In a rare victory for the Little Guy against the Big Corporation, it appears that 1&1 has decided to do the right thing and give me back my domain patterico.com.
The whois entry for patterico.com now comes back to 1&1’s private registration address on my behalf. My site admin was able to redirect the IP address yesterday, and a 1&1 representative made the DNS changes. I’m able to reach the site by going to patterico.com (which we’re still temporarily redirecting to patterico.net for technical reasons).
According to the 1&1 representative who called me, he got involved in the process because he had been contacted by the PR agency for 1&1 and Sedo, which had received inquiries and interest from various journalists. Those journalists include journalist and screenwriter Bruce Feirstein, Fox News’s Ken LaCorte and Maxim Lott, and Andrew Breitbart of the Drudge Report. I feel that my domain was saved by the interest these journalists showed in the story, and I am grateful to them for their efforts to investigate a story about a big corporation pushing around the “little guy.”
Also, it was a tremendous boon when Glenn Reynolds linked my cry for help.
I very much appreciate the tremendous help I received from countless people, including the bloggers who linked the story, the people who sent 1&1 angry letters, the lawyers and law students who donated their time to walk me through the legal process, the people who sent donations, and everyone else who lent their moral support and other help and encouragement.
I am still interested in investigating whether this has happened to others in a similar fashion. If you hear of any such stories, please pass them along. Be aware that I am now stuck with 1&1 for 60 days; this is a general ICANN rule and can’t be changed. Once I finally get out of their clutches, I’ll consider what else to do, if anything.
P.S. Until the recent DNS changes fully propagate through the Internet, we’re going to keep up the automatic redirect to patterico.net. Within the next day or two, we’ll change the redirect so that it automatically redirects from patterico.net to patterico.com. You shouldn’t notice any real problems either way, but if you can reach patterico.com now, feel free to use your old bookmarks and links.
Thanks again to everyone who helped out.