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"It was copyright infringement on a large scale but, because it is a civil action, there is no threat of a custodial sentence in such a case."
"We take the protection of our intellectual property and copyright ownership very seriously, both as the core of our business and in protecting our .uk registrants from domain name scams," said Nominet chief executive Lesley Cowley.
Nominet has been awarded damages for copyright infringement of AUS$810,953, with additional damages of AUS$500,000 to reflect the "flagrancy" of the breaches.
Presumably they think that in that case I must be french ( am not ) and will not realise due to presumedly poor english skills that they are scamming me..
I think this type of scam is more widespread than assumed ..
And the names I get these official looking letters and "invoices" about were not registered with Nominet but were done across the atlantic ..
They ask for £75.00 ( around $110.oo )per year to renew or risk losing a dot com.
They must hook some as until 2 or 3 years ago it cost on average $200.oo per year to register a dot com if you did so through the main french telecom / internet supplier france telecom..so it may seem like good deal to some here .
The Federal Trade Commission did go after them.
I had a customer fall for it just recently, and I have had numerous other customers call over the years to find out if they should pay it.
I still have 3 of their letters ..last one received just 6 weeks ago ..obviously they can pay their fines and still make money by continueing from another juristiction ..maybe jail time for their CEO etc would be more conducive to their obeying the law?
Their name is the almost the same one the FTC went after, but instead of "America" substitute the word "Canada" in there and you have the company I am talking about.
One down...Many to go. Great article for UK folks for sure.
Not really so great. In most of the world there would not have been a valid copyright claim, and the lawsuit has to be brought where the infringement occured.
In this case the infringement was in Australia and the Australian copyright law did cover this sort of action. this decision is not binding on Canadian, US, Indian or even UK registrars.
There is still hope, but it isn't in the realm of copyright. Most countries will prosecute such companies under fraud and fair business practices statutes. In fact, from my reading, the copyright portion of the claim was only one portion.
Unlike the copyright portion of the suit, they probably could have prosecuted the other portions in the UK, but their chances of actually collecting on the judgement would have been slim. To actually hurt them they will have to be sued where they live, which is what happened here.
Regarding the Canadian/UK company ( [ftc.gov...] ) Yes, they are still operating. I received 2 letters from them this week, they give a UK address. One of my letters was for a domain with the word 'barcelona' in it, and the other was for a domain with a french word in it.
I regularly have to explain this stuff to our customers when the receve it.
I hate such scammers, spammers and internet criminals. The more they are fined or imprisioned the better the internet will become. I would gladly donate to a fund (if there were one) dedicated to bringing these people to justice. With the increasing plague of rouge bots, scrapers, spammers, viruses... the net could become unusable.
In addition to the Aussie case they have also been pursuing this one in the UK
"Nominet's board thanked all members of staff, legal and technical teams,
who had helped by giving evidence in the recent trial of Peter
Francis-Macrae, who was sentenced to 6 years imprisonment on 16 November
2005. One of the crimes for which Mr Francis-Macrae was convicted was
blackmail against Nominet - he had threatened a massive denial of service
attack against our servers. "