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Andrei in the office

lordandrei

Andrei's Universe

One man's journey from infinity to nothingness


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Andrei in the office
lordandrei

What complete and utter B&#^Sh&# !!!

I am on the verge of declaring war.

Since High School I have used the name "Apolo Productions" or some variation (Apolo Enterprises; Apolo/Current SO Assoicated) to represent my professional freelance self.

A couple of years ago I was able to net myself apolo.cz (Christmas Island). Eventually the people of the country decided they'd prefer to only give out the domains to people/companies that could prove they were native... That was fair.

So, I went on a quest for my beloved apolo for domains. They were all taken. And to make matters worse they basically were empty. Blank pages. Nothing on them.

Apolo.net was the first one I got. I had to pay $75 dollars for it. This of course was after I told the domain squatter that I wasn't going to pay him $350 for the privilege to own something that he was merely selling for profit.

The whole domain game has gone to absolute s&$t.

4 years ago I wrote the owner of my absolute goal; apolo.com. The website was blank. The page didn't even load. I looked up the info in whois and wrote the guy. I got back a message explaining to me how the domain was part of his Brazilian based Sporting Shoe business. He said he'd be more than happy to sell me the domain and the business for about $20K. I responded that the domain was not being used as he said and that I had no interest in a sporting shoe business. I pointed out that I had no proof there was even a business involved.

2 days later the page www.apolo.com went live with the front end of a really badly designed sporting show shop. On examination I discovered that all links from the front page were dead and that it merely was a front page. And a bad one at that. 3 days later the page went down and was replaced with a web counter. The web counter has been up every day for the 4 years since. (I'd point out at this point, if possible, do NOT go to the website www.apolo.com; all you will do is tweak his web counter and give him the impression that many people are looking)

Since then I've tried to begin to actually establish a point of presence at Apolo.net. This past December, I decided it was time to make another attempt on Apolo.com. In December I pulled his whois information and tried to email him again. I wrote a very long business letter that was not too threatening that made only the slightest innuendo of CyberSquatting. The email bounced.

I was in my joy. If he's not contact-able then he jeopardizes the rights to his Domain. Or so I thought. Our (ironically enough mutual) registrar is register.com. They have been not only less than helpful, today they added the proverbial straw that finally broke the proverbial camel's back. They have told me repeatedly that they will take my complaints and pass them on to a department that they can't tell me about. This amorphous department will evaluate the situation and may or may not get back to me.

Today I pointed out that by letting this issue go on for 2 months with no resolution they are allowing this guy to violate their terms of service. The ToS basically says if you do not update incorrect information in 15 days your account is subject to termination. I basically explained to Register.com that I have gotten the same brush off for 2 months. They told me that they'd send it to the department and voice my concerns. This time it was from a supervisor telling me the exact same thing. I told them in no uncertain terms that I expected resolution. They asked, what if he updated his information. I said, yes, had that been done 25 days ago I'd accept that. They said they had no idea how long it would take to validate the information. I told them it took me two days to discover the email bounced and the phone number was invalid. It took me three weeks for a registered letter to be returned as undeliverable. They had more resources from me. Again I was told they'd voice my concerns. I told them they had until March 5th and then I filed suit against the domain owner and them with ICANN.

Sadly however, looking at ICANN and everything else, I really see how the whole thing is absolutely broken.

Now, I've heard all the arguements of, "Well, he doesn't have to use a domain if he's paying for it." Granted, they also consider paying for it, "As long as the credit card will auto renew"

From my point of view... I've actually now filed "Apolo Productions" after all these years with the trademark bureau. I've been serving pages with an identity of Apolo Productions in one form or another since 1997. If I wind up having to go thru ICANN this could run as expensive as $1500 dollars which will just go to some guy who gets paid for raising or dropping his thumb. Short form, everyone else loses.

And where am I today? I had to make an offer to a website for apolo.org. The minimum offer they will take is $60 Euros. Their counter offer 4 hours later? $600 Euros. No. Not happening.

And some still wonder why I've grown to really despise large pockets of (so called) humanity.

Grrrr


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As much as I also dislike the practice of domain squatting, I can not deny that it is a perfectly valid form of business. Not unlike investing in physical property and later selling it for more after it has become more valuable.

A one word .com domain is completely worth $20k.

I would be quite offended if I bought a beachfront piece of property when it was cheap, then years later someone came up and said that they felt that they were entitled to have me sell it to them for cheap just because I wasn't using it. I thought to purchase it when it was cheap, so it is my property. I would be far less inclined to sell if they took on a threatening tone with me.

I will agree that domain squatting can be a business. But business has rules. One of which is that you can value a domain and choose to sell it at any price you wish. However, at the same time... there are rules to protect people as well. If you own a domain you must be contactable.

My complaint with this guy is that he was willing to sell the domain under the excuse that it was already tied to a business and he was selling the business. There was no business. That was a con.

>A one word .com domain is completely worth $20k.

Caveat emptor. As much as one person may believe an item is worth one price another person may value it differently. The apolo.net owner was convinced it was worth $350, I was convinced it wasn't worth more than $75. When the exchange was made... I was right.

That is how the stock market works. You can ask any price you want and either you will find someone who is willing to pay your price... or you won't sell it.

As for the beachfront property... You have the right not to sell it. You have the right to not use it. But there are law that require a marginal level of maintenance. If you don't pay the property taxes on it, anyone is perfectly legal to walk in and pay the property taxes and take the property away.

I am annoyed because:
a) He tried to con me with a fake business to justify his inflated price
b) He has broken terms of service by having bad contact information
c) The registrar is breaking their terms of service by not honouring his lack of contact

If he wants to tell me, "I don't want to sell it, I have no intention of using it" Fine. I lose.

But there are rules, policies and reality. I'm willing to allieviate him of his costs and compenate him fairly. He has made no mention of a lack of intention to sell. Therefore I am trying to use the system to acquire a property legally.

"I am annoyed because:
a) He tried to con me with a fake business to justify his inflated price
b) He has broken terms of service by having bad contact information
c) The registrar is breaking their terms of service by not honouring his lack of contact

If he wants to tell me, 'I don't want to sell it, I have no intention of using it' Fine. I lose."


Ah, that all makes perfect sense.

Best of luck with your battle!

I don't feel that sorry for you. Domain speculation is a part of life, just like any real estate speculation. It's an investment. Deal with it.

See reply to ethernight

In summary:

I am annoyed because:
a) He tried to con me with a fake business to justify his inflated price
b) He has broken terms of service by having bad contact information
c) The registrar is breaking their terms of service by not honouring his lack of contact

If he wants to tell me, "I don't want to sell it, I have no intention of using it" Fine. I lose.

Domain speculation is fine if someone is willing to pay your price, but as mentioned above, like the stock market... if your price is too high, no one will buy. If you want to sell, you work with your seller.

In this case... none of this is relevant.

I should add that I used to be in the business of domain speculation. I bought my domains fair and square, and in some cases, paid for them for several years in order to retain the rights in case I wanted to use them or sell them.

People that took a shitty 'tude with me, or acted entitled, did not get anywhere. People who were chill sometimes got the domain they wanted. Sounds a lot of like a lot of things in life, huh?

sorry to hear about the squatters.

I see you are using oL. I tripped across it when changing my catalog info at USPS.com the last time I moved. Of course, I immediately chased down all I could find about it, signed onto the Yahoogroup, and have been employing it QUITE happily ever since. I have used it for forms, and even photo galleries.

http://www.h-103.com - the modeling gallery is driven by oL with anchor, and pagedefaults -- have to play with toys on my own site - "portfolio #1". The tell-a-friend form at the bottom of http://www.aver.us is on a variable sitting in a .js. The photo gallery and [extra info on the membership form] on that site are also oL driven. Eric, Bob and Dennis are at the very least demi-gods in my universe.

I hope that the .com problem goes onto spin cycle for you soon. Maybe when register.com filters the wash water -- they will finally come to their senses and realize that your domain really is available by THEIR OWN guidelines.

It took me a while to figure out what oL was :)

Re: Sorry for the delay

no prob, I am the idiot who in my haste mispelled Erik's name. If you aren't already on it -- the archives are chock full of super duper stuff at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/overlib/

Whoa. That's - in a word - lame. I share your frustration, though not quite on that level. I've owned CrookedSixpence.com for *years*. I decided a couple of years ago that I wanted crookedsixpence.net as well...only to discover that *another graphic designer* had taken it. Now, how does that make any sense? I've since separated my professional site from my personal site and have a different domain entirely for the pro stuff, but it angers me that someone could be so thoughtless (and untalented, for that matter). Her site's gone, now, interestingly enough, but the domain is still unavailable. Frankly, the whole domain issue is just a problem that breeds like bunnies.

I am going through the same issue with a site I am looking to put up as well! I have a great idea, which needs to be backed by a great name, but... someone is squatting it.

Curses!

why am I not surprised by the amount of website squatters out there. If you even misspell a popular website's name by one letter 9 times out of ten you will get a spam bot kind of robot search engine or malware generator that is just there to snare you not because they had anything to do with whatever the original website.

With all due respect, the folks at the registrar may be telling you the only thing they can. People call me all the time wanting to know the status of their complaints, and I genuinely do not have access to that information. All I can do is send someone an e-mail and ask them to call the person. I can't transfer the caller to that someone. If no one ever gets back to the caller, the only phone number they have is mine, and they will continue to call me - and all I can do is send out more e-mails. It's frustrating for all involved parties, but that's the way it's set up, and I don't have any control over it. Neither, probably, do the customer service people at your registrar.

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