Simmons Consulting, the Website of Toby Simmons

Blood sucking vermin, scum of the earth


Like I said recently, Bill Zeller, one of the original Zempt developers, let the domain registration lapse (this was partly my fault, because Adam Kalsey had asked if I wanted to take it over before it lapsed — at the time, I didn’t.) The domain (which was registered with GoDaddy) became locked by the registrar. Adam told me later, after I had some time to devote to the project, that GoDaddy wanted $80 to get the domain out of registrar-lock. This seemed excessive to me, especially since this is an open-source project that no one is making money on, so I waited several days, checking the availability each day with a whois query.

Well, lo’ and behold, two days ago the whois query returned “domain not found.” I immediately went to GoDaddy and tried to register the name. GoDaddy said that the domain was NOT available and that it was registered now to It appears that is a GoDaddy reseller based in Orland Park, IL. As I was checking out this cyber-squatter, I clicked the back button on my browser and it reloaded the GoDaddy query. It now said the domain was registered to WebContents, Inc., which is based in LaGrange, IL.

As I read the web site for this second cyber-squatter, I found all those ridiculous buzzwords that cyber-squatters use to try to justify their worthless existence:

  • leveraging online assets
  • specializing in content delivery
  • search technology
  • unparalleled emphasis in regard to current and emerging technologies
  • monetization

Well, just for grins I sent an e-mail to them explaining that this domain was used for a non-profit open source project and would they consider relinquishing the domain as a courtesy. They replied two days later with the following:

Date: Mon, 17 Apr 2006 12:07:33 -0500
From: "DomainExit Corporation" <>
Subject: Domain Name Interest

Dear Sir or Madam,

Re: Domain Name Inquiry.

Thank you for showing an interest in a WebContents, Inc operated domain name. With over 14,000 company-owned domain names supporting over 3 million unique visitors per month, the WebContents network is rapidly emerging as a leader within the domain name aftermarket, optimization and monetization industries.

We would be of interest in releasing this domain name ( ) for a one-time price of $1188.00. This price quotation is only valid for seven days, until 4/24/2006.

If interested in acquiring this domain name, you could submit payment by using one of the five following methods: Please send payment of $1488.00 (plus optional fees if necessary) by one of the following purchasing options:

... (etc.)

We would be of interest … You have got to be kidding me.

They say I can get the domain for a one-time price of $1188.00 then in the next paragraph, request payment of $1488.00. Which is it?

Of course, it doesn’t really matter. I have secured the domain I haven’t set up any hosting for it, but I hope to have something up and running in the next month.

UPDATE (2008-03-09 06:52 pm): It looks like it took a bit longer than a month, but today the new site launches at

Comments (9) »

  1. Adam Kalsey says:

    Hmmm. Maybe there’s a domain-squating case to be had? I mean Zempt is used as a trade name and this company is obviously trying to sell the name to the owner of that trade name. Sounds like an illegitimate use to me.

  2. Toby Simmons says:

    Perhaps. But then again, who has the time to pursue it? (grin)

  3. Dave says:

    Same thing with our domain, godaddy, cookie-cutter reply template returned.

  4. _ck_ says:

    The reason why they ask that much is because it’s just less than the $1500 it costs to file a UDRP (Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy). Basically they will pickup all the traffic from people typing in .com instead of .org and the few ad clicks they get per month pay for the $7 a year it costs them to register the domain.

    Never, ever, let a domain lapse just to try to pick it up cheap.
    I wish you had put out a call for donations back when it was just $80 :-(

    But zempt feels “right” as a .org anyway.
    Be sure to update the sourceforge “home page” setting as it’s picking up traffic (and pagerank) for the .com people.

    At only $7-$8 I’d grab the .net ASAP too. Godaddy constantly has like $1 off coupons also, be sure to google for them just before you register.

    You’ll win in the end as the thousands of bloggers rejoice that their favorite editor is updated after all these years and link to the new, correct, .org and all will be well :-)

    Did you hear that at-guard is coming back too? All the great old software is new again, it’s a new golden age!

  5. Brian says:

    I let my old consulting website lapse, and it’s now owned by ‘WebContents’. I haven’t used the domain in years, but I had been paying to keep it registered. My main reason for keeping it was to prevent some stupid company from buying it to put ads on it. Well, I finally let it go, and within hours ‘WebContents’ picked it up. Sometimes I feel that domain registration should be more expensive, just to prevent these bottom feeders from making a profit.

  6. Jimmy says:

    You are a big crybaby with a self entitlement mentality.

    I guess you think the world owes you something and you should get assets that belong to other people for free.

    You are nothing but a punk in my opinion.

  7. Lara says:

    Ugh they just got one of my domains. Is there a way to fight them for it?

  8. Melissa says:

    There is a way to fight them….

    Not sure of the cost or effort but we should probably all do it so that they stop.
    I found this link after one of our domains slipped through the renewal period. It was one that redirected to our main site so we did not notice that it was down.

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