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.AG Registry is taking 7 years old .ag domain away from me, holds many other .ag domains hostages.

Labeled as warning in Warnings and Alerts started by kriss05, Dec 15, 2017.

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  1. Kate

    Kate Domainosaurus Rex VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    This unfortunate incident is a reminder of something that we tend to forget: many if not most registries hate speculators like us. Especially country code registries that have state funding and backing and are not obsessed with numbers. The clerks working in ccTLD registries don't really have growth targets to meet, their priority is to ensure stability, quality of service and keep the TLD clean. If have seen SLAs, and the emphasis is on a stability and resilience. Not on the number of registrations.
    On the other hand, private companies like Verisign love speculators.
    So we are tolerated, sometimes considered a necessary evil. But the majority of people think what we're doing is not legitimate, potentially unethical and should possibly be outlawed. Domain administrators are no different and sometimes are protective of their TLD as they don't want it to be depleted or become synonymous with parked pages.
    They see you are a foreigner and not even from Anguilla, so maybe they're feeling even less sympathetic...
    Personally I think it's not very fair, registries should have clear rules on what they allow or disallow, with the understanding that if it's not forbidden it is permissible.
     
    The views expressed on this page by users and staff are their own, not those of NamePros.
  2. kriss05

    kriss05 Top Member VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    I wonder if Nic.ag has any Antigua and Barbuda state funding and backing. According to the whois, Nic AG LLC is located in Kissimmee, Fl. Technical backend operator is Afilias. Nic.ag acknowledge jurisdiction of the US, especially New York and California. I wonder if Patrick Lay, the owner of Nic.ag, had ever been in Antigua :xf.smile:

    Nic.ag seems to be some tiny entity that somehow got contract to manage .AG and .LC

    These guys must love speculators, the speculators seem to feed them.
     
  3. mad409

    mad409 Always thinking outside the box! VIP

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    It's not an ICANN rule that they can't have single L domains that I'm aware of so this looks more like we want it and will sell for more money at a later date. Not good business...
     
  4. kriss05

    kriss05 Top Member VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    I won't be surprised.

    Just went through Nic.ag list of reserved names: I counted 80+ reserved/restricted domains that were registered by various individuals/entities as well as 70+ names that are available for registration by anyone at the moment. Insane.

    Patrick Lay of Nic.ag is such a funny person: he even registered in his own name, as individual, few reserved/restricted names, such as pay.ag and payment.ag, using his own private Yahoo email address without notifying Nic.ag as organisation.

    This .AG story could have been just another funny and weird story about just another tiny and obscure ccTLD registry. However, .AG is pretty popular among European end users because:

    "Aktiengesellschaft (German pronunciation: [ˈʔakt͡si̯ənɡəˌzɛlʃaft]; abbreviated AG, pronounced [ʔaːˈgeː]) is a German word for a corporation limited by share ownership (i.e. is owned by its shareholders) and may be traded on a stock market. The term is used in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, South Tyrol and for companies incorporated in the German-speaking region of Belgium. It is also used in Luxembourg (French pronunciation: [aktjɛ̃ʒøzɛlʃaf]), although the French-language equivalent, Société Anonyme, is more common." - Wikipedia.

    .AG definitely needs much better management. BTW, Afilias is technical operator for .AG.
     
  5. Kate

    Kate Domainosaurus Rex VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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  6. nothere

    nothere Established Member

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    "If a domain name that violates this policy is later found to have been registered, then the registration may be found to be invalid, and the domain name may either be deleted or transferred to the Registry"
    Sucks for you but that's a risk you took. Only lost $80, look at it that way. Could have sold it for thousands, that was your upside.

    Not all .cctlds have the .com policies.

    Certain countries will just take your name, cannot complain or sue anywhere, even if it's 124% within their rules. Try to sue the government in, say, Ukraine, Sierra Leone or Sudan.
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2017
  7. DomainGist

    DomainGist Active Member VIP

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    Actually if you enter the url http://www.nic.ag/rules.htm into the waybackmachine, you will see that this policy did not exist in 2010 or 2011..... or even 2015.... or 2016.... in fact it didn't even exist in July 2017.

    So my suggestion would be that you take all appropriate steps to save archive entries as screenshots + offline pages (before they get them removed) and then you sue them for enforcing policy change retrospectively.

    This is what it used to say

    "Minimum length of a domain name is 1 character, not including extensions", it never said anything about reserved domain names. They have simply stolen from you, and then tried to cover their backs, this is fraud.

    They have lied to you about you breaching policy for 7 years.
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2017
  8. kriss05

    kriss05 Top Member VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Maybe European AG companies don't like banners? :xf.smile:

    Anyway, there are many European end users who use or reserve .ag domains for their companies, one can easily confirm this by performing whois checks.
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2017
  9. kriss05

    kriss05 Top Member VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    I lost $80 x 7 years = $560 :)
     
  10. DomainGist

    DomainGist Active Member VIP

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    Why you have ignored the most important post on this thread and replied to others? My one?
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2017
  11. kriss05

    kriss05 Top Member VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    I didn't.

    Your post has very great catch, I just had no time to go to Archive.org yet. I will do soon and coment in more details your great findings.

    Thanks!
     
  12. kriss05

    kriss05 Top Member VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Thank you very much for your hint again!

    The things are getting even worse actually. It seems that at least i.ag domain name could have been really stollen from the registrant by Nic.ag recently unless Nic.ag compensated the i.ag registrant all his expenses.

    As I already wrote, Nic.ag very recently this year seized i.ag that was registered in 2004.

    The point is at the moment of registration of i.ag, Nic.ag policy didn't have ANY reserved/restricted/blocked domain names. According to AG Domain Name Rules Summary saved by Archive.org on August 3, 2004:

    Screenshot:

    namepros1.jpg

    i.ag was registered on September 24, 2004. So at the moment of registration of i.ag one character domains were absolutely allowed as well as domain reselling.

    According to Archive.org, Nic.ag introduced their AG Blocked or Reserved Domain Names Policy on May 28, 2007 only, 3 years after i.ag was registered. That insane policy claimed all single character domains registered before May 28, 2007 now to violate Nic.ag policy:

    Thus, Nic.ag decided to retrospectively take back all single character domains:

    Screenshot:

    namepros2.jpg

    At the same time, since the beginning and until at least July 09, 2017 AG Domain Name Rules Summary explicitly allowed registration of one character domains:

    Below is screenshot dated by July 09, 2017:

    namepros3.jpg

    After July 9, 2017, Nic.ag modified their policy, as follows:

    They inserted the following:

    and replaced "One and two character domain names are allowed" with "Two character domain names are allowed"

    The screenshot of AG Domain Name Rules Summary as of now:

    namepros4.jpg

    After modifying the policy in the abovementioned way, Nic.ag started seizing one character domain names. The first victim was e.ag, then i.ag, and now b.ag. Regarding e.ag, it dropped and was re-registered somewhen in the Summer 2017, and then seized by Nic.ag. i.ag was seized very recently. B.ag is pending seizure now.

    Regarding b.ag. Nic.ag gave two reasons to take b.ag away from me:

    1. It is one character domain that is in their reserved/restricted domain list and as such violates Nic.ag policy, so its registration was invalid all these 7 years.
    2. The domain was listed for sale at Sedo.

    So, this obscure company Nic.ag explicitly allowed registration of one character domain names in one place of their policy and prohibited it in another place. The domain was in reserved/restricted list at the moment of registration, but Nic.ag policy explicitly allowed registration of one character domains at that time. I didn't check Nic.ag policy at the moment of registration of b.ag in 2010, but I did it later and saw that both registration of one character domains and domain reselling are explicitly permitted by Nic.ag policy. No surprise that I didn't check Blocked or Reserved Domain Names Policy then, as I already saw what I needed.

    But now I can demand refund of all my renewal costs spent during 7 years lol. AG Blocked or Reserved Domain Names Policy dated by December 29, 2010, i.e. slightly after I registered b.ag, says:

    Screenshot:

    namepros5.jpg
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2017
  13. xyo

    xyo Established Member

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    Hmm, I followed up a bit on that pay.ag domain, and this guy and registry really seem to handle their business in a quite obscure and shady way.

    pay.ag has exactly one nameserver listed which is a subdomain of patricklay.com. The whois of that domain lists "Charisma" as the registrant. For the sake of convenience *.nic.ag hosts are used there to provide name services...
    Also it seems like he just recently (2016) registered online.ag for himself :) Was that domain also on the restricted list at any time?

    Seems like this guy is justing doing business as he is pleased eventhough he is nowhere listed @ IANA for the TLD.
    As "owner" and administrative contact only the "UHSA School of Medicine" is listed along with George S. Daniel from that institution. Did you try reaching out to this guy too? Wonder if he know what's going on there.
     
  14. xyo

    xyo Established Member

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    Yea, being from Germany I also haven't often seen a .ag in action. I suppose primary reason are the rather high registration costs. I think I saw just recently a .AG promo at $65 - which is the cheapest you could get. The big and standard registrars used in Germany tend to charge at least 100 Euro ($120)

    Though I actually am aware of two companies using one as their main/production domain: A Hostingprovider is using hostedoffice.ag for his customer portal and a hotel/hostel in Cologne is using hostel.ag.

    German wiki-entry for .ag has an additional interesting story (quick translation by me):
    Kinda fits in the story...
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2017
  15. Acroplex

    Acroplex Top Member DomainGang.com PRO VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    IMO, it's yet another banana republic with a privately operated registry that smelled the dollars too late. Violations? When they allow the registrant to renew a domain in full knowledge of it all, they waive all rights to appear legitimate.

    Lesson learned, stick to legit ccTLDs.
     
  16. Michael Ehrhardt

    Michael Ehrhardt Active Member VIP

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  17. kriss05

    kriss05 Top Member VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Indeed, IANA shows UHSA School of Medicine as .AG Manager and George S. Daniel of UHSA School of Medicine as .AG Administrative Contact.

    According to The Daily Observer of Antigua and Barbuda:

    Thus, George S. Daniel and Patrick W. Lay are in the same boat.

    According to the Daily Observer, it appears that the government of Antigua and Barbuda, among other things, was trying to take control over national TLD by introducing the Telecommunications Bill 2016. It seems that they were unsuccessful so far, as it is seen from the Nic.ag response sent to the registrar of b.ag that .AG is still being managed by the same people.

    What is even funnier is Daily Observer says:

    :)

    It follows from the comments under that Daily Observer article that Patrick Lay of Nic.ag is former government employee:

    The screenshot below confirms it:

    namepros6.jpg

    So people asked Patrick Lay there:

    Around the time the Telecommunications Bill 2016 was introduced, United Progressive Party (UPP) of Antigua and Barbuda harshly criticized the new bill. The corresponding statement on behalf of the UPP was made by Dr. Edmond A. Mansoor, United Progressive Party Spokesperson on Information.

    It appears that Edmond A. Mansoor is the "former minister of telecommunications during the UPP administration" and that he was the minister at the time Patrick Lay of Nic.ag was the director of the Center of Information Technology :roll:

    Dear European companies that use .AG domain names for your business, better run from there.
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2017
  18. Kate

    Kate Domainosaurus Rex VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    In the early days of the Internet it was indeed common that ccTLDs were managed by individuals acting as caretakers, very often in university. Over time the ccTLDs have gradually moved to more professional undertakings and their respective governments took control. However there are still disputed TLDs. Famous examples include Iraq or the Philippines. I didn't know that .ag was still privately run. Certainly something to keep in mind when buying names in ccTLDs.

    In recent weeks the acquisition of Slovakia's TLD .sk by Centralnic also caused controversy. It's been out of government control since its early days.
     
  19. kriss05

    kriss05 Top Member VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Did quick check in Alexa and found quite a few European companies using .ag for business, let alone numerous redirects:

    shape.ag - Shape Services GmbH
    sportsdata.ag - Sportradar AG
    admiral.ag - Novomatic Gaming Industries GmbH
    patrizia.ag - Patrizia AG
    austrianairlines.ag - Austrian Airlines AG
    webhoster.ag - Webhoster.de AG

    etc etc. Didn't go through the entire list.

    pa.ag - Peak Ace AG - they have 926,056 Alexa rank, and they are in Nic.ag reserved list as well, bad luck!
     
  20. xynames

    xynames XYNames.com PRO VIP

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    From their point of view, you fell through the cracks for a period of time and then got busted.
     
  21. Acroplex

    Acroplex Top Member DomainGang.com PRO VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    It's not so much that they clawed the domain back, it's their acknowledgement that they observed its alleged violation take place, in full agreement, for years. It's beyond hypocritical.
     
  22. nothere

    nothere Established Member

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    At the least, you should get your renewal money back. Personally I think that only fear of losing revenue due to bad reputation among domain people will work.
     
  23. kriss05

    kriss05 Top Member VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Recently received message from Hexonet saying that I'm not entitled to the refund, as "the policy states these refunds will only happen if the deletion occurs within the applicable grace periods. Unfortunately, as the domain is not within an applicable grace period, the registry is not obligated to provide a refund."

    LOL, after collecting the money for alleged invalid registrations Nic.ag is now trying to run away and keep the money.

    As it was noted, AG Blocked or Reserved Domain Names Policy dated by December 29, 2010, i.e. slightly after I registered b.ag, says:

    Screenshot:

    namepros5.jpg

    Below is what AG Blocked or Reserved Domain Names Policy says today:

    Screenshot:

    namepros7.jpg

    Nic.ag guys change their policies on the fly. Every .AG domain registrant must check Nic.ag policies each morning if one doesn't want their domain/money to be stolen.
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2017
  24. -EM-

    -EM- Top Member VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Now they are acting unprofessional. It is like they are bagging to be sued.
     
  25. sellbourne

    sellbourne Established Member

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    horrific and thoughtfull story
    thanks for sharing amd opened our Eyes out👍
     

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