On Friday in response to a post on our finding from our research of our own Snapnames auction history we got into a discussion with Mr. John Berryhill, an attorney I very much respect.
During a heated back and forth discussion he asked:
“”Hypothetically, what would you do, right now, if you were Oversee, that would make everyone in the world happy over this crappy situation?””
So I answered him and that answer is now forming the basis of this post.
Its been two weeks since Oversee broke the Scandal.
Since, then blogs and forums have been lite up with discussions, conspiracy theories and accusations on a daily basis, without a word from Oversee.
Oversee offered up a settlement agreement with a release, which as we discussed previously is not sign-able, and the whole situation seems to be in a stalemate.
I think the time has come for a plan of how Oversee can fix this mess.
I don’t think this industry is going to be better off if Oversee fails.
I think the domain space will suffer if one of its, maybe the largest company in the space, sinks under the pressure of the scandal.
So here is my answer to Mr. Berryhill’s hypothetical question of what Oversee should do to fix this situation.
As this letter is meant to be read by Oversee and SnapNames.com to push them to action, I’m closing this post to comments.
I do not want this to become another vehicle for people to beat up Oversee and Snapnames.
There are plenty of places you can vent, bitch, criticize and accuse Oversee and Snapnames, including in the comment section of this blog on other posts.
I want this to serve as an attempt to get Oversee to fix the situation and begin the closure process.
1. File a criminal complaint against Brady and announce that you have done so.
We are big boys and girls here and realize how the world works.
Once Oversee files a criminal complaint its out of their hands and up to the law enforcement agency to decide whether to pursue it or not.
Once Oversee files a criminal complaint we all know that Oversee would be the “victim” in a criminal proceeding and could not comment on an ongoing criminal matter.
However, the failure of Oversee to file criminal charges and make that public that it has done so, is causing many in the domainer community to think there is much more to the story (which there may or may not be).
Domainers feeling range from a “Deep Throat” theory that Brady knows things that would implicate others in the company to other criminal conduct and therefore isn’t seeking prosecution.
Filing a criminal complaint would go a long way to make domainers believe this incident is related to Brady alone.
2. Offer some compensation for the bidding of Brady where he did not finish in 2nd but actively bid (more than just the opening bid).
Oversee needs to offer some compensation for situations where Brady bid up on a domain but did not finish second
There is no way of knowing what would have happened in an auction like clash.com where Brady bid $22,500, $25,000 and $27,500 and wound up as the third highest bidder in an auction ending at $30K.
There is no way of computing or really even guessing what would have happened.
But one things for sure, Brady’s bidding did not make the ending price cheaper for the buyer.
The ending price of the domain may have still wound up where it sold, but it may have wound up for much less.
We will never know.
What is the actual damage Brady caused by bidding but not finishing second?
We have no way of determining an exact figure, but the damage is certainly higher than zero, which is what Oversee is currently offering for such situations.
I know I would, and think most the domainer community would feel much better about accepting a settlement if Oversee offered something, to compensate domainers for these auctions.
For myself its not so much the money but the principal.
I would like Oversee to say something like; “hey we know you were damaged by this bidding, neither one of us know how much, but in good faith and to move on so we can have a good working relationship going forwardwe are going to give you a premium over your actual damages to compensate you for Brady’s bidding when he didn’t finish second.
Let’s say by offering a 10%-20% premium on top of the actual damage already computed, I think domainers would recognize Oversee is trying to remedy the situation and make its customers happy.
There is no perfect answer but at least it would be an attempt to compensate its customers.
3. Limit the release to the issue at hand, Brady/Halvarez bidding.
The release needs to be modified so that in accepting the settlement for Halvarez bidding, you are only waiving your rights to seek damages relating to Halvarez’s bidding.
Instead of the release saying:
“”Relating to the auctions for and acquisition of the Domains, including without limitation, any Claims relating in whole or in part to the bidding activity of the SnapNames user associated with the user name “halvarez”
The release needs to be modified to say:
“Relating to the auctions for and acquisition of the Domains, any Claims relating in whole or in part to the bidding activity of the SnapNames user associated with the user name “halvarez”.
Seems simple enough.
By signing the modified release I’m suggesting, domainers would give up their rights to seek and additional damages for actions related to Halvarez’ bidding in exchange for the settlement amount.
If other shill bidding unrelated to Halvarez is found to exist or other improprieties in accounting or other issues unrelated to Halvarez’s bidding is found, domainers would have the right to seek compensation and damages.
The whole idea of this process should be for Oversee to get a substantial number of domainers receiving this settlement agreement to accept it.
Right now the release in my opinion is way too broad cannot be signed.
A modified release would get allow more domainers to execute it.
4. Oversee should hiring a true third party forensic accounting firm to go through all 1,000,000 auctions
I’m suggestion that domainers want a true third party to pull all the data from all the auction like I did for my own account, and have a date certain when those results will be announced.
They should be proactive and look for other bidding improprieties throughout their system and make a commitment to have this done by a date certain and of course offer restitution is anything else is found.
5. Statements and Status Reports
Its been two weeks since Oversee broke the news and there have been a ton of material written on the situation. Oversee has been accused in blogs and forums of everything but being involved in the Kennedy Assassination.
A company cannot remain completely silent when it is reputation is being raked over the coals on a daily basis.
You cannot let claims, charges, and conspiracy theories to hang in the air without refuting at least some of them.
I suggest that Snapnames/Oversee issue a statement immediately to combat, admit or deny the accusations levied against them on blogs and forums and then commit to issuing a status report on some regular basis be it weekly, bi-weekly or monthly.
So Oversee, for the sake of your company, your employees and in the industry as a whole try to fix this situations.
Make a move.
The ball is in your court.