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InterNIC sells WebTechs domain name to porn site

Moral: keep up with the payments

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WebTechs, the first Web-based HTML validation service, created in 1994, is locked in a battle with the InterNIC domain registration service after it sold webtechs.com's domain to another company. Instead of linking to a practical software service users accessing www.webtechs.com are faced with the Jane's Photos porn site registered by Virtual Domain Buyers on 18 March. And because of its status among the Web community it's estimated that there are nearly 35,000 links pointing to the webtechs.com domain -- now all pointing to a Danish porn site. Mark Gaither, one of the co-founders of WebTechs, said the error lies with Network Solutions which has benefited from an exclusive US government contract since 1993 to register Net addresses under the InterNIC service. "It is clear that the InterNIC has made a clerical error," said Gaither, "and I've contacted an attorney to explore my options." "All I want is a public apology from InterNIC and my domain back." But Cheryl Regan, corporate communications manager for Network Solutions Inc, insists that WebTechs' registration had lapsed and that it was perfectly within its rights to re-register the domain to another company. "Our records show that it wasn't paid for despite issuing three different notices," said Regan. Last month, Network Solutions purged 18,000 domain names because of late payments although Regan could not confirm if webtechs.com was part of this mass wipe out. Attempts to contact the new registered owners of webtechs.com proved unsuccessful and according to international telephone enquiries, there is no record of Virtual Domain Buyers at the Danish address. ®

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