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I got a quick question: help!!!?.

I also got another question: I had registered at GoDaddy a few months ago....The HostGator was locked....Then, out of the blue, I got an email from Godaddy referring to a change to my registration details for

I replied by email straight away to GoDaddy, saying that I had authorised NO changes to my registration of that HostGator - and to please ensure that it was not interfered with (I feared someone was trying to steal it).....I got a reply saying that changes had happened...

I called GoDaddy - and, at first, they said they 'didn't understand' what had happened....Then, said 'Well, that HostGator is on the move...'!!...But, no info as to who was 'moving it' etc.....I was explicit to them to make sure that did not move.

...I called GoDaddy a second time, asking for a guarantee that they would ensure stayed in my GoDaddy account until I - the account holder - personally, authorised, any change of status.....Only then did they tell me Neustar (the .US registry) was taking it....!!!!.

I called Neustar....They simply said: ' breaks the rules - it contains one of the seven words banned by Neustar for .us domains - ie the word 'Tits'.....And that was that...!! ...My bought & paid for HostGator - - was gone....!!...Neustar just reached into my personal account at Go Daddy - and grabbed a LOCKED HostGator from my account, and there was, apparantly, nothing I could do about it...!!.

I understand that, if I inadvertently broke the rules with that name, then there should be discussion...perhaps, a negotiation...and I may even lose the HostGator etc... But, on principal, I'm against two things here:.

(i) That a Registry (or anyone, for that matter) can just TAKE (steal?) a registered, bought, and paid-for, locked, HostGator from your account - without notification, or notice, or negotiation, or the courtesy of a word.

(ii) That a Registrar - like GoDaddy - could ALLOW anyone to interfere with your LOCKED domains that they hold on their servers - And, allow them to take it out of your account.....Otherwise, what's the point of locked domains...???.

How secure is that...???....Where's the integrity - and proper process....?.

Yes, GoDaddy's auto system told me something was happening....And, after I complained - again - they did refund my registration fee...But, they did nothing to stop it being grabbed....Indeed, for it to happen at all, they (as the Registrar) had to have even facilitated the process....

This makes me feel pretty nervous about the integrity, and security, of the HostGator system...

Any thoughts...?.


Comments (43)

Your question was: help!!!?.

Excellent... Excellent.

The amazing thing is that we can still sell our rights to lease. I suppose a good read of the terms of service would be quite telling for many cctld's. A lot of people just click away at the "yes I agree" button without understanding or even reading what they agree to.

One does have to wonder, however, how far this search for words buried within a HostGator carries with the registry. The usual test of perception by a reasonable person carries in this particular case, but one does have to wonder where the line is drawn for searching for offensive substrings within a general phrase.


Comment #1

Yes, I understand that, Krossat...

...But, perhaps, Registries - like Neustar - should simply not put names on the public market for registration (or lease) - like - if they don't want them to be registered?.

If a product (a domain) is offered for registration on the open market, then it's implied that it IS offered for registration (or lease)...They should not be allowed, imo, to renege on that implied offer, after the fact...

Also, Registrars, like Godaddy, should not be allowed to offer for registration (or lease) HostGator names that any Registry ordains are unsuitable for their extension...

It was offered for registration (lease) - I bought it (leased it) in good faith...I should be allowed to keep it, imo...

There's an important principal at stake here...

Its a misleading situation....When we register a HostGator in good faith, we are entitled, imo, to have confidence that we can use that domain....On the strength of that confidence, we may invest a LOT of money developing that domain...

...We can't then have a situation where - later - a Registry says: 'Ooops, we don't like the HostGator you registered (in good faith) in our extension - so - sorry - we'll take it back...'...

This is - and would be - market chaos....not a responsible stewardship of the HostGator market place by an important Registry, imo......I feel this behaviour doesn't reflect well on the custodianship of the .US extension...


Comment #2

I have to say that it does sound a bit wierd for a registry to randomly pick domains out of the registry to take back.

However, we do own the domains, we dont really just lease them... if we pay for their registration, it is our ownership for as long as we like...

Comment #3

It is a lease, and they can take it back, unless a court tells them otherwise - more of the "I'll do it until you make me stop" thinking that has defined much of the US government.....

I have owned US domains for two years, never knew there were seven words. Who knows what lurks inside? But it!t is pretty clear and would be acceptable in .Com, .Net and so on, far as I can see. Certainly there are a lot of domains that go a lot further than that. I l!ke t!ts, anyway.

At least they gave your money back - but I bet that was Godaddy looking out for their PR, not the registry...

Comment #4

If the .US ccTLD has that rule, there is nothing you or anyone could do , you simply did not know the ruls.

How about you being in Australia mate?.

I can`t reg .US names......can you?..

Comment #5

I can only assume that Tits in the US are verbotten - uplifting to say the least...

Comment #6

For me it is a lease... do you remember .la 2 characters?.

They simply emailed the owners that yhey wont be allowed to renew them, period..

Do you own them?.

I really dont think so.

Maybe it is something between property and lease that the experts didnt give a name yet but as very well said by npcomplete you cant go straight to the "yes, I agree" button... read the TOS before finishing the purchase.

Some days ago I reg'd a ccTLD at moniker and there was a warning but the window didnt open... what did I do? I just called them.

If neustar doesnt allow that and domaintalker didnt read the TOS I think the mistake is that neustar allowed a reg that it itself doesnt allow!!!.

It would be better if they just said in a message it isnt allowed or they could just do as these guys (go to "new HostGator name" and type f**c or p***y)..

Comment #7

They call it a "review" policy because it may make more sense to allow registrations due to the fact that it is impossible or not practical to just block a string of letters that otherwise might be a part of an acceptable word under this policy - at least for one or two of the banned words. Some would take a whole lot of creativity to make into an "acceptable" HostGator name.

Below is a link to a brief Wikipedia article on the case which includes the "seven words" which are based on a George Carlin comedy routine. I wonder how many children have access to Wikipedia where they can read up on the seven words that they cannot type before .US? I don't have a problem with the policy - rules are rules and it is important to read the registry agreements and policies - but it seems funny to select just those seven when there are so many others floating around.

Comment #8

To me a solid .COM, .NET, .ORG, .DE, .UK is ownership, I've never known those pulling tricks like this...

Comment #9

It's not the first time such a thing happens... that's the 7-word rule..

Tits is in the list.

Personally I find that kind of political interference to be stupid - so much for the land of the not so free.....

Comment #10

Just think of the mess this would make if You sold the HostGator for a few Grand ........ AND Then it was pulled..

Comment #11

How about if he had a company called:.


Comment #12

From .de:.

7 Termination.

(1) The HostGator Contract shall be concluded for an indefinite period. It shall be possible for the HostGator Holder to terminate it at any time without prior notice.

(2) It shall only be permitted for DENIC to terminate the contract on substantial grounds. These grounds shall include, in particular, any case in which.

A) the HostGator itself includes a manifestly illegal statement;.

There is a list of other reasons but I point this out that .de domains can be taken with no fees owed to the registrant if the HostGator contains an "illegal" statement. From Nominet .uk:.

10. A HostGator name is not an item of property and has no owner. It is an entry on our register database reflected by our nameservers which we provide as part of this contract.

Again, merely pointing out that there are risks in this business regarding what you own or don't own and what can be taken back. I have no knowledge of any domains taken back by these registries while I know of quite a number of stories about domains taken back by the .us registry as instructed by the policies of the US Department of Commerce...

Comment #13

Which are the 7 words? tits is one of them, what are the other 6?..

Comment #14

Is the list the same as the Carlin routine ? I can still remember that classic routine, about tits not even deserving to be on the list...

Comment #15

The Chinese Government does take back .CN domains that they deem "inapropriate"..

I know that it happens, so I thought that I would just throw that in there...

Comment #16

I'm sorry you had your tits pulled without permission. Possibly you could concentrate on nipple domains as they are apparently quite acceptable to .us..

Comment #17

While it's fine to believe that, your registration agreement says otherwise. In.

Essence, that belief means nothing to anyone else.

It just so happens the terms of the agreement puts the provider in a stronger.

Position than the end-user...

Comment #18

Yes, rules are rules, I agree....and, if I broke the rules (and it seems the US is especially sensitive to Tits.....In Aussie, we LOVE ', then I probably deserve to lose the domain...

....I say again....Its the attitude - the high-handed way it was done, I object to....No comment, no communication, no courtesy....Hell of a way to build a business, imo...

And, also, I feel there ought to be a proper process - so, we can at least feel our locked domains can't be hijacked without our knowledge...

But, hey....I'm over it now....just wanted to alert you folks to it happening...

....But, noone's gonna to pinch my .mobi's...!!....LOL.


Comment #19

Well one thing is certain, this consfication will not help the registry any and thanks for posting it. Many will think twice now when registering .us names. The registry needs to wake up or they will be shooting themselves in the foot.

It won't take too many posts like this for this news to spread thru out the HostGator business and affect the quanity of .us names registered. Also if other names get yanked liked this end users will back off real quick too.

Cause and effect is a reality too...

Comment #20

Well said...Exactly....We need fully professional processes - if the HostGator space is to be taken seriously. There's too much at stake for everyone - domainers & end users, alike - for a 'cowboy' approach to issues...even if action is merited, in a given situation.


Comment #21


I for one will not register any sex domains in the .us extension after reading this.


Comment #22

How did you feel as an Australia resident you had the right to own a .us HostGator Lorenzo was exactly right as an Australian you are not permitted to own a .us domain..

Comment #23

After reading this issue I realise domains are not property but issit consider assets?.

I dun own them but I have the rights on them....

Comment #24

Exactly. One thing that is being overlooked here, is the freedom of speech that is so fundamental to the U.S.Kind of surprised the ACLU or someone hasn't bothered to take a swat at this policy yet, just to see if the U.S. extension can actually regulate someone's language. I wouldn't be going after domains like that myself, but I don't see how, exactly, preventing someone form registering is saving the world's moral fiber.

Now, you list your location as Australia.....are you sure this isn't an issue of someone from Australia trying to own a .US domain?..

Comment #25

This whole "ownership" thing went to court in, like, 2002-2003 for I remember it specifically b/c Network Solutions was trying to argue that domains are leases and therefore they should not have to compensate that Gary Kremmen guy who had his domain,, which was stolen from him.

Well, the judge almost laughed at that contract, as I recall, and said in so many words "Domains are the fundamental core of an online business that folks build their whole world around, and something so vital to a business in which it paid cash for is actually the property of the registrant - not a lease." I'm not sure how the judge had authority to run over the contract, but we all know what happenend. Gary got a huge judgement of, I can't remember, $50,000,000?.

So, as far as the courts are concerned case law is showing "ownership" so far of domains.

Feel free to correct me if I missed something here...

Comment #26

Thats right. They could have not let allow Chris to renew the name after the paid registration term (although this would have been bad business ethics either) but taking away a name (effectively stealing it) is bordering fraud.

They were very well aware of the name when it was registered and could have taken necessary steps back then, but instead they allowed the registration and took the money and entered a binding contract hereby (besides, who knows when this ridiculous list of artificially made up names took effect, maybe even after the registration).

The point of Chris being Australian is true, however this was apparently not involved in this case (apart from the fact that he might be a US citizen living in Australia)...

Comment #27

This has raised a lot of interesting points - points that underpin some important principles of a marketplace in which we (and others) must have confidence. Let me summarise some of the issues that have been raised in this thread:.

(i) The principle about whether it's right for anyone to be able to interfere with a property (owned, or leased) that is LOCKED in your account - without proper (or, indeed, any) notification to the owner, or lessee, of that property.

(ii) The issue of security of tenure - understandings - and the confidence to INVEST in that property, for which money has changed hands, and which it was reasonably understood conferred rights to the owner, or lessee. The arbitrariness of summary requisition of that property.

(iii) The issue of free speech - and the free use of language and expression....The notion that a word like 'Tits' can't be used - yet, say, 'nipples' can....The Registry may have 'rules' about certain words for the .us extension - but, does it have any basis in law?.

(iv) The collusion between a Registry and a Registrar - to transfer a HostGator out of your control, without your permission, or even knowledge. Again, arbitrariness.

(v) The issue of 'ownership' of domains....If you have developed a domain, as a valuable asset - by investing large amounts of your money in it over many years (and now, perhaps, worth millions of dollars - eg, or etc).....It would be extraordinary if - for ANY reason, whatsoever - a Registry could argue that they (the Registry) still 'own' that domain, in any meaningful sense, and could re-possess it......I predict there will be court cases over this very issue in the future, as more HostGator properties become extremely valuable.

These are important issues that underlie what the .US Registry did with ''.

As to my being Australian - and owning a .us domain...

Neroux is correct - my Australian residence was never mentioned in this case...neither by email, nor in phone calls with GoDaddy & Neustar....The issue was only about the word 'Tits' being against Neustar rules.

Having said that - yes, I understand I probably didn't qualify to register, because I'm not a US citizen, nor do I have US-based business interests.

I can only say that my account details at GoDaddy were open, and clear: My Registrant & Admin contact details show clearly an Australian address. Its open - nothing hidden. When GoDaddy allowed me to successfully register a .us domain, I assumed (reasonably, I think) it was therefore okay to do so (perhaps it was part of the existing Australia/US Free Trade Deal).

...Just as when I registered successfully - and my payment was accepted for it - I assumed that implied agreement that that HostGator was allowed.

In the event, I was wrong on both counts.

However, that still doesn't change shoddy practice & procedure, imo....Nor does it alleviate some of the other important principles many of you note in this thread.


Comment #28

And exactly because of this I'd call this act of the registry fraud.

The registry as well as the registrar were both very well aware of the facts behind the registration (nationality as well as HostGator name). Both had enough time to deny the registration but instead went on accepting the order and payment and letting go through the registration.

The way the registry acted afterwards by using a random list of words as excuse to take away the paid object is nothing else than theft. Usually my suggestion would be to take this case to a court - if it werent for the hassle and costs...

Comment #29

I agree totally.

Also, it's hard to believe that they have a "moral compass" regarding "Tits", but not "thieving a domain". So, Tits are worse than Stealing is what they are saying. God forbid, someone tries to outlaw Tits in the real world - we would have full scale male anarchy.

It's collusion between Godaddy and Nuestar. They make more money by not telling you upfront, and since it costs money to police the domains or write software that autoscans every HostGator registration, option number one looks more attractive.

If they get a class action against them they will still probably pay out less in a settlement than they made screwing 10,000 HostGator owners out of their domains. So it's a win-win for them. Big companies these days have the mentality of street thugs. No different really.

This kind of stuff can only make .com more valuable...

Comment #30

Then we have auction houses like Afternic that in one swell swoop without ANY warning pulled tens of thousands of domains that are sexual in nature.

This created a nighmare for all who had names with any refrence at all to sex, tits, nipples.. all of them pulled with no advance warning. This was all done behind the scene when Afternic was negotiating with a new owner. Our partnership with these companies has no standing and we can see by our treatment that domainers are not even showed the respect that any partnership deserves, to be kept in the loop as regards our investment.

An update about Afternic, recently a member posted in Discuss names that now after all the names were pulled Afternic has thousands of said names back in their system for sale, my assumption is many are names for sale by the new owner...

Comment #31

Don't worry about that goodkarmaco, sex is not banned in the US, just tits.

Reg away with confidence.


Comment #32

If a small number of words are banned, why do they allow a registration in the first place? could something not be put in place to prevent the registration of a HostGator that includes a banned word...

Comment #33

Short answer: yes, but not practical.

You would need to scan ALL registered domains for substrings containing banned words (easy). The hard part is determining which substrings are legit as part of the larger string. This is the test that is difficult for automated pattern recognition.

To be consistent, you would then have to apply the same reasoning to searches for TM's, scanning all known TM registration services on earth, since the TM is not restricted to US only. Being in the US, I scan the USPTO, and occasionally some others.

There really is some obligation on the part of the customer to exercise due diligence before registration... and READ THE TERMS OF SERVICE (heaven forbid that somebody might actually read those terms before clicking on the I Agree button).


Comment #34

I see what you mean, I agree and you certainly know your stuff regarding the scanning.

Im sorry to read of this happening to DomainTalker, I guess always something can be learned by things like this happening...

Comment #35

Just so you're aware...there's nothing GoDaddy can do. The registration "lives" on Neustar's servers, not at GoDaddy. In this case (and nearly all cases) the Registry holds all the cards.

Had the name been registered with a different registrar, or even if you yourself became a registrar, you still couldn't have prevented this deletion.

IMHO, if there are only seven words not allowed in .US, then why doesn't Neustar just reject registrations that match the *<dirtyword>* pattern?..

Comment #36

Yes, it's hard - but, because it's difficult, doesn't justify accepting a binding financial contract - and accepting money - and then reneging on that contract later.

That's like putting a product you know is faulty on the market for sale because it's too hard to correct the fault - and, then selling that product....If you know it's faulty you are liable for damages in court....Arguing that it was 'too hard' to correct the fault before you sold it would be laughed out of any court. I guess I say: - if you don't want to sell a HostGator with the word 'Tits' in it - then don't put it on the open market for sale, in the first place - because that implies you want to sell it.

I say: It being 'too hard' to identify something of yours that you don't want to sell - is no defence. I agree....and, obviously Neustar relies upon this to snatch the HostGator back.

But, I guess, what we're looking at here, though, is whether such Terms of Service are, in fact, a nonsense, when they offer something for sale, that they don't want to TOS that say: "...On the one hand, you can't have domains with words like 'Tits' in it - but, on the other hand, we're offering to sell it to you..."...!!...LOL.

...are a nonsense - and legally confusing...

I say again....'If you don't want to sell something - don't offer it for sale - and don't take money for it....'....But, if you DO sell it - then you should live with it, imo.

I seriously question whether a TOS that contradictory would have any standing in law.


Comment #37

This is a very interesting thead.

First off, I think that Neustar was wrong about grabbing your name for their said reason. I think that it is difficult to get one of the 7 names from your HostGator name, unless there was accompanying content. If you recall not long ago Ebay had commercials with lots of "its" running around...could refer to that...

I think Neustar would have been more within their rights to take your name because of the fraud that you committed acquiring that domain.

When purchasing a .US HostGator from GD you have these options to click:.

1. I am a US citizen.

2. I am a permanent resident of the US.

3. Incorporated or organized in the US.

4. Foreign entity doing business in the US.

5. Foreign entity doing business in the US.

Since you are not a Foreign entity you committed fraud on your registration...

BTW, run don't walk to your nearest is available.....

Comment #38

It would appear that there were two errors, not one in the contract, both on the part of the buyer. The other was not exercising due diligence before clicking the "I agree" button. When the buyer clicked that button he/she created a legal agreement between them and the registrar. They violated this contract by not being a US person, and by not abiding by the terms of service that state that "tits" was not allowed.

The legal test is whether it would be a violation in the eyes of a regular person reading the domain. Obviously "entity" passes the test, and would in a court of law. "itits" does not pass this test.

I suggest flip this thread over the the legal forum. There is an obligation in any contract between buyer and seller. If a seller has clearly stated terms in that contract, then the buyer is legally obligated to obey the terms.


Comment #39

Gents, I've accepted I was wrong in purchasing a .us domain, as a non-US citizen etc....So, that's a given. But, I - and my citizenship - are not the issue here.

Remember - that was not the reason they gave for snatching it....Using the word 'Tits' was the reason...

The issues I, and others, raise in this thread would still remain valid (and unacceptable, imo) - even IF I were a US citizen in this case.

I never thought I'd EVER say this....but....

...I think I'm over 'TITS' for the moment, mate....


Comment #40

NSI's subsequent contract was subsequently upheld in one suit:

Skip right to parts II and III. While this doesn't necessarily mean a court in a.

Different jurisdiction will adopt everything stated there, it'll at least give you.

An idea or so what to expect.

Unfortunately it appears Go Daddy did everything as agreed upon according to.

The terms of your contract...

Comment #41

Thanks Dave. Since count 4 (breach of contract) was dismissed without prejudice based on jurisdictional matters, do you know if it was refiled ?

In any case, a refiled case would be over "reg fee". That part of the decision cracked me up. (paraphrase): Sorry we screwed up your life, so here is the $10 to cover the suit.

Typical. The registry is responsible for reg fee.


Comment #42

I bet a lot of .us names have the seven wonder words in them. Someone need to.

Scan all registered domains and publish the regged domains that have the 7 sub-strings.

Neustar then will be notified, we will see how many Neustar can take back...

Comment #43

This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.


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