[linux-elitists] Please help Josef Grosch and the Bay Area FreeBSD User Group

Rick Moen rick@linuxmafia.com
Sun Jul 29 00:50:16 PDT 2001


One of our community needs _your_ help.  

Josef Grosch, whom some of you know from InstallFests, runs the site for
our FreeBSD sister group, BAFUG.  BAFUG's domain has just been...
stolen... and I use the term after due consideration, by a sleazemeister
named Aaron Downey / Virtual Shopper, Inc., apparently operating out of
the San Francisco Mission District.  

This putz actually has the unbelievable gall to want Josef to make him
an offer to _buy_ the group's domain back from him!

I'm just betting that _some_ of you know how to make this guy's life a
living hell.  And that is a good thing.  I'm not telling you what to do;
I'm just looking forward to people being creative.

rick@guido:~$ whois bafug.org

   Domain Name: BAFUG.ORG
   Registrar: REGISTER.COM, INC.
   Whois Server: whois.register.com
   Referral URL: http://www.register.com
   Name Server: DNS1.MOOSERIVER.COM
   Name Server: DNS2.MOOSERIVER.COM
   Updated Date: 13-jun-2001

   Organization:
      Virtual Shopper, Inc.
      Aaron Downey
      1121 Mission Street
      San Francisco, CA 94104
      US
      Phone: 415-437-3900
      Fax..: 415-437-3904
      Email: aaron@VSINETWORK.COM

   Registrar Name....: Register.com
   Registrar Whois...: whois.register.com
   Registrar Homepage: http://www.register.com

   Domain Name: BAFUG.ORG

      Created on..............: Tue, Dec 23, 1997
      Expires on..............: Sat, Dec 21, 2002
      Record last updated on..: Fri, Jun 01, 2001

   Administrative Contact:
      Virtual Shopper, Inc.
      Aaron Downey
      1121 Mission Street
      San Francisco, CA 94104
      US
      Phone: 415-437-3900
      Fax..: 415-437-3904
      Email: aaron@VSINETWORK.COM

   Technical Contact:
      Register.Com
      Domain Registrar
      575 8th Avenue
      New York, NY 10018
      US
      Phone: 212-798-9200
      Fax..: 212-629-9305
      Email: domain-registrar@register.com

   Zone Contact:
      Register.Com
      Domain Registrar
      575 8th Avenue
      New York, NY 10018
      US
      Phone: 212-798-9200
      Fax..: 212-629-9305
      Email: domain-registrar@register.com

   Domain servers in listed order:

   DNS1.MOOSERIVER.COM                               205.166.121.10    
   DNS2.MOOSERIVER.COM                               205.166.121.26    



----- Forwarded message from Josef Grosch <jgrosch@mooseriver.com> -----

Date: Sat, 28 Jul 2001 09:38:21 -0700
From: Josef Grosch <jgrosch@mooseriver.com>
To: Rick Moen <rick@linuxmafia.com>
Subject: Re: Install-a-thon, Saturday
Reply-To: jgrosch@mooseriver.com
X-Mailer: Mutt 1.0.1i

On Sat, Jul 28, 2001 at 08:18:00AM -0700, Rick Moen wrote:
> begin Josef Grosch quotation:
> 
>> I may need you advice and insight later in the week. Do a "whois
>> bafug.org". WTF!
> 
> Oh, jeez.  That's _really_ bad news, because the "Registrant" = official 
> owner of the domain has been changed to Virtual Shopper, Inc.,
> represented by Aaron Downey.   It didn't expire, did it?  If it didn't,
> and he fraudulently changed the registrant on you, then you have grounds 
> for going after him.  I'm willing to bet that this Downey will offer to 
> "sell you" your own domain back.
> 
> Virtual Shopper, Inc. is a Web-design company:  "full-service developer:
> HTML layout, design, Java, Javascript, database integration and more.
> Specializes in on-line commerce applications."  See also the "whois" 
> records for "vsinetworks.com" (Reno, Nevada?) and "virtualshopping.com".
> 
> The only good news in this picture is that Downey is conveniently
> supposed to be at 1121 Mission, San Francisco.


A letter I wrote last night ....

Dear Mr. Downry;

    Allow me to introduce myself; I am Josef Grosch. I am the co-founder and
current president of BAFUG (Bay Area FreeBSD Users Group). BAFUG, as a
users group, has been in existence since April 1997. 

    The domain bafug.org was originally registered in 1997 by Jan Koum, one
of our members. Mr. Koum sold this domain to Nicole Harrington, our
Vice-president, in late 1999. Late last year, Ms. Harrington transfered the
domain to me. Bafug.org, along with it's sister domains, bafug.com and
bafug.net, have been residing comfortably on my DNS and web servers for the 
last 4 years.

    It has recently come to my attention that you or people acting as your
agents have somehow managed to gain ownership of my domain. How I became
aware of this is either yourself or persons identifying themselves as you
called my house Thursday morning, 26 July, 2001, and informed my wife that
they now owned the domain, bafug.org, and that they wished to sell it back
to me. This, aside from being a clear volation of ICANN rules, is the moral
and ethical equivalent of a thief stealing my car and then knocking on my
door and offering to sell my car back to me.

    My domain registrar, tucows.com, and your domain registrar, register.com, 
are both governed by the rules and regulations of ICANN. ICANN has set
forth in its "Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy" the rules
for cancellations, transfers, and changes of domains in dispute. This
document can be found at http://www.icann.org/udrp/udrp-polict-24oct99.htm.

    I call your attention to sections 3(a), 3(b), 3(c), 4(a)(i), 4(a)(iii),
and 4(b)(i). These relevant sections clearly state that it is against ICANN
policy to claim ownership of a domain that you "have no rights or
legitimate interests" [4(a)(iii)], and have registered the "domain name has
been registered and is being used in bad faith" [4(a)(iii), 4(b)(i)]. The
policy further states that ICANN is the final authority in domain disputes,
and has the power to make said changes [3(a), 3(b), 3(c)].

    Sir, I assert that you or persons acting as your agents have no rights 
or legitimate interest in my property and have unlawfully gained control of 
my property in bad faith. I am fully prepared to use whatever lawful means
necessary to gain back my property, to whit, the domain bafug.org.

    I have taken the following steps to gain back my property, the domain
bafug.org;


        1)  I have sent you, the officers of tucows.com, the officers of
            register.com, the officers of ICANN, and my attorney this
            email. 

        2)  I have sent you, the officers of tucows.com, the officers of
            register.com, the officers of ICANN, and my attorney a
            registered letter containing this email. 

        3)  I am collecting notarized statements from those persons who can 
            offer corroborating evidence of my ownership of the domain,
            bafug.org. 

        4)  I have spoken to my attorney about preparing a lawsuit in
            order to gain back my property, the domain bafug.org.

    Sir, I am prepared and would much prefer to end this dispute in a speedy 
and amicable manner. If you return my property, the domain bafug.org, by the 
close of business Friday, 10 August 2001, I will drop this matter. If,
however, you persist in the theft of my property, I will be forced to
inniate the followings actions. 

        1)  I and my attorney will formally press our claim with ICANN,
            tucows.com, and register.com

        2)  I will inform the FreeBSD mailing list, a mailing list of over
            50,000 persons world-wide of the theft by you or agents acting
            on your behalf. I will encourage these people to phone, fax, and
            send emails and letters,,encouraging you to return the domain
            bafug.org. 

        3)  I will inform the BSD, Linux, and Open Source community in
            the greater San Francisco Bay Area of the theft by you or
            agents acting on your behalf. I will encourage these people to
            phone, fax, and send emails and letters encouraging you to
            return the domain bafug.org.   

        4)  I will inform the readership of slashdot.org, a readership of
            over 5,000,000 persons world-wide of the theft by you or
            agents acting on your behalf. I will encourage these people to
            phone, fax, and send emails and letters encouraging you to
            return the domain bafug.org.  

        5)  I will instruct my attorney to prepare a lawsuit, to be filed
            in Federal Court, in the amount of $1,000,000, in the event that
            ICANN does not resolve this dispute. 

        6)  I will instruct my attorney to contact and consult with the US
            Attorney General's office here in San Francisco on possible
            prosecution under Federal law.

    Mr. Downey, let me be perfectly frank; I am a man who does not give up
or back down. Ever. Especially when it comes to my property. I have spent
the last 4 years building BAFUG. I am not going to walk away from the
domain. It is just not going to happen. I am prepared to spend whatever it 
takes, however long it takes, to get my domain back. Whatever monetary gain 
you would have realized by the sale of the domain will be vastly 
out-stripped by the legal and administrative costs you will bear fighting this. 

    And while you are thinking about that, let me remind you that this
industry is very small and well networked; everyone knows everyone
else. If word of this theft got out, you would very quickly become known as
the man who stole BAFUG. This would significantly narrow your job and
business prospects. Businesses and employers are not in the habit of hiring
people who are known thieves of intellectual property. You would become a
pariah in this industry, and in this area. It's very hard to build a
business, when you are a pariah.


Return my domain, and I will drop this.



Josef C. Grosch


-- 
Josef Grosch           | Another day closer to a | FreeBSD 4.3
jgrosch@MooseRiver.com |   Micro$oft free world  | www.bafug.org

----- End forwarded message -----



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