Thursday, September 8, 2011

Residents Track Loss Of StopThePower Domain Name

By Lisa E. Crowley
BROCKTON—A battle between a grassroots group and the company that has proposed constructing a 350-megawatt power plant in Brockton has moved into a new arena: Cyberspace.
Leaders of Stop The Power--a group of residents from Brockton and the Bridgewaters-- are awaiting Brockton Power-Advanced Power’s promise to give back the group’s once-held internet domain name,—a website name Advanced Power bought about 8 months after the grassroots group had an internal fight which required Stop The Power reregister its domain name as

Eddie Byers, one of the leaders of Stop The Power, said while his group believes it was one of their own working against them who initially caused the domain name snafu, he does not understand why Advanced Power would have bothered to purchase the group’s original website name, and wonders how—and most notably who—informed the company there was a problem when the group tried to renew the name.
“Why would they buy it? How did they find out it was available,” Byers asked several times during a recent interview.
He said it seems the company is using its might in every way against a grassroots group with very little money except what Byers himself provides, and residents who have jobs and lives to attend to.
“They get paid to do this—we’re a group of residents with jobs and lives,” Byers said. “What does that say about them,” he said.
Advanced Power company representatives have directed all comment to a letter sent to Stop The Power dated Sept. 1 in response to Stop The Power’s letter by its legal counsel Paul M. Glickman demanding Advanced Power relinquish control of the .org domain name because it is a violation of common law trademark rights and is cyberpiracy.
Through telephone calls and emails Advanced Power has ignored the question Byers posed as to why the company bought the .org name and will only point to the letter from its lawyers.
In the response letter written by Siobhan E. Mee, an attorney with Bingham McCutcheon LLP in Boston, Advanced Power said “despite having a lawful, good faith basis for registering the .org domain name, our client is not currently using the .org domain name and in fact has never used the .org domain name.”
The letter continues, “Although we believe Stop The Power’s claims are meritless, use of the domain name is not something our client intends to pursue.”
Advanced Power states in the letter while it has every legal right to maintain control of the .org domain name, it is in the process of de-registering the .org domain name and will be available for Stop The Power, if it so chooses."
The de-registration has not been completed. As of Sept. 6, Stop The Power has sent a second letter to Advanced Power stating the group disagrees the company had the right to purchase the domain name and believes the company did it to confuse and silence opposition to the project.
While Byers and other Stop The Power leaders are annoyed with Advanced Power for “hijacking” its website name, they are just as aggravated with one of its members—now former member—David Trojano, owner of Trojan Oil, who was the administrator of Stop The Power’s website when the problems occurred.
Justin Kane, a volunteer who joined the group a few months ago, and who has more technical savvy than some of the other volunteers, said he traced the problem back to Trojano.
“He made some moves,” Kane said.
Byers said the group and Trojano had a falling out during the time and Byers’ wife Cindy tried to renew the site and believed she did in February, 2010 after receiving a completed order receipt for the domain name after using her credit card for a two-year renewal costing $38.
It was about one month later when Byers and others realized the transaction had not completed and they began to scramble to renew the domain name, but because of reasons unknown to them at the time, they could not.
Instead, the group opted to launch a new site,, and have all visitors to redirected to the new domain. became active in April , 2010.
Byers said it was not until Kane about a month ago began to look at what happened to the .org name did they learn Trojano—who had stopped doing volunteer work for the group in January/February, 2010 and did not return their calls when volunteers tried to iron out problems.
The group gave up on Trojano and tried to solve the renewal problem on its own, but could not and instead changed over to the .net domain name.
The group, Kane said, could not renew the .org name because someone else using the names of Marnell and J. Campello with an email address of renewed the domain name for a year in May, 2010.
One document Kane has uncovered states the .org domain name expires May 2, 2010 with the registrant name listed as “domain admin,” a sponsoring registrar listed as UK2 Group Ltd., a European telephone # is listed, a town in Holland, Moergestel is listed, and an email
The next day, May 3, 2010, the .org name is renewed for 1-year under UK2 Group Ltd., registrant name Marnel, from Easton, Mass., with an email of, the same sponsoring registrar UK2 Group Ltd. and with status of the site noted as autorenewperiod. The telephone number, 508-443-3114 is no longer in service.
Marnel/Campello let the domain name lapse in June, 2010 and Advanced Power bought in in December, 2010.
During the first months of 2010, Byers and other volunteers said, issues between the group and Trojano arose and culminated in Trojano’s departure from the group and work on the website.
When Trojano left, volunteers said, none of the group could easily decipher or understand the “Morse code” they say Trojano used to set up the original domain name, and after the renewal failed took the simplest route by changing the website to
Byers and Kane said they believe Trojano renewed the site for himself and likely did it out of spite.
“There was a rotten apple in drum,” Byers said.
Trojano, during a brief telephone interview, said it was Byers’ “own mismanagement” of the site name that caused the problems and it had nothing to do with him.
“Everything they’re saying is false,” Trojano said. “It’s all his fault,” Trojano said of Byers, adding that if Byers had anything to say about it, Byers knew where to find him.
“If he has anything to say, tell him to call me,” Trojano said. "He knows where I am," he said.

1 comment:

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