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I just checked meritbadge.COM...and it seems to be working just fine. But...then I checked meritbadge.ORG, and you're right...there's a porn site there.


I'm not the computer wizard here, but does anyone know a way to contact the folks who host the meritbadge site and let them know?


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If you ever want to know who runs a site go to networksolutions.com. Once therelook for the link to "whois" look up. From there all you need to do type in the domain name (i.e. meritbadge.org) and it will tell you who registered the name and some contact information. Networksolutions and internic control all domain names and anyone who sells a domain name is only a middleman.


As far as meritbadge.com he does give a way to contact him off his main page.

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The bad news is that what the porn person has done is perfectly legal. It is a version of "Cyber Squatting" - taking a name of a business or organizations and registering it so that the org will have to "buy them out". It is a sleazy way to extort money legally from organizations that do not want to be associated with that garbage.



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After inquiring around, I received the following:


Heres the note from the owner of the meritbadge.* sites:


Dear Friends In Scouting,


It is with great sadness that I write this message but it is important that you are warned. Please excuse the massive cross posting to get the word out.

As you know, for years now I have been running MeritBadge.com. During most of this time you could also go to meritbadge.ORG and meritbadge.NET and you would be getting the same information.

Unfortunately, through some error, meritbadge.ORG was not

renewed this year. Worse yet, it is now being cybersquatted

by a porn site.

IMPORTANT: If you are a webmaster and you link to my site, please make sure all links on your site point to my MAIN web site name, meritbadge.COM. My main web site is not affected by this problem.

I want to assure everyone that I am working dilligently to get meritbadge.org back. I cannot fathom why a porn site would want the name anyway considering it would be leading mainly youth to their site. I have contacted them but they have not returned my messeges.

I have talked with my lawyer and he is finding me a lawyer who specializes in intellectual property. Im willing to pay for this out of my pocket as I always have for eveything related to my web site but if there are any lawyers who would be willing to assist me Pro Bono, I may need the help. I apologize to all of you, especially anyone who has been forwarded to the porn site.


Dr Michael Kauffmann, DCS mailto:optimist@meritbadge.com Merit Badge Research Center http://www.meritbadge.com/ I used to be a Bobwhite... And a good ol Staffer, too...


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Tiny is right in one respect in that the owner of the domain can do what he wants with the domain. BUT this can easily be fought and won in court or the W3C (World Wide Consortium-the folks who create and control web standards.) arbitration. Essentially we have a legitimate site that has been in operation for several years and has lost control of a version of their domain name. Another person has taken a domain name that HAS NO RELATIONSHIP to the content provided on thier site and in fact works to the detriment and defamation of the legitimate site's purpose. This is known as a predatory practice. There are currently several cases where just this has happened and the predators have been forced to give up the domain name. Cybersquatting is essentially becoming illegal it is just that the victim needs to prove his case. I think our friend at meritbadge.com can do that easily.


To help him out everyone needs to send him an email of support and clearly state how many kids you have that use his site. By doing so we help him build the case that the squatter is purposefully preying on kids and attempting to solicit pornography to them via the internet, and that IS illegal.

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