The report you are going to see in this post was sent to Nominet on the 9th of December, 2019
It was subjected: 9 Bulgarian TAGs actively violating “Anti-avoidance and Connected Persons” rules.
Now, this report was updated to include 13 active TAGs and 5 dormant(?). All registered (and run) on the iniative of a one single person.
These TAGs are actively catching expired domains with valuable backlinks and traffic. These domains are worth much more than your LLLs you might be obsessed about.
However, this Bulgarian group has now largely monopolised catching of such valuable .uk domains, while openly abusing Nominet policies of “Connected persons”.
Not only this is a close circle of employees and friends of their mastermind - Kalin Karakehayov, but all their activities are financially benefiting one single person (or one company) and they are not even able to hide that.
I shared this report privately with 3 persons (asking for it to remain private). When these TAGs raised attention of other members and were mentioned on Acorn, one of those persons could not refrain and created a throw-away account, leaking information about ParkingCrew’s registrantIds, which was discovered as a most damning evidence of the financial connection between those TAGs.
At least he also shared official commentary from ParkingCrew, which only confirms the finding was correct:
You might have heard that our upstream ad provider was about to make changes to their policy that require all parking companies to indicate domain owner identity when requesting ads by Domain Registrant ID (short DRID). This is a contractual obligation we have to fulfill in order to continue serving premium ads on your domain names. Please rest assured that we will continue to take your privacy extremely serious and will in no instance pass on data to any unauthorized third party.
There is no point in keeping this report private any longer and you can read it here:
You must be appalled by this sheer and blatant abuse and probably thinking that Nominet put an end to these violations the second they saw the mounting evidence.
I kid you not - Nominet is doing nothing.
Their first answer was:
From: Nominet UK <firstname.lastname@example.org> Date: Tue, 10 Dec 2019 13:19:36 +0000 ... This has been a great help and I have read through your findings with interest. I am speaking to colleagues here as to the next steps to this and will keep you updated of the situation. ...
“Will keep you updated to the situation”, eh?
I waited a week and didn’t hear anything.
In the meantime, additional 2 TAGs have appeared joining the group. One of them was a recruited Indian company, which would never become a TAG holder on their own catching SEO domains for “SEO.Domains” company.
I sent Nominet a follow-up e-mail with a request to remove this policy clause if they are completely toothless about it:
If Nominet is unable to enforce their own terms in such an obvious and blatant abuse case - please remove 'Connected persons' terms from TAG policies so everyone can get a run at it - not just those unscrupulous whom you fully encourage by doing nothing.
And now Nominet never responded.
Several days ago I contacted them asking to verify something else.. (I hear they are telling us: “It is a member’s responsibility to notify Nominet of any connection to other members”).
And I mentioned previous communication which they ignored.
Nominet responded promptly and said:
As you can appreciate, we can’t discuss individual Member’s business with third parties. We do investigate when these things are reported and take action where appropriate. What we can’t do is divulge to third parties what action, if any, that we have taken. I appreciate that you may find this frustrating but I trust that this explains our position. We do, and have, taken action previously and will continue to do so if necessary.
Was I requesting them to discuss “individual Member’s business” with me?
I am requesting them to clarify why and how the following provision from their anti-avoidance policy does not cover employees of the same company:
Anti-avoidance and Connected Persons
Each of the acceptable use policies for individual services includes the terms below which deal with ‘connected persons’ or ‘related persons’, so that action can be taken in these cases. This will usually be to record the tags, subscriptions etc. as being linked, and therefore subject to a lower overall limit than would have been applied to a similar number of non-connected persons. This linking will usually apply to all services, not just the service that brought the links to our attention, and may be published in the future.
A person is ‘connected’ to another person if:
... ... they have social, family, ownership or business links (directly or indirectly) which mean that they either: do not appear to operate truly independently of one another, or it could reasonably be assumed that they will not operate truly independently of one another; or the object or effect of their activities is such that we reasonably think that not linking them would compromise one or more of the AUP Principles. ...
So how Kalin’s employees and business partners could be operating independently of each other? And even if somehow they can deceive Nominet that they are operating independently, how all parking revenue from the domains this group is catching is flowing to one single account ??
This is such a complete bollocks.
I would have given Nominet benefit of the doubt that they have linked at least some of those TAGs and pooled their DAC/EPP resources. However, the TAGs are still appearing on the big drop days individually and beating other catchers, which obviously indicates that they are still enjoying dedicated non-linked quotas.
Just some examples:
ubyk.co.uk,Y,N,2019-12-25,2020-12-25,TOOLDOMAINS edr.org.uk,Y,N,2019-12-25,2020-12-25,DOTSENSEI ukn.uk,Y,N,2019-12-29,2020-12-29,VALRON escapetrips.co.uk,Y,N,2019-11-29,2020-11-29,TOOLDOMAINS lifein.uk,Y,N,2020-01-18,2021-01-18,EDOMS programs.uk,Y,N,N,2020-01-18,2021-01-18,2,DOTSENSEI mld.uk,Y,N,2020-01-18,2021-01-18,HKOSTOVA hostess.uk,Y,N,N,2020-01-18,2021-01-18,2,MIXACTIVITY vfb.uk,Y,N,2020-01-18,2021-01-18,NNRLTD mts.uk,Y,N,2020-01-18,2021-01-18,APAVLOVA tpe.uk,Y,N,2020-01-18,2021-01-18,APAVLOVA orc.uk,Y,N,2020-01-18,2021-01-18,APAVLOVA tmp.uk,Y,N,2020-01-18,2021-01-18,NEDKOV san.uk,Y,N,2020-01-18,2021-01-18,IPSOUK-IN sph.uk,Y,N,2020-01-18,2021-01-18,PIVANOV
Why Nominet is taking us, other members, for idiots?
(They are hinting us that one can incorporate a company, make 10 friends as shareholders, apply for 10 TAGs and let director of that company catch on them, collect and share profits and that won’t count as those social or business links mentioned in their policy).
I never wanted to cheat and still refuse to cheat and invite a single friend or colleague.
We are all paying members to Nominet and expect to operate in a fair and civilized way, regulated by Nominet’s own rules and policies.
I urge all members to reach to Nominet on Monday, 20 January and request clarification why their policies are not enforced, allowing cheaters to flourish and mimic one another. (The other group of cheaters mentioned in the previous post has apparently learned that it is currently free for all and nobody will ever get caught, start reaping the cream of expired domains - nothing else matters!!).
Is Nominet doing all this on purpose? Wouldn’t it be a good way to end the catching industry by letting it implode from within by the unscrupulous greed and fraud, which Nominet seems authorizing to happen?