfolio with premium domains and domain portfolios.

    Our domains cover areas ranging from ‘A’ like automobile to ‘Z’ like zoo. This also applies to their traffic origins. Our domain portfolio is comprised of traffic from more than 20 different countries and languages.

    ras (fc54bb)

  42. Pat,

    Go to GoDaddy and get Patterico.us locked down. I think it is a better fit for you.

    PCD (7fe637)

  43. Well, I just did a nslookup and this is what shows:

    Microsoft Windows XP [Version 5.1.2600]
    (C) Copyright 1985-2001 Microsoft Corp.

    Non-authoritative answer:
    Name: patterico.com
    Address: 70.32.75.225

    That comes my guess from bellsouth’s DNS servers, since they are first in my chain, with no helpers.

    When I just go to the old link it’s working again.

    Guess you scared them

    my 2 cents

    CSMBigBird (b28a54)

  44. Instapundit now has the story up. I sent them an e-mail suggesting that their “sales office” may be redundant when Instapundit gets through with them.

    Creeps.

    Mike K (531ff4)

  45. Can you get the equivalent of a lis pendens or mechanics lein to encumber the sale of the domain?

    This would at least gain you the tactical benefit of a deadlock.

    TakeFive (7c6fd5)

  46. These same people have been running these scams on others. This is definitely a long running scam 1&1 has been running. I wonder if besides a class action there are criminal charges that are applicable:

    http://www.acorndomains.co.uk/sedo/26605-kicking-someone-when-they-down-bravo-sedo.html

    plutosdad (fcbef1)

  47. Here’s a break-down of the ICANN domain name dispute process – http://www.keytlaw.com/urls/udrp.htm

    The dispute resolution policy document – http://www.icann.org/en/udrp/udrp.htm

    You need to contact a Dispute Resolution Service Provider ASAP.
    e.g. http://www.keytlaw.com/urls/udrp.htm#How%20Do%20You%20Start

    Once initiated, the registrar is compelled to cease attempts to transfer the domain pending resolution of the process.

    Unfortunately there are fees associated w/ pursuing resolution (IIRC at least $1000+).

    BUT if you request a 3 judge panel for arbitration, these fees are split between the parties. These costs would likely be more than they’d get for your domain name. So if you tell them that this is the process you’ll request, they may capitulate to avoid it.

    Jack (2c167f)

  48. I’ve been dabbling in domain names since 1999. The reason your domain name has value to domain name thieves is first, the opportunity to extort money from you for the return of your domain name, and second, failing that and even in the interim, click-through revenue from traffic to your site from an existing network of links and bookmarks. High-traffic domain names have the most value, all other things being equal.

    I am not a lawyer, and can only suggest you take the registrar to court for breach of contract. For a future registrar, consider NameCheap or GANDI SARL. Both have been reputable for years, although I’d suggest as always keeping your registrar separate from your hosting provider.

    Crafty Hunter (5d47db)

  49. Wow, lot’s of entries already. In case no one has posted it yet, here is the InterNIC complaint form.

    http://reports.internic.net/cgi/registrars/problem-report.cgi

    Lane Beneke (f1ccd7)

  50. So what can this site’s fans do to protest effectively en masse? How do we hurt the various entities in their pocketbooks?

    Why would anyone want to pay relatively big bucks for the name Patterico? What do they hope to achieve? So “they” slowed the real Patterico’s traffic down somewhat. I don’t see any altruistic elements standing out at this time. Easy to be paranoid, but how to hurt the pricks and get some justice? Why would anyone used to clicking on patterico.com have the faintest interest in providing one dime to sedo or affiliates? I hope Mr. Frey gets more than even with these thieves.
    So what can the rest of us do to show solidarity? I’m sure similar BS could affect other bloggers who don’t even have a legal background. Ann Coulter is correct – Patterico is a great blogger in any case.

    madmax333 (0c6cfc)

  51. The auction has closed. “Patterico.com” is no longer on the market.

    I sincerely hope nothing untoward follows.

    steve (0d07e5)

  52. Thank you for going public with this. My domain has been registered with 1&1 for a year and a half, but after reading your account, I have initiated a transfer to another registrar. After the transfer is complete, I will contact 1&1 and tell them why I am no longer a customer of theirs.

    Pat Berry (855d36)

  53. Here is info about the CEO of Sedo

    http://icannwiki.org/Tim_Schumacher

    also this: “1&1 Internet AG, with over 1.5 million domains the leading German web host, has acquired a 41.04% share in the market leader on the secondary market Sedo”

    http://www.sedo.com/presse/presse_280301.php4?language=e

    rrsafety (91d1f1)

  54. Sedo.com are the ones selling your domain name.

    This is the founder/pres. of Sedo, Ulrich Essmann

    This is what he says:

    “Domain names have become one of the most key components to businesses and their branding,” said Ulrich Essmann, president, USA division of Sedo. “Fraudulent activity in this realm not only harms marketplace members but it piles on added costs in credit card chargebacks and also damages the future viability of a domain.

    Perhaps you might name him as the first witness in your suit against Sedo et al. And perhaps a few other bloggers could take note of this and send copies of their blog entries (and the readership of each) to Sedo for informational purposes.

    ras (fc54bb)

  55. If these companies are really linked, and are doing this kind of thing routinely, it seems like RICO.

    Say, what county is Thousand Oaks in, anyway? Ventura? Is there anyone you know in their DA’s office? Maybe a call from said DA’s office would shake something loose. Or is that some kind of ethics thing?

    [Yes, that's some kind of ethics thing. Never mix work and blogging, that's my motto. -- P]

    Kevin (805c5b)

  56. The auction may be off, but whois still shows the domain registered to Andre Schneider of DomCollect (another United Internet tentacle in Germany), with status CLIENT-TRANSFER-PROHIBITED. DNS queries for patterico.com now return 127.0.0.1 (localhost). These criminals haven’t capitulated yet.

    Jobius (6e3552)

  57. I’ve posted information about this on some message boards I visit, along with this page link. I think we should try to make this as viral as possible. I just hate those type of scumbags.

    PC14 (82e46c)

  58. Check out Global Internet Solutions (Gisol). Absolutely the same thing. They’re being investigated by the CA AG’s office, but nothing yet. One individual fighting these companies is hopeless. AG intervention or class action suits are the only hope.

    Bob (d272a5)

  59. That sucks, bigtime. Hope you punish them thoroughly, pour encouragez les autres, among other reasons.

    Joel Rosenberg (5ec843)

  60. Patterico,

    Why bother?

    Your site is working now (albeit at a different domain).

    IS it really worth your time and effort to pursue legal action? Why not just cut your loses and give them all the bad press they can get?

    Yeah it sucks, but I don’t think it’s worth your hassle.

    thebronze (44c71f)

  61. CLIENT-TRANSFER-PROHIBITED is the same status that sedo.com itself has. Dunno if this means they cancelled the auction, or if they completed it and then locked the domain on behalf of the new owner.

    ras (fc54bb)

  62. Time to look into 1&1′s Democratic Party connections. Patterico might be a test case for what’s coming.

    Sam (edc916)

  63. I had two subdomains parked on my hosted server share 302 redirect hijacked by a p*rn site.

    Domain name piracy and page hijacking/scraping is rampant.

    BJM (c4e46c)

  64. According to the annual report for United Internet AG (UI),
    UI owns 100% of AdLINK Internet Media (AIM)
    …..AIM owns 100% of DomCollect
    UI owns 100% of 1&1 Internet AG
    …..1&1 Internet AG owns 100% of 1&1 Internet Inc (the US entity)

    The original name of UI was 1&1 AG

    Further from the annual report (emphasis added):

    Effective January 1, 2008, the United Internet
    subsidiary Sedo GmbH acquired a minority
    shareholding of 40% in the Italian company
    DomainsBot
    S.r.l. Based in Rome, DomainsBot is a
    young and innovative company offering search
    technology for the domain market and for domain
    registries. The search engine offers live status reports
    and enables users to register or sell the desired domain
    with just a few clicks. DomainsBot’s latest
    development is the “Name Suggestion Tool”, an
    intelligent semantic tool which automatically proposes
    synonyms to the desired name, or adds prefixes and
    suffixes. Users are thus offered a wide variety of
    suitable domains. The world’s largest registries, such
    as 1&1, GoDaddy, Tucows, Register.com and many
    others are among DomainsBot’s customers.

    So, if I have followed the bouncing ball correctly, 1&1, a UI sub, let you build the value of the domain name you registered with them, then turned it over to Sedo, a UI sub, who sold it at “auction” the very next day (not much of an auction, eh?) to DomCollect, a UI sub.

    Oops! One arm of UI managed to make a mistake with your account, the sole effect of which was to transfer value from you to another arm of UI.

    And now UI has it fingers in DomainsBot, which provide support to GoDaddy and others.

    Ameryx (fb43d2)

  65. Patterico, FWIW I made your lamentable predicament the first topic of order at my own new blog. Hope you can get this resolved without having to resort to nuclear and/or chemical warfare.

    Not sure how much it helps, but I meant every word. And of course, if you would add me to your roster, I would be honored. ;-)

    qdpsteve (f35be1)

  66. Andre.Schneider@DomCollect.com

    (if you didn’t already have it…)

    Hockey Bob (3090ca)

  67. Oh, and it might be a good idea to submit this story to Slashdot – I’d do it myself, but I don’t think I have all the particulars down. Anyone want to give it a whirl?

    http://slashdot.org/submit.pl

    Hockey Bob (3090ca)

  68. Ameryx: “who sold it at “auction” the very next day (not much of an auction, eh?) to DomCollect, a UI sub.”

    I’m not sure that’s quite right. When the auction was going on, Andre Schneider of DomCollect was listed as the *seller*. I think that, rather than selling it, Sedo allowed the domain to “expire” (despite it’s having been renewed by Patterico) so it could be re-registered by Schneider/DomCollect.

    Then Sedo allowed Schneider to put the domain up for auction, with a presumably fraudulent 4,000 Euro bid that Pat would have to top to get his name back. That auction is now shut down, after only a few hours, and Sedo has pointed patterico.com to a bogus address (127.0.0.1) so people using that address will no longer see a Sedo-related page (or any page).

    I suspect they’re not liking the attention, but they haven’t done the right thing and given Pat his domain back yet.

    Jobius (6e3552)

  69. Jobius (#67),
    You may well be right; I based my conclusion on the information in post #25, which shows Andre Schneider of DomCollect as the “registrant”. If DomCollect is the “registrant” and the “seller” at a later auction, can one not conclude that ownership was somehow transferred to them? My error, if error there be, may be in assuming that the transfer to DomCollect involved an auction.
    Regardless, there is an awful lot of self-dealing going on here, with closely related companies shifting an asset amongst themselves in such a way as to deprive Patterico of the value he has built up in the domain name.

    Ameryx (fb43d2)

  70. Sedo has pointed patterico.com to a bogus address (127.0.0.1)

    That’s not a bogus address, it’s a magic number that means “this very same machine”. Unless you’re running a web server on your local machine, that address will always return an error.

    Rob Crawford (04f50f)

  71. I’ve been with them for going on 5 years. Really no problems at all. I hope this gets cleared up quickly and relatively painlessly.

    kimsch (2ce939)

  72. 1&1 has a policy that they should not allow anyone else to take your domain for a month after the expiration date:

    http://faq.1and1.com/domains/other_issues_regarding_domains/2.html

    Are they ignoring their policy. ICANN would be very unhappy with them if they are. They could lose their right to be a register for behavior like that.

    tim (5f2820)

  73. By the time Patrick gets done fighting this, he’ll be out a whole lot of time and money. I second the motion made above just to transfer to the domain name patterico.us which is currently available and ‘shows the colors’ well.

    Jabba (74d0d6)

  74. Shouldn’t a California corporation, headquartered in Thousand Oaks, think twice about stealing from a California DDA? Has that “spitting into the wind” aspect to it.

    Kevin (805c5b)

  75. agree with “Kevin” above: don’t waste your time & $$$ on civil litigation — just get your buddies in the DA’s office to drop the hammer on these clowns. Is there a supervisor in the office we can complain to?

    Jabba (74d0d6)

  76. who is Patterico?

    ashley (318615)

  77. Kevin. What “California” Corp are you referring to?

    The domain registrar was 1&1.

    WK (c788e2)

  78. Have you read your contract with them recently?

    It’s not good. If you signed the same form I’ve seen, you’ve basically given away the store (in terms of legal redress for this.)

    People have given you advice here about normal and usual legal claims that one would think would be applicable, but I’m afraid your contract has placed most of those avenues out of reach.

    In the meantime, there are hundreds of thousands (millions?) of browsers out there with your old URL indexed into favorites – so, the old URL is going to be getting thousands of mistake-hits every day for a year or more.

    SmartGuy buys the URL and parks a few hundred by-the-click ads there, and does very, very well for quite some time.

    bobby b (361921)

  79. How – if at all – is the 1&1 domain registration dispute related to the frequent site outages of recent weeks?

    steve (70e452)

  80. Trouble from people who might have the authority to make a difference could help.
    1. The Swiss Embassy doubtless has a commercial division and a legal one.
    2. Every wide spot in the Swiss road has a chamber of commerce. Frequently, they have serious clout.
    3. What might the effects be of a letter from a Swiss attorney?
    4. Your local consulate-general doubtless could give useful advice. Would they? I do not know.
    5. If your local thieves are a branch of the Swiss firm and are not so registered with California authorities, they are doing business illegally. In any event, the names and addresses (if any) on the filings (if any) might be interesting.

    Bleepless (1965b6)

  81. Steve re #78.

    There is none.

    Armed Liberal, was Patterico’s host until this past Sunday Oct 19th.

    The IP listed 66.254.94.229 is part his netblock and was the old ip of the site. (windsofchange.net is 66.254.94.226)

    So no conspiracies here. move along.

    WK (c788e2)

  82. File a complaint with the Better Business Bureau.

    http://www.dc.bbb.org

    1 And 1 Internet, Inc. 701 Lee Road, Suite-300
    Chesterbrook, PA 19087
    phone:877-461-2631

    zefal (781f90)

  83. Patrick,

    Good luck. And fart in the general direction of those commenters who are in clue debt.

    Alan Kellogg (e4d258)

  84. I coincidentally just bought my domain (hangarbum.com) through GoDaddy (they were the registrar for the previous owner) and went with hosting through 1and1 to save a dollar a month.

    D’oh!

    I got decent customer service from both, but the website builder at 1and1 feels very crude. The tech support at 1and1, they all have a heavy accent that is hard to understand (I’m guessing outsourced). I’m not prejudiced against these folks but the difference in spoken language understandability was marked.

    The previous owner had let hangarbum.com expire two months ago, and GoDaddy were definite about not letting me have it until the previous owner’s two month redemption period (or whatever it’s called) had expired. They didn’t try to jack me around on the registration fee – just the standard fee. Because it was all handled inhouse, I had dibs on the domain name because I contacted the registrar directly.

    I had a better feel with GoDaddy. They are now my host and registrar for mccainobamacontrast.info and as I only intend to use the site for a couple of weeks (until this campaign nonsense is settled) I don’t care about long-term reliability.

    Because I’m building another site right now (mccainobamacontrast.info), I did some lurking around on boards frequented by internet professionals and here’s a sample of comments about providers they knew about:

    You should always go with a domain registrar for your domain names, and a web host for your web hosting to keep them both separated in case something happens
    ——————–

    mydomain.com / domain.com
    domaincentral.com
    onlinenic.com
    .answerable.com
    http://tdnam.com
    http://enom.com
    http://snapnames.com
    http://afternic.com
    http://sedo.com

    http://www.domaincentral.com
    resellerclub.com
    qualispace.com
    namecheap.com
    domaincentral.com
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Domain_name_front_running ( suspected this would happen so I only type in the domain I’m thinking of registering into the address bar and see what happens)

    Do not use networksolutions, whois.net or register.com to check the availability of a domain – someone will lock it up when they know you want it.

    High Plains Drifter (e8cf35)

  85. Don’t Just Sue the bastards! Rush often cites you in his stack of stuff. See if He’ll get you some radio publicity on this and start a boycott of all other 1&1 domains.

    OpusRex (5e8f36)

  86. How – if at all – is the 1&1 domain registration dispute related to the frequent site outages of recent weeks?

    I don’t think it is, steve. I’ll grant you that dealing with the outages and related issues preoccupied my attention. But they’re really unrelated issues.

    So no conspiracies here. move along.

    WK,

    I think you’re new to the site, so you’re not aware that “steve” is a longtime reader who is not prone to conspiracy theories. He’s a smart guy who keeps me on my toes, and he’s probably just noticed that there the site has faced a number of issues at the time time.

    But I agree with you that there is no evidence of a conspiracy, other than possibly a conspiracy of 1&1-related companies to screw people out of their domains.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  87. #74 Tim Are they ignoring their policy. ICANN would be very unhappy with them if they are. They could lose their right to be a register for behavior like that.

    As far as I know that 30 day “redemption” period is one of ICANN’s rules rather than the registering company.
    Yep, here’s the link to the relevant section clicky clicky

    I would suggest talking to the registrar first and seeing what they have to say…..if no results, then contact ICANN directly to file a complaint, since not waiting the grace period puts them in violation of ICANN’s regs. If you got a screenshot of the auction, that’d be really helpful evidence to send with the complaint. ;)

    taboo (6a9cae)

  88. For all the good it’ll do, at about 11 AM this morning, I called them and threatened to pull many, many zeroes of business out of their coffers if they didn’t resolve this fairly. I WILL follow through.

    Obama is a Nazi (d4ab96)

  89. Do what Rocks #33 said: go to ICANN. They have a standard process for resolving ownership battles over domain names. Fill out the forms and you will win the name back, guaranteed.

    My daughter, relatively inexperienced, did the process for the company she worked for, and prevailed in getting the rights to a domain that someone else had owned for many years, but hadn’t used. The name obviously was natural for my daughter’s company and they prevailed because the other guy hadn’t really done anything with it.

    In your case, the name is already strongly associated with you, so there’s no way you’ll lose, especially since you have a strong case that the name should never have been released.

    Then you can sue the bastards that sold it out from under you whenever you feel motivated.

    Ken

    Ken in Camarillo (aa2192)

  90. I do hope Oliver Mauss, 1&1 Internet CEO, finds his new fame well worth the $5,000 he made stealing your domain name.

    katablog.com (c1f9f9)

  91. don’t forget to scratch a “B” on your cheek while complaining about the Netroot’s conspiracy.

    not paying on time does it every time. happened to netroot’s people too.

    datadave (04218a)

  92. datadave, if I ever had sex with you I’d be fucking stupid. Pat paid. Pat paid ahead of time. Pat had automatic payment set up. 1&1 acknowledged receiving the payment. Now, what part of “You’re an idiot.” is giving you trouble?

    Alan Kellogg (e4d258)

  93. fyi – all registrars will delete domains if they cannot obtain payment, usually 30-35 days after the expire date.

    can we blame registrars if we don’t keep our own billing info up to date or do not take care of the problem until too late?

    Kate D (291538)

  94. It looks like your domain has been restored to you:
    http://whois.domaintools.com/patterico.com

    Does this mean all is now well? I look forweard to an update on this.

    Kate D (291538)

  95. Alan – datedave is a mental midget of the highest order. Expecting it to act in an honest manner is the equivalent of expecting the Cubs to win the World Series.

    JD (b96a9e)

  96. “…expecting the Cubs to win the World Series.”
    Comment by JD — 11/17/2008 @ 7:54 am

    Some of us vintage baseball fans would just like to see the Cubs GET INTO the World Series.
    Then, we can worry about the winning.

    Another Drew (a9bf4b)

  97. streamline.net, fasthosts.co.uk, ‘1 & 1’ ‘eins und eins’, and internet Wunderkind Ralph Dommermuth of United Internet AG
    Ralph Dommermuth’s influence on UK web hosting since taking over the UK’s leading web host, fasthosts.co.uk, in 1999 has been nothing short of disastrous for the UK consumer in its philosophy of the total disregard for and the steamrollering over of UK law.

    I had my bank account wrongfully debited by a web hosting company, streamline.net – one Andrew Dollamore – who ignored the request to cancel a three-month trial period, but who then without my knowledge, sneakily took a ‘one-year premium hosting package’ cost from my account. I tried to indict for contravention of the Theft Act, but the Chief Constable of the area of the offence passed it to a subordinate, who in turn passed it on to the Derbyshire Trading Standards Office and my money was bounced back into my account : it is illegal, a criminal offence in the UK punishable by up to 10 years in prison to wrongfully or deceitfully debit a bank account -and using steamroller pressure can be termed a form of deceit if use of the law is at the time not only unfounded but then goes on to become forcefully intimidatory : it is also illegal in the UK to use the law in pursuance of an offence, and the law comes down on an offence such as this like a ton of bricks.

    I now know that streamline.net were sellers-on of and influenced by the talents of fasthosts.co.uk who eventually bought their customer base. I now know also that fasthosts.co.uk sold out to, and adopted the steamroller philosophy of, United Internet AG for 90 million euros (£61mill) in 1999. Or more to the point, sold out to Ralph Dommermuth, the German internet billionaire who founded ’1 und1′ and who is the main shareholder of the owning company United Internet Ag.

    Today 28/10/08 I sent emails to the board members of fasthosts.co.uk : Andrew Michael CEO (the founder), Michael Hogan Finance Director, Mark Cowne Sales & Marketing Director – the board of directors – Steve Holford Press ; Billing, and Support, informing them of my intention to apply for their indictment, and the indictment of the actual instigators, for THEFT if they do not return the money that’s been continually taken from my bank after I had cancelled my Distance Selling contract with them due to their poor support. Please Google the ‘Distance Selling’ statute and you will be able to judge just how much the steamroller these companies use is a cover, a camouflage for their ignoring the demands to comply made on them by the Distance Selling statute, and also by just how much they have drifted into dangerous ground given the Theft Act. Please also Google the ‘Theft Act’ as well. For our government of the day by placing relevant law on the net have given us all who can read the power through the knowledge of these Acts, to contest to bring pickpockets like these to account!

    I also sent a copy of the email to rdommermuth@united-internet.de nlang@united-internet.de kdobitsch@united-internet.de mscheeren@united-internet.de (the board) mschap@united-internet.de info@united-internet.de presse@united-internet.de investor-relations@united-internet.de hostmaster@united-internet.de .

    And everyone will now receive 12/11/08 a copy of this press release.

    The greater the number of the more detailed type of emails the board and their minions receive from disgruntled customers that suffer because of the ‘robust’ methods for making a billion or two that Herr Ralph Dommermuth seems to have exported into the UK the US, and not forgetting the poor sods in Germany who my research tells me have had it harder for a lot longer, the more Herr Dommermuth might come to realise the role that good old honest customer relations might play in enabling him to keep a euro or two.

    What say you?

    If you need help to make up your mind type into Google either ‘streamline.net , legal’ or ‘fasthosts.co.uk , legal’ and possibly even ‘eins und eins’ or ‘1 & 1’ and check the forum entries that present themselves in abundance to gain an objective sense of the human suffering caused since Herr Dommermuth’s appearance on the scene, and check German legal advice forums if you want a hint of the affect that this man has had on his own people, and just how bad it is going to become for us all if his philosophy of ‘the most cash taken before the smallest courtesy of support given’ goes unchecked.

    ZipDee (4f69cc)


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