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5000 Domains Taken From a Multiple Registrants by Sealed Court Order

Appears Verisign transferred domains without prior notice to registrants

     
4:00 pm on Oct 4, 2014 (gmt 0)

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From Mike Berkens of TheDomains.com [thedomains.com ]

Overnight I received a notice that several domain names I owned were transferred by a sealed court from Verisign without notice and of course without the court order.

The domain names just were transferred by Verisign to another domain and are now listed for sale at another marketplace.

Another domainer sent me an identical notice he received overnight on domain names he owned.

The Domain names are now all owned by COURT APPOINTED RECEIVER – ROBERT OLEA and have been moved to Uniregisty as the registrar and are now listed for sale at domainnamesales.com

The domain names resolve and the go to a domainnamesales.com page.

According to DomainTools.com, there are now 4,973 domain names associated with the registrant COURT APPOINTED RECEIVER, ROBERT OLEA.

I have send emails out to Verisign, Bob Olea and Mr. Steele who is a partner is a law firm as well as a teacher at a law school who I was instructed to contact at the bottom of the email I received.

I haven’t received any response back so far from anyone



Wow! Just wow!

How on earth do you affect the rights of others without first, or simultaneously, giving the affected parties the right to appear in court and to be heard by the court?

I've practiced law for awhile (30+ years) and I, with the exception of situations where there was proof that "notice of action" might enable a targeted party to destroy or hide something, I don't recall EVER seeing anything quite like this.

Since these are domain names, which will forever be under the control of the central registry, I see NO good reason for action without notice IF we assume that the registry is subject to the court's jurisdiction and orders - as seems to be expressly or implicitly admitted by Verisign's actions in this case. So, what's the hurry . . the rush to judgment and compliance?

At WORST all the court needed to do was to "stay" (stop) transfers or deletions pending a hearing, one that included all affected parties.

Verisign, you now scare the HECK out of everyone who holds a .com domain. Transfers without notice? Without the opportunity to say "No, this is wrong! Here's why . . "

WOW!
6:24 pm on Oct 4, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Unbeleivable! Scary stuff - and on a weekend..
10:37 pm on Oct 4, 2014 (gmt 0)

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I'd be scared even on a weekday.
2:49 am on Oct 5, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Not enough info given to know exactly what happened, or what legal precedents were used to cause such action. I suspect there is some villainy going on (nipped by this action) we do not know about.
2:35 am on Oct 17, 2014 (gmt 0)

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woah. Wonder what's going on there ..
5:58 pm on Oct 17, 2014 (gmt 0)

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It's pretty straightforward.

It's related to this court case:

[dockets.justia.com...]

The domains in question most likely *used* to belong to the defendant.

My guess is that the domains were just one of many assets that the court sent into receivership.

The court issued the order to seize them without checking to see if the defendant had already sold them off.

It's just one of those things where a process that used to work okay in the real world doesn't work anymore.
5:23 pm on Oct 19, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Webwork curious how did you come by to own the domain name?
9:35 pm on Oct 22, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Pretty mind blowing - I think I'd have totally lost it if my domains were just randomly seized and put up for sale.

Egregious government overstepping like this reminds me why I was once a proud Fido Net node operator before the internet took hold.

It was run by the people, for the people, and we didn't have any central authority any court could use to seize anything as all our data echoed around the globe from modem to modem.

I'd like to see us go back to something that the government didn't have so much control over.
10:36 pm on Oct 22, 2014 (gmt 0)

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bwnbwn - none of my domains were affected by this action.
12:23 am on Oct 23, 2014 (gmt 0)

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I came across a notice on a domain that might or might not relate to this specific case, but it's of interest:

NOTICE TO CONSUMER
This website was one of over 6700 sites used for the promotion and sale of counterfeit goods. <snip - several luxury goods brands>, obtained a court order to seize the domain name associated with this website to protect its consumers from unknowingly purchasing counterfeit product bearing the following trademarks:

<snip - list of luxury goods brands>

The only way to ensure you are not purchasing one or more of the above counterfeit products is to buy from an authorised retailer. A list of authorised retailers can be found on the official websites at

<snip - list of luxury goods brands' official websites>
.
To those consumers who may knowingly consider the purchase of counterfeit items, we urge you to recognise that by purchasing counterfeit product you support criminal activity and are providing your financial details to entities who may misuse them.
NOTICE TO DEFENDANT
The defendants operating this website have been charged with violations relating to trademark infringement and counterfeiting.
A copy of the Complaint and court order may be obtained from Plaintiff's attorney, <snip>.