Wednesday July 5 2006

Internet scammer announces bankruptcy (Bradley Norrish)

Filed under: Bradley Norrish, Chesley Rafferty, UK Internet Registry — Josh @ 7:16 am

Internet scammer announces bankruptcy

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July 04 2006 today posted a letter from Australian domain name scammer, Bradley Norrish, announcing his declaration of bankruptcy.

Lesley Cowley, CEO, Nominet, commented: “The bankruptcy brings an appropriate and successful end to the litigation against the directors of UK Internet Registry and proves that datamining the WHOIS is a serious industry issue that Nominet will not tolerate. It has been a long, expensive and often challenging process, but we take protection of our intellectual property and copyright ownership very seriously. This case proves that we can and will detect, track down and sue for WHOIS infringement to protect our business and our .uk registrants from domain name scams.”

This case was brought by Nominet against Chesley Rafferty and Bradley Norrish and 3 of their companies in the Federal Court of Australia following Nominet’s discovery in January 2003 that its WHOIS database had been the subject of concerted data mining attacks. This database is commonly used by Internet users to check who is the registrant of a domain name. The sheer scale of these assaults subsequently forced Nominet to suspend its WHOIS system for the only time in its six year history. The attacks captured details of many .uk domain name holders and resulted in 50,000 registrants receiving misleading notices from “UK Internet Registry” regarding their domain name registrations.

In January 2006, Nominet was awarded AUD $1.3 million in damages to conclude the battle against Chesley Rafferty and Bradley Norrish. The Court awarded actual damages for copyright infringement, underlining the value of Nominet’s .uk Register and copyright ownership of its databases, as well as additional damages to reflect the “flagrancy” of the breaches, in using Nominet’s records for direct marketing purposes. The award of AUD $500,000 for the misuse of the data is one of the highest additional damages awards ever made by the Australian Courts.

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