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Author Topic: Looking for help identifying hidden domain owner...  (Read 7720 times)
seedling
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« on: June 17, 2008, 11:01:31 PM »

I'm having a problem with a particular site blatently using our company name and published content without our permission to promote web-sales for themselves.  I've looked up the general domain whois sites and found that this person (or persons) is hiding behind a seemingly well-known (based on all the google hits I got) service or company called Domain Discreet.  So finding the actual owner of this site has been a challenge.  All phone numbers on the site go to a recorded message that states 'someone will get back to you'.

Has anyone here ever have to deal with this?

If so, I'd really like some advise on how to get more information about the owners of this particular domain.

Thanks In Advance smiley
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Ehtyar
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« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2008, 11:22:54 PM »

What you're describing sounds like a registrar front. Most private registrars put their own information in the whois of any domain they are currently the registrar of, and you have to contact the registrar themselves in order to get the personal information of the actual domain owner.

Hope this helps, Ehtyar.
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PhilB66
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« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2008, 11:54:03 PM »

Did you try to ping the Website and get the IP where it is hosted?
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seedling
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« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2008, 12:10:59 AM »

What you're describing sounds like a registrar front. Most private registrars put their own information in the whois of any domain they are currently the registrar of, and you have to contact the registrar themselves in order to get the personal information of the actual domain owner.

Hope this helps, Ehtyar.

Yeah, I figured, but it looks like a completely fake front

Quote from: PhilB66
Did you try to ping the Website and get the IP where it is hosted?

I have the IP and information of that host, but I have yet to contact them to find out any more info.

The main thing I'd like to avoid is spooking the people into obscurity.  I'd rather 'catch them in the act'.  That's why I was hoping to find some other way to find info about who these people are.
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PhilB66
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« Reply #4 on: June 18, 2008, 12:23:41 AM »

DomainDiscreet.com is a service offered by Register.com.



Details @ http://www.register.com/p...cy/servicesagreement.rcmx (Item 6 in the table of contents)

More about this service @ http://help.register.com/.../std_adp.php?p_faqid=2052
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seedling
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« Reply #5 on: June 18, 2008, 12:52:05 AM »

thanks for that info! smiley
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PhilB66
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« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2008, 02:11:21 AM »

Well, if you haven't done so yet, try the network tools @ http://www.dnsstuff.com/ or http://network-tools.com/ to try and trace who is behind this domain. Also, a http spy might be useful to find about redirection. Veins' Page Headers is a very nice one.
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lanux128
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« Reply #7 on: June 18, 2008, 02:43:42 AM »

if this is hurting your business then it's better to get the local cyber-crime unit involved.
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f0dder
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« Reply #8 on: June 18, 2008, 06:54:31 AM »

DMCA takedown notices can be very effective - and since DMCA is such a blanket law, it can be used for all kinds of stuff.
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cthorpe
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« Reply #9 on: June 18, 2008, 09:14:59 AM »

If they are promoting websales for themselves, where does the money go?  Is it one of the well know ecommerce providers?  Paypal?  Some homegrown ecommerce scripts?
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mouser
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« Reply #10 on: June 18, 2008, 09:26:32 AM »

cthorpe's comments are smart -- if they are a business, presumably they have to accept money somehow.  as deep throat said to woodward and bernstein: follow the money.
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40hz
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« Reply #11 on: June 18, 2008, 10:03:37 AM »

Quote
The main thing I'd like to avoid is spooking the people into obscurity.  I'd rather 'catch them in the act'.  That's why I was hoping to find some other way to find info about who these people are.

If you want to stop them from doing what they're doing, don't waste time trying to catch them in the act. They're already caught. Their ISP will most likely archive a copy of their site to cover their own butts once you send a DMCA notice.

The most realistic strategy is to have their ISP shut them down. Period. You will probably not be able to do much more than that.  I know it sucks. It really really really sucks! But consider:

Securing penalties and damages for copyright and trademark violations is time consuming and expensive. You're pretty much out of luck on that score unless you have deep pockets and a lot of patience. And forget about fraud. There's so much fraud going down on the web that prosecution is rare except for the biggest and most flagrant violations. Prosecutors look for high profile victims and usually only pursue the easiest to win cases. And the Feds (bless em!) usually need to see provable losses in the 7-digit range before they will get involved. And if the infringers are not in the USA (hello Honk Kong!) you can absolutely forget about any legal remedy.

I've been involved with a couple of these hassles. One of our clients ran into the same thing. They complained to the offender's ISP and had their lawyers send a few letters. The offenders stopped what they were doing once they knew the sharks were circling. (It also helped that the ISP was very cooperative. Many aren't.)

The other client did the same thing with the same result. But they also wanted "some payback" so they first had my organization "document things"  for follow-up legal action. Once all the "evidence" was collected, they called the authorities. And guess what? Nobody (and I mean nobody - State Police, FBI, Consumer Protection, AG's Office, etc. etc. etc.) could have cared less. They all told my client to file a civil suit. Which they did. And after two years worth of delays and legal expense my client finally won a summary judgment when the other guys failed to show up for the court date. Once they "lost," the other guys closed their existing company, filed for bankruptcy (they didn't have the $35K my client was awarded), and opened up an identical "new" business the very next week. My client collected ZERO - and was also out-of-pocket for legal expenses. Ah, the joys of being a corporation!

Which was the better strategy?
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Don't you see? It's turtles all the way down!
mouser
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« Reply #12 on: June 18, 2008, 10:16:56 AM »

Quote
If you want to stop them from doing what they're doing, don't waste time trying to catch them in the act. They're already caught. Their ISP will most likely archive a copy of their site to cover their own butts once you send a DMCA notice.

still, it wouldn't hurt to make a mirror of the website and grab all evidence you can, while you can.
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40hz
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« Reply #13 on: June 18, 2008, 04:12:42 PM »

Quote
If you want to stop them from doing what they're doing, don't waste time trying to catch them in the act. They're already caught. Their ISP will most likely archive a copy of their site to cover their own butts once you send a DMCA notice.

still, it wouldn't hurt to make a mirror of the website and grab all evidence you can, while you can.

Very true.
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Don't you see? It's turtles all the way down!
seedling
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« Reply #14 on: June 18, 2008, 06:39:52 PM »

thank you all for your replies.  they've been helpful and insightful.  I'd still like to hear of anyone else who may have had to deal with these things, too.
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mouser
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« Reply #15 on: June 18, 2008, 06:47:37 PM »

I forgot to say thanks for taking time to write about your experiences, 40hz, very helpful.
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40hz
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« Reply #16 on: June 18, 2008, 08:51:47 PM »

I forgot to say thanks for taking time to write about your experiences, 40hz, very helpful.

Thanks for letting me know that.

I hesitated to respond originally because I felt I might be perceived as being overly negative about legal remedies. I'm really not. But I live in southwestern Connecticut, and do business both here and in NYC. Lawsuits are a dime a dozen out in this neck of the woods. And the judicial system and the legal fraternity tend to take that into consideration when you bring your gripe to their doorstep.

There's a saying around here: In every lawsuit there are always two winners and two losers. The two winners are the attorneys representing the Plaintiff and the Defendant. The two losers are the Plaintiff and the Defendant themselves.

Maybe it's different where you guys are.  smiley

Personally, I hope seedling nails those people to the wall. That would really make my day!
« Last Edit: June 18, 2008, 09:00:04 PM by 40hz » Logged

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