Wikia Owned Wikileaks.com Domain; Assange Ignored Attempts To Hand It Over

from the domain-oddities dept

I had seen the BBC article from a week or so ago about Jimmy Wales talking about the complexity of Wikipedia and how it needs to improve, but hadn’t read all the way to the end where there was a rather interesting tidbit. Copycense however alerted us to this little bit of trivia at the end about how Wikipedia’s sorta sister company Wikia owns some Wikileaks domain names… including Wikileaks.com:

Technically, the Wikia company has until this week legally owned domain names including wikileaks.net, wikileaks.com and wikileaks.us.

“We transferred the domains to them but they never completed the technical part,” said Mr Wales. “All they needed to do was sign in and complete the transfer but they have never done it.”

He said the domains had been registered “defensively” when Wikileaks launched in 2006.

“When they first launched they put out a press release that said the ‘Wikipedia of secrets’, which would have been a trademark violation.

“So someone in the office registered two or three domains.”

He said that he regularly tries to prompt Wikileaks’ founder Julian Assange to complete the transaction, to no avail.

“I saw someone else say that he’s prone to saying ‘I’m busy fighting superpowers’ and that’s exactly what he said to me.”

Mr Wales said the domains would expire “this week”.

“I’m not renewing them,” said Mr Wales.

“We may ping them and say they are loose.”

Of course, I just checked the whois on the .com and the .net, and both say they’re registered until 2012… so someone renewed the domains, but it’s not clear who.

Filed Under:
Companies: wikia, wikileaks, wikipedia

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Comments on “Wikia Owned Wikileaks.com Domain; Assange Ignored Attempts To Hand It Over”

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28 Comments
Anonymous Coward says:

For all their intelligence, the Wikileaks people have never been very good with domains. The whole “DNS” issue with wikileaks.org could have been resolved in minutes, but they chose not to. That is sort of the moment I realized that they were playing it for publicity, and nothing else. Failure to pick up domain names that are being handed to them is just silly.

They don’t seem to be very good at the basics.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

The more clones there are, the less valuable each one becomes. The dilution of the idea, the concept, and the rising noise floor on these sort of releases will make them less and less meaningful over time. When everyone is blowing a whistle, it is pretty much impossible to hear any one of them.

Send in the clones. It’s the best way to hide the truth.

Anonymous Coward says:

“Of course, I just checked the whois on the .com and the .net, and both say they’re registered until 2012… so someone renewed the domains, but it’s not clear who.”

Domain Name: WIKILEAKS.COM
Created on: 03-Jan-07
Expires on: 03-Jan-11
Last Updated on: 04-Oct-10

Domain Name: WIKILEAKS.NET
Created on: 03-Jan-07
Expires on: 03-Jan-11
Last Updated on: 04-Oct-10

Both are expired Mike. Makes me wonder how you “checked” and if all your “checks” are made that way…

Tom (profile) says:

Check and recheck

No, the article was correct. I too “checked” (via dnsstuf.com):
Registrar: GODADDY.COM, INC.
Status: clientDeleteProhibited
Dates: Created 03-jan-2007 Updated 04-jan-2011 Expires 03-jan-2012
DNS Servers: NS51.DOMAINCONTROL.COM NS52.DOMAINCONTROL.COM

Info for both .net and .com ere the same. However, if you follow the whois information and look it up on GoDaddy, it does show it expired … until you grab the underlying whois info from them, which shows the 2012 date. So, GoDaddy’s data is a mess, but the whois seems consistent from multiple sources.

Anon says:

Re:

I think you’re the one missing something. I wonder if all your “checks” are made that way… ha!

Domain Name: WIKILEAKS.COM
Registrar: GODADDY.COM, INC.
Whois Server: whois.godaddy.com
Referral URL: http://registrar.godaddy.com
Name Server: NS51.DOMAINCONTROL.COM
Name Server: NS52.DOMAINCONTROL.COM
Status: clientDeleteProhibited
Status: clientRenewProhibited
Status: clientTransferProhibited
Status: clientUpdateProhibited
Updated Date: 04-jan-2011
Creation Date: 03-jan-2007
Expiration Date: 03-jan-2012

Domain Name: WIKILEAKS.NET
Registrar: GODADDY.COM, INC.
Whois Server: whois.godaddy.com
Referral URL: http://registrar.godaddy.com
Name Server: NS51.DOMAINCONTROL.COM
Name Server: NS52.DOMAINCONTROL.COM
Status: clientDeleteProhibited
Status: clientRenewProhibited
Status: clientTransferProhibited
Status: clientUpdateProhibited
Updated Date: 04-jan-2011
Creation Date: 03-jan-2007
Expiration Date: 03-jan-2012

Domain Name Wire (user link) says:

Domain expiration

The domain name IS expired. It expired on Jan 3.

What the author and some others are looking at is the ‘registry’ expiration date. When a domain name expires the registry automatically extends it for one year. The registrar then gets a chance to renew it if the customer wants it.

You need to view the registrar’s data, not the registry (VeriSign)

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re:

Both are expired Mike. Makes me wonder how you “checked” and if all your “checks” are made that way…

I checked whois.net, and it said 2012. I did not know that Arin would report different expiration dates. That’s interesting to know, thanks for adding to the conversation (though, not sure why you felt the need to make a snide remark as you did).

FarSide (profile) says:

Re:

That’s just silly. That’s like saying we never needed more than 1 newspaper, because you can’t keep track of all the news coming out of more than 1.

Clones will come out, sure, but as has been repeated on TD over and over, COPYing doesn’t matter, it’s the execution. That counts for whistleblowers, too.

Wikileaks actually attempts to do the journalistic thing and verify the leaks before just dumping them out to the world. If their leaks were repeatedly discredited, people would stop listening to them.

Further, a clone only works if people are trusting enough to leak to it. If a few leakers were given up by the site, no one would give them anything new.

So the idea that thousands of clones would just “pop up” is wrong, in my opinion. And when the inevitable few DO appear, I think they’ll be verified as trustworthy or not in fairly short order.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

Considering that many of the posts on TD are built on people you oppose “getting it all wrong”, the snide remark is probably bang on.

What you said is that you single sourced your contradictory information, and then didn’t check it again with another source. Perhaps when looking to contradict someone (especially someone with no reason to lie) you might want to try a second source.

This post makes it clear where you stand on Wikileaks and Julian Assange, apparently they can do no wrong. (so why didn’t you run the silly “losing half a million a week” story?)

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

Yes, but think: If they aren’t trusting enough to leak to, will they make up their own leaks? Will someone start faking documents to get traffic? Will someone make a “leak” virus that is installed when you download a special document?

As soon as there are a few and a bunch of traffic, the scammers will be all over it and then that’s all.

CommonSense (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Oh yeah, just like with Search Engines right? There was a good one way back, Lycos, but then all kinds of copycats entered the game like Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft with many offerings… And then the scammers saw that there was a lot of traffic and now no one uses search engines because they’re all junk????

Dude, you’re not even using logic for this argument…

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