Wikipedia.com turns 10 years old – But is Wikileaks.com going to drop?

Will Wikileaks.com drop or is it already renewed?

A very interesting combination of events have happened during the first two weeks of 2011, both related to Wikia, Inc.

Wikia Inc. is a for-profit corporation created by Jimmy Wales, the founder of Wikipedia.

As the largest free encyclopedia online, Wikipedia turned 10 years old on January 15th. It currently boasts 400 million users and it’s the 5th most visited web site on the Internet, according to Google.

Wikia Inc. also happens to own Wikileaks.com.

According to an interview of Jimmy Wales to BBC, Wikia Inc. registered Wikileaks.com, Wikileaks.net and Wikilieaks.us in 2006 defensively on behalf of Wikileaks.org founder, Julian Assange.

Despite the attempts by Wikia Inc. to transfer the domains over to Julian Assange, who had launched Wikileaks.org using the motto “The Wikipedia of Secrets” – an obvious violation of the Wikipedia trademark – the Wikileaks founder has yet to take possession of the domains!

Jimmy Wales says:

“We transferred the domains to them but they never completed the technical part. All they needed to do was sign in and complete the transfer but they have never done it.”

Both Wikileaks.net and Wikileaks.us expired on January 3, 2011 and they are “pending renewal or deletion“, according to the standard GoDaddy page that is displayed, full of ads.

The mystery, however, appears to be the actual state of Wikileaks.com – the underlying data at the Registry show that the domain has been renewed, despite the claim by the Wikia Inc. founder that it will not be renewed as well and that all three domains will be abandoned and dropped.

GoDaddy has stopped giving free access to its data to various WHOIS tools and the underlying Registry data can be viewed at Network Solutions, where indeed the expiration date for Wikileaks.com  is in 2012.

Meanwhile, a graphic image with the message “Sorry! This site is not currently available” appears when one visits Wikileaks.com

A very strange situation indeed! :D


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Comments

6 Responses to “Wikipedia.com turns 10 years old – But is Wikileaks.com going to drop?”
  1. You need to understand how the EPP protocol works. The 2012 renewal you see at the central whois is because of the auto-renew mechanism of the protocol.

    The Godaddy registrar whois still shows the 2011 renewal date:

    Registered through: GoDaddy.com, Inc. (http://www.godaddy.com)
    Domain Name: WIKILEAKS.COM
    Created on: 03-Jan-07
    Expires on: 03-Jan-11
    Last Updated on: 04-Oct-10

    After the expire grace period runs out, the Registrar will issue a “delete” command to the registry, thus putting the domain into Redemption-Period, and recouping their cost on the auto-renewal. (Or in Godaddy’s case they will likely push it into their auction channel)

  2. Lucius "Guns" Fabrice says:

    Mark – Please explain the current page on Wikileaks.com then. It’s different than that of the .net and .us although all three are with GoDaddy.

  3. Don’t know.

    Many registrars delegate expired domains to their own nameservers and then put up “domain expired” pages. The nameservers for wikileaks.com are domaincontrol.com, which are godaddy nameservers.

    The IP address is 68.178.232.99, which is in a godaddy netblock.

    So maybe this domain is supposed to be parked with godaddy (come to think of it, last time I looked it was on a godaddy parked page) – so maybe there is some internal glitch now that it has expired.

  4. Lucius "Guns" Fabrice says:

    Mark – Whatever the case is with regards to the expiry, it seems that the domain has been selected to display that page instead of the one displayed on the .net and .us

    Also, apparently Wikileaks.com was parked at GoDaddy as early as 2007 and as late as October 2010, according to Archive.org

  5. Right, I see what you mean.

    They all point at the same IP and are all expired at the registry.

    My guess is glitch, but it’s just that, a guess.

  6. Kinesis says:

    Go Daddy won’t let that name go without an auction :) It’s not going to enter PendingDelete. They probably already renewed it and are planning to repossess it.

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