Dave Winer, Cybersquatter

In January, Dave Winer got into a spat with Nick Irelan, a reader of his blog who challenged Winer’s claim to have invented RSS, podcasts, blogs, outliners, web services, non-stick cooking spray and the use of the scrolling wheel mouse button in heterosexual cybersex.

Because Winer is class all the way down, he didn’t just rebuke Irelan on his site. He registered the domain name NickIrelan.Com:

Scripting News, Inc
2 1/2 Third St
St Augustine Beach, Florida 32080
United States

Registered through: GoDaddy.com, Inc. (http://www.godaddy.com)
Created on: 24-Jan-07
Expires on: 24-Jan-08

Administrative, Technical, Billing Contact:
Winer, Dave dave@scripting.com
Scripting News, Inc
2 1/2 Third St
St Augustine Beach, Florida 32080
United States
(206) 369-0687

Registering someone else’s name in bad faith violates the Anti-Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act. Winer could face fines from $1,000 to $100,000 plus attorney’s fees if found to have broken the law. Irelan’s not a public figure — he’s a college student according to his LinkedIn profile — so Winer can’t defend his actions by claiming he intended to use the domain to comment on him.

Irelan tried to add Winer’s cybersquatting stunt to his Wikipedia entry, but it was quickly deleted by other editors, even though the proof’s right there in the WHOIS database.

If anyone knows a lawyer who could help Irelan get his domain name, please comment here. I’ve sent Irelan a link to this blog.

Update [~EoW]: After this story got picked up by ValleyWag, Dave wrote in (to VW) to say that he’s released the domain. I’ll believe it when I see it, but apparently the heat was a little too much for him. Score one for the good guys.

4 thoughts on “Dave Winer, Cybersquatter

  1. Ahhhh…after a brief bout of pity I’m beginning to feel the warm glow of pure dislike again and I have to say…it feels good. Anyway, this seems to be a bit of a hobby for Winer, registering URLs that represent people he doesn’t like (as mentioned earlier on this blog, eyeonwiner.com redirects to scripting.com thanks to him). But when I went to nickirelan.com I found this…
    This site is retired…


    Over the years I’ve tried out lots of ideas, some work, others work a little, and some — not at all. The ones that work are worth keeping, the ones that don’t, they take care of themselves. But the ones in the middle can linger for years, not doing much for anyone, and costing both dollars and hassles to keep going.
    Recently I’ve decided to start turning off the ones that sort-of work, the goal being to reduce the monetary and karmic cost of maintaining an online presence. This is one of the sites I’ve decided to retire.

    A little philosophy. In order to get somewhere, you have to try lots of ideas, and most of them aren’t huge successes. But, imho, it’s good to try — it’s also good to know when it didn’t work.

    Dave Winer
    Scripting News
    What exactly is that supposed to mean?

  2. It amazes me how Dave can try to negate his guilt with patently ridiculous statements. Take this from Dave’s response to vallywag…

    — I did release nickirelan.com when he hacked up my wikipedia profile page with an accusation.

    Now look at what Nick Irelan tried to add to Dave’s wikipedia page…

    — After a disagreement Dave Winer registered my name as a domain name

    Notice how Dave uses “accusation” as if the charge Nick Irelan was making wasn’t obviously true. Then look a little further down where Dave gives his excuse for registering the domain in the first place…

    — I buy domains pretty regularly often for no particular reason.

    Could any sane person really think that is an excuse? What does that even mean? Is he trying to imply that there was no malice in buying a url for the name of a person he had just had a fight with?

    Sometimes the insanity seems over the top. Though honestly, if Scoble were here right now I’d bet a decent amount of money he’d think Winer was in the right.

Comments are closed.