Feeds

RegisterFly fire sale at hand?

Offer for beleaguered registrar

SANS - Survey on application security programs

Could troubled domain registrar RegisterFly be up for sale?

The Register has seen a copy of a letter of intent from Cogit, a technology-focused consulting group based in New Jersey, offering to buy out RegisterFly’s CEO and sole shareholder Kevin Medina for $1.15 mil. Whether or not Medina has indicated any interest in selling is another matter, and there is a continuing cloud of litigation over the struggling company that could hamper any attempted sale.

A federal court in California recently ordered RegisterFly to turn over all its registrant data to ICANN, the California nonprofit responsible for the accreditation of domain registrars worldwide. ICANN and RegisterFly are involved in an ongoing dispute over whether or not RegisterFly has lived up to the terms of its registrar agreement. ICANN recently revoked RegisterFly’s accreditation in response to an avalanche of customer complaints, and the two parties are currently in arbitration over RegisterFly’s status.

The letter of intent makes the sale contingent on Medina personally assuming liability for the company’s debts and liabilities, giving the Cogit Group a fresh start as owner. Paragraph 5 of the letter states: “Buyer shall not be obligated to assume any debts or liabilities of the Company.” Medina lives in Florida, which allows an unlimited asset exemption for equity in a primary residence; one can only assume that under this scenario Medina would be looking into bankruptcy protection, and $1.15 mil would be enough for a nice residential property, even in Miami Beach.

As of publication, calls to Cogit seeking comment had not been returned.

All of this could well be halted by court order, but sale of the registrar might not be such a bad thing for RegisterFly’s long-suffering customers. It could inject some welcome professionalism into the operation of the woefully mismanaged company, and possibly prevent its complete dissolution. Of course, the deal would have to move fast - the company would be worth less after it loses its accreditation, if that is the direction the arbitrator chooses to go. Ironically, it would also provide backdoor accreditation to yet another owner after ICANN has publicly cited accreditation through purchase as a principal cause of the RegisterFly debacle.

The Register has been somewhat skeptical of that assertion - it seems self-serving of ICANN to claim that if only it could have rejected RegisterFly’s application in the first place this would never have happened, when it took ICANN over a year to address the problem in any meaningful way, and even then only grudgingly after scathing public criticism. More meaningful reform would be to allow registrants to sue registrars individually as third party beneficiaries of ICANN’s Registrar Accreditation Agreement (RAA). That, combined with a stronger RAA, would provide the protection that registrants deserve.®

Burke Hansen, attorney at large, heads a San Francisco law office

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Putin tells Snowden: Russia conducts no US-style mass surveillance
Gov't is too broke for that, Russian prez says
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Lavabit loses contempt of court appeal over protecting Snowden, customers
Judges rule complaints about government power are too little, too late
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Don't let no-hire pact suit witnesses call Steve Jobs a bullyboy, plead Apple and Google
'Irrelevant' character evidence should be excluded – lawyers
Edward Snowden on his Putin TV appearance: 'Why all the criticism?'
Denies Q&A cameo was meant to slam US, big-up Russia
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
Judge halts spread of zombie Nortel patents to Texas in Google trial
Epic Rockstar patent war to be waged in California
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.