Insider Naming

Posted on October 25, 2007. Filed under: Michael Durwin | Tags: |

Yesterday (Wed, Oct 24) The Washington Post ran a story that The Security and Stability Advisory Committee of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers was investigating the practice of stealing domain names called “domain name front running”. A user will visit a domain registration site such as GoDaddy, plug in a name they are thinking of buying in the WhoIs to see if anyone owns it. Before the user can register it, those running Whois or the domain registration site will register the name for themselves instead. They then sit on the name for a few days to see if it gets any additional hits. If so they might give yo a link to “Make a certified offer” to buy the name, if it doesn’t, they may spit it back out.

Of course those involved deny it. Guess what: This is absolutely happening. I used Network Solutions to purchase to purchase my family name (Durwin) as a .com. Anyone can see that it is not a typical last name, as a matter of fact, except for a guy in Florida, I know everyone with my last name. I checked for availability on a Monday, put through my purchase and waited for the domain to resolve to my IP. When Wednesday came and it hadn’t I checked with NetSol. They told me the name was purchased 2 hours before my purchase and the purchases must have missed each other in the process. As you can see, the domain is parked, and hasn’t been used for several years:

Oddly enough it was purchased by someone with an american name in Singapore through GoDaddy: andrew melcher 29 Jalan Elok Singapore, Singapore 229067 Singapore Registered through:, Inc. ( Domain Name: DURWIN.COM Created on: 30-Jul-03
Expires on: 30-Jul-08
Last Updated on: 04-Jul-07

The above information is all publicly available through any Whois search. I’ve of course received emails, usually when the domain is close to renewal time asking if I wanted to buy it. Obviously either someone at GoDaddy, NetSol, or third party has been swiping names in order to resell them at inflated costs. Some people say this is business, but it’s more like insider training. I’d be happy to be part of the class action lawsuit against whoever is found guilty of this.


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13 Responses to “Insider Naming”

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Andrew Melcher here. I was googling myself to see if an article I wrote had appeared on Google yet. I came across your post and would like to try to clarify things. was previously registered and had expired because the registrant had not paid his $9 yearly domain registration fees. GoDaddy auctions ALL expiring domains just like the county tax assessor auctions off real property for back taxes. I bought this domain at such an auction.

I have a one day grace period to pay for domains after winning the auction. I suspect that you came upon in this interval.

At that time, the domain was definitely not owned by the first registrant, and was definitely not owned by me. So perhaps it showed as available on the WhoIs database, even though it was not.

You can think what you want, but I assure you that I have no connection with GoDaddy other than as customer to their registration service and bidder at their expiring domain auctions.

Nobody “swiped” this domain, it was simply put up for auction by the registrar before it was made available to the public for re-registration.

Please take down your post if you can. It does not represent what happened.

Thank you was not registered and expired. The day I bought it, someone else mysteriously bought it an hour before me. That person would be you. Since then you have been squatting on it, wasting it like the thousand other domains you squat on. You are a squatter. Prove me wrong, release those swiped domains. I’m not the only one, as you can see below, a number of people have had the same issue with you.

Interesting. Unfortunately I have no control over WhoIs but assume their information is correct. As far as I’ve been able to tell the domain has been registered to the same person, unused for many years, starting on the day I attempted to purchase it.

Hello Andrew!

Please contact me at i need to talk to you about domain name that you own. Are you willing to sell it?

Thanks in advance!

Contact Andrew Melcher. He seems to own alot of URLs.

Update to this post:
Unsubstantiated blog posts are saying that Adam Dicker has joined GoDaddy as VP of Domain Name Aftermarket. Related posts claim that Dicker is bidding against GoDaddy customers in domain auctions (
I’ll be interested to see if any major media picks this up and more factual sources. Here are a few links to more information:

p.s. It seems Andrew Melcher owns quite a few domain names, over 2,000:

Melcher here,

If you Google “Durwin,” 57,000 pages will come up. Durwin is an old english first name meaning old friend. Lots of people turn up, Durwin Rice, Durwin foster, Durwin Talon, Durwin Long, Cheryl Durwin, Jane Durwin, Durwin Partridge, Libby Durwin, Durwin Tsay, Doria Durwin, Durwin Walker, Abner Durwin, Durwin Striplin, Durwin O’Flannagan, Durwin Brisco, Durwin Ductwork, Foster Durwin, Durwin Chanberlain, Durwin Wright, Durwin Lairy, Durwin Sharp, Durwin Bixler, Stephanie Durwin, Durwin Cadeau, Durwin Partridge, Jim Durwin, Cheryl Cisero Durwin, Durwin P. Jones, Durwin Gates, Charles Durwin, Durwin Lynch, Ronald Durwin, Durwin WIlliams, Ronald Durwin Tym, Durwin Calvin, Doug Durwin, Carlos F. Durwin, Durwin Fernandez, Durwin Sampollo, Durwin Miller, Durwin Jackson,

What is your point Andrew? That does not change the fact that when I purchased the name, and the purchase went through, I have the receipt to prove it, that the domain registrar suddenly claimed it was purchased 4 hours before me. And YOU have owned it ever since. The site has been parked by GoDaddy ever since with a bunch of ads and ad links on it. Just taking up space, unused. Your ownership dates back to July 30, 2003, the same day my receipt for purchase shows.
When you Google Melcher 1,410,000 pages will come up. It’s a Hebrew name meaning king. Lots of people turn up. However, only one somehow managed to purchase a domain for my family’s last name 4 hours before I did and has been holding on to it without using it for 6 years.
So, I’m not sure what your comment here is supposed to prove. By the way, all of the people above with the last name of Durwin are cousins, aunts, etc. We even have our own Facebook group.

Andrew you also bought my domain before I could renew or repurchase it. I’d like it back or your whois info will go up on every forum and bathroom wall I come in contact with. The domain is and it represents my attitude towards life. In other words, even though I’m on the east coast and a very buisy person, you may get a personal and very in your face visit from me. Yes that is a threat. I am not a big guy, but even if your 6’5″ and 300 pounds I promise to break you nose. Oh but I’m sure if you weight 300lbs it’s from a life of sitting on your butt in front of a computer. Answer my previous email or expect a phone call.
Jay McLure

He got my family name ( I’ll help however I can. He bought it the same day I tried to renew it with Go Daddy. I want it back.

Did anyone ever contact this “Andrew Melcher” because I can’t contact him at all?

Yes. I tracked him down. Actually he Googled himself and commented on my original post that mentioned his name.

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