The Fate of gmane.org

As previously discussed in this embarrassing saga, gmane.org was bought by Yomura Corporation, and they have now let the domain expire.

The domain went to the normal Namesilo auction process, and I was waiting for it to appear there so I could buy it back. I didn’t check often enough, and before I was able to put in a bid, somebody else had put in a max bid, and I was unable to buy it.

I’m assuming it’ll now be taken over by spammers or somebody else? We’ll see.

But here’s a call for action: Yomura, the previous owners, have 22 days to renew the domain, get it back, and hand it off to somebody else. Does anybody know anybody there they can prod? Mark? Eden? Sam? Whoever? It would be a shame if all the gmane.org links out there end up pointing to some scam or malware site.

[Update 12 hours later: I just got a message from NameSilo saying that the domain has, indeed, been renewed, so perhaps somebody did some poking? Or something? But I guess the domain is safe from malware squatters again.]

*sigh*

OK, here’s the longer story about the expiry process, because I knew nothing about what the process was like, and you may be as confused as I was.

So: A couple of weeks ago I noticed that the domain, set for expiry on Feb. 17th, had switched to a different set of name servers:

The gmane.org domain now pointed here:

A nice blank page with just the following JS:

Kinda invalid:

But I figured that it was just some holding page.

But they got a new certificate from DigiCert?

Uh-oh, I thought.

So the expiration date is now in 2021…

The IP address points to an IP range owned by SEDO. But… Who is SEDO, anyway? It turns out that it’s a domain name auction site. And I knew nothing about domain name auctions.

It turns out that most of the bigger registrars, upon domain expiry, put domains up for auction, usually for a month. In this period, the original registrant can still renew the domain and get it back, so it’s an auction during the grace period.

The rules vary between auction houses, but NameSilo will typically put older, attractive expired domains (and gmane.org is from 2002) up for auction with a max price of $1K. If somebody bids the max price, they’re ensured winning the action, so I thought I’d just sit still here, not calling attention to the situation and wait until it comes up for auction, and then bid $1K.

But I didn’t reload the page often enough, and somebody else bid $1K, so I’m locked out.

… and somebody bid $1K.

I’ve been looking at this page for days now, and these other five-letter .org domain names have been there with bids for, like, $1 all this time. And then gmane.org shows up, and somebody immediately bids $1K.

*sigh*

Well, I have no idea who that is, so for all I know, it’s somebody nice? If so, please get in touch: larsi@gnus.org.

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