Cons Piracy Hits the Web

Heavy aftershocks were felt for months after the New Madrid earthquake of 1812, and according to a popular joke if you asked a man in Natchez how his farm was he’d run home to see if it was still there. You’ll soon be hearing a new version of that story featuring conrunners who’ve been asked how their websites are doing. But the former owners of Eastercon.org and Boskone.com can save themselves the trip: cyber squatters now own their farms.

Cons are often marketed online using internet domain names identical to the convention’s name. Domain names have finite lives and must be renewed.

The Eastercon.org address, which originally hosted a site about the con’s history, with reliable pointers to current Eastercon publicity, was edited (according to a post at Anonymousclaire) by Alex McLintock and Chris O’Shea.

The New England Science Fiction Association unhappily found its “Boskone.com” address evidently had expired and been re-registered by a cyber squatter. The club is taking action on the squatter, according to Instant Message #796.

That is not the only Boskone domain. Boskone.org still forwards readers to NESFA’s official web page promoting the convention. (Athough this state of affairs is destined to end in November, according to www.who.is). On the other hand, Boskone.net already talks about nothing but last August’s Lynch/Cheshire wedding in Seattle, and for the explanation of that your guess is as good as mine.

4 thoughts on “Cons Piracy Hits the Web

  1. But the more logical/more important eastercon.org.uk is still registered to Chris, although it doesn’t appear to be resolving at the moment.

    Not quite sure how this happened in any case, since I thought most registration services automagically renew domains for you.

    Of course, snatching expiring domains is (like pretty much everything else on the internet) a business opportunity for some – see http://www.mikeindustries.com/blog/archive/2005/03/how-to-snatch-an-expiring-domain

  2. That article link is worth its weight in golden pixels. Thanks! When I got up this morning I had a slew of questions in mind about this cyberbusiness and hoped somebody had already invented the wheel…

  3. Actually, eastercon.org isn’t really pirated away — it’s still registered to Chris O’Shea, if you do a whois lookup — but according to Chris, it’s not resolving to the correct web site, and he has to figure out how to get back into his provider’s system to re-point the DNS.

  4. Hm, true enough, whois says O’Shea’s registration isn’t supposed to expire until next year. And yet the explanation posted at eastercon.org says “The domain parked page appears because the domain is due for renewal or has recently passed it’s renewal date.” Only one alternative can be accurate, and hopefully it will be the one that keeps the site in the hands of O’Shea and fandom.

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