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August 27, 2012

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

Morgan Linton Launches DomainTheft.org in Effort to Stem Stolen Name Sales 

Domain investor/developer Morgan Linton has seen fellow domain owners victimized by domain thieves far too often, so he has decided to try to do something about it. Linton just launched his solution, a new centralized domain database service at DomainTheft.org designed to let buyers and sellers know if any given name has been reported stolen by its owner. 

Linton said that all of the domains listed as stolen at DomainTheft.org will be verified by a proprietary algorithm called DTVS (Domain Theft Verification System). Linton noted, "DTVS does an initial check to ensure that the theft report is valid, then sends it to a member of DomainTheft.org’s task force for investigation." To offset operational costs, Linton 

said domain owners will pay a small monthly fee ($5 per month for a basic listing or $10 per month for a premium listing) to publicize their stolen domains in a database that is available to every major domain name sales platform and marketplace, including platforms like eBay and Flippa

Morgan Linton
Founder, DomainTheft.org  

Linton said, "If every marketplace checks our database before listing a domain for sale it will not only dramatically reduce the number of stolen domains, but also improve the chance of recovery. Along with listing domain names in our database we have dedicated recovery agents that will work with registrars and law enforcement agencies to recover stolen domains." 

Of course, considerably more work would go into a recovery effort than a domain listing but, in a novel approach, Linton said that rather than charge a set price, DomainTheft.org will let domain owners decide what the service was worth to them and pay accordingly for successful recoveries.

Linton noted that law enforcement agencies currently do not have a procedure in place to track domain theft and generally nothing is done. He added, "Most domain registrars

and marketplaces try to stay-out of these situations as well and assume zero responsibility for the loss, even if the customer put their life-savings into the domain. There have been no domain name police, theft database, or recovery agents, until now."

“Our goal is big and the challenge is even bigger, but we think that we can make a huge impact in the Domain Name Security space," Linton said. "If everyone checks our database before they buy a domain name, it will be almost impossible for thieves to sell domains. By making it harder to sell stolen domains, thieves will become less inclined to even attempt a theft."

(Posted July 26, 2011)

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