Christmas is here and with the arrival of the 25th December so too has my right to register and use the .nz 2LD, dennis.nz. Here is the story of its registration and the more than two years of waiting, fighting, asking and pleading to be able to use it. In due course www.dennis.nz will become my primary digital home replacing www.dennis.co.nz.
In 2012, Internet NZ announced the plans to introduce what they call in the industry the Second Level Domains. After a process of consultation, the 2LD came into effect in 2014. I have previously blogged about this and pretty much accused them of doing things badly – very badly in fact. I didn’t see the cost-benefit to the New Zealand Internet users; found fault with their claims of valid research/market validation and initially opposed it’s introduction. I changed my mind though when they explained things a little better and with its implementation I have been pragmatic enough to accept, use and enjoy the benefits of this new space – the .nz domain.
Whereas previously we used to have for example dennis.co.nz, or dennis.org.nz, or dennis.net.nz, or dennis.gen.nz (where co=company, net=network, org=organisation and gen=general use) we can now have simply dennis.nz. This is where the “Second” comes in – the Second Level under [before] the .nz Domain, thus the .nz 2LD.
In the process of establishing priorities of who gets/got the rights to register the new 2LD (in my case dennis.nz) Internet NZ to my way of thinking screwed up badly. They created a status called ‘conflicted’ and a hugely complex process was established to attempt to resolve the matters with technology rather than doing the right thing and handling it with all policy.
As I have shown in my blogging this was totally unnecessary as well as being against Internet’s core principle of ‘first-come-first-served’. Their actions in preparation; at the time of and ever since implementation indicate a fixation on refusing to allocate priorities by date of first registration. It was a political decision. There was clear intent to railroad the changes through and for two years until today I suffered unable to register something that I believed that I was by natural justice entitled to.
Power of veto
The reason for this was that the power to veto my registration was granted to the Registrant of dennis.org.nz, a church in Invercargill run by Pastors Ian and Dayle Wright and a ‘Business Manager’ (yes, I kid you not, it’s true!) Linda Partridge.
The power that Invercargill Christian Centre had to prevent my registration was granted by Internet NZ’s ludicrous decision to place any conflicted name into a permanent unavailable status by default. Effective vetoing has occurred for 6,406 unique domains according to Internet NZ’s figures – totally unnecessary, unjust and, quite honesty a disgrace.
That aside, Invercargill Christian Centre attempted to secure a cool $5k from yours truly for the privilege of becoming the owner of dennis.org.nz, which would then as we can all understand remove the obstacle of their veto. Oh and BTW this huge monetary windfall would go to a VERY good cause, of course . . . some of their pet projects!
Personally I don’t know these guys from a bar of soap. I’m sure Ian and his team are lovely people at times and have a good heart towards some people. Their adherents seem to think the world of them. “Amazing man of God” and “Absolutely all class” sort of thing.
To me though, they are nothing more than greedy opportunists who bring shame upon the name of Christ.
First, the Jesus that I know, love and serve would surely have deigned to speak to me personally. Ian or Dayle didn’t and wouldn’t. I know because I asked their Business Manager, more than once for this. It never happened. Then secondly, I VERY much doubt that He would have attempted a blatant ripoff like these guys tried to do, and thirdly I can’t see Jesus sneaking away into the distance, pretending that nothing mattered any more when they decided to abandon their ungodly money-grab efforts when I didn’t play ball.
The market value of a personal name such as dennis.org.nz would be nil, or negligible at the very least. Proof of that is that now the name has lapsed, no other investor is interested. It’s available for registration, even though dropped names are notified to investors two days prior to the lapse and people certainly do analyse the lists. ‘Dennis’ is a personal name, and rare. “.org” is an extension primarily used as an organisation. “.nz” is a very small jurisdiction comparatively speaking. If they asked for an offer I would have probably paid their costs for a year, maybe two, certainly nothing over $100.00 and even then I would have balked at the whole thing.
Then comes the way that these crooks conducted themselves – totally lacking in not only empathy but ethics as well. In order to explain this in a way that doesn’t come across as sour grapes or exaggeration I share now the entire communications between ICC’s Business Manager, Linda Partridge and myself over more than two years. In doing this I am fully aware that it will show them in a bad light but I note before I share these things that I did warn them in advance of this possibility and they COULD have avoided this negative exposure by doing the right thing. As you will see, this is not just a simple case of, “Oops, sorry we missed your email!” Their arrogance (and what I can now see as greed) is a repeating pattern of conduct over more than two years towards both myself AND the Domain Name Commission. Then, when you put in the value that they sought to blackmail me ($5,000.00) you can see the true nature of these guys (and gals) – greedy opportunists without a qualm. Then, simply willing to turn their heads in the other direction and wipe their hands of the entire thing.
I note that you are the contact person for the domain name dennis.org.nz registered under the name Invercargill Christian Centre.
I wonder if we can talk through a potential problem that I have looming which may arise by a change in the rules regarding New Zealand’s Domain Names?
Shortly the .nz Domain Name space will undergo a major change that will permit .nz only domains to be registered sometime this year. This will mean that the domain dennis.nz will become available on a first-come-first-served basis. For various reasons, I would like to register this domain name. Because ICC is the registrant of dennis.org.nz ICC will have the means to block my registration, perhaps even permanently (the details of resolving contested names have yet to be announced). Based on the current proposed rules of dealing with conflict over rights to the newly available domain names, both ICC and myself are the only two Registrants to have Preferential Registration Eligibility.
This means that ICC will be the only one who can potentially veto my planned registration during the six month Preferential Registration Period – a six-month period of time that begins as soon as the policy goes live.
I’m wanting to avoid a conflict situation and wonder if ICC would be willing to waive their veto rights and let me proceed with a normal registration of the new name dennis.nz uncontested. I’m not asking for anything concrete at this stage, more just a statement of intent so that I can prepare various things for the future with a bit more certainty.
If you or the person who bought the name dennis.org.nz would like to discuss this further then you/they could contact me on Skype: VICTUSINAMBITUS to discuss it further.
There will be no cost or major time commitment to any of this, unless of course ICC wishes to contest my intended registration. Thanks
Then on 05/10/2014:
to admin, ben
Further to this email of March 2014, I have now asked for the domain name: dennis.nz to be allocated to me at www.anyname.nz. If you would be so kind as to approve this action I would be grateful. I tried to call you and have left messages at ICC, whom I understand are the owners of www.dennis.org.nz.
They have the power to veto my request, as well as the power to approve it.
and then again on 07/10/2014 after eventually having made phone contact with Linda Partridge:
to linda, admin
Thanks for trying to return my call – not sure what happened before!
In a nutshell ICC owns the domain name dennis.org.nz
As a result, ICC has the ability to veto my registration of the domain name dennis.nz which I have already applied for. If ICC is happy for me to register the domain dennis.nz they will need to use the UDAI (domain name password) for dennis.org.nz to approve my purchase. If ICC wants to veto my purchase then we would enter into a mediation and/or dispute process the details which are visible at www.dnc.org.nz.
As Ben has put his contact details on the Domain Name master records, you would need to update these details first, then get the UDAI sent to you and then approve my registration by stating that you do not want to exercise your right to veto.
You can see the details of your Registrar here: http://dnc.org.nz/whois/dennis.org.nz
So, the simple instructions . . . if ICC is happy to approve my registration –
1. Contact your Registrar:
registrar_contact_address1: P O Box 47-020
registrar_phone: +64 4 939-8502
registrar_fax: +64 4 939-8501
2. Ask for them to change the Registrant Contact and Administration Contact details from:
registrant_contact_name: Invercargill Christian Centre
registrant_contact_address1: 177 Wilton Street
registrant_phone: +64 3 2171132
registrant_fax: +64 3 2171136
admin_contact_name: Invercargill Christian Centre
admin_contact_address1: 177 Wilton Street
admin_phone: +64 3 2171132
admin_fax: +64 3 2171136
to your correct details
3. Request the UDAI for dennis.org.nz from iServe. Note it’s often less trouble to do this in two steps so that you don’t need long verification procedures – request an update of your contact details first, wait until that is done then requesting the UDAI from a web system or a second phone call/email.
4. Go to https://anyname.nz/manage/ and login with dennis.org.nz and the UDAI that iServe provided you
5. Authorise the registration of dennis.nz by any other party, which will free up my registration to continue.
If there are any problems or challenges ping me on Skype VICTUSINAMBITUS or email.
But then nothing, and nothing and more phone calls [from Samoa BTW] and again nothing!
On 19/3/2015 though I got an offer:
Admin – Invercargill Christian Centre email@example.com via dennis.co.nz
Good morning. Thank you for making contact. I have discussed this issue with our leadership team and we are happy to approve the purchase of the domain name dennis.org.nz for the amount of $5000. This money would be used for charitable purposes, particularly to make dreams come true to sick children.
If you wish to proceed further, the best contact would be via email.
Business Manager and PA to Ps Ian and Dayle Wright
Invercargill Christian Centre
PO Box 713 Invercargill
Phone 03 2144562
At the time I lived on the bones of my butt in Samoa. If I had even $50.00 I would have felt rich and gone to town to buy some food – just staples like rice, flour, sugar and frozen chicken. Forget luxuries like an ice-cream or butter and suchlike!
Thanks but no thanks Linda and co! I replied the same day:
Thank you Linda but this is not my request
My request is that you let me register dennis.nz which is another domain name altogether
I have no interest in obtaining your domain dennis.org.nz
However as registrant of dennis.org.nz you can either block or allow my registration of dennis.nz
I assume that as you are not using dennis.org.nz and are willing to sell it that this will not be a problem to the leadership so the process from here is simple – it’s at www.anyname.nz. Just enter dennis.org.nz and Click Approve Others to Buy and the job is done
Thank you for your help
Then . . . nothing.
After having returned to New Zealand in September 2016, I slipped Linda another email on 15 September 2016:
Last year following previous communications you wrote to me with an offer to sell me the domain name DENNIS.ORG.NZ. I have never asked for this domain, I do not want this domain and in my opinion it certainly is not worth the money the directors asked for it!
I replied to you on 19/3/2015 explaining that you (pl) appear to have misunderstood my request – I simply seek your approval for me to buy the domain DENNIS.NZ for which you have a legal right to veto. Your silence or inaction to the Domain Registry ensures an effective ongoing veto. Your approval of my registration of DENNIS.NZ has no cost to you, it is a simple process that should only take minutes and (unless it is your intent to leverage your right to veto my registration for pecuniary or other advantage) I cannot think of any reason why this would be a problem to do.
I repeat my simple request again for clarity, I respectfully ask that Invercargill Christian Centre kindly please allow me to register dennis.nz. This matter is important to me, however I have no interest, nor capacity to pay what is in effect a huge ransom. In the current situation where the domain name that you hold has never been used, then offered to me for sale for a huge amount way beyond any commercial valuation, and market price, it appears at least on the surface that ICC is attempting to leverage their power of veto against me for financial gain.
Would the directors kindly consider doing a good deed and simply allow me to register the name I seek DENNIS.NZ?
In regards to the timing, I note that you are PA to the leaders and that you previously “discussed the matter” with them. Is there any possibility tat you could do the same again and avoid a delay of a month?
And again not the slightest interest in helping and not even interest in a response . . . you can guess their attitude eh? “Bugger off man who refused to pay us the $5k ransom!”
Lack of Integrity Proved
Then an interesting thing happened shortly thereafter; ten days later on their monthly renewal, the domain had lapsed, falling into the “Pending Release” status. The monthly charges that had been paid every month religiously for more than a decade were no longer being paid for.
It appeared that the principals that Linda was referring to had recognised that after years of paying for this low-value domain would never return them their long-desired windfall, so they stopped paying for it! Today the name completed the 90 day Pending Release holding period allowing me to register dennis.nz naturally as I had priority rights according to the [crazy] rules of Internet NZ.
I can perfectly understand that, as the domain dennis.org.nz had no commercial value; if I didn’t want to pay any ransom for it; it had never been used and hundreds of dollars had gone into their domain ownership over the last 11 years – totally wasted. Apart from the ethics of clearly cybersquatting*, then overpricing their offer and then attempted extortion, then trying to sneak away without doing or saying anything, one has to question the business practices of Invercargill Christian Centre – surely? What other losing business decisions has this church undertaken out of sight of and deliberately hidden from their members? Somebody paid for the domain name for more than a decade from 25 March 2005 until 25 August 2016 for no apparent reason!
And did they bow out of their business gracefully, offering to release the veto on dennis.nz and assist me to register that which I desired and asked for for some two years? Nope . . . nothing so caused ANOTHER 90 days of waiting for naught. Not even the courtesy of a call to advise of the change, certainly not caring to even help me by advising the DNC that it didn’t matter to them any more if I did register dennis.nz.
What stupid, nasty people they breed in those churches down in Invercargill.
But I boxed on and invited them, gracefully as always to help me out on 6 December 2016:
Dennis A Smith <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I note that this name has lapsed and has been Pending Release since 25 September 2016. Does this mean that you are now able to release dennis.nz? If so can you please do so in the next few days? Thanks. www.anyname.nz is the website and it is free and simple to permit me to register dennis.nz.
The reason for this is that I wish to respond to the DNC’s public consultation process which has a deadline prior to 25 December 2016, which is when the domain dennis.org.nz comes out of its 90 day holding period. I intend to produce a public post in which I analyse the .nz Domain space. If we do not have resolution to the conflict, I would include reference to ICC. If the matter is resolved through your affirmative action, I have no need to name ICC of course.
Again, nothing – of course!
The leopard doesn’t change his spots and the truth can be derived from the application of logic onto facts. People of Invercargill Christian Centre, the above are facts. Apply simple logic and note the true nature of your Pastors and the church Business Manager. They paid for the domain name dennis.org.nz for more than eleven years and it sat unused the entire time. They attempted to sell it to me for $5,000.00, a hundred times more than what it was worth to me, then refused to communicate OR to assist with my desired registration of dennis.nz (something that would have cost them NOTHING but have made me very appreciative); then rather than do the honourable thing when they knew that the game was up, they quietly let the name lapse and refused to help even then.
I note here that nothing ICC did was ILLEGAL. They would surely have lost any case if I had taken them to the formal Domain Name Disputes Court on the basis of a “bad faith” registration (I didn’t), but what they did was not technically illegal, but people of Invercargill Christian Centre, I conclude that you have arrogant, uncaring and greedy religious leaders, typically called in the bible “wolves in sheep’s clothing” and “hypocrites”. Correct me if I am wrong.
Not Only Me
Just in case you are thinking that they maybe didn’t get my messages or didn’t like me personally, or didn’t know, or didn’t understand, two things show their actions as deliberate.
First, the domain was on a monthly renewal basis. That meant that every month a payment was being made to their Registrar. Twelve times every year a decision had been made by someone, somewhere that money was authorised to go from ICC to iServe. That’s an indication of deliberate intent.
Secondly, I sought the assistance of the Domain Name Commission. They also contacted these Holy Spirit ‘anointed’ Jesus lovers [cough, cough] and got nowhere too:
DNC Info <email@example.com>
Good Morning Dennis,
Thank you for your email.
I have passed this on to our Conflict Resolution Facilitator who will also be in contact with the other party involved in the conflict set to try and resolve the conflict.
Domain Name Commission
DNC Info <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To confirm, I’ve contacted the other party this afternoon.
Conflict Resolution Facilitator
All for nought:
DNC Info <email@example.com>
11 Jan 2016
Good morning Dennis,
The other party involved in the conflict, Invercargill Christian Centre, has not yet lodged a preference for the new name.
You’re welcome to attempt to contact them yourself, to see if you may get a response, but registrants are not obligated to resolve the conflict – choosing to do nothing is a valid response. Their contact details are available at http://dnc.org.nz/whois/dennis.org.nz
Where agreement has not been reached, the new name remains unavailable for registration by anyone. If, however the conflict is resolved (either because a response is lodged which resolves the conflict, or because one of the names involved passes fully through pending release) then the remaining registrant will be notified of resolution, and their ability to register the new name. You have two months from the date of resolution to make the registration.
I’m happy at the end of the day to have the registration and using the domain dennis.nz. If it had been available in 1999 when I had means, I would have secured it virtually at any price. A name is important and I am a kiwi. dennis.nz represents me in the best possible manner online. It’s simple, logical, accurate and doesn’t have the assumption that I am a company with the “.co” before the .nz extension. I even paid very good money to buy www.denis.co.nz with the different spelling – important to me? I think so!
I’m not happy with the crowd that attempted the extortion as it held my usage up for two years and I’m not happy that Internet NZ created the problem in the first place, but full accurate exposure of Invercargill Christian Centre’s immoral conduct and my pending actions against Internet NZ’s operations company is sufficient for me – regardless of the outcomes of either actions.
To some, this may seem like an unimportant matter, and they may think that like a mechanic’s car where because they can fix it anytime they don’t bother to, that I can achieve what I want with any domain. This is true to a point but I aim to be seen as a professional in whatever I do, and it was thus important to present myself in the best possible light. I am proud to have it and to use it, but hopefully it is not a consuming pride that detracts from the messages contained.
Thanks for reading here and have a great Christmas and New Year where ever you are!
Oh, and in due course, when Invercargill Christian Centre attendees and/or their leaders stumble upon this post and cringe – please resist the temptation to shoot the messenger. You actually owe me an apology**, and probably have some ‘serious internal issues’ to deal with, and I’m not talking about medical ones. Ray Andrews, Bob Spann, Andrew Stone take note . . . repentance is the biblical course of action in this situation I believe?
* Cybersquatting is a well-defined term in the industry but used loosely by the public. Domaining/Domainers is the legitimate process of and people who invest into generic domains for the purposes of investment. Depending on the jurisdiction, when it impinges on some else’s rights or when used in bad faith, it tips into the cybersquatting category and can be contested in various dispute resolution processes. Asking for a recompense of expenses is generally accepted practice in the industry and not an indicator of wrong-doing, but attempted profit, or making unreasonable demands are indicators of a bad faith registration. The uninformed majority however will often assume that ANY registration of a domain that they want that is not visibly used for a good purpose (in their eyes) is cybersquatting. Not so. ICC’s registration of dennis.org.nz (a generic name) can now be seen to be cybersquatting in intent based on recent conduct, but it was only when they sought a large figure for a low value name, and then let it lapse when they realised that it was a bad investment unlikely to get them their sought-after loot that their intent has been shown/proved, and we can correctly call them “failed cybersquatters”.
** The biblical process of rectifying a problem is to go back to the core issue and deal with it, then fix the problem constructively in a win-win scenario. Ian Wright, the “Boss” (as Ray Andrews calls him) of Invercargill Christian Church needs to front-foot the issue. He needs to acknowledge that he tried to extort financial benefit from me in a commercial situation that back-fired. He has a right to do that legally as I say in the post proper, but morally this is dubious and probably (as shown from his later actions) greedy from a spiritual/Christian perspective. He needs to acknowledge that he and his team were callous and uncaring. These are not absolutes and are judgments that fit into cultural and social norms but if people know the facts (as I have presented them above), I am sure that most right-thinking, unbiased people would assess Ian’s conduct to have failed the basic test of integrity. He’s a preacher and a senior leader in the NZ Protestant (particularly Apostolic) scene . Most people in this scene (let alone in the culture we exist) would naturally expect more from him than he offered. In that sense Ian has let the team down (so-to-speak) when viewing his Christian witness as a self-proclaimed leader – #bishopofthesouth and all that. Having acknowledged his sins (either active or of omission) he then needs to face the affected parties – that’s me and his church associates, and probably the wider Christian community and fix the problem. He should be listening to those he’s affected. He also has a full Right of Reply here at any time. Ian’s spending his Christmas in hospital with a heart operation. I will update this post if/when of it anything happens.