Many have started transferring names out, I mentioned the story to someone this morning who neither goes to Namepros anymore or reads most blogs. He replied back 30 minutes later he was transferring his 700 names out.
The thread at Namepros which is now the popcorn thread of 2021 so far has some interesting comments.
First off Mr.Oxley himself opened a new account to post under @create.com
Brent Here. I had to create a new account as the old one had my old company Hostgator in the name. =)
I don’t think a lot of you realize how serious this is. A scammer spent a little over $12 in India, and without proof, a contract, or even a court order, was able to abuse Godaddy’s policy and lock over $10mm worth of my domains!
These names have been locked for over a year now, and I’ve spent $10,000’s in legal bills trying to get a court order to get them unlocked as Godaddy requires. (covid hasn’t made it easy with the courts) The legal fees pale in comparison to the millions in deals I’ve had to turn down. The lock prevents you from changing a domain’s DNS or transferring it, which means you can’t sell it.
This scam is pretty genius if you think about it. Just about any scammer in the world can file in their country courts for a small fee; email GoDaddy that the domains are under “dispute,” and bam Godaddy will lock whatever domains the scammer asks them to in their email to email@example.com. (at least that’s what happened to me)
The scammer doesn’t even have to show up for court to keep your names locked and most likely won’t. Godaddy will lock the domains without a court order and then require you to get a court order to unlock them all.
Getting a court order to get your domains unlocked is very costly, time-consuming, and can take several years with how backed up most of the courts are from Covid.
If you’re with Godaddy and you think your account is safe from this scam, I’d recommend you email them and find out for yourself that your names can be locked from a “dispute.” and their UTOS says such.
I’m ashamed to admit it, but I had a few moments of weakness and offered the scammer Puneet over $10,000 to drop the “dispute” with Godaddy. I even had some of the potential buyers wanting to pay Puneet $10,000’s in extortion money in order to close on the names locked. He was too greedy, demanding millions, and as a result, I’m not going to pay him a dime in extortion money. Instead, I’m paying lawyers in India to make sure he serves prison time for both extortion and fraud.
At one point, I even offered Godaddy full indemnification from the “dispute” if they unlocked my names. This is off the table now, but I can’t for the life of me figure out why’d they turn this down and continue to keep my names locked without any proof or court order.
Below is the email in which I found out why my names were locked. In this email Godaddy lied about there being a court order to lock my names. I don’t know why they lied about this but I’m guessing it’s because the file Puneet attached was in Hindu and they took his word for it.
We have been notified that per documents filed in the District Court in Alwar, Rajasthan, the domain names below are the subject of a legal dispute:
HYBRID.COM, DISTRIBUTE.COM, ADMIRER.COM, DRONE.COM, CIA.COM, DEMOLISH.COM, EMIR.COM, DARM.COM, BRIDE.COM, ADVISE.COM, FLUTE.COM, LOANTAP.COM, JEWEL.COM,
ITEM.COM, PIANO.COM, DEVOTE.COM, VTOK.COM, ATHLETE.COM, BONJOUR.COM, VALENTINE.COM, DUST.COM, DETECT.COM, VIAJE.COM, MESSAGE.COM
The court ordered that the domain names are to be locked pending further order of the court. Accordingly, we have locked the domain names.
If you have any questions regarding these actions or this court case, please contact the Court or Plaintiff’s Counsel directly. Contact information for Plaintiff’s Counsel can be found below:
** email removed **
When I pressed them on there being no such legal ruling or court order, they quoted their UTOS:
“Per Section 14 of GoDaddy’s Universal Terms of Service (“UTOS”), we reserve the right to lock domain names to defend any legal action or threatened legal action without consideration for whether such legal action or threatened legal action is eventually determined to be with or without merit.
I had a registrar back in the day named launchpad.com and sold it with the sale of hostgator.com. I don’t think anyone could ever picture something like this happening and it really doesn’t make sense to have a registrar for less than 150 domains.
Had the domains that I bought before I launched Create been with Namecheap or Epik, this would never have happened!
I’m positive Puneet is insane. He has sent me thousands upon thousands of emails, messages, calls, etc, etc. Many of these messages involve death threats, talking about praying to the devil, drugs, pictures of mutilated naked bodies, and all kinds of craziness. In a few of the messages, he told me he got in trouble for waiting outside Prime Minister Modi’s private house and office for trying to talk to him. I’m not sure I would have even believed this if it wasn’t for him sending over a document that was an official complaint against the officer that questioned him for harassment!
Paul Nicks did post as well:
After reading everything here and in the article, I wanted to address some of the questions swirling around about this.
There were many factors in deciding if we locked domains or kept domains locked in the India case between Mr. Oxley and Mr. Agarwal.
For instance, a U.S. federal court denied Mr. Oxley’s request for an order requiring GoDaddy to unlock the domains. If Mr. Oxley had been able to obtain a court order requiring us to unlock the domains, we would have gladly done it. The fact he was unable to do so suggests how much more complicated this issue is than is mentioned in the article. It’s not just monetary issues, but demands for the cancellation of the domain registrations at issue.
We understand how important your domain names are to you. We don’t make the decision to lock or unlock any domain name lightly. GoDaddy, along with other registrars, like NameCheap, Web.com, MarkMonitor and even VeriSign, reserve the right to lock domains in response to notification of a legal dispute.
In fact, it is the industry standard to ensure that registration rights for domain names are protected and maintained during the pendency of a legal dispute. Locking domains protects all parties until the legal dispute is resolved.
We also want to assure everyone that when a domain is locked, the goal is to keep the registration information at status quo. If the registrant would like to make changes to their DNS, they can contact our team to make them. They are able to renew the domain names. The domain and any associated web/mail services continue to function normally.
We understand Mr. Oxley’s frustration. No one wants to be in this situation, but the systems that we and the industry have in place are there for your protection.
Namecheap was also asked to lock some of Mr.Oxley’s domain names, they refused.
From the post on JamesNames.com
Standing aside, it also seems like no actual court order exists.
I understand that after Oxley moved his domains to Namecheap, Agarwal contacted Namecheap asking for Oxley’s names to be locked, a request that Namecheap declined. I contacted Namecheap for comment. I was told:
“Namecheap always puts our customers first, protecting their right, freedoms and valuable digital assets such as domain names. We have a proven track record of doing the right thing by our customers that includes fighting for their rights in court when deemed necessary. We do not lock or disable customer domains on a whim without the correct legal requirement.”
So many are asking the question why doesn’t GoDaddy stand with their customers? What is really interesting is Oxley’s reply to Nicks.
You said “For instance, a U.S. federal court denied Mr. Oxley’s request for an order requiring GoDaddy to unlock the domains.”
Let me understand this…..
Part of why you locked my domains before January 9th, 2020 is because of what a judge said 10 months later on 11/24/2020? The Judge wanted to make sure Puneet was served and requested proof of service, which required us to get a Hague certificate. It’s not easy to serve someone in India that doesn’t want to be served. We just received the Hague certificate back a few days ago, and the case can now proceed in America to get you the court order that you demand. This has also been Covid times with lockdowns, court shutdowns, and all kinds of uncertainty delaying a court order.
I have some questions for you……..
Godaddy initially claimed there was a court order to lock my domains.
Is Godaddy continuing to take the stance that there is a court order to lock my domains? yes or no, please.
Is this an official response from Godaddy? Yes or No, please.
Did you have to get permission from GoDaddy prior to this post?
Have you seen any signed contracts between Puneet or myself? Yes or no.
I requested this to be escalated to your CEO back in March of 2020. Is he aware of this situation? Yes or no answer, please.
” If the registrant would like to make changes to their DNS, they can contact our team to make them.
6. If this is true, why did you all ignore my request on December 8th, 2020 to change my DNS for detect.com? I still haven’t had a response from you on this! This is one of the domain names I have sold pending your locks being lifted. Can you please make the emailed change request?
7. Why did you all take the courtesy to respond to Puneet when you locked my domains, and yet as a customer, you never notified me? You failed to inform me on both the original locks and the recent one of create.com a few weeks ago. Godaddy still hasn’t responded to my email from February 19th on why create.com was locked. Can you please tell me why? Was there another imaginary court order you aren’t able to produce?
“They are able to renew the domain names. “
I am not able to renew the locked domains, which is why I emailed you on april 21st, 2020, requesting you all to do so. You still have not renewed these names. You all ensured they would be auto-renewed at expiration; however, I do not feel comfortable considering how incompetent you all have been to date. Can you please renew these names for me as requested using the balance I have on file!!!
” but demands for the cancellation of the domain registrations at issue.
This is the first I’ve heard this! Why am I just now being told this on a public forum? The way I’m interrupting this, is now that all this has gone public, there’s a chance that over $10mm worth of my domains may be deleted by godaddy????? PLEASE DO NOT DELETE MY DOMAINS!
I may not be able to respond for a day or two. It’s my 38th birthday in a few hours, and I’m set to go off-grid camping with my five-year-old little girl any minutes now when she arrives from Houston. I plan on climbing a small mountain tomorrow that should have recpetion and hope to check in at such time if needed.
GoDaddy has certainly opened a can of worms here, maybe they had to I am not a lawyer. But from a public relations standpoint this is a potential nightmare.
It’s another one of those threads that wakes many up to something new they never knew was possible.
Brad Mugford summed things up best:
This is a quick summary, as far as I can tell.
The registrar is based in the US.
The registry is based in the US.
The registrant is based in the US.
The complainant filed a case in an Indian court related to a business dispute.
There is no court order. The defendant has not even been served yet.
Even if there was a court order, I fail to see how it would have any standing in this case.
GoDaddy for some reason not only locked the domains, without a court order, they also locked the domain Create.com which does not even appear to be named in the suit.
I am not really sure WTF GoDaddy is doing here. It makes any domain owner, from the largest investor to the smallest end user far less secure with their assets.