domainwatch.org

Thursday July 6 2006

Oz domain name scammer declares bankruptcy (Bradley Norrish)

Filed under: Bradley Norrish, Chesley Rafferty, UK Internet Registry — Josh @ 7:33 am

Oz domain name scammer declares bankruptcy
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/07/05/oz_domain_scam/

” …

Oz domain name scammer declares bankruptcy

Shown the pink card

By John Leyden
Published Wednesday 5th July 2006 12:34 GMT

Australian domain name scammer Bradley Norrish has declared himself bankrupt.

Bradley Norrish, along with business partner Chesley Rafferty, ran an outfit called UK Internet Registry, and three other firms, which sent 50,000 fake invoices to domain name holders in the UK during 2003. The information needed to mount the scam was obtained from a data mining attack on the .uk WHOIS database.

The scale of the attack was so severe that Nominet, the .uk internet domain name registry, was forced to suspend its WHOIS database, which allows people to check the registrants of domain names for nine hours to prevent further abuse.

Nominet linked the attack back to UK Internet Registry and sued the firm and its directors for breach of copyright and offences against Australian fair trade laws.

An Australian court upheld Nominet’s complaint, paving the way for it to sue for costs and damages. In January 2006, Nominet was awarded A$1.3m ($970K) in damages against Chesley Rafferty and Bradley Norrish for copyright infringement, as well as an additional A$500K ($373K) stipend to reflect the “flagrancy” of the breaches.

In a letter, published by Domainwatch, Norrish said although he’d been forced to declare himself broke because of legal judgments against him, he might yet return to the domain name business.

“I’m sure most of you on the domain list will be pleased to hear I am now declared officially bankrupt. This will undoubtedly bring varying levels of happiness to those involved in selling domains from those who raise a slight smile, to those who leap enthusiastically out of their chairs,” Norrish writes.

“It was officially at 4.50pm yesterday afternoon that the Pink Bankruptcy Card was raised to send me off the field for three years. So a big congratulations to the captain of the opposite team Nominet as well as all their supporters. If the game’s still worth playing in three years time I might just get a recall, and if I do you know it will be with fresh legs.”

Nominet said the rocky financial straits Norrish finds himself in are a just a consequence of his abuse of the WHOIS registry. Nominet chief executive Lesley Cowley commented: “The bankruptcy brings an appropriate and successful end to the litigation against the directors of UK Internet Registry and proves that data mining 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,” she added.

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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
http://www.nominet.org.uk/news/latest/?contentId=3106

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

http://domainwatch.org/archives/2006/07/04/bradley-norrish-bankrupt/

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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Sunday March 26 2006

Nominet Legal Case: Score 1 for the Registry (Bradley Norrish + Chesley Rafferty)

Filed under: Bradley Norrish, Chesley Rafferty, UK Internet Registry — Josh @ 12:55 pm

ccTLD ICANN Meetings in Wellington, New Zealand, 25-31 March 2006
http://www.wwtld.org/meetings/cctld/20060326.Wellington-agenda.html

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wwTLD meeting Wellington Sunday 26th March

ccTLDs best practices: latest and future developments

15:15 Session 5: Nominet Legal Case: Score 1 for the Registry
Presentation of The Ches & Brad Case, Emily Taylor, .uk and Jackie O’Brien, Allens Arthur Robinson.

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Emily Taylor’s presentation is available here (700k PDF).

Monday January 23 2006

Scammers go offline (Bradley Norrish + Chesley Rafferty)

from: http://www.theage.com.au/news/business/playtime-at-portsea-may-get-rough/2006/01/22/1137864806219.html

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Scammers go offline
By Helen Westerman and Rebecca Urban
January 23, 2006

IF CYBERLAND is the new frontier, then Chesley Rafferty and Brad Norrish are definitely its cowboys.

The pair have gained a reputation as profligate cyber-scammers for sending out misleading invoices to businesses asking them to register their domain names.

And it seems their activities continue. Norrish has been ordered to hand over a site he has been using that shares the domain name of online travel booking service Webjet.

The travel group’s website, webjet.com.au, generated $77.5million from 2004 to 2005 and was rated Australia’s No.1 travel site in the same year by Hitwise.

But Norrish’s domain name, webjet.com, which he bought in October, takes users to Webjet’s competitors and some porn sites for good measure. Webjet complained to the international arbiter, the Geneva-based World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), that by using the same name, Norrish was confusing users and using the website in bad faith.

The elusive Norrish did not respond to the panel, which also found he had provided a false phone number to register the domain name.

Panellist Ross Wilson ordered Norrish to transfer the website over to Webjet.

The action follows a $1.3 million fine imposed last month by the Australian Federal Court on Norrish and Rafferty, for an elaborate copyright scam involving 2.2 million websites registered in Britain.

In 2003 the pair illegally “scraped” the database of Nominet UK, the national registry for .uk domain names, for the details of 50,000 registrants.

Judge Robert French found the pair and three of their companies — Diverse Internet Pty Ltd, Internet Payments Pty Ltd and Seychelles-based UK Internet Registry Ltd — had broken copyright and Australian free trade laws.

Judge French said the pair’s conduct had been “flagrant”, and also ordered them to pay costs, estimated at $1 million.

But getting the money will not be easy. Rafferty was declared bankrupt in Australia in October and the company solicitor at Nominet, Edward Phillips, told Full Disclosure that several of the defendants were in the process of being bankrupted by Nominet and others.

“They have some assets, but we cannot accurately predict how much, if any, of this money we will see — some of it is frozen in foreign bank accounts,” says Phillips. But Phillips says if the action is enough to bankrupt them, that may be good enough.

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from: http://arbiter.wipo.int/domains/decisions/html/2005/d2005-1096.html

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WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center

ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION

Webjet Marketing Pty Ltd v. Brad Norrish

Case No. D2005-1096

1. The Parties

The Complainant is Webjet Marketing Pty Ltd of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, represented by Minter Ellison of Australia.

The Respondent is Brad Norrish of East Perth, Western Australia, Australia.

2. The Domain Name and Registrar

The disputed domain name is registered with eNom, Inc.

7. Decision

For all the foregoing reasons, in accordance with paragraphs 4(i) of the Policy and 15 of the Rules, the Panel orders that the domain name be transferred to the Complainant.

Ross Wilson
Sole Panelist

Date: December 29, 2005

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from whois.enom.com

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Checking server [whois.enom.com]
Results:

Registration Service Provided By: eNom, Inc.
Contact: info2@eNom.com

Domain name: webjet.com

Registrant Contact:
NA
Brad Norrish (NA)
NA
Fax:
2/47 Forrest Ave
East Perth, Western Australia 6004
East Perth, WE 6004
US

Administrative Contact:
NA
Brad Norrish (bradnorrish@yahoo.com.au)
888 317 8842
Fax:
2/47 Forrest Ave
East Perth, Western Australia 6004
East Perth, WE 6004
US

Technical Contact:
NA
Brad Norrish (bradnorrish@yahoo.com.au)
888 317 8842
Fax:
2/47 Forrest Ave
East Perth, Western Australia 6004
East Perth, WE 6004
US

Status: Locked

Name Servers:
dns1.name-services.com
dns2.name-services.com
dns3.name-services.com
dns4.name-services.com
dns5.name-services.com

Creation date: 02 Oct 1995 00:00:00
Expiration date: 01 Oct 2007 00:00:00
Whois-Services: 8d4c43df-6a82-4026-bc06-4bfafddd0eda@whois-services.com

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Friday January 6 2006

Nominet wins data mining case (Chesley Rafferty + Bradley Norrish)

Filed under: Bradley Norrish, Chesley Rafferty, UK Internet Registry — Josh @ 7:18 am

from: http://www.vnunet.com/2148077

” …

Nominet wins data mining case
Fraudsters ’scraped’ WHOIS database to send misleading domain name notices

Ken Young, vnunet.com 05 Jan 2006

Nominet UK, the national registry for all .uk domain names, has been awarded more than AUS$1.3m in damages following a data mining scam that led to thousands of Nominet registrants receiving misleading domain name notices.

Legal firm Pinsent Masons said that the case goes back to January 2003 when Nominet discovered that its WHOIS database, which lists domain names and their owners, had been illegally mined.

Details of registrants were “scraped” from the database and 50,000 registrants received misleading notices from an unknown “UK internet registry”.

The unsolicited notices resembled invoices and tried to sell .com names to the holders of .uk names.

Nominet warned its registrants to disregard the notices, and began an investigation which led to Chesley Rafferty and Bradley Norrish and three of their companies (Diverse Internet Pty Ltd, Internet Payments Pty Ltd and Seychelles-based UK Internet Registry Ltd).

In September 2004 Rafferty and Norrish, together with their three companies, were found liable for copyright infringement and breaches of Australian fair trade laws by copying data from Nominet’s WHOIS service, and issuing misleading domain name registration notices.

Nominet has been awarded damages for copyright infringement of AUS$810,953, with additional damages of AUS$500,000 to reflect the “flagrancy” of the breaches.

The latter award is one of the highest additional damages awards ever made by the Australian courts, according to Nominet. The defendants are also liable for the costs of the proceedings.

“We take the protection of our intellectual property and copyright ownership very seriously, both as the core of our business and in protecting our .uk registrants from domain name scams,” said Nominet chief executive Lesley Cowley.

“This judgment not only recognises the value of Nominet’s domain name register, but underlines the responsibility of legal systems worldwide in tackling internet scams.

“By fighting, and winning, this case we are very clearly showing that scamming is a serious industry issue which will not be tolerated.”

Struan Robertson, editor of Pinsent Masons’ Out-law website, explained that the case was a civil action rather than a criminal proceeding.

“The WHOIS database is in the public domain, but you are not entitled to scrape it and use it in this way. They may also have been ‘passing off’ by pretending to be a Nominet representative,” he said.

“It was copyright infringement on a large scale but, because it is a civil action, there is no threat of a custodial sentence in such a case.”

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