Speeding motorist nabs police’s domain name
From Raw Justice.com 08/10/10:
Most of the time, if you get a speeding ticket you just grumble about it and pay the fine. It’s usually not a big deal for most people unless it happens a lot or they get caught going a ridiculous amount over the posted speed limit. You can fight it in court or just pay the ticket, and for most people those are the only options.
However, after receiving a $90 speeding ticket in Bluff City, Tennessee, Brian McCrary discovered a third option. The Bluff City Police Department had forgotten to renew their domain name, BluffCityPD.com, and let it expire. McCrary bought the domain name for $80 and posted his side of the story with information about speed traps in Bluff City and the $250,000 per month they cost the town’s 1,500 residents.
The police department had no idea their domain name had expired and that McCrary owned it until reporters started calling them to ask about it. Bluff City Police Chief David Nelson said they may approach McCrary about buying the domain back from him, but they are not optimistic.
Quite how the police department let their domain expire in the first place is beyond me. Even the most rudimentary domain name vendor offers to update you by email during the final few months of the term so you can renew. Or, perhaps more obviously, why wasn’t it set to renew automatically?
The US do have, of course, the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act but McCrary’s actions fall well outside of its scope - unless I’ve missed something. As it stands, it looks like what happened was due to sheer shrewdness on his part and the fortuitous timing of the domain expiring.
I bet they regret pulling him over now.