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.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 21st, 2011 @ 6:21am

    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.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    icon
    :Lobo Santo (profile), Jan 21st, 2011 @ 7:05am

    busy

    'I'm busy fighting superpowers'
    Oh yes, I shall have to remember that one for future use...

    ; P

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 21st, 2011 @ 7:12am

    Re:

    I'm not that concerned that Wikileaks are no good at the basics. Soon enough many more Wikileaks clones will pop up and they will learn from all the previous mistakes

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 21st, 2011 @ 7:16am

    Wazoooooooo!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    icon
    Elohssa (profile), Jan 21st, 2011 @ 7:20am

    Legal maneuver?

    Could this be an attempt to keep things murky, as a legal strategy? U.S. Federal agencies will seize domains without much of an excuse, though I'm not clear on how this would prevent that from happening.

    Perhaps accepting this offer creates some potential liability, or places them in an unfriendly jurisdiction?

     

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  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 21st, 2011 @ 7:26am

    Re: 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.

     

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  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 21st, 2011 @ 7:41am

    "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...

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 21st, 2011 @ 7:42am

    TL;DR :

    "We domainsquatted but Assange is the douche, not us. Amirite?"

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
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    Chris Jaynes, Jan 21st, 2011 @ 7:58am

    Re: Legal maneuver?

    I thought the same thing about Assange wanting to "keep things murky" but less from a legal perspective, and more from a general, "good luck trying to find us and shut us down" sort of angle.

    For a guy who keeps himself in hiding all the time, this is just another small, free way to keep the details unclear.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
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    Tom (profile), Jan 21st, 2011 @ 8:03am

    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.

     

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  11.  
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    Anon, Jan 21st, 2011 @ 8:08am

    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

     

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  12.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 21st, 2011 @ 8:12am

    Re: Check and recheck

    That's because GoDaddy "registers" the domain temporarily... to point them to THEIR DNS servers (domaincontrol) to make publicity while the domain is in renewal/redemption period.

    @Anon: hah! fail.

     

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  13.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 21st, 2011 @ 8:13am

    Re: Re: Check and recheck

    Which is why you don't buy a domain at GoDaddy... seems lots of people don't read their fine print!

     

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  14.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 21st, 2011 @ 8:32am

    Re: Re:

    Actually, registrars like Godaddy have been known to "extend" a domain that hasn't been renewed, at least at an internal level. In part, it would be because they are hoping to resell it through their internal auctions.

    whois through ARIN shows the domains as expired.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    Jason, Jan 21st, 2011 @ 8:32am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Hogwash! Your statement may have been true prior to aggregation and social media, but nowadays once something is out, there are plenty of people motivated enough with tools to propogate it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
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    Domain Name Wire, Jan 21st, 2011 @ 8:40am

    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)

     

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  17.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 21st, 2011 @ 8:42am

    x

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 21st, 2011 @ 8:48am

    WikileaksBook.com and WikileaksMovie.com are mine.

    Looking to do something that might help the cause, with these 2 names, but not sure what. (Of course, if the price gets too stupidly high - doubtful - i'll be sorely tempted to 'sell out'"

    Ideas?

    Wikileaks1776@gmail.com

     

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  19.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 21st, 2011 @ 9:46am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    yes but if you want to know the truth of the truth, rather than lies passed of as truth, you have to check all sources to vet whether the information is correct. Right now there is 1 wikileaks, if there were 200 to check would you be so interested to check?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Jan 21st, 2011 @ 9:57am

    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).

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Jan 21st, 2011 @ 9:59am

    Re: Domain expiration

    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)


    Thanks for explaining that.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    identicon
    Seth Finkelstein, Jan 21st, 2011 @ 10:51am

    wikileaks.US - no renewal

    Check the data for wikileaks.US

    The .US registry doesn't do that autorenew-on-expiration date (though they do auto-renew 45 days later)

    Domain Expiration Date: Mon Jan 03 23:59:59 GMT 2011

    So Wikia hasn't done a renew.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    icon
    FarSide (profile), Jan 21st, 2011 @ 11:05am

    Re: Re: 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.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 21st, 2011 @ 11:58am

    Re: 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?)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 21st, 2011 @ 3:37pm

    Re: Re: Re: 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.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
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    Michael (profile), Jan 22nd, 2011 @ 1:00pm

    Re: Bad at Basics

    There is some strategic advantage to leaving domain registration info outdated when you want to protect the current registration from takedowns and interruptions.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
    icon
    Jeremy Lyman (profile), Jan 24th, 2011 @ 8:47am

    Doesn't matter

    I don't think collecting registries is all that important these days; what with the Customs Department climbing in your windows, snatching your domains up.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
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    CommonSense (profile), Feb 14th, 2011 @ 9:10am

    Re: Re: Re: 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...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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