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CyanogenMod Domain Hijacked 143

Posted by Soulskill
from the greed-is-the-silent-enemy dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The team behind CyanogenMod, one of the most popular community-driven, Android-based operating systems for phones and tablets, has announced that they're moving to Cyanogenmod.org after their .com domain was held ransom by a community member. He had been in control of the .com domain name for some time, but the team found out he was impersonating Cyanogen to make deals with community sites. When they removed his access to other parts of the CM infrastructure, he demanded $10,000 to relinquish control of the domain and threatened to change the DNS entries. When they refused to pay, he went through with it. The team is now disputing control of the domain with ICANN. They said, 'We will continue to be open about the what, when, how, but unfortunately, we may never know the "why" – though greed comes to mind. The team itself has not made a profit off of CM and that is not our goal. But to have one of our own betray the community like this is beyond our comprehension.'"
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CyanogenMod Domain Hijacked

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  • Nice guy! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Threni (635302) on Wednesday November 14, 2012 @06:29PM (#41985565)

    Sounds like a real asshole. Enjoy the domain why you can - it'll be taken from you, or it'll be rendered worthless when the responsible adults get their own domain. Either way it's worthless.

    • by Rix (54095) on Wednesday November 14, 2012 @06:34PM (#41985611)

      Even just putting up a standard ad landing page would generate income, there.

      We'll see if ICANN just brings down the hammer for powerful corporations here.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I was think more along the lines of fuckbag, but asshole works, too.

    • by Kenja (541830)
      Sure, he's a jerk. But he cant really hold something he owns hostage. This is often the issue with community organizations. Without proper structure you end up with some random member owning chunks of the system.
      • Re:Nice guy! (Score:4, Insightful)

        by ShieldW0lf (601553) on Wednesday November 14, 2012 @06:58PM (#41985847) Journal

        Sure, he's a jerk. But he cant really hold something he owns hostage.

        There's no utility in "owning" a listing in a public directory for an organization that you're not a part of beyond misrepresenting yourself and deceiving the public. If the existing rules don't recognize that, that doesn't that we need to distort reality and pretend that what he's doing is perfectly right and good, it means that means the rules need to be fixed.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          Sure, he's a jerk. But he cant really hold something he owns hostage.

          There's no utility in "owning" a listing in a public directory for an organization that you're not a part of beyond misrepresenting yourself and deceiving the public. If the existing rules don't recognize that, that doesn't that we need to distort reality and pretend that what he's doing is perfectly right and good, it means that means the rules need to be fixed.

          The rules don't need any fixing. These guys didn't setup their business properly, and this is one of the results. Yes, this guy is being an asshole, but the domain is owned by him and not the group itself, so the "rules" aren't the problem here. It would have been a simple matter to have each member sign a notarized agreement and prevent this entire scenario.

          I've seen things like this a lot, it's nothing unique to the technology sector. You could have two guys running a horse and buggy shop, and the guy who

    • by couchslug (175151) on Wednesday November 14, 2012 @06:45PM (#41985727)

      Whenever the subject is brought up, it would be appropriate to NAME the perp and note his background info.

      No libel, no slander, just sufficient identification that anyone considering teaming with this fellow can make a fully informed decision.

      It's not revenge, just self-defense.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 14, 2012 @06:50PM (#41985773)
        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Ahmet's page is here: https://plus.google.com/u/0/116028512018932696380

          He works for MetServe Enterprises http://www.metserve.com/ whose site is currently down - strangely :)
          Which makes this post ironic: https://plus.google.com/u/0/117025707475158348263/posts/W68Z3GyCmce

          • by Nyder (754090)

            Ahmet's page is here: https://plus.google.com/u/0/116028512018932696380 [google.com]

            He works for MetServe Enterprises http://www.metserve.com/ [metserve.com] whose site is currently down - strangely :)
            Which makes this post ironic: https://plus.google.com/u/0/117025707475158348263/posts/W68Z3GyCmce [google.com]

            Wow, a capcha to enter Metserve.com...

            From Metserve.com:

            Why am I seeing this page?

            Your IP address based on the country, region or network has been flagged by the website owner.
            What should I do?

            Completing the challenge above proves you are a human and gives you temporary access. You can ask the website owner to permanently whitelist you.

            Guess he's preparing for a shitstorm... lol

            • by darkmeridian (119044) <william@chuang.gmail@com> on Wednesday November 14, 2012 @09:49PM (#41987461) Homepage

              He claims that he has transferred it back to CM:

              "Ahmet Deveci8:22 PM - Public
              For the record, regarding: cyanogenmod.com

              Following the saga from : http://www.cyanogenmod.org/blog/psa-transition-to-cyanogenmod-org [cyanogenmod.org] it would appear that I have been labelled a 'thief' an 'extortionist' a 'liar' and a bunch of other somewhat degrading comments.

              The domain name has since been transferred to the CM Team, but I wanted to make a few things clear.

              I purchased the CyanogenMod.com domain name 3 years ago and have been responsible for the renewal fees ever since. This means I (my company) legally owned the domain name. It was fully registered in the United Kingdom. I hear people saying about âtrademarkâ(TM). Yes, CyanogenMod is now a registered trademark in the US. But the domain was registered in the UK well before that trademark. I donâ(TM)t want to get into any legal battles here, but US trademarkâ(TM)s are not valid in the UK unless they are registered here with the IPO.

              The term 'hi-jacked' is just wrong, the domain name was always in my control. I didn't hijack anything. I initiated a transfer out process with my registrar today who restored the DNS entries to their own. This in turn deleted all MX entries and other records. The term 'hi-jacked' has just derived from tech blogs creating stories for link bait.

              The term 'extortion' is also wrong. If I was out for the money, why an earth would I have transferred the domain to the CM Team for free?"

              https://plus.google.com/116028512018932696380/posts [google.com]

              • He is forgetting that, it is a .COM domain, which is controlled by a US company. I am sure cynogenmod folks can get a US court to order the domain registrar to hand over the domain to cynogenmod.
                 
                The post was hardly an apology. If he has any honor, he would have apologized for the saga. I bet he is hoping that the cynogenmod team would let this go, and not take any legal action after this.

                • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 15, 2012 @03:53AM (#41989323)
                  They have no legal leg to stand on in regards to legal action. As he said, he registered the domain, he paid for it, etc... Legally, he had every right to do with the domain as he pleased.
                  • by Anonymous Coward

                    Well, except of course for the whole impersonating Cyanogen and making deals with sites without the authorization of Cyanogen. I guess it could still be argued as a grey zone, but if you only own a domain name, I don't think that gives you ownership or business-decision-making abilities regarding the data that's on there unless you have actual authority to do that. I'm guessing that this person does not. And since the domain name and actual data are entirely separate (hammered in by the fact that he swit

              • by Ginger Unicorn (952287) on Thursday November 15, 2012 @08:08AM (#41990269)
                None of this explains away the allegation that he was impersonating a CyanogenMod developer to fraudulently establish commercial contracts.
              • by alexo (9335)

                The term 'hi-jacked' is just wrong

                I agree. The correct term is not hyphenated.

        • His Twitter: https://twitter.com/MrADeveci [twitter.com] He's claiming misunderstanding. Anyone buy it? Anyone?
          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by vinehair (1937606)
            He's just blocking people on Twitter now (myself included.) I usually find 'you don't understand what's going on' with no attempt to educate to be an excuse used by the guilty party. The fact that he later said on said twitter feed that 'he owns the domain name' seems to solidly imply that he is guilty of this dick move, and he thought he's morally in the right to do what he did because of it.
            • by Ash Vince (602485) *

              He's just blocking people on Twitter now (myself included.) I usually find 'you don't understand what's going on' with no attempt to educate to be an excuse used by the guilty party. The fact that he later said on said twitter feed that 'he owns the domain name' seems to solidly imply that he is guilty of this dick move, and he thought he's morally in the right to do what he did because of it.

              Actually when I read his post I thought he was just claiming to be legally right, not morally.

              His basic premise seemed to be that since what he was doing was legal, morals did not come into (believe me I certainly don't agree with this). The domain name was his, so he could do what he liked with it. The fact that he registered it on behalf of a community didn't come into it as there was no legally enforceable contract between them.

              My personal opinion is that he is clearly a devout capitalist who felt he sho

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Opportunist (166417)

            I'd love to hear both sides, but if one side just says "The other side is wrong" without telling me what happened in their view, I kinda doubt said side.

            • by the_B0fh (208483)

              Did you not read the summary or did you recently get a lobotomy? The summary clearly lays out the dick moves he pulled. Nothing in his lame excuse drivel clears any of that shit up other than saying other people are wrong.

              • by Kwyj1b0 (2757125) on Thursday November 15, 2012 @01:51AM (#41988865)

                Did you not read the summary or did you recently get a lobotomy? The summary clearly lays out the dick moves he pulled. Nothing in his lame excuse drivel clears any of that shit up other than saying other people are wrong.

                And who submitted the entry? An AC. And with the high editorial standards at slashdot, I'm sure they did a thorough investigation and fact-checking before posting.

                As to the fact that his excuses were lame - that is exactly what the previous poster said. So congratulations on missing the whole point (while implying he/she is an idiot).

            • by Ash Vince (602485) *

              I'd love to hear both sides, but if one side just says "The other side is wrong" without telling me what happened in their view, I kinda doubt said side.

              Here's his side:

              https://plus.google.com/u/0/116028512018932696380/posts [google.com]

              It didn't take too long to find once someone named him further up this thread.

      • Call the name and let the mob, I mean, community sort it out?

        Gives "community service" a whole new meaning.

    • by hey! (33014)

      Sounds like a real asshole.

      Especially because the entire worth of the domain is in its association with the project. It's not like "pets.com" or "sex.com" or something where people will look for the domain's web site because of the domain's name. The domain name "cyanogenmod.com" has no legitimate value at all except as a link to the project. There is no way to get an revenue out of controlling this domain name other than blackmailing the project or deceiving users.

  • Scumbag (Score:2, Insightful)

    by bigwheel (2238516)

    A real community member would be proud to shell out the 10 bucks for the domain name nenewal and donate it back to the project.

  • by sg_oneill (159032) on Wednesday November 14, 2012 @06:31PM (#41985587)

    Whoever this community member is, he needs to be very very careful about what he's doing. Many countries hold that malicious hijacking of trademarks or implied trademarks to be a criminal rather than merely civil matter. Ie if you go to a company or organization and maliciously register their trademark to fuck them over, you can expect a policeman at your door with a warrant.

    This happens quite regularly, and it rarely turns out as happily as the malicious party expected.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      This guy is in England... the country where you get arrested for posting a photo of a burning paper flower on facebook.

    • Any idea about the laws in UK? Seems to be owned my MetServe Enterprises Limited, a UK registered company.

      The address for that company looks like the office of their lawyer though. Looks like you need to pay money to get documents with the director and shareholder names. Anyone willing to give a pound to the UK Companies office?
  • by Freshly Exhumed (105597) on Wednesday November 14, 2012 @06:33PM (#41985603) Homepage

    Benedict Judas Quisling is unable to take your call at this moment, but if you leave your site name he'll remove it from DNS as soon as possible.

  • by MozeeToby (1163751) on Wednesday November 14, 2012 @06:38PM (#41985645)

    I tried going to cyanogenmod.com and got redirected to cyanogenmod.org. Maybe someone realized that what he was doing wasn't just unethical, but also most likely illegal.

  • Registrant:
    Worthless Internet Asshat
    Kemp House
    City Road
    London, London EC1V 2NX
    GB
  • by sphix42 (144155) on Wednesday November 14, 2012 @06:44PM (#41985709) Homepage

    Domain Name:CYANOGENMOD.ORG
    Created On:21-Oct-2010 18:09:32 UTC

    It's the responsibility of any person responsible for a project to ensure a backup domain(s) is available in the case the domain owner become estranged from the project.

    A good example of proper planning.

    • by Rijnzael (1294596)
      More likely they registered that domain for brand protection and repurposed it to keep their services up while they regain control of the .com. It's easier to register a domain than go through the UDRP with ICANN and/or the applicable registry to take it down when someone starts using it maliciously.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 14, 2012 @06:44PM (#41985711)

    This is the first whois data from that domain 3 years ago:

    Administrative Contact:
    Deveci, Ahmet webmaster@metserve.com
    Third Floor
    152-156 Lower Clapton Road
    Clapton, London E5 0QJ
    GB
    +442081232629

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 14, 2012 @07:00PM (#41985873)

      His Twitter, with relevant comments:

      https://twitter.com/MrADeveci

    • by SgtAaron (181674)

      His ears were burning, he has updated his whois and is now anonymous. Not that it is going to help him now.


      Administrative Contact:
              Contact Privacy Inc. Customer 0121602432, cyanogenmod.com@contactprivacy.com
              96 Mowat Ave
              Toronto, ON M6K 3M1
              CA
              +1.4165385457
      [SNIP]
      Record last updated on 14-Nov-2012.

    • by lamber45 (658956)

      Strange thing is that both domains are anonymized now, makes it hard to tell who's who in this argument:

      • Domain ID:D160468854-LROR
        Domain Name:CYANOGENMOD.ORG
        Created On:21-Oct-2010 18:09:32 UTC
        Last Updated On:01-Nov-2012 04:14:02 UTC
        Sponsoring Registrar:eNom, Inc. (R39-LROR)
        Registrant Name:WhoisGuard Protected
        Registrant Organization:WhoisGuard
        Registrant Street1:11400 W. Olympic Blvd. Suite 200
        Registrant City:Los Angeles
        Registrant State/Province:CA
        Registrant Postal Code:90064
        Registrant Country:U
    • by Rijnzael (1294596)
      I really dislike the service (which I won't mention) that automatically hits all the various registries to gather this historical WHOIS information, but I won't deny it has a purpose here.
    • by blind biker (1066130) on Wednesday November 14, 2012 @08:44PM (#41986937) Journal

      Deveci, Ahmet webmaster@metserve.com
      Third Floor
      152-156 Lower Clapton Road
      Clapton, London E5 0QJ
      GB
      +442081232629

      Please do not call that phonenumber now, because it's very late in the evening in the UK, and if you call that number, you could cause serious annoyance to Ahmet.

      Especially don't call it repeatedly, and above all, do not make prank calls.

  • by p0p0 (1841106) on Wednesday November 14, 2012 @06:52PM (#41985799)
    I only just now realized that the rom is called cyanogenmod and not cryogenmod. Christ, I've been calling it cryogenmod for over a year!
  • Registrant info (Score:4, Informative)

    by Todd Knarr (15451) on Wednesday November 14, 2012 @07:01PM (#41985887) Homepage

    And this is why you make sure of who's listed as the registrant. Not just the administrative contact, the registrant is the one who owns the domain. You can set the billing, technical and administrative contacts to whoever needs to run things day-to-day, but make sure the registrant contact information's set for the organization, not one single person within it. That way when someone goes rogue you don't need to involve ICANN, you can just contact the registrar as the registrant and get control back. It's still hassle, but much less hassle than a dispute proceeding.

    • by tftp (111690)

      make sure the registrant contact information's set for the organization, not one single person within it.

      That also means when three buddies decide on a lark to start a project and make some free software they first need to spend a few thousand dollars on setting up a company. I know people who don't mind donating some of their free time for public good, but spending some real money on that is probably beyond all of them.

      • by Rich0 (548339)

        It usually is pretty cheap if you do the paperwork yourself. You just need to have a charter/bylaws/etc - which you can usually copy/paste.

        Always best to ensure IP is legally owned by a company of some sort - then when somebody wants to run off with things you have legal recourse.

  • by kaptink (699820) on Wednesday November 14, 2012 @09:01PM (#41987089) Homepage

    This all looks to now be resolved - http://www.cyanogenmod.org/blog/domain-situation-has-been-resolved [cyanogenmod.org]

    From the cyanogenmod blog -

    (ciwrl wrote this, I’m just posting on his behalf so this is resolved)

    So earlier today we put up a post on what prompted us to transition to our new CyanogenMod.org domain. We refrained from identifying the ex-member out of respect for his privacy and career outside of CM. Suffice it to say you guys aren’t slouches, and figured it out on your own.

    With that said, the ex-member in question contacted us and has agreed to hand over control of the CyanogenMod.com domain. This was done as amicably as these things can be, and CM did not pay the fee he requested.

    We will still be using CyanogenMod.org as our primary domain, and the .com address will simply redirect to this new domain. Ironically enough, ‘.org’ is better than ‘.com’ as we are not a commercial entity, and is far more in line with how CyanogenMod is structured.

    We received a common question, that we’d like to take a moment to answer. Some of you contacted us mentioning that you had previously donated to a different address. When the forum began, up until about 3 months ago, the forum utilized this other address as the mechanism for forum donations and establishment of the ‘Donator’ badge. Donations made to this address prior to three months ago were used for the CyanogenMod forum IPB licence and forum related costs and were not misappropriated.

    On a side note, we have also gone through internal restructuring to make sure that this sort of thing doesn’t happen again. Nobody has control over everything, and there is no longer such a large single-point of failure. Our lessons have been learned.

    We ask that you please not perform any vigilante actions, we do not condone any such thing; just let this fade.

    We want to move on, get you the builds you expect from us, and not mess around with distractions.

    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Dudes still a shit bag for trying to get the money from a non profit org in the first place.

      • by am 2k (217885)

        Yes, but now he's a shit bag without any power to cause harm, and thus can be ignored.

        • ....after the internet has had its way with him.

          I'm not condoning this conduct, but lets be realistic here. ;)
  • Ahmet Deveci 8:22 PM [google.com]

    For the record, regarding: cyanogenmod.com

    Following the saga from : http://www.cyanogenmod.org/blog/psa-transition-to-cyanogenmod-org [cyanogenmod.org] it would appear that I have been labelled a 'thief' an 'extortionist' a 'liar' and a bunch of other somewhat degrading comments.

    The domain name has since been transferred to the CM Team, but I wanted to make a few things clear.

    I purchased the CyanogenMod.com domain name 3 years ago and have been responsible for the renewal fees ever since. This
    • Yup, the CM team acknowledged the transfer to them too: http://www.cyanogenmod.org/blog/domain-situation-has-been-resolved [cyanogenmod.org]

      ...not sure what the guy hoped to accomplish, but I assume he's regretting it now. Nothing gained but enmity.
    • I'm sorry, his 'apology' is anything but and it offers no explanation to his actions or his emails including this one: “Hi, so you think by removing all my access across the infrastructure was going to be a great idea? We had a chat yesterday, you’ve decided to end this bitter. How about I just change the DNS entries right now. CM will practically go down.” What context could that have been taken out of that doesn't implicate this guy as a horrible, immature person? Either CM is making tha
  • ...But to have one of our own betray the community like this is beyond our comprehension."

    I find this quote rather amusing.
    Didn't this project start in part because of the carriers denying smartphone owners updated versions of the Android OS to help drive sales of new handsets instead?

    And now one of their people is trying to extort $10,000 out of them.

    Is greed beyond the comprehension of CM?

    • ...But to have one of our own betray the community like this is beyond our comprehension."

      I find this quote rather amusing.
      Didn't this project start in part because of the carriers denying smartphone owners updated versions of the Android OS to help drive sales of new handsets instead?

      So? Are you implying CM was started because of greed (greed of the carriers)?

      And now one of their people is trying to extort $10,000 out of them.

      Is greed beyond the comprehension of CM?

      It is more than greed, it is back-stabbing. It is very difficult to comprehend back-stabbing without having experienced it. I would forgive them for not expecting it.

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