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July 13, 2017

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Here's the The Lowdown from DN Journal,
updated daily
to fill you in on the latest buzz going around the domain name industry. 

The Lowdown is compiled by DN Journal Editor & Publisher Ron Jackson.

Bad News in HeidiPowell.com Case - Looks Like So-Called Celebrity Will Succeed in Stealing Grandmother's Domain

Many of you have been following the disturbing case involving Washington State grandmother HeidiPowell that I wrote about in February. Many others in both our industry and in national media have also covered this sad story. To briefly recap, Heidi's husband registered the domain name HeidiPowell.com for her as an anniversary gift in 2005. Last year a minor "celebrity" also named Heidi Powell came along and tried to buy HeidiPowell.com from the grandmother who declined the offers as the name has obvious sentimental and practical value to her. So, the "celebrity" responded by suing the grandmother and a court battle has been going in ever since, complicated by a 2012 bankruptcy the original Heidi had to go through.

Heidi Powell

The "celebrity" Heidi took advantage of that by telling the bankruptcy judge he should order the grandmother to sell the domain name to her and divide the money among her creditors. A final hearing was held on that motion Wednesday (July 12) and I was shocked and saddened to see Heidi come back from it and have to report this on Facebook (where she is a friend): "It did not go our way...The judge approved the sale of my domain to her. Proof positive that if you have all the money in the world you can do anything to anyone and get whatever it is that your heart desires, no matter who you hurt in the process. A year process to be exact."

Heidi continued, "We may appeal if we can find pro bono representation that will take it but need to wait for the audio (from the judge's ruling)  before that decision can be made. We believe the judge may have split the domain and my email up, where I would be keeping the 

Attorney David Weslow has helped Heidi

email part of the domain and she would get the domain for website purposes but not even our attorney totally understood it. Very confusing. We will be sorting that out when the audio shows up in an estimated five or so days."

Many in our industry have rallied around Heidi with both time and money since this all began (with attorney David Weslow (WileyRein.com) especially notable in that regard) and Heidi's thoughts were with them as she concluded her post with this, "Thank you from the depths of my soul to each and every one of you for caring about us and being our champions. We may not be rich monetarily but we are richer than anyone because of the love of caring friends, relatives and even strangers throughout the world that have stood beside us."

I hope this will not be the end of this - no one deserves to have their identity stolen in this way. 

(Posted July 13, 2017)  

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