Tuesday, February 7, 2012

.WINE applicant fooled by partner – Part 1

This is a sad story but it does happen.

For those who have been following new gTLD projects, I am sad to say that the wonderful dotVinum project for .WINE domain names which was started 3 years ago will soon come to an end. My “partner” is applying for .WINE without me. As he wrote it to me a few days ago: “We have made no contractual commitments to you at any time as you are fully aware”.

According to the journalists and specialists I have spoken to recently, I was told it often happens. But when you want to move forward with no money, you accept to trust those who have it, without signing formal documents.

I decided to put an end to this “partnership”; when it is a one way deal, there is something wrong.

There was a risk and I took it. For 5 months, I accepted to provide a certain number of key figures, information, potentials of the .wine Top-Level Domain, my strategy, my rules ... I even accepted to have them changed for maximum profit ; I found candidates for Premium domain names for hundreds of thousand Euros, I found registrars on the starting blocks ...

The result is that:
  • I worked for free; 
  • They adapted their .WINE application to their strategy, thanks to my help, my knowledge and my information;
  • They persuaded me not to seek openings with other interested parties and possible partners; 
  • They gained time so that they would manage to keep my mouth shut until the opening of the new gTLD application window. 
The result of this is that I am now looking forward finding a new partner (see my resumé) or joining an existing new gTLD project, and with a contract duely signed… I would then bring A LOT of information knowledge to develop a project and help beat any competing bid(s).

For those who follow my news, I will appreciate your help in these ... difficult circumstances. I am also looking forward finding the advice of a lawyer, to discuss the issue with him and see whether, the company should or could be sued.

I was “failed” (as Henry VIII said ...), and fooled.

Part 2 soon to be published.