The Alibris.co.uk domain seems to have been acquired by a British domain hoarder on or around February 10. Alibris has owned the domain since 1999, and I believe it’s been in use in business for most of that time.
So what happened? According to the current domain registration info, the domain is owned by one “D Ostashko,” a “UK Individual,” via a British domain registrar named “Mr Denys Ostashko” (likely the same person). I presume the domain registration lapsed by mistake, and was snatched up by Ostashko, who clearly hasn’t done the honorable thing of returning the domain to the original owners. I’ve known the folks at Interloc and Alibris for almost ten years now, and I’ve seen how hard they’ve worked to develop their name and reputation. It’s a shame that they should have to deal with this.
Of course if our friend Denys isn’t being courteous, there’s always the legal option. Ostashko is a registered member of Nominet, the organization that manages .uk domains. (Amusingly, his registration indicates that he’s involved in “Internet marketing and innovation.”) Nominet’s policies on .uk domain disputes indicate that they often deal with cases like “Using the name of a well-known company or trademark in a domain name”. If Alibris uses the domain dispute process, they may have a decent chance of getting their name back.
The lesson here? Don’t let those domains names lapse. The Denis Ostashkos of the world are always happy to take them off your hands.Posted by Anirvan