Let's boycott Dotster too
The site boycott-hollywood.us is being shut down due to a threatening letter their registrar (/host?) received from William Morris Agency lawyers. The three parts of the letter are here, here, and here. (If none of the BH addresses work, here's a copy of the post and the letter).
Their registrar is NamesDirect (subsidiary of Dotster), and according to NamesDirect's TOS:
The Applicant warrants to NamesDirect.com that the details submitted by the Applicant to NamesDirect.com are true and correct, and that future additions or alterations to those details will be true and correct...
The following violations of "netiquette" are grounds for immediate suspension of service pending investigation by NamesDirect.com and will result in termination of the Customer's account(s) if an investigation determines that the customer has originated or is any way responsible for such violations:
...4. Harassment of other individuals utilizing the Internet after being asked to stop by those individuals, a court, a law-enforcement agency and/or NamesDirect.com.
However, according to this ICANN advisory of April 3, 2003, it would seem that at the very least NamesDirect should have given boycott-hollywood.us 15 days in which to correct their inaccurate contact information. See also this.
Further, I'd imagine that BH's admin address works. Almost all hosting companies send all mail sent to a domain to the same mailbox, unless the client has set up additional mailboxes for specific names. Perhaps BH never got a warning email from William Morris as claimed, or perhaps they did. If they pursue this, I'd imagine that electronic evidence would be gathered to show whether such a letter was sent and/or received.
I also question the letter from William Morris' attorneys. It states: "David J. Kekst, a Vice President of William Morris, sent an e-mail to email@example.com to apprise the site of the harm it was causing and the inaccuracy of its representations. Because the claims made on the subject site are potentially libelous..."
However, one would expect at least one or two examples of such "inaccuracies" or "potentially libelous" statements, no?
At least one of those William Morris email addresses are available elsewhere on the web.
BH also failed to correct the Janeane Garofalo "flag burning" quote.
In any case, in my opinion, William Morris went looking for any technicality it could find, and BH gave them one. Hopefully, this attempt will result in a backlash against William Morris and their clients greater than any BH could have hoped for.
Further, in my opinion, NamesDirect caved in to William Morris' pressure in an extremely cowardly way that makes them look very bad.
Perhaps current NamesDirect/Dotster customers should consider a switch of registrars.
So, let's make the current list:
- all celebrities represented by the William Morris Agency