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RhodeIsland.org Lost by Rhode Island Economic Development Corp.

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A .org domain name came across my email this morning that caught my attention. RhodeIsland.org is listed as one of the most active pending delete backorders on NameJet. At the present time, there are 24 bids with a high bid of $101 on NameJet alone. Since most of the major drop catching platforms will likely try to catch this domain name, I presume there are many other bidders standing by ready to place bids on this domain name.



After seeing RhodeIsland.org on the most active pending delete list, l did a Historical Whois Search at DomainTools to see who previously owned the domain name before it went into the pending delete status. According to DomainTools, RhodeIsland.org was registered to Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation as recently as September 6, 2017. The Whois registrant email listed an @riedc.com email address. Very strangely, the registry expiry date is listed as June 24, 2018, so it doesn't look expired despite its "pending Delete" status.

I looked at Archive.org, and it does not look like → Read More


NamePros: Back In 15 Minutes (Updated)

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I was checking in on the important NameJet thread on NamePros this afternoon when I saw a maintenance message on the website. I visited from a couple of browsers, and I saw that the site was down and it wasn't a browser error on my end.

I reached out to NamePros CTO Paul Buonopane, and he let me know the site will be back in about 15 minutes - potentially sooner.

I am not a regular contributor on NamePros, but I am a regular reader. I shared some advice for NameJet a couple of days ago on my blog, and I strongly urge the company to have a third party audit that is shared with the public. In a press release last night, the company "confirmed that there was suspicious activity relating to certain names being sold on NameJet," and I think bidders and sellers deserve to know the extent of this with an audit conducted by a non-stakeholder.

Update: NamePros is back up. Here's what I am told happened: "Logs for our new backup system took up more storage than expected, and the database system shut down to prevent data loss. → Read More


Some Advice for NameJet

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I have been following along the NamePros thread and article on TheDomains.com about alleged bidding irregularities at NameJet. I have also been in communication with NameJet General Manager Jonathan Tenenbaum, asking to receive updates as the company addresses the allegations and investigates the situation.

A few minutes ago, Jonathan emailed me a statement with a status update from the auction platform:

"In an effort to keep everyone current as to where we stand on this matter, I wanted to share the following update. There have been some inaccuracies and misconceptions that have been brought forth by such a spirited discussion. And it would be a challenge to respond to all of them - therefore, I want to bring the discussion back to the heart of the matter.

As stated earlier, we take the issue of shill bidding on NameJet very seriously and we are conducting a thorough investigation, keeping in mind that the integrity of our platform is of utmost importance to us. As I have said repeatedly, we do not condone shill bidding of → Read More


Everphone.com UDRP: Despite Front Running, Domain Registrant Prevails

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Front running is the act of attempting to sell a domain name that is not owned by the person who is making the sale attempt. Unfortunately, front running has become more common, and I wrote about front running during NameJet auctions  a few years ago. There was an interesting UDRP decision that domain auction participants will want to note because front running almost cost the domain registrant a domain name.

A company called Everphone GmbH filed a UDRP to get the Everphone.com domain name. This domain name sold on NameJet for $842 in January of this year, according to NameBio. According to the complainant in this UDRP, it seems that two entities contacted the complainant either during or prior to the auction claiming to be willing to sell this domain name. Because the complainant had been dealing with entities that seem to have been front running this domain name, the auction winner and current registrant was not aware of these other emails when the complainant approached him about selling the domain name.

In the UDRP → Read More


PuffDaddy.com Expires and Goes to Auction

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I saw an interesting name coming up for auction on NameJet, which was also mentioned in the DSAD auction list yesterday. PuffDaddy.com expired in late May, and it is set to go into auction this afternoon.  Sean Combs is a famous musician who was once known by the "Puff Daddy" moniker. His nickname has changed over the years (Puffy, P. Diddy, Diddy...etc) but many people would still recognize the Puff Daddy name.

Prior to its expired status, the domain name was registered privately, but before that, it was registered to a business called Puff Daddy Merchandising, Inc. I believe this business was associated with Sean Combs. If this wasn't some sort of oversight, I think it was a shorted sighted decision to let the domain name expire.

In my opinion, companies and brand owners need to continue to renew domain names that are relevant to their brand, even if they don't actively market the brand any longer. It is very likely that these domain names will be bought by someone unaffiliated with the brand. The short term cost is → Read More


Tucows Sending Expiry Inventory to NameJet

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NameJet LogoAccording to an email sent to NameJet customers earlier this afternoon, the auction platform is now auctioning Tucows' expiring domain name inventory.  Here's what NameJet sent to its customers today announcing the new auction inventory:

"NameJet announces a substantial increase to our registrar expiry inventory with the addition of expiring names from Tucows. Tucows has been an ICANN accredited registrar since 1999 and possess a large number of aged domains. This recent integration means more inventory of quality names are being made available every day on NameJet!"

I just learned that Tucows is now sending all of its expiring inventory to NameJet. When asked to comment on this via email, Tucows CEO Elliot Noss referred me to Steve Barnes, Vice President of Retail & Aftermarket at Tucows. "We're now sending all of the Tucows expiry to NameJet," Steve told me.  I am unsure about how many domain names a month this will add to NameJet's inventory.

I also reached out to (more…) → Read More


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