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December 02, 2016

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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.

Natural Born Ninja: When Movie Director Oliver Stone's Website Went Dark Bill  Sweetman Saved the Day (and the Domain Name)! 

Name Ninja President Bill Sweetman has a well deserved reputation for being one of the domain industry's good guys. In the more than 20 years that he has been a leading domain consultant one of Bill's hallmarks has been jumping in to make sure  people who know little about domains are not taken advantage of. He typically does that under the radar with no compensation to himself but once in awhile the beneficiary is someone famous and the words gets around. 

An example of that just hit the news yesterday when I came across a story in the Hollywood Reporter about how a fan of famous movie director Oliver Stone had rescued the Hollywood icon's OliverStone.com domain name after the studio it was entrusted to let it drop causing the director's website to dark. That fan turned out to be Bill!  When the domain expired it, of course, wound up in an aftermarket auction. When Bill saw it, he reached into his own pocket and won the auction last week for $1,500. He them promptly sent the domain back  to a very appreciative Oliver Stone whose classic films 

Name Ninja President Bill Sweetman

include Wall Street, Platoon, Natural Born Killers, JFK, and Born on the Fourth of July. His latest effort, Snowden, is in theaters now. 

With the news out, Bill (who has also rescued names for people like Freddie Mercury, Phil Collins and even Darth Vader!), provided some more background on how all of this went down in a post on his blog. With the widespread publicity this story is getting he decided to talk about it because people need to know about the danger of letting other people own their personal domain name (or any of their domains for that matter). I've seen close friends in the mainstream business world victimized myself after letting an unscrupulous hosting company or some other third party hold a critical domain name in their name rather than that of their client or customer, so I know this is a message that needs to be heard. As Bill noted in his account, "If that third party fails to renew your domain name, as was the case here, it can be difficult or impossible for you to retrieve the domain name since, legally and technically, you are not the owner and never were."  

Oliver Stone
Photo from Bigstock

Oliver Stone did reimburse Bill for the money he spent to get the domain back, but why did he take that responsibility upon himself in the first place? "Here’s the thing," Bill said. "I'm a lifelong film fanatic, a former film critic, and I worked as a producer and director in the film industry for many years. I've long admired Oliver Stone's work, especially his fearlessness at tackling controversial subjects. I didn't want this 19-year-old domain to fall into the wrong hands because Universal City Studios had failed to properly safeguard Mr. Stone’s domain. At best, Oliver Stone (or Universal) would have been forced to buy the domain name – yet again – off another domain speculator. At worst, the domain could have been held hostage for years and never returned to its rightful owner."

"I also wanted to make sure Oliver Stone's Website was reinstated as quickly as possible so that his bold voice could continue to be heard the world over. Happy Thanksgiving, Oliver!

(Posted December 2, 2016)  

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