U.S. shopping network grabs Web siteテつ*
Tony Lofaro
The Ottawa Citizen
Wednesday, December 18, 2002ADVERTISEMENT
A Web site promoting Ottawa quadriplegic Mike Nemesvary was pulled from under his nose without warning and taken over by a U.S. firm that is now selling everything from jewelry to airline tickets and books.

Mr. Nemesvary, who last year completed his around the world trek in a modified truck, has for five years operated the Web site www.roundtheworldchallenge.org as a way to reach his followers and sponsors who supported his 41,000-kilometre road trip to 18 countries. But several days ago, the Web site vanished, bringing users who clicked on the original address to an unrelated shopping network site.

The abrupt switch was a surprise to Mr. Nemesvary and his sister, Jackie, Webmaster of the site. Mr. Nemesvary said the loss of the Web site has been troublesome and he's worried sponsors may think he has given up promoting the trek that helped raise $1.5 million for spinal cord injury research and rehabilitation.

A new Web site is being developed, but it's not expected to be up and running for a few days.

A spokesman for VeriSign, the Virginia-based company that registered the domain
name, said they sent three notices before the site was deleted from the system for non-payment of annual dues. The spokesman said it's standard practice to give Web site owners ample notice to renew their dues before taking action.

Since no reply was received on behalf of Mr. Nemesvary, his site was cancelled and the address was snapped up by another company.

"I have no knowledge what happened here, whether it was just a bad address (we had) and why they didn't receive the notices," the spokesman said.

Ms. Nemesvary said a year ago she contacted a VeriSign representative about renewing the dues for the Web site's domain name. She said she spoke to a representative on the telephone about updating their address and followed up with an e-mail.

She suspects the U.S. company may have sent the notices to an old address for her brother because they did not have an updated address in their files.

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