Yesterday morning, July 17th at 7:43 a.m., I got an email from someone in China with the subject “Notice of Internet Intellectual Property” and at first I didn’t know what to make of it. I thought it was spam that Gmail missed, and I was going to delete it without opening it, but then I thought, I want to know what this says for shits and giggles, so I opened it. This was the email.
(If you are not the person who is in charge of this, please forward this to your CEO,Thanks)
This email is from China domain name registration center, which mainly deal with the domain name registration in China. We received an application from kenpo Ltd on July 15th, 2013. They want to register “xanapus” as their internet keyword and China/Asia (CN/ASIA) domain names. But after checking it, we find this name conflicts with your company. In order to deal with this matter better, so we send you email and confirm whether this company is your distributor or business partner in China or not?.
I responded with “Yes, I have owned Xanapus.com since 2002. It is my personal website. I am not in China, I am in California USA.” I gave it no other thought, but I didn’t delete the email.
Later, at 6:37 p.m. I got another email from someone else saying this:
We are Kenpo Ltd based in Chinese office, our company has submitted the “xanapus” as CN domain name and Internet Trademark, we are waiting for Ms. abby’s approval. We hope your company will not object our application, because this name is very important for our products in Chinese market. We don’t want your company to use this name in China, we believe our company will become the legal owner of this name in China. Even though Ms. abby advises us to change another name, we will persist in this name and permanent registration of this name.
It then occurred to me that perhaps I need to find out the value of my website, you know, for shits and giggles. I found out that I bought xanapus.com in 2004, not 2002, but still. I found several websites all giving my website a different value. One said it was only worth $1 while another website said it was worth $16,500 give or take.
Well, the way I see it is that my website domain name is more important to me than it is to them. They want to use the name for business purposes, but I have the name for personal purposes. Xanapus is the name of my Gnome Wizard in EverQuest (image above). I played that character from 2002 until I believe 2009 when I stopped playing EverQuest, but I still play him from time to time and I never stopped using the name Xanapus. I created a hobbit named Xanapus in Lord of the Rings Online and I have also created a Xanapus in World of Warcraft and in EverQuest 2, 2 Xanapus’ in EQ2 in fact. The name Xanapus is like my child and I’m not going to give it up or sell out my child for a mere dollar, or even $16,000. It’s just not happening.
I am Xanapus everywhere on the internet. Ebay, Amazon, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Flickr, Multiply, MySpace, Hulu… you name it, that’s my handle. Google Xanapus and see how many results you get, it’s all me. I am so emotionally attached to the name that if I could, I would change my own name to Xanapus. No last name, just Xanapus. Not Mike Xanapus, just Xanapus. I am that dedicated.
I know I shouldn’t have, but I responded to Ye Yun with “Choose another name.” I would hate to give up my name for a company who will probably go out of business in a year or less and not be able to get that name back. It’s just not happening.
This actually happened once before. A couple or few years ago I got an email from a company, I don’t recall which country, but I got an email asking about taking the name away from me and it sort of became threatening just like this one seems to have gotten (where he says “We don’t want your company to use this name in China, we believe our company will become the legal owner of this name in China.”) but I simply ignored them and I never heard from them again.
I have invested way too much in the name, this blog and in my website to give up Xanapus.com. I won’t give up without a fight.
Oh and by the way, at the end of that email they said “Even though Ms. abby advises us to change another name, we will persist in this name and permanent registration of this name.” Well, that was the last I heard from them after I said “Choose another name.” So much for being persistent lol.
Update July 18th, 2013 at 9:41 p.m.: Got another email from “Abby”. Apparently, they are being persistent. What they want is xanapus.cn, xanapus.asia and xanapus.com.cn. Since I have the right to the word xanapus, I have bragging rights so if I want to register those 3 domains with them I can, but if not, then their clients have that right, as well as internet keywords. I’m not sure if this is just a scam to get me to buy those domains, or if there really is a company in China who wants to legitimately use those domains. You know what? I am not biting. If they want to register those domains, fine, but they can’t have xanapus.com. They can’t have Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, MySpace (even though I don’t use it), AIM, Amazon, Ebay, and all those other websites. They can’t have them because they are mine and I will not be threatened and I will not be scammed into paying China for those 3 domain names. Here is the latest email.
Thanks for email.
Based on your company having no relationship with them, we have suggested they should choose another name to avoid this conflict but they insist on this name as CN/Asia domain names (.asia/.cn/.com.cn) and internet keyword on the internet. In our opinion, maybe they do the similar business as your company and register it to promote his company.
You must know Domain name takes open registration, this is international domain name registration principle. Any companies or individuals have rights to register any domain name and internet keyword which are unregistered. Because your company haven’t registered this name as CN/ASIA domains and internet keyword on the internet, anyone can obtain them by registration. As a domain name registrar, we have no right to dispute their application. However, in order to avoid this conflict, as the owner of the name or trademark, your company will get the priority to make this registration in our audit period. If you think these domain names are useful for your company and want to prevent anybody from using them, please inform us. We can send an application form and the price list to you and help you register these CN/ASIA domain names (.asia/.cn/.com.cn/) and internet keyword within dispute period.
Today I looked into trademarking the name Xanapus, but that’s like $250. FUCK THAT! If I trademarked it and any company used the name Xanapus, I could sue them, but I can’t afford $250 on the off chance that that will ever happen. All I can do is just ignore any future attempts at trying to scam me into buying domain names in China lol. Look, if you want those specific domains, go for it, but you’re not getting my social networks and you’re not getting .com. It’s just not going to happen.
After doing a little research, I found out that this is a scam. http://hosealim.com/2442/domain-name-renewal-scam-from-china/. I just reported both emails to Gmail as phishing which will most likely block them so I won’t get them again, hopefully.